May Lalita, who is flooded with the juices of intense love, who has developed a mood of boldness and confidence out of deep affection, who daily assists her beloved Radha and Krishna, who are dearer to her than life itself, in meeting at their place of rendez-vous, and who with great expertise always teaches her girlfriend Radha the art of loving pique, accept me within her own group.
prāṇa-preṣṭha-vayasyayor anudinaṁ līlābhisāraṁ kramaiḥ
vaidagdhyena tathā sakhīṁ prati sadā mānasya śikṣāṁ rasair
yeyaṁ kārayatīha hanta lalitā gṛhnātu sā māṁ gaṇe
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In the previous verse Raghunath Das Goswami praised Mukhara, Sri Sri Radha Madhava’s secret assistant in their erotic enjoyments. Now that his attention has been turned away from the moods of friendship and parental love, in the following verses he begins praising the sakhis and manjaris, the most rasika assistants in the sweet pastimes of the Divine Pair.
Srila Rupa Goswamipada introduces his chapter on Radha’s friends with the following verse:
viśrambha-ratna-peṭī ca tataḥ suṣṭhu vivicyate
Srila Vishwanath Chakravartipada comments as follows on this verse in his Ānanda-candrikā commentary:
In this verse Das Goswami praises Lalita, the greatest of Sri Radharani’s girlfriends, and their leader. Lalita is so deeply absorbed in madīyatāmaya premābhimāṇa (a loving pride in having controlled the lover, with the conception of ‘he is mine’), that she always considers her friend Sri Radha under the control of Sri Krishna. She wants to keep Krishna equally controlled, so she carefully sends Sri Radha on her abhisāra (love-journey) and when she sees an imbalance of power (in favor of Sri Krishna), her loving pride strikes heavily. Then she always instructs her girlfriend Sri Radha in the finesses of loving pique and opposition. For this reason Lalita is called an adhika prakharā sakhī, a more audacious girlfriend.
durllaṅghya vākya prakharā prakhyātā gauravocitā
When such an adhika prakharā-sakhī sees even the slightest flaw in Sri Radha’s total control over Sri Krishna she will teach her māna, or loving pique, and she will not tolerate any slackening of that māna. For instance:
tvaṁ mantreṇa sphuṭam iha vaśīkṛtya tenānuśiṣṭā
kuñje govardhana śikhariṇo jāgareṇādya rādhāṁ
dṛṣṭvāpyuccaiḥ sakhi yad asi me cāṭu-vāde pravṛttā
Citrā has the opposite nature of Lalita, she is very submissive.
When Lalita instructs Radha in pique, then Radha cannot give up that māna without Lalita’s permission, not even out of her own free will! Hence one of Sri Radha’s names is Lalita bhīti māninī (She who is angry with Krishna out of fear of Lalita (Raghunath Das Goswami’s Rādhikāṣṭottara-śata-nāma-stotram). This pique of Sri Radha is Lalita’s greatest contribution to the service of Sri Krishna.
uhāra vāmye uṭhe kṛṣṇera ānanda sāgara
Srila Rūpa Goswamipāda has written the following definition of māna‘s nature:
snehas tūtkṛṣṭatāvāptyā mādhuryaṁ mānayan navam
yo dhārayatyadākṣiṇyaṁ sa māna iti kīrtyate
Consequently māna arises to keep the course of love relishable, fresh and dynamic. Māna makes something which is anyway always enjoyable sweet and desirable in its novel sweetness, hence Sri Lalita is known as she who is most expert in tastefully nourishing Sri Radha’s mood of opposition and pique. Raghunath Das Goswami says: “May that Lalita accept me in her own party!”
priyatā hetu kiñcit auddhatya prakāśe
śrī rādhā-govinda līlāra puṣṭira kāraṇa;
rasa vākyāvalī sadā karoye varṣaṇa
vāmyera maryādā sadā vṛddhira kāraṇa;
śrī rādhāya māna śikṣā dena vilakṣaṇa
sei to Lalita more nija gaṇa madhye;
grahaṇa koriyā kobe kṛtārtha koribe