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Meditating on Shri Radha on her Appearance Day

5

Radha with flower basket

My desire was to read and write something about Shri Radha for her appearance day, or Radhastami, but I had too many other things to do in her service. Where I live, this holy day is on Sunday the 4th of September. Often we have to do things when they can be done, so my son came to help me with some home projects, and I am also studying for Bhakti-sastri (a course of study of my guru, Shrila Prabhapada's basic books, like his Bhagavad-gita As It Is). Tomorrow I will be cooking for Shri Radha, and then going to a nearby devotee Temple with incredibly lovely Radha Krishna Deities. We expect a big crowd, so after arotik and kirtan, we will come to our home for a reading and prasad, or sanctified vegetarian food. For our guests I had to clean the house in preparation. This is a different type of cleaning then just working for our family (which is not bad, mind you), but this cleaning and everything we do around the home, we endeavor to do it as an offering to our gurus, and Radha Krishna. Preparation for festivals is often more enlivening than the festivals themselves when we are fixed in a devotional mood. Though it is late and tomorrow will be full, rich, and busy, I at least wanted to say a few words about Radha, and also give you some special prayers for meditating on, and receiving her favor.

Such festivals are simple to describe, yet profoundly meaningful and full of joy. Everything about the process of Krishna consciousness is special and uplifting, but Radha's appearance day is even more so for we Gaudiya Vaishnavas. From many perspectives Radha is so very important for devotees of Krishna. Krishna is compared to the sun, whereas Radha is the shine of the sun. Krishna is the energetic Source, while Radha the energy; He is the Supreme Object of love, where Radha is the vessel or container of that love. Radha is Krishna's greatest devotee, and by pleasing her, Krishna is pleased. The Goswami's disciples of Lord Chaitanya (Krishna in the mode and complexion of Radha) go so far as to say that they are primarily devotees of Shri Radha, and only because of her interest, and love in Krishna are they interested in Krishna. In this mood, Prabhupada sometimes shares that Krishna is not very beautiful, but he becomes beautiful in the company of Shri Radha (of course that is by His arrangement to glorify Radha!). If you go to Vrindavan, India, you will constantly hear the name of Radha: Radhe, Radhe. She is the feminine mercy, or loving compassion of Krishna. You can find out more about her on Krishna.com, and also by reading Chaitanya Charitamrita. Then you may begin to understand about the importance of Radharani, the Queen of Vrindavan. By chanting her name in the association of those who have love and devotion for her, you may also have your own experience of her presence!

Lovely Radh

For your pleasure and blessing, here are two prayers to Shri Radha, and a list of her principle 25 transcendental qualities:

From Shila Bhakitvinoda Thakur:

