“Shrimati Radharani is the center of all Vrindavana’s activities. In Vrindavana, Krishna is the instrument of Shrimati Radharani; therefore all the inhabitants of Vrindavana still chant ‘Jaya Radhe.’” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 13.150 Purport)
Friend2: In certain depictions, yes.
Friend1: What do you mean?
Friend2: Well, sometimes, you have Krishna alongside the Queen of Dvaraka, Rukmini Devi. In some temples He will be with Satyabhama, another queen.
Friend1: Oh, right. I see what you mean. The focus today is on Radha-Krishna. I know they are factual personalities; not figments of the imagination. But there is also some symbolism to the image.
Friend2: How so?
Friend1: In what they represent. The male and female aspects of the Divine.
Friend2: True. God is one, but here you have two different sides to that one. Neither is necessarily inferior or subordinate.
Friend1: Radharani is also known as the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi. In this way, Krishna is the husband of the goddess of fortune.
Friend2: Which is the reason for another name, Madhava. You also have Shripati and Lakshmipati.
Friend1: That is so nice. I like how there are many forms of address. You can choose one to your liking and be equally as benefitted.
Friend2: The Supreme Lord is unlimited, after all. He could never be restricted to a single name, a single point of view, a single perspective, or a single tradition of spirituality. Sort of like how the sun goes by different names depending on which part of the world you live. Yet the sun is still the same; there aren’t multiple versions of it.
Friend1: One thing that a person might find odd is that in their earthly pastimes, Radharani appears in a part of the world that wouldn’t be considered fortunate.
Friend2: Why would you say that?
Friend1: It is a rural community. She is the daughter of Vrishabhanu. These are villagers, in essence. If she is the goddess of fortune, is there not a contradiction?
Friend2: An incompatibility of sorts?
Friend1: Yes; she is supposed to be the embodiment of fortune. Well then, where is it? Why is she living in some farmhouse? No electricity. No underground sewage system. No indoor plumbing. No high-speed internet.
Friend2: These are good questions. Radharani as goddess of fortune is one point of view. It is one perspective in honoring and worshiping her. It is an important view to have, since we should respect the Almighty and those dear to Him.
Friend1: What are you saying? She is not really the goddess of fortune?
Friend2: No; I am saying she is much more than that. In the temple, we dress the deities opulently because we look upon them as Vishnu and Lakshmi. The mood of worship is awe and reverence. This is the explanation of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Friend2: Radharani’s actual position is difficult to understand. The love between the two, Radha and Krishna, is so amazing that there is the Divine descent as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in an attempt to understand.
Friend1: The golden avatara who teaches specifically about madhurya-rasa. In other words, reaching the pinnacle of bliss in bhakti life.
Friend2: And so the setting is a component to that love. Vrindavana is where Radha and Krishna enjoy the most. They are already the wealthiest people in the universe. It is not like Nanda and Vrishabhanu are poor. Just see how everyone is dressed, based on the paintings and depictions. Limitless cows. No economic problem. No lack of fresh air. Plenty of sunshine and exercise, without worrying about stock prices and your retirement account.
Friend1: Oh, absolutely. I know what you mean. Jewels everywhere. The finest dresses. No one walks around like that today. It is the best fashion sense. The men, the women, the children – everyone looks amazing.
Friend2: Which is not by accident. To this day, in Vrindavana people are more attached to Radha than Krishna. They celebrate her appearance anniversary day, Radhashtami, with so much love, affection, and joy.
Friend1: Provided the tyrannical, atheist government allows people to congregate for such celebrations. Not giving some bogus excuse as to prevent the onset of disease, which is a risk at every second of an existence.
Friend2: That kind of worship is the embodiment of good health. It is the most beneficial for everyone involved. Radharani as the goddess of fortune showers her blessings on the fortunate inhabitants, who always remember and honor her.
As goddess of fortune known,
But how in Vrindavana shown?
Where living in rural setting,
And not highest standard getting?
The most joy deriving in that place,
Krishna and She of moonlike face.
Radharani countless blessings giving,
Attached those on bhakti path living.