By: Mahanidhi Swami

It is very common experience of anyone visiting Vrindavana to become enchanted and irresistibly attracted upon seeing the sweet and beautiful divine faces of the popular Thakurajis—Radha-Shyamasundara, Banke Bihari, Radha-Ramana and Radha-Damodara. What is the special quality, that magnetic mysticism, of the faces of Rai and Kanu? Their beautiful faces take over our minds, and haunt our hearts with a sweetness that forcefully compels us to take Their amazing darshana whenever we can for as long as we can. O the magic of Vraja!

But how to describe that experience? How can one explain the wonderful relish of peace, joy and happiness he feels upon seeing the contented, smiling, bewitching and mischievous faces of Radha and Krishna in Their various Deity forms playing in Vrindavana?

Indeed, many Vraja saints of yore have gone mad after relishing the incredible sweetness of Radha Govinda Yugala in their trances of meditation, sphurtis or samadhi. And when they returned to external consciousness they recorded their visions in the most incredible rasika poetry of Sanskrit, Hindi or Vrajabhasa.

When writing about beholding the bewitching faces of Radha-Krishna in their eyes, dreams, visions and meditations, the saints describe the Divine Couple with phrases like moonlike faces and lotus feet. Of course, they are just trying to gives us some vague idea of their indescribable divine experiences. In reality there is absolutely no object in the material world to compare with the matchless transcendental beauty of Radha-Shyamasundara!

What is the value of the material moon to match the endlessly beautiful faces of Radha and Krishna? Kavi Bilvamangala Thakura says, “O Krishna Deva! Seeing the splendid full moon of Your face, the moon admits his defeat and takes shelter of Your feet after dividing itself into ten parts to serve Your toenails.” Further on the Kavi admits, “O my Lord! The brilliantly shining full moon in the sky, which has spots, is only useful as a lamp to worship the flawless full moon of beautiful Your face.”

And what about the “moonlike face” of Madhura-mukhi Radha? A drop of the heart-melting nectar of Radhika’s splendidly gorgeous face is glorified in Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi (126): “O Radha! If millions of simultaneously rising magnificent full moons were to flood countless millions of universes with the waves of the nectar moonlight of pure love, then that might give a slight hint of the incredible beauty of Your face visible in the land of Vrindavana!”

Darshana of the delightfully beautiful and deliciously satisfying faces of Radha-Krishna in Vrindavana is the daily fortune for a few, and an occasional treasure for most. Nevertheless, when we are away from Vrindavana, we can intensely hanker and fervently pray to see Vraja Yugala in our vision, dreams and meditations.

After once seeing Radha-Govinda in a sphurti, the great Gaudiya Vaisnava rasika-acharya, Srila Rupa Goswamipada, lamented severely in separation and penned a most inspiring verse in Utkalika-vallarih (36). May this prayer shape our cherished aspiration:

O Radha and Krishna, best of all the dancers in Vraja! Ahaha! When will that blessed day come when I can see Your gorgeous moon-like faces, overflowing with the radiant nectar of compassion, which astound the chakora-like hearts of Your sakhis?”

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

The Brahma Vaivarta Purana and other Puranas contain stories about Vrinda-devi and other transcendental associates of Sri Krishna being cursed and descending to the material world. Gaudiya Vaisnavas do not reject these stories because they are in the shastras. However, we do not preach or write about this because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the six Gosvamis did not present these ideas. The six Gosvamis distilled all the shastras and presented the essential truth for all the Gaudiya Vaisnavas to understand and follow.

