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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Rupa Goswami > Radha-Krsna-ganoddesa-dipika > Part One


Shri Shri Radha-Krishna-ganoddesa-dipika

A Lamp to See the Associates of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna



Part One



1: I offer my respectful obeisances to the lotus feet of my spiritual master. I offer my respectful obeisances to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who appeared in this world with Nityananda Prabhu and is surrounded by His devotees.

2: I offer my respectful obeisances to the two lotus feet Shrimati Radharani. I offer my respectful obeisances Lord Nanda-nandana, who is surrounded by the gopis and enchants the minds of the residents of Vrndavana.

3: The celebrated personal associates of the King and Queen of Vrndavana are briefly but truthfully described with great delight in both Vedic literatures and oral tradition. This book will also describe them.

4-5: These associates of the Lord are described by the residents of Mathura-mandala, by the various books written by devotees, various Vedic literatures such as the Puranas and Agamas and by the great devotees and saintly persons. For the satisfaction of my dear friends, these associates of the Lord will now be briefly describing in writing, following the previous authorities in the path of ecstatic love of God.

6: The associates of Krishna who reside in Vrajabhumi may be divided into three groups: 1. protectors of domestic animals, 2.  brahmanas, 3. others.


The Protectors of Domestic Animals

7: These are descendants of the Yadu dynasty and they may be divided into three groups: 1. vaisyas, 2. abhiras, 3. garjaras.

8: The Vaisyas: For the most part the most important vaisyas earn their livelihood by protecting cows. Some of the vaisyas are born from lower-caste mothers and they are known as abhiras.

9: The Abhiras: The abhiras are those who have vaisya fathers and sudra mothers. A little inferior to the vaisyas, who are engaged in cow protection, the abhiras earn their livelihood by protecting buffalo. They are known by various names, such as ghosa.

10: The Garjaras: A little inferior to the abhiras, the garjaras earn their livelihood by protecting goats and similar animals. Their bodily features are a little chubby and they reside on the outskirts of Vraja.


The Brahmanas

11: Learned in all the Vedas, the brahmanas engage in performing sacrifices, worshiping the Deity and other brahminical occupations.


The Bahisthas

12: The bahisthas earn their livelihood by engaging in various trades and crafts. In this way we have described five kinds of associates (vaisyas, abhiras, garjaras, brahmanas and bahisthas) of Lord Hari in Vrajabhumi.


Lord Krishna's Associates

13: Lord Krishna's associates may also be divided into the following eight groups: 1) worshipable superiors, 2) relatives who are on the same level (such as brothers and sisters) 3) gopi messengers, 4) servants, 5) craftsmen, 6) maidservants, 7) contemporary cowherd friends and 8) dear gopi friends. Included among the worshipable superiors are the brothers and similar relatives of Nanda Maharaja, Nanda's contemporary friends, servants, other associates and the elderly gopis. Krishna is always respectful to these superiors.


Worshipable Superiors

14: The worshipable superiors include Krishna's grandfather, other elderly relatives and also the community of brahmanas.

15-16: Krishna's fair-complexion, white-haired and white-attired grandfather is named Parjanya Maharaja, because he is like a great cloud [parjanya] showering the nectar of auspiciousness. He is the best of all the residents of Vraja. Desiring a worthy descendant, he followed the advice of Devarsi Narada and engaged in the worship of Lord Narayana, the husband of Laksmi. As he was worshiping Narayana at Nandisvara-pura, a pleasant voice spoke the following words from the sky:

17-18: “Because of your pious austerities you will obtain five sons. Of these sons the middle one, named Nanda, will be the best.  Nanda's glorious son will delight the residents of Vraja. He will defeat all oppositions. Both the demigods and demons will worship Him, touching the jewels of their crowns to His lotus feet.”

19: Hearing this, Parjanya Maharaja became happy and decided to reside at the place. He lived there until he saw the Kesi demon arrive and at that time he became frightened and fled with all his associates to Mahavana.

20: Krishna's grandmother Variyasi is respected in the land of Vraja. She is short in stature and her complexion is the color of a kusumbha flower. She is attired in green garments and her hair is the color of milk.

21: Parjanya Maharaja's brothers are named Urjanya and Rajanya and his sister is an expert dancer named Suverjana. Her husband is named Gunavira and they live in the town named Surya-kunja.

22-23: Krishna's father is Nanda Maharaja. Nanda delights the residents of Vraja and he is worshiped by all the worlds. He has a protuberant belly, his complexion is the color of sandalwood, he is tall in stature and his garments are the color of a bandhujiva flower. His beard is a mixture of black and white hairs, like rice and toasted sesame seeds mixed together.

24: Nanda is the king of the cowherd men, the younger brother of Upananda and the intimate friend of Maharaja Vasudeva. Nanda and his wife Yasoda are the king and queen of Vrajabhumi and the parents of Lord Krishna.

25: Because he possesses the splendor [deva] of great wealth [vasu], Nanda Maharaja is also known as Vasudeva. He is also famous by the name Anakadundubhi and it is known that in his previous birth he was named Drona.

26: These names of Maharaja Nanda are described in the Mathura-mahima section of the Garuda Purana. Nanda's most intimate friend is named Maharaja Vrsabhanu.

27: Krishna's mother is named Yasoda because she bestows [da] fame [yasah] on the cowherd residents of Vraja. She is like the personification of parental love for Krishna. Her complexion is dark and her garments are like a rainbow.

28: Mother Yasoda's body is of a medium size, neither large nor small. She has long black hair. Her closest friends are Aindavi and Kirtida.

