One day, Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha took bath in Indradyumna Sarovara, and upon returning to their residence, they honored prasada together. Vrajanatha then set off to have darsana of Sri Haridasa Thakura’s samadhi, while Vijaya Kumara came before the lotus feet of his Gurudeva at Sri Radha-Kanta Matha. When he saw that the time was appropriate, he posed some questions about Srimati Radhika: “Prabhu, Sri Vrsabhanunandini is our be-all and end-all and our very life’s breath. I cannot express it. I do not know why my heart melts when I just hear the name of Sri Radhika. Although Sri Krsna is our only refuge, still I only like to taste the playful pastimes that He performs with Sri Radhika. My mind does not want to hear any krsna-katha that does not mention Srimati Radhika’s name or discuss Her pastimes.  What can I say? Now I am not at all pleased to introduce myself as Vijaya Kumara Bhattacarya. I am overjoyed to call myself Sri Radhika’s palya-dasi. Another surprising thing is that I have no desire to speak vraja-lila-katha to those who are krsna-bahirmukha (reluctant to serve Krsna). I want to get up and flee from any assembly where those who are not rasika describe the glories of Sri Radha-Krsna.”

Gosvami: You are fortunate! As long as one does not have complete conviction in being a vraja-ramani, he is not qualified to enter into the descriptions of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna’s lila-vilasa. What to speak of those in male forms, even a devi has no eligibility for Radha-Krsna katha.

     I have already discussed Krsna’s beloved consorts with you.  Radha and Candravali are the foremost amongst them, and they both have millions of yuthas of fresh adolescent gopis. At the time of the maha-rasa hundreds of millions of charming young gopis took part in the rasa-mandala and expanded its beauty. 

Vijaya: Prabhu, let Candravali have her millions of yuthas, but please show mercy to me and tell me about Srimati Radhika’s glories, so that my contaminated ears may be purified and filled with rasa. I have taken full shelter of you.

Gosvami: Aha Vijaya, of Radha and Candravali, Sri Radhaji is mahabhava-svarupa (the complete embodiment of the highest love), and She therefore excels Candravali in all qualities, and in all matters. Look, in the Tapani sruti, She has been called Gandharva.  In the Rk-parisista (supplement to the Rg Veda), there is a description of the immense brilliance of Madhava when He is with Radha.  In the Padma Purana, Naradaji has also said, “Just as Srimati Radhika is the most beloved of Krsna, similarly Her kunda is also equally dear to Him. Of all the gopis, Sri Radharani is the most dear to Krsna.” What an unprecedented and astonishing tattva this radha-tattva is! Among all the various saktis of Bhagavan, the supermost maha-sakti is called hladini. Radhika is mahabhavasvarupa, the embodiment of the condensed essence of that hladini.  Vijaya: What an exceptional tattva! Now please describe Sri Radha’s svarupa.

Gosvami: In all respects Srimati Radha is the most beautiful of all Sri Krsna’s beloved consorts (susthu-kanta-svarupa), and She is adorned with sixteen srngara (decorations) and twelve abharana (ornaments).

Vijaya: What is the meaning of susthu-kanta-svarupa?

Gosvami: Sri Radha’s svarupa is so beautiful that there is no necessity of decorative embellishments. Her unparalleled lovelinessis expanded by Her hair, which is a mass of elegant curls, by Her lotus face, by Her large, restless eyes, and by Her beautiful breasts.  The extraordinary beauty of Her svarupa is increased many times over by Her slender waist, by Her two exquisite shoulders that are slightly lowered, and by Her flower-bud hands, which are embellished by the jewels of Her finger nails. There is no comparison to Her beauty in all the three worlds.

Vijaya: What are the sixteen srngaras?

Gosvami: Her sixteen srngaras are Her bath, the radiance of the jewel decorating the tip of Her nose, Her blue garments, the belt about Her waist, Her braid, Her earrings, the sandalwood paste smeared on Her limbs, the arrangement of flowers in Her hair, Her garland, the lila-kamala (play-lotus) in Her hand, the tambula in Her mouth, the dot of kasturi on Her chin, the kajala around Her eyes, the pictures drawn in mrgamada (musk) on Her rosy cheeks, the red lac on Her feet, and the tilaka on Her forehead. Srimati Radhika is always beautified by these types of decoration.  Vijaya: What are the twelve abharanas?

