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Today Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha bathed in Indradyumna-sarovara, honored prasadam, and returned home. After eating, Vrajanatha went to see the samadhi of Haridasa Thakura. Vijaya-kumara went to the temple of Shri Radha-kanta and offered obeisances to his spiritual master. At at appropriate time Vijaya-kumara asked about Shri Radhika. Vijaya-kumara said, “O master, Shri Radha is the be-all-and-end-all of my life. How can I describe it? When I hear the name `Radhika', my heart melts. Even though Shri Krishna is the only goal of my life, still I like to taste only the descriptions of His pastimes with Shri Radha. I do not like to hear descriptions of Shri Krishna if Shri Radha is not included in them. O master, I would like to say that I no longer wish to call myself Vijaya-kumara Bhattacarya. I wish to be known as a maidservant protected by Shri Radha. I do not wish to speak the wonderful descriptions of Vraja to materialists. When persons unqualified to understand the transcendental rasas (arasika) discuss the glories of Shri Radha, I yearn to flee from that place.
Gosvami: You are fortunate. As long as you did not have full faith in the gopis you were not qualified to understand the pastimes of Radha and Krishna. Descriptions of those pastimes are far beyond what ordinary human beings can understand. Even the demigoddesses in Devaloka are not qualified to understand them. O Vijaya-kumara, I have already described the gopis who are dear to Lord Krishna. Among them Radha and Candravali are the most important. Each of them presides over millions and millions of groups of beautiful gopis. At the time of the great rasa-dance, the rasa-dance circle is beautiful with many hundreds of millions of beautiful gopis.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, Candravali may preside over millions and millions of groups of gopis. Still, I wish that the glories of Shri Radha will be the only sweet nectar to flood and purify my contaminated ears. I am your surrendered disciple.
Gosvami: Between the two of themRadha and Candravaliit is Radha who is the personification of the highest ecstatic love (maha-bhava-svarupa). It is She who has the greatest spiritual qualities. She is superior to Candravali in every way. Look. The Gopala-tapani Upanishad calls Her by the name Gandharva and glorifies Her. In the Rik-parishishta it is said that Lord Madhava is glorious because Radha stands by His side. In the Padma Purana, Narada declares, "As Radha is dear Krishna, so Her pond, Radha-kunda, is also dear to Him. Of all the gopis, Radha is the most dear to Lord Krishna." And why not? What is Radha's nature? She is the great hladini-shakti, the best of Lord Krishna's potencies. Radha is the essence of the hladini-shakti (hladini-sara-bhava).
Vijaya-kumara: These descriptions are very wonderful! What is Shri Radha's nature?
Gosvami: My Radhika is the most beautiful (sushthu-kanta-svarupa). She is the daughter of King Vrishabhanu. She is glorious with the sixteen ornaments. She is also decorated with twelve other kinds of ornaments.
Vijaya-kumara: What do you mean by the word “sushthu-kanta-svarupa"?
Gosvami: It means that Her form is so beautiful that even the most exquisite garments and ornaments are insignificant in comparison to Her and therefore powerless to make Her any more beautiful. Her hair is gracefully curly, Her face is a blossoming lotus flower, Her large eyes are beautiful, and Her large breasts are wonderfully beautiful. Her waist is slender, Her shoulders are graceful, and Her fingernails shine like a row of jewels. In the three worlds there is no festival of beauty that compares with Her.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the "sixteen ornaments"?
Gosvami: The sixteen ornaments are: 1. Her pleasant bath, 2. The glistening jewel decorating the tip of Her nose, 3. Her blue garments, 4. Her belt, 5. Her braids, 6. Her earrings, 7. the sandal paste anointing Her limbs, 8. the flowers placed in Her hair, 9. Her necklace, 10. the lotus flower in Her hand, 11. the betelnuts in Her mouth, 12. the musk dot on Her chin, 13. the mascara around Her eyes, 14. the colorful designs and pictures drawn on Her cheeks, 15. the red lac on Her feet, and 16. the tilaka markings on Her forehead.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the "twelve ornaments"?
Gosvami: 1. The wonderful jewel that crowns Her head, 2. Her golden earrings, 3. the belt around Her hips, 4. the golden locket around Her neck, 5. Her golden shalaka earrings, 6. the bracelets on Her wrists, 7. the ornament on Her neck, 8. the rings on Her fingers, 9. Her pearl necklace, 10. Her armlets, 11. Her ankle-bells, and 12. the rings on Her toes are the twelve ornaments decorating Shri Radha's limbs.
