The Center of Attention: Radha-Madhava

The Center of Attention: Radha-Madhava
by Jananivasa Dasa
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magizine, 1999, Vol. 33, No. 6
Jananivasa Dasa
At the heart of any Krsna conscious community are the Deities. On the main altar of the Mayapur Chandro-daya Mandir (ISKCON’s temple in Mayapur) stand Sri Sri Radha-Madhava (Radha-Krsna) along with Radha’s eight intimate gopi (cowherd girl) friends. Overseeing the worship is Jananivasa Dasa, who has been serving the Deities in Mayapur for forty-one years. The following history of Radha-Madhava was adapted from an interview with Jananivasa conducted by Mahamaya Devi Dasi.

…Once I was standing in the Deity room near Srila Prabhupada while he was viewing the Deities, and he said, “They’re dancing.”

Another time he said, “You see how Radharani is standing like this—” (imitating Her outstretched hand) “holding something out to Krsna? Sometimes Radharani is holding her hand up like this [in blessing pose]. When She’s like that, Krsna can leave Her. But when She’s offering something to Him, He can never leave.”

Once a devotee asked, “Srila Prabhupada, we’re sitting in these rice fields, and you’ve asked us to build a city. Where is all the money going to come from?”

Srila Prabhupada laughed. “You are always worried about where the money will come from. Here we have Radha-Madhava. ‘Madhava’ means the husband of the goddess of fortune. You just worship Radha-Madhava nicely, and everything will come by Their mercy. You don’t have to worry about money.”

Sri Sri Radha Madhava

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Seek the Mercy of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī

Srimati Radharani Vrindavan

…In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said that the Lord is never to be found by becoming a great scholar of the Vedic literatures, but He is very easily approachable through His pure devotee. In Vṛndāvana all the pure devotees pray for the mercy of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the pleasure potency of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Rādhārāṇī is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Lord at once accepts the devotee’s admittance into His association. The conclusion is, therefore, that one should be more serious about seeking the mercy of the devotee than that of the Lord directly, and by one’s doing so (by the good will of the devotee) the natural attraction for the service of the Lord will be revived. (Purport Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.23)

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The Song to the Bumblebee

Srimati Radharani talks to the Bumblebee

“My dear bumblebee, you are a very cunning friend of Uddhava and Kṛṣṇa. You are very expert in touching people’s feet, but I am not going to be misled by this. You appear to have sat on the breasts of one of Kṛṣṇa’s friends, for I see that you have kuṅkuma dust on your mustache. Kṛṣṇa is now engaged in flattering all His young girl friends in Mathurā. Therefore, now that He can be called a friend of the residents of Mathurā, He does not need the help of the residents of Vṛndāvana. He has no reason to satisfy us gopīs. Since you are the messenger of such a person as He, what is the use of your presence here? Certainly Kṛṣṇa would be ashamed of your presence in this assembly.”

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Sri Rupa-cintamani (Free PDF Download)

Radha Krishna

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…Decorated with splendid jewel lotus petals, the youthful and fragrant divine couple are splendid as a monsoon cloud and lightning as They stand on a jeweled golden pavement under a tall kalpa-druma tree by the Yamunā in Vṛndāvana Forest. O mind, please always remember Their charming, gentle smile.

O mind, please remember Lord Hari’s splendid crown decorated with peacock feathers and guñjā, His wavy locks of hair, His forehead splendid with tilaka, His eyebrows, eyes, nose, splendid cheeks, ears, glittering jewel earrings, red lips, flute, face, arching neck marked with three lines, soft shoulders, broad arms decorated with armlets and other ornaments, hands, fingers marked with wavy lines, chest decorated with kaustubha jewel and garlands of pearls and forest flowers and the splendid mark of the goddess of fortune, the line of hairs on His splendid abdomen, His lotus navel, slender waist, tinkling bells, yellow garments, large knees, ankles decorated with tinkling ankle-bells, lotus feet, graceful toes, pink toenails, the redness that extends across the soles of His feet up to His heels, and on His right foot: the barleycorn-mark at the base of His big toe, the ūrdhva-rekhā by His fore-toe, the curved lotus in the middle of His foot, the flag on the surface of His foot, the elephant-goad and thunderbolt at the base of His little-toe, the four svastikas, the jambus, and the eight-pointed star in the middle.

A charming couple, two mountainous oceans of the nectar of the love they bear for each other, shines in Vṛndāvana Forest. The young girl, whose splendor rebukes the lightning flash, hides a gentle smile under Her blue sari. Please remember that smile.

