Radha (Devanagari: राधा, IAST: Rādhā), also called Radhika, Radharani, Keshavi, Madhavi, Kishori and Shreeji, is a Hindu goddess and eternal consort of Lord Krishna. Radha is almost always depicted alongside Krishna and features prominently within the theology of today's Radha Vallabha and Gaudiya Vaishnava sects, which regards Radha as the original Goddess or Shakti. Radha is also considered as the incarnation of Lakshmi.
Radha is the principal god of worship in the Nimbarka Sampradaya, as Nimbarka, the founder of the tradition, declared that Radha and Krishna together constitute the absolute truth. Radha is the most important gopi in Raas (Special kind of dance) with Lord Krishna. Radha is reverred as the goddess of love, compassion and devotion. Radha along with Krishna forms the "Ardhnareshwar form" of God where in left, half part is of Radha's and in right, other half part is of Krishna's. Radha is also called Vrindavaneshwari as she is considered as the queen of Vrindavan and Barsana.￼ Radha's love for Krishna is so divine and selfless that it is believed that the Krishna who attracts the whole world, himself gets attracted towards Radharani.
- Radha was an ordinary village belle (gopi), but such was the passion and intensity of her love and devotion to the Lord that she has come to occupy a position of unrivaled to adoration in the Hindu pantheon.
- Hiro G. Badlani, in Hinduism: Path of the Ancient Wisdom, iUniverse, 1 September 2008, 30 September 2008, p. 149.
- Radha is said to be the eternal consort and constant companion of Krishna who resides with him in their spiritual abode Goloka.￼￼￼
- When Radha and Krishna descended on the Earth, Radha became the wife of another gopa (who himself was the part of Krishna) but always remained the most beloved of Krishna’s consorts and his constant companion. In the bhakti (devotional) movement of Vaishnavism, the female, Radha, symbolizes the human soul and the male, Krishna, the divine.
- In the Rigveda [Chapter X, hymn 129) the first enunciation in world’s literature is made of the idea that the Creator willed to create the universe through the idea that the agency of a female principle. This idea was expressed in the supposed marriage of heaven and earth and the Sankhya philosophy’s union of Purusha and Prakriti. It gathered so great a strength that later on every principal deity of Hindu mythology had his own female companion, who shares the worship paid to male god, e.g., Sita and Rama, Parvati and Shiva, Radha and Krishna, Lakshmi and Vishnu.
- Suresh Chandra in: Encyclopaedia of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, Sarup & Sons, 1998, In: p. 127-28.
- This eternal lila is the eternal truth, and, therefore, its this eternal lila - the playful love-making of Radha and Krishna, which the Vaishnava poets desired to enjoy. If we analyse the Gitagovinda of Jayadeva we shall find not even a single statement which shows the poet's desire to have union with Krishna as Radha had,- he only sings praises the lila of Radha and Krishna and hankers after a chance just to have peep into the divine lila, and this peep into the divine lila is the highest spiritual gain which poets could think of.
- Gautam Dasgupta (1976:125-26), quoted by Wimal Dissanayake, in Narratives of Agency: Self-making in China, India, and Japan, p. 132.
- The sky is clouded; and the wood resembles
The sky, thick arched with a black tamala boughs;
Oh Radha, Radha! Take this soul that trembles
In life's deep midnight, to thy Golden house.
So Nanda spoke -- and led by Radha’s spirit,
The feet of Krishna found the road aright;
Wherefore, in bliss which all high hearts inherit,
Together taste they love's divine delight.
- Beautiful Radha, Jasmine bosomed Radha,
All in the Spring-time waited by the wood
For Krishna fair, Krishna the all-forgetful, -
Krishna with earthly love's false fire consuming –
And some one of her maidens sang this song.
- Then she, the maid of Radha, speaks again;
And pointing far away between the leaves
Guided her lovely Mistress where to look,
And note how Krishna wantoned in the wood
Now with this one, now that; his heart, her prize;
Panting with foolish passions, and his eyes
Beaming with too much love of those fair girls --
Fair, but not so as Radha; and she sang
- But may he guide us all to glory high
who laughed when the Radha glided, hidden, by,
An all among those damsels free and bold
Touch Krishna with a soft mouth, kind and cold;
And like the others leaning upon his breast,
Unlike the others, left their Love’s unrest;
And like the others, joining in his song,
Or like the others, made him silent long.
- There is no mention of Radha in Bhagavata or in Vishnu Purana, Harivansha or the Mahabharata. Yet, today Radha is the most important element in the Krishna-worship. Now, Krishna’s name is always paired with Radha. There is no Krishna-temple without Radha in it. And in Vaishnava literature, Radha has even a greater significance than Sri Krishna himself.
- Mihir Jha in: Was there a salacious dimension in Radha-Krishna relationship: An Open Letter to Swapan Dasgupta, themotherindia.com, 9 November 2012.