Vijaya-kumara: Please describe the most prominent transcendental qualities of Shri Radha.
Gosvami: Like the qualities of Shri Krishna, the qualities of Vrindavana's queen Radha are limitless and cannot truly be counted or listed in full. Among them these twenty-five may be considered prominent:
1. She is very sweet.
2. She is always freshly youthful.
3. Her eyes are restless.
4. She smiles brightly.
5. She has beautiful, auspicious lines.
6. She makes Krishna happy with Her bodily aroma.
7. She is very expert in singing.
8. Her speech is charming.
9. She is very expert in joking and speaking pleasantly.
10. She is very humble and meek.
11. She is always full of mercy.
12. She is cunning.
13. She is expert in executing Her duties.
14. She is shy.
15. She is always respectful.
16. She is always calm.
17. She is always grave.
18. She is expert in enjoying life.
19. She is situated at the topmost level of ecstatic love.
20. She is the reservoir of loving affairs in Gokula.
21. She is the most famous of submissive devotees.
22. She is very affectionate to elderly people.
23. She is very submissive to the love of Her friends.
24. She is the chief gopi.
25. She always keeps Krishna under Her control.*
Vijaya-kumara: I would like to hear an explanation of “5. She has beautiful, auspicious lines."
Gosvami: The Varaha Purana, Jyotih-shastra, Kashi-khanda, Matsya Purana, and Garuda Purana describe the auspicious lines. These lines are: I. On the left foot:
1. a barleycorn mark at the root of Her left toe,
2. below that toe a cakra,
3. below the middle toe a lotus flower,
4. below the lotus flower a banner,
5. below the banner a flag,
6. a urdhva-rekha line extending from the middle-toe to the middle of the sole,
7. below the small toe an elephant-goad
II. On the right foot:
1. at the root of the right beg toe a conchshell,
2. on the heel a fish,
3. below the small toe an altar,
4. above the fish a chariot,
5. a mountain,
6. an earring,
7. a club,
8. the mark of a shakti weapon,
III. On the left hand:
1. a long life-line beginning at the meeting of the forefinger and middle finger, and extending to below the little finger.
2. below that another line going from below the lifeline to the middle of the space between the forefinger and thumb,
3. from below the thumb a curving line rises from the wrist and goes to the space between the thumb and forefinger. 4-8. on the tips of each of the fiver fingers is a cakra,
9. below the ring finger is an elephant,
10. below the life-line is a horse,
11. below the middle line is a bull,
12. below the small finger is an elephant goad,
13. a fan,
14. a Shri tree,
15. a yupa,
16. an arrow,
17. a tomara weapon,
18. a flower garland.
IV. On the right hand:
1-8. In the right hand, like the left, there are three prominent lines including the life-line, and on the tips of each finger a cakra.
9. below the forefinger a camara,
10. below the small finger and elephant goad,
11. a palace,
12. a dundubhi drum,
13. a lightning bolt,
14. two carts,
15. an archer's bow,
16. a sword,
17. a waterpot.
Thus on the left foot are 7 signs, on the right foot 8 signs, on the left hand 18 signs, and on the right hand 17 signs. Altogether there are 50 auspicious lines.
Vijaya-kumara: Others cannot have all these auspicious qualities?
Gosvami: An individual soul may have a drop of some of these qualities, but Shri Radha has them all in perfect fulness. The demigoddesses may have them slightly more than others. Still, Shri Radha has them all, and in Her they are all perfectly spiritual, untouched by matter. And why not? In the material world these qualities are never manifested in purity, perfection, and completeness. Gauri and other demigoddesses may have these qualities, but in these demigoddesses the qualities are not pure, perfect, or complete.
Vijaya-kumara: Ah! Shrimati Radhika's beauty and qualities are inconceivable. Only by Her mercy can one see or understand them.
Gosvami: Gazing at Shri Radha's beauty and qualities, even Lord Krishna Himself is bewildered and enchanted. How can I properly describe them with my words? Vijaya-kumara: O master, please be merciful and describe Shri Radha's friends (sakhis).
Gosvami: Shri Radha's group is the best of all. The girls in Her group are all decorated with all transcendental qualities.Their charming playfulness always attracts Lord Krishna.
