Radha Ashtami- Appearance day of Srimati Radharani

Hare Krishna and pranams dear devotees.

Today is the most auspicious Radhastami.


In my heart I place the splendid feet of Radha’s Lord, feet that eclipse the glory of autumn lotuses, are served by hosts of bumblebee sages, are marked with lightning and lotus and decorated with glistening golden anklets, and break the three sufferings of the devotees.

(Garga Samhita, Canto 1, chapter 1, verse 2)

Radharani’s Birth

Then, placing Her glorious transcendental form in (the womb of) King Vrishabhanu’s wife, Shri Radha descended into a great palace in a garden by the Yamuna’s shore.

In the month of Bhadra (August-September), on a Monday that was the eighth day of the bright fortnight of the moon, at midday, when the sky was covered with clouds, (to celebrate Radha’s descent) the demigods scattered flowers that had blossomed in the Nandana gardens.

Because of Radha’s descent the rivers became very pure and clear, the directions became auspicious and happy, and graceful, gentle, cooling breezes carried the pollen of lotus flowers.

Gazing at her daughter beautiful as hundreds of moons, the gopi Kirti became happy. To bring auspiciousness she gave two hundred thousand cows in charity to please the brahmanas.

(Garga Samhita, Canto 1, chapter 8, verse 6-9)

Srila Prabhupada explains who is Radharani?

Today is Radharani’s appearance day. So we should try to understand Radharani’s feature. Radharani is the pleasure potency, hladini-shakti. Anandamayo ‘bhyasat (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12). In the Vedanta-sutra the Absolute Truth is described as anandamaya, always in pleasure potency. That änandamaya potency… Just like ananda. When you want ananda, pleasure, you cannot have it alone. Alone, you cannot enjoy. When you are in the circles of friend or family or other associates, you feel pleasure. Just like I am speaking. The speaking is very pleasing when there are many persons here. I cannot speak alone here. That is not ananda. I can speak here at night, dead of night, nobody here. That is not ananda. Ananda means there must be others. So because Krishna, the Absolute Truth, is anandamaya, therefore eko bahu syäm, He has become many. We are also Krishna’s part and parcel, to give pleasure to Krishna. And the chief pleasure potency is Radharani.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, 29th August 1971)

Radha Shyamsundar Vrindavan

We approach Krishna through the mercy Radharani

Actual aim of life is to satisfy Lord Vishnu, and Krishna is the origin of Vishnu-tattva. And He is pleased through Radharani. Therefore we don’t keep Krishna alone. No, Radha-Krishna. First Radharani. So that day is today. First you have to worship Radharani.

Therefore in Vrindavan you will see all devotees, they will address one another, “Jaya Radhe.” Still. Because they know that “If Radharani is pleased, if I can please Radharani …” Radharani is presented, the original pleasure potency, always absorbed in thought of Krishna. So anyone who comes before Radharani to serve Krishna, oh, She becomes so pleased, “Oh, here is a devotee of Krishna.” She immediately recommends, “Krishna, oh, here is a devotee. He is better than Me.” This is Radharani . I may be a, not devotee. I may be most fallen rascal. But if I try to reach Krishna through Radharani , then my business is successful. Therefore we should worship Radharani first. That is our business. Instead of offering directly one flower to Krishna, you just put it in the hands of Radharani : “My mother Radharani, Jagan-mata, if you kindly take this flower and offer it to Krishna.” “Oh,” Radharani says, “Oh, you have brought a flower?” Krishna said, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati [Bg. 9.26], but don’t try to offer Krishna directly. Just offer through Radharani. It will be very much appreciated by Radharani.

So this is our philosophy, to please Krishna through Radharani, and just today is the auspicious day of Radharani appearance. So we should offer pushpanjali and pray to Radharani that “Radharani , kindly be merciful and tell about me to Your Krishna. To Your Krishna. Krishna is Yours.” Krishna, Radha-Krishna. Krishna is not independent. Krishna is Radharani’s property. So you have to approach Krishna through Radharani. That is, today is the auspicious day. Worship Radharani very nicely and be happy.

