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!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Soon a shower of the most incredibly sweet nectar will descend from the skies of mercy to inundate the desert of your heart. Just read on with enthusiastic eyes and minds full of anticipation as you marvel at this astounding glorification of Swamini Sri Radha by Her dearest sweet manjari named Kasturi.

One day, deeply absorbed in a mood of loving gratitude and appreciation, Kasturi-manjari glorified Srimati Radharani thus:

“Çré Rädhä Öhäkuräëé is the svarupa of mahabhava, and a deep jewel mine of all extraordinary qualities. Bhanunandini is the crest jewel among all Sri Krishna’s artful lovers. The senses, mind and body of Raseshvari are steeped in love for Shyama. Madhuri Radha is Krishna’s personal energy nourishing all His pastimes. Radha is the source of Krishna’s bliss potency and Her divine form is imbued and permeated with ever-blissful spiritual rasa.

“The Vaikuntha Laksmis, the Dvaraka Queens and the Vraja-gopis all expand from Radhika alone. Unlike the other two, Radharani expands the gopis from Her own divine form so that Shyama can taste all the sweetness of the räsa dance and other pastimes.

“Being the foremost gopi, Srimati Radhika surpasses all the gopis in beauty, in good qualities, in good fortune and, above all, in love. Radha is the dearest beloved of Shyama and the very wealth of His life. Sri Krishna cannot derive any pleasure from the gopis without the presence of Radha.”

Becoming completely submerged in the ambrosial ocean of Radha-katha, Kasturi-manjari became very excited and started ecstatically chanting Radha Nama-kirtana.

She sang, “O Govindänandiné Rädhä! O Govinda-mohiné! O Govinda-sarvasva! O Sarva-käntä-çiromaëi!”

Rädhä pleases and mystifies Govinda. Radha is Govinda’s everything! And Radha is the crest-jewel of all Krishna’s lovers.

“O Devi! O Krishna-mayi! O Radhika Para-Devata! O Sarva Lakshmi-mayi!”

Priyaji is the most resplendent and beautiful celestial, and the lovely abode of the worship and love sports of Shyamasundara. Krishna is within and without Radha. Wherever Radha casts Her glance She sees Shyama. Parameshvari Radha is the supreme energy of Krishna, and the embodiment of all the mellows of love. Srimati’s worship [ärädhana] is fulfilling Krishna’s desires, and that is why only She is called Radhika. Radha is the supreme goddess, and the original source of all the Queens of fortune; Radha fully represents the six opulences of Kåñëa.

“O Sarva-pujya! O Sarva-pälikä! O Sarva jagatera-mätä! O Sarva-saundarya-kanti! O Sarva-lakñmé-gaëera-çobhä!”

Everyone in the universe worships Radha. Radhika is the maintainer of everyone, and the mother of the entire universe. The transcendental body of Sarvanga-sundari Radha is the resting place for all beauty and luster. Kalyani Radha’s radiant beautiful form is the origin of the splendor of all the goddesses of fortune. Kunjavilasini Radha alone fulfill all of Krishna’s desires.

“O Jagat-mohana-mohiné! O Parä Thäkuräëé! O Pürëa-çakti!”

As the supreme enchantress, Radha captivates Krishna. Therefore, Thakurani Radha is the supreme goddess over all. Radha holds all the power of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. (Cc. Adi 4)

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Today, Radhastami, is also the appearance day of Sri Swami Haridasaji, an illustrious devotional saint and musician of the 15th century in Vrindavana. Swami Haridasaji unveiled Vraja Mandala’s most famous and popular deity Thakurji Banke Bihari in Nidhuvana, where he did his nirjana bhajana.

The word nidhu means, amorous pastimes (sürata-kréòä) because here in the keli-kunjas of Nidhuvana, Radha Govinda Yugala enjoy intimate affairs after the rasa dance (11p.m. to 4 a.m.) Govinda-lélämåta and other books beautifully portray these pastimes. Radha-Krishna’s pastimes of resting and waking each day also occur here. Meditative devotees often relish these sweetly confidential pastimes while chanting japa.

