Radhashtami 2017

[Shrimati Radharani]“Since Krishna had departed from Vrindavana to Mathura, the inhabitants of Vrindavana, especially mother Yashoda, Nanda Maharaja, Shrimati Radharani, the gopis and the cowherd boys, were simply thinking of Krishna at every step.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 45)

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In the sacred land of Vrindavana the residents appear to be more attached to Shrimati Radharani, who is the goddess of fortune and the original and full manifestation of the pleasure potency of the Divine. Those residents are known to constantly say, “Radhe, Radhe,” in great ecstasy, hoping to win the favor of the beloved of Shri Krishna. The occasion of Radhashtami brings another chance to remember and honor her.

It’s a common retort from the atheists, or at least those who are not sure about religion and the concept of an Almighty, intelligent being watching over the creation.

“We have visual evidence of so many things. I know it is sunny by looking outside. I can tell where I am by my surroundings. In the same way, why can’t I just see God? Why can’t He appear before me? Then I will be sure.”

Those on the devotional path understand that He is actually everywhere. The very presence of life is proof of His existence. Nothing would manifest without His prior sanction. No result can come to be without His approval. This is true of both pious and sinful activities.

“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.27)

The all-pervading aspect of God is often described as the impersonal side. The presence is there all the same, but distinguishable features are lacking. There is a personal side, as well, and when in the material condition there appears to be separation.

The idea is to worship in separation. There is some faith extended in the beginning, but gradually, through purification in practice, the faith aspect dissipates, turning into supreme confidence. At the same time, the attachment increases. You essentially become more attached to something you feel separated from.

In normal circumstances such separation is unfortunate. Wouldn’t we rather be with God? Wouldn’t that fix the problem? The attachment is actually more important, and those who have this attachment feel tremendous ecstasy. No one worships better in separation than Shrimati Radharani. She is Krishna’s eternal consort. Krishna is God in the original form. He is all-attractive, and that property extends to His devotees and the devotion they practice.

[Radha-Krishna]Radharani’s devotion is the most attractive, as she never stops thinking of her beloved. There is the philosophical evidence understood through theory and practical application. There is also the supporting historical evidence, found in works like the Shrimad Bhagavatam.

If Radharani is eternally with Krishna, what need is there for history? The Divine sometimes descends to the mortal world. He does so to accomplish several tasks, but primarily He likes to give even more pleasure to the devoted souls.

Krishna spends significant time in Vrindavana, which is a replica of the transcendental abode in the planetary system known as Vaikuntha. In this rural community, Krishna performs amazing and adorable pastimes, and Radharani features prominently in the real-life drama.

Unfortunately, one day Krishna leaves Vrindavana for Mathura. He never returns, and the residents are left to feel the tremendous separation. Radharani is the most affected, and she continues to remember her beloved day and night. She is not a stone. She continues to work. She does not abandon all responsibilities. The same goes for the other gopis, the cowherd women.

[Shrimati Radharani]In this way the person most dear to Shri Krishna is a shining example for every spiritual seeker. She worships in separation. She never stops thinking of the all-attractive one. She pleases Krishna so much with her devotion. Others on the path seek her favor first, as she is not selfish. She recommends devotees to Krishna. Her approval means the world, as she, better than anyone, understands worship in separation, vipralambha. Her potency is just as much present in the sacred maha-mantra, the sound vibration to soothe the pain of feeling away from God: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

In worship not always close to be,

Sometimes desperate longing to see.

This platform considered highest of all,

Reason with ecstasy “Radhe” to call.

In Vrindavana following her with determination,

Who embodying worship in separation.

So on Radhashtami prayers her way to send,

Who gladly devotees to Krishna recommends.

Categories: feature, holiday, radhashtami

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