Radhastami

Each year on the 8th day of the of the dark fortnight in the month of Badra (Aug\Sept), the Gaudiya Vaishnavas honour the appearance day of the most substantial deity in their tradition; Sri Radha. The festival is called Radhastami or the Appearance day of Radharani. It is understood that Sri Radha is the embodiment of the benevolence of Sri Krishna. In pleasing Krishna, she has no match because she is Krishna’s pleasure potency. In fact in order to enjoy, Krishna manifests himself in a second form as Radha, who then expands herself unlimitedly in His service.

Just as Krishna is the fountainhead, or original source of all the Avataras, Sri Radha is the the origin all goddesses, who are her expanded forms. Whether it is the damsels of Vraja, the queens of Dwarka or the Laksmi’s of Vaikuntha, they are all the expansions of Radha. In this regard “goddess” simply means the expanded potency of Krishna, which is considered to be feminine. In the tradition, feminine indicates the nature to love, to please or to serve and nourish; whereas the male nature means the enjoyer and object of service. Thus not only are the goddesses feminine, but so is the nature of devotion and the very nature of the soul.

In the Gaudiya tradition the soul is liberated from material bondage and reunited with Krishna by taking shelter of His feminine potency and by embracing its feminine nature to love and to express love in the form of service. Therefore, the masculine nature to rule, to dominate and enjoy must be renounced by the aspiring devotees.

Understanding this most confidential part of the Gaudiya tradition, we often see the aspiring devotees of Krishna giving more preference and subservience in the worship and service of Sri Radha, than even to Krishna Himself. This type of partiality and affiliation to Radha is known as “Radha Dasyam”.

Thus, when chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, the name “hare” is taken to be the name of Radha, and an address to her to facilitate the soul’s journey from material (male) consciousness to the sublime state of merging into the divine and eternal loving pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna.

Radhastami ki jay

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