With his virtuosity on vina and his supremely melodious and enchantingly sweet voice, Swami Haridasaji greatly pleased the heart of his beloved Thakura Bihariji. He composed his own songs and created a unique music style which is still emulated by musicians worldwide. Due to his intense absorption in offering his heart in song to his dearest Thakuraji, Haridasaji completely forgot his body and mind. Followers identify Swami Haridasaji as an incarnation of Lalita-sakhi.

Once after hearing from Tansena, one of the two famous disciples of Swami Haridasaji (also Baijubavara) about the musical expertise of Haridasaji, Emperor Akbar desired to hear him sing. However, the saint Haridasa would only sing for the pleasure of Banke Bihariji and no one else. After sometime, Tansena came to Nidhuvana along with Akbar, who was in disguise, sat down near the kutira of Swami Haridasaji, and started singing while playing his vina.

Detecting some flaws in Tansen’s presentation, Haridasaji came out of his kutira and showed his disciple how to properly sing that raga. Then the disguised Akbar witnessed a miracle! Swami Haridasaji’s sweet singing enchanted and attracted all the forest birds, deer and animals to his side. They were spellbound, listening to the rapture of Swamiji’s love for Bihariji. Fortunate souls will visit Nidhuvana, and roll in the dust before the samadhi of the great Swami Haridasaji, one of the greatest saints of Vraja Mandala.

On this most auspicious occasion, I humbly pray to Swami Haridasaji to please bless me that someday I can sing to My Thakuraji in a voice full of pure love and completely forget about my useless body and mind.

Swami Haridasaji’s Thakuraji Banke Bihariji is very special, very powerful, very merciful, very beautiful, very playful and very naughty. You can only relish His mystifying eyes, and catch His mischievous smile for a moment before He closes the curtain to His heart. But actually that is Bihariji’s kindness on all of us.

Because if Thakuraji gave a little longer darshana, then everyone in the temple would never leave. They would all just throw their arms up into the air and shout with full conviction, “To hell with Delhi! To hell with Mumbai! To hell with Europe! To hell with America! To hell with everywhere! I am going to stay here forever in Vraja, gazing upon the most sweetly beautiful lotus face of Banke Biharilala ki! JAI!!!

Technically speaking Sri Banke Biharij’s unique brief darshana style is called jhäìké-darçana, which means a momentary vision. To do this, the pujaris open the curtains to reveal the vision of perfection, and then rapidly close them after a moment. The following pastime explains how this came to be. Once a parama-bhakta stood looking intently at Banke Bihariji with the eyes of his heart fully expanded. The unbreakable attraction of prema between God and His devotee (Bhagavata bhakta prema-sambanhda) made Bihariji leave the temple and follow that devotee home. The temple was empty!

In great alarm, the pujaris followed the lotus footprints of Banke Bihariji to that village. After much begging and crying, Bihariji agreed to return to the temple. After this incident, momentary darshana was introduced to prevent any loving devotee from capturing Bihariji with his loving glance. Just see the power and attraction of pure love! O when will I attain such pure love that Bihariji comes to enter the home of my heart!

Sri Swami Haridasaji Avirbhava Mahotsava ki jai!

Sri Banke Biharilala ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

This month is called Bhadra (good, gentle and auspicious) because it hosts the most wonderful and auspicious appearance days of Krishna, Radha, most of Radha’s ashta-sakhis and Lord Balarama! The Sri Vrajabhumi Panchangam, a Hindi calendar, says today August 31 is Baladeva Chati Mela Vraja Mandala, which means today , Bhadra Sukla-shasti (sixth day of the waxing moon), most Vrajavasis will celebrate

THE BIRTHDAY OF LORD BALADEVA! Dauji Maharaja ki jai!

The official Radha-kunda Babaji calendar confirms this, saying, Vraja me Baladeva Ji ki Jayanti Mahotsava, “today is a big celebration for the birthday of Lord Baladeva.”