Vijaya-kumara: How many different kinds of friends (sakhis) does Shri Radha have?
Gosvami: They are of five kinds: 1. sakhi (friends), 2. nitya-sakhi (eternal friends), 3. prana-sakhi (life friends), 4. priya-sakhi (dear friends), and 5. parama-preshtha-sakhi (most dear friends).
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the sakhis?
Gosvami: The sakhis include Kusumika, Vrinda, and Dhanishtha. These gopis are famous among the sakhis.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the nitya-sakhis?
Gosvami: The nitya-sakhis include Kasturi, Mani-manjari, and many others.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the prana-sakhis?
Gosvami: The prana-sakhis include Shashimukhi, Vasanti, Lasika, and many others. In many ways they are like the queen of Vrindavana Herself.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the priya-sakhis?
Gosvami: The priya-sakhis include Kurangakshi, Sumadhya, Madanalasa, Kamala, Madhuri, Manjukeshi, Kandarpa-sundari, Madhavi, Malati, Kamalata, Shashikala, and many others.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the parama-preshtha-sakhis?
Gosvami: The parama-preshtha-sakhis include lalita, Vishakha, Citra, Camapakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi, and Sudevi. These eight are the most important of all the gopis. Therefore they are called parama-preshtha-sakhis. They are situated in the topmost love for Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. Sometimes they show more loev to Shri Krishna, and other times they show more love for Shri Radha.
Vijaya-kumara: I understand what the word "yutha" (group) means. What does thew ord "gana" (sub-group) mean?
Gosvami: Every yutha is divided into sub-groups, which are called ganas.For example, Lalita is a member of Shri Radha's group. However, Lalita herself has followers, and they are called the members of Lalita's gana (sub-group).
Vijaya-kumara: That the gopis are married to gopas other than Krishna is one of the most important characteristics. Still, it does not look good.
Gosvami: In this material world "woman" and “man" are only external designations. Because of past material activities one soul becomes a "woman" and another soul becomes a "man". In the material world of Maya, many people are filled with petty or sinful desires. For this reason the great sages have forbidden, except within the institution of marriage, contact with women. Writing about the rasas, poets have generally avoided describing the love of a woman for a paramour. However, in the Lord's spiritual pastimes this kind of love is one of the rasas. The sexual affairs of men and women in the material world is a perverted reflection of that original rasas in the spiritual world. Therefore material sexual activities are very dull, pathetic, and a breeding ground for a host of anxieties (kuntha). Also, the rules of religion place many restrictions on these activities. For these reasons men in the material world are enjoined to avoid approaching the wives of others. However, if Lord Krishna, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, is the only male and the only hero, and he accepts this activity to increase the sweetness of His spiritual rasas, He is never contaminated and He is not to be criticized. He is independent of the material institution of marriage. When Shri Krishna, who enjoys pastimes in Goloka, came to the material world from Goloka, He took the transcendental parakiya-rasa with Him. Therefore no one should criticize Him for enjoying the parakiya-rasa with the gopis who have come from Goloka.
Vijaya-kumara: What exalted symptoms of love did the gopis from Goloka display?
Gosvami: Before the gopis Lord Krishna appears only in His form as the son of Nanda. The nondevotee philosophers are far from understanding the gopis' exalted love for Krishna. Even the devotees find it difficult to understand that love. When Krishna's manifests His form as Nandanandana, His opulence never eclipses His sweetness. One time, as a joke, Krishna manifested His four-armed form before the gopis, who were not at all impressed. However, when Shri Radha approahced, the four-armed form at once disappeared. Because of the greatness of Radha confidential parakitya love, Krishna again became two-handed
Vijaya-kumara: Now my desires are all fulfilled. O master, please describe the different kinds of heroines (nayikas).
Gosvami: There are three kinds of heroines (nayikas): 1. svakiya, 2. parakiya, nad 3. samanya. I have already described the spiritual svakiya and parakiya heroines. Now I will describe the samanya heroines. Students of material rhetoric (alankara) explain that the samanya heroines are prostitutes, interested only in money. If their lover has no good qualities, then they hate him, and of he is virtuous, stil they do not really love him. Therefore their so-called love is only a perverted reflection of love. It is not true love. Sometimes it is said that Kubja in Mathura was such a samanya heroine who does not really love her hero. I do not agree. I place her among the parakiya heroines.
Vijaya-kumara: How did she become qualified to become a parakiya heroine?