Gosvami: The twelve abharanas that decorate Sri Radha’s limbs are the exceptionally brilliant jewelled tiara upon Her head, Her golden earrings, the golden belt upon Her hips, the golden necklace, the valli and golden salaka on Her ears, the bracelets on Her wrists, the ornament on Her neck, the rings on Her fingers, Her pearl necklace, Her armlets, the jewelled ankle bells on Her feet, and the rings on Her toes.

Vijaya: Please show compassion to me by describing Sri Radha’s prominent qualities.

Gosvami: Like Sri Krsna, Srimati Radha also has innumerable qualities, among which twenty-five are prominent.

      1. She is sweet (madhura), that is, She is incomparably beautiful in appearance.

      2. She is an ever-fresh youth.

      3. Her eyes are restless and inclined to give sidelong glances.

      4. She has a radiant, gentle and sweet smile.

      5. She has beautiful lines, indicating auspiciousness.

      6. She maddens Krsna with the fragrance of Her bodily limbs.

      7. She is expert in the musical arts.

      8. She speaks sweetly.

      9. She is expert in making jokes.

      10.She is very polite and modest.

      11.She is merciful

      12.She is cunning.

      13.She is expert in all duties.

      14.She is shy.

      15.She is always steadfast on the path of righteous conduct.

      16.She is patient.

      17.She is grave, so that it is very difficult to understand the import of Her mind.

      18.She is fond of enjoying pastimes.

      19.She is acutely eager to manifest the supermost excellence of mahabhava.

      20.When the residents of Gokula see Her, their hearts immediately overflow with prema.

      21.Her fame pervades the entire universe.

      22.She is the object of affection for Her superiors (guru-jana).

      23.She is controlled by the intense love (pranaya) of Her sakhis.

      24.She is prominent among all Krsna’s sakhis.

      25.Kesava always remains submissive to Her orders.

Vijaya: I want to know in detail about the elegant lines that indicate Her immense good fortune.

Gosvami: According to the Varaha-samhita, Jyotisa-sastra, Kasikhanda, and the Puranas such as the Matsya Purana and Garuda Purana, these are the auspicious signs on Her left foot: 1) There is a barleycorn at the base of Her big toe, 2) below that is a cakra. 3) Below the middle toe is a lotus flower, and 4) below the lotus is a banner, and 5) a flag. 6) There is a line curving up from the middle of the sole to the right side of the middle toe. 7) Below Her little toe is an elephant-goad.

     The signs on Her right foot are as follows. 1) At the root of Her big toe is a conch-shell, 2) on Her heel is a fish, and 3) below Her little toe is an altar. Above the fish are 4) a chariot, 5) a mountain, 6) an earring, 7) a club, and 8) the mark of a sakti. 

     On Her left hand, 1) a long-life line extends from the point where the index finger and the middle finger meet, to below the little finger. 2) Another line begins from below the long life-line, and extends to the place between the index-finger and the thumb. 3) Below the thumb, a curved line extends from the wrist to the space between the thumb and index-finger to meet with the middle line.  4-8) On the tip of Her thumb and each of Her fingers is a cakra. The three lines plus the five cakras makes eight signs all together.  9) Then, below the ring-finger is an elephant, 10) below the lifeline is a horse, 11) below the middle line is a bull, and below the little finger are 12) an elephant goad, 13) a fan, 14) a Sri tree, 15) a victory-column, 16) an arrow, 17) a javelin, and 18) a garland. 

     On the right hand, just as on the left, there are three lines beginning with the life-line. In addition, there is a conch-shell on the tip of Her thumb and each of Her fingers. That makes eight signs altogether. 9) Below the index finger is a camara, and 10) below the little finger are an elephant goad, 11) a palace, 12) a dundubhi drum, 13) a lightning bolt, 14) two carts, 15) an archer’s bow, 16) a sword, and 17) a waterpot.