According to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Rupa Gosvami and Raghunatha Das Gosvami, Vrinda-devi is a nitya sakhi of Shrimati Radharani engaged in the eternal loving service of Radha and Krishna in the spiritual world and in the material world when the Divine Couple descend. Vrinda devi exhibits two forms; one as a sakhi named Vrinda-devi and another form as a beautiful bush named Tulasi devi replete with beautiful leaves and fragrant flowers called manjaris. Any other conception about Vrinda-devi is not endorsed by Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

Srimati Vrnda-devi, Tulasi Maharani ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

1. Sweep, wash and clean the footpaths of kunda steps, parikrama paths, lilasthalis and old temples.

2. Donate money to repair and maintain old temples especially at specific lilasthalis.

3. Visit each holy place with great respect, eagerness and enthusiasm to hear its glories and also give donations to the temple pujaris and pandas (brahmana guides).

4. Show the utmost respect to Vrajavasis, temple pujaris and pandas (brahmana guides) at each holy place.

5. Give donations of food (sweets, fruits, juices, grains etc), cloth and money to children and needy Vrajavasis.

6. Wherever possible plant fragrant flowering trees, creepers and plants to beautify lilasthalis, temples and other open areas of the holy dhama.

7. Don’t pollute Vrajadhama with plastic bags, bottles, containers and other non-biodegradable articles.

8. Regularly and respectfully bathe in sacred waters and worship them. And also worship all the Deities with at least a ghee lamp and some incense.

9. Help the Vrajavasis who are performing Nama and Dhama seva.

10. Offer dandavats and roll in the dust of all lilasthalis.

11. Glorify the presiding Deities at each temple and lilasthalis with sweet kirtana and bhajanas.

12. Hear or read about Krsna’s lilas at every holy place you visit.

13. Also ask the pujari or panda to tell you some transcendental pastimes of Krsna.

14. Never visit Vraja without hearing Hari-katha from devotional Vrajavasis.

15. Inspire and help others to visit or live in Vraja dhama.

16. Speak, write, make videos and print books about the glories of Vraja dhama.

17. Every day in Vraja rise early and chant, sing, hear and read the glories of Radha-Govinda with a fixed vow.

18. Never ever think, hear or speak, criticism or gossip about any Vrajavasis.

19. When not in Vraja dhama, try to remember the Vraja deities, lilasthalis, pastimes, Hari-katha and devotees you experienced there.

Sridhama Vrindavana ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Srila Rupa Goswamipada glorifies the BIG FIVE most amazingly powerful forms of Krishna bhakti, namely Vraja vasa, sadhu sanga, Thakuraji seva, hearing Srimad Bhagavatam and chanting Sri Krishna’s Holy Names. He says, “If one only slightly practices these items of panch anga bhakti, or even does them without faith, they will immediately create ecstatic love for Krishna, pachake svalpo bhava janmane.

Throughout the ages, both ordinary devotees and siddha saints have had phenomenal transcendental experiences just by LIVING IN SRIDHAMA VRINDAVANA! Vraja is packed with divine power. Why is that? It is because Radha and Krishna, the gopis and gopas and all Their companions live here in Vrindavana eternally enjoying sweet pastimes of love.

The Puranas use present tense verbs when describing Sri Krishna’s Vraja lilas to convey the truth that Sri Krishna eternally delights here. Padma Purana emphatically states that Nandanandana Sri Krishna never takes even one step out of this holiest of Holy Lands, vrindavanam parityajya padam ekam na gacchati.

By Their permanent presence here, Priya-Priyatama, and all their blissful loving friends are forever blessing and saturating Vraja Dhama with Their prema, purity, mercy, auspiciousness and fulfillment. Vraja vasa sadhakas of the present and past have directly experienced the wonderful mercy and power of living in Vrindavana. Wisdom teachers of devotion have recorded their divine visions and written about them in their books.

Vrindavana is so kind and compassionate that She overlooks one’s shortcomings, and just keeps nourishing and encouraging even the most wretched and fallen. Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada addresses Vrindavana as Vrindatavi mata because he sees Her like compassionate mother who always helps and supports her children no matter what happens to them.

To encourage our friends to live in Sridhama Vrindavana, here are some quotes from our Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas.

