Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja : On Raganuga-bhakti – What is the exact meaning of that word abhisara?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You should know the meaning of abhisarika. It is a Sanskrit word referring to the heroine who leaves her home and travels to meet her lover at the assigned rendezvous bower. There are eight kinds of gopis: 1) abhisarika, meaning ‘the gopi who arranges the abhisara (meeting).’

2) Vasaksajja, meaning ‘the beloved gopi who beautifies the bower with various types of decorations in the mood of preparing the bed-chamber for her dearmost lover.’ She is always thinking that “Krsna is coming just now, just now, just now.” As she makes the bed, she is always listening for any noise. If she hears a rustling sound of leaves, she thinks that Krsna is coming.

3) Utkanthita, meaning ‘the gopi who repeatedly glances down the path in great eagerness, anxiously anticipating the arrival of her beloved Sri Krsna.’ She is so eager for Krsna to come, thinking, “Krsna is just coming, just coming, just coming. When will He come? When will He come?” Then, if Krsna does not reach there, she is called khandita.

4) Khandita: When Krsna arrives late and His body bears some signs of having enjoyed with another lover, the heroine becomes extremely jealous, either chastising Him or pouting. On the occasion that the time for meeting Krsna is over and He has not yet come, she wonders why not. “Why has He not come? There must be some reason. Perhaps He has gone to another gopi, or He may have fallen into danger. There are so many demons in Vrndavana. Perhaps He had to…”

Sripad Dhanurdhara Maharaja: Watch out?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yudha karna.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Fight.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: “Perhaps He had to fight with some demons, or something else may have happened.”

Krsna finally comes, well after the appointed time, when it is about to be morning. Seeing some signs on Krsna’s body indicating that He has just come from another beloved, the heroine becomes so furious. She then has a lover’s quarrel with Him, and after that does not speak to Him.

5) Kalahantarita: When, due to some quarrel with Krsna the heroine sends Him away, in Her anguish she becomes even more bereaved due to dismissing Him.

On the occasion that Krsna apologizes, falls at the feet of Radhika, and at last convinces Her to give up Her anger, Srimati Radhika commands Him, “Put on My ankle-bells; braid My hair and decorate it.” and Krsna follows Her order. At this time, She is called

6) svadhina-bhartrka. There is no English equivalent for this word, but the meaning is that the lover is…

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Under her control.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: That lady who has gotten her lover under her control.

[The other two kinds of heroine are:

7) Vipralabdha: If the heroine sits waiting in the secluded bower, and her lover does not show up at all, then She feels greatly disappointed; and

8) Prosita-bhartrka, whose lover is far away in a distant place.]

In each situation that manjari has some duty – to rebuke Krsna, to make Him understand, or to give consolation to Radhika. All the qualities required for service at these times reside in the manjaris. They prepare, give sympathy, decorate, and make so many arrangements:

nikunja-yuno rati -keli-siddhyai ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya
tatrati-daksyad ati-vallabhasya vande guroh sri caranaravindam

[“Sri Gurudeva is always present with the sakhis, planning the arrangements for the perfection of Yugala Kisora’s amorous pastimes (rati-keli) within the kunjas of Vrndavana. Because he is so expert in making these tasteful arrangements for Their pleasure, he is very dear to Sri Radha and Krsna. I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva.”]

So many arrangements are required to serve Radha and Krsna when They meet in the kunja and engage in Their pleasurable amorous affairs (vilasa). The sakhis and manjaris must cheat others, meet with Krsna, rebuke Him, and so on. Rupa Manjari is highly experienced – quite fit to do all these services.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Well-trained.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Well-trained. We should always remember what she does in her siddha-sarira (form as a gopi) as Rupa Manjari, and we should adopt her mood. However, until we receive our sthayi-bhava (our constitutional mood in one of the four rasas), which comes from hladini-sakti, we can only pray to have all these things as Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays in Vilapa Kusumanjali.

We cannot perform these services in our present stage, and the guru warns his neophyte disciples not to try. We can only pray, “When will my good fortune come, so that I will actually be able to render service like Rupa Manjari, Ananga Manjari, and our gurus?”

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