Since there are seven signs on the left foot, eight on the right, eighteen on the left hand and seventeen on the right, altogether there are fifty auspicious signs indicating supreme fortune.

Vijaya: Are these symptoms not possible in others?

Gosvami: These qualities are present in the jivas to a very slight degree, and somewhat more in the devis, but they are all fully manifest in Sri Radhika. All of Sri Radhika’s qualities are aprakrta (transcendental), because these qualities are not present purely and completely in anybody in the mundane world, even in goddesses such as Gauri.

Vijaya: Aha! Srimati Radhika’s virtues are inconceivable. One can realize them only by Her mercy.

Gosvami: How can I express Her glories? What is there to compare with the beauty and qualities that perpetually bewilder even Krsna Himself?

Vijaya: Prabhu, please describe Srimati Radhika’s sakhis. 

Gosvami: Srimati Radhika’s yutha is the best of all. Every young gopi in that group is adorned with all transcendental virtues. They directly attract even Krsna with their qualities, playful glances and gestures.

Vijaya: How many types of sakhis does Srimati Radhika have?

Gosvami: There are five types: 1) sakhi, 2) nitya-sakhi, 3) prana-sakhi, 4)   priya-sakhi, and 5) parama-prestha-sakhi.

Vijaya: Who are the sakhis?

Gosvami: The sakhis include Kusumika, Vrnda and Dhanistha.

Vijaya: Who are the nitya-sakhis?

Gosvami: Kasturi, Mani-manjari and others are nitya-sakhis.

Vijaya: Who are the prana-sakhis?

Gosvami: The prana-sakhis include Sasimukhi, Vasanti, and Lasika.  They have attained forms and qualities similar to those of Vrndavanesvari, Srimati Radhika.

Vijaya: Who are the priya-sakhis?

Gosvami: Kurangaksi, Sumadhya, Madanalasa, Kamala, Madhuri, Manjukesi, Kandarpa-sundari, Madhavi, Malati, Kama-lata, Sasikala, and many others are priya-sakhis.

Vijaya: Who are the parama-prestha-sakhis?

Gosvami: Lalita, Visakha, Citra, Campaka-lata, Tunga-vidya, Indu-lekha, Rangadevi, Sudevi – these eight are pradhana and parama-prestha-sakhis. Their prema for Radha-Krsna is developed

to the highest degree. They please Radha and Krsna by sometimes showing more love for Krsna, and sometimes showing more for Radha.

Vijaya: I have understood the meaning of yutha. Now please tell me about gana.

Gosvami: In every yutha, there are several further divisions, which are called gana. For example in the yutha of Srimati Radhika, the sakhis who follow Lalita are known as Lalita gana. 

Vijaya: The parodha-bhava (paramour mood) of the gopis of Vraja is a very important characteristic. But in what circumstances does parodha-bhava not indicate a desirable state?

Gosvami: In this mundane world, all femininity and masculinity is only a designation. According to the result of peoples’ karma (activities) under the influence of illusion, one is now a woman and another a man. People in maya have many petty and adharmika desires, so the rsis have forbidden a man to associate with any woman except the one to whom he is married according to the injunctions of sastra. Poets and authors of mundane alankara have also rejected the paramour mood, in order to make others understand that this instruction of the rsis is compatible with dharma.  The rasa of the transcendental pastimes is nitya-rasa, whereas the srngara-rasa of males and females who are products of the material energy is merely its perverted reflection. The mundane display of srngara-rasa is extremely limited and subject to regulative principles, and that is why the parodha-bhava of the insignificant mundane nayikas has been rejected. However, Sri Krsna is sac-cidananda, so when He is the only purusa or nayaka, whatever meeting takes place with a paramour in order to nourish rasa is not subject to criticism. In this tattva, there is no place for conventional marriage, which is an extremely insignificant, illusory designation.  The criticism of paramours is proper in worldly literature, but it cannot be applied to the young maidens of Gokula when Goloka-bihari manifests both His supreme parakiya-rasa and Goloka in this world.

Vijaya: Please tell me what are the excellent characteristics that are exhibited by the young gopis of Gokula due to their krsna-prema? 