1. “O Radha-Govinda! I don’t have a drop of the prema that one needs to attain Your eternal loving service. Yet living in Vraja fills me with hope that someday I will.”

2. “O Krishna! Although my background is very low, somehow You mercifully gave me the fortune of living in Vraja!” (UtkalikaVallari 65-6, Sri Rupa Goswami)

3. O Sri Govardhana! By staying near You, all these creepers of desires for Radha’s eternal service have sprung up from my stone-like heart. O Radha Kunda! By living on Your banks and drinking Your water all these desires for Radha-Govinda’s prema seva have appeared. (Sankalpa Kalpa Druma, Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada)

Jaya Radhe! Jaya Krishna! Jaya Vrindavana!

Sri Govinda, Gopinatha, Madana Mohana!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

The magnetic enchantment of Vraja Dhama first captivated my heart in 1977, when good fortune brought Her most rare and auspicious darshana. After lacs and lacs of births my undeserving eyes were blessed with the vision of the mind-stealing Thakuraji’s Radha-ramanji, Bihariji, Damodarji, Govindaji, Shyamasundaraji, and the enchanting vanas, kunjas and lila-shalis of Yugala Kishora. My useless hands attained worth touching the amazing ecstasy-twisted trees of Vrindavana. My feet found fulfillment in parikrama of Vrindavana and Giriraja Govardhana. Hearing the joyous parrots and midnight cries of the peacocks attracted my ears. Smelling Vraja’s exotic fragrant flowers of juhi, mogra, kadamba, kunda, parijata and rose gave purpose to my nose. The amazing remnants of the Goswami’s Thakurajis, and the cool Shyama-blue water of Yamunaji fully satiated and satisfied my sense of taste.

During that visit in 1977, I visited Radha Kunda and had a mystical experience. While gazing at the peaceful prema-filled waters and feeling the intense spiritual ambience of the place, a prayer spontaneously arose from my heart: “O Sri Radha! I don’t when or how it will be possible, but please Radharani let me live on Your banks and attain the service of Your lotus feet.”

The magic, the sweet attraction and the indescribable enchantment of Vrindavana had somehow captured my heart. The next ten years I spent traveling back and forth between America and Vrindavana, where I would pass the month of Karttika feeling, “Yes, Vrindavana is my home, now and forever!”

Finally in 1987—my feelings, my attraction, my attachment and my enchantment with Vrindavana fused into one sankalpa. I vowed before the Lord in my heart: “O Krishna, I want to go to Vrindavana and never, ever return to America again!” With this sankalpa as my only possession and a one way ticket, I came to Vrindavana.

Somehow by the causeless mercy of Srimati Radhika, Sri Krishna, the Thakurajis of Vraja, Giridhari Shyama, Vrnda-devi, Yogamaya Yamunaji, Gopishvara Mahadeva, Sri Guru, the Vaisnavas, the Vrajavasis, and the sacred dust of Vrindavana I was able to settle in Sridhama Vrindavana. By their mercy I received Indian citizenship in 1998, and have lived continuously in Vrindavana for the last twenty-seven years.

From 1987 until 2012 I lived in various places in Vrindavana. As per my guru’s order to his sannyasis, I lived three years (1989-1992) in Srila Prabhupada’s bhajana kutira at the Radha Damodara Mandir in Seva Kunja. Inspired by Srila Prabhupada and the divine presence of Srila Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Jiva Goswamipada, I started writing spiritual books. To date we have published twenty-six books glorifying Radha-Krishna; the most famous being Appreciating Sri Vrindavana Dhama, Art of Chanting Hare Krishna and Gaudiya Vaisnava Samadhis. All books are available as E-books on Amazon.

