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Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Their Personal Servants

Appointed Servants

"In a conversation between Jambavati, one of Krsna's wives, and Kalindi, her friend, Jambavati inquired, “Who is this personality circumambulating our Krsna?”
Kalindi replied, “She is Ambika, the superintendent of all universal affairs.”
Then Jambavati inquired, “Who is this personality who is trembling at the sight of Krsna?”
Kalindi replied, “He is Lord Siva.”
Then Jambavati inquired, “Who is the person offering prayers?”
Kalindi replied, “He is Lord Brahma.”
Jambavati then asked, “Who is that person who has fallen on the ground and is offering respect to Krsna?”
Kalindi replied, “He is Indra, the King of heaven.”
Jambavati next inquired, “Who is this person who has come with the demigods and is laughing with them?”
Kalindi replied, “He is my elder brother, Yamaraja, the superintendent of death.”
This conversation offers a description of all the demigods, including Yamaraja, who are engaged in services appointed by the Lord. They are called adhikrta-devata, or demigods appointed to particular types of departmental service.

Followers of the Lord

"Those who are constantly engaged in the personal service of the Lord are called anugas, or followers. Examples of such followers are Sucandra, Mandana, Stamba and Sutamba. They are all inhabitants of the city of Dwarka, and they are dressed and ornamented like the other associates. The specific services entrusted to the anugas are varied. Mandana always bears the umbrella over the head of Lord Krsna. Sucandra is engaged in fanning with the white camara bunch of hair, and Sutamba is engaged in supplying betel nuts. All of them are great devotees, and they are always busy in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.

As there are anugas in Dwarka, so there are many anugas in Vrindaban also. The names of the anugas in Vrindaban are as follows: Raktaka, Patraka, Patre, Madhukantha, Madhuvrata, Rasala, Suvilasa, Premakanda, Marandaka, Ananda, Candrahasa, Payoda, Bakula, Rasada and Sarada.

Descriptions of the bodily features of the anugas in Vrindaban are given in the following statement: “Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the constant associates of the son of Maharaja Nanda. They always stay in Vrindaban, and their bodies are decorated with garlands of pearls and with bangles and bracelets of gold. Their colors are like black bees and the golden moon, and they are dressed just to suit their particular special bodily features. Their specific duties can be understood from a statement by mother Yasoda, who said, ‘Bakula, please cleanse the yellowish dress of Krsna. Varika, you just flavor the bathing water with aguru scent. And Rasala, you just prepare the betel nuts. You can all see that Krsna is approaching. There is dust overhead, and the cows can be seen very distinctly.’”

Among all the anugas, Raktaka is considered to be the chief. The description of his bodily features is as follows: “He wears yellow clothing, and his bodily color is just like newly grown grass. He is very expert in singing and is always engaged in the service of the son of Maharaja Nanda. Let us all become the followers of Raktaka in offering transcendental loving service to Krsna!” An example of the attachment felt by Raktaka toward Lord Krsna can be understood from his statement to Rasada: “Just hear me! Please place me so that I may always be engaged in the service of Lord Krsna, who has now become famous as the lifter of the Govardhana Hill.”

The devotees of Krsna engaged in His personal service are always very cautious, because they know that becoming personal servitors of Lord Krsna is not an ordinary thing. A person who offers respect even to the ants engaged in the service of the Lord becomes eternally happy, so what is there to say of one who offers Krsna direct service? Raktaka once said within himself, “Not only is Krsna my worshipable and servable Lord, but also the girl friends of Krsna, the gopis, are equally worshipable and servable by me. And not only the gopis, but anyone who is engaged in the service of the Lord is also worshipable and servable by me. I know that I must be very careful not to become overly proud that I am one of the servitors and devotees of the Lord.” From this statement one can understand that the pure devotees, those who are actually engaged in the service of the Lord, are always very cautious and are never overly proud of their service.

This mentality of the direct servitor of Krsna is called dhurya. According to expert analytical studies of the direct associates of the Lord, Srila Rupa Gosvami has divided these into three classes-namely dhurya, dhira and vira. Raktaka is classified among the dhurya, or those who are always attached to serving the most beloved gopis.

One dhira associate of Krsna is the son of Satyabhama's nurse. Satyabhama is one of the queens of Lord Krsna in Dvärakä, and when she was married to Krsna, the son of her nurse was allowed to go with her because they had lived together from childhood as brother and sister. So this gentleman, the son of Satyabhama's nurse, used to live with Krsna as His brother-in-law, and sometimes as brother-in-law he used to play jokes with Krsna. He once addressed Krsna in this way: “My dear Krsna, I never tried to gain the favor of the goddess of fortune, who is married to You, but still I am so fortunate that I am considered one of the members of Your house, the brother of Satyabhama.”

A vira associate once expressed his pride, declaring, “Lord Baladeva may be a great enemy of Pralambasura, but I have nothing to worry about from Him. And as far as Pradyumna is concerned, I have nothing to take from him, because he is simply a boy. Therefore I do not expect anything from anyone else. I simply expect the favorable glance of Krsna upon me, and so I am not even afraid of Satyabhama, who is so dear to Krsna.”

In the Fourth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Twentieth Chapter, verse 28, King Prthu addresses the Lord, saying, “My dear Lord, it may happen that the goddess of fortune becomes dissatisfied with my work, or I may even have some misunderstanding with her, but I will not mind this, because I have full confidence in You. You are always causelessly merciful to Your servants, and You consider even their menial service to be very much advanced. So I have confidence that You will accept my humble service, although it is not worthy of being recognized. My dear Lord, You are self-sufficient. You can do anything You like without the help of anyone else. So even if the goddess of fortune is not satisfied with me, I know that You will always accept my service anyway.”

Devotees attached to the transcendental loving service of the Lord may be described either as surrendered souls, as souls advanced in devotional knowledge, or as souls completely engaged in transcendental loving service. Such devotees are called (respectively) neophyte, perfect and eternally perfect."

Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 36
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.