Shri Radha: Paragon Of Love And Virtue

Sri Radha: The Supreme Teacher

Sri Radha: The Supreme Teacher

(Today we are celebrating the birthday of Shri Radhaji. I am posting this article, an ode to female power, to mark the occasion. The article has been previously published in Northern India Patrika, 2001; Soham, bilingual International magazine, 2005; British edition of Indowaves)   

Radha holds a special place in the hearts of Radha-Krishna devotees. Krishna without Radha can never be meditated upon, and that explains why Janmashtmi is incomplete without Radhashtmi’s celebrations in full fervour. On this day devotees plunge into a state of euphoria in Vraja where it is celebrated with grandeur. Radharani, daughter of Brishabhanu and Kalawati, was born in Barsaane fifteen days after Krishna’s birth in Mathura. Radha being hladinishakti’ (the power of bliss) of Shri Krishna always remains in unison with him. Radhashtmi, her appearance day, is viewed by the devotees as a day that leads an aspirant on to the path of bhakti and bliss—a step closer towards absolute merging of the lover in the beloved. Radha’s grace alone provide as supreme Bhakti  (devotion)  and it is she who makes a seeker’s  union with Krishna a reality.

According to Padma Purana, Gopis (cow-herd girls) were Rishis of Dandakarnya who had expressed their desire to be in intimate service of Lord Rama. Lord Rama had then told them to wait till his next incarnation as Krishna takes place in Dvapar age. Upanishads, too, appeared in the form of Gopis to participate in Leelas (divine gestures) of Krishna. Gopis who embraced the lotus feet of Lord Krishna have been classified into several categories due to difference in attitude and service. Some are sadhna –oriented i.e. they have attained Gopi bhava because of austerities performed in their earlier births whereas some are in service of Krishna from beginning (Nitya-priya). It is said that a jeeva( worldly soul)  attains Gopi bhava through intense tapas. Radha, Chandraravali Visakha, Lalita, Shyama and Padma were prominent Gopis. Shri Radharani is of Mahabhava Swaroopa and, therefore, she stands apart from others as the Chief Gopika.

Tears In Love Are So Commonplace!

Tears In Love Are So Commonplace!

Raadhika possesses infinite qualities prominent among them being twenty five, which includes chief among Krishna-priyas, soft-spoken, clever, and adept in classical form of music, Rasaswaroopa kind-hearted, owner of pious smile and unusual depth within. Her actions are borne out of desire to serve and please Govinda.

Surdas gives a loving detail of the first meeting of Radha and Krishna. One day Shri Krishna while engaged in the Bal Leela (childhood gesture) happens to reach the bank of Yamuna. He is surprised, as well as delighted, to find there a new face which was glowing with supreme beauty. Krishna, left dumb struck by such a beauty could not resist himself from asking her name, “I have never seen you before in Brija.Who are you?” he asked. “Why should I come to ever come to Brija, I have too many friends to play with at my place. I have come to know that Nanda’s son is a big trouble­-maker who excels in the art of stealing,” she shot back. Krishna, determined to get her company said, “What do you possess that I am going to steal from you and which you fear to lose? Come let’s play together. We would form an excellent pair.” Poor Radha she didn’t realize that what she was going to lose—heart the most valuable possession of any woman.

The conjugal relationship between Radha and Krishna is pinnacle of Madhurya Bhava (the bliss oriented state). At this point it is necessary to mention that Parmatma (Supreme Self) is one-without-a-second! Therefore no leela (divine act) is possible in this state. In the madhurya bhava,  Nirguna Parabrahman is supposed to have a form with which a bhakta can establish a relationship. Gradually moving through five principle bhavas a stage comes when a bhakta cares little for worldly obligations and principles. This is the peak point popularly known as “Kanta Bhava’in Vaishnava literature. Something that separates Rasa leela from ordinary leelas is whereas the former takes place at yoga maya level, the latter is performed at Mahamaya level (highest plane of consciousness). Surdas considers total surrendering and forgetfulness of body consciousness essential for maturity of Madhurya Bhava. Bhagvan Ramakrishna said, “I have spent a few days in Radha Bhava. On those occasions I use to dress like woman. It is indeed impossible to sing the glory of Radha who is embodiment of refined virtue and supreme love.”

