Out of the many close associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Uddhava is considered the best. The following is a description of him: "His body is blackish like the color of the Yamunā River, and it is similarly as cool. He is always decorated with flower garlands first used by Lord Kṛṣṇa, and he is dressed with yellow silk clothing. His two arms are just like the bolts of a door, His eyes are just like lotus flowers, and he is the most important devotee amongst all the associates. Let us therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto Uddhava's lotus feet."
Uddhava has described the transcendental qualities of Śrī Kṛṣṇa as follows: "Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is our master and worshipable Deity, who is the controller of Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā, the controller of the whole universe as well, accepts the controlling orders of Ugrasena, His grandfather. He is the proprietor of millions of universes, but still He begged a little land from the ocean. And although He is just like an ocean of wisdom, still He sometimes consults me. He is so great and magnanimous, yet He is engaged in His different activities just like an ordinary person."
Those who are constantly engaged in the personal service of the Lord are called anugas, or followers. Examples of such followers are Sucandra, Maṇḍana, Stamba and Sutamba. They are all inhabitants of the city of Dvārakā, and they are dressed and ornamented like the other associates. The specific services entrusted to the anugas are varied. Maṇḍana always bears the umbrella over the head of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Sucandra is engaged in fanning the white cāmara bunch of hair, and Sutamba is engaged in supplying betel nuts. All of them are great devotees, and they are always busy in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.
As there are anugas in Dvārakā, so there are many anugas in Vṛndāvana also. The names of the anugas in Vṛndāvana are as follows: Raktaka, Patraka, Patrī, Madhukaṇṭha, Madhuvrata, Rasāla, Suvilāsa, Premakanda, Marandaka, Ānanda, Candrahāsa, Payoda, Bakula, Rasada, and Śārada.
Descriptions of the bodily features of the anugas in Vṛndāvana are given in the following statement: "Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the constant associates of the son of Mahārāj Nanda. They always stay in Vṛndāvana, and their bodies are decorated with garlands of pearls and with bangles and bracelets of gold. Their colors are like black bees and the golden moon, and they are dressed just to suit their particular special bodily features. Their specific duties can be understood from a statement by Mother Yaśodā, who said, 'Bakula, please cleanse the yellowish dress of Kṛṣṇa. Vārida, you just flavor the bathing water with aguru scent. And Rasāla, you just prepare the betel nuts. You can all see that Kṛṣṇa is approaching. There is dust overhead, and the cows can be seen very distinctly.'"
Amongst all the anugas, Raktaka is considered to be the chief. The description of his bodily features is as follows: "He wears yellow clothing, and his bodily color is just like newly-grown grass. He is very expert in singing and is always engaged in the service of the son of Mahārāj Nanda. Let us all become the followers of Raktaka in offering transcendental loving service to Kṛṣṇa!" An example of the attachment felt by Raktaka toward Lord Kṛṣṇa can be understood from his statement to Rasada: "Just hear me! Please place me so that I may always be engaged in the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who has now become famous as the lifter of the Govardhan Hill."
The devotees of Kṛṣṇa engaged in His personal service are always very cautious because they know that becoming personal servitors of Lord Kṛṣṇa is not an ordinary thing. A person who offers respect even to the ants engaged in the service of the Lord becomes eternally happy, so what is there to say of one who offers Kṛṣṇa direct service? Raktaka once said within himself, "Not only is Kṛṣṇa my worshipable and servable Lord, but also the girl friends of Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs, are equally worshipable and servable by me. And not only the gopīs, but anyone who is engaged in the service for the Lord is also worshipable and servable by me. I know that I must be very careful not to become overly proud that I am one of the servitors and devotees of the Lord." From this statement one can understand that the pure devotees, those who are actually engaged in the service of the Lord, are always very cautious and are never overly proud of their service.
This mentality of the direct servitor of Kṛṣṇa is called dhurya. According to expert analytical studies of the direct associates of the Lord, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has divided these into three classes—namely, dhurya, dhīra and vīra. Raktaka is classified among the dhurya, or those who are always attached to serve the most beloved gopīs.