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The meaning of Radhe

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Krishna-i-Radha.jpgThe Hague, Holland: July 9, 2005
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj

[As an invocation to the tenth annual Holland Harikatha festival, Shrila Maharaj requested the devotees to sing Shrila Rupa Gosvami's prayer, "Shri Shri Radhika Pada-Padme Vijnapti." He then gave an elaborate explanation of the prayer:]

radhe! jaya jaya madhava-dayite
gokula-taruni mandala-mahite (1)

damodara-rati vardhana vese!
hari-niskuta-vrndavipine se! (2)

vrsabhanudadhi-nava-sasi-lekhe
lalita-sakhi! guna ramita-visakhe! (3)

karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite!
sanaka-sanatana-varnita-carite! (4)

Radhe – what is the meaning of Radhe? "Aradyate iti." Shri Krishna Himself worships Shrimati Radhika, and Radhika worships Him. When She came from Krishna's left side in the rasa-lila She at once ran to Him to worship Him – and He ran towards Her. "Radhe Jaya Jaya – Radhe, all glories to You, all glories to You."

"Madhava Dayite – You are very near and dear to Lord Madhava."

yasyah kadapi vasanancala-khelanottha-
dhanyati-dhanya-pavanena krtartha-mani
yogindra-durgama-gatir madhusudano 'pi
tasya namo 'stu vrsabhanu-bhuvo dise 'pi
(Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verse 2)

["Obeisances to the direction that faces Shri Vrsabhanu's daughter. When the breeze coming from that direction playfully moves the edge of Her garment, Lord Krishna, who cannot be attained by even the kings of the yogis, thinks that His life has now become a great success."]

Once, Shri Krishna did something that offended Shrimati Radhika, and She entered a sulky mood. She was sitting on one side of Radha-kunda, and Krishna was on the other side in feelings of great separation from Her. The breeze coming from Radha's side touched the beautiful fragrance of Radha-kunda and also the veil of Radhika – not Radhika, but the veil which held Her fragrance. That breeze then touched Krishna and He exclaimed, "My life is successful! My life is successful!"

So many sages and saintly kings are able to control their minds, and their minds are thus purified. Yet, even in their meditation they cannot touch the lotus feet of Shri Krishna. On the other hand, by any connection with Radhika, by even the fragrance of Her veil, that same Krishna was overwhelmed. Radhika is so glorious.

venum karan nipatitam skhalitam sikhandam
bhrasdanca pita-vasanam vraja-raja-sunoh
yasyah kadaksa-sara-ghata-vimurcchitasya
tam radhikam paricarami kada rasena
(Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verse 39, by Shrila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati)

["When will I delight in the service of Shrimati Radharani? Struck by the arrow of Her side-long glance Krishna faints, His flute falls from His hands, the peacock feathers on His head become loosened and His yellow scarf slips from His neck."]

Shrila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati writes: "When will I have a chance to serve Shrimati Radhika with rasa – manjari-rasa – which is so high-class, even more so than the transcendental stages of sneha, maan, raga, anuraga and still more than that."

akhila-rasamrta-murtih
prasrmara-ruci-ruddha-taraka-palih
kalita-syama-lalito
radha-preyan vidhur jayati

["Let Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, be glorified! By virtue of His expanding attractive features, He subjugated the gopis named Taraka and Pali and absorbed the minds of Syama and Lalita. He is the most attractive lover of Shrimati Radharani and is the reservoir of pleasure for devotees in all transcendental mellows." (Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya-lila 8.142)]

When Shri Krishna plays His flute, all the gopis are controlled. He is an ocean of rasa. By His beauty and flute playing He controls Taraka, Pali, Candravali; and others such as Bhadra and Syamala and Lalita, are also controlled by Him. He also controls all the cows with His flute. Yet, when He saw Shrimati Radhika, that flute fell from His hands and His peacock feather fell down to Her lotus feet.

"Brasdanca pita vasanam – He did not know that His yellow shawl was also falling down. He became totally mad and at once fainted." Shrimati Radhika is so glorious, and therefore Shrila Rupa Gosvami sings, "Radhe, Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite."

Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami has quoted Shri Krishna in Shrimad-Bhagavatam:

na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)

["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation."]

Sevakunj 2Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami has also quoted Krishna in Gita-govinda:

smara-garala kandanam
mama sirasi mandanam
dehi pada pallavam udharam

Shri Krishna is begging Shrimati Radhika, "O Devi, I am taking My ears in My hand.*[See endnote 1] I have done something wrong. I promise that in the future I will never again commit any offense to You. Be pleased with Me. I am offering My flute and My peacock feather at Your feet. I cannot tolerate Your separation for even a moment. I will die without You. So please excuse My fault. Please excuse Me."

Shri Jayadeva Gosvami could not write this,*[See endnote 2] but our Gosvamis, like Shrila Rupa Gosvami, who is Shri Rupa Manjari, could do so. How glorious is Radha. "Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite – Shri Krishna is controlled by Shrimati Radhika."

"Gokula taruni mandala mahite – So many gopis live in Gokula. They are extremely beautiful, and Candravali is especially beautiful, but not like Radhika. Taruni mandala mahite – in this world no one is as near and dear to Krishna as Radhika."