Gross mundane realities prevent us from having a glimpse of Rasa leela of Radha and Krishna but bhaktas like Surdas are always absorbed in their Madhurya. Explaining the reason of deep love between Radha and Krishna Surdas cites chidhod fancies. He feels a bond of friendship formed in the childhood contains in it the seeds of deep love, which under favourable circumstances get converted into life-long commitment. Gaudiya cult provides an absolutely a different explanation. Here love already exists in their hearts and its growth is not dependant on outside influences. Similarly Radha conceived by Chandidas is too sensitive whose heart aches on hearing the name of Madhava.

Perhaps differences in their outlook are the result of bhava that captivated their hearts, which is in each case unique. So Radha of Surdas has egocentric tendencies. She not only humiliates Krishna but even rebukes him on trivial issues. So what if in isolation she weeps for Krishna, her heart always aching for intimate moments. It is this duality in her behavior and paradoxical approach that keeps Krishna guessing whenever He meets her. On the other hand, Vidyapati’s Radha too has ego but it subsides when she faces Krishna. Radha perceived by Chandidas is completely devoid of ego. She neither reacts nor retaliates but remains absorbed in His thoughts.

Vaishnavaas have carved unique image of Radha, which has no parallel. It is so because Vaishnavas don’t consider Bhakti to be bhava, Bahakti is ‘Rasa’ to them. Though Radha does not figure in clearly in Bhagavat Purana, she is the prime character of Brahma Vaivarta and Padma Purana. Jaideva’s appearance on the scene in 12th century makes Radharani comes into limelight. It is believed that these two Puranas and Geeta Govinda of Jayadeva established her as paragon of love and virtue. But it was Nimbakacharya who first revealed philosophical aspects of Shri Radha’s various dimensions. Lord has two powers namely Kriyashakti (power to perform) and Gyanaskati (power to seek knowledge). Satyabhama (Bhudevi) represents the former while the Rukamani(Sridevi) stands for the latter. In Radha, these two powers get unified and she thus becomes Parashakti (supreme power) of the Lod. In this form these two powers attain a non –dual relationship with the Lord but in their individual state retain their particular relationship. Thus, exists a distinction when one fails to identify with Sri Radha. Sri Nimabakacharya provides a much elevated status to Radha. She becomes Bhakti or Brahman Vidya (Knowledge of self) which liberates jeeva from bondage of Maya. In other words, she becomes a Supreme Master.

Shri Krishna, who always remains one with her, is called “Atma Rama”. Krishna states in Padma Purana: ‘Know Radhika to be best of teachers of the Highest Knowledge—Knowledge of Brahman.’ Let us pray that she appears on the earth again and again. If Radha arrives how can  Krishna remain far behind? May we get devotion for her so that our hearts get purified to receive her grace. And, thus, we become one of the participants of ever happening grand ‘Rasa leela of Radha and Krishna ’.

**************

Some Popular Bhajans Associated With Her: 

1. Jai Radha Madhav 

2. Radha Aisi Bhai Shyam Ki Diwani

3. Vrindavan Dham Apar 

4. Hamaro Dhan Radha Shri Radha

5. Yashomati Maiyya Se Bole Nandlala

Radha And Krishna: Always In Intimate Union

Radha And Krishna: Always In Intimate Union

Reference:

Surdas 

Gopis

Jaideva’s

hladinishakti

Pics Credit:

Pic One 

 
 
 

19 responses

  1. Beautiful detailed post! Thanks for sharing!

    1. @Amit Chatuarvedi aka Personal Concerns

      It’s never easy to read my post unless you happen to be a person in tune with perfect concentration. That’s because lots of facts and imagination go hand in hand in the posts. Fortunately, I have conscious readers, like you, who know how to read an article🙂

      Please do read it seriously, after all, it’s about our beautiful Radhaji. And I have tried my best to collect lesser known details about her. It’s another thing that it’s being re-published. But, like always, it comes in a new colorful way.

