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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Birth and growth of a manjari


Question -
In Srila Bhaktivinoda Thākura's Gīta mālā's song 'Siddhi Lālasa', he seems to present a series of events from a siddha taking Varsana-birth, and then  growing up to the lucky day, 13 years later, when that fortunate manjari meets Radha-Krishna for the first time and begins her eternal seva to Yugala Kiśora.

From Birth To Your Eternal Sevā In Prakata Līlā -

1. Birth in Varshana:

After attaining Rādhā-Govinda mādhurya prema, you, as a sādhana siddha-devotee will take birth from the womb of a Vraja-gopi in Bhauma Vṛndāvana during the prakata līlā of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.
True or false?

2. Growing Up:
From a baby manjari-form in Varshana, you will gradually grow up to your eternal manjari svarūpa age 12-13.
True or false?

3. Engagement:
Once you reach maturity, you will pass your time in separation from Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, singing Yugala bhajanas like a madwoman (pāgalini prāya, BVT) and doing small sevās like fetching Yamunā-jala. True or false?

4. Meeting Your Guru Sakhi:
One day on the foot path, you will meet your eternal guru sakhi and the chief manjari of your parivāra e.g. Ananga, Rūpa, Rati.
True or false?

5. Introduction to Group Leader:
Then later your guru sakhi and chief manjari will take you to meet your sakhi group leader (Lalitā or Viśākhā).
True or false?

6. Receiving Sevā Kunja:
Your group leader will assign you an individual (or collective) sevā kunja for serving the Divine Couple.
True or false?

7. Radha-Kṛṣṇa Service Training:
Your group leader, chief manjari, and other leading sakhis will personally train you in various sevās (rasa seva śikṣā), bhāvas and different levels of prema so you can expertly serve Rādhā Govinda Yugala.
True or false?

8. Starting Śrīmatī’s Sevā:
Now after taking birth in Varshana, growing up for 12 years and being trained in sevā, you are finally qualified to meet Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa for the first time and begin your eternal sevā.
True or false?

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura explains that most auspicious moment like this: “Thus waiting in my solitary cottage, I will constantly remember Sri Radha’s lotus feet. After sometime, my chief manjari (Śrī Rūpa/Rati) will come to meet me. At that time, she will say, ‘What are you doing sitting here? Come outside and look— just see Who is coming this way? Rādhā Govinda Yugala are about to meet together. And today you will get the chance to serve Their lotus feet.’”  (Siddha-lālasā song 6)  
True or false?

9. If the above is true, does this mean that all sādhana siddhas will not directly meet or serve Śrī Radha until they grow into their mature manjaris swarūpas and become sevā-qualified? What about seeing Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa; will that also not occur until the manjari reaches her mature age? 

10. Will all sadhana siddha manjaris follow these same steps to the final reward of Radha’s eternal seva? True or false?

11. Is there any other explanation about the progression from Bhauma līlā-birth to beginning Bhānu-nandini’s blissful sevā?

Advaitadas -
Śrī Jīva Goswāmīpāda says that time exists in the spiritual sky but it does not lead to decay. Tasmāt yatrāsau ṣaḍ-bhāva-vikāra-hetuḥ kāla-vikrama eva na pravartate, tatra teṣām abhāvaḥ [Ś.B. 2.9.10 tīkā] “The six transformations of time (birth, sustenance, growth, maturity, decline and death) do not expand their powers (in Vaikuṇṭha) –  they are absent there.” But spiritual pastimes of birth, growth and meeting are possible in the spiritual world, and each phase can be eternally meditated upon also.
There is Narottama’s narration of how Rūpa Manjari introduces her to the Yugal Kiśora -

śrī rūpa paścāte āmi rohibo bhīta hoiyā; doṅhe puna kohiben āmā pāne cāiyā
sadaya hṛdaye doṅhe kohiben hāsi; kothāy pāile rūpa ei nava dāsī?
śrī rūpa mañjarī tabe doṅha vākya śuni; mañjulālī dilo more ei dāsī āni!

"I will shyly stand behind Śrī Rūpa as Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa look at me again, smile and ask Rūpa with kind hearts: "O Rūpa! Where did you get this new maidservant?' Hearing Their inquiry, Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī then tells Them: 'Mañjulālī Mañjarī (the manjarī-name of Śrīla Lokanātha Gosvāmī) has given me this maidservant to bring her before You!'                                           
He also sings;
 hari hari! āra ki emon daśā hobo
           kobe vṛṣabhānu pure,       āhīrī gopera ghare,
                        tanayā hoiyā janamibo

"Hari! Hari! When will I attain this condition? When will I be born as a daughter in the house of a cowherder in Vṛṣabhānu's town (Varṣānā)?"

          yāvaṭe āmāra kobe,        e pāṇi grahana hobe,
                       vasati koribo kobe tāya
         sakhīra parama śreṣṭha,      ye hoy tāhāra preṣṭha,
                       sevana koribo tāra pāya

"When will I be married in the village of Yāvat and when can I live there? When can I serve the lotus-feet of the dearmost maidservant (Rūpa Mañjarī) of the best of sakhīs (Lalitā)?"

There is also a sweet Bengali booklet named ‘Sankalpa-kalpalatā’ by Lakṣmī-Nārāyan Bhaṭṭa, about a manjari’s growing up. When one does full-time manjari sevā it doesn’t fit in though. Generally rāgānugā-Gurus will give their śiṣyas an upāsanā based on eternal ādya kiśori manjarī-services like in Vilāpa-kusumānjali and Rādhā-rasa-sudhānidhi, just like we acknowledge Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes of birth and growth in the Bhāgavat but ultimately zero in on His kiśora-līlā. We are kiśor upāsakas, not kumār or pauganda. So it’s not really a matter of whether your 11 questions are objectively either true or false. It is Bhaktivinode’s own world of service and I can’t see any rasābhāsa or viruddha siddhānta in it. Not that necessarily everyone must or will have such experiences as he had, though.
As to question 4, Ananga Manjari is never mentioned as a chief manjarī of any parivāra.

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