29: Yasoda is the wife of Nanda, the king of Gokula. She is the queen of the cowherd men in Vraja, the friend of Devaki and the mother of Lord Krishna.

30: The friendship of Yasoda is described in the following statement of the Adi Purana: “The wife of Maharaja Nanda was known by two names, Yasoda and Devaki. Partly because they share the same name [Devaki] the wife of Maharaja Nanda and the wife of Maharaja Vasudeva were great friends.”

31: Lord Balarama's mother is named Rohini, because she is filled with a constantly rising [arohini] flood of transcendental bliss.  Although she dearly loves her son Balarama, she loves Krishna millions of times more.

32: Nanda Maharaja's elder brothers are Upananda and Abhinanda and his younger brothers are Sannanda and Nandana. These are the names of Lord Krishna's parental uncles.

33: Upananda's complexion is pink. He has a long beard and wears green garments. Tungi-devi is his dear wife. Both her complexion and garments are the color of a cataka bird.

34: Abhinanda wears dark garments and his long beautiful beard is like a great conchshell. Pivari-devi is his wife. She wears blue garments and her complexion is pink.

35: Sannanda is also known as Sunanda. His complexion is white and he wears dark-colored clothing. He has two or three white hairs and he is very dear to Lord Kesava.

36: Kuvalaya-devi is Sannanda's wife. Her complexion is the color of a blue lotus flower and she wears red garments. Nandana wears garments the color of a candata flower and his complexion is like the color of a peacock.

37: Nandana lives in the same house with his father, Parjanya Maharaja. He is full of love for his young nephew Krishna. Atulya-devi is Nandana's wife. Her complexion is like lightning and her garments resemble a dark cloud.

38: Krishna's father has two sisters, Sananda-devi and

Nandini-devi. They both dress in garments of many different colors.  They have beautiful teeth and their complexions are the color of white foam. Sananda-devi's husband is Mahanila and Nandini's husband is Sunila.

39-40: Kandava and Dandava are the two sons of Upananda. Their faces are as beautiful as lotus flowers and they become especially happy in the association of their friend Subala. Catu and Batuka are Nanda Maharaja's two ksatriya cousins born in Vasudeva Maharaja's dynasty. Catu's wife is Dadhisara and Batuka's wife is Havihsara.

41: Krishna's energetic and enthusiastic maternal grandfather is named Sumukha. His long beard is like a great conchshell and his complexion is the color of a ripe jambu fruit.

42: Queen Patala-devi is Krishna's maternal grandmother and she is very famous in Vrajabhumi. Her hair is the white color of yogurt, her complexion is the pink color of a patala flower and her garments are green.

43: Patala-devi's dear friend is named Mukhara-gopi. Out of intense affection for her friend, Mukhara used to feed the infant Yasoda with her own breast milk.

44-45: Carumukha is Sumukha's younger brother. His complexion is the color of black eye-cosmetics and his wife Balaka-gopi was raised by her stepparents. Gola is the brother of Patala-devi, Krishna's maternal grandmother. His garments are the color of smoke. His brother-in-law, Sumukha, used to make fun of him and laugh and because of this Gola was very angry with him. Because he had worshiped Durvasa Muni in his previous birth, Gola was allowed to take birth in Vrajabhumi in the family of Ujjvala.

46: Jatila-devi is Gola's wife. She has a large belly and her complexion is the color of a cow. Her sons Yasodhara, Yasodeva and Sudeva head the group of Krishna's maternal uncles.

47: Krishna's maternal uncles have complexions like the color of a dark atasi flower and they dress in white garments. Their wives have complexions like karkati flowers and they dress in smoke-colored garments.

48: Rema-devi, Roma-devi and Surema-devi are the daughters of Krishna's parental uncle Pavana. Yasodevi and Yasasvini are the sisters of Krishna's mother Yasoda. Yasasvini's husband is named Malla.

49: Yasodevi is elder. Her complexion is dark and she is also known by the name Dadhisara. Yasasvini is younger. Her complexion is fair and she is also known by the name Havihsara. Both dress in vermillion-colored garments.

50: Yasoda's sisters married the two ksatriyas Catu and Batuka [see text 40]. Yasoda's uncle Carumukha has one son who is named Sucaru.

51: Sucaru's wife is Tulavati-devi, the daughter of Sumukha's brother-in-law Gola. Tundu, Kutera, Purata and others are the contemporary associates of Krishna's parental grandfather.

52: Kila, Antakela, Tilata, Krpita, Purata, Gonda, Kallota, Karanda, Tarisana, Varisana, Viraroha and Vararoha are among the contemporary associates of Krishna's maternal grandfather.

53: The elderly ladies Silabheri, Sikhambara, Bharuni, Bhangur, Bhangi, Bharasakha and Sikha are among the contemporary associates of Krishna's parental grandmother.

54-55: Bharunda, Jatila, Bhela, Karala, Karabalika, Gharghara, Mukhara, Ghora, Ghanta, Ghoni, Sughantika, Dhvankarunti, Handi, Tundi, Dingima, Manjuranika, Cakkini, Condika, Cundi, Dindima, Pundavanika, Damani, Damari, Dambi and Danka are among the contemporary associates of Krishna's maternal grandmother.

56-58: Mangala, Pingala, Pinga, Mathura, Pitha, Pattisa, Sankara, Sangara, Bhrnga, Ghrni, Ghatika, Saragha, Pathira, Dandi, Kedara, Saurabheya, Kala, Ankura, Dhurina, Dhurva, Cakranga, Maskara, Utpala, Kambala, Supaksa, Saudha, Harita, Harikesa, Hara and Upananda are among the contemporary associates of Krishna's father, Nanda Maharaja.