Gosvami: The cowherd damsels of Gokula accept Krsna only to be Nanda Maharaja’s son, since He appears to be that and nothing more. The bhavas and characteristics that arise from this conviction are not a subject matter for abhaktas (non-devotees), who are addicted to logic, and they are rarely understood even by bhaktas.  Sri Nandanandana is not lacking in aisvarya-bhava, but it remains practically hidden, because madhurya is always in the ascendant. For example, when the gopis were afflicted with feelings of separation from Krsna, He played a joke by hiding His two-armed form from them and manifesting a four-armed form, but they did not pay attention to it. Then, as soon as He came before Sri Radhikaji, the four-armed form disappeared and His two-armed form became manifest again. This is the result of Sri Radha’s extremely confidential parakiya-bhava.

Vijaya: I have become so fortunate by hearing this. Prabhu, now please describe the different types of nayika.

Gosvami: There are three types of nayikas, namely svakiya, parakiya and samanya. I have already described the transcendental rasa of the svakiya and parakiya-nayikas, and now I will explain about the samanya-nayika. Panditas of mundane alankara (rhetoric) have ascertained that samanya-nayikas are prostitutes. They are simply avaricious. They do not hate the nayaka who has no good qualities, and they do not really love the virtuous nayaka. They only love money. Consequently, their srngara-rasa is not actually srngara-rasa, but only a semblance. Nonetheless, the maidservant Kubja of Mathura is included in the category of parakiya as a samanya-nayika because of some qualification in her bhava, even though her relationship with Krsna lacks srngara rasa. 

Vijaya: What is her qualification in bhava?

Gosvami: Kubja never had rati for anyone as long as she was deformed, but when she saw Krsna’s beauty, the desire arose in her heart to anoint Krsna’s limbs with sandal-paste in the mood of a beloved. For this reason she can be called parakiya. However, her rati is inferior to that of the mahisis because, unlike the queens of Dvaraka, she showed little desire to make Krsna happy. She tugged at Krsna’s upper garment and fervently beseeched Him to enjoy with her, but because of self-interest or because the desire for her own pleasure was mixed with the bhava of a beloved, her rati is considered sadharani (ordinary).

Vijaya: In cid-rasa there is a distinction between svakiya and parakiya-nayikas. If there are any more distinct categories within these two, then please be merciful and describe them. 

Gosvami: In the spiritual rasa, both kinds of nayika – namely svakiya and parakiya – have three divisions: mugdha, madhya and pragalbha. 

Vijaya: Prabhu, just now by your mercy, cid-rasa entered for a moment within my heart, and you appeared to me as a vraja-gopi. I have no idea what became of my illusory purusa-bhava (male mood).  Now I am becoming increasingly eager to know about the various bhavas of the nayikas. Although I have attained ramani-bhava, I do not know the appropriate activities of the ramanis. Thus remembering your transcendental form, I am inquiring at your lotus feet about the process of rendering krsna-seva. Now please tell me, who is the mugdha nayika (innocent heroine)?

Gosvami: These are the symptoms of the bewildered and innocent nayika, who has newly discovered her youthfulness (nava-yauvana): She desires union with Krsna (kamini), but in loving affairs she acts in a contrary way. Her friends control her. Although she is extremely shy in the intimate activities of sensual love, still she tries her best to arrange for sambhoga with her lover in a covered way, hiding from the view of others. When the nayaka commits an offense, she gazes at Him with tearful eyes, and neither responds with endearing words, nor rebukes Him; she does not even show jealous anger.

Vijaya: What are the characteristics of the madhya nayika?

Gosvami: These are the symptoms of the madhya: Her impulse for passionate love is very strong, but she is also shy. She is a fresh budding youth (nava-yauvana), and in her speech there is a touch of arrogance. She experiences erotic union with Krsna until she becomes bewildered and faints. When she is in mana, she is sometimes soft and sometimes harsh. There are three categories of madhya nayika, according to their behavior when mana arises: dhira, adhira and dhiradhira. The nayika who jokingly speaks crooked words with her beloved after He has offended her is called dhira madhya; the nayika who furiously rebukes her priya-vallabha with harsh words is called adhira madhya; and the nayika who tearfully uses crooked words against her priya-vallabha is called dhiradhira madhya.  The supreme excellence of all rasa is evident only in the madhya nayika, because of the mixture of mugdha and pragalbha in her nature.