Gosvami: When Kubja was an ungly, disfigured woman, she never loved any man. However, when she saw Krishna and desired to place sandal paste on His limbs, then she thought of Him as her beloved. For this reason I say her love in in the parakiya-rasa. However, the desire to please only Krishna, a desire possessed even by the queens at Dvaraka, was absent in Kubja. Therfeore her love was inferior to the love of the queens. When she tugged at Krishna's upper garment and begged that He enjoy amorous pastimes with her, her love for Him was mixed with her own selfish desires. Therefore her love is considered sadharani (ordinary).
Vijaya-kumara: Because Kubja is considered in the parakiya-rasa, I can see that the svakiya and parakiya heroines are both divided into two sub-groups. How many different sub-groups are there? Please describe them.
Gosvami: In the spiritual rasas the svakiya and parakiya heroines are of three kinds: 1. mugdha, 2. madhya, and 3. pragalbha.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, when by your mercy I think of the spiritual rasas, I naturally think of myself as a gopi in Vraja. At that time I do not think of myself as a male in the material world. When I hear of the different kinds of heroines, my heart becomes agitated. And why not? I do not know what I should do so that some day I may love the Lord as the gopis do. So that some day I may attain this kind of service to Lord Krishna, I now place this question before your holy feet: What is the nature of the mugdha heroines? Please describe them.
Gosvami: These are the qualities of the mugdha heroine: She is in the bloom of youth (nava-yauvana), amorous (kamini), contrary in love (rati-dane vama), and submissive to her girl-friends (sakhi-vashi-bhuta). Although externally she is shy to enjoy amorous pastimes, within her heart she secretly and diligently labors to make various arrangements to enjoy with her lover. When her lover offends her, tears flow from her eyes. At that time she neither speaks sweetly, speaks harshly, nor becomes angry.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the qualities of the madhya heroine?
Gosvami: These are the qualities of the madhya heroine: She is equally amorous and shy, she is in the full bloom of youth, and all her words are touched with a small amount of arrogance. She enjoys amorous pastimes until she faints unconscious. Sometimes her heart is gentle. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes she is jealous, sometimes peaceful, and sometimes agitated. Sometimes she is both peaceful and agitated (dhiradhira). A heroine who, when her lover offends her, mocks him with crooked words, is called "dhira madhya". A heroine who in that situation attacks her lover with merciless angry words is called an "adhira madhya" heroine. A heroine who in that situation sheds tears, speaks sweetly, and then also speaks crooked words to mock her lover is called a "dhiradhira madhya gopi. In a madhya heroine the natures of the mugdha and pragalbha heroines are mixed together. The madhya heroine is the best of the three kinds of heroines.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the qualities of the pragalbha heroine?
Gosvami: These are the qualities of the prgalbha heroine: She is in the full bloom of youth, blinded with pride, and very eager to enjoy amorous pastimes. She is very passionate. Pushed by the rasas, she attacks her lover. Her words and deeds are very passionate. When her jealousy is aroused, she becomes very harsh. The pragalbha heroines are of three kinds: 1. dhira, adhira, and dhiradhira. The dhira pragalbha heroine pretends to be disinterested in enjoying with her lover. Externally she is polite and respectful. She carefully conceals the passion in her heart. The adhira pragalbha heroine beats her lover with cruel words. The dhiradhira pragalbha heroine is like the dhiradhira madhya heroine. The madhya and pragalbha heroines are also divided into jyeshtha (older) and kanishtha (younger). In this way there are jyeshtha-madhya and kanishtha-madhya heroines and also jyeshtha-pragalbha and kanishtha-pragalbha heroines. The differences of jyeshtha kanishtha are considered according to the nature of the heroine's love for the hero.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, how many kinds of heroines are there all together?
Gosvami: There are fifteen kinds of heroines. Very young heroines are always mugdha. The three basic kinds of heroines are mugdha, madhya, and pragalbha. The madhya and pragalbha heroines are further divided into dhira, adhira, and dhiradhira. Thus there are seven kinds of svakiya heroines, seven kinds of parakiya heroines, and fifteen kinds of heroines in all.
Vijaya-kumara: What different conditions of life do the heroines experience?