59: Having taken a vow of friendship in their youth, Parjanya and Sumukha always remain the best of friends. Nanda Maharaja and many other of the cowherds are descended from their families.

60-62: Vatsala, Kusala, Tali, Medura, Masrna, Krpa, Sankini, Bimbini, Mitra, Subhaga, Bhogini, Prabha, Sarika Hingula, Niti, Kapila, Dhamanidhara, Paksati, Pataka, Pundi, Sutunda, Tusti, Anjana, Tarangaksi, Taralika, Subhada, Malika, Angada, Visala, Sallaki, Vena and Vartika are among the contemporary associates of Krishna's mother, Yasoda-devi.

63: Ambika and Kilimba are the two nurses who fed Krishna with their breast milk. Of the two, Ambika, the dear friend of Vraja's queen, is the most important.


The Brahmanas

64-65: Two groups of brahmanas reside in Gokula: those maintained by Nanda Maharaja and those who are priests engaged in the performance of Vedic sacrifices. Among the priests, Vedagarbha, Mahayajva and Bhaguri are prominent. Their respective wives are Samadheni, Mahakavya and Vedika.

66: Sulabha, Gautami, Gargi, Candila, Kubjika, Vamani, Svaha, Sulata, Sandili, Svadha and Bhargavi are the most important of the brahmana ladies respectfully worshiped by the residents of Vraja.

67-69: Full of transcendental opulences, Paurnamasi-devi is the incarnation of the Lord's Yogamaya potency. She makes the arrangements of Lord Krishna's pastimes to be properly performed. She is slightly tall in stature and has a fair complexion. Her hair is the color of kasa flowers and she wears red garments. She is greatly respected by Nanda Maharaja and all the other residents of Vrajabhumi. She was the dear student of Devarsi Narada and on his advice she left her favorite son, Sandipani Muni, in Avantipura and came to Gokula, impelled by great love for her worshipable Lord Krishna.

70: Krishna's associates may be divided into two groups: gopis and gopas. The gopis may be divided into three groups : 1. gopi friends of the same age as Krishna, 2. maidservants and 3. gopi messengers.

71-72: Learned scholars have also divided Lord Krishna's associates into the following nine categories: 1. yutha, 2. kula, 3.  mandala, 4. varga, 5. gana, 6. samavaya, 7. sancaya, 8. samaja, and 9.  samanvaya.


Krishna's Gopi Friends

73-75: Of the three kinds of gopi associates of the Lord mentioned in text 70, the first group, Krishna's contemporary gopi friends, are the most exalted, the second group, the maidservants are the next most exalted, and the gopi messengers come after them. These three groups correspond to the groups mentioned as samaja, mandala and gana respectively [in texts 71-72]. The first group, Krishna's contemporary gopi friends, may be further divided into varistha [the most exalted] and vara [exalted].


Varistha (The Most Exalted Gopis)

76: The varistha gopis are more famous than all the others. They are eternally the intimate friends of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. No one can equal or exceed the love they bear for the Divine Couple.

77: Of all Krishna's friends, the varistha gopis are the most worshipable. They are decorated with incomparable transcendental qualities, bodily beauty and all other charming opulences.


Description of Krishna's Gopi Friends

78: Lalita, Visakha, Citra, Campakalatika, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi are the most intimate of Lord Krishna's gopi friends.



79: Of these eight gopis, the first one, Lalita-devi, is the best. She is a dear friend of the Divine Couple and she is 27 years old, the eldest of Krishna's gopi friends.

80: Lalita is famous as Shrimati Radharani's constant companion and follower. Lalita is contrary and hot-tempered by nature. Her complexion is like the yellow pigment gorocana and her garments are like peacock feathers.

81: Her mother is Saradi-devi and her father is Visoka. Her husband is named Bhairava. He is a close friend of Govardhana-gopa.



82-83: Visakha is the second most important of these eight varistha-gopis. Her attributes, activities and resolve are all muck like those of her friend Lalita. Visakha was born at the exact same moment as her dear friend Shrimati Radharani appeared in this world.  Visakha's garments are decorated with stars and her complexion is like lightning. Her father is Pavana, the son of the sister of Mukhara-gopi and her mother is Daksina-devi, the daughter of the sister of Jatila.  Her husband is Vahika-gopa.



84: Campakalata is the third of the varistha-gopis. Her complexion is the color of a blossoming yellow campaka flower and her garments are the color of a blue-jay's feature. She is one day younger than Shrimati Radharani.

85: Her husband is Arama, her mother is Vatika-devi and her father is Candaksa. Her qualities are much like those of Visakha.



86: Citra is the fourth of the varistha-gopis. Her fair complexion resembles the color of kunkuma and her garments are the color of crystal. She is 26 days younger than Shrimati Radharani. When Lord Madhava is full of bliss, she becomes satisfied.

87: Her father is Catura, the paternal uncle of Suryamitra. Her mother is Carcika-devi. Her husband is Pithara.



88: Tungavidya is the fifth of the varistha-gopis. Her complexion is the color of kunkuma and the fragrance of her body is like sandalwood mixed with camphor. She is fifteen days younger than Shrimati Radharani.

89: Tungavidya is hot-tempered and expert at dissimulation. She wears white garments. Her parents are Puskara and Medha-devi and her husband is Balisa.



90: Indulekha is the sixth of the varistha-gopis. She has a tan complexion and wears garments the color of a pomegranate flower. She is three days younger than Shrimati Radharani.

91: Her parents are Sagara and Vela-devi and her husband is Durbala. She is contrary and hot-tempered by nature.




