Who is Shri Radha?
(A Special Radhashtami Lecture by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj)
Today is the auspicious day of Shri Radha Rani’s Appearance. Hence you all must have a desire to know, what is Radha Tattva? Who is Radha?
Let’s first understand the grammatical formation of the word ‘Radha.’ Radha is a root word in Sanskrit language. Its meaning is aradhana (worship) and upasna (worship). The word Radha has two meanings and both are correct. One meaning of Radha is the one who prays and worships Shri Krishn. The other meaning is, the one Who is worshipped by Brahm Shri Krishn is Radha. So, we have two opposite meanings. She is called Radha because She worships Brahm Krishn, and She is called Radha because Brahm Krishn worships Her.
Bhagwatam – Ref – 10/30/28 – When Krishn disappeared from Maharas with Radha, the Gopis were lamenting in separation and looking for them. They saw the footprints of Radha and Krishn. The Gopis said to each other. Krishn, our beloved has taken that Gopi, who must have done the most devotion to Him. We are devotees of lower level than Her. That is why Krishn took that Gopi and left us here.
Brahm Vaivart Puran – Krishn says in this verse – “Oh Kishori Ji, please forgive My mistakes and Grace Me.” So both kinds of statements are found in the scriptures. Therefore, the word Radha has two meanings and both are correct. Some people say that Radha Tattva was fabricated later on by some people and Shri Krishn is the only Tattva.
A question is asked in the Ved, “Who is the supreme power which is beyond everything?” The answer is also given in the Ved. Shri Krishn is beyond everything. Everyone else is inferior to Him and are worshippers of Shri Krishn. Some people, however, being influenced by their emotions, that Radha must be the best devotee (of Shri Krishn), gradually increased Her importance so much, that Shri Krishn Brahm is Her devotee and they propagated this. Some naive people speak like this.
What is actually Radha Tattva? The answer to this question is simply in one word only, ‘Indescribable.’ The Vedas declare that the form of Radha is indescribable. In other words, it is not a subject of speech, mind or intellect. Still for the sake of giving some basic knowledge and helping devotees in their devotional path, all Rasik saints, scriptures and the Vedas have described Radha. I am also going to briefly explain to you ‘Who is Radha.’
First of all, you have to first understand who you are. This body is yours, this mind is yours and this intellect is yours. Who are you? You will have no answer for that. And if you do have an answer, it will be according to the scriptures. It will be the theoretical knowledge that, “I am a soul.” This body is mine, the mind is mine and intellect is mine. However, I am not the body, mind and intellect, but a soul.
So the soul is the supreme. Body, senses, mind and intellect are the servants of the soul. They serve the soul 24 hours a day. They think, “What should I see so that my soul may feel happy,” “What should I hear so that my soul may feel happy,” “What should I smell so that my soul may feel happy,” “What should I taste or eat so that my soul may feel happy,” “What should I touch so that my soul may feel happy,” “What should I think so that my soul may feel happy,” “What should I decide so that my soul may feel happy.” etc. That’s all we can think of. It’s what we have been doing every moment since eternity.
Every second, we work to serve the soul. The Ved says, – Bhagwan Shri Krishn is your soul and you are His servant. Going in sequence – just as your body is a servant of your soul, similarly your soul is the body of God. And God is the Soul of our soul. In the same way, the Soul of Shri Krishn is Radha (Skand Puran & Bhagwatam) – Kalindi is saying – Radha is the soul and Shri Krishn is Her body. Just like the soul controls the body and the body is the servant of the soul, similarly the soul is the servant of Parmatma and Paramatma Shri Krishn is the servant of Radha.
When the scriptures can’t explain the soul, saying “The soul meaning I, is beyond our intellect.” ”Then who could say that he knows – The Soul of our souls, Shri Krishn?” “Then who can know the soul of Shri Krishn, Radha?” Who can talk about that? Who can think about that? Who can see that? This is all impossible. You now know that Radha is the Soul of supreme power, Shri Krishn.