Vijaya: Kindly describe the symptoms and nature of the pragalbha (impudent) nayika.

Gosvami: The pragalbha nayika is in full-blown youth (purnayauvana).  She is blinded by pride and extremely eager for sensual love. She is expert in fully expressing a variety of bhavas, and she is qualified to overwhelm her lover with prema-rasa. Her words and deeds are extremely profound (gambhira) and mature, and when her mana is aroused, her behavior is very harsh. Pragalbha nayikas display three types of behavior at the time of mana: dhira, adhira and dhiradhira. The dhira pragalbha either becomes apathetic in amorous pastimes, or else she treats her beloved with extreme respect outwardly, while hiding her real bhavas. The adhira pragalbha becomes harsh, threatens and scolds her lover, and punishes Him with loud abuse. The dhiradhira pragalbha has virtues like those of the dhiradhira madhya nayika. Madhya and pragalbha nayikas are both divided into two further categories, namely jyestha (senior) and kanistha (junior). Thus, there are jyestha–madhya and kanistha-madhya, jyestha-pragalbha and kanistha-pragalbha. The distinction between jyestha and kanistha depends entirely on the degree of the nayika’s pranaya for her lover. 

Vijaya: Prabhu, how many types of nayika are there altogether? 

Gosvami: There are fifteen types of nayika. There is only one type of kanya (unmarried nayika), because they are only mugdha. The other nayikas are classified as mugdha, madhya and pragalbha; and of these, the madhya and pragalbha are both sub-divided into three further categories: dhira, adhira and dhiradhira. This means that there are seven types of svakiya nayika, and also seven types of parakiya-nayika, so altogether there are (7+ 7+1) = 15 types of nayika.  Vijaya: How many avasthas (conditions or situations) do the nayikas have?

Gosvami: There are eight avasthas: abhisarika (trysting), vasakasajja (prepared and perfumed), utkanthita (impatiently hankering), khandita (jealous), vipralabdha (disappointed), kalahantarita (anguished due to separation by quarrel), prosita-bhartrka (separation from the beloved) and svadhina-bhartrka (contols her lover). These eight conditions occur in the fifteen types of nayika that I have already mentioned.

Vijaya: Who is the abhisarika?

Gosvami: The abhisarika arranges a tryst (abhisara) with her lover at an appointed place, and goes there to rendezvous with Him. The jyotsna-abhisarika goes for abhisara dressed in white garments during the bright fortnight of the moon (sukla-paksa), and the tamo ‘bhisarika dresses herself in black clothes during krsna-paksa (the dark fortnight). At the time of going for abhisara, she is absolutely silent and gorgeously decorated from head to toe, as if out of shyness.  She contracts Her bodily limbs, and she is accompanied by one affectionate sakhi.

Vijaya: Please tell me about the vasaka-sajja nayika. 

Gosvami: The vasaka-sajja nayika ornaments and perfumes her body and prepares and decorates the place of meeting in eager anticipation of her lover’s arrival, determined to engage in smara-krida (the games of Kamadeva). Hoping that her lover will come when He gets the opportunity, she gazes down the path along which her lover will approach, glorifies her lover, and hears His lila-katha in the company of her sakhis, and at every moment eagerly waits for a messenger to bring news of her lover – all these are the activities of the vasaka-sajja.

Vijaya: Please describe the utkanthita.

Gosvami: When the nayaka is late for the rendezvous through no fault of His own, the restless nayika who becomes excessively impatient and eager to meet her lover is called utkanthita. Her heart burns in agony, her body trembles, she speculates as to why her lover has not come, she loses all desire to do anything, and she describes her own sorry plight, shedding tears of lamentation –these are the activities of the utkanthita nayika.

     The condition of vasaka-sajja also ultimately transforms into that of utkanthita. When the vasaka-sajja has been waiting since the arranged time of her kanta’s arrival, and sees that He has not come, she changes her mind and thinks, “Perhaps He could not come because of the influence of another nayika.” Bereft of the company of her most beloved kanta, she grows excessively eager and restless. She is then called utkanthita nayika.