92-93: Rangadevi is the seventh of the varistha-gopis. Her complexion is the color of a lotus filament and her garments are the color of a red rose. She is seven days younger than Shrimati Radharani.  Her personal qualities are much like those of Campakalata. Her parents are Karuna-devi and Rangasara.



94-95: Sudevi is the eighth of the varistha-gopis. She is sweet and charming by nature. She is the sister of Rangadevi. Her husband is Vakreksana, the younger brother of Bhairava. Her marriage with Vakreksana was arranged by his younger brother. Her form and other qualities are so similar to those of her sister Rangadevi that they are often mistaken for one another.


The Vara-Gopis

96-97: Just as there are eight varistha [most exalted] gopis, the same way there are also eight vara [exalted] gopis. The vara-gopis are all teenage girls. Their names are Kalavati, Subhangada, Hiranyangi, Ratnalekha, Sikhavati, Kandarpa Manjari, Phullakalika and Ananga Manjari.



98: Kalavati's parents are Sindhumati-devi and Kalankura-gopa, the maternal uncle of Arkamitra.

99: Her complexion is the color of yellow sandalwood and she wears garments the color of a parrot. Her husband is Kapota, the youngest brother of Vahika.



100: Subhangada is the younger sister of Visakha. She is a very fair complexion and is married to Patatri, the younger brother of Pithara.



101: Hiranyangi's complexion is the color of gold and she appears to be a temple or palace in which all beauty is conserved. She was born from the womb of Harini-devi.

102: Mahavasu-gopa is pious, famous and devoted to performing Vedic sacrifices. He is decorated with wonderful good qualities and he is the close friend of Arkamitra.

103: Mahavasu-gopa desired to beget a powerful and heroic son and a beautiful daughter. To attain this end the self-controlled Mahavasu engaged Bhaguri Muni in performing a Vedic sacrifice.

104: Certain nectarean foodstuffs appeared from that sacrifice and the delighted Mahavasu gave them to his wife, Sucandra-devi.

105-106: As Sucandra-devi was hastily eating the sacred foodstuff on her front porch, she spilled some of it. At that time the doe named Suranga, who was the mother of the doe named Rangini, was wandering in Vrajabhumi. Seeing Sucandra-devi spill some of the foodstuff, the doe Suranga quickly came forward and ate some of it. As a result of eating this sacred foodstuff, both the gopi Sucandra and the doe Suranga became pregnant.

107: Sucandra-devi gave birth to a son whom the gopas called Stokakrishna and the deer gave birth to the girl Hiranyangi in the village of Vraja.

108: Hiranyangi is very dear to Shrimati Radharani and Shrimati Radharani is very dear to her. Hiranyangi is dressed in beautiful garments that appear like a great multitude of unparalleled blossoming flowers.

109: With great respect the father Mahavasu then promised the exalted Hiranyangi in marriage to an elderly gopa who was completely unfit to become her husband.



110-111: Maharaja Vrsabhanu's maternal cousin Payonidhi had a son but no daughter. His wife Mitra-devi desired to have a daughter also and to achieve this end she faithfully worshiped the sun-god, Vivasvan. By Vivasvan's mercy she gave birth to a daughter who was named Ratnalekha.

112: Ratnalekha's complexion is the red color of the mineral manah-sila and her garments appear like a beautiful swarm of bumblebees. She is very dear to Shrimati Radharani, the daughter of Maharaja Vrsabhanu. Her mother engages both her and her friend Radharani in the devoted attentive worship of the sun-god. When Ratnalekha sees Lord Madhava, her eyes begin to roll in ferocious anger and she severely rebukes Him.



113: Sikhavati's father is Dhanyadhanya and her mother is Susikha-devi. Sikhavati's complexion is the color of a karnikara flower. She is the younger sister of Kundalatika.

114: She is like sweetness and charm personified. Her garments are the spotted color of an old francoline partridge. She is married to Garjara-gopa, who is also known as Garuda-gopa.


Kandarpa Manjari

115-116: Kandarpa-manjari's father is Puspakara and her mother is Kuruvinda-devi. Kandarpa-manjari's father did not give her marriage to anyone, for he considered in his heart that Lord Hari is the only suitable husband for his daughter. Kandarpa-manjari's complexion is the color of a kinkirata bird and her garments are decorated with many different colors.




117: Phullakalika's father is Shrimalla and her mother is Kamalini. Phullakalika's complexion is dark like a blue lotus flower and her garments are like a rainbow.

118: Her forehead is naturally marked with yellow tilaka lines.  Her husband, Vidura has a loud voice and is able to call the buffaloes from a great distance.


Ananga Manjari

119: Ananga-manjari is exquisitely beautiful and therefore it is very appropriate that she is named after Ananga [Cupid]. Her complexion is the color of a springtime ketaki flower and her garments are the color of a blue lotus.

120: Her proud husband Durmada is also her sister's brother-in-law. She is especially dear to Lalita and Visakha.


General Description of the Activities of Krishna's Contemporary Gopi Friends

121: Krishna's contemporary gopi friends decorate their own dear friend Shrimati Radharani. They cheat their husbands parents and other guardians [by going to meet Radha and Krishna] and they take Shrimati Radharani's side when She has a lover's quarrel with Lord Hari.

122: These gopis assist Radha and Krishna in Their secret rendezvous. These gopis serve palatable meals to the Divine Couple and afterward relish tasting the remnants left by Them. These gopis carefully guard the secret of Radha's and Krishna's confidential pastimes together.

