» Manini Radha

Manini Radha

Manini Radha


The painting you have received is entitled “Manini-Radha.” The elaborate details of this beautiful painting do not come from the artist’s imagination. Rather, all the details come from descriptions found in the Sanskrit texts of the ancient Vedas. These details are also found in the hearts of pure devotees who have realized those texts.  Though appearing before us as teachers or gurus, they are simultaneously living in that sacred reality beyond matter. Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, one such self-realized soul, guided the artist, Syamarani dasi, at every step of the painting’s development. With his detailed instructions and divine guidance, Syamarani dasi served in the capacity of his “paintbrush” – applying color, line, and exquisite details.  Sometimes Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja posed for the personalities in the paintings to allow Syamarani dasi to capture the gestures, external features, and moods of the personalities being painted. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja would also describe the thoughts and feelings of the personalities to increase the depth of the message and atmosphere created by the painting.  Because the execution of the painting was done under the direction of an elevated saint, the viewer makes spiritual advancement simply by seeing it – what to speak of keeping it at home. The following is an excerpt from one of his discussions with Syamarani dasi: [Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Here, Lord Sri Krsna is taking the dust of the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika, and trying to break Her transcendental loving jealous anger (mana). In this world, it is the general fact that the jealous beloved girl will weep. And Lord Krsna will weep, begging, “Please excuse me.” He weeps so that Radhika will have some pity on Him. If He will laugh, then She will totally reject Him. Here She is in a mood of externally sending Him away, and Her hand is showing this by its gesture (June 8, 2004 Holland). The philosophy behind this painting has been given by the famous world-wide preacher of Krsna consciousness and intimate friend of Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada: This brings up the question of who Radharani is and what Radha-Krsna is. Actually Radha-Krsna is the exchange of love. This is not ordinary love; Krsna has immense potencies, of which three are principal: internal, external and marginal. The internal hladini potency is the pleasure potency. All living entities have this pleasure-seeking potency, for all beings are trying to have pleasure. This is the very nature of the living entity. At present we are trying to enjoy our pleasure potency by means of the body in this material condition. By bodily contact we are attempting to derive pleasure from material sense objects. We should not think, however, that Krsna, who is always spiritual, tries to seek pleasure on this material plane like us. Krsna describes the material universe as a nonpermanent place full of miseries. Why, then, would He seek pleasure in the material form? He is the Supersoul, the supreme spirit, and His pleasure is beyond the material conception (Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Introduction). In Goloka Vrndavana there is an exchange of love known as parakiya-rasa. It is something like the attraction of a married woman for a man other than her husband. In the material world this sort of relationship is most abominable because it is a perverted reflection of the parakiya-rasa in the spiritual world, where it is the highest kind of loving affair. Such feelings between the devotee and the Lord are presented by the influence of yogamaya. The Bhagavad-gita states that devotees of the highest grade are under the care of daiva-maya, or yogamaya. Those who are actually great souls (mahrtmas) are fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, always engaged in the service of the Lord. They are under the care of daivi-prakrti, or yogamaya. Yogamaya creates a situation in which the devotee is prepared to transgress all regulative principles simply to love Krsna. A devotee naturally does not like to transgress the laws of reverence for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but by the influence of yogamaya he is prepared to do anything to love the Supreme Lord better (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila chapter 4: purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada).

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