O mind, please meditate on Rādhā’s fine, curly, braided hair, the jewel, golden leaf, tilaka, and curly hairs on Her forehead, Her eyebrows, mascara-anointed eyes, ears, the charming shark-shaped earings at Her cheeks, Her pearl-decorated nose, lips. splendid teeth, musk-dot-decorated chin, neck marked with three lines and decorated with many necklaces, gracefully sloping shoulders, armlet-decorated arms, elbows, lotus hands endowed with beautiful and auspicious lines and decorated with bracelets, jewel ūrmikās, rings, beautiful fingernails, breasts covered with a splendid red bodice, locket, flower-petal abdomen with a line of hairs, navel, slender waist marked with three lines, colorful undergarments, blue petticoat, thighs, knees, legs, ankles, anklets, ankle-bells, toe-ūrmikās, toe-rings, and toe-nails, the barleycorn and ari beneath Her left big-toe, the ūrdhva-rekhābeneath Her fore-toe, the small chariot nearby, the lotus, flag, flower, and vine in the middle, the elephant-goad beneath Her little-toe, beneath that a bracelet and parasol, on the heel a half-moon, on the heel of the other foot a fish, above that a flying mountain, on the sides a śakti and pada, under the big-toe a conchshell, under the little toe an altar, and beneath that an earring…

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Radhastami

On this eve of Srimati Radharani’s appearance day (Radhastami) celebration I am reminded of one of my favorite KRSNA Book stories; Delivery of the Message of Kṛṣṇa to the Gopīs. We share the entire chapter with you here.

…One of the gopīs, namely Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, was so much absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa by dint of Her personal touch with Him that She actually began to talk with a bumblebee which was flying there and trying to touch Her lotus feet. While another gopī was talking with Kṛṣṇa’s messenger Uddhava, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī took that bumblebee to be a messenger from Kṛṣṇa and began to talk with it as follows. “Bumblebee, you are accustomed to drinking honey from the flowers, and therefore you have preferred to be a messenger of Kṛṣṇa, who is of the same nature as you. I have seen on your moustaches the red powder of kuṅkuma, which was smeared on the flower garland of Kṛṣṇa while He was pressing the breast of some other girl who is My competitor. You are feeling very proud by touching that flower, and your moustaches have become reddish. You have come here carrying a message for Me. You are anxious to touch My feet. But My dear bumblebee, let me warn you–don’t touch Me! I don’t want any messages from your unreliable master. You are the unreliable servant of an unreliable master.” It may be that Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī purposely addressed that bumblebee sarcastically in order to criticize the messenger Uddhava. Indirectly, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī saw Uddhava as not only resembling Kṛṣṇa’s bodily features but as being equal to Kṛṣṇa. In this way She indicated that Uddhava was as unreliable as Kṛṣṇa Himself. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī wanted to give specific reasons why She was dissatisfied with Kṛṣṇa and His messengers.

She addressed the bumblebee, “Your master Kṛṣṇa is exactly of your quality. You sit down on a flower, and after taking a little honey you immediately fly away and sit in another flower and taste. You’re just like your master Kṛṣṇa. He gave us the chance of tasting the touch of His lips and then left altogether. I know also that the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, who is always in the midst of the lotus flower, is constantly engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service. But I do not know why she has become so captivated by Kṛṣṇa. She is attached to Him, although she knows His actual character. As far as we are concerned, we are more intelligent than that goddess of fortune. We are not going to be cheated anymore by Kṛṣṇa or His messengers…”

Kṛṣṇa, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 46

Delivery of the Message of Kṛṣṇa to the Gopīs More

Rādhāṣṭamī; Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s Appearance Day

Rādhārāṇī is hari-priyā, very dear to Kṛṣṇa. So if we approach Kṛṣṇa through Rādhārāṇī, through the mercy of Rādhārāṇī, then it becomes very easy. If Rādhārāṇī recommends that “This devotee is very nice,” then Kṛṣṇa immediately accepts, however fool I may be. Because it is recommended by Rādhārāṇī, Kṛṣṇa accepts. Therefore in Vṛndāvana you’ll find all the devotees, they’re chanting more Rādhārāṇī’s name than Kṛṣṇa’s. Wherever you’ll go, you’ll find the devotees are addressing, “Jaya Rādhe.” You’ll find still in Vṛndāvana. They are glorifying Rādhārāṇī. They’re more interested, worshiping Rādhārāṇī. Because however fallen I may be, if some way or other I can please Rādhārāṇī, then it is very easy for me to understand Kṛṣṇa.

The devotees of the Lord in Vaikuntha want to see the Lord as most beautiful, but the devotees in Vrindavana want to see Radharani as even more beautiful than Krishna

Rādhāṣṭamī
Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s Appearance Day
Lecture given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
London, August 29, 1971

Prabhupāda: (chants maṅgalācaraṇa prayers) Today is birth, appearance day of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Rādhāṣṭamī. Fifteen days after Kṛṣṇa’s birth, Rādhārāṇī appeared. (pause) Rādhārāṇī is Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure potency. Rādhā-kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī-śaktiḥ.  More

Kṛṣṇa’s Hiding from the Gopīs

Dear friends, just imagine how the dust of this place is transcendentally glorious. The dust of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa is worshiped even by Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, and the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī. But at the same time, we are very sorry that this particular gopī has gone along with Kṛṣṇa, for She is sharing the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s kisses and leaving us aside to lament. O friends, just see! At this particular spot we do not see the footprints of that gopī. It appears that because there were some pin-pricks from the dried grass, Kṛṣṇa took Rādhārāṇī on His shoulder. O, She is so dear to Him! Kṛṣṇa must have picked some flowers in this spot to satisfy Rādhārāṇī, because here, where He stood erect to get the flowers from the high branches of the tree, we find only half the impression of His feet. Dear friends, just see how Kṛṣṇa must have sat down here with Rādhārāṇī and tried to set flowers in Her hair. You can be certain that both of Them sat together here.”