123: Their minds are pure and they are very expert and intelligent. They serve Radha and Krishna very appropriately. They glorify their own group and criticize the followers of Candravali, Radharani's rival.

124: They please Radha and Krishna by expertly singing, dancing and playing instrumental music. At the appropriate time they beg to be engaged in various appropriate services.

125: For the most part the learned devotees know about these activities of Krishna's gopi friends. All the gopis are aware of these and all the other similar services and they actively serve Radha and Krishna by performing these activities.

126: The gopis who are close associates of the Divine Couple are directly engaged in these services, whereas other gopis are not. We shall now describe, one by one, the gopis engaged in these intimate services.

127: Among these most exalted gopis who are most dear to Krishna, the leader and controller is Lalita-devi.

128: Lalita-devi is full of ecstatic love for the Divine Couple.  She is expert at arranging both Their meeting and Their conjugal struggle. Sometimes, for Radha's sake, she offends Lord Madhava.

129: The beauty of all the other gopis appears to be conserved in the form of Lalita-devi. In an argument her mouth becomes bent with ferocious anger and she expertly speaks the most outrageous and arrogant replies.

130: When the arrogant gopis pick a quarrel with Krishna, she is in the forefront of the conflict. When Radha and Krishna meet, she audaciously remains standing a little away from Them.

131: With the help of Paurnamasi-devi and the other gopis she arranges for the meeting of Radha and Krishna. She carries the parasol for the Divine Couple, she decorates Them with flowers and she decorates the cottage where They rest at night and rise in the morning.

132-133: Some gopis serve the Divine Couple in the garden known as Madanonmadini among the flowering creepers, betel creepers and betel trees. Some gopis are expert at playing various magic tricks, some are expert at composing riddles and some are appointed to provide betel nuts for the Divine Couple. All these gopis are the servants of Shrimati Radharani.

134: Other gopis are specifically the friends of Lord Baladeva.  Lalita-devi is the leader and controller of all these exalted and worshipable young gopis.

135: Ratnalekha and the eight other dear vara-gopis described here all follow the footsteps of Lalita-devi always and in all respects.

136: Among these eight gopis Ratnaprabha-devi and Ratikala-devi are famous for their transcendental virtues, beauty, experise and charming sweetness.


Flower Decorations

137-138: The flower ornaments of the Divine Couple are: 1) flower crown, 2) flowers in the hair, 3) flower earrings, 4) flowers decorating the forehead, 5) flower necklaces, 6) flower armlets, 7) flower sashes, 8) flower bracelets, 9) flower anklets, 10) flower bodices and many other kinds of flower ornaments. Just as these ornaments may be fashioned from precious jewels, gold or other materials, in the same way they may be made of flowers.



139-140: The Divine Couple's crowns may be made of rangini flowers, yellow jasmine flowers, navamali flowers, sumali flowers, dhrti gems, rubies, gomeda gems, pearls or splendid moonstones. These may be artistically arranged to construct beautiful crowns.

141: The crowns may be made with seven points and they may also have gold ketaki flowers or various flower buds among their colorful and beautiful ingredients. These crowns enchant the mind of Lord Hari.

142-143: The flower crowns known as puspapara are the best of all and they are more pleasing than even the best jeweled crowns [ratnapara]. Lalita-devi learned how to make these puspapara crowns from Shrimati Radharani. These puspapara crowns are made with flowers and flower buds of five different colors arranged in five points. This crown is especially used to decorate Shrimati Radharani.



144: A garland of flower buds and similar ingredients closely strung together and placed on the hair is called balapasya.



145: Skilled craftsmen say there are five kinds of earrings. They are known by the names tadanka, kundala, puspi, karnika and karna-vestana.



146: A hollow gold post worn in the ear is called a tadanka. This kind of earring is of two varieties. In the first variety the petal of golden ketaki flower is attached to this earring. In the second kind the petal of some other colorful flower is attached.



147: When an earring is fashioned from flowers in order to resemble a certain object, the earring is called kundala. There are many different kinds of kundala earrings. The flowers may be arranged to resemble a peacock, shark, lotus, half-moon or many other things.



148: The puspi earrings is fashioned from four different kinds of flowers placed in a circle with a large gunja berry in the middle.



149: The karnika earring is fashioned from the whorl of a blue lotus surrounded by yellow flowers. In the middle are a bhrngika flower and pomegranate flower.



150: When the flower earring is so large it completely covers the ear, the earring is known as karna-vestana.


Decoration for the Forehead

151: A garland of flowers placed on the upper forehead along the hairline is called lalatika. Such a garland should have flowers of two colors: red in the middle of the garland and the other color flowers on the two sides.


Graiveyaka (flower collar)

152: Made of a single kind of flower, a necklace strung four times around the neck is called graiveyaka.


Angada (armlet)

153: A flower-armlet [angada] may be fashioned of three kinds of flowers strung one after another to resemble a little flower creeper.


Kanci (sash)

154: A sash made of flowers of five different colors, artistically strung together in a gently waving pattern, is called a kanci.


Kataka (flower anklets)

155: Anklets made of many different flower buds are called kataka. These are of many different varieties.


Mani-bandhani (bracelet)

156: A bracelet made of flowers of four colors, with bunches of flowers hanging down at three places, is called mani-bandhani.


Hamsaka (flower shoes)

157: When the decoration of flowers covers the entire top and side parts of the feet and there are bunches of flowers in four places, such a decoration is called hamsaka.


Kanculi (flower bodice)

158: A bodice made of flowers of six colors, artistically arranged and perfumed with musk and which begins from the neck, is called kanculi.


