Transcendental Associates in Dasya-rasa, Part 2
Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Their Personal Servants
Aug 22, CANADA (SUN) Five moods of transcendental relationship with the Lord.
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
Gopi Maidservants and Household Servants
"Throughout the palace there were many canopies made by Visvakarma that were decorated with strings of pearls. The chairs and other furniture were made of ivory, bedecked with gold and diamonds, and jeweled lamps dissipated the darkness within the palace. There was so much incense and flavored gum burning that the scented fumes were coming out of the windows. The peacocks sitting on the steps became illusioned by the fumes, mistaking them for clouds, and began dancing jubilantly. There were many maidservants, all of whom were decorated with gold necklaces, bangles and beautiful saris. There were also many male servants, who were very nicely dressed in cloaks and turbans and jeweled earrings. Beautiful as they were, the servants were all engaged in different household duties."
Krsna Book, Chapter 69
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.
Lord Krsna's most prominent servants are Bhangura, Brngara, Sandhika, Grahila, Raktaka, Patraka, Patri, Madhukantha, Madhuvrata, Salika, Talika, Mali, Mana and Maladhara. They carry Krsna's venu and murali flutes, buffalo-horn bugle, stick, rope and other paraphernalia. They also bring the mineral dyes used by the cowherd boys to decorate their bodies.
The gopis are very expert at cleaning and decorating Krsna's home, anointing it with various aromatic substances, carrying milk and performing other duties. There are a number of leading gopis who are engaged in Krsna's service, including Dhanistha-devi, Candanakala-devi, Gunamala-devi, Ratiprabha-devi, Taruni-devi, Induprabha-devi, Sobha-devi and Rambha-devi. They are joined by a number of other maidservants, like Kurangi-devi, Bhrngari-devi, Sulamba-devi, Alambika-devi.
Krsna's servants, gopi servants and maidservants engage in various household duties. Vimala and Komala care for the Lord's kitchen. Sobhana, Dipana and others provide lamps for the Lord, and Punyapunja and Bhagyarasi are the two sweepers who clean the area around Krsna's home. Raucika is the tailor who sews clothes for the Lord, while Saranga and Bakula are the most important of the servants engaged in expertly washing Lord Krsna's laundry. Others who help to wash the Lord's laundry are Sumukha, Durlabha, and Ranjana. Payoda and Varida are water carriers.
Rangana and Tankana are goldsmiths who make ornaments for the Lord. Pavana and Karmatha are potters who make drinking vessels and jugs for churning butter.
Vardhaki and Vardhamana are carpenters who serve the Lord by building carts, couches and other objects. Kunda, Kanthola, Karanda and others are craftsmen who make ropes, churning rods, axes, baskets, balances for carrying heavy objects and various other ordinary utensils.
In addition to these household activities, other servants provide art, music, dance and drama for the Lord's pleasure. Sudhakara, Sudhanada, Sananda and others play the mrdanga for His satisfaction. Vicitrarava and Madhurarava are the leaders of the talented and virtuous poets who compose prayers glorifying Sri Krsna, while Candrahasa, Induhasa and Candramukha are leaders of the servants who dance for the Lord. Kalakantha, Sukantha, Sudhakantha, Bharata, Sarada, Vidyavilasa, Sarasa are learned in the arts of all kinds of literary composition. They carry their books and papers with them and are fully aware of all the mellows ofdevotional service. Sucitra and Vicitra are talented artists who paint pictures for the Lord. Other servants, called Vitas, are expert in music, drama, literature, the science of various kinds of scents and a host of other arts, and they are very happy to serve Lord Krsna in many different ways.
Other servants provide specific duties, as in the case of Pallva, Mangala, Phulla, Komala, Kapila, Suvilasa, Vilasaksa, Rasala, Rasasali and Jambula, who are the most important of Lord Krsna's betel-nut servants. They are younger than Krsna and always expert at singing and playing musical instruments.
Still other servants are engaged in decorating the Lord in various ways. Premakanda, Mahagandha, Sairindhra, Madhu, Kandala and Makaranda are the most important of the servants engaged in constantly decorating Lord Krsna with various ornaments and clothing. Sumanah, Kusumollasa, Puspahara, Hara and others expertly provide Krsna with various aromatic substances such as flowers, flower ornaments, flower garlands and camphor. Svaccha, Susila, Praguna and other Napitas are engaged in caring for the Lord's hair, massaging Him, giving Him a mirror and guarding over His treasury.
There are eight gopi maidservants who are especially expert at cooking various preparations from the milk products at Vraja village. Kurangaksi-devi is the leader of these gopi cooks.
Ragalekha-devi, Kalakeli-devi and Bhurida-devi are the leaders of those gopis who are Srimati Radharani's maidservants. Among the maidservants are Sugandha-devi and Nalini-devi (the two daughters of Divakirti-devi) and Manjistha-devi and Rangaraga-devi (the two daughters of Nanda Maharaja's laundry washers). Bhagyavati-devi and Punyapunja-devi, the two daughters of Maharaja Nanda's sweeper, are also the maidservants of Srimati Radharani.
Also included among Srimati Radharani's servants are Gargi-devi and other very respectable brahmana girls, Bhrngarika-devi and other girls from the ceti community, Vijaya-devi, Rasala-devi, Payoda-devi and other girls from the vita community, as well as the boys Subala, Ujjvala, Gandharva, Madhumangala and Raktaka.
Messengers and Spies
Lord Krsna has many Gopa messengers who secretively carry His messages to the Gopis to arrange for pastimes and to settle various quarrels. Some introduced the gopis to Krsna and canvassed for Krsna. When the gopis were in disagreement with Krsna, these friends would support Krsna's side in His presence--but when Krsna was not present, they would support the side of the gopis. In this way, sometimes supporting one side, sometimes the other, they would talk very privately, with much whispering in the ears, although none of the business was very serious. The leaders of the Gopa messengers are Visarada, Tunga, Vavaduka, Manorama and Nitisara. Krsna has other expert spies who travel in various disguises among the cowherd men and gopis. The most important of these are Catura, Carana, Dhiman and Pesala.
Sri Krsna and Radharani also have many Gopi messengers also, who are filled with great love for Radha-Krsna. They expertly know the geography of Vrndavana, and intimately know each grove and garden there. Among all these Gopi messengers, Vrnda-devi is the best. She is expert at arranging the meetings of Radha and Krsna, and knows the best places for the divine couple to rendezvous.
The gopi messengers appointed by Vrnda-devi are fair complexioned and dress beautifully in colorful garments. The flowering trees of Vrndavana are under their jurisdiction. Some of the most important Gopi messengers include Malika-devi, Visakha-devi, Campakalata-devi, Paurnamasi-devi, Vira-devi, Vamsi-devi, Nandimukhi-devi, Vrndarika-devi, Mela-devi and Murali-devi.
Vrnda-devi has a beautiful complexion the color of molten gold. She wears blue garments and is decorated with pearls and flowers. Her father is Candrabhanu, her mother is Phullara-devi, her husband is Mahipala, and her sister is Manjari-devi. Vrnda-devi always remains in Vrndavana, immersed in love for Radha and Krsna and yearning to both arrange for Their meetings and taste the nectar of assisting in Their transcendental pastimes.