Who is Srimati Radharani?
Today (23rd September 2012) is Radhastami
Who is Radharani?
Srimati Radharani is the Supreme Goddess. She is most always seen with Lord Krishna. It is described that She is the chief associate and devotee of Lord Krishna, and topmost of all goddesses. Her name means that She is the most excellent worshiper of Lord Krishna. However, She is also an expansion of the Lord’s energy. Since She is also an extension of Krishna, She is the feminine aspect of God. Thus, in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, God is both male and female. They are one, but Krishna expands into two, Himself and Radharani, for the sake of divine loving pastimes. If They remained as one, then there is no relationship, there are no pastimes, and there can be no dynamic exchange of love.
Srimati Radharani is the source of the other goddesses. Just as Lord Krishna is the source of all other manifestations and incarnations of God, Radharani is the source of all expansions of the energies of God – the shaktis, or other goddesses. Thus, Vishnu, Rama, even Shiva are all expansions of the one Supreme Being, Krishna, and similarly Lakshmi, Sita, and even Durga are all expansions of this Supreme Feminine form of God, Radharani.
It is explained that the beloved consorts of Lord Krishna are of three kinds, namely the goddesses of fortune or Lakshmis, His queens, and the milkmaids of Vraja called the gopis. All of them proceed from Radharani. The Lakshmis are partial manifestations, or plenary portions, of Srimati Radharani, while the queens in Vaikuntha and in Dvaraka are reflections of Her image. The Vraja-devis or gopis are Her expansions and assist in the increase of rasa, or the divine loving pastimes. Among them there are many groups that have various sentiments and moods, which help Lord Krishna taste the sweetness of the rasa dance and other pastimes.
Radharani has many names according to Her qualities and characteristics. Some of the names that Radharani is known by include:
Govinda-anandini–She who gives pleasure to Govinda [Krishna];
Govinda-mohini–She who mystifies Govinda;
Govinda-sarvasa–the all-in-all of Lord Govinda;
Shiromani Sarva-kanta–the crown jewel of all the Lord’s consorts; and…
Krishnamayi–the one who sees Krishna both within and without.
In this way, without Radha there is no meaning to Krishna and without Krishna there is no meaning to Radha. Because of this, in the Vaishnava tradition we always pay respects first to the Lord’s internal energy in the form of Radha, and then to the Lord. Thus They are referred to as Radha-Krishna, or in other names as Sita-Rama, Lakshmi-Narayana, and so on. In this way, Radha and Krishna are one, but when Lord Krishna wants to enjoy, He manifests Himself as Radharani. Otherwise, there is no energy in which Krishna can attain pleasure outside Himself.
The Hare Krishna mantra directs one’s attention and devotion to Radha as well as Krishna. Radha is also known as Mother Hara, which is the name Hare in the vocative form within the mantra. So in chanting Hare Krishna, we are first approaching the Lord’s internal potency and asking Radha to please engage us in the service of Lord Krishna. Concentrating on Krishna through His names is one form of that service. In other words, it is through Radha that one more easily attains Krishna and service to Krishna. This is the advantage of approaching Lord Krishna through Radharani.
1) She is very sweet.
2) She is always freshly youthful.
3) Her eyes are restless.
4) She smiles brightly.
5) She has beautiful, auspicious lines.
6) She makes Krishna happy with Her bodily aroma.
7) She is very expert in singing.
8) Her speech is charming.
9) She is very expert in joking and speaking pleasantly.
10) She is very humble and meek.
11) She is always full of mercy.
12) She is cunning
13) She is expert in executing Her duties.
14) She is shy.
15) She is always respectful.
16) She is always calm.
17) She is always grave.
18) She is expert in enjoying life.
19) She is situated in the topmost level of ecstatic love.
20) She is the reservoir of loving affairs in Gokula.
21) She is the most famous of submissive devotees.
22) She is very affectionate to elderly people.
23) She is very submissive to the love of Her friends.
24) She is the chief gopi.
25) She always keeps Krishna under Her control.In short, She possesses unlimited transcendental qualities, just as Lord Krishna does. (Ujjvala-nilamani, Sri-radha-prakarana 11-15)