Radha Bhakti…

Born in the village Barsana, Radharani epitomised the soul’s unquenchable thirst for the Divine, representing ananyabhakti, infinite devotion, matchless and unconditional. Quite often Bhagawan spoke about His ‘ananya bhakta’ recounting beautiful tales from those wonderful Dwapara days. When the world of ‘Krishna Consciousness’ sings in ecstacy “Radhe Radhe Radhe Barsaane Wali Radhe…” celebrating the appearance of Radharani, let‘s revisit some of those precious recountals of Bhagawan, discoursing on His foremost devotee…

Textual knowledge can’t confer devotion. You can’t get it from any Guru. No friend can make a gift of devotion. It should be born in one’s own Heart. It can’t be stuffed into your heart. The devotion of the Gopis was pure and selfless. It was steady, unshakeable, and unwavering. Radha was the most prominent among them. She felt herself one with Krishna, tadatmya, total identification. Radha had only Krishna trsna, thirst or desire for God, and not lokatrsna, worldly desire.

One day, Krishna went to a nearby place in His vehicle along with Rukmini. All the inhabitants of the place gathered there and gave them a tumultuous welcome, exceedingly jubilant.

Rukmini noticed Krishna gazing intently at a person to her side. That person, too, was casting looks on Krishna. Krishna slowly and softly said, “Rukmini! Do you know Radha? She is an ardent devotee of Mine.” Hearing this, Rukmini got down from the vehicle and rushed close to Radha and after exchanging pleasantries, invited her to spend some time with her in the palace, in Dwaraka. Accordingly, on the following day, Radha went to Dwaraka. Rukmini received Radha at the main entrance and escorted her into the palace. Radha stayed with Rukmini in the palace for some time, talking about Krishna and singing the glories of Krishna. They began sharing the joys of their experiences with Lord Krishna. Rukmini served hot milk to Radha, so that she could be with her for some more time and talk a little longer about Krishna, as she would sip the milk slowly. But, Radha gulped the whole cup of hot milk at once. All the same, the conversation went on for some time and then, Radha left the palace for her village.

Krishna returned in the evening, very much tired. He said to Rukmini, “Rukmini! Look! I am very tired and exhausted; I have a burning sensation in My Feet, it is unbearable.” Rukmini noticed some blisters on His Feet and wondered how and why such a thing happened to Him. Krishna then said, “Rukmini! You served very hot milk to Radha this afternoon, when she came to visit you in response to your invitation, didn’t you? Radha drank the whole lot at one gulp. As My Feet are located in her heart, the hot milk spilt on My Feet and so, you now find blisters there, where I feel the burning sensation.” This was the level of Radha’s devotion.

One day, to test Radha’s devotion, a Gopi gave her a pot with holes to fetch water from the river Yamuna. Radha didn’t notice that. She was constantly repeating the sacred Name of Krishna, as she was dipping the pot in the river. With her every utterance of Krishna’s precious Name, one hole after another got cemented. The pot never leaked and Radha brought home a pot full of water. That was the height of her devotion!

In the very name ‘Radha’, ‘R’ signifies ‘Radha’, ‘A’ is for ‘Adhar’ or foundation, ‘D’ signifies ‘Dhara’ or continuous, uninterrupted flow, and the next ‘A’ means ‘Aradhana’ or worship. Her devotion was unflinching like a dhara, continuous flow like oil.

As Radha repeated the name of Krishna, Krishna also thought of Radha repeatedly. This is the link and the intimacy between a devotee and his or her personal God or Deva.