Follow by Email

Monday, June 15, 2015

Husbands, throwing prasāda and welcome to the machine

Returning to the issue of the mañjarīs having husbands – Govinda-līlāmṛta 2.57 says the sakhīs come sva gehāt, from their homes at early morning 6 a.m., after Rādhikā returned home from Vṛndāvana, while the next verse, 2.58, speaks of the mañjarīs being immediately ready for Swāminī’s devotional service, without mentioning them coming from any home. This shows that they are not married.

Question – I have seen many Iskcon-utsavas wherein pūjārīs throw mahā-prasādam from the altar to temple crowds. Do any śāstras say that prasadām can be thrown? Some may cite Gaurānga’s throwing coconut pulp to a Puri dog as pramān??

Advaitadas - Mahāprabhu threw the coconut pulp at the dog because dogs are untouchable, not because prasād can be thrown about. It is like throwing Kṛṣṇa’s deities around. See my blog ‘brahmins dogs’. In 1979, during the annual birthday extravaganza of Bhagavān Dās in France, there was a massive prasādam-fight, in which tons of prasād was thrown around. Bhagavān Dās was, rightly so, incensed about it. But it is not that prasād cannot be given from the altar at all. You see in many temples in India dona’s (leaf cups) or kulla’s (clay cups) of mahā-prasāda are politely and gently handed down to devotees in the temple, not thrown about.

Question – “Nowadays devotees use bread machines and so.”

Advaitadas – “That is very bad. The benefit of the devotional service goes to the machine. The idea of bhakti is to work hard to please Kṛṣṇa. Nowadays also you see Hindus going on Govardhan parikrama by car or flat-bed riksha. The benefit goes to on one of course. The drivers do it for money and the lazy fat passengers do some sight-seeing instead of getting the reward of the sacrifice of walking many miles. Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmīpāda says dhana śiṣyādibhir dvārair yo bhakti - If you pay someone for rendering devotional service or have it done by disciples then it is not bhakti. (Bhakti rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.2.259) Nanda Mahārāja personally milks a cow to feed milk to Kṛṣṇa and mother Yaśodā personally supervises the kitchen of Nandagrām where Kṛṣṇa’s meals are prepared. They don’t lay back in a board room like the managers of today’s devotional institutions and leave the ‘menial services’ to novices. The best machines we can use are airplanes to bring us to Vraja.”

Question – “Then what about internet? That is also a machine and you sit on that all day.”

Advaitadas - You must earn your reward in bhakti by giving and sacrificing. A devotee can work very hard for Kṛṣṇa on the internet - preaching, uploading kathā and kīrtan. It is the effort which counts, that is not the same as a bread machine because rotis can and must be made by hand. patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (Bhagavad-gītā 9.26). Kīrtans cannot be uploaded to the internet by hand. What’s next? A drone which does ārti while the pūjārī watches TV? In the 1970s there was someone in LA who would chant the rounds of busy gṛhasthas against payment. Will anyone benefit from that – employer or employee?”


  1. Dear advaitadasji,
    This is a quote from Vilapa kusumanjali:

    tvam rupa-manjari sakhi prathita pure'smin
    pumsah parasya vadanam na hi pasyasiti
    bimbadhare ksatam anagata-bhartrkaya
    yat te vayadhayi kim u tac chuka-pungavena

    tvam – you; rupa-manjari – Rupa Manjari; sakhi – my dear girlfriend; prathita – well known; pure – in the town; asmin – in; pumsah – man; parasya – of another; vadanam – the face; na – not; hi – surely; pasyasi – you look; iti – thus; bimba-adhare – on your lips, that look like red bimba fruits; ksatam – bites; anagata – not come; bhartrkaya – your husband; yat – which; te – you; vyadhayi – caused; kim – what? u – indeed; tac – that; chuka – parrot; pungavena – by the best of.


    My dear friend Rupa-manjari! You are well known in Vraja for your chastity; you don't even look at the faces of other men. It is therefore surprising that although your husband is not at home, your lips, which are as beautiful as red bimba fruits, have been bitten. Has this perhaps been done by the best of parrots?

    Here it is suggested that Rupa Manjari does have a husband. How can we reconcile this?

  2. You see that I gave another translation in the word-for-word ; anāgata = not come. In the verse translation I wrote 'not at home' as a compromise because I translated the book for Vaiṣṇavas who believe in husbands for the manjaris. My own Guru quoted exactly this verse to prove that manjaris have no husbands. an = not, āgata = having come. Meaning 'you are not yet married'.

  3. See also my blog of April 19th -
    Husbands are needed to cheat with Kṛṣṇa as a lover – why manjarīs need a husband as they don’t have an affair with Kṛṣṇa anyway? All husbands in nitya-līlā are chāyā-rūpa anyway – shadow-forms, not real.

