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RADHA'S SPIRITUAL IDEALS
"Radha is parama-devata, the Supreme Goddess, and She is worshipable for everyone. She is the protectress of all, and She is the mother of the entire Universe." (Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi 4.89)
Some people think that Radha is limited only to the Hindus, but that is not the case. As a form of the Universal Mother, She is for everyone. She includes everyone no matter their race, age, gender, culture, marital status, religion or philosophy. The Goddess is the Shakti or action principle in the world. She acts in full devotion to Krishna. She is an example of unconditional love.
There are some people in your life who are like Radha who love you unconditionally. All the better if you can love them the same way. This is a rare and great kind of relationship. Love is a verb. It is about being there and doing good in the world. It is not about saying pretty words like, "I love you so much." It is not about exclusion. It is about including everyone--no matter their situation.
The Goddess appears in your life in various ways. She is mysterious. She enchants us all. Radha enchants Krishna. She finds ways to get around all the barriers we have put up to living an authentic life. Radha hears Krishna's flute among the cows. Pay attention when you hear a flute because Radha-Krishna is very close to you. The flute and the drum are the most ancient instruments found in the archeological record. The frequency of the flute is similar to the chirping of birds. The higher frequencies are the most healing frequencies. So the flute of Radha-Krishna is your healing balm.
Radhastami is the Appearance Day of Radha, consort of Krishna. Radha, as the Supreme Goddess, appears on the earth. She is not born like human beings are born into the world. An avatar appears and disappears. An avatar is an incarnation of the Divine. She appeared on a half moon night, two weeks after Krishna appeared on the Earth plane. Her father was Vrishabhanu and her mother was Kirtida or Kamalavati. She appeared on a lotus lily pad. The lotus is the symbol of the Mother. She encounters Krishna when Her parents visit the household of Nanda and Jashoda. He crawls up to the cradle and pulls himself up and looks into Her eyes which turn into lotus blossoms.
There are many great stories about her dedication and love for Krishna. One day Krishna wanted the gopis to understand why She was his favorite. He pretended to have a headache to test all the gopis to see what they would do. Krishna tests all of us from time to time to see what we will do. He said, "The headache will go away if one of you will stand on my head and massage it with your feet." The rest of the gopis declared that, "We can not do this. You are God, the Lord of the Universe. It would be highest sacrilege to dare to desecrete your form by touching your sacred head with our feet." Radha appeared and stood on his head. Krishna fell asleep afterwards. They told Her that because She stood on Krishna's head, She would go to hades. Radha said, "Oh, is that what you are worrying about? I would gladly live there forever if I would make Him happy for a second." So this showed Her great love and devotion. This was a test of their devotion. The other gopis failed the test because they only thought of themselves and were caught up in conventional thinking. They were in a little box. They believed in conventional beliefs about how God acts in the world. There is a Lutheran theologian called Martin E. Marty who speaks to this situation. He says some people think God can be put into a box of their own making. He says, "Your God is too small." God is the inclusive, transcendent One who sees love as the most important goal in life. God takes the form of adults, children, animals, creation, beings of other stars and planets and the Universe. In the Eleventh Chapter of the Gita Arjuna beholds Krishna's full form. Krishna is the All-In-All. Krishna covers and is all that is. If you only welcome and include certain people, you lose out on so much of the beauty of the diversity of those individuals.
Another great story about Radha I heard recently when Pandit Anand Sukul came to Minneapols to conduct a Maha Krishna Yagna at Shri Gaayatri Mandir. Satyabhama and Rukmini decided to invite Radha to consume some very hot milk because they were jealous of Radha's love for Krishna. Radha consumed the scorching hot milk because they said Krishna had brought it out for Her. Krishna returned with painful ulcers. The milk affected Krishna. He experience all Her pain because Radha's pain became His pain. They are one.
Wishing you a Happy Radhastami. May you be as devoted to God as Radha was devoted to Krishna.
JAI SHRI RADHA-KRISHNA!