Vijaya: Who is the khandita nayika?

Gosvami: The khandita nayika is one whose nayaka finally appears long after the appointed time for meeting, during the last prahara (3 hours) of the night, bearing the signs of amorous pastimes with another nayika. At that time, the khandita nayika takes very long, drawnout breaths due to anger, and does not speak a word to her beloved. 

Vijaya: Who is called vipralabdha?

Gosvami: Sometimes, by the will of providence, the nayaka is unable to come for one reason or another, even after fixing the time and place of the tryst by a signal or hint. The nayika who is severely afflicted by pangs of separation from her beloved at that time is called vipralabdha. She shows many different types of behavior, such as decrying her own worthlessness, becoming anxious, lamenting, weeping bitterly, sighing deeply, and fainting.

Vijaya: What are the symptoms of a kalahantarita? 

Gosvami: The kalahantarita nayika severely reprimands her pranavallabha, and then spurns Him, even after He falls at her feet before all of her friends. She is called kalahantarita because of her activities and emotions, such as delirious, incoherent speech; anguish; debility of body and mind; and taking long, drawn-out breaths. 

Vijaya: Who is called prosita-bhartrka?

Gosvami: The prosita-bhartrka nayika’s lover has gone to a distant land. She has many activities including melancholy, inertia, anxiety, and not sleeping, dressing or bathing herself.

Vijaya: Who is svadhina-bhartrka?

Gosvami: The nayika whose priyatama is submissive to her and who always stays with her is called svadhina-bhartrka. She has many activities, such as enjoying pastimes with Him in the forest, playing in the water with Him, and picking flowers.

Vijaya: So the condition of svadhina-bhartrka must be the source of immense joy.

Gosvami: The svadhina-bhartrka nayika whose beloved cannot leave her for even a moment because of being controlled by her prema is called madhavi. Among the eight types of nayika, three – the svadhina-bhartrka, vasaka-sajja and abhisarika – are cheerful at heart, and adorned with ornaments and other decorations. The remaining five nayikas – namely khandita, vipralabdha, utkanthita, prositabhartrka and kalahantarita – do not have any ornaments and finery.  Their hearts are afflicted with anxiety, and they lament bitterly, resting their left cheek on their left hand.

Vijaya: How can such suffering exist in krsna-prema? What is the meaning of this affliction?

Gosvami: Since krsna-prema is cinmaya (transcendental), this apparent suffering is also only another astonishing variety of paramananda. The affliction experienced in the material world is actually a source of acute distress, whereas in the cit-jagat it is simply a transformation of ecstatic ananda. When one tastes this suffering, it gives rise to the immense happiness of cinmaya-rasa.  However, this cannot be expressed by words.

Vijaya: What are the degrees of prema that these nayikas possess? 

Gosvami: The nayikas have been divided into three categories –uttama, madhyama, and kanistha – according to their degree of prema for Vrajendranandana. Krsna feels bhava for any particular nayika to the degree that that nayika feels bhava for Him. 

Vijaya: What are the symptoms of uttama?

Gosvami: The uttama nayika can abandon all her dharmas as if they were an insignificant piece of straw for the sake of giving her beloved just a moment’s happiness. Even if the nayaka makes this type of nayika unhappy, she does not become jealous; and her heart is torn asunder if anyone tells her that her beloved is unhappy, even if it is not true.

Vijaya: Please describe the symptoms of the madhyama. 

Gosvami: Her heart simply becomes dejected when she hears about the unhappiness of her beloved.

Vijaya: What are the symptoms of the kanistha?

Gosvami: The kanistha nayika is fearful of obstacles – such as the shame arising from public opinion – that might prevent her from meeting Krsna.

Vijaya: How many types of nayika are there altogether?  

Gosvami: Altogether, there are 360 types of nayika. First, there are the fifteen types that I mentioned before, and these fifteen types have been further divided into eight types each. (15 x 8) = 120 types, and each of these is again classified as kanistha, madhyama, and uttama. (120 x 3) = 360 types of nayika.

