Narrations on the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna.
The Manjaris' Supreme Fortune - Rasa-rangini Tika to GLA 23.91
Jagat - Tue, 24 May 2005 22:54:42 +0530
(This lila should actually be read before "The Magic Locket.")
The manjaris sleep close to Sri Yugala Kishor; if the need to perform any more late night seva arises they are within reach of Srimati’s call. Sriman Mahaprabhu’s manjari bhava sphurti thus concludes, “Radha and Krishna went to the shayan mandir to take rest. Someone began fanning with a whisk, others massaged their feet, and someone prepared tambul and offered it to them. Then as Radha Krishna fell asleep, the manjaris left to take rest. This made me very happy.” (CC Antya 18)
Here is Krishna-bhavanamrita's last scene: After his late evening bhojan, kunda-danta* Mukunda begins chewing a golden tambul vitika offered by a seva dasi. His face is incomparably beautiful, yet perhaps if the Creator were to collect the best nilamani, place above it the full moon bathed in madhurya and stuffed wilh star-clusters dipped in red anuraga—we might get some idea of it. (Krishna’s body is compared with a nilamani, his face with the moon, his teeth with the stars, and his pan-tinted lips with red anuraga.)
With the rising, full moon of Krishna’s beauty, the darkness of Srimati Radharani’s patience is destroyed, the lotus of her shyness withers, the lily of her erotic desires blossom, and her chandrakanta mani* eyes begin shedding tears!
So seeing his preyasi mani Rai succumbing to Cupid’s onslaughts, Krishna speaks in a way that will enhance those bhavas, “Hey lola-nayani* Radhe! Look, as the wind blows through the trees, the moonbeams filter through their foliage to decorate the ground in interlacing patterns. So the moon must want to serve our Vrindavan with its lightbeams; yet our friend, the wind, catches them within the trees’ sieve-like leaves to strain them.”
“Hey Pranadhike* Radhike!” Krishna continues, “Let’s retire to the kalpa taru-nikunjas and take rest on a nice, soft bed of flowers.” Thus holding Priyaji’s hand, Kalanidhi* Madhava lifts her from the vedi, places his arm around her shoulder, escorts her to the kunja and places her on the bed. But as Sri Yugala Kishor take rest, the kinkaris* desires become fulfilled, for they have been wondering, “When will Radha Shyama take rest, so that we can massage their feet?” Thus that sweet moment arrives.
The Manjaris’ Supreme Fortune
As Radha and Krishna lie on the pushpa shayya,* two dasis come to the edge of the bed and sit down. Then carefully placing the devatas of their Ishvara and Ishwari’s charan yugala upon the golden altar of their thighs, they begin puja. First they offer the padya (foot-bath) of their tears, followed by the arghya of their horripilation. But as they meditate on the softness of Radha Krishna’s carana padmas, they fear that such arghya may pierce their tender soles. Thus the kinkaris begin massaging with their lotus petal fingers. But then they realize their mistake: “Uh-oh! According to archan rules, scents (gandha) should always be offered before flowers!” So the clever seva dasis rub the kasturi, chandan and kunkum from their breasts onto Radha Krishna’s lotus feet. Then the fragrant incense of their breath is offered, followed by the bright lamps of their fingernails. Yet imagining their two breasts as pomegranates, the kinkaris rub them over Radha Krishna’s feet for the naivedya (bhoga offering). Then, collecting some camphor, they mix it with their prana pradip, and offer arati.
While gazing upon Radha and Krishna’s lotus feet, the manjaris imagine them to be like tender new leaves resting upon their banana tree thighs. But as the dasis’ fingers press and contract like dancing red lotus petals, their bracelets and bangles tinkle like a swarm of empassioned bumblebees. Some kinkaris fan with flower fan, and seeing their movements one might guess: “Oh, are they great dancing poets who have come to please their Ishwar and Ishwari?”
On either side of Sri Yugala Kishor, two kinkaris wrap nutmeg, cloves, camphor and other spices in golden tambul vitikas* and slip them into Radha and Krishna’s mouths. Thus it appears that as two full moons rise over the bed of flowers, two svarna latas,* which bask in their effulgence, offer their leaves to worship them.
Rasika Shyamasundar is eager to have rati keli with Radhika, so he says, “Hey Priye! Your kinkaris must be very tired. I see that their eyes are rolling. So why don’t you allow them to take rest? Yet if your feet still feel sore, I’ll be your masseur.”
As the manjaris relish Rasika Murari’s kathamrita, they understand: “Ah, our most cherished moment has come!” Thus they tiptoe out of the vilasa bhavan in the way that a serene pujari exits from a deva mandir after performing puja.