It is well known that Balarama likes to get “energized” by drinking varuni beverage and often does so in Krishna-lila. And in Gaura-lila, that same Lord Balarama appears as Sri Nityananda Avadhuta, who amazes and astonishes all with His unpredictable behavior. True to His wonderfully variegated and attractive nature, Nitai-Balarama surprises everyone by celebrating two fun filled, inebriating birthday parties; one on the full moon day in Shravana month and one today.

Baladeva Ji Jayanti ki jai!

Krishna Kanhaiya, Dauji Ka Bhaiya ki jai!

Sri Krishna Balarama ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

A previous article called “Radha Falls in Love” described how Shyama caught a glimpse of Radha one day from Her palace window. What happened to Krishna after that blessed moment He received the beautiful darshana of Rai Kishori?

“Krishna became so overcome with loving attraction to Radha that His hands and feet refused to move and He just stood motionless, stunned on the footpath. At that time a comforting sakha said, ‘O friend! You just had a vision of Sri Radha high upon a jeweled palace. With Her splendid golden complexion clad in garments of cloud-dark hue, Radhika appears like the play of lightning bolts within a raincloud. None of the young girls in Vraja can equal Rai in superb elegance. I think Providence has produced this perfect girl, who is an ocean of beauty and virtues, just for Your happiness. May that Rai Kishori occupy Your heart throughout the day and night.’” (Shashi Shekara, padakarta)

The next wonderful pastime, unveiling more of Sri Krishna’s purva raga, clearly shows why Radha is called Madana Mohini, the only one who can attract the attractor of all embodied beings, Kamadeva Shyama. One day while walking along the banks of the Yamuna with His bosom friend Subala, Gokulendu beheld a most astonishingly captivating sight.

Overwhelmed with bliss, Krishna described it to Subala, “O My dear friend! Please tell Me clearly who was that blessed girl we just saw by the bathing ghata? Being of tender age and fresh youthfulness (navina-kishori), She had a brilliant golden complexion. She was sitting partially immersed in the water with one leg crossed over another while cleansing Her body. While coming out of the river after Her bath, the tresses of Her dark hair fell upon the curve of Her golden hips. She was using Her sari as a ground-cover to sit upon, and Her braid was untied and disheveled.

“A golden necklace was swaying near the base of Her upraised breasts, which defeated the peaks of mount Sumeru in shapeliness. How dazzling were Her two conchshell bangles, looking like two slender phases of the moon that are as sweet as nectar and make Me forget everything.

“She was wending Her way while wringing out Her wet blue sari, and along it My very life! Since that darshana, Subala, My heart has been very restless, overcome with the feverish passion of love.”

Out of compassion for his dear friend, Subala reveals that identity of that amazing girl, saying, “O Nagara Chanda, sweetest moon of lovers, that girl is the daughter of the prince Vrishabhanu, and Her name is Vinodini Radha.” (Chandidasa)

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

One aspect of raganuga-sadhana is learn about the identities, relationships, feelings and moods of love of Radha and Krishna’s friends and family members. Why you may ask? Attaining the spiritual perfection of Krishna prema means to enter Goloka Vrindavana, and to lovingly serve Radha-Krishna alongside all of Their friends and family members. Therefore, here as part of our sadhana we must prepare ourselves to know where we are going, and with whom we will live and serve with upon getting there.

To facilitate this “spiritual family familiarization sadhana”, our compassionate Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas Srila Rupa Goswamipada and Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswamipada wrote two essential books for our study:

Radha-Krishna Ganoddesha Dipika and Vraja Vilasa Stava. Also Sri Kavi Karnapura wrote Gaura Ganoddesha Dipika to help us learn the dual identities of Krishna’s eternal associates in both Vraja-lila and Gaura-lila.

To celebrate Radhastami, we are listing the key personalities in Srimati Radharani’s transcendental family of loving servitors. Wherever known, we’ll include their Gaura-lila names in brackets.

But first however, we should warn everyone with a few words of caution. If you are at all attached to your relativities in the form of friends and family members, then definitely

DO NOT READ THIS description of the pure and loving, beautiful people in Radha’s realm of eternal transcendental bliss!