Vijaya: Now that I have heard an account of the nayikas, I have become eager to know about the mutual distinctions between the yuthesvaris. Please be causelessly merciful and explain this to me.  Gosvami: Yuthesvaris are divided into svapaksa, vipaksa and tatastha. After that, there are three more divisions, according to the degree of saubhagya (good fortune): adhika (great), sama (moderate) and laghvi (light). These are again divided into three further categories: prakhara (harsh), madhya (moderate) and mrdvi (soft). The nayika who boldly expresses her sorrow and anger in words is called prakhara. The mrdvi nayika speaks sweetly, and the nature of the madhya nayika is situated between these two.

     The adhika nayikas are divided into two sections, namely atyantiki (extreme) and apeksiki (comparative). One who has no superior and no equal is called atyantika-adhika. This applies only to Srimati Radha. She is madhya and She has no equal in Vraja. 

Vijaya: Who are the apeksika-adhikas?

Gosvami: Apeksika-adhika nayikas are yuthesvaris who are superior to one or several other yuthesvaris.

Vijaya: Who are atyantiki laghu?

Gosvami: Atyantiki laghu is the nayika to whom all other nayikas are superior. All nayikas are laghu compared to atyantiki adhika.  Except for the atyantiki laghu, all yuthesvaris are adhika. Thus, there is no question of the atyantiki-adhika-yuthesvari being equal or inferior to anyone else, and similarly, there is no question of the atyantiki-laghu being superior to anyone else. There is only one type of sama-laghu. The madhya yuthesvari is of nine types arising from the categories of adhika, prakhara and so on.

     Therefore, there are twelve divisions among the yuthesvaris:1)  atyantiki-adhika, 2) sama-laghu, 3) adhika-madhya, 4) sama-madhya, 5) laghumadhya, 6) adhika-prakhara, 7) sama-prakhara, 8) laghuprakhara, 9) adhika-mrdvi,  10) sama-mrdvi, 11) laghu-mrdvi, and 12) atyantiki-laghu.


Vijaya: Now I would like to know about the different types of dutis (messengers).

Gosvami: The nayikas who are afflicted with an intense hankering to meet with Krsna require the help of messengers (dutis), who are of two kinds: svayam-duti and apta-duti.

Vijaya: What is the nature of the svayam-duti?

Gosvami: When the nayika is bewildered by anuraga (deep attachment), her excessive eagerness sometimes vanquishes her shyness, so that she becomes shameless, and personally expresses her bhava to her nayaka. This is called svayam-duti. The expression can be of three kinds – with the body (kayika-abhiyoga), in words (vacikaabhiyoga), and with the eyes (caksusa-abhiyoga).

Vijaya: What is a vacika-abhiyoga?

Gosvami: Vacika-abhiyoga is only a hint or suggestion (vyanga).  There are two types of suggestion: the suggestion through intonation (sabda-vyanga), and the suggestion in the meaning (arthavyanga).  Sometimes the suggestion is made by referring to Krsna, and sometimes by referring to something nearby.

Vijaya: What are the suggestions of which Krsna is the subject?

Gosvami: There are two types of suggestions of which Krsna is the


Gosvämé: There are two types of suggestions of which Kåñëa is the

subject: säkñät (direct) and vyapadeça (by deceit).

Vijaya: What is a suggestion expressed through an accusation (aksepa)?

Gosvami: One type of suggestion expressed through an accusation is based on the sound of the words, and another on the meaning.  There is no necessity of giving examples to illustrate this, because you are conversant with alankara (rhetoric).

Vijaya: Very well. What is a suggestion expressed by begging (yanca)?

Gosvami: The suggestions expressed as begging are divided into two types: svartha and parartha. Svartha-yanca means to express only one’s own request, and parartha-yanca means that one’s request is expressed by someone else. Within these two categories, there are distinct suggestions either through intonation (sabda-vyanga) or through meaning (artha-vyanga). When the bhava is mixed in with the words, it is known as an indication (sanketika-yanca).