The description of Krishna’s rati keli utsava now begins, using alankar (metaphor) and shleshartha (words with multiple meanings):
Upon reaching the ghat of Kandarpa’s sarovar, Rasika Shekhara wishes to bathe, but when dipping in the chilly water his hairs stand erect! Seeing Surata-rangini Rai, Krishna becomes exceedingly greedy to purify himself within the lake of her bodily limbs, but when he touches her—he horripilates as he anticipates beginning Kandarpa’s yajna!
Before starting, Krishna performs amrita achaman three times, according to Ananga’s vidhi, to clear away the obstacles that might upset the yajna’s smooth performance. (Before having rati keli with Radha, Krishna kisses her three times on the lips for removing her vama tendency.)
Then gradually, gaining confidence that Radha will not resist him, Krishna begins his puja. He stretches his hands over the beautiful golden puja kumbhas* (Rai’s breasts) and writes the names of Uma and Shiva on them with kunkum. Then, while deeply immersed within an Ananga-taranga,* Krishna meditates that these golden puja ghats are non-different from the Yugala puja devatas, Shiva and Parvati.
As Radha’s surata pleasure* awakens, she lovingly contemplates: “How shall 1 share this mahananda with my sakhis?”
Understanding Radha’s sakhi sneha,* Krishna expands into many murtis to enjoy vihara with all of the sakhis, too. But meanwhile, the manjaris peep through the window to view Sri Yugala Kishor’s vilasa keli—for without doing so, their lives are meaningless. Then one seva dasi exclaims to the others, “Oh hey alis! What’s going on here? As these two lovers firmly embrace, they’re trembling and becoming stunned! Oh sakhi, look! Due to separation’s pangs they exclaim ‘ha ha!’ with faltering voices as they bathe each other in their warm tears! But sakhi! Look! Look! Having let go of each other, they go on striking their heads, shedding tears, and experiencing great distress and waning away upon imagining the other’s demise!”
The purport here is that when anuraga reaches an extreme pitch, prema vaichittya* takes over. Then Radha and Krishna’s tear-filled eyes impair their vision and they imagine: “Aha! My beloved has left me!” So even while they embrace, moha (delusion) causes incredible lamentation. Hence the waves of prema vaichittya disturb Radha Krishna’s ananga rasa. So by anuraga’s extreme force—and prema’s crooked course—Sri Yugala Kishor sometimes become very glad, and sometimes very sad.
Jagat - Tue, 24 May 2005 22:58:00 +0530
But after a moment, another kinkari exclaims, “Hey sakhis! you need not lament anymore; our Divine Couple are now embracing again. Look! They pour cool tears over each other as if doing an abhsheka! Just listen to what they’re saying—Krishna tells Radhika: “Hey manini (Jealous girl)! Hey Priye! Where did you go after leaving me?”
Then Radha exclaims, “Oh Priyatama! Did you hide to play a joke on me?"
Thus the manjaris sweetly smile while overhearing Radha and Krishna’s strange conversation.
But after the separation in union, when Radha and Krishna resume embracing, one surprised kinkari questions another: “Hey sakhi! Why did they both experience viraha—even while being together? I’m also wondering how they were united again—even without another’s help? What’s going on?”
Hearing the inquiry, the seva dasi, being a pandit of Sri Yugala Kishor’s rasa tattva owing to her oneness with them, replies: “When separation occurs between the Two, they begin to deeply meditate on each other. This causes a sphurti of the Beloved. But while trying to embrace the sphurti they each realize that it is only imaginary, and viraha reawakens. But prema vaichittya’s viraha is different, because as Radha and Krishna experience viraha in union, their mutual sphurti turns into sakshat darshan! Thus when a sphurti comes due to intense absorption, and when they endeavor to embrace the sphurti—they find each other really there! And this is what just happened.”
“But O sakhi! As prema vaichittya awakens viraha, never think that this rasa is inferior. Just look before you and you’ll see why—prema vaichittya has increased Radha Krishna-anuraga for union a million times, so their sambhoga reached the status of samriddhiman(! Hey priya sakhi! Look, look! As our Priya Yugala now anxiously fear separation, they remove each other’s clothes, tightly embrace each other and yearn to enter into each other’s hearts! Aho! Surely Radha must be thinking: “My priya ramana always desires to embrace me—so today let me enter his heart so that he can enjoy me forever!” And Krishna feels the same about Radha.”
The dasi goes on: “Oh sakhi! Our vilasi yugala’s bodies have become one by their firm embrace, and this is befitting because Radha Krishna’s mind and soul are one—it is only their bodies that are different.”
