Radhastami, a day to meditate on the deepest mystery
By Radhanath Swami
Radhastami, a day to meditate on the deepest mystery
It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to be with us in Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple to celebrate Radhastami. A day in which we meditate upon the deepest mystery buried within the vast treasure of the Vedic scriptures. According to a particular person’s level of spiritual awareness, and their particular inclinations, Srila Vyasadev, has compiled the Vedic literatures in such a way to elevate the consciousness of humanity. There are puranas specifically ingrained in the mode of ignorance, knowing that there is no other way to help them except to somehow try to lift them to the mode of passion. And for those in the mode of passion, to somehow lift them to the mode of goodness. And for those in the mode of goodness, to lift them to the transcendental plain.
And on the transcendental plain, many seek to annihilate material miseries forever, by losing their own material identity and realizing ones oneness with Brahman with all pervading impersonal aspect of the absolute truth. And for those great yogis to understand their direct and personal connection with the paramatma or the Lord who is situated within their heart’s, there is karma kanda, jnana kanda, the astanga kanda and the upasana kanda. The path of bhakti in which we can have direct experience of our eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose form is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss and who is eternally enjoying pastimes with devotees.
Generally we are taught that the absolute truth is the all great supreme master of all living beings. But then Vyasdev goes into deeper mysteries, how can go into a spontaneous loving relations with God, considering oneself an intimate servant or a friend on an equal level or to love the absolute truth as one’s own child or as a lover. The absolute truth is one, but that one truth Krsna is eternally manifested in both a male and female aspect or personalities for the purpose of exchanging love. And just as Krsna, krsnas tu bhagavan svayam, is the source of all incarnations, His eternal pleasure potency, His hladini shakti, Srimati Radharani is the source of all consorts and all goddesses of fortune.
Srila Prabhupada explains that Srimati Radharani is the transformation of Krsna’s supreme love. She is the personification of all spiritual love. And that love is so powerful that it overpowers the all-powerful or Krsna.
How to understand the nature of Radha’s love?
To release the dormant love within our heart is only possible by the grace of the Lords Hladini Shakti, his pleasure potency Srimati Radharani, She holds the key that can unlock the deepest mysteries of the soul. But it is natural that which is most rare, most inconceivable is often misunderstood. When you go into Air India, sometimes you see on the walls painted Rasa Lila and there is Radharani dancing. And people; that are our tradition Radha and Krishna, but it is a very deep subject. That is our tradition Radha and Krishna. In order to understand the nature of Sri Radha we must understand the nature of Love. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami goes to great lengths to define, what is spiritual love and what is the love of the Gopi’s. A relationship based on the misconception that I am this body and mind or a relationship that is based on the concern for my enjoyment that is called Kama. A relationship that is based on the knowledge of our liberated condition that we are eternal spirit souls beyond the ego, the intelligence, the mind, the senses and the body. A relationship based on selfless unconditional service, completely for the purpose of giving pleasure to the object of love that is Prema. That is love that is the nature of the soul in its relationship with Krishna.
The mood of the gopis – to give Krsna pleasure
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu explained “Jivera svarupa hoy krishnera nitya das” that the soul is eternal servant of Krishna, This is that inherent nature. This is what it means to serve on the spiritual platform. And the Gopis of Vrindavan; even the greatest Sannyasis like Sukadeva Goswami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Rupa and Sanatan Goswami, Raghunath Das Goswami, They have revealed to the world that the purity the intimacy of the love of the Gopi’s is unparalled even in the spiritual world, why because they have not even a tinge of desire for their own purposes. Their hearts, their bodies their minds, their everything is absolutely and constantly dedicated to happiness to Krishna. We read about how the Gopi’s dress themselves very beautifully, they put on cosmetics and fragrances and they comb their hair and put flowers. Now in this world, so many ladies do that and men do it in their own way also, but the Gopi’s , they only want to look beautiful because, Krishna wanted to enjoy it. It’s not that they want to look beautiful; it’s that they know Krishna wants to enjoy their beauty. And Caitanya Caritamrita tells us how the gopis, they make themselves so beautiful. And when Krishna sees their beauty, His beauty increases, due to the happiness of seeing their beauty. And when Gopis see Krishna’s beauty increase, because of the happiness of seeing their beauty, seeing his happiness, their beauty increases more. Because they see they are making Krishna happy by their beauty, so they want to be more beautiful and they become more beautiful and then Krishna becomes more beautiful, and then they become more beautiful and then Krishna becomes more beautiful and they become more beautiful and Krishna becomes more beautiful and I could spend the rest of the class just going on. It goes on for eternity. Now you may think this must be boring, but it’s not boring. It’s what everybody is seeking, the reciprocation of Love. Krishna’s only pleasure is to giving happiness to His devotees. And his devotees’ only happiness is giving pleasure to Krishna. And the gopis have perfected that art to the supreme degree.
