Srimati Radharani – The Universal Mother
Krishna means “all-attractive”, someone who is supremely opulent enough to attract everybody. However, Srimati Radharani is so great that She attracts Krishna.
tapta-kanchana-gaurangi - radhe vrindavaneshvari vrishabhanu-sute devi pranamami hari-priye
Srimati Radharani, I offer my respects to You whose bodily complexion is like molten gold. O Goddess, You are the queen of Vrindavana. You are the daughter of King Vrishabhanu, and are very dear to Lord Krishna.
6th September 2019 - is the appearance day of Srimati Radharani, the Queen of Vrindavan. On this auspicious day, for the pleasure of Guru and Krishna, let us try to understand about the dear most and topmost devotee of Sri Krishna. Let us understand who is Srimati Radha Rani? What is her relation with Sri Krishna? What role does Srimati Radha Rani have in a Vaishnava's spiritual life?
Ever since we have heard about pastimes of Srimati Radha Rani and Krishna, we form some understanding about these two personalities. In most of the cases our understandings are not based on Scriptures or Maha-Bhagavata devotee, rather these are based on TV Serials or mental speculations (self as well as other non-devotees).
Srila Prabhupada has mentioned in his commentaries that, "The two transcendentalists Radha and Krishna are a puzzle to materialists.". Understanding Krishna in itself is a great Herculean task for His devotees what to speak about Srimati Radharani, His internal potency. The subject matter of Srimati Radharani is extremely confidential. Hence Vedas also do not mention much about Srimati Radharani. This is why Lord Sri Krishna himself appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to explain the vastness and greatness of Srimati Radharani.

Who is Srimati Radharani?

rādhā-kṛṣṇa eka ātmā, dui deha dhari'
anyonye vilase rasa āsvādana kari' 
Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are one and the same, but They have assumed two bodies. Thus They enjoy each other, tasting the mellows of love.
Sri Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.55
As mentioned in the above verse, Srimati Radharani and Sri Krishna are no different from one another, they are one soul in two bodies, they have taken different forms to enjoy the mellows of pastimes. Just like fire and heat are one yet different. Both are inseparable from each other and complement each other.
It is revealed in Vedic Scriptures, that once the Lord of Universes,  The Supreme Personality of Godhead - Sri Krishna, by whose mere desire everything happens, once had a desire to enjoy. As soon as this desire came to his mind, immediately from His left side appeared beautiful Srimati Radha Rani. Therefore, Srimati Radha Rani is non-different from Krishna, in the sense that, She is His internal Potency (or energy).
In the Vedanta-sutras (1.1.12) the Absolute Truth is described as anandamaya, always in the pleasure potency. When we want ananda, pleasure or happiness, we cannot have it alone. For ananda, there must be a companion. Because Krishna, the Absolute Truth, is anandamaya, He has expanded himself into many: eko bahu syam. This is the primary reason for our existence. We all are part and parcel of Krishna and are meant to give pleasure to Krishna.
The chief pleasure potency is Srimati Radharani.
It is said in Sri Caitanya - Caritamrita, Adi Lila, 4.96 - 97
rādhā — pūrṇa-śakti, kṛṣṇa — pūrṇa-śaktimān dui vastu bheda nāi, śāstra-paramāṇa
Sri Radha is the full power, and Lord Krishna is the possessor of full power. The two are not different, as evidenced by the revealed scriptures.
mṛgamada, tāra gandha — yaiche aviccheda agni, jvālāte — yaiche kabhu nāhi bheda
They are indeed the same, just as musk and its scent are inseparable, or as fire and its heat are nondifferent.
rādhā-kṛṣṇa aiche sadā eka-i svarūpa līlā-rasa āsvādite dhare dui-rūpa
Thus Radha and Lord Krishna are one, yet They have taken two forms to enjoy the mellows of pastimes.
Just like Sri Krishna is the fountainhead of all forms of incarnations, in the same way, Srimati Radharani is the fountainhead of all forms of goddesses like - Laksmi, Rukmini, Satyabhama etc.

