Campakalata Devi – The Expert Debater
Just before the annual Gaura Purnima festival in Mayapur in 1986, Campakalata Devi, along with three other sakhis, was installed and joined Sri Sri Radha Madhava on the altar.
Sri Campakalata Devi is the third of the eight principle gopis. Her father is Arama, her mother is Vatika-devi and her husband is Candaksa. She has a yellow-white complexion, just like the colour of a full-blown champaka flower. Her garments are described as chataka, or brown like a sparrow’s feather. Campakalata Devi’s kunja (grove) is located south of Sri Radha Kunda. It is the colour of molten gold, and is named Kamalata, or the Vine of Cupid.
Her favourite instrument is the sarangi. She especially serves the Divine Couple by waving the chamara (yak tail) whisk and offering jeweled necklaces. On the altar in Mayapur, she can be seen offering jeweled necklaces to Radha Madhava. She is one day younger than Srimati Radharani. Her eternal age is fourteen years, two months and thirteen and a half days old.
Campakalata Devi’s mood is vasaka-sajja, which is the mood of a heroine who decorates herself and waits for her beloved to arrive, and has a moderately contrary nature. Her nature and qualities can be compared to and greatly resemble those of Visakha Devi – sarvan gunams tulayitum dadhatim visakham. Her maidservant is Guna-manjari.
Just like her father, Campakalata Devi is learned in many different arts, such as gambling with dice, collecting forest flowers and roots, and using her own hands to create pottery out of clay. She is nicknamed mista-hasta, which means sweet-hands, because of her dexterity in making a wide variety of sweetmeats. She is well versed in the literature which describes the six flavours of gourmet cooking, and the kitchen in her kunja is very famous.
Being an expertly skilled diplomat in the art of logical persuasion, Campakalata Devi can easily defeat any rival gopis who dare to come in Srimati Radhika’s way. Gopis of rival groups will never walk near Campakalata Devi. She is also a skilled messenger, and can carry out her activities in absolute secrecy, going unnoticed by anyone.
Sri Campakalata Devi appears as Raghava Goswami in Gaura-lila. Originally coming from South India, Raghava Goswami lived next to the sacred Govardhana mountain, constantly absorbed in singing the glories of Sri Sri Radha Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He wrote the book called Bhakti-ratna-prakasa. On the request of Srila Jiva Goswami, Srila Raghava Goswami took Srinivasa Acarya, Narottama das Thakura and Syamananda Pandit on parikrama, or pilgrimage, around Braja-mandal.