Throughout Raval and Varshana, the residents celebrated Radhashtami yesterday. This is because they do not deeply contemplate the tithis (Vedic time periods). They do not see whether or not a tithi (like a date) is pure. In the Vaishnava sampradaya, however, the consideration of the tithis is very important. We deliberated on this matter, and therefore we are celebrating Shri Radhashtami on this day. [For this particular day, when there is a mixture of two tithis at sunrise, or the previous day’s tithi (saptami) is still present, it is called ‘impure.’ In that case we observe Radhashtami on the next day]
Last evening I discussed how Shrimati Radhika appeared in Raval in the Yamuna River on a one-thousand-petal lotus flower. There are two births described for Her, and they are both correct. In this age (yuga) She appeared in Raval and in another She appeared in Varshana.
Even Shri Krishna is unable to fully describe the qualities of Shrimati Radhika.
devi krsna-mayi prokta
kantih sammohini para
[“The transcendental goddess Shrimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Lord Shri Krishna. She is the central figure for all the goddesses of fortune. She possesses all the attractiveness to attract the all-attractive Personality of Godhead. She is the primeval internal potency of the Lord.” (Chaitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, 4.83)]
Shrimati Radhika is the goddess of all goddesses. The word krsna-mayi in the above-mentioned verse means that all of Her bodily limbs are composed of mahabhava, the highest, ecstatic love for Krishna. She anoints Herself with the sneha, or affection, of Krishna, and also with the affection of Lalita, Vishakha, and Her other sakhis.
Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami explains in his poetry how She takes Her bath. He writes (in Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 8.162-167):
"The body of Shrimati Radharani is a veritable transformation of love of Godhead. She is the dearmost friend of Krishna, and this is known throughout the world. That supreme ecstasy of Shrimati Radharani is the essence of spiritual life. Her only business is to fulfill all the desires of Krishna. Shrimati Radharani is the topmost spiritual gem, and the other gopis – Lalita, Vishakha and so on – are expansions of Her spiritual body. Shrimati Radharani's transcendental body is brilliant in luster and full of all transcendental fragrances. Lord Krishna's affection for Her is like a perfumed massage.
“Shrimati Radharani takes Her first bath in the shower of the nectar of compassion, karunya-amrta, and She takes Her second bath in the nectar of youth, tarunya-amrta. After Her midday bath, Radharani takes another bath in the nectar of bodily luster, lavanya-amrta. She puts on the garment of shyness, which is Her black silk sari.”
Shri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme worshipful Lord (deva). He is not a demigod; He is the master of all the demigods. At the same time, His worshipable goddess (para-devata) is Shri Radha in Radha-kunda, especially when She is in maan. He takes bath in Radha-kunda three times. In deep meditation He chants, “Radhe Radhe,” and She becomes pleased.
Once, as Shri Jayadeva Gosvami was composing the verses of his Shri Gita-govinda, a pastime appeared in his heart in which Shrimati Radhika entered Her sulky mood (maan). He saw in his mediation that all of Krishna’s repeated attempts failed to remove Her maan. Then, the mood entered his heart in which he understood that in order to pacify Shrimati Radhika Shri Krishna placed His head at Her lotus feet. This filled Shri Jayadeva with fear; he could not bring himself to write it. He thought, “Shri Krishna is everyone’s worshipful Supreme Lord and He possesses all potencies. Shrimati Radhika is His potency and maidservant. How is it possible for Shri Krishna to put His head at Radhika’s lotus feet? That would transgress the principles of religion.”
His hand trembled and lost the grip of his pen. He could write no more, so he went to bathe in the Ganga. Meanwhile Shri Krishna, the topmost relisher of transcendental mellows, assumed the form of Shri Jayadeva and went to his house. In the form of Jayadeva, Krishna asked Padmavati to bring Him the manuscript. He then personally completed the verse “smara-garala-khandanam – the deadly poison of amorous love” that Jayadeva had begun to write. He added “mama sirasi mandanam / dehi pada-pallavam udaram – is counteracted by decorating My head with Your flower-like feet.”
mama sirasi mandanam
dehi pada-pallavam udaram
[“The beautiful flower blossoms of Your feet counteract the deadly poison of amorous love. They extinguish the terrifying fire of the pain of that love, which rages within My heart. Therefore, please be kind and allow Your feet to decorate My head.”]
Shri Krishna then left the house, and a short time later Jayadeva returned. Surprised, his wife asked, “How were you able to come back so quickly? Just a short while ago you returned, wrote something in your book, and again went out to take bath.” Jayadeva Gosvami asked for his manuscript, and upon opening it he saw that his unfinished verse was now complete. Filled with wonder and weeping, he told his wife, “O Devi, you are blessed. You had darsana of Shri Syamasundara Krishna, who personally came here and completed the verse I was afraid to write. Krishna is brought under control by prema, not by devotion based on rules and regulations.”
We cannot imagine the glories of Radharani. She is sarva-laksmi, the sum-total of all Laksmis, or goddesses of fortune:
kada karisyasiha mam krpa-kataksa-bhajanam?
makhesvari! kriyesvari svadhesvari suresvari
ramesvari! ksamesvari pramoda-kananesvari
vrajesvari vrajadhipe sri radhike namo ’stu te
[“You are worshiped by Shri Laksmi, the goddess of unlimited millions of Vaikuntha planets. Shri Parvati, Indra’s wife, and Sarasvati all worship and attain benedictions from You. Meditation on even one of Your toenails grants an infinite variety of perfections – O Shrimati Radhike, when, oh when will You bestow upon me Your merciful sidelong glance? (Shri Radha-Kripa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja, verse 11)
You are the mistress of all kinds of sacrifices (especially of the topmost yugala-milana-yajna); of all actions (since You are the root of all potencies – mula-sakti-tattva); of the mantras uttered at yajnas and of the sacrificial offerings presented to the demigods; of all the demigods; of the words of the three Vedas; of the enforcement of all scriptural principles; of Shri Rama-devi (the goddess of fortune); of Shri Ksamadevi (the goddess of forgiveness); and especially of the delightful kunjas in Vrndavana. When will You mercifully make me Your dasi and grant me the qualification to render service in Your amorous pastimes with the prince of Vraja? O Shrimati Radhika, owner and maintainer of Vraja, I offer pranama unto You time and again.” (Shri Radha-Kripa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja, verse 12)]
These are Her qualities.
Brahma and Shankara cannot attain the darsana of Her lotus feet, and even Krishna has worshipped Her feet. She is sarva-laksmi, the embodiment of all goddesses of fortune, and sarva-kanti, the only one who fulfills all the transcendental desires of Shri Krishna. Others, like Candravali, Lalita and Vishakha can somewhat fulfill His desires, but not all of them. Krishna thinks, “If Radhika is not participating in the rasa-lila, then what is the use of it?” He broke the pride of the other gopis and left to find Shri Radha. Thus, She is para-devata, the supreme worshipful Deity.
The glories of Radhika are innumerable. Now the Vaishnavas in this assembly will glorify Her. She will not be as much pleased with the abhisekha (bathing ceremony) as She is with the chanting of Her glories.