      Thanks for being present often on my posts 🙂

      -Arvind K.Pandey

      1. Very nice information brother…keep it up.

    2. @Sudhir Dwivediji

      Jai Radhe :-)…The words bring me closer to reality🙂

  2. Thanks Laurie Buchanan, Holistic Health Practitioner—Board Certified with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, for taking note of this article…I am really happy that you found it interesting..

  3. Dharmendra Sharma, United Arab Emirates, said:

    Beautiful bhajans

    Author’s Response:

    Jai Radhe Dharmendraji..Yes, these bhajans bring one closer to the world of Shri Radhaji..

  4. Ahir Navnit Maiyad, Junagadh (Gujarat), said:

    राधे-राधे जपा करो कृष्ण नाम रस पिया करो…।

    Author’s Response:

    उम्मीद है श्री राधाजी की कृपा से कृष्ण रस की मेरे जीवन में कभी कमी नहीं रहेगी..ऐसा ही सभी अन्य भक्तो के जीवन में भी हो…

  5. Jai Radhe to all these lovers of Shri Radhaji 🙂

    Atul Tripathiji, Orai (Uttar Pradesh); Anjeev Pandey, Nagpur (Maharashtra); Arvind Geetesh, Editor, Dainik Nirala Rajasthan,Jaipur City(Rajashthan);Lalita Jha, New Delhi; Neet Sparrow; Anand Pandey, Akbarpur (Uttar Pradesh); Krishan Lal Sachdeva; Nitin Goswami; Thakur Murari Mohan, Madhubani (Bihar);Patl Rucha, Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra); Himanshu B.Pandey, Siwan(Bihar); Anupam Verma, New Delhi; Says Shama and Manjoy Laxmi, Nagpur (Maharashtra).

  6. Rajesh Vakharia, Men’s Rights Activist, Nagpur (Maharashtra), said:

    Yes.,.. Today’s Radha is best for breaking a family! She is aware of all latest laws related with women. She has failed to take note of responsibilities towards her Krishna and his family. My question is: How can we then give a gold medal to her for acting as a perfect teacher?

    ************

    Author’s Response:

    You make me laugh🙂 ..Even in a spiritual article, you seem to have found a way to support the men’s movement! Hats off to you! Radhaji would surely award you for taking note of the plight of unfortunate Krishnas ! Anyway, I hope “Ancient Radhaji” Of Dvapar Age makes modern Radhas of Kaliyuga attain right spirit, attain right bent of mind. Anyway, thanks for making me smile..

    *****************

    Note: I usually don’t edit remarks of my observers. In this case, I have done the opposite. I had to edit Rajesh Vakharia’s comment to make it meaningful for the readers.

    *******************************

  7. Anupam Verma, New Delhi, said:

    जय श्री राधे!!!!!

    ********

    Author’s Response:

    Jai Sri Radhe!!!

  8. Vishal Sabharwalji, New Delhi, said:

    “Bhagwan SRI KRSNA~Bhagavad Gita (13.13,14)

    Jneyam yat yat pravaksyami yaj jnatvamrtam asnute
    Anadi mat-param brahma na sat tan nasad ucyate

    Sarvatah pani-padam tat sarvato’ksi-siro-mukham
    Sarvatah srutimal loke sarvam avrtya tisthati

    Now I shall fully explain to you that which is worthy to be known. Upon understanding it one attains liberation. The beginningless Brahma( nirakaar Brahm jyoti ) is dependent on MY personal form and is said to lie beyond all cause and effect. His hands and feet are everywhere. His eyes*, heads and faces pervade all directions, and he hears everything. Situated thus Brahma pervades the entire universe. ”

    What sunlight is to Sun , That’s what Brahman is to Krsna. it is nothing more than bodily effulgence of Krsna. Rather TEJ(aura) of Krsna. Knowledge of Brahman though very confidential is not the highest perfection, but highest perfection is knowledge of Saccidanada Purusottma KRSNA who in beyond even Vaikuntha. Knowledge of Brahman is only a prtial realisation of absolute truth.

    Author’s Response:

    Who says Facebook is only meant for time pass, sharing bullshit experiences of average lives? The likes of Vishalji are always there to add meaning to beautiful episodes of life with their great words!

