Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
On Raganuga-bhakti – Discussions with the GBC on the book, Raga-Vartma-Candrika – Mathura, India: 1991

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What is a manjari? We have heard about kamala-manjaris and mango-manjaris. Any creeper or good flower has manjaris. Although the manjari appears first and then the flower, the manjari is always located above the flower. When a bee comes to sit on the flower and drink its honey, the manjaris tremble, being overjoyed.

Similarly, the Krsna-bee comes to Srimati Radhika, She glances at Him, and They engage in loving pastimes (prema-vilas). Although the ‘bee’ does not sit on the manjari, the manjari trembles, feeling as if the bee is sitting on her. Whatever the ‘flower’ experiences in those pastimes manifests in the manjari, so there is no need for the bee to go to her. She automatically feels everything felt by the flower. If the bee kisses the flower, then, seeing this, the manjari feels that “the bee has kissed me.”

In fact, the manjari tastes something special, which even the flower does not taste, in the sense that the flower does not tremble as the manjari does. Similarly the maidservants of Srimati Radhika experience a pleasure in being Her maidservant, which She Herself dos not experience, and that pleasure is called bhava-ullasa rati.

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami wanted to be a manjari, not a flower. In other words he did not want sakhi-bhava (the mood of Srimati Radhika’s friends like Lalita and Visakha, who have direct relationships with Sri Krsna). Do you understand? Herein lies the importance of the manjaris. In our sampradaya no one wants to be Sri Radha’s sakhi; they only want to be Her kinkari. Are you totally following my words? Do you know the meaning of the word kinkari?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Servant.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Maidservant

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: There is no equivalent word in English for kinkari. It is such a beautiful Sanskrit word, which refers to something very soft, very fragrant, and so sweet.

We cannot learn these topics simply by reading books. No book will clarify the truths for you as we are discussing in this conversation. By discussing with me in this way, you can obtain more than what you can obtain by simply reading books.

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