From The Desire Tree of Auspiciousness

SONG 4— Petition for service

(1)
sri-radha-krsna-pada-kamale mana
kemone lobhibe carama sarana
Oh mind, tell me how I can possibly attain ultimate refuge at the lotus feet of Sri Radha-Krsna?
(2)
cirodina koriya o-carana as
ache he basiya e adhama das
This most fallen servant has been living for a very long time being desirous of those lotus feet.
(3)
he radhe, he krsna-candra bhakta-pran
pamare jugala-bhakti koro' dan
Oh Radhe, Oh Krsna-candra, the very life of Your devotees! Please give devotion unto Yourselves in charity to this fallen sinner.
(4)
bhakti-hina boli' na koro' upeksa
murkha-jane deho' jnana-susiksa
Please do not neglet me because I am devoid of devotion. Therefore kindly give Your most auspicious instructions to this fool.
(5)
bisaya pipasa-prapidita dase
deho' adhikar jugala-bilase
Your servant is very much diseased with the thirst for material sense gratifiation, so he's asking You to kindly give him the capacity to assist in Your divine conjugal pastimes.
(6)
cancala-jibana-srota pravahiya,
kaler sagare dhay
gelo je dibas, na asibe ar,
ebe krsna ki upay
This flickering life is slowly drifting away, flowing onward into the ocean of time. So many days have gone by; more will not come, so now I am wondering what is the means to get You dear Lord Krsna!
(7)
tumi patita-janer bandhu
jani he tomare natha
tumi to' koruna-jalasindhu
Oh Lord! I know that You are the dearmost friend of the fallen souls. Indeed You are a veritable ocean of compassion.
(8)
ami bhagya-hina, ati arvacina,
na jani bhakati-lesa
nija-gune natha, koro' atmasat,
ghucaiya bhava-klesa
I am most unfortunate, backward and inexperienced, for I do not understand even a tiny fraction of devotion. But by virtue of Yor own good qualities, oh Lord, make me Your very own beloved and thus put an end to all of my woarldly afflictions.
(9)
siddha-deha diya, brndabana-majhe,
sevamrta koro' dana
piyaiya prema, matta kori' more,
suno nija guna-gana
Giving me a spiritual body within the transcendental realm of Vrndavana, bestow upon me the nectar of Yor service. Thus I will become madly intoxicated with pure love by drinking the nectar of such service. Just hear this song about Your own divine qualities.
(10)
jugala-sevay, sri-rasa-mandale
niyukta koro' amay
lalita sakhir, ayogya kinkori,
binoda dhoriche pay
Please engage me in rendering confidential services within the circle of the divine Rasa-mandala. Thus Bhaktivinoda, the unworthy maidservant of Sri Lalita Sakhi, is catching hold of Your feet under her guidance.
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Shri Radha

Sri Radhikastaka from the Suka-sari-stava,
by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja
Versification by Dravida dasa

1.
kunkumakta-kancanabja-garva-hari-gaurabha
pitanancitabja-gandha-kirti-nindi-saurabha
ballavesa-sunu-sarva-vanchitartha-sadhika
mahyam atma-pada-padma-dasyadastu radhika

Her gold complexion steals the pride of golden lotus tinged with red.
Her fragrance mocks the scent of lotus bloom with saffron powder spread.
Her skill in satisfying Sri Hari is perfect and complete...
May Radhika bestow on me the service of Her lotus feet.
2.
kauravinda-kanti-nindi-citra-patta-satika
krsna-matta-bhrnga-keli-phulla-puspa-vatika
krsna-nitya-sangamartha-padmabandhu-radhika
mahyam atma-pada-padma-dasyadastu radhika

Her wondrous silken garments shame the splendor rubies can display.
She is a blooming garden where the bee of Krsna loves to play.
She worships Surya every day so She and Madhava can meet . . .
May Radhika bestow on me the service of Her lotus feet.
3.
saukumarya-srsta-pallavali-kirti-nigraha
candra-candanotpalendu-sevya-sita-vigraha
svabhimarsa-ballavisa-kama-tapa-badhika
mahyam atma-pada-padma-dasyadastu radhika

Eclipsed by Radha's tenderness, the fame of budding blossoms dims.
The moon, the lotus, sandal paste, and camphor serve Her cooling limbs.
When Krsna burns with love's desires, Her soothing touch dispels the heat . . .
May Radhika bestow on me the service of Her lotus feet.
4.
visva-vandya-yauvatabhivanditapi ya rama
rupa-navya-yauvanadi-sampada na yat-sama
sila-harda-lilaya ca sa yato 'sti nadhika
mahyam atma-pada-padma-dasyadastu radhika

Though youthful goddesses adored by all adore the goddess Sri,
She lacks Sri Radha's beauty, youth, and every other quality.
So when it comes to lovers' sports, with Radha no one can compete . . .
May Radhika bestow on me the service of Her lotus feet.
5.
rasa-lasya-gita-narma-sat-kalali-pandita
prema-ramya-rupa-vesa-sad-gunali-mandita
visva-navya-gopa-yosid-alito 'pi yadhika
mahyam atma-pada-padma-dasyadastu radhika