Radha’s Elders

Paternal grandfather: Mahibhanu

Paternal grandmother: Sukhada

Father: Vrishabhanu (Pundarika Vidyanidhi)

Maternal grandfather: Indu

Maternal grandmother: Mukhara

Mother: Kirtida (Ratnavati)

Elder brother: Sridama (Abhirama Gopala)

Younger sister: Ananga-manjari (Jahnava-devi)

Paternal uncles: Bhanu, Ratna-bhanu, Subhanu.

So-called husband: Abhimanyu

Father-in-law: Vrka-gopa

Mother-in-law: Jatila (Ramachandra Puri)

Brother-in-law: Durmada

Sister-in-law: Kutila

Radha’s Ashta Sakhis:

Lalita (Svarupa Damodara Goswami)

Vishakha (Ramananda Raya)

Chitra (Govindananda Thakura)

Indulekha (Vasu Ramananda)

Champakalata (Shivananda Sena)

Tungavidya (Vakreshvara Pandita)

Ranga-devi (Govinda Ghosh)

Sudevi (Vasudeva Ghosh)

And: Vrinda-devi (Mukunda Dasa)

Dhanishta (Raghava Pandita)

Nandimukhi (Saranga Thakura)

Radha’s Ashta-Manjaris:

Sri Rupa-manjari: (Srila Rupa Goswamipada)

Rati-manjari: Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswamipada)

Lavanga-manjari (Srila Sanatana Goswamipada)

Raga-manjari (Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami)

Guna-manjari: (Sri Gopala Bhatta Goswami)

Manjulali-manjari: (Sri Lokanatha Goswami)

Vilasa-manjari (Sri Jiva Goswamipada)

Kasturi-manjari (Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja)

Radha’s Favorite Pets:

Calf: Tungi

Chakori bird: Charu-chandrika

Cows: Bahula, Sunada, Yamuna

Doe: Rangini

Elephant: Madhuri

Monkey: Kakkhati

Talking Parrots: Shubha, Sukshmadhi

Peahen: Tundika

Swan: Tundikeri

Sri Radha’s premika nitya-parisads ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Krishna is Radha’s Hari because Krishna takes away Radha’s shyness, unwillingness and any other obstacle to Their meeting. One day Sri Radha became very angry with Krishna and She made three resolutions, thinking, “From now on, I will not look at, speak to or trust that black fellow any more.”

A short time later, the clever prankster arrived and begged Radha, “O Shyama Jiu! Look at Me just once!” While admiring Shyama’s sweet form, the sakhis started talking to each other, “Aha! How sweetly Shyama stands in tribhanga pose. The life of that lady-love who does not see such sweetness is wasted.” Hearing this, Radha becomes eager to look at Krishna and She does. Radha’s first resolution is broken. Krishna is speaking so nicely with lots of flattery and witty remarks that Radharani cannot remain silent anymore. So Radha says, “Just go to that gopi you love. Don’t stay here speaking so cleverly.” Thus, Radha’s second vow is gone. Krishna slowly slides His foot forward to touch the tips of Radha’s toes. Being disturbed by this, Radha takes Krishna by the hand and pushed Him out of the kunja. Then Radha thinks, “Oh just see! Now I have also touched Him. If I can not keep any vow, then how can I keep Krishna away.” Then Radha steps out of the kunja, wraps Her beautiful arm around Shyama’s neck and brings Him back into the kunja. Thus Lord Hari continually steals the tender heart of Sri Radha with all His sweet charms.

Three resolutions wali Radha ki jai!

Chatura shiromani Hari ki jai!

Jai jai Sri Radhe!!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

One who does not carefully worship the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika, which are the abode of everything good;

One who does not take shelter in the divine land of Vrindavana, which is decorated with the beautiful lotus flower named Radha;

One who has not associate with Radhika’s devotees, who are very wise and deeply devoted to Radha;

How will such a person ever experience the bliss of bathing in the ocean of Shyamasundara’s sublime mellows?