  4. Dear advaitadasji,
    Thank you for the reply. I have two questions:
    1) Who are these Vaishnavas who think manjaris are married? Do they belong to other Gaudiya parivaras? Is this the opinion of Satyanarayana Dasji's line too?

    2)Doesn't Ananga Manjari have a husband named Durmada? Sri Anantadas babaji says that She is a sakhi and not a Manjari? Do you agree with this and what are the reasons?

  5. 1. I would rather not mention the names of lineages here, the issue is a purely philosophical one, not a personal one. To my knowledge my lineage is the only one that claims the manjaris are not married.
    2. Yes I agree with that. Ananga Manjari is a manjari by name only, not by function. She is clearly functioning as a sakhi, as is clear from the fact that her kunja is in the middle of Radhakund, unlike any other manjaris' station. See also my blogs on the book of Aindra Das, who also misunderstood Ananga Manjari's status. I published these blogs in February and March 2011.

  6. Srila Visvanath Cakravarti clearly states that Sri Rupa Manjari is married and quotes Sri Vilapa Kusumanjali verse 1 as the evidence in Ananda Candrika 3.13:
    taträpi paroòhänäà çré -rädhädé näà däsyaù käçcana çré -vå ñ abhänv-
    ädibhir viväha-käle dattäù kanyakä eva käçcana tad-anyä rüpa-maïjary-ädayaù paroòhä eva
    jïeyäù | bimbädhare kñ atam anägata bhartå käyäù [viläpa-kusumäïjali 1] iti çré -däsa-gosvämyukteù

    "Thus the servants of the women of Vraja in parakiya relationships also had parakiya relationship. Some of the servants of Rädhä, who were given at the time of her marriage by Vrsabhänu, were not married, and some like Rüpa-manjari, were married. For Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé has said: bimbädhare kñatam anägata-bhartåkäyä. " Ananda Candrika 3.13

    The evidence you cite from Govindalilamrta 2.58 that the manjaris did not come from other houses in no way proves that the manjaris are unmarried. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained in Ananda Candrika 3.13 that some manjaris who were not married prior to Srimati Radhika's wedding were given in marriage along with Her by Vrsabhanu Maharaja since it was the custom among the aristocracy to offer their daughters along with their maidservants.

    In manjari-bhava Srila Narottama Das Thakura prays : yāvaṭe āmāra kobe, e pāṇi grahana hobe - "When will my hand be given in marriage in the village of Yavat." (Prarthana Svabhista Lalasa Song 4.2) Since the unmarried manjari theory is not supported by these two major acaryas who are accepted by all Gaudiya Vaisnavas, what benefit will you gain by philosophically opposing them?

  7. Anon I am aware of the opinion of Narottama Ṭhākura Mahāśaya and Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda. Viśvanātha does acknowledge that a section of the manjaris were kanyakās, virgins and thus not married, did he not? This is a valid option for who is instructed in such upāsanā. Rūpa Goswāmī says in one book that Ujjvala is śyāma complexioned and in another book he says he is rakta complexioned. Can you explain?

    As for Govinda Līlāmṛta 2.57-58, you can reject that obvious circumstantial evidence of course if you are unwilling and obstinate. That is your prerogative.

  8. No. VCT does not say the manjaris are not married. He says the dasis who were unmarried virgins at the time of Radhika's marriage were "dattam" --- "given". It means "given in marriage along with Radhika". When a princess was married it was customary to give the hand of the princess along with her maidservants. Then those maidservants were considered married to the same husband as the princess but they occupy a lesser social status. That is the whole point VCT is making, is it not? And that explains why they did not come from another house. They live with permanently with Radhika.

    Even common sense dictates that the unmarried manjari conception is unacceptable because in Vedic culture it is the duty of every father to arrange the marriage of his daughter well before puberty. The manjaris are around 12/13 years of age. Considering that this humanlike lila is set in Dvarapara Yuga wherein the gopis mature at least four years earlier than girls of the present age, it is rather anomalous to propose the existence of unmarried 13 year olds. And that is why no acarya has ever done so.

    The context of this section in Ananda Candrika is a discussion about the maidservants of the Mahisis. When Srila Rupa Gosvami describes the maidservants of the Mahisis as also being in a svakiya relation with Sri Krsna, VCT comments that by extension it may be said that the maidservants of gopis such as Radhika, who are of course in parodha-bhava (married parakiya) should also be considered themselves to be in parodha-bhava (married parakiya).

  9. In regard to Ujjvala Sakha, remember, Srila Rupa Gosvami is a poet, so he does not have to use the same word for the same color in every poem. In BRSindhu Ujjvala is described as harinila, which some have translated as "blue like Krsna". But this translation is incorrect. "Harinila" is actually a color. Here are some of the synonyms for hari:

    hari 2 mfn. (prob. fr. a lost %{hR} , `" to be yellow or green "' ; for 1. %{hari} see above , col. 2) fawn-coloured , reddish brown , brown , tawny.

