“To perform devotional service means to follow in the footsteps of Radharani, and devotees in Vrindavana put themselves under the care of Radharani in order to achieve perfection in their devotional service. In other words, devotional service is not an activity of the material world; it is directly under the control of Radharani.” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 1)
“Forgive me for asking such a random question, especially with regards to the source. I see pictures floating around the internet now and then. Obviously, some of them are not suitable for children, but within the bhakti tradition they can make a significant positive impact on my day.
“In this instance someone shared a photo of what appears to be the top decoration on a cake. I’m assuming it was done for a special occasion. There is baby Krishna seated on the floor. He is looking innocent and cute, like a beautiful child should. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is so affectionate in this way; He allows us to understand Him to a degree, even though He is beyond the range of the senses.
“Next to baby Krishna is a sleeping baby, of a fair complexion. I believe it is Shrimati Radharani. I am assuming the designers decided to depict the bed as a lotus flower. She is sleeping comfortably, with her eyes closed. Krishna is looking at her. Would you happen to know what pastime this is in relation to? I’m not sure of the tie in to a special occasion, either. Thanks.”
1. Unique way of her appearance
The goddess of fortune is someone special. In the spiritual world she is known as Lakshmi Devi. It makes sense that she is married to the Supreme Lord, as He is the controller and protector of fortune. Vishnu is automatically the richest person in the universe because He has Lakshmi always by His side.
Just as Vishnu sometimes descends to this world, the goddess of fortune has corresponding appearances. The word “appearance” is important to stress, because it is not an ordinary janma. The birth process is painful and forced upon a living entity, in the same way that death later arrives.
In a long ago era, Lakshmi Devi appeared as the daughter of King Janaka. That pious leader found her one day while ploughing a field. Radharani’s appearance is similar. Vrishabhanu finds her one day and brings her home. Radha does not have the typical entryway associated with janma.
There is great symbolism to this historic event. As the poor person dreams of one day stumbling upon wealth, as if by accident, so the pious leaders get the greatest fortune in the world through the literal meeting with a baby girl. Vrishabhanu holds tremendous affection for his daughter, and the entire family is blessed.
2. Worried parents
As the story goes, the happy mother and father have one concern. It is quite serious. Radha will not open her eyes. Maybe she has been attacked by evil spirits. Perhaps a birth defect. The parents call for outside help, but the decision is to let time run its course.
3. Eyes only for Krishna
The image depicted on the cake is of the eventual meeting between Krishna and Radha. Vrishabhanu and family invite over Nanda Maharaja and Yashoda Devi of Gokula. Those parents bring their darling child named Krishna with them.
When no one is around, Krishna crawls over to where sleeping Radha is. Upon looking at her, Radha opens her eyes for the first time. This is not surprising behavior, as the goddess of fortune has eyes only for the Supreme Lord. She is the most chaste companion in this way. Her devotion is pure.
It is for this reason that in formal worship the Supreme Lord is not alone on the altar. The goddess of fortune is by His side. This is her preferred place, and to see them together is a blessing for the eyes. Occasions like Radhashtami, the birth anniversary of Vrishabhanu’s daughter, give time for further blissful reflection on the matter.
Time for blissful reflection,
Eyes in their direction.
Like Radharani for the first time,
Opening for Shri Krishna to find.
That goddess of fortune appearing,
Relieved parents previously fearing.
Preferred next to beloved standing,
God and His energy understanding.
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