Late, so late, for a very important date. :) Actually I was not late in honoring it, just in posting about Radhastami. Folks, sometimes that's going to happen, for a variety of reasons not worth wasting time going into. Simply, be prepared, I may be late on reporting in. :)
For those who do not know, & those who have the basic idea but would appreciate further understanding, lets start out with: "Who is that girl with Krishna?"
Her name is Radha or Radharani.
[Pronounced Rahd-ha, or pronounced Radha-rahNee. The word you will next see is Srimati, pronounced ShreeMahtee.]
Srimati Radharani is not an ordinary girl, and no one should view her as such.
Spiritually there is never a beginning to God, as God is eternal and superior to time as well. For our understanding we sometimes relate better, at first, when we speak "in the beginning."
Put simply, once Radha and Krishna were One. One Being, One [transcendental] body. To enjoy each other as male and female counterparts, They divided.
Some misunderstand, thinking if there is a body, it must be material. Try to understand, our body and experiences are different from God's. God's body is fully 100% transcendental. God can eat with His or Her ears, as is done daily thru mantras offerings of food. The Lord can use His/Her body in any way desired, as is done with expansions and incarnations.
Next, regarding Radha and Krishna originally one, some also may have a little trouble with this. After it was explained to me, I did not. The simple but very effective explanation is: God is God, thus unlimited and able to do anything God feels like doing.
Srila Prabhupada has referred to Srimati Radharani as our Divine Mother. Spend time in worship and glorification of Her and watch your life change!
Krishna can sometimes be more strict, more difficult to approach. However Radha sometimes asks Him to please show His mercy to us.
Radhastami is the appearance day of the Supreme Goddess, and God Herself, Srimati Radharani. Most readers by now may know, we tend to do things on appearance days. :)
Temples hold festivals, and many attend, some worship at home. This blog includes both, but focuses more on those who can't go to a temple, maybe live too far, maybe have personal reasons, whatever. That's not so important, as long as one honors holy days on their own. Here are some basics regarding what you can do yourself.
Most fast only half a day, which isn't so hard after reading about some other fasts. lol Tho please recognize: pregnant ladies, children, the elderly, and those with Diabetes and other such issues, should NOT fast. Speak to your doctor.
With that said, those who can fast, understand the reason for it: One being, to help us get off the bodily concept of life for even a little while. Because at the end of life our bodies will be screaming for all sorts of things and we need to have practiced how to ignore it, or tone it down a bit.
Of course that is not the only reason, and really, it is secondary. As we fast we can feel bliss, more time etcetera, to place thoughts focus on God. When we do that, God reciprocates. In this case, Srimati Radharani.
During that time, we preform various spiritual activities, devotional service. Like reading about Her, chanting Her glories, offering incense etc to a picture or home-altar with Her pic on it for the day [or for good if you have room]. Since we have many holidays, it is a common practice to put up a pic just for that day. :) Later save it in a special box or place it will remain clean.
When preforming even a small arotika, one can offer incense of course, but also fresh flowers, [pure] water, essential oils [on a cotton balls or q-tips IF they are not kept in the bathroom, not shared by us humans ha, and kept in a sacred place with the intent to use them only for this spiritual purpose]. Of course, food on little plates can be offered, etc.
After a rip-roaring very fun kirtana [during the arotika], all done at noon, we next break fast with a feast in honor of sublime, eternal, Srimati Radharani.
Read a lovely spiritual lecture by the pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada, about Srimati Radharani, on her Appearance day, here.
And below is the beaituful 108 Names of Sri Radhika [Radha] - said to have been uttered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. If you don't know Sanskrit, don't make a big deal out of that, because understanding what's said. is needed first and foremost. So just go with the English. Read these nectar words about Radha:
srimad-radha rasa-mayi, rasa-jna rasika tatha rasesvari rasa-bhakti, rasa-purna rasa-prada (1)
“Sri Radha is endowed with all the most splendiferous opulences and is completely pervaded with ever-flowing transcendental mellows. She fully understands the subtleties of these mellows. Radha is adept in relishing mellows. Radhika is the Queen of the nightly rasa dance. She is totally devoted to expressing divine mellows. Sri Radha is full to overflowing with pure mellows. She bestows these exquisite mellows unto everyone.”
rangini rasa-lubdha ca, rasa-mandala-karini rasa-vilasini radha, radhika rasa-purnada (2)
“Radha is always very playful. She is greedy to taste newer and newer aspects of mellows. Radha is the designer of the circular arenas for rasa dancing. She enjoys sporting the rasa dance to Her heart’s content. Radha is the best worshiper of Syama. Radhika, the best worshiper, is adorned intimately by Her friends. She bestows mellows unto others in the most completely fulfilling way.”
rama-ratna ratna-mayi, ratna-mala su-sobhana raktosthi rakta-nayana, raktotpala-vidharini (3)
“Sri Radha is the topmost jewel among all the many forms of laksmi-devi. All of Her ornaments and paraphernalia are studded with precious jewels. Radhika likes to wear gemstone necklaces. Radha radiates the nicest, purely sublime splendor. Her lips are naturally hued with a charming redness. The corners of Sri Radhika’s eyes are hued with reddish tints. She especially likes to hold a red lotus flower in Her hand.”
ramani raamani gopi, vrndavana-vilasini nana-ratna vicitrangi, nana-sukha-mayi sada (4)
“Radharani is a charming young mistress. Her loveliness is especially pleasing to behold. Radha is a cowherd girl. She likes to frolic in the forest of Vrndavana. Radha is fond of wearing different types of gemstones. The shapes od Radharani’s limbs are astonishingly lovely to behold. She abounds in various forms of happiness.”
