Krsna’s Gopi Associates, Part 2

September 4, 2007 at 8:25 am Leave a comment

The Lord’s transcendental friends and associates.

Today we continue our series on Lord Krsna’s transcendental associates with an exploration of the many more of His gopi associates. The eight Vara Gopis, who are amongst the topmost exalted gopis, are joined by the eight Asta-Manjaris along with various other groups from amongst the hundred of thousands of gopis who are the eternal friends of Lord Krsna.

All these gopis, along with the Cowherd Boys and many of Krsna’s other boyhood friends, are in relationship with the Lord in sakhya-rasa. While the qualities of santa-rasa and the service of dasya-rasa are both present on the platform of sakhya-rasa, in sakhya-rasa the associates of Krsna experience a higher confidential attachment, which is pure transcendental love, or visrambha. Because there is no sense of awe or veneration towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead, associates in sakhya-rasa enjoy three transcendental characteristics: the sense of greatness, the sense of service, and the sense of intimacy without awe or veneration.

    “As far as friendship is concerned, those high-grade devotees who are almost like Krsna are considered to be great authorities in the modes of friendly relations with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. On that friendly platform there are different kinds of laughing and joking conversations. An example of such a friendly relationship with Krsna is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam when Krsna was once thinking, “Today, while I was engaged in tending the cows in the pasturing ground of Vrindaban, I went to collect some flowers in a beautiful garden. At that time My friends, the cowherd boys, were unhappy even to tolerate a two-minute separation from Me. And when they found Me, there was competition between us as to who would touch the other first with the flowers we had in hand.”

    Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 32

The Vara Gopis Kalavati

Kalavati’s 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, and her parents are Sindhumati-devi and Kalankura-gopa, the maternal uncle of Arkamitra.


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


Hiranyangi is very dear to Srimati Radharani and Srimati Radharani is very dear to her. Hiranyangi is dressed in beautiful garments that appear like a great multitude of unparalleled blossoming flowers. Her 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. Here is the story of her conception:

Her father, Mahavasu-gopa, is pious and famous for being devoted to performing Vedic sacrifices. He is decorated with wonderful good qualities and he is the close friend of Arkamitra. 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. Certain nectarean foodstuffs appeared from that sacrifice and the delighted Mahavasu gave them to his wife, Sucandra-devi. 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. Sucandra-devi gave birth to a son whom the gopas called Stokakrsna, and the deer gave birth to the girl Hiranyangi in the village of Vraja.


Maharaj 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.

Ratnalekha’s complexion is the red color of the mineral manahsila and her garments appear like a beautiful swarm of bumblebees. She is very dear to Srimati Radharani. Her mother engages both she 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 severly rebukes Him.


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

Kandarpa-manjari’s father is Puspakara and her mother is Kuruvinda-devi. Kandarpa-manjari’s father did not give her in 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.


Phullakalika’s father is Srimalla and her mother is Kamalini. Phullakalika’s complexion is dark like a blue lotus flower and her garments are like a rainbow. 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

Ananga-manjari is exquistely 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. Her proud husband Durmada is also her sister’s brother-in-law. She is especially dear to Lalita and Visakha.

The Manjaris The Asta-Manjaris Rupa Manjari

In the northern part of Sri Lalita Sakhi’s kunja lies Rupollasa Kunja, where the very beautiful and graceful Sri Rupa Manjari resides. She is the foremost among the gopis known as priya-narma-sakhis. Her complexion is the color of gorocana (a bright yellow pigment secreted from a cow’s kidney), and she delights in wearing a dress the color of peacock feathers. Her age is 13 years 6 months. The panditas call her Rangana-malika. In age, she is one day younger than Lavanga Manjari. In gaura-lila she appears as Srila Rupa Gosvami.

Rati Manjari

In the southern part of Sri Indulekha’s kuñja lies Ratyambuja Kuñja, where the beautiful Sri Rati Manjari always resides. Her dress is covered with stars, her complexion is like lightning, and she is daksina-mrdvi in nature. The panditas also call her Tulasi. Her age is 13 years 2 months. In Kali-yuga, in gaura-lila, she is known as Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.

Lavanga Manjari

In the eastern part of Sri Tungavidya’s kunja lies Lavanga-sukhada Kunja, which is very enchanting to all the beautiful-eyed gopis. In that kunja, Sri Lavanga Manjari always blissfully resides. In age, she is one day older than Sri Rupa Manjari, and she is very famous for her pleasant nature. Her complexion is like lightning, and she wears a dress marked with stars. She gives much happiness to Sri Krsna, and her nature is always daksina-mrdvi. Her age is 13 years 6 months and 1 day. In Kali-yuga, in gaura-lila, she is known as Sri Sanatana Gosvami.

Rasa Manjari

In the western part of Sri Citra’s kunja lies Rasananda Kunja, where the beautiful Rasa Manjari always resides. She is famous as being in all respects the life of Sri Rupa Manjari. Her dress is like the feathers of a swan, and her complexion is like a fully blossomed campaka flower. She is rich in qualities much like those of Sri Lavanga Manjari. Because she has taken shelter of Sri Rupa Manjari, she has become very dear to her. She serves as a messenger between Radha and Krsna, and she is very clever in arranging Their meeting. Her age is 13 years, and in gaura-lila, she is known as Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami.

Guna Manjari

In the northeastern part of Sri Campakalata’s kunja lies the beautiful Gunanandaprada Kunja, where Sri Guna Manjari always resides. Her complexion is bright like lightning, and she wears a fine silk dress the color of a red jaba flower. She is famous for her strong desire to make Rupa Manjari happy. She is three days younger than Sri Tulasi (Rati Manjari) and is the delight of Sri Krsna. She is described as being daksina-prakhara in nature. Her age is 13 years, 1 month and 27 days. In gaura-lila she is known as Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami.

