Radha, the personification of spiritual love


By Radhanath Swami

Radhashtami marks the birth anniversary of Krishn’s consort Radharani. It  is the day to meditate on one of the deepest mysteries of Vedic scriptures – how can one enter into a spontaneous, loving relationship with God, considering oneself an intimate servant or a friend on an equal footing, or loving the Absolute Truth as one’s own child or lover.

The Absolute Truth is one, but that one truth – Krishn – is eternally manifested in both male and female aspects, personalities, for the purpose of exchanging love. And just as Krishn is the source of all incarnations, his Hladini Shakti, his eternal pleasure potency, Radharani, is the source of all consorts and all goddesses of fortune.

Srila Prabhupada explains that Radharani is the transformation of Krishn’s supreme love. She is the personification of all spiritual love. And that love is so powerful that it overpowers the all-powerful Krishn.

Nature of Love

Releasing of the dormant love within our heart is possible only by the grace of Krishn’s hladini shakti. Most people upon seeing the paintings of Raas Lila and Radharani dancing with Krishn, feel it is part of our tradition. It is more than that, it is a deep subject. In order to understand Radha’s love, we must understand the nature of love.

Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami defines spiritual love and the love of gopis. A relationship based on the misconception that ‘i am this body and mind’, or one that is based on the concern for one’s enjoyment alone is called kama. A relationship that is based on the knowledge of our liberated condition, that we are eternal souls, beyond the ego, intelligence, mind, senses and the body; a relationship based on selfless, unconditional service, completely for the purpose of giving pleasure to the object of love, that is prem, love. That is the nature of the soul in its relationship with Krishn.

Unlimited Happiness

The purity and intimacy of gopis’ love is unparalleled even in the spiritual world. This is because they do not have even a tinge of personal desire. Their hearts, bodies, minds – everything is absolutely and constantly dedicated to giving happiness to Krishn. Gopis have no false egos. And when you have absolutely no concern for your own happiness, Krishn forces you to be happy. He reciprocates and gives gopis unlimited happiness.

And of all the gopis, the supreme most, as revealed in the Srimad Bhagavatam, is Radharani. All the gopis are an expansion of Radha. All the love of God in every living entity’s heart is part and parcel of her love. She is the complete, unlimited reservoir of all love, and Krishn is the complete object of all love.

The pastimes of Radha and Krishn are the purest, highest and most intimate revelation of the Absolute Truth. Radha is the supreme energy of Krishn and accompanies him in all his incarnations.

The writer is the spiritual guru of ISKCON. Today is Radhashtami

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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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