Gosvami: The eight different conditions of life are: 1. abhisarika (going to meet her lover), 2. vasaka-sajja (dressed and decorated to meet her lover), 3. utkanthita (yearning to meet her lover), 4. khandita (whose meeting with her lover is broken), 5. vipralabdha (separated from her lover), 6. kalahantarita (quarreling with her lover), 7. proshita-bhartrika (her lover has gone far away), and 8. svadhina-bharitrika (she dominates her lover). The previously described fifteen kinds of heroines all experience these eight conditions of life.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the abhisarika heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine who arranges that her lover meet her, or who goes to meet her lover is called "abhisarika". If, going to meet her lover, she wears white clothing when he moon is bright, she is called "jyotsnabhisarika". If, going to meet her lover, she wears dark clothing when the moon is dark, she is called "tamo-'bhisarika". She is so shy she seems to hide behind her own body. Silent, nicely decorated, and her head carefully covered, she goes, accompanied by a dear friend, to meet her lover.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the vasaka-sajja heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine who, anxious to meet her lover, carefully decorates both her body and the meeting-place is called “vasaka-sajja". She yearns to enjoy amorous pastimes, keeps her eyes fixed on the path her lover will walk, discusses with her friends the pastimes of love, and again and again waits for her messenger's return. These are her activities.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the utkanthita heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine who is filled with longing and anxiety when her lover is, though no fault of his own, late in coming to the rendezvous, is called "utkanthita" by persons learned in the different bhavas. Her heart is feverish, she trembles, she speculates about why her lover has not yet come, she becomes irritated, and she sheds tears. These are her activities. She is not like the vasaka-sajja heroine. She worries that her lover, now under the control of some other girl, will not come to meet her.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the khandita heroine?
Gosvami: When, the time of rendezvous long passed and the night almost over, the lover finally comes, his body bearing the clear marks of his having enjoyed pastimes with some other girl, the heroine is called "khandita". This heroine's activities are anger, long sighs, and silence.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the vipralabdha heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine who becomes anxious when, somehow or other, her lover does not come to their rendezvous, is called "vipralabdha". Unhappy at heart, she laments, weeps, faints, sighs, and performs other like activities.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the kalahantarita heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine who will not forgive her lover, even when, surrounded by all her friends, he humbly falls before her feet, and who manifests lamentation, grief, withering, and sighing, is called "kalahantarita".
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the proshita-bhartrika heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine whose lover has gone to a faraway place is called "proshita-bhartrika". She praises the virtues of her lover, is humble, becomes thin and emaciated, suffers insomnia, and becomes melancholy, restless, stunned, and anxious. Her activities are like that.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the svadhina-bharitrika heroine?
Gosvami: A heroine whose lover always stays with her and is submissive to her is called "svadhina-bharitrika". Her activities are to enjoy pastimes with him in the forest, in the water, while picking flowers, and in other like situations.
Vijaya-kumara: The svadhina-bharitrika heroine must be very happy.
Gosvami: If her lover is completely controlled by his love for her and if he cannot leave her even for a moment, the svadhina-bharitrika heroine is called "madhavi". Among the eight kinds of heroines, three kindssvadhina-bharitrika, vasaka-sajja, and abhisarika are happy at heart. They are nicely decorated with garments and ornaments. However, the other five kinds of heroineskhandita, vipralabdha, utkanthita, proshita-bhartrika, and kalahantaritado not wear ornaments. A hand resting on their left cheek, they lament.
Vijaya-kumara: Their love for Krishna brings them unhappiness! What does that mean?
Gosvami: Love for Krishna is spiritual and always blissful. These seeming sufferings are actually included among the wonderful variety of blissful spiritual emotions. In the material world these emotions are suffering, but in the spiritual world they are different kinds of bliss. A person who has the power to taste spiritual bliss can understand. Other cannot.
Vijaya-kumara: Among the different kinds of heroines, what are the different degrees of love?
Gosvami: According to the intensity of their love for Krishna, the heroines are of three kinds: 1. uttama (high), 2. madhyama (intermediate), and 3. kanishtha (low). As the heroines love Him, so Krishna loves them in the same degree. This is well known.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the uttama heroine?
Gosvami: The uttama heroine is willing to renounce any activity in order to please her lover, even for only a moment. Even if he makes her unhappy, she never is displeased with him. If someone lies that her lover is unhappy, her heart becomes ripped to shreds.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of a madhyama heroine?
Gosvami: When she hears that her lover is unhappy, she becomes sad at heart.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of a kanishtha heroine?
