Lord Krishna's eternal love

In Hindu mythology, Radha is the principal love of Krishna's life. In the Srimad Bhagavatam, and the Gita Govinda, for example, she is depicted as his paramour but in other Vaishnava traditions of Hinduism, Radha is, in fact, regarded as a primary deity. She is often worshipped as an avatar of Goddess Lakshmi.

Radha is almost always depicted alongside Krishna who spent a great deal of time and his youth in the company of cow-herd girls called gopis. As they frolicked in the village of Vrindavan, Radha is said to be one of the gopis with whom Krishna played during his childhood. For many, her importance exceeds that of even Krishna as she is considered to be his original Shakti. The other gopis, it is believed, are her maidservants.

In the Padma Purana it is said that there were a total of 18,000 gopis amongst whom 108 were the most prominent. Out of these 108, eight were considered still more important and amongst these eight, two had special positions - Chandravali and Radharani. Of these two, Radha was the foremost and her connection to Krishna in Hindu mythology is of two types: syakiya-rasa (married relationship and parakiya rasa (a relationship that is symbolic of eternal love).

It is said that Radha was born in either at Varshana, or Rawal, a village about eight kilometres from Vrindavan, near what is now New Delhi. Her father was the leader of a group of cow-herds called Vrishabhanu, and her mother was called Kamalavati, or Kirtida.

Radha's birthday (normally in September) is celebrated as Radhastami. During this time devotees are allowed special sanctions. For example, Radha's name is normally not chanted in any rituals, due to the possibility of committing offenses towards her. Neither are all devotees qualified to enter into her kunda, or lake, which is considered holy. But on Radhastami, devotees wait up until midnight in order to bathe in the lake and offer prayers chanting her holy name.

On this day, Radha is said to "appear" because she does not take birth or die, being an eternal associate of Krishna's, both of whom are liberated from the eternal cycle of death and rebirth.


sivarchana said…

It was really good to read this!
Thankyou...I came to know many things after reading this.....Is it really true that Radha was elder to Krishna?
Srini's Weblog said…
Yes! she was older than Lord Krishna.

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