 Vijaya: I have understood the saksat-vyanga. In those direct abhiyoga statements in the speech of the nayikas to Krsna, there are suggestions in intonation (sabda-vyanga) and suggestions in meaning (artha-vyanga). Their use is seen in drama and other theatrical performances, and poets have manifested them through their oratory genius. Now kindly explain the meaning of vyapadesa. 

Gosvami: The word vyapadesa is a technical term derived from the word apadesa in alankara-sastra. Vyapadesa means ‘by deceit’, that is, one expresses a confidential meaning on the pretext of saying something else. The purport is that one speaks to Krsna in such a way that the obvious meaning conveys one idea, but there is a hidden entreaty to render some service. This method of communication is called vyapadesa, and it performs the work of a duti. 

Vijaya: So, vyapadesa is a kind of deceptive statement, whose secret meaning expresses the sense of begging for loving service. Now kindly continue.

Gosvami: There is a type of expression called purusa–visaya-gataviyoga.  This occurs when one thinks, “Krsna is present, and although He is hearing, He is not really hearing,” and begins to converse with a nearby animal or bird. This is also divided into two types: the suggestion arising from the sound of the words, and the suggestion arising from the meaning of the words. 

Vijaya: I have understood this by your mercy. Now, please tell me what the bodily suggestions are.

Gosvami: Bodily abhiyoga is performing activities in Krsna’s presence, such as snapping one’s fingers, standing up suddenly on some pretext, covering one’s limbs out of fear and shyness, writing on the ground with one’s toe, scratching one’s ear, applying tilaka, dressing oneself, gesturing with one’s eyebrows, embracing one’s sakhi, scolding one’s gopi friend, biting one’s lips, stringing a necklace, making a sound with one’s ornaments, exposing one’s armpit, writing Krsna’s name, and twining creepers around a tree.

Vijaya: Please tell me about suggestions with the eyes (caksusaabhiyoga). 

Gosvami: Laughing with the eyes, half-closing the eyes, making dancing movements with the eyes, ogling, squinting, looking with the left eye, and sidelong glancing – these are all suggestions with the eyes.

Vijaya: I have understood svayam-duti. You have just given a hint to convey some idea about these messengers, and I have understood that they are of innumerable varieties. Now, please tell me about apta-duti.

Gosvami: These dutis never commit a breach of confidence, or disclose the secrets to which they are privy, even if their life-airs are about to depart. They are affectionate and extremely cunning in the art of conversation. Only those youthful gopis who are endowed with all virtues are the dutis of the vraja-sundaris. 

Vijaya: How many types of apta-duti are there?

Gosvami: There are three types: amitartha, nisrstartha and patrahari.  Amitartha is a duti who understands certain hints or signals, and then arranges for the nayaka and nayika to meet. Nisrstartha is a sakhi who causes the meeting of the lover and beloved by employing persuasive arguments and reasoning, and the patra-hari is one who only delivers a message.

Vijaya: Are there any other kinds of apta-duti?

Gosvami: Silpa-karini (artists), daiva-jna (astrologers), lingini (ascetics), paricarika (maid servants), dhatreyi (nurses), vana-devi (goddesses of the forest) and sakhis are also included in the category of dutis. Silpa-karini use their artistic paintings to induce the lovers to meet. The daiva-jna dutis arrange meetings by explaining their astrological predictions. Lingini dutis, for example Paurnamasi, wear the garments of tapasvinis (female ascetics). Several sakhis, including Lavanga-manjari and Bhanumati, are paricarika dutis. Srimati Radhika’s nursemaids are dhatreyi dutis. The vana-devis are presiding deities of the forest of Vrndavana (adhisthatri-devis). The sakhis mentioned previously are also dutis, and they perform their function by expressing their messages openly, or by indirect hints and suggestions. To do this, they employ all kinds of devices such as vyapadesa (deceit), sabda-mula (tone of words), artha-mula (direct word meaning), prasamsa (praise), and aksepa (allegations).  When Vijaya Kumara had heard this explanation, he offered his dandavat-pranama to the lotus feet of Sri Gopala Guru Gosvami.  Taking his leave, he returned to his residence, reflecting along the way upon all that he had heard.






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