Relation between Srimati Radharani and Sri Krishna.

avajananti mam mudha
manusim tanum asritam
param bhavam ajananto
mama bhuta-mahesvaram
Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.
[Bhagavad Gita - 9.11]
One must understand Sri Krishna is neither an ordinary nor an extraordinary human. Similarly, Srimati Radharani is neither some ordinary lady nor special lady of this material world with whom Sri Krishna was having His pastimes. Rather She is non-different from Krishna. Krishna expanded Himself into two so as to enjoy.
She is the pleasure-giving potency of the Lord (hladini-shakti), rendering service unto Him eternally in the material and spiritual realms.
rādhikā hayena kṛṣṇera praṇaya-vikāra svarūpa-śakti — ‘hlādinī’ nāma yāṅhāra
Śrīmatī Rādhikā is the transformation of Kṛṣṇa’s love. She is His internal energy called hlādinī.
[Sri Caitanya - Caritamrita, Adi Lila, 4.59]
Every breath of Srimati Radharani is offered to Krishna's service, to give Him bliss.
Many people confuse this love of Srimati Radharani as mundane love (so-called) we find around us. Radharani's loving affair with Krishna is not ordinary mundane loving affairs.
Love in the material world is taken very cheaply nowadays. "I love you" is the most commonly (mis)used words in our world. The emotion that we see around us and misunderstand it to be Love is actually Lust. In the material world, true love between two living entities can never exist. Everything boils down to sense gratification, lust - kama - selfish desires. Two living entities (parents-children; husband-wife; boyfriend-girlfriend; pets-owner; employee-employer; master-servant) can pretend to show love only till the point he is getting satisfied. The moment one gets a reversal, immediately the relationship is threatened.
Love in the real sense only means an unalloyed loving relationship between Krishna and the living entities. True love is selfless love. True love means there is no self-interest, that one works only and only for the satisfaction of Lord Krishna. Since Radharani is Krishna's internal potency, Her business is to give pleasure to Krishna. From time immemorial She has been serving Krishna with devotion to please Him.
Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami has beautifully explained the difference between Lust and Love in Sri Caitanya - Caritamrita, Adi Lila, 4.165
ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchā — tāre bali ‘kāma’ kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ‘prema’ nāma
The desire to gratify one’s own senses is kāma [lust], but the desire to please the senses of Lord Kṛṣṇa is prema [love].
Also, we need to understand the stage of Prema (unalloyed love for Krishna can be attained after crossing the 8 stages as listed below;
  1. sraddha: faith
  2. sadhu-sanga: association with devotees
  3. bhajana-kriya: performance of devotional service
  4. anartha nivrtti: decreasing of unwanted attachments
  5. nistha: steadiness
  6. ruci: taste
  7. asakti: attachment
  8. bhava: love
  9. prema: pure love for Krsna
In the above chronology, we can see the fourth stage is Anartha Nivriti, which means the elimination of unwanted qualifications or disqualification. It can be as gross as Sexual Desires or as subtle as Hankering for Name, fame and glories. (Click to read and understand the subtle Anarthas)
Srimati Radha Rani, the Gopies and the pure devotees are always in the level of Prema. Hence it is impossible to have even slight contamination of Lust in their consciousness.
Srimati Radha Rani is the epitome of the Prema since she is the topmost devotee of Krishna.

Qualities of Srimati Radharani.

Out of innumerable qualities of Srimati Radharani, prominent 25 qualities are listed below: 1. She is sweetness personified. 2. She is a fresh young girl. 3. Her eyes are always moving. 4. She is always brightly smiling. 5. She possesses all auspicious marks on her body. 6. She can agitate Krishna by the flavor of Her person. 7. She is expert in the art of singing. 8. She can speak very nicely and sweetly. 9. She is expert in presenting feminine attractions. 10. She is modest and gentle. 11. She is always very merciful. 12. She is transcendentally cunning. 13. She knows how to dress nicely. 14. She is always shy. 15. She is always respectful. 16. She is always patient. 17. She is very grave. 18. She is enjoyed by Krishna. 19. She is situated on the highest devotional platform. 20. She is the abode of love of the residents of Gokula. 21. She can give shelter to all kinds of devotees. 22. She is always affectionate to superiors and inferiors. 23. She is always obliged by the dealings of Her associates. 24. She is the greatest amongst Krishna's girlfriends. 25. She always keeps Krishna under Her control.