    So we can take the meaning "reddish brown"

    Here are some of the synonyms for "nila"
    nila mf(%{A} or %{I} ; cf. Pa1n2. 4-1 , 42 Va1rtt. Va1m. v , 2 , 48)n. of a dark color

    So "harinila" can mean "a dark color of reddish brown". In Sri Radha-krsna -ganoddesa-dipika, Srila Rupa Gosvami describes Ujjvala Sakha as "rakta-varna-prabha" --- "having a reddish colored effulgence." I don't see any problem here. Do you?

  10. Anon, Bhanu Swami translates that tika to Ujjvala Nilamani 3.13 as -

    "Some of the servants of Rādhā, who were given at the time of her marriage by Vṛṣabhānu, were not married, and some like Rūpa-mañjarī, were married."

    kanyaka means virgin, so not married. But regardless if all manjaris are married or some of them are married, neither Advaita Parivara nor Nityananda Parivara accept parodha bhava for them, as you can see we stand shoulder to shoulder on the inner meaning of the first verse of Vilapa Kusumanjali. It is not that these things are practically impossible but the rasa of non-involvement with Krishna is far superior and you will find ample evidence in the different purports of the first verse of Vilapa Kusumanjali as well as in Vraja Vilasa Stava 38 etc. etc.

    This is not a matter of academic study but of relish only.

    PS Even those who are husband-vadis do not get or give a husband at the time of siddha pranali, and speaking of common sense - the daily schedule of a manjari does not leave even a split second for a husband. As you agree that the manjaris are interns - have you seen manjaris described in shastra as going to a section in Vrsabhanu's bhavan where their husbands are, including VCT's books?

  11. It seems you are missing the point of Ananda Candrika 3.13. VCT is just saying that some manjaris like Rupa Manjari have their own separate husbands and others were given along with Radhika to Abhimanyu at the time of Her marriage. This was the custom in Vedic times that gopis who were born in a family of somewhat lesser nobility (nyuna-abhijatya) than the princess were all part of the same marriage deal. Yes we know that kanyakah can mean unmarried but in the passage under discussion the phrase here is dattah kanyakah. Obviously dattah kanyakah is a past tense construction of the phrase "kanya-dana". Here's the dictionary definition:

    kanya-dana n. giving a girl in marriage Mn. iii , 35 ; (%{kanyA7dAna} , receiving a girl in marriage W.)

    Of course "vivaha-kale" at the time of marriage the girl who is given is kanya (unmarried virgin). Who in vedic times would offer or accept as wife a pre-married non-virgin? And once she is "dattah" given, then she is obviously married.

    As far as various parivaras standing shoulder to shoulder on the point that the manjaris are not in parodha-bhava, you are simply resorting to argument by vox populi. Most vaisnavas parivaras prefer to stand shoulder to shoulder with Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura who emphatically states here rüpa-manjary-ädayah parodhä eva jneyah - "One should understand that the manjaris beginning with Sri Rupa Manjari are certainly parodha." Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote vrsabhanu pure janama loibo, yavate vivaha habe. "When will I take birth in Varsana and then be offered in marriage in the village of Yavata?"

    You wrote "PS Even those who are husband-vadis do not get or give a husband at the time of siddha pranali" Yet even Dhyanacandra Gosvami's paddhati verse 90 (the section on meditation on siddha-deha) describes that the sadhaka should conceive of his siddha-deha as being married. Do the Nityananda Parivara and Advaita Parivara not accept Dhyanacandra Gosvami's paddhati?

    Yogamaya protects all gopis from interaction with husbands, so the absence of descriptions of manjaris interacting with their husbands is hardly proof that they are not married. Conversely, since many manjaris live with Radhika in Yavata, it proves that they are married, either to Abhimanyu or someone else, since unmarried girls are strictly forbidden be away from their parents homes at night, what to speak of stay in the house of another man.

    Your argument that the rasa of non-involvement with Sri Krsna is superior, which of course it is, does not support your anti parodha-bhava kanya-vada because it is based on the false dilemma that manjaris in parodha-bhava cannot prefer or recognize the superior joy of Radhika's meeting with Sri Krsna . Just because a manjari is married and is also in parodha-bhava, that is, she sometimes meets with Krsna, albeit against her will due to Krsna's superior strength and Srimati Radhika's desire, does not mean that the manjari does not prefer to arrange for Radha-Krsna's meeting and consider the union of the Divine Couple as the exclusive goal of her life. The idea that the manjaris never meet with Sri Krsna is not supported by Ananda Candrika, Sri Krsna Bhavanamrta, or even Srila Raghunath Das Gosvami's Sri Mukta Carita.