Another dasi exclaims, “Oh sakhi! Just see how Krishna’s chest is pushing Radha’s! I’ll bet that this arrogant chest is jealous of Radha’s large breasts and thinks, ‘Within the three worlds only I am highly situated, but these two svarna kumbhas* want to defeat me! Therefore, I’ll reduce them to dwarfs!’ Thus Krishna’s chest repeatedly squishes Radha’s raised kucha yugala.
Another manjari exclaims, “Sakhis! Just observe how they’re kissing! It reminds me of how the moon and the lotus are Madana’s friend, and yet are jealous of each other. So has Madana finally united these two after all? Just look at how they’re exchanging rasa.”
Purport: Although the moon acts like the lotus’ enemy by shrivelling it, when Krishna’s mukha chandra kisses Radha’s mukha kamala, they happily unite to exchange adhara rasa* and nourish their prem. “Or perhaps did two kamalas bloom from two limitless ujjvala rasa sarovars to be joined by Kandarpa’s wind? Maybe that’s why the two bumblebees trapped within each lotus turned restless?”
“But Oh sakhi!” another dasi says, “When Radha Krishna kiss, the curling hair falling over their faces reminds me of something else: The moon of Brahma’s creation can not remain full, nor is it pure, for it has some faults. That is why Kandarpa made two spotless full moons over Radha Krishna’s faces. Yet these two moons are always jealous of each other and love to bicker. That’s why their enemies, those restless curling hairs, now take this opportunity to surround the battle site on all fronts!”
The dasi continues: “Oh sakhi! As Radha and Krishna kiss each other’s eyes, black kajjala rubs onto their lips. So as Radhika now kisses Krishna’s lips, she swallows up the kajjala, replacing it with her carvita tambul* stain. Radhika surely must have thought, ‘Hay, hay! The moon may be marred by a spot, but how has this enchanting lotus become spotted?’ Thus she anxiously swallowed it and repainted the kamala.”
Another seva dasi, carefully viewing the situation, remarks, “Hey sahachari! Look here! As our priya yugala bit each other’s lips, it appears that four bandhuli flowers are battling to usurp each other’s pollen! But hay! Madana Raja has intervened and he’s slicing the bandhuli with his kunda flower spears!”
The seva dasi goes on, “Oh sakhi! Radha’s stana yugala* are marked by Krishna’s nails, and the pearl necklace that rested over them broke from his fondling! So did Madana garland these two Shiva lingas, his archenemies, with a moon-sliver necklace? After all, the lingas’ dearest friend, the Ganga, which flows from their peaks, now fearfully flees to spill in tear droplets!”
The dasi continues, “Oho sakhis! Just look! Has a golden lightning streak become over-infatuated with Madana’s pride? For it is boldly rising over a new monsoon cloud!” Thus the manjaris viewing the spectacle shed ecstatic tears and drench the nikunja bhavana window! Meanwhile, the dasis pulling on the ceiling fan’s ropes also shed limitless tears and become blinded by them. So they curse themselves, “Oh stop this damn prema that’s vexing us—it’s blocking our madhura darshan!”
Aho! As the chandra zealously drinks the padma’s madhu, the padma anxiously worries: “How dare the chandra usurp all of my pollen?” Thus the padma’s intoxicated bees strike back to drink the chandramrita!
As Radhika reigns over Krishna’s body during viparita vilasa,* her wonderful mukha chandra lavishly loots the nectar from his mukharavinda! But Radha’s rati prowess strikes Krishna with wonder, so his bumblebee eyes plunder the lovely luster of her moon face! But as surata rangini Rai’s assault continues, her pearl necklace dances over the kaustubha sun peeking through the Krishna cloud! Then Rai’s golden, swan-like anklebells excitingly resound to announce her victory!
As their bodies rub together, a wonderful scent is produced. It allures thousands of buzzing honeybees which fill the vilasa bhavana! Aho! Their rati concert awakens ashta sattvika bhavas for the rasika spectators such as Rupa, Rati, Rangini and others!
Radha Krishna’s never-ending pursuit to relish rasamrita is satiating them—their protective chandan armor streams in perspiration, yet their serpentine arms tightly bind each other. Aho! The nava kishor yugala’s unending thirst for victory in the rati battle goes on!
Thus Srila Chakravartipada returns to the head-bead of Kåñëa-bhävanämåta’s japa meditation: “Rasamaya nagara Shyama and rasamayi nagari Radha are Both expert in the practise of Cupid’s martial arts. Hence the irrepressible wish to share this talent instigates ‘the war of Ananga’! Then, finally, the ‘sakhi of fatigue’ invites Nidra Devi (sleep) to conclude the battle. So with their fatigue of Kandarpa Keli, Radha Krishna now fall asleep.”