Chatra (parasol)

159: Made of thin white sticks, decorated with white flowers and with a handle decorated with yellow jasmine flowers, a flower parasol is called a chatra.


Sayanam (couch)

160: The couch is fashioned of campaka and malli flowers and decorated with small bells. It has a large cushion of navamali flowers.


Ulloca (an awning)

161: An awning is made of a latticework of various colorful flowers, ketaki petals and various leaves. Many malli flowers hang down from this awning.


Candratapa (an awning)

162: When many sindhuvara flowers as white as pearls decorate the sides and fresh lotus flowers hang down in the middle, the awning is called candratapa.


Vesma (cottage)

163: With reeds as pillars and various colorful flowers as the roof and four walls, a vesma (flower cottage) is constructed.


Gopi Messengers

164: Vrnda, Vrndarika, Mela and Murali are the most important gopi messengers. The gopi messengers expertly know the geography of Vrndavana and they intimately know each grove and garden there. They are also learned in the science of gardening. These exalted gopi messengers are all filled with great love for Shri Shri Radha and Krishna.  The gopi messengers are fair complexioned and they dress in colorful garments. Vrnda-devi is the most important among them.



165-166: Visakha-devi, the intimate friend of the Divine Couple, although she is more exalted than these younger gopis, also takes up the work of carrying messages between Radha and Krishna and she is the most intelligent and expert of all the gopi messengers. Loquacious Visakha is expert at joking with Lord Govinda and she is the perfect counsellor of the Divine Couple. She is expert at all aspects of amorous diplomacy and she knows all the arts of how to conciliate an angered lover, how to bribe him and how to quarrel with him.  Rangavali-devi and other gopis are expert at drawing various designs in tilaka, artistically stringing flower garlands, composing clever verses and acrostics such as sarvatobhadra, conjuring magical illusions by chanting mantras, worshipping the sun god with various paraphernalia, singing in various foreign languages and composing different kinds of poetry.


Maidservants who dress Shrimati Radharani

167: Madhavali, Malati, and Candrarekha are the leaders of the gopi servants who dress and decorate Shrimati Radharani.

168-169: The gopi messengers appointed by Vrnda-devi have the flowering trees of Vrndavana under their jurisdiction. Malika-devi is the leader of these wonderfully blissful gopis. In addition to these two groups of gopi messengers [first - Visakha and second - the followers of Vrnda-devi], Campakalata-devi is the third of the gopi messengers.

170: Campakalata veils her activities in great secrecy. She is expert at the art of logical persuasion, and she is killed diplomat who knows how to thwart Shrimati Radharani's rivals.

171: Campakalata is expert at collecting fruits, flowers, and roots from the forest. Using only the skill of her hands she can artistically fashion things from clay.

172: Campakalata is an expert cook who knows all the literature describing the six flavors of gourmet cooking. She is so expert at making various kinds of candy that she has become famous by the name Mistahasta [sweet hands].

173: There are also eight gopi maidservants expert at cooking various preparations from the milk products of Vraja village.  Kurangaksi-devi is the leader of these gopi cooks.


Activities of the Eight Principal Gopis

174: Of all these gopis who are appointed as protectresses of the trees, creepers, and bushes of Vrndavana, the leader is Campakalata-devi.



175: Citra-devi is wonderfully expert in all the activities we have just described. She is especially expert in the lover's quarrel between Radha and Krishna (the third of the six definitions of the word abhisarana).

176: Citra-devi can read between the lines of books and letters written in many different languages, perceiving the hidden intentions of the author. She is a skilled gourmet and can understand the testes of various foods made with honey, milk, and other ingredients simply by glancing at them.

177: She is expert in playing music on pots filled with varying degrees of water. She is learned in the literature describing astronomy and astrology, and she is well versed in the theoretical and practical activities of protecting domestic animals.

178: She is especially expert at gardenting and she can nicely make various kinds of nectarean beverages.

179: There are also eight other gopi maidservants, headed by Rasalika-devi, who are expert at making various kinds of nectarean beverages.

180: There are other gopis who mostly collect transcendental herbs and medicinal creepers from the forest and do not collect flowers or anything else. Citra-devi is the leader of these gopis.



181: Tungavidya is one of the leaders of the gopis. She is learned in the eighteen branches of knowledge.

182: She has full faith in Krishna. She is very expert at arranging the meeting of the Divine Couple. She is learned in rasa-sastra [transcendental mellows], niti-sastra [morality], dancing, drama, literature and all other arts and sciences.

183: She is a celebrated music teacher expert at playing the vina and singing in the style known as marga.

184: Eight gopi messengers headed by Manjumedha-devi are especially expect at arranging political alliances [sandhi], the first of diplomatic maneuvers in the art of politics between Radha and Krishna.

185: These gopis are the best of dancers. They are musicians expert at playing the mrdanga and singing in recital halls.

186: These gopis are especially engaged in fetching water from the streams in Vrndavana. Tungavidya is the leader of these gopis.



187: Noble Indulekha is learned in the science and mantras of the Naga-sastra, which describes various methods of charming snakes. She is also learned in the Samudraka-sastra, which describes the science of palmistry.

188: She is expert at stringing various kinds of wonderful necklaces, decorating the teeth with red substances, gemology and weaving various kinds of cloth.

189: In her hand she carries the auspicious messages of the Divine Couple. In this way she creates the good fortune of Radha and Krishna by creating Their mutual love and attraction.

190: The group of gopis headed by Tungabhadra-devi are the friends and neighbours of Indulekha. Among these gopis is a group, headed by Palindhika-devi, which acts as messengers for the Divine Couple.