In 2012, Srimati Radhika answered the prayer I offered to Her in 1977 while sitting on the banks of Radha Kunda. By Radha’s mercy, I moved from Vrindavana to Radha Kunda and remain here engaged in bhajana and writing. Our latest publication is titled Radha-Krishna Pastimes at Radha Kunda.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

In Vraja Dhama, everyone chants “Radhe Radhe” from the time they wake up until the time they take rest. For Vrajavasis, the name of Radha is inseparable from their breathing. They are born with the name of Radha in their ears; they move with the name of Radha in their lives; they dream with the name of Radha in their minds; and they die with the name of Radha on their tongues.

This is Radha-bhava or gopi-bhava, which is the goal that Gaudiya Vaisnavas hope to attain by living in Vrndavana. In the earthly realm of Vrndavana and in the spiritual sky, Radharani is known as Vrndavaneshvari, “Queen of Vrndavana”, which means Sri Radha is the one and only controller of everything, including the heart of Sri Krishna. In Vraja Gokula, there are two instances wherein Radha’s sakhis will sometimes chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra: to nourish Radhika’s taste in sambhoga-vilasa when She meets with Krishna, or to soothe Radha’s searing heart in times of separation from Her beloved Syama. At other times, the sakhis will sweetly sing, “Radhe, Radhe!” as they serve Sri Radha throughout the day.

Now let’s consider the reality of the present day Vrndavana where I have been living for the last 27 years. In Vraja Dhama, everyone chants “Radhe Radhe” from the time they wake up until the time they take rest. For Vrajavasis, the name of Radha is inseparable from their breathing. They hear the name of Radha in the wombs of their mothers; they’re born with the name of Radha in their ears; they move with the name of Radha in their lives; they dream with the name of Radha in their minds; and they die with the name of Radha on their tongues. By continually hearing and chanting “Radhe, Radhe” in this way, every Vrajavasi automatically becomes full of

Radha-bhava or gopi-bhava. And this is the goal that all Gaudiya Vaisnavas hope to attain, especially by residing in Vrndavana.

In Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi verses 95-97, Gaudiya rasika acarya Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasavati glorifies Radha’s completely pure and ecstatic Holy Name thus: “The name of Radha is the liquid rasa of blissful love (premananda rasam). Radha’s name gives the greatest joy when chanted with tender loving affection (maha-sukha karam uccaritam prematah). The two syllables Ra, Dha contain all divine knowledge (vidya para dva akshara). Sri Krishna becomes supremely pleased whenever He hears someone chanting “Radhe, Radhe”(japa muda gayati).

Even once chanting of Radha nama will immediately attract Sri Krishna (japa sakrd gokulapati akarshaka). Lord Madhava Himself lovingly chants Radha nama (mantra japa priti svayam madhava). Sometimes Hari sits with the sakhis and chants Radha nama until tears run down His lotus face (ali svayam jalpa ashru mukho hari).

“Sometimes Krishna goes along the banks of the Yamuna and enters a bower house alone (kalindi tate kunja mandira gato). Syama sits down like the king of yogis to meditate on the radiance of Radhika’s sweet lotus feet (pada jyotir dhyana). Krishna starts chanting Radha nama, and soon becomes drenched in tears of love (sada japa prema-ashru purno hari) as He relishes the amazing blossoming mellows of Radha’s blissful loving enchantment (adbhutam ullasad rati rasananda sammohitah).

“May the most amazing two syllables “Ra” and “Dha” become manifest to me forever (tad adbhutam me radheti varna dvayam). The ambrosial elixir “Radha” is my life and soul (tad amrtam radheti me jivanam).”

In this regard, Srila Prabhupada once said, “There is no harm chanting “Radhe.” (750408)

Jai jai sri radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

As a practice of lila-smarana (meditating on Radha-Govinda’s pastimes), you can chant the maha-mantra while contemplating upon the following entry. Follow these steps and experience the result:

1) Before japa, first slowly read one bhajana translation. While reading, try to visualize the Divine Couple, the sakhis, the forest scene, and all the props.

2) Slowly read again, increasing the visualization while trying to identify with the feelings and sevas of the sakhis attending to the Divine Couple.