Sometimes it’s asked Krishna left Vrindavan and went to Mathura and later to Dwaraka and the residents of Vrindavan, why did they stay there, over a hundred years. Why? Why didn’t they just move to Dwaraka. They could be with Krishna every day. The reason is because they wanted to give happiness to Krishna. They knew that Krishna derived the greatest pleasure only in Vrindavan , nowhere else does his lila compare. And Krishna promised the gopis, I will come back to enjoy Vrindavan pastimes with you in the forests of Kadamba trees on the bank of the Yamuna. I’ll be back. This is where I find the most pleasure. So for Krishna’s pleasure they remained there, they couldn’t go anywhere else. And they remained there. We know that beautiful story where the gopis are willing to suffer in hell for billions of years if by doing so they will Krishna one moment of relief from His headache. And they don’t think about it. It’s not that they were calculating what it would be like. Such Love is impossible in this material world; The gopis have completely spiritual bodies because they have absolutely no false egos. There is no selfishness, everything is for Krishna . The amazing contradiction is when you have absolutely no concern for your own happiness Krishna forces you to be happy. The gopis don’t want happiness they only want Krishna’s happiness. But Krishna reciprocated with that Love by giving them unlimited happiness. The happiness of giving. Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu explains how Daruka was fanning Krishna and he was feeling ecstatic symptoms, which was causing his limbs to tremble and therefore he could not fan properly. So he was praying for his ecstatic symptoms to go away, because it was interfering with how he could give pleasure to the Lord. And gopis when they are fanning Krishna or serving Krishna in so many ways, some times they are in such ecstasy of Love that tears flood their eyes and they cant see what they were doing for Krishna. Let these ecstasies go away, I don’t want them. I only want Krishna’s happiness, this is Bhakti. As long as we are concerned with our own happiness, we can never really be happy. When we have no more concern for our own happiness and we repose all of our energies and desires in Krishna’s happiness then Krishna reciprocates and showers unlimited happiness upon us. That is his selfless love. And of all the Gopis, the supreme most is revealed in the Srimad Bhagavatam, in the 10th canto, where in under the Vamsi Vat tree, on the full moon night of Sharat season, Krishna plays His flute the fifth note and He specifically calls through the song for the gopis to come. What a musician! We hear how beautiful this flute is and this violin and Gaura vani prabhu’s beautiful voice. Whatever we are hearing from these wonderful devotional musicians, they are being empowered by Krishna because of their sincerity. But all arts originate in their full perfection in the absolute truth. Everything is based on Love.
When Krishna plays His flute, the intimate love of His heart manifests through His breath into the holes of the flute and is carried by that song, through the atmosphere, into the ears of the gopis, and then directly into their hearts. Where they are conquered. Lord Caitanya explains when Krishna plays His flute and this love of his heart is manifesting in this divine musical sound vibration and its personally for each gopi. And when it enters into their ears its like a bird that makes a nest to block the ears from everything and anything else. And then that sound goes right into the heart and plunders their entire consciousness. The gopis were helpless they left everything , their reputation and went to see Krishna. And Krishna told them to go home. And the gopis crying we don’t want to go home, we’ve come here only for you. But understand they were only saying those things because they knew that Krishna wanted them to do so. Krishna wanted to Dance with them, so they were presenting so many arguments that we want to dance with you. And K danced and He manifested himself in between each Gopi. But then it appeared that they were all becoming proud thinking Krishna’s only with me. So, He disappeared. And in that feeling of separation, they were going mad, totally engrossed in Krsna. If only we could have this experience, we just go on with our lives. The gopis, they were talking to each other, they were enacting Krsna’s various pastimes with each other, they were asking the trees, the birds, the stars, the moon, “Where is Sri Nandanandana?” All to give their hearts for Krsna’s pleasure.