samsara-para-tarani, venu-gita-vinodini krsna-priya krsna-mayi, krsna-dhyana-parayani (5)
“Radharani delivers souls out of the material world. She takes great pleasure in listening to flute songs. Radha is very dear to Krsna. She is Lord Krsna’s exact conterpart. Radha is fond of meditating upon Sri Krsna.”
sadananda ksina-madhya, krsna krsnalaya subha candravali candra-mukhi, candra ca krsna-vallabha (6)
“Radhika is always full of bliss. Her waist is very slim. Radha is the female form of Krsna Himself. She is the refuge of Her beloved Krsna. Radharani is the embodiment of auspiciousness. She is beautiful as a series of full moons. Radha’s face is round and radiantly soothing like a full moon. She is the very personification of the moon itself. Radha is the dearmost beloved of Lord Krsna.”
vrndavanesvari devi, krsna-rangi para-gatih dhyanatita dhyana-magna, sada-krsna-kutuhali (7)
“Radharani is the Queen of Vrndas forest. She is the Supreme Goddess of the entire creation. Radha enjoys playing fun games with Krsna. Srimati Radharani is the final transcendental goal. She is naturally situated far, far beyond anyone’s meditation. Radha is very meditative by nature. She is always playing mischievous pranks on Krsna.”
prema-mayi prema-rupa, prema prema-vinodini krsna-priya sadanandi, gopi-mandala-vasini (8)
“Radhika is effused with the purest ecstatic love. She is the embodiment of love’s most beautiful form. Her every thought, action, word and deed is totally saturated with love. She revels in the delightful sports of pure love. Radha is the favorite of Lord Krsna. She is perpetually absorbed in the greatest happiness. Radharani resides within the circle of Her cowherd girlfriends.”
sundarangi ca svarnabha, nila-patta-vidharini krsnanuragini caiva, krsna-prema-su-laksana (9)
“Radha’s bodily limbs are all very attractive. Her complexion is radiantly golden. Radha especially likes to wear blue silken garments. She is very contented in Her attachment to Krsna. Srimati Radharani is nicely marked by Her obvious love for Krsna.”
nigudha-rasa-sarangi, mrgaksi mrga-locana asesa-guna-para ca, krsna-pranesvari sama (10)
“Radha embodies variegated forms of confidential mellows. Her eyes are just like those of a dear. Radha views things innocently like a dear. She excels even beyond limitless good qualities. Radharani is the mistress of the very-breath of Krsna. She is equal in Her dealings with all.
rasa-mandala-madhyastha, krsna-rangi sada sucih vrajesvari vraja-rupa, vraja-bhumi-sukha-prada (11)
“Radha dances in the center of circular rasa dance. She enjoys frolicking with Lord Krsna. Radharani always has immaculate manners. Srimati Radharani is the Queen of Vrajadhama. Aspects of Her form are visible in all the featrues throughout Vraja. Sri Radha is the grantor of happiness to all beings in Vraja-bhumi.”
rasollasa madonmatta, lalita rasa-sundari sarva-gopi-mayi-nitya, nana-sastra-visarada (12)
“Radha especially blossoms with delight during the rasa dance. She becomes wildly intoxicated by drinking honey-wine. Radha embodies the most charming loveliness. She is the truly beautiful expression of divine loving mellows. She expands Herself into multiple forms as all the cowherd girls. Radha is the essence of eternity. She is greatly learned in various scriptures.”
kamesvari kama-rupa, sada krsna-parayana para-sakti-svarupa ca, srsti-sthiti-vinasini (13)
“Radha is the Queen of transcendental lust. She is the personification of divine potency. Radha is the essence of eternity. She is greatly learned in various scriptures.”
saumya saumya-mayi radha, radhika sarva-kamada ganga ca tulasi caiva, yamuna ca sarasvati (14)
“Radha is pleasing like the moon. All of Her dealings are soft and gentle. She is endowed with all prosperity and success. Radha fully satisfies Her beloved by Her intimate worship. She fulfills the aspirations of all beings. Sri Radha is the original form of the Ganges River. She is the original form of the holy basil plant. She is the original form of the Yamuna River. Radha is the original form of the Sarasvati River.”
bhogavati bhagavati, bhagavac-citta-rupini prema-bhakti-sada-sangi, premananda-vilasini (15)
“Srimati Radharani is the original form of the Bhogavati river (the Ganges flowing in the Patala region). She is the Supreme female divinity. Radha is the embodiment of Bhagavans very heart. She is continuously associated with ecstatic loving devotion. Radha cavorts in the ecstatic bliss of pure love.”
sadananda-mayi nitya, nitya-dharma-parayani trailokyakarsani adya, sundari krsna-rupini (16)
“Radhika is perpetually permeated with exhilaration. She is the incarnation of agelessness. Radha is devoted to performing auspicious daily rituals. She is the attractor of the three worlds. Sri Radha is the original source of all that is. She is the absolute manifestation of total beauty. Radharani expresses Herself as the form of Lord Krsna.”
satam-astottaram nama, yah pathet prayatah sucih pratah-kale ca madhyane, sandhyayam madhya-ratrike yatra tatra bhavet tasya, krsnah prema-yuto bhavet (17)
“If a pious and clean devotee recites these 108 holy names od Sri Radhika - either in the morning (06:00-08:24), evening (18:00-20:24) or in the middle of the night (22:48-03:36), wherever and however that person lives, they become endowed with ecstatic love for Lord Krsna.”
ALL GLORIES TO SRIMATI RADHARANI! Related Post: Becoming Free!