“Radha Krishna Pranay Bikriti HladinishaktirAsmaat
Ekatmanabapi bhubi pura dehabhedang gatou tou"
- (Swarup Damodar Goswamipad)
The above sloka gives us
some idea about what Srimati Radha is. The meaning of the sloka as given by
Krisnadas Kaviraj in Chaitanya Charitamrita.
“ Radhika hayen
Hladini naam janhar” --
“ RadhaKrishna Ek
Atma dui deha dhori
Anyonye bilase rasa
aswadan kori “ -- (2)
To talk about SriRadha, the above definitions are invaluable and possibly the best
if not the only way to proceed. So, we need to understand what is said by
Krisnadasji in the above two couplets. The literal meaning is: (1) SriRadha or
Radhika is the ultimate of Krishna-Pranay or Love for Krishna
(“bikar” means resulting into a final shape or the absolutely last stage of
processing a thing). SriRadha is also the Joy-rendering power (Hladinishakti)
of SriKrishna. (2) Although Radha and Krishna
are ekatma or one only, but, for enjoying the rasa, or the
ultimate essence through divine sports, the God has taken two separate
forms in Vrindaban by separating Himself from His primary power.
God, what we the Vaisnavas conceive as, is beyond the “Absolute” (termed as Absolute
by Sankaracharya) and has powers. Krishna, the
Supreme God, is all powerful. He is thought basically composed of two powers
-Bahiranga i.e., through which He manifests Himself into the cosmic order and
Antaranga through which He does all the Leela or divine sports manifesting
Himself in several ways. This Antaranga is also called “Swarupshakti” or the
Primary Power which describes His self. SriRadha is the manifestation of this
power which when referred to her name is called Hladini or the Anandadayini
shakti. There are again three parts within this – Satt by which He exists in
his self and holds existence of the world; Chitt by which He is the
all-knowledge and imparts knowledge on people; and Hladini by which He is
all-joy and gifts joy to His devotees.
The first two are engulfed within the third. In fact, the first is engulfed within
the second and the second within the third to be precise. This can be explained
as follows. An existence is possible without knowledge and happiness but, for
knowledge to be there its existence first is a must; so when we talk about
knowledge, existence is ensured in itself. Likewise, Happiness cannot be
asserted without existence and knowledge. Talking about being happy pre-empts
one’s Existence and also Knowledge, at least the knowledge that it is existing
if nothing else. So, Hladini also encompasses within it Satt, “the power to
exist” and Chitt, “the power to be knowledgeable”. Thus, SriRadha is the
sum-total of Krishna’s Swarupshakti.
God, as we see Him, is not only the Almighty or All-Majestic but also the All-
beautiful and All-Sweet, especially when we talk of Krisna of Vrindaban, He is
just All-Sweet, All-charming (Madhuryamoy). He wants to enjoy this charm
and sweetness of His. Now, in order that He Himself can do this, He separates
out from His self someone who will adore the infinite sweetness and charm that
He possesses. So, the one God divides Himself into:- (a) the Being-for-self (b)
the Being-for-expression. The former is He Himself i.e, Krishna
who attracts and the latter is His Primary power by name Radha,
who adores His infinite charm and enjoys the infinite sweetness. It is quite
understandable that to adore or enjoy an infinite thing the adorer has to be
part and parcel of the infinite.
Functionally, SriRadha, the daughter of King Brisabhanu of village Barsana, Vrindaban, is seen
to be making Krisna, the son of King Nanda of Nandagaon, Vrindaban enjoy His
Joyfulness – “Hladini Koray Krisne Anandaswadon” (Chaitanya
Charitamrita) and make Him enjoy His own sweetness in innumerable ways like
RaasLeela etc., – “Krishna-ke koray Shyam-rasa-modhu-paane”. Also, it is
through Her that Krishna makes His devotees
enjoy His sweetness & charm and through this window (SriRadha) He
distributes Ananda or Joy to those devotees who have a craving for this.
I think it is necessary to say few words about the terminology “Pranay Bikriti”
used in the sloka at the top. Pranay ordinarily means Love, but it has a
definite place in the step-ladder of love where it gradually gets into
richer/higher forms with the love becoming more and more intense. These steps
Prem ->Sneha ->Maan
-> Pranay -> Raag -> Anuraag -> Bhav -> Mahabhav, the final
stage as given by Rup Goswamipad. The development of love into one after
the other above noted stages is called Bikar and “Pranay Bikriti” means
the final stage where SriRadha is situated, the ultimate intensity of love for
There still remains the question –“Why Pranay-Bikriti and not
Prem-Bikriti?” To get answer to this, we need to refer to the “Ujjwal
Neelmoni” by Rup Goswamipad where the definition of these
terminologies are given with example for each stage. Pranay is the third stage
after Prem. In this stage the lover has the feeling of unity (Abhinna manan)
with the beloved and that makes them forget the physical difference between
them. Radha has the feeling of oneness with Krisna due to this.
