Radha is our world Mother, the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, and inseparable devoted partner of the flute-bearer of Vrindavan, Sri Krishna. She was born in the sacred village of Barsana, near Mathura.
Just as heat is inseparable from fire, coolness from ice, and shadow from man, so is Radha inseparable from Lord Krishna. Worship of Radha is really worship of Krishna, and worship of Lord Krishna includes worship of Radha. Radha is an embodiment of love and devotion. She had no other thought than that of Krishna. She took birth to teach the world the true relationship of lover and the beloved.
In the esoteric sense, Vrindavan is the heart, Radha the mind, the gopis are the nerves and senses, the melodious songs flowing from Sri Krishna’s flute are the anahata sounds emanating from the heart, sahasrara chakra is the supreme abode, and Lord Krishna is the Supreme Lord, and the river Yamuna is immortality.
Every nerve, every atom, every cell, every tissue, every pore in the skin of the body of Radha vibrated with the name of Krishna. She could never forget Him, not even for one millionth of a second. She never slept at night, but sang Lord Krishna’s name all throughout. Like Arjuna and Lakshman, she was a gudakeshi, one who conquered sleep. Only a little sound from the flute of Krishna in the dead of night would intoxicate her with Krishna-prem and draw her into the dense forest to hear His sweet heart-rending music of the soul. No power on earth could stop her.
She taught the world the essence of self-surrender, the very core of the highest bhakti and the highest rung in the ladder of devotion.
The heart of the rasa-lila is the essence of devotion, para bhakti, or oneness, the merging of the lover with the beloved. The secret of rasa-lila is that men and women while remaining in the world engaged in a variety of activities can develop divine love for Krishna, and realize God. It teaches aspirants to give their minds to God and hands to work, to sing and dance in divine ecstasy.
The Sufis have admiration and devotion for Radha and Krishna. Their philosophy is founded on Radha’s devotion towards Lord Krishna, and they try to develop the same inner feeling as Radha held for Him.
Radha is Durga, Parvati; she is the world Mother. She is the creatrix and generatrix of the universe. The whole divine play is kept up by Her, and She sways the world through Her three gunas of sattwa, rajas and tamas.
She is the doctor, the nurse, the medicine, the patient, the cup. All are her manifestations, for she is the dynamic Brahman. She is shakti, or power. Without her, not a single atom can move. She is the light in the sun, taste in water, shakti in electricity and willpower, fragrance and beauty in flowers and the Himalayan landscape, splendour in the stars, chivalry in warriors, devotion in bhaktas, and revolution in electrons. She is ignorance, delusion and knowledge. She is the Vedas.
Whatever you see, hear, feel, taste and smell is Radha. In this world there is nothing other save Radha. She guides seekers, nourishes babies, and is the untiring gardener of the whole universe. Her glory is indescribable, her splendour ineffable and her beauty, love and intelligence unfathomable.
Without her grace, no spiritual progress is possible. Without Her grace, no cultivation of devotion for, or darshan of, Lord Krishna is possible. Without her blessing, control of mind can hardly be attained. It is she who introduces the sincere aspirant to Lord Krishna, takes care of the devotee’s sadhana and leads him, holding him in her hands.
In Vrindavan, people sing the name of Krishna as Radhe-Shyam or Radhe-Krishna in a sweet melodious tune, capable of piercing the stony hearts of rank materialists, confirmed scientists, socialists and atheists alike.
In the two combined names, Radhe-Shyam and Sita-Ram, Radhe or Sita comes first. Radha says to bhaktas, “If you remember me, I will introduce you to your father, Lord Krishna, and acquire for you peace, knowledge, and immortality.”
There is philosophy in the word Radha. Imagine on a blackboard a circle and within the circle the letters R A D H A are written. If you read from the lower A you will make out the word ARADH, aradhy a means worship. Therefore, Radha says, “O bhaktas! If you do aradhana, worship, of my beloved Lord Krishna, if you sing his name Radhe-Shyam or Radhe-Krishna with feeling and love, you will soon have His darshan and all your miseries will come to an end.”
If you read from the upper A you will make out the word ADHAR, meaning prop, support or substratum. Therefore, Radha also says, “O bhaktas! If you worship Lord Krishna with the feeling that He is the substratum, the support of the universe, He will free you quickly from samsara, the wheel of birth and death.”
Now, if you read from DHA, then you will make out the word DHARA which means flow. Then Radha says, “I shall tell you how to worship Lord Krishna. Bhakti should flow from your hearts like dhara, the unbroken, continuous flow of oil or water when poured from one vessel to another. The mind should be steadily fixed at the lotus feet of the Lord, never thinking of another. Then only you will get mukti, liberation. Then alone will you have the constant companionship of the Lord.”
Remember the four magic words, Radha, aradhana, adhara, and dhara, for they will help you develop bhakti and para-bhakti.