Monday Morning Greetings 2020 #34 –  Sri Radha Made Simple in Ten Easy Steps

August 24th, 2020

  1. In this world everyone is seeking happiness, and that happiness is ultimately found in love.
     
  2. If that is the guiding principle in this world, why should it not be part of its source, the ultimate reality?
     
  3. If there is love in the spiritual realm, there must also be beauty, for love means to offer the best.
     
  4. This correlation between happiness, love, and beauty is the key to understanding Śrī Rādhā.
     
  5. Krishna’s happiness potency (that which gives Him pleasure) is called hlādinī śakti, the essence of which is Krishna prema or love of Godhead. When that love is heightened to the highest degree, it is called mahābhāva. Śrī Rādhā is mahābhāva svarūpa, the form of the highest love (and pleasure). In other words, as Radha is the personification of the happiness potency, which is intense love, Radha has the full capacity to offer such love in terms of Her exemplary qualities.
     
  6. To understand Radha more deeply one has to understand the relationship between love, an internal emotion, and the necessity of a concrete expression of that love to enable another to feel it. An example should help. When we love someone, we may offer them flowers to express our love. Why? Flowers are fragrant, colorful, and may be soft and smooth. The experience of those flowers is not just a sensual experience, but an emotional one, which is the experience of the love from the person who has offered it so nicely.
     
  7. Similarly, as Śrī Rādhā is an expression of God’s own potency of love, there is no limit to the intensity and greatness of Her qualities to express that love. Descriptions of those characteristics and abilities, however, can give us some idea of the intensity of her love. For example, here is a description of Śrī Rādhā’s beauty from Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, just one of Her twenty-five prominent qualities:
     
    “The beauty of Śrī Rādhā’s smile defeats the beauty of a blue lotus. The beauty of Her face defeats the beauty of a forest of blue lotuses, and the luster of Her body puts gold in a painful situation.”
     
  8. Śrī Rādhā’s many ornaments and decorations, which She adorns only for the pleasure of Krishna, are also a personification of mahābhāva, the highest manifestation of Krishna prema, and naturally non-different from Her. Therefore, Krishna’s experience of Śrī Rādhā, down to His appreciation of those decorations, are the highest experience of happiness.
     
  9. Only someone who is impersonal is not conquered by love. As Krishna is the Supreme Person, He is responsive to and conquered by true devotion. As Śrī Rādhā is the highest form of love, Her twenty-fifth transcendental quality is that She always keeps Krishna under Her control.
     
  10. How is this relevant to us? Śrīla Prabhupāda instructs us:
     
    “Rādhārāṇī, the symbol of the topmost bhakti, is so powerful that She has purchased Krishna. Therefore, Vrajavāsīs[1] take shelter of the lotus feet of Rādhārāṇī, for if She recommends, ‘O here is a nice devotee,’ Krishna must accept him.” (Teachings of Queen Kuntī)
     

 

 


[1] The devotees who reside in Vṛndāvana, Śrī Krishna’s abode.

 

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