Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Fifteen days from Krishnashtami comes Radha Ashtami, a joyous celebration in some part of North of India, celebrating the birth of Radharani, supreme devotee of Lord Krishna. Radharani’s birthday is the sacred eighth day of the month of Bhadrapada. Sri Radharani was born in Barsana, a suburb in Mathura. Bhagawan had spoken many a time, about the inseparable relationship between Krishna and Radha, The Creator and His Creation. Narrating the backdrop of Radha’s affinity towards Krishna, Whom she recognized as Paramatma, Bhagawan recounted a beautiful incident from the illustrious life of Sri Radharani. An extract from Summer Showers in Brindavan 1978.
One day Radha intended to enter Brindavan to pick up some dried pieces of cow dung. She was making some attempts to enter the city and Krishna recognised that Radha was making such attempts. Since Nanda was the head of the place, a watchman was guarding the entrances at the behest of Nanda. Krishna instructed the watchman to state that only men are permitted to enter Brindavan and women are strictly prohibited from coming in.
Thus, when Radha was trying to enter Brindavan on one day with her basket for collecting dried pieces of cow dung, the watchman said that no woman can enter Brindavan. Radha was utterly confused on hearing this. Smilingly, Radha asked, “Can you stay in Brindavan? If you can enter Brindavan, I can also enter.” The watchman replied, “I am a man, you are a woman.” Radha replied, “You are making a big mistake. In this world, Krishna is the only Purusha. All others are women. If you can enter, I can also enter.” In this manner, she argued with great strength and questioned the watchman by asking, “How can you call yourself a man, simply because you are wearing robes and dress appropriate to a man?”
She forced her entry into Brindavan. Krishna, Who was coming behind, noticed this and said that since Radha forced her entry contrary to the orders of Krishna, and since she was a woman, she will have to pay a tax by way of penalty for disobeying his orders. Radha replied, “Oh Lord! The heart you have given me is my only property. I can return it to you by way of tax. I have neither wealth nor possessions to pay tax in any other manner. I shall gladly surrender my only belonging, namely my heart, to you.”
Krishna replied “Golden Radha, Brindavan has come into existence to immortalise the kind of divine relationship that exists between me as Paramatma and you as Prakruthi. Posterity will know that Krishna was always enshrined in the heart of Radha. This commitment made by me will always convey the meaning of the relationship that existed between Radha and Krishna.
Where there is Prakruthi, there will be Paramatma. Where there is Paramatma, there will be creation. Paramatma and Prakruthi are like the object and the image. Wherever we may go, the combination and the confluence of the two aspects of Radha and Krishna will be what people can see in this world.”
Bhagawan discoursed further, elucidating on the Divine relationship:
To regard Radha of the Bhagavatha as an ordinary woman, to regard Krishna as an ordinary human being, a man, and to regard the relationship between them as no more than between a man and a woman, as people generally understand, is very wrong and quite contrary to what the author of the sacred text of the Bhagavatha intended to convey. This relationship is the sacred relationship that exists between God and His creation. It is as inseparable as the white colour of milk is inseparable from the milk itself. The colour of the milk is white.
It is not possible for us to remove the white colour from milk. If we turn milk into curds, the curd is also white. If we churn the curd and get buttermilk out of it, the buttermilk is also white. If from that buttermilk, we separate the butter, it is also white. Thus, do what you may, it is not possible to separate the white colour of milk from the milk itself. Radha is part and parcel of Krishna even as much as white colour is part and parcel of milk. The kind of association between Radha and Krishna has no parallel in the world and cannot occur in any other instance.
Today, only when we understand this and put into practice, at least to some extent, the lessons we can draw from the relationship between Radha and Krishna, will we be in a position to promote the aspects of Krishna, in their divine form, throughout the world. On the contrary, we should not regard Radha as one individual and Krishna as another individual and promote this thought based on a difference between them. This oneness of Radha and Krishna has been referred to in the bible as “Kingdom of God.” This aspect of oneness of Prakruthi and Paramatma has been referred to, in several religions, by using different words. However, to enable common people to understand the significance of Radha, our ancients have created a form and a name. But whoever, continually and at all times thinks of Krishna, is a Radha. This is an aspect and not a name.
For this sacred and divine aspect of Radha, we have been ascribing several distorted meanings. Radha is no other than a faithful image of Krishna, the object. We should undertake such action as will lead us to Krishna. The Creator is Krishna. The creation is the Prakruthi. Action is needed to be able to cultivate divine love. As a result of the love of Krishna, we should be able to reach Him. Today, we have understood the meaning and significance of the love of Radha for Krishna. We should now be prepared to interpret all her actions against the background of such divine love.
(banner courtesy: iskconbrindavan.com)
II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II
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