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New Brahmakund, Stockholm, Sweden
4 September 2003

Concerning Some of the Dearmost Servants of Sri Radha

(continued from yesterday)


Since she is Sudevi's twin sister, older by a half-day, Rangadevi-sakhi has the same father (Rangasara Gopa) and mother (Karuna Gopi).Her age in relation to Srimati Radharani is likewise the same. The name of Rangadevi's husband is Vakresana. Her complexion is identical to her sister's, padma-kinjalka, light yellowish-red like a lotus-filament. Rangadevi dresses the same as Sudevi too, in cloth that is bright red like java-kusuma (the hibiscus flower). Her kunja or grove is to the southwest of Sri Radha-kunda. It is called Rangadevi-sukhada. Its color is blackish (syama). Her main service to the Divine Couple is to apply sandalwood paste (candana-seva). Rangadevi's mood is called utkanthita, like that of a heroine who waits anxiously for her beloved to arrive, who glances repeatedly down the path in search of him. Her temperament is vama-madhya, moderately contrary. Rangadevi's maidservant is Kausturi-manjari. She has eight girlfriends. Their names are Kalakanthi, Sasi-kala, Kamala, Prema-manjari, Madhavi, Madhura, Kamalati, and Kandarpa-sundari. These gopis control the lions and deer of the forest.

The firm religious nature of her father is very evident in Rangadevi. She is an ocean of enchanting feminine gestures, poses, and glances. She enjoys joking with Sri Radha in the presence of Lord Krsna. An expert in diplomacy, Rangadevi is also an excellent logician. She knows a mantra that attracts Krsna. The gopis who prepare cosmetics, perfumes and incense are headed by Rangadevi. Like her sister she is skilled in starting fires in the winter. In the summer she takes charge of waving fans for the Divine Couple. Rangadevi is described as campaka-latadhi-gunam, meaning that she shares many of the qualities of another member of the asta-sakhis, namely Campakalata. Some say Rangadevi is Govindananda Ghosa in Gaura-lila, others say she is Gadadhara Bhatta.


Her mother is Vatika and her father is Arama. Campakalata is married to Candraksa. Her skin is the color of the campaka flower, yellow-white. She wears cloth that is brown like the wing of a sparrow (cataka), or blue like the wing of a bluebird. To the south of Sri Radhakunda is Campakalata's grove called Kama-lata (Cupid's vine), which is tapta-jambunada, the color of molten gold. She serves the Divine Couple in two ways, camara-calanam, waving the camara, and ratna-mala-dana, offering Them jewelled necklaces. She is one day younger than Srimati Radharani. Her mood is vasaka-sajja, that of a heroine who decorates herself and waits for her beloved to arrive. Like Rangadevi, Campakalata's temperament is vama-madhya. Her favorite musical instrument is the sarangi. Her maidservant is Guna-manjari. She has eight friends: Kurangaksi, Suracita, Mandali, Mani-mandana, Candhika, Candra-lati, Kandukaksi, and Sumandira.

Her father knows many arts, and Campakalata is skilled in all of them. She is very good at gambling and dice. Rival gopis are scared to come near her because she weaves a web of tricky words that thwarts them from their purpose. Campakalata knows how to search out wonderful fruits, roots and flowers in the forest, and she is the protectress of the trees that bear such gifts. She is an excellent potter. A walking gourmet cookbook, she is knowledgable in six kinds of fine cookery. Her nickname is misti-hasta (Sweethands) because Campakalata is so good in making sweets enjoyed by the Divine Couple. There is a kitchen in her grove that is famous all throughout Vraja-dhama. Very secretive, she acts as a courier of messages and is never detected by opponents. Sivananda Sena is her identity in Gaura-lila. Some say she is Raghava Goswami (he too is an expert cook). About Campakalata it is said, sarvam gunams tulayitum dadhatim visakham: "her good qualities are comparable in all ways to Viskakha's."

(to be continued...)

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