Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Ashtasakhis: Tungavidya & Indulekha


Tungavidya Sakhi

On the western petal of Madana-sukhada Kunja lies the extremely beautiful crimson-colored Tungavidyananda Kunja, where Sri Tungavidya Sakhi always resides. She is the fifth of the varishtha or primary sakhis.


Her birthplace is said to be the village of Dabharo (Damala).

Dabharo:

The village is in Varsana. Love has a unique trait. The pathos of separation though very painful somehow enlightens the mind. Shri Krishna who daily undergoes the pathos of longing and the pleasure of belonging was ecstatic and turned dewy-eyed on spotting his beloved, Sri Radha, as he gave her a flirtatious glance. With such an idyllic setting it was but natural for their love to reach its zenith at this site, delighting Tungavidya and other sakhis.


Her father is Paushkara, Mother is Medha and husband is Balisha. Her age is 14 years, 2 months and 22 days. She is fifteen days younger than Srimati Radharani.


Her complexion is radiant like saffron mixed with camphor and sandalwood paste, and her dress is pandu-mandana (pale yellow). She is fifteen days younger than Srimati Radharani.


Srila Rupa Gosvami writes, "Of all the gopis, the asta-sakhis are the foremost. Sri Tungavidya-devi can speak with all types of birds and animals.


Temperamentally hot-tempered, she is an expert at dissimulation and learned in the eighteen branches of Vedic knowledge.


She has full faith in Krishna and skilled at arranging the trysts of Radha and Krishna.

Prem Sarovar:

Sri Tungavidya is adept at fixing romantic dalliances between Sri Radha-Krishna with love being predominant in their realm. Whatever the Lord does pleases Shri Radha and he does whatever she fancies. Saying so, Shri Manmahaprabhu Hit Harivanshji has thrown light on the subject. Striving for the happiness of the lover, the zenith of spiritual awareness is worth calling love.


This is the same Prem Sarovar where Shri Radha-Krishna and their kaya-vyuha gopikas have savored several charming episodes of love. Beneath the canopy of fragrant kadamba trees they are engaged in love talk, as they fix their tryst. During the rainy season this site comes to life with the merriment of swings and at times resounds with the sound of tinkling anklets. Fragments of these dalliances scattered around are woven around this site known as Prem Sarovar.


She is learned in rasa-sastra (transcendental mellows), niti-sastra (morality), dancing, drama, literature and all other arts and sciences. She is a celebrated music teacher expert at playing the vina and singing in the style known as marga.

Raas Mandala:

The Raas Mandala is situated in the lowlands of Mount Brahma in Varsana. Lord Krishna the lover with his beloved Shri Radha and gopis on the celestial banks of the Yamuna, amidst dense nikunjas, in the light of the full moon commenced the rapturous dance, holding hands to complete a circle. Tungavidya Sakhi is a graceful dancer. Amidst the idyllic environs and showering merriment the tempo grew faster and faster.


Krishna duplicated himself through his maya so that between two gopis was found a Krishna, sporting with them in the magical dance of the Raas Mandala. The gopis lost in their passionate desire for Krishna, delicately stepping to and fro, ringing bracelets, moving kundals, evocative clothes; the Lord welcomed them with a charming smile. The Raas brings to halt the course of the moon and the planets which filled with wonder watch the beauty of the sensuous dance.


These gopis are the best of dancers. Musicians, they are expert at playing the mridanga and singing in recital halls. The gopis are particularly engaged in fetching water from the streams in Vrindavana and Tungavidya is their leader.


Eight messengers headed by Manjumedha-devi are especially adept at arranging political alliances (sandhi) the first of diplomatic manouvres in the art of politics between Radha and Krishna.


Loving Sri Krishna intensely, Tungavidya is eagerly desirous for his prema or love.


Sakhi Giri:

The site is located in Varsana. Enraptured by Shri Krishna?s numerous virutes, the Braj Gopikas and Tungavidya have been amused by his winsome manners faming this site as Sakhigiri in the Braj region. Shri Krishna's madhurya or loving tenderness intoxicates idyllic and sensuous nature and thus it is but natural that it captivates the innocent gopikas. They long for a glimpse of him wandering in the nikunjas, on banks of streams, at wells and wherever possible.