Gosvami: The kanishtha heroine is anxious that obstacles will prevent her from meeting her lover.
Vijaya-kumara: How many kinds of heroines are there?
Gosvami: There are 360 kinds of heroines. The first mentioned fifteen kinds of heroines are each divided according to the next mentioned eight kinds of heroines. In this way (15 X 8) there are 120 heroines. These 120 kinds of heroines are each divided according to the last mentioned three kinds of heroines. In this way there are 360 kinds of heroines.
Vijaya-kumara: Now I have heard about the heroines. Now I wish to hear about the different kinds of yutheshvaris (group leaders).
Gosvami: According to friends and enemies, the yutheshvaris are of three kinds: 1. svapaksha (allies), 2. vipaksha (enemies), and 3. tatastha (neutrals). According to their good fortune they are of these kinds: 1. adhika (great), 2. sama (moderate), and 3. laghvi (light). They are also of these three kinds: 1. prakhara (harsh), 2. madhya (moderate), and 3. mridvi (sweet). Here "prakhara" is a synonym for “pragalbha". When the quality of harshness is manifested only very slightly, the yutheshvari is considered mrdvi. When sweetness and harshness are equally present, she is considered madhya. The yutheshvaris are also divided into 1. atyantiki (great), and 2. apekshiki (less). When a yutheshvari has no equal in any sphere, she is considered atyantikadhika (the best of atyantikis). This refers to Shri Radha alone. She is a madhya, and in Vraja She has no equal.
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the apekshikadhikas (the second level of the great)?
Gosvami: A yutheshvari who accepts another yutheshvari as her superior is called "apekshikadhika".
Vijaya-kumara: Who are the atyantika laghu (or atyantiki apekshiki)?
Gosvami: A yutheshvari who is not inferior to the other heroines is called "atyantika laghu". In relation to the atyantika adhika yutheshvari (the greatest yutheshvari, Shri Radha), all the heroines are laghu (inferior). Aside from the atyantiki laghus, all the yutheshvaris are adhikas. Still, the atyantiki adhika yutheshvari (the greatest yutheshvari, Shri Radha) should never be considered their equal or inferior. Also, the atyantiki laghu yutheshvaris should not be considered equal to the adhika yutheshvaris. There is but one kind of sama-laghu yutheshvari. Divided according to the qualities of madhya, adhika, prakhara, and the like, there are twelve kinds of yutheshvaris. They are: 1. atyantika adhika, 2. sama-laghu, 3. adhika-madhya, 4. sama-madhya, 5. laghu-madhya, 6. adhika-prakhara, 7. sama-prakhara, 8. laghu-prakhara, 9. adhika-mridvi, 10. sama-mrdvi, 11. laghu-mridvi, and 12. atyantika-laghu.
Vijaya-kumara: I wish to hear about the different kinds of dutis (messengers).
Gosvami: The heroines thirsting for association with Krishna need the help of the dutis. The dutis are of two kinds: 1. svayam-duti (messengers who act on their own initiative), and 2. apta-duti (messengers given a specific order).
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the apta-duti messengers?
Gosvami: When great enthusiasm breaks apart any shyness she may have possessed, and, bewildered with love, she openly declares her love for the hero, that is a svayam-duti messenger. These messengers are three kinds: 1. kayika (bodily gestures), 2. vacika (words), and 3. cakshusha (glances).
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of the vacika (words) messenger?
Gosvami: Hints (vyanga) expressed in words are of two kinds: 1. shabda-vyanga (the hint is present in the sound of the words) and 2. artha-vyanga (the hint is present in the meaning of the words). Sometimes the hints are directly related to Krishna, and other times the hints pretend to be about some other topic.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the hints directly related to Krishna?
Gosvami: they are of two kinds: 1. hints to Krishna Himself), and 2. hints spoken on some pretext.
Vijaya-kumara: What are hints to Krishna Himself?
Gosvami: Speaking proudly, lamenting, and begging are some of the many ways hints may be expressed before Krishna Himself.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the hint in the form of a lament?
Gosvami: A lament expressed by the sound of the words (shabda-vyanga) is one kind of lament-hint, and a lament expressed by the meaning of the words (artha-vyanga) is another kind of lament-hint. You studied rhetoric (alankara). I need not give many examples.
Vijaya-kumara: Yes. That is good. What is the nature of a hint in the form of begging?