Why Sukhadeva Goswami never mentions the names of young gopis in Srimad Bhagvatam
Now, Sukadev Goswami, he did not mention the names of any of the young gopis in the entire Srimad Bhagavatam. He mentions Yasoda and some of older Gopis, but there is not a single gopi’s name of the younger gopis of the Madhurya rasa. The reason – because the love of the gopis is so great. And they give such pleasure to Krsna, that if Sukadev Goswami, even once, speak any gopi’s name, he was afraid, he would go into a trance, and not be able to continue the narration. And Parikshit maharaj was going to die in seven days. By the time he was in 10th canto, there was only a few days left. So, out of compassion, he very carefully did not speak their names. But then, he comes to that point where all gopis are searching for Krsna. These are the topmost, highest most intimate transcendentalists. Those who give the most pleasure to the Lord and those who receive the greatest degree of ecstasy from God. And amongst them, they saw the footprints of one Gopi, who Krsna left everyone else to be along with. And at that point, Sukadev Goswami, he couldn’t say Her name, but he almost said Her name. anaradhito nunam bhagavan hari iswara. That Krsna left all of us, Govinda left all of us for this one gopi who loves and serves with greatest devotion. The greatest, the ultimate of all the devotees. And that is Srimati Radharani. All the gopis are expansions of Sri Radha, all love of God in every living entities heart is part and parcel of Sri Radha’s love. She is the complete unlimited reservoir of all love, and Krsna is the complete object of all love. The pastimes of Radha and Krsna are the purest form of spiritual revelation. The highest and most intimate revelation of the Absolute truth.
Reasons for Lord Caitanya’s appearance
As it was spoken of this morning, many deities of Krsna, self-manifested or were carved by Krsna’s grand-son, Vajranabha. And the great devotees, the goswamis worshipped Radha & Krsna in the form of Krsna, knowing, that in the very core of Krsna’s heart is Sri Radha. So when they worship Krsna, their main focus is on the pleasure of Sri Radha as being an assistant to serve, to be a part of Radha’s love for Krsna. So it was Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers who so mercifully revealed Srimati Radharani super-excellence even to the people of this world. And deities of Srimati Radharani began to be put along with Krsna. Krsna is all-knowing, he knows everything past, present and future, he knows everything in everyone’s heart. But there is one thing that Krsna longed to know, the nature of Srimati Radharani’s love. The nature of his own pleasure potency. To understand the glory of Sri Radharani’s love, the sweetness she realizes in experiencing his love and what she relishes by seeing him, by tasting his qualities, Krsna. To personally taste the deepest of all secrets. But also to hear that secret and give everyone and anyone without discrimination, of Sri Radha’s love. That is Lord Caitanya’s mercy.
Parama karuna pahu dui jana, nitai gaurachandra…
Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda are most merciful. They have given what no other incarnation has ever given. Basu Gosh in his beautiful prayer, he cries, if Lord Gauranga had not come, who would have ever understood, the glory of Radharani’s love. What would be the purpose of my life? What would I live for? Lord Caitanya and his true followers, have reveled this great secret to us.
There are many beautiful pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna which are revealed in the puranas, in the books of great acaryas and goswamis. But what is most important is to understand the spirit of the selfless service of Sri Radha and the gopis. Because unless we enter into that spirit, we cannot really access the great treasure of their pastimes. We must follow in the footsteps of Gopis of vrindavan through selfless devotional service.
How Krsna who is Rasabihari, eternally longs to taste the sweetness of Sri Radha’s love
How Krsna who is Rasabihari, eternally longs to taste the sweetness of Sri Radha’s love. Srila Prabhupada explains it in very simple way. That Krishna is Madanmohan that means his beauty; his grace will conquer even Cupid. That means all of the temptations of this material existence, that are keeping us tightly bound. But Sri Radha is Madanmohanmohini, Which means she conquers the conqueror of Cupid by her love. This is Vrinadavan, love is supreme. Love conquers the beloved. Sri Radha is Vrindavaneshwari, She is the eternal queen, When Sri Radha will become angry with Krishna and she does so only for his pleasure, than Krishna will perform so many wonderful pastimes just to show his subordination to Radha’s love. Sometimes he would dance like a peacock just to make her laugh; sometimes he would place his head at her feet and wash her lotus feet with his tears just to break her anger. Sometimes Krishna will block the path of Sri Radha and the Gopi’s to exact tax in the form of the clay pots filled with yogurt or ghee that are on their heads. But actually what Krishna is doing is he is begging, he is begging for their love in the form of these offerings. He is dependent on the love of his devotees that is Vrindavan. Though Krishna is Abhijna and Svarat, he is all knowing and independent but by his own sweet will he becomes dependent on the love of his devotees.
The Harinaam Sankirtan movement is the eternal pastimes of Radha and Krishna in the spiritual world.”Golokera Prema dhana harinaam sankirtan” and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krishna tasting the sweetness of Radha’s love has brought the eternal pastime of Naam sankirtan from the spiritual world of Vrindavan to this world and is actually inviting us to engage in this spiritual pastime that is eternally being enacted in Goloka. And when we perform Naam sankirtan with the proper selfless service attitude, that our acharyas have taught, the lord is giving us entrance into Radha and Krishna’s pastimes.
