Why the mood (bhava) of the manjaris is unique


Dear Tarun Govinda das, could you shed some light on manjari bhava being the highest bhava for Gaudiya Vaishnavas?


Radhe Radhe.
I would be careful with using attributes as the “highest”, the “best”, etc…

Every individual soul can have an individual relationship with the Divine Couple.

Srila Rupa Goswami writes in his Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu:

sevā sādhaka-rūpeṇa siddha-rūpeṇa cātra hi
tad-bhāva-lipsunā kāryā vraja-lokānusārataḥ ||1.2.295||

Following the inhabitants of Vraja, one should perform service in one’s physical body and in one’s siddha body, with a desire for a particular bhāva.

Srila Vishvanatha Cakravartipada comments on this verse:

One performs service with sādhaka-rūpa [the present body] and with the siddha-rūpa [the body which is suitable for serving Kṛṣṇa in Vraja] in the particular type of rati or bhāva one desires, and which is meditated upon (antaś-cintitābhīṣṭa) through inner contemplation with a desire for a particular rati directed to one’s chosen beloved of Kṛṣṇa, situated in Vṛndāvana (tad–bhāva-lipsunā).
One should follow the dear devotees of Kṛṣṇa such as Rādhā, Lalitā, Viśākhā, Śrī Rūpa-maṣjarī and those following them [persons such as Śrī Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmīs] (vraja-lokānuṣārataḥ).
Accordingly, one should perform mental service in one’s siddha-rūpa, following the examples of Śrī Rādhā, Lalitā, Viśākhā, Śrī Rūpa-maṣjarī and others.
In one’s physical body, one should perform services using one’s body, following persons such as Śrī Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmīs situated in Vraja.

Every devotee naturally thinks that his desired bhava is the best.

nija nija bhāva sabe śreṣṭha kari’ māne
nija-bhāve kare kṛṣṇa-sukha āsvādane

Each kind of devotee feels that his sentiment is the most excellent, and thus in that mood he tastes great happiness with Lord Kṛṣṇa.
(CC Adi-lila 4.43)

So, it is never a competition over which rasa is the best or the highest. Continue reading