3) Close your eyes, try to recapture the scene, sevas and feelings being exchanged between the sakhis, and the Divine Couple, Radha Govinda Yugala.

4) Open your eyes, read the entire piece again out loud.

5) Close your eyes, and begin chanting japa while trying to “mentally see and feel” and enter into and serve everything you read about.

Without a doubt, if you do this sincerely you will have an amazingly sublime and sweet experience during your jhulana japa.

O Bihariji! You forever relish swing pastimes in Vrindavana. Just see how the pleasure groves of Vraja are covered with a blanket of green! Here stands Nanda Bihari and Bhanu Dulari. O how sweet the Divine Couple look in our eyes! You are standing so enchantingly on the banks of the Yamuna, wearing a beautiful colored dress. The kadamba trees are full of blossoming fragrant flowers. The shining black luster of Ghanashyama mixes with the resplendent golden complexion of Radha like a lightning flash in a raincloud. Seeing this fills our hearts with joy. Shyama’s eyes are like chakora birds drinking the sweet nectar of Radha’s moon-like face. And the sakhis are like a thread of love serving Their lotus feet.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

In Prema Bhakti Candrika, Narottama dasa Thakura presents five essential practices of raga-bhakti and manjari-bhava sadhana to attain erotic love (Vraja srnghara-prema) in the mood of the Vraja damsels (gopi-bhava). His program incorporates four of the nine limbs of bhakti-sadhana, namely 1) Sravanam, 2) Kirtanam; 3) Smaranam; and 4) Vandanam. He adds a special fifth practice he calls Darshana. This concise sadhana package describes five limbs of bhakti which include a total of nine individual daily practices. If one regularly pursues these nine practices he will quickly obtain the treasure of Radha-Krishna’s eternal prema seva in Sri Dhama Vrndavana in this life.

Now let’s examine Narottama dasa Thakura’s manjari-bhava sadhana program.

I. HEARING (sravanam)

1. Be attached to hearing the acharya’s descriptions of Radha-Krishna’s loving pastimes (rati prema maya parabandhe v 60).

2. Constantly hear devotees chanting Radha-Krishna’s names and qualities (dunhu nama shuni shuni, bhakta-mukhe punee punee v 76).

II. CHANTING (kirtanam)

3. Chant the rasa-filled names of Radha-Krishna (krishna nama radha nama, upasana rasa-dhama v 60).

4. Always sing about the rasa-filled lilas of Yugala Kishora (lila-rasa-sadaa gaana, jugala-kishora v 100) in a loving way (prema bhaave lila katha v 106); which means full of eagerness and yearning.


5. Seva smaranam—Fix your mind only the seva of Radha-Krishna (radha krishna sevana ekaanta koriyaa mana v 76; both externally in sadhaka-rupa, and mentally serving in your siddha-svarupa, ashta-kaliya-lila smaranam.

6. Kirtana smarana— Singing Radha-Krishna’s Holy Names is the topmost meditation (radha-krishna nama gaana parama dhyaana v 73).

7. Lila smarana—Remember the sweet daily vraja-lilas of Radha Govinda, the essence of all practices and goals (yugala vilasa smarana sadhya sadhana saara v 61).

IV. PRAYERS (vandanam)

8. Always pray that you can hear, read or speak Radha-Krishna prema-katha with a pure heart free from personal motives (praarthanaa kariba sadaa, shuddha-bhaave prema-katha v 75)

V. SEEING (darshanam)

9. Rupa-darshana— Always cry with intense desire to see the splendid golden body of Rai (Radharani) and the enchanting raincloud blue form of Ghanashyama (hema-gaura-tanu rai, ankhee darashana chai, rodana karaye abhilaashe, jaladhara dhaara dhaara, anga atee manohara v 77).

