Shrimati Radharani’s holy appearance day

In this tiny blog I can’t do justice to the topic of Shri Radha , and I feel a bit naked without having all my Vedabases to quotes, my library of pictures, and the fact that I am using a Mac since my cheap PC crashed. I will try to point the way to your taking notice of this auspicious day, and reading up in our Gaudiya literature about Krishna’s greatest devotee.

And on this day know that to get Krishna’s mercy we have to get the mercy of Radha. The guru is said to represent Nityananda or Balarama, and also Radharani. Radha is unbelievably high in terms of who she is, and her standard of love and devotion, so we pray to those more advanced than we that our prayers may be heard by Radha. That is Vaishnava humbleness.

Radharani 2Radharani 2

We all have an eternal relationship with Krishna, but we shouldn’t consider it direct. Lord Chaitanya (the incarnation for this age, who is the combined form of Radha and Krishna!!) said that we should be servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna. We are in the 5th position. Materially we may not like the sound of this, yet to be in this “servant of the servant” position is so coveted that Chaitanya came to taste being in Radha’s position of thinking herself, a servant of the servant of Krishna.

Lord Chaitanya in sees Radha and Krishna lilaLord Chaitanya in sees Radha and Krishna lila

She is to us both Deity of devotion for Krishna, and our ideal example of what being a devotee means. She has no other conception of self other than Krishna—-she is truly one with him in love and purpose, living for his pleasure. While there may be dysfuncational ways of imitating her nature, it is never-the-less our ideal which we stive for.

I point you to a lecture of Prabhupada from Sept. 5th, 1973 on this same day, Radhastami:

“The aim of life is to satisfy Lord Vishnu. Krishna is the origin of vishnu-tattva, and he is pleased through Radharani. Therefore we don’t keep Krishna alone. No. We keep Radha-Krishna. First we have to worship Radharani. So her appearance day, Radhastami, is today.

“In Vrindavana (place of Krishna appearance and pastimes [lila] in India) you will see that all devotees greet one another by saying, “Jaya Radhe!” because they know that Radharani is the original pleasure potency. She is always absorbed in thought of Krishna. Anyone who comes before Radharani to serve Krishna, she becomes so pleased, “Oh, here is a devotee of Krishna,” She immediately recommends that person, “Krishna, here is a devotee. He is better than me”. This is Radharani.

I may not be a devotee. I may be the most fallen rascal. But if I try to reach Krishna through Radharani, then my business is successful. Therefore we should worship Radharani first. That is our business. Instead of offering a flower to Krishna, put it in the hands of Radharani: “My mother Radharani, Jagan-mata, please kindly take this flower and offer it to Krishna.”Radharani says, “Oh, you have brought a flower?” Krishna said, “If one offers me with devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it”. [Gita 9.26] But don’t try to offer to Krishna directly. Offer through Radharani. It will be very much appreciated by her.

“This is our philosophy—to please Krishna through Radharani—and as today is the auspicious day of Radharani’s appearance, we should offer pushpanjali [flowers] and pray, “Radharani, kindly be merciful and tell about me to Krishna. Krishna is yours.” Krishna is not independent. Krishna is Radharani’s property. So you have to approach Krishna though Radharani. Today is an auspicious day. Worship Radharani very nicely and we happy”.

Radha steals Krishna's fluteRadha steals Krishna’s flute

Indeed let us do so!! May we all receive the blessings of Shri Guru and Radharani to be able to worship Krishna, the Lord of our hearts, eternally.

Krishna’s birthday (Janmastami) is coming—-should you care?

Krishna's Janmastami celebration
For many Hindu’s and all Vaishnavas Janmastami is one of the most important holy days. The “birth” of the unborn Godhead, who also appears in multi-incarnations to serve his different purposes.

According the dictionary Krishna is a “Hindu” god, an incarnation of Vishnu. So should that be the end of it? Is it merely a Hindu concern? If I am Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic or atheistic, etc., does Krishna or his “birthday” anniversary have no importance to me?

You can easily guess that if I am asking these questions, I don’t agree with a “no” to any of them.

When I was first on my spiritual search, some 38 years ago, I certainly had no interest in a “Hindu God”. Actually, I was just looking for the Supreme Truth, and a way to live my life in a way that I could realize that Truth.

When I came across Krishna I felt that my search had now been crowned with success. All my questions were fully answered, and I assumed that all my friends and whomever I met would also come to the same conclusion if they just heard about Krishna.

Wrong!!

I was shocked! More shocks were to come, as I really discovered that most people were not that interested. Of those people who were highly interested in religion and/or spirituality, the “perfect logic” of Krishna consciousness mostly didn’t attract them. I couldn’t understand why.

Later I came to learn that logic, although a valuable tool to understand God, can only take one so far. There is something else going on more than logic. The heart has to be touched, the spiritual heart. Logic is a faculty of the mind, whereas spiritual faith (not just belief) is a faculty of the soul or heart.

Actually we require both philosophy and feeling for God. Our intellect needs to be able to explain our faith in a reasonable way. Yet only certain persons will be attracted to the reason of our path, whether religious or scientific. From the view of karma we are born with a particular psychology that attracts us to a unique path. This attraction is an effect of the spiritual progress we made in the previous life.

So, I had a certain nature which enabled my to accept the logic of why Krishna is the “Supreme personality”, of infinite manifestations of God. Others, due their psychology are attracted to their path. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, “Everyone follows my path. According to their faith, I proportionally reciprocate with them, and inspire them to follow a particular path.”

From this vantage point, every religion or spiritual path has value for the person on it.

Many Christians say that to understand the message of Christ you need to understand the culture at the time of his birth. The same idea is true with Krishna. Studying the Vedic culture that was prevalent when he came to earth can help us understand the teachings. At the same time his message is timeless, and can be adapted to any culture and circumstance.

There is the form of the teachings, and the spirit of the teachings. The form, i.e., rituals and practices, are meant to deliver the spirit or the essence of the teachings. Many religions today are more concerned with the form, and have lost the real inner purpose.

So, Krishna’s birthday anniversary (appearance day) could make you curious about Krishna, the philosophy that it is founded on, and the spiritual emotion that practitioners (Vaishnavas or Bhakti-yogis) have. It may be foreign, or not as foreign as you think, if you allow yourself to try to enter into it.