- All the ancient books that refer to Sri Krishna, the name of Sri Radha occurs only in:- Brahmavaivarta Purana, Garg Sanhita and in the works of poet Jaidev. Some scholars have brought in Radha again and again in their discourses on “Bhagavata”, even though there is no mention of Radha in the original book.
- Mihir Jha in: "Was there a salacious dimension in Radha-Krishna relationship: An Open Letter to Swapan Dasgupta".
- Radha’s elevated status, her role as a cosmic queen equal to or superior Krishna giving her a central role in the cosmogony in the Brahma Vivarta Purana...As creator of the universe we find Radha playing a role that is extremely atypical of her earlier history, the role of a mother. In the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, however, she is often called by names that suggest that her motherly role, vis-à-vis the created world. She is called mother of Vishnu, mother of the world, and mother of all.
- David R. Kinsley in: Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition, 19 June 1988), p. 93.
- Vishnu offers Ganesha his worship by calling him Ekadanta, Heramba, Vighnayaka, Lambodara, Shurpakarna, Gajavaktra and Guhagraja. Praising Ganesha, Radha, the most beloved companion of Sri Krishna recited the mantra.
- B.R. Kishore in: Lord Ganesh, Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd, p. 19.
- Every one of her forms is specifically female – most distinctly as Radha, Sita and Rukmini who are consorts of various forms of Vishnu. She is prithvi the divine feminine embodied as mother earth... the gods proclaim: You exist as little girls in their childhood, As young women in their youth, And as elderly women in their old age.
- Constantina Rhodes in: Invoking Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth in Song and Ceremony, SUNY Press, 29 September 2010In: p. 26.
- It is a classical dance [Odissi], danced mostly by women...It originated in the temples where the composers, singers, and the dancers came together. It centered on the celestial love of Krishna and Radha. At one time it was performed by the Devadasis dedicated to the temples but now it has spread out to the homes and cultural institutions. But the purity is maintained and the essentials are always kept in view.
- Manohar Sajnani in: Encyclopaedia of Tourism Resources, Gyan Publishing House, 2001, p. 260.
- Whether you accept Rādhā and Krishna, or not, please do accept their attraction for each other. Try to create that same yearning in your heart for God. Yearning is all you need in order to realize Him.
- V.K.Subramanian in Mystic Songs of Meera, p. 140.
- In Caitanya Charitamrta (Adi-Lila 4.56), Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami says, "Radha Krishna Ek Atma, Dui Dui Dehadari, Anyaoone Vilase Rasasvadana Kori". This means that both Radha and Krishna are one soul who take the form of two individual bodies so that they can cherish different mood of love (rasa).
- God became Krishna and Râdhâ —
Love flows in thousands of coils.
Whoso wants, takes it.
Love flows in thousands of coils —
The tide of love and loving past,
And fills the soul with bliss and joy!
- In God all natures are possible. But we can see Him only through human nature. We can love Him as we love a man—as father, son. The strongest love in the world is that between man and woman, and that also when it is clandestine. This is typified in the love between Krishna and Radha.
- Kama (lust) is blind and leads to hell. Prema is love, it leads to heaven. There is no idea of lust or sympathy in the love of Krishna and Radha. Radha says to Krishna, "If you place your feet on my heart, all lust will vanish".
- Krishna the beautiful aspect of God. Love crystallises into blueness. Blue colour is expressive of intense love. Solomon saw "Krishna". Here Krishna came to be seen by all. Even now, when you get love, you see Radha. Become Radha and be saved. There is no other way.
- Take the story of Râdhâ and Krishna in Râsalilâ. The story simply exemplifies the true spirit of a Bhakta, because no love in the world exceeds that existing between a man and a woman. When there is such intense love, there is no fear, no other attachment save that one which binds that pair in an inseparable and all-absorbing bond. But with regard to parents, love is accompanied with fear due to the reverence we have for them. Why should we care whether God created anything or not, what have we to do with the fact that He is our preserver? He is only our Beloved, and we should adore Him devoid all thoughts of fear. A man loves God only when he has no other desire, when he thinks of nothing else and when he is mad after Him. That love which a man has for his beloved can illustrate the love we ought to have for God. Krishna is the God and Radha loves Him; read those books which describe that story, and then you can imagine the way you should love God. But how many understand this? How can people who are vicious to their very core and have no idea of what morality is understand all this?
- The madness of Love—God intoxicated man
The allegory of Radha misunderstood
The restriction more increase—
Lust is the death of love
Self is the death of love
individual to general.
- There is not the least necessity for teaching the divine Love of Râdhâ and Krishna. Teach them pure devotion to Sitâ-Râm and Hara-Pârvati. See that no mistake is made in this respect. Remember that the episodes of the divine relationship between Radha and Krishna are quite unsuitable for young minds.
Encyclopedia of Hindu Gods and GoddessesEdit
Suresh Chandra in: Encyclopaedia of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, Sarup & Sons, 1998.
