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Those who are constantly engaged in the personal service of the Lord are called anugas, or followers. Examples of such followers are Sucandra, Maṇḍana, Stamba and Sutamba. They are all inhabitants of the city of Dvārakā, and they are dressed and ornamented like the other associates. The specific services entrusted to the anugas are varied. Maṇḍana always bears the umbrella over the head of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Sucandra is engaged in fanning with the white cāmara 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 Dvārakā, so there are many anugas in Vṛndāvana also. The names of the anugas in Vṛndāvana are as follows: Raktaka, Patraka, Patrī, Madhukaṇṭha, Madhuvrata, Rasāla, Suvilāsa, Premakanda, Marandaka, Ānanda, Candrahāsa, Payoda, Bakula, Rasada and Śārada.

Descriptions of the bodily features of the anugas in Vṛndāvana are given in the following statement: “Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the constant associates of the son of Mahārāja Nanda. They always stay in Vṛndāvana, 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 Yaśodā, who said, ‘Bakula, please cleanse the yellowish dress of Kṛṣṇa. Vārika, you just flavor the bathing water with aguru scent. And Rasāla, you just prepare the betel nuts. You can all see that Kṛṣṇa 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 Mahārāja Nanda. Let us all become the followers of Raktaka in offering transcendental loving service to Kṛṣṇa!” An example of the attachment felt by Raktaka toward Lord Kṛṣṇa 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 Kṛṣṇa, who has now become famous as the lifter of the Govardhana Hill.”

The devotees of Kṛṣṇa engaged in His personal service are always very cautious because they know that becoming personal servitors of Lord Kṛṣṇa 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 Kṛṣṇa direct service? Raktaka once said within himself, “Not only is Kṛṣṇa my worshipable and servable Lord, but also the girlfriends of Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs, are equally worshipable and servable by me. And not only the gopīs, 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 Kṛṣṇa is called dhūrya. According to expert analytical studies of the direct associates of the Lord, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has divided these into three classes – namely, dhūrya, dhīra and vīra. Raktaka is classified among the dhūrya, or those who are always attached to serving the most beloved gopīs.

One dhīra associate of Kṛṣṇa is the son of Satyabhāmā’s nurse. Satyabhāmā is one of the queens of Lord Kṛṣṇa in Dvārakā, and when she was married to Kṛṣṇa, 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 Satyabhāmā’s nurse, used to live with Kṛṣṇa as His brother-in-law, and sometimes as brother-in-law he used to play jokes with Kṛṣṇa. He once addressed Kṛṣṇa in this way: “My dear Kṛṣṇa, 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 Satyabhāmā.”

A vīra associate once expressed his pride, declaring, “Lord Baladeva may be a great enemy of Pralambāsura, 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 Kṛṣṇa upon me, and so I am not even afraid of Satyabhāmā, who is so dear to Kṛṣṇa.”

In the Fourth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, twentieth chapter, verse 28, King Pṛthu 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.

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