The appearance of Srimati Radharani (on planet earth).

In Barsana, on a half-moon night in the month of Bhadra, King Vrishabhanu came to the Jamuna to bathe and found himself engulfed in a golden aura, the golden aura of pure love. It was emanating from a one-thousand-petalled lotus flower. He saw the most beautiful molten-gold-colored girl lying on the lotus and moving Her hands and legs. As the king had no child he was very happy to receive this girl. He brought Her to his palace and give Her to his wife Kirtida. Thus Srimati Radharani appeared in the earthly home of Her eternal parents, Kiritida Sundari and Maharaj Visabhanu.
However, they were also shocked because the girl was blind.
In the meantime when Lord Krishna’s mother, Yashoda, heard that her best friend Kirtida had a baby, she came to visit along with her husband and her son. Krishna crawled up to the cradle and pulled Himself up and looked in.
At that moment, Srimati Radharani’s eyes fluttered and opened wide and blossomed like lotuses. It seems that she did not want to see anything of this world other than Sri Krishna.

Role of Srimati Radharani in the life of a devotee.

The devotion in the heart of a devotee is a reflection of Srimati Radharani's devotion towards Krishna. She is the ideal maha-bhagvat. As the greatest devotee, She is also the most compassionate. She is unable to bear the suffering of the souls trapped in the material world.
Srimati Radharani is the guardian, the mentor and the benefactor of all aspiring devotees. When a soul starts to inquire about Krishna, Srimati Radharani is most pleased and takes charge of his devotional advancements. As one makes progress, one continues to invoke the mercy of Srimati Radharani and when She is pleased, Krishna is automatically pleased.
The chanting of Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is directly enacted from the spiritual platform, and thus this sound vibration surpasses all lower strata of consciousness-namely sensual, mental, and intellectual.
These three words, namely Hare, Krsna, and Rama, are transcendental seeds of the maha-mantra. The chanting is a spiritual call for the Lord and His internal energy, Hara (Srimati Radharani) , to give protection to the conditioned soul. This chanting is exactly like the genuine cry of a child for its mother. Mother Hara helps the devotee achieve the grace of the supreme Father, Hari, or Krsna, and the Lord reveals Himself to the devotee who chants this mantra sincerely. The supreme pleasure energy of the Lord (Srimati Radharani) helps us to reach the Lord.
[Excerpts from the purport by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada]

Radharani - reservoir of compassion.

There is an episode in the Padma Purana, Vrindavana Mahatmya.
Once a female jackal was drinking some water from the Radha Kund. Some children came and started beating the jackal with some sticks. The jackal hid in a nearby fox hole. The children built a fire in front of the hole to catch the jackal. Out of pain and fear, the jackal started crying. Lalita heard the cry of jackal and was shocked. How can someone in Vrindavan, land of Srimati Radharani be in distress?
She at once reached the spot and chased away the children. She then picked up the jackal and brought it in front of Srimati Radharani. Jackal was trembling with fear and pain. Seeing the pitiable condition of the jackal, Radharani was deeply hurt. Being a maha-bhagvat (pure devotee) and original mother of all living entities, She is extremely compassionate towards everyone. Srimati Radharani patted the jackal and blessed it. Immediately the jackal turned into a beautiful lady. She was then accepted by Srimati Radharani as a sakhi and blessed with eternal service.
The jackal represents the conditioned souls like us, children represent Maya - who torments us, Lalita represents Guru who guides us towards the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani.
The goal of our life should be to develop more and more devotion onto the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani. It is very important for us to serve Radharani because ONLY by Her mercy, we can attain the love of Krishna.
Hare Krishna!
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