191: Indulekha-devi is fully aware of the confidential secrets of the Divine Couple. Some of her friends are engaged in providing ornaments for the Divine Couple, others provide exquisite garments and others guard the Divine Couple's treasury.

192: Indulekha-devi is thus the leader of all the gopis engaged in these services in the various parts of Vrndavana.



193: Ranga-devi is always like a great ocean of coquettish words and gestures. She is very fond of joking with her friend Shrimati Radharani in the presence of Lord Krishna.

194: Among the six activities of diplomacy she is especially expert in the fourth: patiently waiting for the enemy to make the next move. She is an expert logician and because of previous austerities she has attained a mantra by which she can attract Lord Krishna.

195: Kalakanti-devi is the leader of the eight most important friends of Ranga-devi. These friends are all expert in the use of perfumes and cosmetics.

196: Ranga-devi's friends are expert at burning aromatic incense, carrying coal during the winter and fanning the Divine Couple in the summer.

197: Ranga-devi's friends are able to control the lions, deer and other wild animals in the forest. Ranga-devi is the leader of all these gopis.



198: Sudevi always remains at the side of her dear friend Shrimati Radharani. Sudevi arranges Radharani's hair, decorates Her eyes with mascara and massages Her body.

199: She is expert in training male and female parrots and she is also expert in the pastimes of roosters. She is an expert sailor and she is fully aware of the auspicious and inauspicious omens described in the Sakuna-sastra.

200: She is expert at massaging the body with scented oils, she knows how to start fires and keep them burning and she knows which flowers blossom with the rising of the moon.

201: Kaveri-devi and the other friends of Sudevi are expert at constructing leaf-spittoons, playing music on bells and decorating couches in various ways.

202-203: Sudevi's friends are also entrusted with the decoration of the Divine Couple's sitting place. Sudevi's friends act as clever spies, disguising themselves in various ways and moving among Radharani's rivals [Candravali and her friends] to discover their secrets. Sudevi's friends are the deities of Vrndavana forest and they are charged with the protection of the forest birds and bees. Sudevi is the leader of these gopis.


Description of the Various Gopis

204: The wonderful arts, crafts and other duties that comprise the activities of the gopis will now be described.

205-206: Pindaka-devi, Nirvitandika-devi, Pundarika-devi, Sitakhandi-devi, Carucandi-devi, Sudantika-devi, Akunthita-devi, Kalakanthi-devi, Ramaci-devi and Mecika-devi are among the gopis who are very strong and stubborn when there is an argument or conflict.  Among them Pindaka-devi is the leader. She dresses in red garments.  She is very beautiful. When Lord Krishna comes she embarrasses Him by attacking Him with many ferocious witty puns.

207: Haridrabha-devi, Hariccela-devi and Harimitra-devi speak many illogical and frivolous objections as they lead Lord Krishna to the place where Shrimati Radharani waits for Him.

208: Pundarika-devi's garments and complexion are both the color of a white lotus flower. She ferociously mocks lotus-eyed Lord Krishna.

209: Gauri-devi always wears white garments. Her complexion is the color of a peacock. Because her sweet and charming words are often laced with acid sarcasms, Lord Krishna jokingly calls her Sitakhandi [always sweet].

210: Gauri-devi's sister is known as Carucandi because her words are sometimes mild and pleasant [caru] and sometimes harsh and violent [candi]. Carucandi's complexion is the color of a black bee and her garments are the color of lightning.

211: Sudantika-devi wears garments the color of a kurunthaka flower. Her complexion is the color of a sirisa flower. She is expert at inflaming the amorous sentiments of ujjvala-rasa.

212: Akunthita-devi's complexion is the color of a lotus stem. She wears white garments the color of the fibers within a lotus stem. She likes to insult Krishna for the amusement of her gopi friends.

213: Kalakanthi-devi's complexion is the color of a kuli flower and her garments are the color of milk. She speaks to Lord Krishna, describing Radharani's jealous anger and advising Him to beg forgiveness from Her.

214: Ramaci-devi's is the daughter of Lalita-devi's nurse.  Ramaci's complexion is golden and her garments are the color of a parrot. She takes pleasure in jokingly insulting Krishna and laughing at Him.

215: Ramaci-devi always wears white garments. Her complexion is the color of a pinda flower. She is expert at insulting Lord Krishna.

216-217: Petari-devi, Varuda-devi, Cari-devi, Kotari-devi, Kalatippani-devi, Marunda-devi, Morata-devi, Cuda-devi, Cundari-devi and Gondika-devi are the leaders of those gopi messengers who are past the prime of youth. These older gopis can argue with great stubbornness and they can also nicely sing as the Divine Couple take their meal. These gopis are always engaged in making arrangements for the forest pastimes of the Divine Couple.

218: Petari-devi is an elderly Gujarati lady whose hair is the color of fibers within a lotus stem. Varudi-devi is a native of Garudadesa and her braided hair is like the current of a river.

219: Cari-devi, who is Kucari-devi's sister, is also known by the name Tapahkatyayani, because she performed severe austerities [tapah] and took shelter of goddess Katyayani [Durga]. Kotari-devi was born in the abhira caste. Her hair is a mixture of black and white resembling rice mixed with toasted sesame seeds.

220: Kalatippani-devi is an elderly washer-woman with white hair. Marunda-devi has white eyebrows and a shaved head.

221: Agile Morata-devi has hair the color of a kasa flower.  Cuda-devi has a wrinkled face and a forehead decorated with many grey hairs.

222: The brahmani Cundari-devi is not as old as the others. Lotus-eyed Lord Krishna glorifies her and treats her with great respect.  Gondika-devi shaves the splendid white hairs on her head. Her cheeks are wrinkled with age.



