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This blog is for sharing one of the six loving exchanges between vaishnavas - bhajana katha sravanam alapa - sharing and discussing bhajan topics with devotees.

It is also my humble attempt to follow the instruction my gurudeva would give at the end of every class: take these pastimes and instructions into your heart. Therefore in the hopes that it will make some impression in my heart, I am sharing lecture notes, quotes, book excerpts, and other words from the brahma-madhva-gaudiya sampradaya and vaisnava/is around the world.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Srila Rupa Goswami as Rupa Manjari

om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namah

O Gurudeva, you are so merciful. I offer my humble pranama unto you and am praying from the core of my heart that, with the torchlight of divine k
nowledge, you open my eyes which have been blinded by the darkness of ignorance.

Today I want to share some nectar about Srila Rupa Goswami in his form as a manjari or maidservant of Srimati Radhika, Rupa Manjari. I read the following sweet excerpt from "Sri Guru and His Grace" written by Srila Bhakti-Rakshak Sridhara Maharaja (pictured above with Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada).

First he establishes the supreme position of Srimati Radhika and Her service as our highest goal, as told by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:
"The servitorship of Srimati Radharani is said to be of the living being by the school established by Mahaprabhu. It is the gist of the Srimad Bhagavatam. It is Krishna's own version."

He quotes Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.15 and 10.47.61, where Krsna praises Uddhava, and where Uddhava praises the gopis, of whom Srimati Radhika is the topmost. He then quotes Jayadeva Goswami, who writes in his Gita Govinda how, when Srimati Radhika left the rasa dance, even with all the gopis there Krsna was not satisfied, and chased after Radhika.

From there:

"The rupanuga sampradaya, the followers of Sri Rupa, are those who have the unique taste of service in the camp of Radharani...The highest kind of divine sentiment is distributed from the camp of Srimati Radharani, and that can never be compared with any attainment hitherto known even in the eternal factor of time and space.

"...Why should we try to enter into the camp of Radharani?...Radharani's service to Krishna is of the highest order in every way. If we devote our energy to help Radharani, our energy will be utilized in Her service. In this way She will serve Krishna with Her service more enhanced. Then the reciprocation will pass to us through Her as our reward. That will be devotion of the highest type, mahabhava...

"Yet still, there is another, higher thing. We are known as rupanugas, followers of Sri Rupa. Why? The service of Srimati Radharani eliminates everything, even Narayana, to go to Krishna...

"Still, there is another point. Who is Rupa? Rupa Manjari. Generally the hierarchy in the spiritual world is eternal. New recruits can occupy a particular rank of manjari, assistant, in madhurya rasa. And the leader of manjaris is Sri Rupa Manjari...

"When Radharani and Krishna are in secrecy, in private, the sakhis [Lalita, Visakha, and their followers] do not like to approach there and disturb...but the younger girls [manjaris] can enter there....

"New recruits may come to the manjari class. The manjaris have that sort of special advantage under the leadership of Sri Rupa Manjari....the most sacred type of pure service, which is not even open to the sakhis [Radharani's girl friends], is open to the manjaris. That is found in Radharani's camp. So, the position of the rupanuga, the followers of Sri Rupa, is the most profitable position.

"...So, the camp, the sampradaya of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is known as the rupanuga sampradaya. There our fate and fortune is located. Now we have to conduct ourselves in such a way that naturally we can connect with that highest, pure spiritual conception from here."

Srila Rupa Goswami, Rupa Manjari ki JAI!!

I got to hear more nectar on Srila Rupa Goswami, his literature, and how special he was, to know the mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I will try and share more tomorrow. Now I am in New Braj, and I heard from Gopanandini that Srila Gurudeva used to do a festival for Srila Rupa Goswami, from his disappearance day until Balarama's Appearance Day. So I will try and stay in that mood and post more on Srila Rupa Goswami tomorrow.

How merciful is Srila Rupa Goswami in his form as Sri Rupa Manjari! All she wants is to help us serve Srimati Radhika, the highest goal. I also heard Srila Gurudeva describe how, whereas the sakhi friends of Radharani try to pacify her sulkiness and separation, Rupa Manjari is so close to Radharani that she actually *feels* the same things that Radha is feeling, when She is feeling them. How wonderful is Sri Rupa Manjari...

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