If someone thinks they are different – Brahamavaivat Puran – (Ved Vyas) – the one who differentiates between Radha and Krishn – from the point of view of just enjoying the Bliss, if someone says that Radha is greater or Krishn is greater, that’s fine, However, if someone creates this negative idea in his mind that Radha ji is greater than Shri Krishn or Shri Krishn is greater than Radha ji, then that person is made to suffer in a hell named Kalsutra for as long as the sun and moon exist – meaning until the total dissolution of the earth. It is such a great transgression. So both are one.
Naradpanchratra – an ancient scripture says, “Radha and Krishn are the absolute supreme God. There’s nothing bigger beyond them.” Radha Upanishad – “The daughter of King Vishbhanu is the prime Divine Power related to the creation. Everything originates from her.” according to this Ved mantra. The meaning of the two words ‘ra’ and ‘dha’ – “From whom the universe originates, is sustained, and dissolves, that power is Radha.”
Then Naradpanchratra says, – The other half of Shri Krishn is Radha and Radha is the other half of Shri Krishn. Shri Krishn says, “I myself became Radha,” Radha says, “I myself became Shri Krishn.” Brahmvaivart Puran says – “The form Shri Krishn has, I became that form. It’s me, only” Radha is saying. “I took a male form, which is why people began to call me Shri Krishn.” So both are correct.
Naradpanchratra says again – “Just as milk and its whiteness are one, similarly Radha Krishn are one.” One can’t separate or differentiate whiteness from the milk. They are so much one. One has become two again.
Naradpanchratra says – “Goddess Maha Lakshmi, who is the consort of Maha Vishnu, the master of uncountable planetary systems – appears from the left side of Radha’s body. All the Goddesses, Durga, Jayanti, Mangalakali, Bhadra Kali, Kapalini, Durga, Kshma, Shivadhatri, Swaha, Swadha, Vaishnavi and Brahmani all appear from Radha.”
Padma Puran says – “From the toenail of Radha, uncountable Vishnus appear, not just one Vishnu.” Ref: Padma Puran, Matsya Puran, Adi Puran, Padm Puran. Ved Vyasi Ji explained the meaning of Radha – “The one who fulfils all the desires of all the souls when they shed a few tears.” Her name is Radha.’ Dewi Bhagwat Puran says – “First you must say Radha’s name, then Shri Krishn’s name. In this way, the one who speaks, does kirtan, and meditates like this goes to Golok.” Radha’s name is always taken first. No one says ‘Krishn Radha’. We say ‘Radha Krishn,’ ‘Shyama Shyam.’
In our scriptures, Radha name is revealed at uncountable places. There’s no limit in the writings of the Rasik saints. Great Jagadgurus and acharyas were in our Braj like Vallabhacharya, Nimbarkacharya, Gaurang Mahaprabhu, Ramanujacharya and Madhavacharya. They have proved this. Madhavacharya and Ramananujacharya – these two are Jagadgurus who were devotees of Lakshmi Narayan. The rest of the saints and acharyas of Braj were devotees of Radha Krishn.
Madhvacharya was a devotee of Lakshmi Narayan, but his disciple Madhvendra Puri was a devotee of Radha Krishn. Madhvendra Puri’s disciple, Ishwas Puri was also a Radha Krishn devotee. Ishwar Puri’s disciple, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was also a devotee of Radha Krishna. Vallabharcharya says only one thing – “Radha is Brahm herself.” She isn’t equal to Brahm, she is Brahm herself. Nimbakacharya says that “Radha is the power and Krishn is the one in whom the power resides.” There is some difference between the two and also there is no difference. For this reason, they are two and also they are one.
Shri Gaurang Mahaprabhu says that Radha and Krishn are externally two and eternally one. The conclusion is that all the acharyas consider Radha Krishn as one. Ramanacharya and Madvacharya also write in their philosophy that some people worship Maha Lakshmi in the form of Radha. So you shouldn’t use your intellect to differentiate between Radha and Krishna. From the point of view of Bliss, Radha has more importance.
The Rasik saints have sung in praise:- “Param Dhan Radha Naam Adhaar”. (The name Radha is my absolute wealth and refuge). “Jasu Shyam Murli Mah Tera, Sumirat Barambaar” Krishn sings her name in his flute and remembers her all the time. ”Kotin Roop Dhare Nandnandan, Tabahu Na Payo Paar.” Krishn has taken uncountable forms to fathom the depths of Radha’s love but he couldn’t.