"Damodara rati vardhana-vese – Damodara is controlled by His mother, but in this connection that very Damodara is now controlled by Radhika. Vardana vese – to increase Shri Krishna's love and affection, She appears in beautiful ways."

"Hari-niskuta vrndavipinese" – Hari refers to Krishna who takes the heart of everyone, especially the gopis. His garden is Vrindavana, where Yamuna is flowing, peacocks are dancing and cuckoos are singing. Everywhere there are beli, cameli, and kadamba flowers. All stimuli are fully present. There, Krishna is not Vrindavanesvara (the Lord and controller of Vrindavana). Because Vrnda has given Vrindavana to Shrimati Radhika – She is Vrindavanesvari. Especially, Shri Krishna is not Rasesvara (the Lord and controller of rasa-lila); rather, Radhika is Rasesvari. Shri Krishna is one of the participants, but Radhika is all-in-all.

"Jaya Jaya – O Devi, be glorious, be glorious [meaning be victorious – "Please take victory over my lust, greed, etc., and make me Yours." (adapted from Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj's Gopi-gita verse 1 commentary)] Sprinkle a particle of Your mercy upon me."

vrsabhanudadhi-nava-sasi-lekhe
lalita-sakhi! guna ramita-visakhe! (verse 3)

"You are like the moon that has arisen from the ocean of Vrsabhanu Maharaj's love. [According to Shrimad-Bhagavatam, the moon was born from the churning of the ocean.]

"Lalita sakhi guna-ramita-visakhe – You are the sakhi of Lalita." In what way?

dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam
ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya
radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami
(Shri Lalitastakam, verse 4)

["I offer pranama unto Shri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Shrimati Radhika in this way: "O Kalankini (unchaste one)! Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don't display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary."]

Shrimati Lalita-devi is so near and dear to Shrimati Radhika that sometimes she controls Radhika. "Dhurte vrajendra – Lalita says, 'Vrajendra-nandana (Shri Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaj) is a high class of cheater. He is black inside and He is black outside. He is black everywhere; so don't be submissive towards Him. Always act in such way as to control Him. Don't give up Your maan (transcendental loving anger).'" Radhika wants to give up Her maan, but Lalita tells Her not to do so. "Radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim" – Lalita is guru of Radhika, and therefore She can give anyone the dasya-prema of Radhika.

yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah
preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam
sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

["I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Shri Lalita-devi, the treasure-house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Shrimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (sva-paksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden's desires." (Shri Lalitastakam, verse 7)]

Visakha took birth on the same day that Radhika took birth, so her beauty and other qualities are similar to Radhika's. Her voice is so sweet, even more so than Shri Krishna's. All her qualities are like Radhika's. I pray that she will make me her disciple and give me training on how to serve Radhika and Krishna.

karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite!
sanaka-sanatana-varnita-carite

In this verse Shrila Rupa Gosvami says that even those who are first-class brahmavadis, like Sukadeva Gosvami (when he first appeared in this would) and the four Kumaras (who are forever five years old, who are always naked, and who are the first sons of Lord Brahma) are glorifying Shrimati Radhika. Nisanta-lila (the end-of-night pastimes of Radha and Krishna) and other pastimes of asta-kaliya-lila (the 24-hour daily pastimes of Radha and Krishna) were told to the four Kumaras by Lord Siva, and then they wrote about it in the Brhat-vamana Purana. So Shrila Rupa Gosvami is glorifying Sanaka, Sananda, Sanat, and Sanatana Kumara.

In this connection, Sanatana means Sanatana of the four Kumaras. But Shrila Sanatana Gosvami has also glorified Her, especially in Brhad-bhagavatamrta and in his Vaisnava Tosani commentary of Shrimad-Bhagavatam.

And we are now also glorifying Radhika, so that this Holland festival will be successful. More than 1,000 devotees have come here from various parts of Europe, Australia, England, Russia, and various other countries. There may be some problems. No one can satisfy everyone, and especially it is not possible to satisfy a child. If some problem comes, therefore, with hosting or prasadam or anything else – it may come – please tolerate.

You have all come for hari-katha, and we will give you hari-katha. We will give that hari-katha which Shrila Bhaktivedenta Svami Maharaj, your Prabhupada, has left for me. He told me, "You should give this."

Try to drink the nectar of hari-katha with the two cups of your ears. Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami has told about this, but not openly like I am telling. Sukadeva Gosvami has never openly told Radhika's name in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, nor did he reveal the names of Candravali or Lalita and Visakha. But Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has revealed this, and in his parampara I am also telling you so many secret names and sweet pastimes. Try to take this into your heart, and preach our mission throughout the world. Don't be weak. "Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite."

*[endnote 1 – pulling on ones own ears with both hands indicates one's admitting an offense and begging forgiveness]

*[endnote 2 – Jayadeva Gosvami was somewhat hesitant to write the entire verse, because he had a hint of an opulence mood toward Shri Krishna. So, while he was out of his house, Krishna Himself, in the form of Jayadeva, came to his house and wrote the rest of the verse in his devotee's notebook.]

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