Mood for approaching Radharani today – As a beggar
Today Dwarkadhish prabhu was explaining that when we come before Srimati Radharani we are beggars, we are begging for that love,
We are begging for that grace. When she is pleased with us through our service to Guru, service to the Vaishnavas, through our sincerity than she could remove all the obstacles of lust and envy and anger and pride and greed and illusion and open our hearts and reveal that deep mystery of Prema bhakti. Radhashtami is the day when we celebrate the ultimate bestower of spiritual love. And Srila Prabhupada explains if we are sincere, if we are serious, if we have no ulterior motives than Srimati Radharani easily gives that Love. It is interesting that the Gopis, they are just simple Cowherd girls.
The gopis, they are simple cowherd girls. Laxmi devi, the godess of fortune, She wanted to enter into the Raslila of Krsna. She performed tapasya for 1000s of years for that purpose. She left Vaikunta. But she was not allowed to cross the Yamuna, to enter into the Raslila. She was given the benediction that she could see it. But in order to participate, she had to give up her love in aiswarya bhav. Another words, She had to give that conception that she was a queen. She had to milk cows, she had to pick up cow dung and carry it on her head, She had to go to the Yamuna and fill buckets of water and carry it on her head, some times long distances, do household jobs. The simplicity of Gopi’s love, even Laxmi is longing, praying, and doing tapasya to taste. But she cannot imagine that. Who is Laxmi devi? She is Radharani herself in an expanded form.
And Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His divine servant, Srila Prabhupad, is giving us, you and me and all the rest of us tonight, is giving us the opportunity to all of us that even Laxmi can’t achieve. That is Radharani’s mercy manifesting through Her form of Lord Caitanya. When Srila Prabhupad was on the Jaladuta, he was praying to Srimati Radharani to empower Him. And it is Her grace. Her grace manifesting through Lord Caitanya’s heart. Lord Caitanya’s heart is Radharani’s heart. It is Her grace that empowered Srila Prabhupad to give us the greatest of all treasures – access the deepest of all mysteries, the highest essence in perfection of all spiritual knowledge.
On Radhastami we express our gratitude by begging, begging for the chance to serve. Begging for a chance to chant the holy names of the Lord, to hear the glories of the Lord in that spirit in pure and selfless service. It is the age of quarrel and hypocrisy and all quarrel, and all hypocrisy is due to selfish motivations.
trinad api sunicena, taror api sahishnuna, amanina manadena, kirtaniya sada hari
Caintanya Mahaprabhu’s cure to Kali’s influence
Caitanya mahaprabhu gave us such a simple and powerful cure to all the ills and sufferings of Kali. If we can just chant the holy name in this humble state of mind, selfless servitude, following in the footsteps of the Gopis, there can be no real quarrel. And if there is a quarrel, it’s only to enhance the experience of our love. In this world, quarrel enhances our dislike, our envy, our repulsion. In the spiritual world, quarrel increases the unity of our heart, by giving dynamic energy to our love for Krsna and for each other. Sometimes, Lord Nityananda and Advaita would fight, they would throw rice on each other, they would call each other very bad names. And Vrindavan Das Takur explains, anyone who takes the side of two Vaisnavas who fight and offends the other, he will fall down. He explains, these quarrels are simply expressions of their love for each other. Now I don’t know what it’s like between husband and wife but it’s definitely not like that, in this world but on the spiritual platform, where there is
trnand api sunichena,
taror api sahishnuna,
amanina mana dena,
kirtaniya sada hari
Where we focus on the chanting of the holy name in this spirit of selfless unconditional service for the pleasure of Krsna, for the pleasure of Vaisnavas, for the pleasure of all living beings then that type of quarrel and hypocrisy which divides us ceases to exist. Today’s world is full of conflict because our hearts are so full of conflict, because we have so many ulterior motives and so many selfish desires. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srimati Radharani has given us this gift – to rise above all of these superficial disagreements and to unite on the basis of selfless humble servitude and when we chant the holy names in that spirit Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur explains then the entire spiritual world is relived to us from within our hearts. So on this day let us pray, let us pray to Sri Radharani with deep and genuine gratitude and for these qualities that SP has so mercifully emphasized. To cultivate these qualities of humility, gratitude and selfless service to Krsna as the top priority in every aspect of our lives and let us pray that we beg, we beg for such selfless service as we cry out those Holy Names that have descended from Goloka Vrindavan to transport us to the highest perfection.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Thank you very much.