Celebrating Radhastami

BY: SUN STAFF - 29.8 2017

By Nandanandana das (ACBSP).

tvam me pranadhike radhe 
tava pranadhiko 'py aham na kicid avayor bhinnam 
ekangam sarvadaiva hi

"O Radha to Me You are more dear than life To You I am more dear than life also We are not different We are one body eternally."- Sri Brahma-vaivarta Purana 4.2.69.

The Importance of Srimati Radharani and the celebration of Her appearance day, Radhastami, cannot be stressed enough. Lord Caitanya appeared endowed with Radharani's quality of audarya, magnanimity. Srimati Radharani is the bestower of devotional service:

namo maha-vadayaya krsna-prema-pradaya te
krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne gaura-tvise namah

"O most munificent incarnation! You are Krishna Himself appearing as Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Srimati Radharani, and You are widely distributing pure love of Krishna. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You."

"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 puspanjali 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. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna."-London, September 5, 1973.

And the entire world has access to that causeless mercy thru His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

 

brahmovaca radhajanma?amim-vatsa ???u-?vasusamahitaH || 
kathayami-samasenasamagramhri?avina || PaP 4.7.6 ||

kathitam tatphalam-pu?yam-nashakroty-api-narada ||
koi-janmarjitam-papam-brahmahatyadikam-mahat || PaP 4.7.7 ||

kurva?ti-yesak?dbhattyate?am-nashyati-tatk?a?at ||
ekadashyaH sahasre?a yat-phalam-labhatenaraH || PaP 4.7.8 ||

radhajanma?ami-pu?yam-tasmacchatagu?adhikam ||
merutulyasuvar?anidatvayat-phalamapyate || PaP 4.7.9 ||

sak?dradha?amimk?tvatasmacchata gu?adhikam ||
kanya-dana-sahasre?a-yat-pu?yam-prapyate-janaiH || PaP 4.7.10 ||

v??ahanusuta?amyatat-phalam-prapyate-janaiH ||
ga?gadi?u-ca-tirthe?u-snatvatuyat-phalam-labhet || PaP 4.7.11||

k???a-pra?a-priya?amyaH phalam-prapnoti-manavaH ||
etad-vratam-tuyaH papo-helaya-?raddhaya-piva || PaP 4.7.12 ||

"O child, listen very attentively to the description of the vow of Radhajanmastami. I shall tell you in brief the entire account. O Narada, except Vishnu it is not possible for anyone to tell about its meritorious fruit. That sin like the murder of a brahmana, of them who have earned it through a crore of existences, perishes in a moment, when they devoutly observe it (i.e. the vow). The religious merit of Radhajanmastami is hundred times more than the fruit which a man obtains by observing a fast on a thousand Ekadashi days. The merit due to Radhastami observed but once, is hundred times more than the fruit obtained by giving a thousand virgins in marriage. A man gets that fruit of the astami of the beloved of Krishna (i.e. Radhastami), which he would get by bathing in holy places like Ganga. Even a sinner who observes this vow casually or devoutly, would along with a crore members of his family go to Vishnu's heaven. (Padma Pura?a 4.7.6-12)

Last year during Radhastami I invited a nice friendly family over to celebrate Srimati Radharani's appearance day. They were Pablo, his wife and their son and daughter teenagers. They had been around devotees in the town where they used to live before and they love prasadam.

Our celebration consisted of kirtan, definitely a very, very important aspect of the festivity; prasadam like samosas, halava an all time favorite, subji, puris and nectar drink; reading from Bhagavad-gita and explanation about Srimati Radharani and the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra.

Pablo and his wife are hatha-yoga teachers; they are part of a very popular yoga school in Latin America, called the Great Universal Fraternity. Their philosophy is a mix of hata-yoga, Christianity and impersonalism. They believe in an universal consciousness called the Christic consciousness or Christlike consciousness, they reason that Jesus is a spiritual master, an enlighten being who descends for the enlightening of people in general, and that there had been other similar Masters, and everyone can attain the status of the Christ and merge back into the total of God and be one with God and be God, however they cannot explain why if they are God they are covered and controlled by the material energy and have to struggle for survival.

During the lecture we talked about how Sri Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita, that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Supreme Controller and although we are also eternal individual living entities, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman ("the Lord is the supreme leader among all the eternal living beings") we are controlled.

"There are different tattvas, or truths, including isa-tattva, jiva-tattva and sakti-tattva. Isa-tattva refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vishnu, who is the supreme living force. In the Katha Upanisad it is said, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam: the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the supreme eternal and the supreme living force. The living entities are also eternal and are also living forces, but they are very minute in quantity, whereas the Supreme Lord is the supreme living force and the supreme eternal. The supreme eternal never accepts a body of a temporary material nature, whereas the living entities, who are part and parcel of the supreme eternal, are prone to do so. Thus according to the Vedic mantras the Supreme Lord is the supreme master of innumerable living entities.

The Mayavadi philosophers, however, try to equate the minute living entities with the supreme living entity. Because they recognize no distinctions between them, their philosophy is called Advaita-vada, or monism. Factually, however, there is a distinction. This verse is especially meant to impart to the Mayavadi philosopher the understanding that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the supreme controller. The supreme controller, the Personality of Godhead, is Krishna Himself..." - CC Adi 7.10.

Since they consider that all the great spiritual leaders like Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ and others are only Great Enlightened Masters, they putted forward some arguments when were told that Sri Krishna is the Supreme Person and not only a representative of the Absolute, and that we are also individual persons. They see the spiritual teachings as being manifested in a historical time line, therefore one of their questions was (paraphrasing as close as possible), "So, you say that Lord Krishna was present on Earth five thousand years ago and that He spoke Bhagavad-gita then, but what about before that?" We had to answer from Bhagavad-gita that it was spoken many thousands of years before by Sri Krishna Himself and was existent in human society in this planet from the very beginning of the human race. Besides that, in the Srutis or Vedas, the most ancient Scriptures, there was already mention of Lord Krishna before His appearance five thousand years ago on this planet, like in the Rig Veda,

apasyam gopam anipadyamana ma ca para ca pathibhis carantam 
sa sadhricih sa visucir vasana avatirvati bhuvanesv antah

I saw a cowherd. He never falls from his position; sometimes he is near, and sometimes far, wandering on various paths. He is a friend, decorated with a variety of clothes. He comes again and again to the material world. (Rg Veda 1.22.164 sukta 31).

As well as in the Gopala-Tapaniyopanishad contained in the Atharva-Veda, and many other places.

By Srimati Radharani's mercy, that night my friends leaved with a Bhagavad-dita As It Isunder the arm!

Radhastami is so powerful that purifies anyone.

"Fortunately we had the opportunity to be born of a Vaisnava father who took care of us very nicely. He prayed to Srimati Radharani that in the future we would become a servant of the eternal consort of Sri Krsna. Thus somehow or other we are now engaged in that service."-Srila Prabhupada. CC Antya 1.24. Purport.

Srila Prabhupada presents himself as servant of Srimati Radharani and he has manifested very liberally Radharani's aspect of audarya, magnanimity, in distributing Krishna consciousness for the benefit of everyone.

Jaya Radhe!