August 26th 2020, Wednesday
Sri Radhashtami celebrates the appearance of Srimati Radhika on this earth five thousand years ago. Lord Chaitanya’s Gaudiya Sampradaya especially celebrates the love of Radharani for Krishna and her mercy on all living beings enabling them to engage in the service of Lord Krishna.
ISKCON Chennai will be conducting a virtual festival this year. Stay tuned for more information.
About Srimati Radharani
The highest truth has both male and female aspects. Like the sun and the sunshine, each gives meaning to the other. The male and female aspects of the Supreme Being appear together as Vishnu and Laksmi, Rama and Sita, and Krishna and Radharani.
During Krishna’s childhood pastimes in Vrindavan, Radharani is His feminine counterpart. The Srimad-Bhagavatam and the books of the Six Goswamis of Vrindavan tell how They eternally enjoy each others’ company and are always making plans to meet.
In a lecture that Srila Prabhupada gave on Radhastami, the appearance anniversary of Srimati Radharani, on September 18, 1969, in London, he says:
What is the position of Srimati Radharani? We should try to understand this today and offer our obeisances to Radharani. “Radhe vrndavanesvari:”
Our business is to pray, “Radharani, You are so dear to Krishna. So we offer our respectful obeisances unto You:”
Radharani is hari-priya, very dear to Krishna. So if we approach Krishna through the mercy of Radharani, then it becomes very easy. If Radharani recommends that, “This devotee is very nice,” then Krishna immediately accepts, however foolish I may be. Because Radharani recommends it, Krishna accepts. Therefore, in Vrndavana you’ll find all the devotees chanting Radharani’s name more than Krishna’s. Wherever you’ll go, you’ll find the devotees are addressing one another, “Jaya Radhe.” They are glorifying Radharani. They’re more interested in worshiping Her. This is because, however fallen I may be, if somehow or other I can please Radharani, then it is very easy for me to understand Krishna. Otherwise,
manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam kascid vetti mam tattvatah
If you go by the speculative process to understand Krishna, it will take many, many lives. But if you take to devotional service and you just try to please Radharani, then Krishna will be gotten very easily, because Radharani can deliver Krishna. She is such a great devotee, the emblem of maha-bhagavata (topmost level of devotion to Krishna). Even Krishna Himself, though He says vedaham samatitani (“I know everything”) cannot understand Radharani’s quality. Radharani is so great. Actually, Krishna knows everything, and in order to understand Radharani, Krishna accepts the position of Radharani in order to understand Her potency. Krishna thought, “I am full. I am complete in every respect, but still I want to understand Radharani. Why?” This propensity made Krishna obliged to accept the propensities of Radharani, to understand Krishna, Himself.
These are, of course, very transcendental topics. It is a great science. Only one who is advanced in Krishna consciousness and well conversant with the shastras can understand such things. But still, we can discuss from the shastra (scriptures). When Krishna wanted to understand Himself, He adopted the tendency of Srimati Radharani. And that is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam: Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna, but He has accepted the propensities of Radharani. As Radharani is always feeling separation from Krishna, similarly, in the position of Radharani, Lord Chaitanya was feeling separation from Krishna. That is the teaching of Lord Chaitanya – feelings of separation, not meeting. The process of devotional service taught by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His disciplic succession is how to feel separation from Krishna. And that is Radharani’s position: always feeling that separation.