Overwhelmed by their selfless love, The Lord is forever hungry for romantic dalliances with them. The landscape provides a perfect setting for their romantic interludes where Lord Krishna is the focus of the ardour of the gopis whose passions he arouses. The divine Krishna, ineffably beautiful has been worshipped over the centuries and is celebrated even today amongst the caverns of the mount.


She exhibits the vipralabdhavta bhava (unhappy because her lover fails to keep his appointment with her.) Her mood is daksina-prakhara. In Gaura-lila she appears as Sri Vakresvara Pandita.


Some of the sakhis in Tungavidya's yutha are Manjumedha, Sumadhura, Sumadhya, Madhureksana, Tanu madhya, Madhusyanda, Gunacuda and Varangada.


Indulekha Sakhi



On the southeastern petal of Madana-sukhada Kunja lies the golden-colored Purnendu Kunja, where Sri Indulekha, the sixth of the varistha gopis lives. She is three days younger than Sri Radharani. Her age is 14 years, 2 months and 10 1/2 days.


She has a tan complexion and wears garments the color of a pomegranate flower.


Her father is Sagara and Vela-devi is her mother. Durbala is her husband. She belongs to the village of Anjnauk and her home is in Yavat.


Anjnauk (Anjan Van):

The village is located in Varsana. The sound of Lord Krishna's flute which is the breath of their love; drew Shri Radha and her sakhis and they headed to this forest. Making Shri Radha sit on the front boulder, he absorbed her ravishing beauty. Seeing her eyes not darkened enough, he applied collyrium and purposely smeared it right upto the eyebrows. Soon after with a mirror he went upto her and holding her hand, wiped it neatly to make up for his error.


He repeated this incidence several times which led to an unprecedented dalliance. The sakhis and Indulekha Sakhi planned to shower them with flowers and after plucking them delighted in their romantic escapade. Renowned as Anjnauk (Anjan Van) it recounts those pleasurable efforts.


Sakhi Indulekha is contrary and hot-tempered by nature. She is adept in the science of the naga-sastra or various methods of charming snakes. She is also learned in the arts of palmistry and gemology. A trove of virtues, Indulekha has expertise in stringing wonderful necklaces, decorating the teeth with red substances and weaving various kinds of cloth.


The love-messenger, she carries messages causing Radha and Krishna to be attracted to each other, aware of Radha and Krishna's confidential secrets.


Vilas Garh:

The site is in Varsana. As Shri Radha and Lord Krishna's sole purpose is to engage in a loving exchange the gopis, considered the kaya-vyuha (replications) of Shri Radha. Indulekha Sakhi assists them in the love-play in these isolated nikunjas. Shri Radha feels her love for Krishna can always expand to greater heights and therefore manifests herself as the many gopis of Braj. Though Shri-Radha Krishna meet daily, their longing and yearning always desires more of their union.


Once all of a sudden, Shri Krishna with his beloved Shri Radha came to this isolated bower where the pathos of their longing and the pleasure of belonging converged.? When the Braj Gopikas came by they saw the duo's dishevelled appearance, ruffled hair, loose necklaces, clothes out of place, musky spots on their bodies and faces awash with langour. Situated on Mount Vishnu the site recounts their passionate love.


Indulekha's neighbours and friends are gopis headed by Tungabhadra-devi. Among these gopis is a group, headed by Palindhika-devi, who acts as messengers for the divine couple.


Some of her friends provide ornaments for Sri Radha-Krishna, others get exquisite garments and some others guard the divine couple's treasury. Indulekha-devi is the leader of all gopis engaged in these services rendered in Vrindavana.


She has a deep love for Sri Krishna and often serves Him nectar-like delicious meals. Possessing the prosita-bhartrika-bhava (one whose lover has gone away), she is vama-prakhara and her principal seva is fanning with a camara.


In Sri Indulekha's yutha the chief gopis are Tungabhadra, Citralekha, Surangi, Rangavatika, Mangala, Suvicitrangi, Modini and Madana.


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