There was a saint in this Braj named Albeli Sharan, He clearly said:- “Radha Ra Ke Kahat Hi, Niksat Sakal Vikaar,” (When you say ‘Ra’ the mayic afflictions will all run away) “Au Puni Avat Pavat Nahin” (And what if Maya tries to come back) “Dhakka Det Dhakar” – Then saying, ‘Dha’ kicks Maya out.
What do the Vedas have to say? Let’s go to the Vedas first and see if ‘Radha’ name is there or not. The name is there but not in abundance. In all the seven grammar cases in the Rig Ved, the word ‘Radha’ is found. Aside from this, Sanskrit Verse in Rig Ved – The Radha Tatva is also described in the Vedas.
Now if someone translates Radha name wrongly, saying ‘I’m not going to interpret Radha like that. I’m going to interpret it in another way.’ (Sanskrit verse) – ‘Their intellect interprets according to their own inclination.’ (Sanskrit verse) – When Uddhao asked a question to Shri Krishn, ”Why are there so many paths in our country?” ”Why are there many different paths such as karm, gyan or yog described?”
So Shri Krishn said, “Each soul has different natural tendencies due to the difference in the three material qualities in them. For this reason, scholars, according to the liking of their own minds, have explained the meaning of the Vedas differently. So there are people who have wrongly translated the meaning of the word ‘Radha.’ I don’t have any opposition to them. It’s ok. They might have their own philosophy.
Now come to the Upanishads, (Sanskrit verse) – Mantra and Brahman, meaning Upanishads, are called the Vedas. A question has been asked in the Ved – Why is Radha worshipped? Who is Radha? The Ved answered Samvediya Radhopnishad – The Ved says, “Whose footdust, Krishn,
the master of uncountable universes, All-powerful puts on His own head, is Radha Tattva. Lying in Whose Lap, Krishn, the absolute supreme power, forgets the Bliss of Golok, that power is Radha.
Then after that, Radha Upanishad says – – The one who is worshipped by Shri Krishn is Radha Tattva. The one Who is worshipped by Radha is Shri Krishn Tattva. Both worship each other. Radhikopanishad again says, (Sanskrit verse) – One Divine light – (Sanskrit verse) – One Divine existence, one supreme power, became two. The Ved is saying – one Divine existence became two. Both Radha and Krishn have one intellect, one mind, one soul, same features, and knowledge is one. For this reason, there’s no difference between the two.
I have also explained to you through the following scriptures – Vedas, Upnishads, Narad Panchratra, Maysya Puran, Padm Puran, Adi Puran, Devi Bhagwat Puran, Brahmvaivart Puran, that Radha is revealed and described in these scriptures. Yet some naive people say that Radha’s name isn’t in the Bhagwatam. That’s why there is doubt, and people begin to believe that Radha could just be an imagination. So I’m going to now prove that Radha’s name is in the Bhagwatam in many places.
Number 1 – Bhagwatam Ref: 2/4/14 – You may check it. Who is Radha? – “No one is equal to or greater than She.” In other words, the greatest (soul) absolute supreme power is Radha. When she is the Soul of Shri Krishn, and when He is the absolute supreme power, then how could we have doubt about Radha? So the word ‘Radhsah’ used in the Bhagwatam is for Radha.
Number 2 – Bhagwatam Ref: -10/30/28 – When Krishn disappeared from Maharas with Radha, the Gopis were crying and looking for them. They saw the footprints of Radha and Krishn. The Gopis said, “She has done the utmost devotion. The one who does the most devotion of Krishn is Radha Tattva. I have told this before.
Number 3 – Bhagwatam Ref: 10/83/42 – Rukmini and other queens of Krishn are saying, “From Radha’s chest, the kumkum (red powder) decorates Krishn’s lotus feet. I desire to be a servant of that Shri.” Here the word ‘Shri’ is used for Radha. Rukmini, the descension of ‘Shri’ is already with Krishn (in Dwarika). How could ‘Shri’ be used for Rukmini? She was already there.