- Krishna, the Avatar of Vishnu is worshipped throughout India in many ways. The actual meaning of Krishna is “The Dark One”. Krishna’s popular consort’s name is Radha.
- In: p. 106.
- In the later centuries' accounts probably during the tenth and twelfth century, a cowherd girl named Radha came into great prominence as the constant lover and companion of Krishna. She was the daughter of Vrishbhanu and Kirtida. This woman fell madly in love with Krishna and became immortal. Now her image can be seen side by side with Krishna in most of the temples.
- In: p. 184.
- In all the stories of Krishna's youth Radha is given the most prominent place and in dances, known as Raas-lila dances. Radha is invariably shown dancing together with Krishna while all other cowgirls are only seen moving in circle around the two.
- In: p. 184.
- These days this episode is given a philosophical meaning stating that Radha represents the soul while Krishna represents God. Thus Radha' s love means yearning of the soul for merger with the Almighty.
- In: p. 184.
- She [Lakshmi] is reincarnated with each of his other avatars — thus beside Rama she becomes Sita, said to have been born from a furrow, and with Krisna she is first Radha, then Rukmini.
- In: p. 197.
- In literature, Radha emerged fully as a goddess from the twelfth century AD onwards and she is one of the central figures in the poetry of Vidyapati, who places her as a cosmic queen. One of the creation accounts describes how Krishna divides himself into two parts, one of which is Radha. They make love for an age and their sweat and heavy breathing become the world's oceans and winds. Radha gives birth to the golden egg of the universe, which floats on the primal waters for a year until the god Vishnu emerges.
- In: p. 259.
Sri Gayatri Mantrartha Dipika - Illuminations on the Essential Meaning of GayatriEdit
Swami B.G. Narasingha in: Sri Gayatri Mantrartha Dipika - Illuminations on the Essential Meaning of Gayatri, Sri Narasingha Chaitanya Ashram (gosai.com)
- Among the eternal associates of the Lord the gopis are the most exalted, and among the gopis Srimati Radharani is the best. It has been mentioned in the narration of the Skanda Purana that out of many thousands of gopis, 16,000 are prominent. Out of these, 108 are important, and out of 108, eight are principal. Out of eight gopis, Radharani and Candravali are chief, and out of these two Srimati Radharani is superior.
- Roman alphabet (IAST):ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhis
tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih
goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami.
- English translation:I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, residing in His own realm, Goloka, with Radha, resembling His own spiritual figure, the embodiment of the ecstatic potency possessed of the sixty-four artistic activities, in the company of Her confidantes [sakhis], embodiments of the extensions of Her bodily form, permeated and vitalized by His ever-blissful spiritual rasa.
- In: Brahma-samhita (5.37).
- Roman alphabet (IAST):devi krsna-mayi prokta radhika para-devata
sarva-laksmi-mayi sarva-kantih sammohini para.
- English translation: The transcendental goddess Srimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Lord Sri Krsna. 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.
- In: Brhad-gautamiya-tantra
- Roman alphabet (IAST):inhara madhye radhara prema--'sadhya-siromani'
yanhara mahima sarva-sastrete vakhani.
- English translation: Among the loving affairs of the gopis, Srimati Radharani's love for Sri Krishna is topmost. Indeed, the glories of Srimati Radharani are highly esteemed in all revealed scriptures.
- In: Caitanya-caritamrta, (Madhya 8.98).
- Roman alphabet (IAST): yatha radha priya visnos tasyah kundam priyam tatha
sarva-gopisu saivaika visnor atyanta-vallabha.
- English translation: Just as Srimati Radharani is most dear to Sri Krisna, Her bathing place known [Radha-kunda] is also dear to Him. Among all the gopis, Srimati Radharani is supermost and very dear to Lord Krishna.
- In: Padma Purana
- Roman alphabet (IAST): anayaradhito nunam bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah prito yam anayad rahah
- English translation: When the gopis began to talk among themselves, they said, 'Dear friends, the gopi (Sri Radha) who has been taken away by Krishna to a secluded place must have worshiped the Lord more than anyone else.'
- In: Bhagavata (10.30.28)
- ...these two [Krishna and Radha], and Sri Radha in particular, are so wonderful. Who can understand them? Even Krishna is bewildered by Radharani, what then can Anantasesa and others know about Her (muhyanti yat surayah)? Land (mrt) turns into water and flows, while water (vari) takes on the character of land and becomes stunned upon hearing the flute of Sri Krishna, which He plays only to attract Sri Radha, whose effulgence (tejah) dims the light of the stars and moon, tejo vari mrdam yatha vinimayo. Among the gopis there are three kinds, those who favor Radha (headed by Lalita), those who serve in the opposition's side (headed by Candravali) and those who take sometimes the side of Radha and sometimes the side of Krishna (headed by Visakha).