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

For the conjugal pleasure of Sri Krishna, Srimati Radhika and the other gopi heroines (nayikaas) of Vrindavana display a wonderful variety of emotions in eight different service situations. We will describe them and then cite a pastime, if mentioned, of Srimati Radharani to illustrate them. During these situations the gopi nayikaas taste different varieties of separation and union. All eight of these nayikaa bhaavas are fully, unlimitedly and uniquely experienced by Sri Radha alone. Yet acharyas have mentioned particular moods in relation to individual sakhis, which we will indicate with brackets. The information here comes from Ujjvala Nilamani and Jaiva Dharma.

1) Abhisarika: (Chitra-sakhi) This heroine leaves her home and travels to meet her lover at the assigned rendezvous bower, all the while thinking, “I will serve Sri Krishna.” At the time of going for abhisara, she is absolutely silent and gorgeously decorated from head to toe. As if out of shyness she contracts Her bodily limbs, and moves along the footpath accompanied by one affectionate sakhi.

Lila: Sriji said, “O Vishakha! When you make the appointment, you should tell Madhava about My beauty and character. But don’t let Pyare-mohana know how much My heart suffers with love for Him. O My friend, please expertly appeal to Nanda Kishora on My behalf, and affectionately bring Bihari here to meet Me before this wretched moon kisses the horizon and robs Me of My life-breath.”

Vishakha replied, “O Sundari, the great orb of the moon is now bathing the forest of Vrindavana with its soothing rich rays. Vrajapati-nandana has

now marked the footpath You have taken and He is about to follow it. O Shyama-priya, You are nicely dressed in a white silk sari, and anointed with camphor and sandalwood. Will You not now place Your two beautiful lotus feet on this path that leads to Krishna?”

2) Vasaka-sajja: (Champaka-lata) This gopi ornaments and perfumes her body and prepares and decorates the bed-chamber in the kunja in eager anticipation of her lover’s arrival. She is determined to engage in games of Kamadeva. Hoping that her lover will come as soon as he can, the vasaka-nayikaa gazes down the path along which her lover will approach. While sitting with her sakhis she glorifies her lover, and hears his lila-katha from them. At every moment she eagerly waits for a messenger to bring news of her lover.

Lila: Rupa-manjari said to a gopi-friend, “When Radharani sees the conjugal pastime grove with its beautiful flower bed, and Her own nicely decorated body, She begins to smile. Repeatedly meditating on Her association with Krishna, Gaurangi’s heart becomes intoxicated by amorous desires.”

3) Utkanthita: (Ranga-devi) This gopi repeatedly glances down the path in great eagerness, anxiously anticipating the arrival of her beloved Sri Krishna. When Shyama is late for the rendezvous however, through no fault of His own, the restless nayikaa becomes excessively impatient and eager to meet her lover.

Her heart burns in agony, her body trembles, and she wonders why her lover has not come. Losing all desire to do anything, the utkanthita heroine thinks of her sorry plight while shedding tears of lamentation

The previous condition of the vasaka-sajja ultimately transforms into utkanthita. While waiting and seeing that her lover has not come, she becomes excessively eager and restless and is then called an utkanthita nayikaa.

4) Khandita: (Lalita) The gopi heroine enters the condition of khandita when Hari arrives late, long after the appointed time for meeting, practically at sunrise. Seeing the clear signs of Krishna’s amorous affairs with another lover, she becomes extremely jealous, either chastising Shyama or pouting in silence. And in her anger she exhales long drawn out breaths.

Lila: Sri Radha chastises Krishna: “Listen Madhava! Which artful girl has stolen the precious gold of Your love, and in return decorated You with her own cheap tinsel? Your lips are tinged with her collyrium; Your eyelids are reddish from her chewed betel, and Your chest is tinted red from the lac-dye on her feet. Is there any girl so naive that she will touch Your body in its present defiled condition? Unscrupulous as You are, what allurement can You offer now with Your soiled person?” (Kavi Govinda dasa)

Responding to Radha’s rebukes, Muralidhara pleads, “O Sundari, lovely lady! Why are You speaking such pungent words to Me? While touching Your feet, I swear I love none other than You. I spent the whole night awake in expectation for You; that’s how My eyes became reddened. Somehow this dark musk paste has tainted My lips.