( Srila Prabhupada lecture, London 5th September 1973)

She always feels separation of Krishna

As Radharani is always in feelings of separation of Krishna, similarly, in the position of Radharani, Lord Caitanya was feeling separation of Krishna. That is the teachings of Lord Caitanya, feelings of separation, not meeting. The process of devotional service taught by Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His disciplic succession is how to feel separation from Krishna. That is Radharani’s position, always feeling the separation.

The Gosvamis, they also, when they were in Vrindavan, they never said that “I have seen Krishna.” Although they were the most perfect, they never said that “I have seen Krishna.” Their prayers were like this: he rādhe vrajadevike ca lalite he nanda-sūno kutaḥ. he rādhe, Radharani, he rādhe! vrajadevike ca vraja-devike! ca. Radharani does not remain alone. He (She) remains always with His (Her) friends, vrajadevi, Lalita or Vishakha and other damsels of Vrindavan. So the Goswamis are praying, in their mature stage, when they were living at Vrindavan, they were praying in this way, he rādhe vrajadevike ca lalite he nanda-sūno kutaḥ: “Where, Radharani, where You are? Where are Your associates? Where You are, Nanda-suno, the son of Nanda Maharaja, Krishna? Where you are, all?” They were searching after. They never said, “I have seen Krishna dancing with the gopis. Last night I saw.” (laughter) This is sahajiya. This is not mature devotee. They are called sahajiya. They take everything very cheap—Krishna very cheap, Radharani very cheap—as if they can see every night. No. The Gosvamis do not teach us like that. They’re searching after. he rādhe vrajadevike ca lalite he nanda-sūno kutaḥ, śrī-govardhana-kalpa-pādapa-tale kālindī-vane kutaḥ: “Are you there under the Govardhana Hill or on the banks of the Yamuna?” kālindī-vane kutaḥ. ghoṣantāv iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair mahā-vihvalau. Their business was crying like this, “Where You are? Where You are, Radharani? Where you are, Lalita, Vishakha, the associates of Radharani? Where You are, Krishna? Are You near Govardhan Hill or on the bank of the Yamuna?” ghoṣantāv iti sarvato vraja-pure. So throughout the whole tract of Vrindavan they were crying and searching after Them, khedair mahā-vihvalau, as if madman. khedair mahā-vihvalau. vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau.

So we have to follow the footprints of the Gosvamis, how to search out Krishna and Radharani, Vrindavan, or within your heart. That is the process of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s bhajana: feeling of separation, vipralambha, vipralambha-seva…..Not that very easily, “We have seen Krishna or seen Radharani in rasa-lila.” No, not like that. Feel the separation. The more you feel separation from Krishna, you should understand that you are advancing. Don’t try to see Krishna artificially. Be advanced in separation feeling, and then it will be perfect.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, 29th August 1971)

kṛṣṇa-nāma-guṇa-yaśa — avataṁsa kāṇe

Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s earrings are the name, fame and qualities of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The glories of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s name, fame and qualities are always inundating Her speech.

(CC Madhya 8.179)

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Your servant,

Giriraj dasa

p.s.- Let us now close our eyes, open our heart and get absorbed in the bhajan below

Govardhan parikrama on Radha Ashtami

Hare Krishna.

I left the evening before for Vrindavan, reaching Vrindavan Dham around 9pm. The temple was closed,  I paid my dandvat pranam inside the courtyard and then had a quick dinner at Govinda.

Got a room in my regular guest house, Sri Krishna Sudama Dham, and slept around 11pm after reading a bit.

Radha Ashtami

I got up early and attended Prabhupada’s Arti in the temple after many months, it was wonderful to be just there.

