Role of Gopi Bhava, Sakhi Bhava & Manjari Bhava in Radha-Krishna lilas!

Role of Gopi Bhava, Sakhi Bhava & Manjari Bhava in Radha-Krishna lilas!

Pallavi Sharma asked like this:

“Prabhuji today I have come with one doubt. Prabhuji I want to know what is the difference between Gopi bhav, Sakhi bhav and Manjari bhav? What are their respective dealings with Shrimati Radhe and Krishna? I totally depend on your mercy now. Hare Krishna.”

REPLY:

The devotees approach Krishna in five Primary rasas or bhavas such as Santa, Dasya, Sakhya, Vatsalya and Madhurya bhavas or rasas.

These Five Rasas have been explained in THIS POST in detail.(Titled FIVE PRIMARY RASAS (RELATIONSHIPS) AND SEVEN SECONDARY RASAS ONE CAN HAVE WITH KRISHNA!)

Now, You have asked about Gopi Bhava, Sakhi Bhava and Manjari Bhava related to Radha Krishna lilas.

Many sampradhayas differ in these three concepts and every sampradhaya upholds their primary bhava as the one that was dominating in the lilas of Krishna.

So, we have to apply some logic and acceptable way of thinking beyond sampradhayas to come to a better opinion.

Actually, Gopi Bhava is the Most Personal Bhava that involves Physical and enjoyable interaction with Krishna.

Whereas, Sakhi bhava may not have such Close physical enjoyments with Krishna, but, still they serve Radharani and Krishna in many ways.

The followers of sakhi bhava will like to be connected more with the cows, cowherd people, parents of Krishna. They too will have close interaction with the objects and persons close to Krishna (cows, boys, parents, etc).

For understanding, you can consider that Sakhi bhava is “More Public” and Gopi bhava is “More Private”.

The followers of Gopi bhava aims at the close physical  association of gopis with Krishna, and they may not be concerned with the cows, parents, etc. They target ONLY KRISHNA and HIS CLOSE PHYSICAL ASSOCIATION.

Thus, we can understand that where there is sakhi bhava, there can not be gopi bhava because Gopi bhava is more personal and private to Krishna than sakhi bhava.

(KRISHNA’s WIVES, CHILDREN & PARAMPARA – FULL DETAILS! READ HERE!)

In other words, GOPI BHAVA TAKES PLACE MORE IN THE CLOSER PASTIMES OF RADHARANI AND KRISHNA.

There is another bhava that directly assists in the lilas of Radha and Krishna.

Here comes Manjari Bhava.

Manjari bhava is the one that likes to assist Radharani to have closer association with Krishna. So, Manjari bhava is not involving directly with the Radha Krishna close lilas, but, they go closer to them during the Madhurya lila and other lilas of Radha-Krishna and assist Radharani to enjoy her lilas with Krishna.

Among Gopi Bhava, Sakhi Bhava & Manjari Bhava, Sakhis and Manjaris may seem similar.

But, not so.

Sakhi bhava is not directly involved in Radha Krishna Lilas.

Manjari Bhava is directly connected to Radha Krishna lilas as assistants to Radharani to help her to have closer connection with Krishna.

(KRISHNA-RUKMINI MARRIAGE AFTER RUKMINI’s ABDUCTION! READ HERE!)

In other two bhavas, no such desire of “I SHOULD ENJOY”. Rather, they desire to serve Krishna in different ways.

Because, the Madhurya lila of radha and Krishna takes place in secluded place where there will be no cows, parents, etc.

Madhurya lila involves Gopi bhava.

So, gopi bhava is more personal than sakhi bhava.

Sakhis are also gopis, but, they do not usually take part in closer physical interactions with Krishna. However they serve Radharani and Krishna in their own ways.

Among gopis , there are many divisions. Every division likes to serve Krishna in different ways.

Sakhis may also be one of them. The Name sakhi itself means FRIENDS. So, they are the friends of Radharani.

(ACQUIRING KNOWLEDGE, BHAKTI RASA & KRISHNA PREMA – PROCESS! READ HERE!)

Radharani has five kinds of sakhis:

(1) Sakhi (friends)-
(2) Priya-sakhi (dear friends)
(3) Paramaprestha-sakhi (dearmost friends)
(4) Prana-sakhi (life-companions)
(5) Nitya-sakhi (constant companions)

Sakhis are friends of Krishna.

Gopis are the closely enjoyable girls and they wish that they could be enjoyed by Krishna.

Gopi bhava is directly connected to the enjoyments with Krishna.

If you review my above explanation, out if three bhavas such as Gopi Bhava, Sakhi Bhava & Manjari Bhava, you can observe that in gopi bhava, there may be some slight selfishness of ENJOYING KRISHNA with the bhava “I SHOULD ENJOY KRISHNA’s CLOSER ASSOCIATION”. The followers of sakhi bhava says the same that this “I” is prominant in Gopi bhava.

(Should a devotee in Gopi Bhawa dress like a Gopi? 15 Point Reply! READ HERE!)

This is not true. This is the wrong perception that Gopis had the selfish desire of enjoying Krishna. These things are sampradhaya conflicts.

What can be true?

Just because they think so, we should not think that their desire is material. Actually, Gopis’ desires towards Krishna are transcendental and there is no differences between the lilas of gopis on earth and Goloka Vrindavana. All their desires and actions are transcendental.

Srila Rupa Gosvami (Bhakti rasamrutha Sindhu 1.2.284) explains the love of gopis with Krishna as “kama-rupa ragatmika bhakti”, ie, passionate devotion which takes the form of desire to be enjoyed by Krishna. This bhava is the speciality of the gopis alone.

Jiva Gosvamin says in his commentary that the word “kama” usually refers to the desire for one’s personal sense gratification that involves a subtle or psychological aspect also.

(KRISHNA-RUKMINI MARRIAGE AFTER RUKMINI’s ABDUCTION! READ HERE!)

Is this the selfish act of gopis?

No. Interestingly, while closely hugging and kissing Krishna, the Gopis were thinking “Let Krishna gets pleasures from me”.

They are not ready to evaluate that Krishna Himself is the reservoir of pleasures. But, they passionately think that Krishna can take pleasures from them.

So, they thought of GIVING, not RECEIVING. They even competed among themselves to satisfy (!!!) Krishna as explained in the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatham.

Interesting, isn’t it?

So, there will be some trace of “I” in their bhava.

Sakhis do not have such “I” feeling.

Among the Gopi Bhava, Sakhi Bhava & Manjari Bhava, Manjaris are interested only in keeping Krishna and Radharani closer and they arrange and assist in the closer lilas like Madhrya lila.

Hope you enjoyed these details and differences between Gopi Bhava, Sakhi Bhava & Manjari Bhava.

(WHO ARE GOPIS? HOW DID THEY GET KRISHNA? – COMPLETE DETAILS! READ HERE!)

Author: RAJAN

RAJAN from Tamil Nadu, India, has decades of association with the devotees of Krishna. He is promoting many sites and he promotes this blog-website as an E-SATHSANGHA (E-FORUM) to give Spiritual Solutions for all the Material Problems faced by the devotees! In this site, he writes the friendly and practical tips for the practice of devotion (i) without hurting the followers of other paths, (ii) without affecting the personal and career life, and (iii) without the blind, superstitious and ritualistic approach! He has been counselling through social media and websites since the year 2011. His services are guiding more than 1,20,000 serious followers and lakhs of visiting readers! RAJAN accepts no credits for his services but dedicates all the credits to Krishna.

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