Eight Main Gopis (Asta Sakhis)
These eight are the leaders of all the other gopis. They always serve Radha and try to please Her in every way. They are the dearest and most beloved friends of Srimati Radharani. Rupa Gosvami describes the qualities of the eight main gopis in Radha Krishna Ganodesa Dipika.
1. Lalita Sakhi
2. Visakha Sakhi
3. Campakalata Sakhi
4. Citra Sakhi
5. Tungavidya Sakhi
6. Indulekha Sakhi
7. Rangadevi Sakhi
8. Sudevi Sakhi
She is Srimati Radharani main competitor for the attention of Krishna. Srimati Radharani is her cousin. Candravali is the daughter of Candrabhanu, who is the brother of Vrishabhanu. She lived in the village of Sakhi Sthali near Govardhana Hill with her husband Govardhana Malla.
Out of the hundreds of thousands of gopis, eight are considered most prominent. They are: Radharani, Candravali, Lalita, Vishakha, Padma, Bhadra, Saibya and Syama. Of these two Radharani and Candravali are considered most dear. Of these two Radharani is the most dear to Krishna.
Of the eight sakhis (main gopis) Lalita Devi in the main sakhi. She is 27 days older than Srimati Radharani. She is the leader and best of the eight main gopis. She is the constant companion and follower of Srimati Radharani.
She is a dear friend of Srimati Radharani. She has a contradictory and hot-tempered nature. Her complexion is bright yellow. Her garments are the color of peacock feathers. She is expert at arranging both the meeting of Radha and Krishna and their conjugal fights.
Her mother is Saradi Devi and her father is Vishoka. Her husband is Bhairava, who is a close friend of Govardhana Malla, the husband of Candravali.
She is the second most important gopi of the eight main gopis. Her attributes are much like Lalita Devi. She was born at exactly the same time as Radharani appeared. Her complexion is like lighting and her garments are decorated with stars. She carries messages between Radha and Krishna, and is the most expert gopi messenger. Her father’s name is Pavana, mother is Dakshina and her husband is Vahika. She is said to be from the village of Kamai.
She is one day younger than Radharani. Her complexion is the color of a yellow campaka flower and she wears garments the color of a blue jay’s feather. She is expert in logical persuasion and is a diplomat, skilled in thwarting Radha’s competitors. She is an expert sweet cook and an artistic potter. Her father is Arama, mother is Batika, and husband is Candaksha. She is said to be from the village of Sunthera.
She is 26 days older than Radharani. She has a red complexion like kumkum and wears crystal colored garments. Citra can read between the lines and understand an author’s hidden intentions. She has a very mild nature and has a saffron complexion. She is a trained cook and can make a variety of nectar drinks. She is learned in astronomy and astrology, and is a skilled gardener. She makes garlands. Her father’s name is Catura, Mother Carvika and husband is Pithara. She is said to be from the village of Chiksoli, 1 km southwest of Varsana.
She is 15 days younger than Srimati Radharani. She is the color of kumkum and wears white garments. Tungavidya is hot tempered. She is learned in eighteen branches of Vedic knowledge. She is a celebrated music teacher, and an expert singer and vina player. She is expert at arranging the meeting of Radha and Krishna. Her birthplace is said to be the village of Dabharo (Damala). Her father is Paushkara, Mother is Medha and husband is Balisha.
She is three days younger than Srimati Radharani. She has a tan complexion and wears garments that are pomegranate color. She displays a hot temper and a contrary nature. She carries messages that cause Radha and Krishna to be attracted to each other and she knows Radha and Krishna’s confidential secrets. She knows the science of palmistry and gemology. Her father’s name is Sagara, mother is Bela and husband is Durbala. She is said to be from the village of Anjanak.
She is seven days younger than Srimati Radharani. She has a complexion that is similar to the hue of a lotus filament and wears garments that are the color of a rose. She has a “bama”, contrary and hot-tempered nature. She jokes with Radha in front of Krishna. She is expert in using perfumes and cosmetics, and burning fragrant incenses. Because of previous austerities she knows a mantra that can attract Krishna.
She looks so much like Srimati Radharani that she is mistaken for being Her sister. She has a golden complexion and wears coral color clothing. She is always beside Radharani and arranges Her hair, decorates Her eyes and massages Her. She is expert at training parrots, oil body massages, reading omens, gardening and decorating couches. Her father’s name is Rangasara and mother’s is Karuna. She is said to be from the village of Bajhera. Rangadevi is her twin sister.