  12. Please kindly answer 3 questions:
    1) If do you not accept VCT's inescapably clear statement that Rupa Manjari is in parodha-bhava please share with us your translation of the words rüpa-manjary-ädayah parodhä eva jneyah from Ananda Candrika 3.13.
    2) Explain how some gopis could remain unmarried till the age of 13 in a society where there is no feminism and girls have no choice but to accept arranged marriage in their childhood?
    3) If dattah kanyakah does not refer to kanya-dana (marriage), then what does it mean?
    4) If you don't accept the sastras composed by Dhyanacandra Gosvami, Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura, Srila Narottama Das Thakura, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, which are unanimous in their conclusion that Sri Rupa Manjari and her followers are married, then where is the evidence that one should or can accept kanya-bhava to become Rupanuga? ( I mean serious pramana, not just "Sastra does not describe pastimes with the husbands so they must not exist, and if they do it's just an illusion anyway", and other cop-outs)

  13. Anon I have already acknowledged that I am aware and have always been aware of the opinions of some of our ācāryas, meaning that it is certainly one way of conceiving of manjari bhāva, though it is not our way. I did not mention that the husbands are an illusion, but it is a fact that no śāstra describes the roles of husbands even of nāyikās what to speak of kinkarīs. How is this a cop out?

  14. It seems that you are avoiding the issue. I have presented the pramana from several major acaryas, who are accepted universally by all Gaudiya vaisnavas, to show that the manjaris are both married and also have a parodha-bhava relationship to Sri Krsna. I am open to another possibility, but not if there is zero pramana to support it. So if you are going to write an article informing the world that the manjaris are not married, it is only reasonable to expect at least one pramana from your side.

    In regard to your last post you wrote:

    Advaitadas Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 1:49:00 PM GMT+2 "I did not mention that the husbands are an illusion."

    Yet earlier in this thread you wrote:

    Advaitadas Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 9:28:00 AM GMT+2 "All husbands in nitya-līlā are chāyā-rūpa anyway – shadow-forms, not real."

    Were both these statements written by the same Advaitadas or is one of them chaya-rupa?

  15. 2 july, if you are the same anonymous -

    "Your argument that the rasa of non-involvement with Sri Krsna is superior, which of course it is,"

    You agree that non involvement is superior, so what is the argument here? Have you ever TRIED manjari bhava or are you just a bookworm?

    As for pramāṇa,I quoted anāgata in Vilāpa Kusumānjali. an = not, āgata = has come.

  16. It's simple. The manjaris prefer to experience the rasa of Sri Radhika's meeting with Sri Krsna far more than their own meeting with Sri Krsna. We all perfectly agree on this point. The difference lies here. You claim that the manjaris NEVER directly experience all the categories of sambhoga-rasa with Sri Krsna, whereas Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha Das Gosvami, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura etc. clearly state that Sri Krsna occasionally enjoys meetings with the manjaris at the behest of Srimati Radhika.

    You have offered the phrase anAgata-bhartRkAyAH from the first verse of Sri Vilapa Kusumanjali as your pramana that Sri Rupa Manjari is not married, but Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has used exactly the same line to prove that Sri Rupa Manjari IS married and that her relation with Sri Krsna is one of parodha-bhava. So we have to examine why it is that you and the great Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura have a difference of opinion on this.

    In your English translation of this verse, you have translated bhartRkAyAH as "your husband". And this is the root of the problem. The word bhartRkAyAH is a feminine singular noun in the genitive case. Thus the correct translation is "of the wife". Furthermore, when adjectives are added to bhartRkA they indicate the status of her relationship with the husband. For example mRta-bhartRkA, rather than meaning "dead-wife", it means "a wife whose husband has died" i.e. a widow. Thus, as Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura points out anAgta-bhartRkAyAH really does mean "a wife whose husband has not returned", This is the only possible conclusion since the interpretaion "a wife who does not yet have a husband" is obviously impossible.

    A further consideration is that in Vedic times the marriages were arranged in childhood long before the couple actually lived together. We find much evidence of this in Sri Gopala Campu. Whatever the case, bhartRkAyAH cannot refer to an unmarried woman.

  17. Anon -

    1. Anantadas Babaji writes in his translation 'bhartāra anupasthita kāle-o' "Even when your husband is not present."

    As far as the meaning of bhartṛikā is concerned - this is in dictionary -

    भर्तृक bhartRka f. husband

    You said - So we have to examine why it is that you and the great Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura have a difference of opinion on this.

    Somehow you still do not get my point - I never said that the great Visvanatha or any other acarya is
    WRONG about this. rasa is a subjective matter, unlike siddhānta, provided there is no rasābhāsa.