“Seeing You turning Your face away from Me, My eyes are shedding tears and My heart is breaking. If You slight Me out of pride, then where shall I go? You know My heart very well. Why then are You speaking unfavorably.” Hearing these shallow words, the charming Radhika became doubly angry. (Kavi Jnana dasa)

5) Vipralabdha: (Tungavidya) When the heroine sits waiting in the secluded bower, and her lover does not show up at all, then she feels greatly disappointed. It sometimes happens that by the will of providence, Krishna cannot come for one reason or another, even after fixing the time and place of the tryst by a signal or hint. At that time, the vipralabdha heroine is severely afflicted by pangs of separation from her beloved. She decries her own worthlessness, becomes anxious, laments, weeps bitterly, sighs deeply and faints.

Lila: Radha sighed, “O Vishakha! The moon has now left the sky and the time for meeting has passed. O sakhi, I have been cheated by this lover of the goddess of fortune. What shall we do now? Please instruct me so that My self-respect does not manifest, for I no longer want to live.” After

speaking these words, doe-eyed Radharani fainted.

6) Kalahantarita: (Sudevi) Whenever, due to some quarrel with Hari, the nayikaa severely reprimands her Pranavallabha Shyama, and then spurns Him, even after Krishna falls at her feet before all her sakhis. However, after dismissing Shyama she becomes even more bereaved, and exhibits various emotions such as anguish, delirium, incoherent speech, debility of body and mind, exhaling drawn-out breaths.

Lila One: Radha said to Herself, “I have thrown far away all the garlands presented to Me by this Krishna, the enemy of Kesi. I have not allowed Shyama’s sweet words of supplication to enter My ears. I do not even glance at Him when Krishna bows down before Me with His hair scattered on the ground. All of this is making My mind split open like a pot being heated in a fire.”

Lila Two: Lamenting to Her sakhi, Sri Radha said, “I built a house for living happily, but fire has burned it down. I wanted to bathe in an ocean of nectar, but I dove into a pool of poison. I adored that particular Moon believing He is soothing, but instead I was scorched by the sun. I climbed a mountain to rise to great height, but plummeted into the depths of the sea. I looked to the raincloud to quench My thirst, but instead a thunderbolt pierced My heart. Love for Kanu is like an arrow stuck deeply in the heart.” (Kavi Chandidasa)

7) Proshita-bhartrka: (Indulekha) When Krishna leaves Vrindavana and goes to Mathura, and does not return even after many days have elapsed, then the heroine becomes most miserable and suffers terribly in His separation. She experiences many things including inertia, anxiety, melancholy, sleeplessness, and not dressing or bathing herself.

Lila: Radha said to Lalita, “Krishna is now happily enjoying pastimes in Mathura without Me. But for Me, this springtime brings pain at every step and from every direction. Alas, My enemy, the impossible hope that perhaps Krishna may return, has become a great obstacle in fulfilling My desire to kill Myself. Where can I find shelter from this enemy.”

8) Svadhina-bhartrka: (Radhika especially, and Vishakha too) This type of heroine experiences great joy because she dominates her lover, tames him according to her own whims, and engages him for enjoying her own flavor of amorous sports. Being controlled by her prema, the hero cannot leave her for even a moment. Together they relish various pastimes like vana-vihara, jala-keli and picking flowers.

Lila: Radha ordered, “O Shyama, Please draw some nice pictures on My breasts and cheeks. Decorate My hips with a sash, and twine a flower garland in My braid. Put bracelets on My wrists and jeweled anklets on My feet.” With great pleasure Krishna obediently carried out all of Radha’s orders.