Gopi Messengers who Arrange the Meeting of the Divine Couple

223-224: Sivada-devi, Saumyadarsana-devi, Suprasada-devi, Sadasanta-devi, Santida-devi and Kantida-devi are the leaders of the gopi messengers who expertly arrange the meeting of Radha and Krishna.  These gopis consider Lalita-devi to be their dearmost life and soul.

They are counted among the intimate associates of Lord Krishna.

225: At a certain time Shrimati Radharani quarrels with Lord Krishna and refuses to see Him. Understanding the hints of Lalita-devi, these gopis then approach Lord Krishna.

226-227: These gopis appease Lord Krishna and please Him in different ways. With great effort they convince Him that His actual desire is to meet Radha again. When These gopis bring to Her the gift that Lord Krishna gave them as a peace offering, Shrimati Radharani becomes very pleased with them and grants them Her mercy.

228-229: Sivada-devi was born in the Raghu dynasty, Saumyadarsana-devi in the dynasty of the moon-god, Suprasada-devi in the Puru dynasty, Sadasanta-devi in a family of ascetics and Santida and Kantida in brahmana families. By the mercy of Narada Muni they were all able to reside in Vraja.


The Second Group of Gopis

230: After this first group of gopis there is a second group of gopis, whose love for the Divine Couple is a little less than that of the first group. This second group of gopis may again be divided into two groups: sama-prema and asama-prema. These gopis will be described in the following verses.

231: The sama-prema gopis may be divided into two groups - those who are eternally perfect and those who have attained perfection by engaging in devotional service.

232: Out of one hundred million gopis, eight hundred thousand are eternally perfect.

233-234: The direct followers of the eight principal gopis are counted in different ways. Some say they number five thousand, others say they number four or five thousand, still others say they number three or four thousand and still others say they number one thousand.

235: Some say the followers of the eight principal gopis are divided into many groups and others say they are not divided into groups at all. Some say they are divided into sixteen groups according to the nature of their love for the Divine Couple.

236: Some say these gopis are divided into twenty groups, some say there are twenty-five groups, some say there are thirty, some say there are sixty and some say there are sixty-four groups of gopis.

237: Some say this group of gopis is in turn divided into two subgroups. Others say it is divided into two or three subgroups and others say it is divided into three or four subgroups.

238: The entire gopi community may be divided in different ways.  Some say there are forty groups of gopis and others that there are five hundred groups.

239-246: Aside from the eight varistha-gopis and the eight vara-gopis, sixty four gopis are considered most important. Their names are: 1. Ratnaprabha, 2. Ratikala, 3. Subhadra, 4. Ratika, 5. Sumukhi, 6. Dhanistha, 7. Kalahamsi, 8. Kalapini, 9. Madhavi, 10. Malati, 11. Candrarekha, 12. Kunjari, 13. Harini, 14. Capala, 15. Damni, 16. Surabhi, 17. Subhanana, 18. Kurangaksi, 19. Sucarita, 20. Mandali, 21. Manikundala, 22. Candrika, 23. Candralatika, 24. Pankajaksi, 25. Sumandira, 26. Rasalika, 27. Tilakini, 28. Sauraseni, 29. Sugandhika, 30. Ramani, 31. Kamanagari, 32. Nagari, 33. Nagavenika, 34. Manjumedha, 35. Sumadhura, 36. Sumadhya, 37. Madhureksana, 38. Tanumadhya, 39. Madhuspanda, 40. Gunacuda, 41. Varangada, 42. Tungabhadra, 43. Rasottunga, 44. Rangavati, 45. Susangata, 46. Citrarekha, 47. Vicitrangi, 48. Modini, 49. Madanalasa, 50. Kalakanthi, 51. Sasikala, 52. Kamala, 53. Madhurendira, 54. Kandarpa-sundari, 55. Kamalatika, 56. Prema-manjari, 57. Kaveri, 58. Carukavara, 59. Sukesi, 60. Manjukesi, 61. Harahira, 62. Mahahira, 63. Harakanthi, 64. Manohara.


The Sammohana-tantra's Description of Shrimati Radharani's Eight Principal Friends

247: A different list of Shrimati Radharani's eight principal gopi friends is found in the following statement of Sammohana-tantra: “Lilavati, Sadhika, Candrika, Madhavi, Lalita, Vijaya, Gauri and Nandi are the eight principal gopi friends of Shrimati Radharani.”


Another Description of the Eight Principal Gopis

248: Another quotation from Vedic literature gives the following description: “Kalavati, Shrimati, Sudhamukhi, Visakha, Kaumudi, Madhavi and Sarada are the eight principal gopis.”

249-250: The numbers presented in this description of the gopis has no actual relevance to the number of eternally liberated gopis in the spiritual world. There the associates of the King and Queen of Vrndavana are unlimited in number. No one can count them. We have simply given some hints so the reader may understand the vast number of the associates of the Divine Couple.

251: Preparing the Divine Couple's couch, food, drink and betel nuts, swinging Them on a swing and decorating Them with tilaka are among the many services performed by the gopis. The learned devotees may research this and enumerate all these services.

252: Rupa Goswami prays that the effulgent Krishna-sun may remove the blindness from his eyes and enable him to properly see and understand the various rasa-sastras that describe Shri Shri Radha Krishna and Their associates.

253: In the year 1472 of the Saka Era (1550 A.D.) on Sunday, the sixth day of the month of Sravana, at Nandagrama, the home of the king of Vraja, this [part of] book, the Radha-Krishna-ganoddesa-dipika was completed.