pravīṇāṁ gāndharvām api ca nigamais tat-priyatamām
ya ekaṁ govindaṁ bhajati kapaṭī dāmbhikatayā
tad-abhyarṇe śīrṇe kṣaṇam api na yāmi vratam idam
Not even for a moment will I go near that impure place where a proud hypocrite worships Govinda alone without worshiping his most expert lover Shri Gandharvā (Radha), whose glories are sung by the Vedic scriptures and great sages like Nārada Muni, who carries the vīṇā. That is my solemn vow!
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In the previous verse, Shri Raghunath vowed to worship Vrajendra-nandana, the embodiment of sweetness, birth after birth. His svarūpa is Radha’s maidservant, and he is completely fixed on Shri Radha’s lotus feet.
He’s only so attached to Krishna’s worship because He is the Lord of Radha’s life, not for any separate reasons:
“My Goddess is Shri Radha, the Queen of Vrindavan, and I worship Giridhārī because he is the Lord of her life!”
This is the mūla-māntra (main anthem) of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas for their worship of Krishna. Actually, without attaining Shri Radha’s grace and without worshiping her, attainment of Krishna and the relish of ujjvala (effulgent) rasa is extremely difficult. Shri Raghunath Das opens his Saṅkalpa-prakāśa-stotram with this verse:
anāśritya vṛndāṭavīṁ tat-padāṅkam
kutaḥ śyāma-sindho rasasyāvagāhaḥ
“How can anyone enter the Śyāma-ocean of rasa without having worshipped the dust of Shri Radha’s lotus feet, without having taken shelter of Vrindavan, where her footprints lie, and without conversing with those persons whose hearts are deep with loving feelings for her?”
What to speak of entering into the ocean of rasa? Sripāda Prabodhānanda Saraswati has written that those who do not worship Shri Radha have only attained a drop of the Shyāma-ocean, even if they have reached it.
so’yaṁ pūrṇa-sudhā-ruceḥ paricayaṁ rākāṁ vinā kāṅkṣa¬ti
kiṁ ca śyāma-rati-pravāha-laharī-bījaṁ na ye tāṁ vidus
te prāpyāpi mahāmṛtāmbudhim aho binduṁ paraṁ prāpnuyuḥ
“Anyone who gives up the service of Shri Radha, desiring Govinda’s personal company, is like someone who wants to enjoy the full moon without the fullmoon night, and anyone who does not know (that Radha is) the seed of Śyāma’s pleasure is like someone who only gets a drop of the great ocean of nectar that is available to him!” (RRSN 80)
The purport of this verse is that the ocean of mādhurya mūrti Krishna’s sweetness increases unlimitedly in front of Shri Radha’s sweetness. rādhā-saṅge yadā bhāti tadā madana-mohana (Govinda-līlāmṛta) “When he shines with Radha he enchants even Cupid.”
tathāpi svacchatā tāra bāḍhe kṣaṇe kṣaṇa
āmāra mādhuryera nāhi bāḍhite avakāśe;
e darpaṇera āge nava nava rūpe bhāse
“Although the mirror of Radha’s true love is clear, its clarity increases at every moment. There’s also no end to the increase of my [Krishna’s] sweetness, which appears before this mirror in ever-new forms.” (CC 1.4.140-1)
Therefore, the service of Shri Radha is the best means to relish the ocean of sweetness that is Krishna. Those who take shelter of Shri Radha’s lotus feet and those who are so fortunate to relish Krishna’s sweetness with Shri Radha know that it is totally useless to try to relish Krishna’s sweetness by abandoning the service of Shri Radha.
Shri Raghunath Das says, “The great sages like Nārada Muni as well as the Vedic scriptures are always singing Shri Radha’s glories.” Shri Nārada had learned about the nectarean glories of Shri Radha from his guru Shri Śaṅkara and has revealed these teachings in his ‘Nārada Pañcarātra’. There he describes Shri Radha as the parā prakṛti:
bhaktyā namanti yat śaśvat tvaṁ namāmi parātparam
“I offer my obeisances always unto the Supreme [Krishna] who is devotedly worshiped by Lakṣmī, Saraswati, Durgā, Sāvitrī and the Supreme Shri Radhika.”