Then it was 4.30 am and time for Mangal Arti. The doors opened and it was a glorious view of their Lordships. Oh ! What a beautiful altar and my first view was of Sri Sri Krishna and Balaram ji. They looked so handsome, happy, jubilant,  the words fail me to describe Them and enjoying their pastimes at Govardhan hill, which was the back ground. I was in Vrindavan after many months and though I see Them every day via internet still being there is an entirely different experience. I was very emotional meeting Them and paid as many obeisances mentally as I could, begging for Their mercy. And somehow I felt the connection and it was a most wonderful feeling in the heart. Then with so many people I could move some feet to my right and get to see only Radharani and Vishakha sakhi. I haven’t seen a more beautiful deity of Radharani ever before, she looked gorgeous. I was spell bound by her sheer beauty and dazzling smile. There was a spark in her eyes and she seemed be glowing more by every passing second. I  tried to push more to see the complete altar but could not as there simply too many people. I then moved to Sri Gaura Nitai and took Their darshan and paid obeisances in my mind. I then came back in the middle for the Arti and kept my eyes firmly fixed on Sri Krishna and Balaram. I left just before the start of the Tulsi arti for Govardhan.

I was about to start Bhagavad Gita Study group from the coming Sunday at my home, my baby step to help our preaching movement,  and I felt inspired to take the blessing of Giri Govardhan before I begin.

I chanted my rounds sitting in the back of the car, admiring the fresh morning scenery outside, all serene and calm.  I reached Govardhan at 6.15 and started the Govardhan parikrama immediately. Being alone I had my phone and MP3 player loaded with many lectures for the trip. There were not too many devotees but as I progressed I could see many devotees doing Govardhan parikrama.  As I took  left turn from the bus stand towards Govardhan my eye met a pair of very bright eyes. I had never seen a brighter pair of eyes in my life before. He was a very tall, fair and lean person, dressed up in surprisingly neat, and I would add even majestic, clothes, wearing a turban on his head. Our eyes met, he held my gaze and then he crossed. My heart told me that don’t be so surprised as many demigods come to Govardhan for Govardhan parikrama every day, Giriraj Maharaj Ki Jai.

The biggest advantage I found doing Govardhan parikrama in the morning was that there was very less noise pollution from those blaring horns selling some ring, `surma’, etc today. In fact except for some odd TV playing at loud level at tea stalls it was was very peaceful and I heard Mahamantra japa in many temples for the first time. As I completed my rounds I remember I have to do some extra rounds from my past `account’  . Once I completed them I asked myself that do I have no taste at all for the chanting and all I wish to do now is listen to lectures I brought. I decided to chant more. I completed the Govardhan parikrama in five and a half hours, walking non stop and chanting all the way through. While doing  Govardhan parikrama it is difficult not to get distracted by things around but by the mercy of Lord I did the Parikrama pretty much focused on my chanting, paying obeisances to Giriraj Maharaj and soaking in the atmosphere. I tried to keep my heart soft and prayed that I get His blessings to serve Guru Maharaj, Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON and don’t let HG Rukmini Prabhu ji down. I tried to remember all the glories of Giriraj Maharaj explained by HH Sacinandan Maharaj in his Govardhan retreat, I had listened the audio recording some months back.

I was tired when I reached Radha Kund. The dip in the holy water filled me with bliss and gratitude towards the Lord and Srimati Radharani . Taking a dip in Radha Kund is always a unique experience for me.

I have taken bath many times in Radha Kund but today I felt silly taking a bath in my small shorts.  I bought two `gamchas’ for my bath next time.

I came back to the SBI ATM where the driver was waiting for me, paid my obeisances and then left for Krishna Balrama temple for the  Maha Prasad. I was hungry for Their darshan again.

After many months I completed 64 rounds today.

Radharani Ki Jaya!

Giri Govardhan ki jaya!

Govardhan Parikrama ki jaya !

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.


your servant,

Giriraj dasa