Gosvami: Begging is of two kinds: 1. begging for oneself, and 2. begging on behalf of another person. Then begging may again be divided into these two kinds: Begging expressed by the sound of the words (shabda-vyanga), and 2. begging expressed by the meaning of the words (artha-vyanga). The begging described here is all hints. When the begging is for oneself, the heroine tells her own story. When the begging is on behalf of another person, the speaker tells another's story.
Vijaya-kumara: I understand these direct hints. In them the heroine may directly accuse Krishna of something. These hints are also shabda-vyanga (according to the sound) and artha-vyanga (according to the meaning). Many poets have expertly placed such clever hints in the mouths of actors and actresses. Now please explain vyapadesha (a pretext).
Gosvami: In the alankara-shastra it is said the apadesha and vyapadesha are synonyms. Apadesha means to indicate one thing while speaking of another. In this way one speaks words that clearly mean one thing while hinting a request to serve Krishna in a certain way. This is called "vyapadesha". “Vyapadesha" should be spoken by a messenger (duti).
Vijaya-kumara: Vyapadesa is then a kind of trick where a request has a hidden meaning. Now please describe purastha-vishaya-gata-vyanga (the hint of talking about something before one's eyes).
Gosvami: When one thinks, "Krishna has heard, but He did not hear", and when Krishna changes the subject, talking instead about some nearby animal or something else, that is the hint called "purastha-vishaya-gata-vyanga". This hint is of two kinds: 1. shabda (sounds) and 2. artha (meaning).
Vijaya-kumara: By your mercy I understand everything. Now please describe the hints given by bodily gestures.
Gosvami: Gesturing with the fingers, moving quickly on some pretext, covering the body our of fear and shyness, scratching the ground with one's foot, scratching the ear, making a gesture of applying tilaka, dressing in a certain way, moving the eyebrows, embracing a gopi friend, hitting a gopi friend, biting one's lips, playing with one's necklace, making one's ornaments tinkle, moving one's shoulders, writing the name "Krishna", and twining a vine around a tree are all included among the hints given by bodily gestures.
Vijaya-kumara: Now please describe the hints given by the eyes.
Gosvami: Laughing and smiling with the eyes, half-closing the eyes, moving the eyes, looking in the distance, crooked glances, glancing with the left eye, and sidelong glances are some of the hints given by the eyes.
Vijaya-kumara: Now I understand the svayam-dutis. You have only given some hints. But that is good enough. There are limitless kinds of such messengers. Now please describe the apta-dutis.
Gosvami: The messenger who is a beautiful vraja-gopi, who is affectionate and eloquent, and whom one can trust to faithfully keep a secret, even to the end of life, is this kind of messenger (apta-duti).
Vijaya-kumara: How many kinds of apta-dutis are there?
Gosvami: The apta-dutis are of three kinds: 1. amitartha, 2. nishrishtartha, and 3. patra-hari. A messenger, understanding the meaning of various hints and signs, brings the lovers together, is called an "amitartha duti". A messenger who uses the persuasive power of her eloquent words to bring the lovers together is called a "nishrishtartha duti". A messenger who carries letters is called a "patra-hari".
Vijaya-kumara: Are there any other apta-dutis?
Gosvami: The shilpa-karini (artists), daivajna (astrologers), lingini (brahmana girls), paricarika (maidservants), dhatreyi (nursemaids), vanadevi (goddesses of the forest), sakhis (gopi friends), and many others are also counted among the apta-dutis. The shilpa-karinis included girls who use their skill at drawing pictures to arrange for the meeting of the lovers. The daivajnas use their knowledge of astrology to arrange the lovers' meeting. The linginis dress in the garments of brahmana ascetics, like Paurnamasi. There are many paricarika messengers, such as Lavanga-manjari and Bhanumati. The dhatreyis are the women who had been nursemaids to Radha and the other gopis. The vanadevi is the goddesses of Vrindavana forest). The sakhis have already been described. They also become messengers. These girls carry messages, either direct and clear messages, or messages filled with hints and suggestions, hints that may be either shabda-vyanga or artha-vyanga, both of which I have already described. In this situation there may be vyapadesha (statements with a hidden meaning), artha-mula, prashamsa (words of praise), akshepa (words of lamentation), and many other kinds of words also.
After hearing all these explanations, Vijaya-kumara offered respectful obeisances to his spiritual master's feet, and then took his leave. Thinking and thinking of all these descriptions, he walked home.