    Thanks for making Brahman Krishnamaya🙂..For me Sri Adi Shankara means everything, but I have no problem if great devotee like Vishalji makes Brahman absolutely Krishnamaya (like Krihsna)

    And yes, Jai Radhe to Vishal Sabharwalji🙂

  9. Vishal Sabharwalji, New Delhi, said:

    Adi Shankara’s teachings got zero value when Bhagavad Gita spoken by Krsna himself is there. Krsna has emphatically declared everything and himself to be absolute truth and clearly stated that Brahman is subordinate to him. Adi shankara is Shiva disguised and he has come to give false commentary on Vedas as confirmed by Shiva himself in Padma Puarana. Adi was one step ahead of Budhha and later on Ramanujacharya , Madhyachrya , Chaitanaya Mahaprabhu and later on Sri guru nanak dev ji Thoroughly trashed his bogus philosophy.

    Adi shankara has propounded that Brahman is absolute truth which is not a fact. Krsna himself in his two handed form is absolute truth as confirmned by himself in Bhagavad Gita…And he repeatedly not only asserted this but also left nothin to imagination by showing his Universal Form which is conclusive. Point is Krsna never had a material body but in his original body as Absolute truth he descended.

    Author’s Response:

    All I wish to say now is: Listen to this bhajan by Sri Adi Shankara🙂

    Achyutham Keshavam

    http://www.raaga.com/player4/?id=344488&mode=100&rand=0.09545027487911284

  10. Vishal Sabharwalji, New Delhi, said:

    Padma Purana ~Uttara Khanada 25.7

    Mayavadam asac-chastram
    Pracchannam baudham ucyate

    Mayaiva vihitam devi
    Kalau brahmana-murtina

    Lord Shiva informed Goddess Durga , The superintendent of material world , ” in the age of Kali , I take the form of a Brahmana ( Adi Shankaracharya ) and explain the Vedas through false scriptures in an atheistic way , similar to Buddhist Philosophy ( Nirveshavad and Shunyavaad ) which is impersonalism ( the belief that absolute truth is nothing more than dazzling light and is not a person while absolute truth is a person with innumerable potencies and Brahman is one of his potencies ).

    ***********

    Author’s Response:

    Thanks for making me more informed in this regard..

  11. Very nice article, u should also post it in Hindi as well so that it can reach to the maximum people.

    1. @Sudhir Dwivediji:

      Jai Radhe! I appreciate your presence on my post…That’s a really good suggestion on your part. I would try my level best to translate your hopes into reality. The only problem is that Krishna has made this lazy writer overburdened with just too much pending work but I hope He would help me in finding some time for PR work related with Radhaji🙂 Hope that makes Him happy and not jealous🙂

  12. Vishal Sabharwalji, New Delhi, said:

    I am bowled over by ur humility. Awesome. Pls accept my humble obesiances. All glories to u.

    ************

    Author’s Response:

    Jai Radhe! Nothing strange! What’s the point in developing ego in a Mayavi world (world comprised of illusions)?

  13. Dharmendra Sharma, United Arab Emirates, said:

    ध्यानाभ्यासवशीकृतेन मनसा तन्निर्गुणमनिश्क्रियम ज्योतिः किंचन, योगिनो यदि परम् पश्यन्ति पश्यन्तु ते ।

    अस्माकं तु तदेव लोचनचमत्काराय भूयाच्चिरम्, कालिन्दी पुलिनेषु यत्किमपि तन्नीलम् महोधावति ॥

    “Those Yogis who see the formless, actionless flame in there trance, let them see that, we do not want to comment about them. But for us, only that something bluish which is playing on the banks of Kalindi (Yamuna) remain the source of pleasure for our eyes forever.”

    *************

    Author’s Response:

    After reading your shloka , the conversation between Gopis and Uddhava have hit my memories🙂

  14. Dharmendra Sharma, United Arab Emirates, said:

    Arvind K Pandey ji, this Shloka is written by Swami Madhusudan Saraswati.

    Author’s Response:

    ….But it me placed me between Gopis and Uddhava🙂. Worse, both sides equally attracting me🙂

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