Manjulali Manjari (Lila manjari)

In the northern part of Sri Sudevi’s kunja lies the beautiful Lilanandaprada Kunja, where the charming Sri Manjulali Manjari always resides. She is full of pleasant qualities and is very dear to Sri Rupa Manjari. Her dress is red like a jaba flower, and her complexion is like molten gold. She is also known as Sri Lila Manjari. Her nature is vama-madhya, and her age is 13 years, 6 months and 7 days. In gaura-lila she is known as Sri Lokanatha Gosvami.

Vilasa Manjari

In the southeast part of Sri Visakha’s kunja lies the very beautiful Vilasanandada Kunja, where Sri Vilasa Manjari always remains as one of Sri Rupa Manjari’s sakhis. She has a bodily color like that of a golden ketaki flower, and her dress is the color of a bumblebee. Her nature is vama-mrdvi, and she is 4 days younger than Sri Rasa Manjari, making her age 12 years, 11 months and 26 days. In gaura-lila she is known as Sri Jiva Gosvami.

Kausturi Manjari

In the southwest corner of Sri Rangadevi’s kunja lies one more kunja, which is known as Kausturyanandada Kunja, the residence of Sri Kausturi Manjari. She wears a dress that resembles crystal, and her complexion is like pure gold. Her age is 13 years, and her nature is vama-mrdvi. In Kali-yuga, in gauranga-lila, she is known as Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami.

The Other Gopis

The beautiful gopis may be considered in hundreds of groups, each group containing hundreds of thousands of gopis. Aside from the eight varistha-gopas 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 Arts

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, worshipable the sun god with various paraphernalia, singing in various foreign languages and composing different kinds of poetry. Mantriki-devi and Tantriki-devi are astrologers who reveal the future to Srimati Radharani.

The talented musicians Rasollasa-devi, Gunatunga-devi,Kalakanthi-devi, Sukhanti-devi, and Pikakanti-devi delight Lord Hari by singing Visakha’s musical compositions. Maniki-devi, Narmada-devi, and Kusumapesala-devi serve the Divine Couple by playing drums, cymbals, string instruments like the vina, and wind instruments like the flute.

Dressers & Personal Servants

Madhavai, Malati, and Candrarekha are the leaders of the gopi servants who dress and decorate Srimati Radharani. Kamada-devi is the daughter of Srimati Radharani’s nurse, and she is an especially close friend of Radharani. Palindri-devi serves Srimati Radharani by dressing and decorating Her. Citrini decorates Radharani with various cosmetics. Tunga-devi, Pisangi-devi and Kalakandala-devi always remain near Srimati Radharani to serve Her.

Messengers and Attendants

Sivada-devi, Saumyadarsana-devi, Suprasada-devi, Sadasanta-devi, Santida-devi, Kantida-devi, Nandimukhi-devi and Bindumati-devi are leaders of the gopi messengers who expertly arrange the meeting of Radha and Krsna. These gopis consider Lalita-devi to be their dearmost life and soul. They are counted among the intimate associates of Lord Krsna. At a certain time Srimati Radharani quarrels with Lord Krsna and refuses to see Him. Understanding the hints of Lalita-devi, these gopis then approach Lord Krsna. These gopis appease Lord Krsna 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 Krsna gave them as a peace offering, Srimati Radharani becomes very pleased with them and grants them Her mercy.

Sivada-devi was born in the Ragyhu 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.

Haridrabha-devi, Hariccela-devi and Harimitra-devi speak many illogical and frivolous objections as they lead Lord Krsna to the place where Srimati Radharani waits for Him. Vrnda-devi, Kundalat-devi and their followers assist the Divine Couple in Their pastimes in the various forests of Vrndavana. Kalakanthi-devi’s complexion is the color of a kuli flower and her garments are the color of milk. She speaks to Lord Krnsa, describing Radharani’s jealous anger and advising Him to beg forgiveness from Her.

The Elder Gopis

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. Katyayani-devi is the leader of those gopi messengers who are older than Srimati Radharani.

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.

Petari-devi is an elderly Gujarati lady whose hair is the color of fibers within a lotus stem. Varudi-devi is a native of Garuda-desa and her braided hair is like the current of a river. Cari-devi, who is Kucari-devi’s siste, 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. Kalatippani-devi is an elderly washerwoman with white hair. Marunda-devi has white eyebrows and a shaved head. 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. The brahmani Cundari-devi is not as old as the others. Lotus-eyed Lord Krsna glorifies her and treats her with great respect. Gondika-devi shaves the splendid white hairs on her head. Her cheeks are wrinkled with age.

Well-Wishers and Others

Syamala-devi and Mangala-devi are the leaders of those gopis who act as well-wishers of Srimati Radharani. Manjual-devi, Bindula-devi, Sandha-devi, Mrdula-devi and others, although very young still engage in Radharani’s service.

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 Krsna comes she embarrasses Him by attacking Him with many ferocious witty puns.

Pundarika-devi’s garments and complexion are both the color of a white lotus flower. She ferociously mocks lotus-eyed Lord Krsna. 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 Krsna jokingly calls her Sitakhandi (always sweet). 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. 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. 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 Krsna for the amusement of her gopi friends.

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 Krsna and laughing at Him. Ramaci-devi always wears white garments. Her complexion is the color of a pinda flower. She is expert at insulting Lord Krnsa. Dhanistha-devi, Gunamala-devi and their followers remain in the home of Nanda Maharaja,the cowherd king and assist the Lord’s pastimes from there.

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.


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