The Sweetest King of Transcendental Rasas

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In the Stavavali, Vraja-vilasa-sta (38) is written:


vrndaranya-mahesvarim priyataya yas tosayanti priyah

prana-prestha-sakhi-kulad api kilasankocita bhumikah

keli-bhumisu rupa-manjari-mukhas ta dasikah samsraye

By offering Them betel nuts, massaging Their feet, bringing Them water, arranging Their secret meetings and performing other services, many servants lovingly satisfy Radharani, the supreme mistress of the Vrndavana forest. When the Divine Couple enjoys Their pastimes of love, these servants are not shy at all and move freely without hesitation, even more so than the prana-prestha-sakhis (such as Lalita and Visakha). I take refuge in those servants, who have Rupa-manjari as their guide.

Pride in one’s service is found in the words of the Goswamis:

navyam divyam kavyam svakrtam atulam nataka-kulam

praheligudharthah sakhi-rucira vina-dhvani gatih

kada snehollasair lalita-lalita-prerana balat

salajjam gandharva sara-sama-sakrc-chiksayati mam

Then Srimati Radharani, at Lalita’s request, will teach me with delightful affection and modesty the incomparable theatrical performances She composed, together with new poems with deep meanings and those fascinating ragas per vina.

Visakha-sakhi, whose voice surpasses that of the cuckoo in beauty, is accepted as a guru in the art of music. We find this in the Stavavali, Prarthana:

kuhukanthi-kanthad api kamala-kanthi mayi punar

visakha ganasyapi ca rucira-siksam pranayatu

yathaham tenaitat yuva-yugalam ullasya saganal

labhe rase tasman mani-padaka haran iha muhuh (22)

I pray that Visakhadevi, who has a more enchanting voice than the cuckoo’s, will teach me the art of singing melodiously. By singing the songs learned from you during the rasa dance, I will be able to satisfy the young Divine Couple together with Their companions. So, I will receive gifts such as their jewelry lockets and necklaces.

The ecstasy of rasa-lila is described in the Gita-govinda. Sri Krishna always enjoys the pastime of the rasa dance together with the shepherdesses of Vrndavana.

visvesam anuranjanena janayannanandam-indivara-

sreni syamala-komalair upanayann angair anangotsavam

svacchandam vraja-sundaribhir abhitah pratyangam alingitah

srngarah sakhi murttiman iva madhau mugdho harih kridati

My dear friends, see how Sri Krishna enjoys spring! With the gopis embracing His arms and legs, He is like Cupid himself. He rejoices the gopis and the whole creation with His transcendental pastimes. With His soft bluish-black limbs reminiscent of blue lotus flowers, He has created a spring festival for Cupid.

In the sweet land of Vrndavana, during the Vasanta season, bees go crazy and line up to take the nectar of beautiful flowers. The sweetest king of transcendental rasas, Lord Krishna, rejoices in the rasa dance with sublime nectar entertainment together with the sweet gopis, skilled in dance. The sweet sounds of karatalas and other instruments ring out as Krishna is softly engaged in dancing with the gopis. Vidyapati became aware of this enchanting song full of joy.


This is a section of the book “Bhajana Rahasya”, by Bhaktivinode Thakura.

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