In this verse, ‘Shri’ word is used. ‘Shri’ means Radha. When you go to the temple here in Barsana, you hear people say, ‘We have to go to Shriji’s temple.’ No one says Radha Ji’s temple. Ved says, (Sanskrit verse) – One power is Shri and the other is Lakshmi and I had explained that Lakshmi is an affiliate of Radha.
Number 4 – Ref: Bhagwatam 10/30/28 – Radha word is clearly written in this verse. Bhagwatam Ref: 10/30/36 – Here Gopi name is used for Radha. Krishn disappeared with that Gopi. So Gopi is also one of the names of Radha. In Radha Upnishad, among other synonyms, I have already told you about the name Rama – Bhagwatam Ref: 10/47/3 – When Uddhao went to Braj, the Gopis heard from the villagers that a message had come from Ramapati. That is the meaning of this verse. Did a message from Maha Vishnu come for the Gopis? It was a message from Shri Krishn. Therefore, here Rama word is used for Radha.
Let’s go further, (Sanskrit verse) – Just as a small child plays with his shadow, Shri Krishn, the absolute Blissful Supreme God, played and performed raas with the Gopis. Here, the name Ramesh is used for Krishn. Did Maha Vishnu do raas? So here, Rama means Radha. So the Lord of Radha – Krishn did raas. Bhagwatam Ref: 10/31/17 – In our Bhagwatam, the name ‘Rama’ is mentioned many times, ‘Shri’ name is mentioned, ‘Gopi’ name is mentioned and as I have told you, ‘Radha’ name is also used in two places. Therefore, you shouldn’t be under the illusion that ‘Radha’ name is not in the Bhagwatam. Also, the one who created the Bhagwatam (Ved Vyas) has also created all the other Puranas. I have given the names of these Puranas earlier. The name Radha is described in detail in these scriptures.
There is one more reason for not writing the name Radha specifically. Shukdeo Paramhans loved the name ‘Radha’ so much that if he had said it to Parikshit, Shukdeo would have entered into Divine trance for six months. Shukdeo had to reveal Bhagwatam to Parikshit in 7 days. For this reason, Shukdeo did not say the word ‘Radha.’
It’s written in Narad Panchatra – “When you just say ‘Ra,’ you should think that you have received everything, if it’s said with complete faith.” “And when one says ‘dha,’ – Krishn runs after the soul, that says Radha.” Shukdev Paramhans thought, “My Krishn would have to run, therefore I should secretly use other names and not use Radha’s name.”
An example – the henna is of green colour. Its leaves are green. Women apply henna on their feet, so their feet become red. The red colour wasn’t seen earlier in the leaves. Where did it come from? It’s secretly present in the leaves. Similarly, Shukdeo Paramhans has described Radha’s name with other synonyms of Radha. Therefore if someone has this misunderstanding that Radha’s name is not in the Bhagwatam, he should get rid of this thought.
What should be our main aim and purpose? Our real aim is to surrender to Radha. Only, surrender, nothing else. If you surrender, you’ll receive the Grace of Radha and get liberation from Maya. You will attain Divine Bliss and Divine knowledge for eternity. The Vedas declare – “You will become totally fulfilled and self-complacent and you will attain your goal.” Hence, I have proven that Radha name is not only found in the Bhagwatam but also in the Vedas.
*A brief introduction of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj*
(Known by His devotees as Shri Maharajji)
The original title of Jagadguruttam (‘Greatest Spiritual Teacher of the World’) was bestowed upon Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj on January 14, 1957 by ‘Kashi Vidvat Parishad’ (a council of 500 greatest scholars saints of India). He composed divine texts like ‘Prem Ras Madira’, ‘Prem Ras Siddhant’, and ‘Radha Govind Geet’ to lead us on the right path of devotion. He also gave priceless monuments as gifts to the world which include - Bhakti Mandir located in Bhakti Dham, Mangarh, Prem Mandir located in Vrindavan Dham, and Kirti Mandir located in Barsana Dham. Shri Maharajji also built hospitals for the impoverished, the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Vrindavan, Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Barsana, and another one in Pratapgarh. All three help millions of underprivileged to gain free access to medical care. His Kindergarten, School, and College for impoverished girls Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Education is located in Kunda and provides completely free education.