Published on September 1st, 2022 | by Harmonist staff3
The Love of Sri Radha
An English translation of Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj’s Bengali lecture on Srī Radhastami in 1991.
We can find nectar, beauty, and glory in every verse of the Bhagavatam, but Radharani is not mentioned, not identified, within it. That is to say, she has been spoken of everywhere, but her identity has not been pulled into the forefront. In a couple of places, there is some allusion to her, but even that is done very carefully.
anayaradhito nunam bhagavan harir isvarahSrimad Bhagavatam, 10.30.28
yan no vihaya govindah prito yam anayad rahah
In this verse, we find mention of Radharani: “After she left the rasa dance out of jealous anger and went into the forest, Krishna also broke away from his play with gopis and went after her.” Here Radharani’s name is not stated, but from other Puranas and scriptures we can understand that “she” is Radharani. Radharani’s name is not stated in the Bhagavatam, given the circumstances in which it was spoken. Why? Even Sukadev Goswami honors Radharani’s position from a distance.
Our Guru Maharaj [Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj] wrote a poem about Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur, the Bhakti Vinod Viraha Dasakam. There He described Radharani, Her service, and Her abode. He also stated that only Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur can give us direct service to Radharani. In a short verse, Srila Guru Maharaj explained where Vrndavan, the service world, exists, who serves there, and how service goes on there. He explained everything:
sarvachintyamaye paratpara-pure goloka-vrndavaneSrimad Bhakti Vinod Viraha Dasakam, 8
chil-lila-rasa-rangini parivrta sa radhika sri-hareh
vatsalyadi-rasais cha sevita-tanor madhurya-seva-sukham
nityam yatra muda tanoti hi bhavan tad dhama-seva-pradah
“In Goloka Vrndavan, the highest plane within the completely inconceivable spiritual sky, surrounded by the sakhis, Srimati Radhika, who revels in the ecstasies of spiritual pastimes, eternally expands the joy of loving service to Sri Krishnachandra, who is also served in relationships of affection, friendship, servitude, and adoration. You, O Bhakti Vinod Thakur, give us service in that abode.”
The spiritual abode of Goloka Vrndavan is above all. It is supreme. There chil-lila-rasa-rangini parivrta sa radhika: with her associates, the sakhis, Radharani always serves Krishna with five kinds of rasa, ecstasy. All of the rasas, ecstasies, are infinite, and thus in an infinite way, Radharani serves Krishna.
Radharani is the storehouse of unlimited rasa. She serves Krishna in Goloka Vrndavan in all possible ways, and amongst all of the arrangements for service she makes, Her personal service to Krishna is supreme. She offers many varieties of service, but Her service with Her own body and associates, that is, her madhura-rasa service, is best, and all other rasas are also included within it.
When we hear of paramour love, can we understand that it is the highest? It is very hard to understand how paramour love is the highest. I cannot explain it in English. When all of a lover’s intentions are for their lover, and they have no other intentions, then that lover has real paramour love. And when one’s lover is Krishna, then there is no question of where one’s love is being directed. When Krishna is one’s lover, then one gives all of the wealth of love to his lotus feet. And not only to his lotus feet, one covers Krishna with all of one’s energy. That is the paramour love.
When Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu corresponded with Sriman Mahaprabhu by letter, Mahaprabhu described this type of love when he wrote His reply, which was only a verse:
para-vyasanini nari vyagrapi grha-karmasuSri Chaitanya-charitamrta, Madhya-lila, 1.211
tad evasvadayaty antar nava-sanga-rasayanam
“A wife who has a paramour is certainly dedicated to her household duties, but internally she relishes the pleasure of Her paramour’s association.”
A lover can do many types of work, many different things, but they cannot forget their lover for a second. When we dedicate our love to the supreme lover, Krishna, with that kind of attachment and attraction and with our full energy, then it is called paramour love.