This is the dhyAna of Bhagavan Sri Krishna in the form of gopAla sundarI or shrIvidyA rAjagopala, where Sri Lalita and Sri Rajagopala are worshipped as one with a mantra that is a combination of Srividya and Rajagopala ashTAdashAkSharI.
There are two approaches to the worship of this mantra, one taught by hiraNyagarbha to dakShiNAchArins and the other taught by Bhagavan Anandabhairava to the vAmAcharins. The Rishi, Chandas, dhyAna, AvaraNa etc vary in these two systems.
In the case of dakShiNAchAra again, there are two forms of this vidyA, one called gopAlasundarI or madanagopAlasundarI and the other called shrIvidyA rAjagopAla or madana gopAla kRShNa. Both these are combinations of shrIvidyA and rAjagopala mantras. Though these two terms are used inter-changeably, they are different. This is pointed out clearly in gopAlasundarI kalpa of Rudrayamala.
In the case of gopAla sundarI, the primary mantra is shrIvidyA, and rAjagopAla mantra is complimentary to the former. The visualization of Lord in this form is half-male and half-female [somewhat like ardhanArishwara]:
”I meditate on that splendid Brahman in the form of Sri Krishna, who is half red [aruNa varNa or the color of the rising sun - this is the left half signifying Sri Lalitambika] and half blue [of the color of a dark cloud - this is the right half signifying Sri Gopala], decorated on the forehead by a peacock feather, who is both male and female in form [ardhanArIshwara swarUpa], and who sports in his hands: flute, pAsha, ankusha, sugarcane bow and arrow of flowers”. Thus, an identity between Sridevi and Srihari is indicated.
In the case of shrIvidyA rAjagopala or madana gopAla, the Lord sports the Ayudhas of Sridevi, has a red complexion like her but is male in form. Here is the perfect materialization of the phrase “pumrUpA krShNavigrahA” – “When in male form, I am Sri Krishna”. Also, rAjagopAla mantra is primary in this case.
kodaNDamaikShavamakhaNDamishum cha pauShpam
dhyAyeddharim madanagopavilAsaveSham || [Sri Krishna Karnamritam]
”I meditate on Sri Madana Gopala, who is of the complexion of the rising sun, and who sports in his eight hands: sugarcane bow, arrow of flowers, sudarshana chakra, gadA, lotus flower, pAsha, ankusha and golden flute”.
The same is described below:
shrIkrShNarUpam praNamAmi rAmam || [Sri Rama Karnamritam]
Sri Bhagavannama Bodhendra, author of Sri Rama Karnamrutam, thinks so: 'Sri Krishna, in his form as Srividya Rajagopala, is sporting bow [of sugarcane] and arrow [of flowers]. Now, are not these trademarks of Sri Ramachandra? So, this form of Lord indeed is non-different from my beloved Sri Ramabhadra! Hence, I offer my namaskramas to Sri Raghunayaka, who appears in the form of Madana Gopala'.
Technically however, it should be noted that there is a separate form of the Lord known as shrIvidyA rAma:
”I visualize on a throne of the form of Srichakra, with Garuda forming the Bindu, seated is Sri Rama, sporting jnAna mudrA in his right hand. He embraces with his left hand, Bhagavati Sita seated on his left lap, who in turn is sporting a lotus in her lotus hands. By meditating on this form of Rama and by reciting his mantra, one can realize the unity between the self and the Brahman”.
From the shrIvidyA perspective, these three mantras, along with mahA vaikuNTheshwara [mahAgopAla pradhAna] and shrIchakradhara [shrIvidyA pradhAna], form the vaiShNava angas of parA ShoDashI.
krShNam bhaje shyAmalam