KRSNA The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Kṛṣṇa’s Hiding from the Gopīs

When Kṛṣṇa suddenly disappeared from the company of the gopīs, they began to search for Him in every place. After not finding Him anywhere, they became afraid and almost mad after Him. They were simply thinking of the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa in great love and affection. Being absorbed in thought, they experienced loss of memory, and with dampened eyes they began to see the very pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, His beautiful talks with them, His embracing, kissing, and other activities. Being so attracted to Kṛṣṇa, they began to imitate His dancing, His walking and smiling, as if they themselves were Kṛṣṇa. Due to Kṛṣṇa’s absence, they all became crazy; each one of them began to tell the others that she was Kṛṣṇa Himself. Soon they all began to assemble together and chant Kṛṣṇa’s name very loudly, and they moved from one part of the forest to another searching for Him. Actually, Kṛṣṇa is all-pervasive; He is in the sky, and He is in the forest; He is within the heart, and He is always everywhere.

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“O Radharani, O Queen of Vrindavana

“O Radharani, O Queen of Vrindavana, Your complexion is like molten gold, Your doe-like eyes are captivatingly restless, a million full and brilliant moons wane before Your lustrous countenance, and a blue sari, having stolen the hue of a fresh rain-laden cloud, has enwrapped Your exquisite form. O Radha, You are the crest-jewel of all the dallying damsels of Vrindavana, fragrant and pristine like a budding jasmine flower. Your sublime form is adorned with priceless jewelry, and you are the best of all the charming and intelligent gopis. You are decorated with all wonderful excellences and surrounded by eight dedicated and beloved cowherd girls known as the asta-sakhis.

“The ambrosia of Your beautiful lips, red as the bimba fruit, is life-giving syrup to Krishna. O Radha, I am rolling on the banks of the Yamuna, my poor heart filled with anticipation, praying to You with all humility. I am guilty of being an offender, a rascal, a useless wretch — yet I beg You to kindly engage me in even the smallest service to Your lotus feet. O most merciful Lady, it will not become You to ignore this most distressed soul, for Your heart is always overflowing with compassion and love.”

[Sri Prarthana-paddhati [Stavamala], Srila Rupa goswami]

Pasted from; http://www.harekrsna.de/radha-beauty.htm

Srimati Radharani is the pleasure potency of Krishna, Hare

Lectures on Bhagavad-gita As It Is, (Bhagavad-gita 4.10)
Calcutta, September 23, 1974
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

By taking shelter of Krishna, one has to become absorbed in thinking of Krishna. That is not very difficult. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [ Bhagavad-gita 18.65]. It is not at all difficult. You simply chant Hare Krishna mantra. You’ll be man-maya. This is so nice thing. Therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended,

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha [ Chaitanya-charitamrita Adi-lila 17.21]

So our request is… Everyone who is present here… Today is Radhastami. So pray to Radharani. And She is hare, hara. This hare, this word, is Radharani. Hara, Radharani. Radha or Hara: the same thing. So Hare Krishna. So we are praying to Radharani, “My Mother, Radharani, and Krishna.” Hare Krishna. “O Krishna, O the Lord.” Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, the same thing, repetition. “O Radharani, O Krishna.” “O Radha-Krishna.” “Radhe-Krishna” or “Hare Krishna,” the same thing. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Again addressing, “O Krishna, O Krishna, O Radharani.” Hare Rama. The same thing, again. Hare Rama. Rama is also Krishna. Rama is Rama, Rama is Balarama. They are all Krishna. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

So this repetition of addressing Radha and Krishna or Hare Krishna is to pray, “My dear Lord, … and the energy, the spiritual energy of the Lord, kindly engage me in Your service.” That’s all. “I am now embarrassed with this material service. Please engage me in Your service.”

This is good sense. We are servants here. We are engaged in so many services. But it is not giving us comfort. Na trapa nopashanti. The service which we are rendering to others, they are not satisfied, I am not satisfied. This is material service. But if you give service to Krishna… Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat. A little service can save you from the greatest danger. This is the formula.

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25 Transcendental Qualities of Srimati Radharani


Srimati Radharani has twenty-five transcendental qualities, and She can control even Krsna by them. Her transcendental qualities are as follows:

1. She is sweetness personified
2. She is a fresh young girl
3. Her eyes are always moving
4. She is always brightly smiling
5. She possesses all auspicious marks on her body
6. She can agitate Krishna by the flavor of Her person

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