In summary, among the eight types of heroines just described, three (svadhina-bhartrka, vasaka-sajja and abhisarika) are cheerful at heart, and always wear ornaments and other decorations. The remaining five heroines however, throw away their ornaments and finery due being afflicted with anxiety. Suffering in separation from their hero Shyama, they lament bitterly, resting their left cheek on their left hand.

One should not think that the gopis’ suffering is anything like the searing pain and misery arising from the love affairs of this mundane world. The gopis’ apparent suffering is actually a transformation of ecstatic divine bliss in Krishna prema. Such a transcendental experience is far far beyond our minds to conceive or our words to convey.

Svadhina Bhartrka Vrindavaneshvari Sri Radha ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

One day in Goloka Vrindavana, Shyama sat alone under the shade of a beautiful flowering kadamba tree that was filling the entire forest with a sweet fragrance reminiscent of Radharani. Becoming absorbed in vivid memories of His sweet beloved, Krishna started spontaneously glorifying Gandharvika Radha with the choicest of words full of love and genuine realization of Radhika’s grandeur.

Brilliant green parrots gathered in the branches, curious innocent deer collected nearby, and swans floated in the peaceful waters of the Yamuna. All were stunned in bliss and spellbound in amazement to hear what Shyama was saying.

Sri Krishna, musing to Himself, said, “I am the complete, spiritual Absolute Truth. I am made of unlimited self-effulgent bliss, yet Radharani’s love drives Me mad. I just can’t understand the power of Radha’s prema by which Kishori forever overwhelms Me! Everyone everywhere says I am the adi-guru, the spiritual master of the universe. But now I realize the truth is this:

rädhikära prema guru, ämi çiñya naöa

sadä ämä nänä nåtye, näcäya udbhaöa

“The prema of Radhika is My Guru, and I am dancing as Her disciple. Radha’s inconceivable love makes Me dance in various novel ways.”

“It is now very clear to Me that Rädhä’s love is all-pervading, leaving no room for expansion. But still Madhura-mukhi’s love keeps expanding constantly. Although there is certainly nothing greater than Priyaji’s love, Radha does not show a drop of pride. This is solid proof of the greatness of My Radharani!

“Nothing is purer than Shyama-priya’s love. But Vaidagdhi Radha always acts in contrary and crooked ways. Although Rädhä’s love is pure like a mirror, its purity increases at every moment. There is no one in this world except Radha that is more qualified than Me. In Radha’s presence alone I can find pleasure.

“Seeing Rädhäräëé gives pleasure to My eyes. The sweet words of Çrématé enchant My ears, and the naturally sweet scent of Rädhäräëé’s limbs captivates My mind and heart. I am charmed by the nectarean taste of Radha’s luscious lips, and completely refreshed by the cooling caress of Kishori beautiful limbs. The incomparable beauty and attributes of Çré Rädhikä are My life and soul! Nothing satisfies My eyes more that gazing upon Bhanu-tanya’s delightful form. The happiness I feel meeting Rädhäräëé is a hundred times greater than the happiness I get from anyone else.”

Somehow by the will of Providence, that very Queen of Shyama’s heart suddenly appeared at that lonely spot beside the Yamuna. Seizing this rare opportunity to flatter the cherished treasure of His heart, Gopinatha said, “O My dear auspicious Rädhäräëé! Your divinely attractive body is the source of all beauty. O Sulochana, Your radiant cherry-red lips are softer than the sense of immortal sweetness. O Pranapriya, the effulgent orb of Your perfectly shaped lotus face bears the aroma of a lotus flower. O Radha, Your heart touching, honey sweet words silence the soothing warbling of the cuckoo. O Devi, Your shapely golden limbs are cooler than the pulp of sandalwood. O Shyamaa, all My senses are totally overwhelmed in ecstatic pleasure by being with You, who are completely decorated by beautiful qualities.” (Cc. Adi 4)

Sri Krishna Prema ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!