Thus Radha and Krisna are Abhinna or one in two ways – 1) As Power
& Powerful - Radha is the Power and Krisna is the Powerful one. These two
are inseparable like the Fire and its Heat; the Flower and its Fragrance – one
cannot exist without the other. 2) As Lover & Loved at the Pranay stage of
love, where the bodily distinction gets submersed in the intensity of love.
Actually SriRadha’s love is much above this stage – she is permanently seated
at the Mahabhav stage for all times.
Radha and Krishna are also Bhinna i.e, Not
One or separate in two ways – 1) As two separate body forms which the God
Himself as created 2) As Lover who is the owner or Ashray of love which
is Radha, and the Beloved who is the subject or Bishay of love. This
relation is called – Bhedabhed Tattwa.
To talk more about Radha I
need to put quotations as below.
“Debi Krisnamoyee proktaa Radhika paradebataa
SarbaLakshmimoyee sarbakantih sanmohini paraa”
– Brihadgoutamiya tantraHI"">
SriRadha is Debi (one who
has exquisitely glowing beauty and grace); Krishnamoyee (one who is
encapsulated by nothing but Krishna only both externally and internally or full
of love for Krishna all over Her self); Paradebata (supreme goddess);
SarbaLakshmimoyee (one who is the physical form of all the mights, pomp and
majesty of Krisna); Sarbakantih (one who is capable of fulfilling all desires
of Krisna), Sarbamohini paraa (the entire creation gets stupefied, captivated
or fascinated by the brilliant charm of SriKrishna. Such a charming personality
gets fascinated, captivated by the sight of SriRadha. She is called
Krishnamohan and since Krishna is the supreme
God so Radha is the supreme Goddess).
This supremacy of SriRadha
is admitted by SriKrishna Himself through several statements as
kahe aami hoi raser nidhan
Purnanandamoy aami chinmoy
Radhika-r preme aamaa
Na jaani Radha-r preme
achhe kato bal
Je bal amare kare sarbada
bivhal ” – Chaitanya Charitamrita.
Meaning, “Krishna says, I am the Treasure (the largest one) of rasa
or sweetness. I am All-Joy and All-knowledge & Bliss. But, Radha’s love
makes me mad. I do not know what strength Her love has got that
it makes me enchanted, bewildered all the time. The Scriptures say about God,
the supreme :
“Etasyoiba anandasya anyani bhootani matramupjibanti” – Shruti
Meaning, all creatures of
this world becomes joyful and happy by deriving only a tiny droplet from His (Krishna’s) treasury of joy which is ever full.
Such Krisna says –“
Eimato Jagater sukhe ami hetu, Radhika-r roop gun amar jibatu” - Chaitanya
I am the cause of joy for
the entire world but Radhika’s beauty and virtues are my life - “Momo
rupadikang jagataang sukhoika hetuh, Momo tu sukhoika hetuh SriRadha rupaani”.
“Aama hoite jar hoy shata shata gun, Sei jon ahladite pare mor mon.
ama hoite guni baro jagate asombhab, Ekali Radhika taha kori anubhab.”
Krishnasays that to be the cause of my joy someone has to be hundreds of times more virtuous
than me. None in the universe can be greater than me in this respect (or for
that matter in any respect), only Radhika is one for whom this has been
Sri Krishna has accepted
Sri Radha as His Guru (Radhikar prem guru aami shisya naut, Sada aamay nana
nritye nachay udbhat” - Chaitanya Charitamrita.). He is Jagatguru or
world-mentor and Radha is His guru, thus She is the guru of Jagatguru, the
greatest of all gurus. A very interesting dialogue in this respect is
reproduced below from Govinda Leelamrita, 8th Sarga, 77th sloka:
Place – Vrindaban,
Time – During Krishna’s stay in Vrindaban,
Dialogue between Radha
& her friend Brinda.
Radha – “ Dear Brinda,
where are you coming from?
Brinda – “ From
SriKrishna’s lotus feet”
Radha - “ Where is he?”
Brinda – “ In the woods
Radha – “ What is he doing
Brinda – “ Learning to
Radha – “ Who is the guru
Brinda –“On each of the
trees all around him, you in your various dancing postures is appearing before
him. Enchanted, he is trying to copy them by dancing and ecstatically running
after those of your figures”.
So of whom the
Supreme Lord is a disciple and a mad lover that is SriRadha.
There is a song recorded
in an audio cassette by HariOm Saran which says –
“Radha-shakti bina na koi
Shyamaru darashan paawe,
Aradhan kar Radhe Radhe
Kanha bhagke aawe “
Meaning: Unless empowered
by Radha none can get a glimpse of Shyam (Krishna of Vrindaban). If you worship
Her by chanting Radhe Radhe then Shyam will come running to you.
SriRadha, Holding Her as Guru, Singing in Her praise let life be spent.