In this verse, Nārada Muni especially uses the affix parā, or Supreme, for Shri Radhika to firmly confirm that Shri Radhika is the greatest of all the Lord’s potencies. In the scriptures Shri Nārada has often used this affix parā in connection with Shri Radha –
rasikā rasikānandā svayaṁ rāseśvarī parā
“Shri Radha, from whom the four goals of human life emanate, is the Lord’s supreme potency. Shri Radha is full of rasa, she delights in rasa, she’s the Queen of the Rāsa-dance and she’s the Supreme Goddess.”
parāṁ te śrestha-vācakā “A person who is called parā in the end is the greatest.” Following this rule, Shri Radha is ascertained as the greatest of the Lord’s potencies.
In the same way, the Vedic scriptures also elaborately glorify Shri Radha. Especially the Åk, Sāma and Atharva-Vedas mention her name with great respect. stotraṁ rādhānāṁ pate girvāho vīra yasya te (Rk 130/5, Sāma 1600, Atharva 20.45.2) “O hero, O Lord of Radha! In this way you are the object of our praise! May your prowess be true and beloved!” In the appendix to the Rk-Veda it is written: rādhayā mādhavo devo mādhavenaiva rādhikā vibhrājante janeṣv ā “Through Radha Madhava shines and through Madhava Radhika shines amongst the people.”
In the Gopāla Tāpanī Upaniṣad it is seen: tasyādyā prakṛtī rādhikā nitya-nirguṇā yasyāṁśe lakṣmī-durgādikāḥ śaktayaḥ “Shri Radhika is Krishna’s foremost eternal transcendental potency and all the other potencies of the Lord, like Lakṣmī, Durgā and so on, are merely her expansions.” In this way, the Vedic scriptures repeatedly glorify Shri Radha, Krishna’s foremost beloved, in many places.
Shri Raghunath says: “Anyone who worships Shri Govinda alone, without caring about his most expert lady-love, Shri Gāndharvikā, is a proud hypocrite!” Srila Raghunath Das Goswami is an ācārya of the era of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Sriman Mahaprabhu has brought the worship of Krishna under the shelter of Srimati Radharani as a unique gift.
A person who worships only Krishna in this age of Mahaprabhu, without worshiping Shri Radhika, thus being deprived of her mercy, is highly unfortunate. Without taking shelter of her, it is not possible to attain Prema or the relish of Krishna, so it’s needless to say that someone who worships Krishna while disrespecting or neglecting Shri Radha, is a proud hypocrite. Moreover, Sriman Mahādeva (Lord Śiva) also explains to Mahādevī (Māyādevī) that such a person is to be condemned as a sinner:
“O Paravati, A person who worships the blue light (Krishna), chants his name or meditates on him without worshiping the golden light (Shri Radha) is a sinner!”
japed vā dhyāyate vāpi sa bhavet pātakī śive
Since the scriptures prohibit association with sinful people, Shri Raghunath Das says, “I will never go to the impure place where such a person can be found – this is my firm vow!”
gāna kore mahimā yāhāra
kṛṣṇa priyatamā yini, śrī rādhikāṭhākurānī,
gāndharvikāya kori anādara
ye kapaṭī dambhabhare, govinda bhajanā kore,
āmi tāra apavitra saṅga
kṣaṇa kāla koribo nā, tāra mukha dekhibo nā,
sthira vrata nā kori tā bhaṅga
“I will never go to the impure place where a person stays who disrespects Gāndharvikā Shri Radhika, Krishna’s dearmost beloved, whose glories are sung by the Vedas, Purāṇas, the Vedānta and the Vīṇā-playing sage Nārada, and who is so proud and deceitful to worship Govinda alone – and I will never look at his face. That is my unbreakable vow.”