In arts like dancing, singing, joking Radha is by far the best.
She shines with endless traits divine, like love and gorgeous form and dress.
Among the famous gopis of Vrndavan, She's supremely sweet . . .
May Radhika bestow on me the service of Her lotus feet.
6.
nitya-navya-rupa-keli-krsnabhava-sampada
krsnaraga-bandha-yauvatesu kampada
krsna-rupa-vesa-keli-lagna-sat-samadhika
mahyam atma-pada-padma-dasyadastu radhika

Eternal pastimes, beauty, youth, and love for Krsna make Her rich.
The loving gopis tremble just to see Her love, at highest pitch.
Her meditation on Sri Krsna's form and pastimes is complete . . .
May Radhika bestow on me the service of Her lotus feet.
7.
sveda-kampa-kantakasru-gadgadadi-sancita-
marsa-harsa-vamatadi-bhava-bhusanancita
krsna-netra-tosi-ratna-mandanali-dadhika
mahyam atma-pada-padma-dasyadastu radhika

Perspiring, trembling, hairs on end, and crying, falt'ring of the voice,
Impatience, joy, and guile - these signs of rapture make Her friends rejoice.
For Krsna's eyes Her many jeweled ornaments provide a treat . . .
May Radhika bestow on me the service of Her lotus feet.
8.
ya ksanardha-krsna-viprayoga-santatodita-
neka-dainya-capaladi-bhava-vrnda-todita
yatna-labdha-krsna-sanga-nirgatakhiladhika
mahyam atma-pada-padma-dasyadastu radhika

Apart from Krsna for a moment, Radha feels anxiety
And restlessness and other moods - the highest kind of ecstasy.
But when She meets Him with some effort, all Her sufferings retreat . . .
May Radhika bestow on me the service of Her lotus feet.
9.
astakena yas tv anena nauti krsna-vallabham
darsane 'pi sailajadi-yosid-ali-durlabham
krsna-sanga-nanditatma-dasya-sidhu-bhajanam
tam karoti nanditali-sancayasu sa janam

Exalted goddesses like Parvati can hardly ever see
Sri Krsna's lover, Radhika. But if a humble devotee
Recites these verses, then Sri Radha, who enjoys with Sri Hari,
Will pour the nectar of Her service down on him eternally.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Radhe

"Among Radha's innumerable transcendental attributes, She has
twenty-five principal qualities.

- Radharani is very sweet and most charming to look at

- Radha is adolescent and always freshly youthful

- Radhika's eyes are doe-like and restless

- Sri Radha's face is smiling and ever blissful

- Auspicious, beautiful lines adorn Sri Radha's lotus hands and feet

- Radharani maddens Krishna with Her fragrant bodily aroma

- Srimati Radharani is the most exceptional singer and Vina player

- Radha's words are charming and pleasing

- Radha is expert at telling jokes that delight Krishna

- Srimati Radhika is exceptionally humble

- Radha is the embodiment of mercy and compassion

- Sri Radha's intelligence and wit surpasses all

- Radharani is expert at performing all activities of love

- Shyness is the shining gem in Radha's character

- Srimati Radharani is the beacon light of modesty and never swerves
from the path of honesty

- Radha is never perturbed by worldly sorrow or misery

- Sri Radha has unbounded gravity and sublimity

- Radhika is ever fascinated to unite with Krishna

- Radha possesses Mahabhava, the highest sentiments of love

- Radharani is the reservoir of loving affairs in Gokula

- Radha's transcendental glories are shining in all the worlds

- Sri Radha is most affectionate to Her superiors

- Radhika is submissive to the love of Her senior girlfriends

- Radharani is the chief among Krishna's gopi lovers

- Radha always keeps Sri Krishna under Her control.

- Krishna submissively obeys Radha's command

For those who need to relish and share more nectar they can dive into
chapter 4 of "Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita", adi-lila, commented by Srila
Prabhupada and into chapter 9 of "Appreciating Sri Vrindavana Dhama"
commented by HH.Mahanidhi Swami (edition 1991). Lots of ecstasy for
those who are like bumble bees thirsty for nectar. All glories to the
assembled devotees.

Krishna and Radha on Govardhan