Srimati Radhika is the exemplary teacher of the brilliant mellows of conjugal love, ujjvala-raser acharya. One should discuss the pure love, shuddha-prema, between Radha and Madhava.

He who tightly holds the lotus feet of Radha with great care obtains the lotus feet of Krishna, which are like priceless jewels.

Without taking shelter of Radha’s lotus feet of Radha, one will never personally meet Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The Vedas state that Krishna is the property of the maidservants of Sri Radha.

Abandon your wealth, followers, wife, sons, friends, karma and jnana, so that you can be absorbed in the sweet service Radha’s lotus feet, radha-pada madhura seva.

(Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Gitavalli)

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

The two wonderful syllables RA DHA immediately attract Gokulapati (Krishna, the Lord of Gokula).

If one develops love for chanting RA DHA then all the goals of human life seem insignificant.

The syllables RA DHA are marked within the mantra that is lovingly chanted by Lord Madhava Himself.

May this pair of amazing syllables RA DHA become manifest to me forever.” (Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi 95)

A Verse Meditation:

Look at a beautiful painting of Sri Radha;

Read the verse above with full concentration;

Pray to Radhika for the memory power or shakti to remember it;

Close your eyes;

Chant japa while immersing your mind and heart in this divine illumination.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Krishna prema is defined as a mood and expression of love, wherein even if there is a very good reason to break the relationship and leave the beloved, the lover will never under any condition or circumstance give up the beloved. Indeed such a completely selfless, immaculate love is transcendental and divine; only found in the loving dealings of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and His beloved bhaktas. This type of “true love” can never be found in this material world.

What follows is a very secret passage from sacred scriptures. Here in the privacy of a dark cave, alone with Her personal divine raptures, Srimati Radhika opens Her heart to show the world the pinnacle of pure love. My dear devoted friends, please read the following passage with the utmost concentration and a mood of submissive reception. Then a few drops from the unlimited ocean of Sri Radha’s pure love may to trickle into the desert we call heart.

One night in the quiet hours aftermidnight, Radhika tightly embraced the darkness and revealed the jewel of Her heart to Her closest girlfriends, Lalita and Vishakha.

Radha cried out, “O My dearly beloved Govinda! I am intensely missing You. Every moment just creeps by like a thousand ages. I cannot control the endless torrents of tears gushing from My anguished eyes, which appear like a downpour from monsoon clouds. Without You, Govinda, I see emptiness in all directions and in My agitation I see that the day never ends.

“Seeing the three worlds as stark and empty, I feel as if I am burning alive in a slow fire. It seems that Krishna has become indifferent to Me just to test My love. And My sakhis are advising Me it’s better to just neglect Krishna.”

After deeply pondering over Her condition in separation from Shyama, Radha then manifested some of the natural attributes of Her pure love. Radha’s mind became agitated with the combined emotions of divine envy, enthusiasm, submission and intense eagerness. In this state of the topmost pure divine love, Krishna prema, Srimati Radharani continued speaking:

“O Lalite! O Vishakhe! Krishna may wrap Me in a pleasurable embrace, or trample Me under His lotus feet, or break My heart by never seeing Me. After all, Krishna is a debauchee and can do whatever He likes. Nevertheless, only Krishna and no one else is My Prananatha, the Lord of My heart.

“I am a just maidservant at Krishna’s lotus feet, and Shyama is the reservoir of transcendental mellows. If Shyama likes He can tightly embrace Me in the oneness of love. Or destroy My mind and body by not appearing before Me. Hey sakhi! I am completely fixed in the idea that Krishna is My Pranishvara in all conditions, whether Krishna showers Me with affection or kills Me with misery.

“Sometimes Krishna leaves the other gopis and becomes completely controlled Me as He enjoys loving affairs with Me. And sometimes that cunning cheater enjoys with other gopis right front of Me just to disturb My mind! But that does bother Me, because in any condition Krishna is always My Prananatha!

“Listen, I don’t care about My personal distress. I only want Krishna to be happy. For Krishna’s happiness of is the only goal of My life. And if Krishna feels great happiness in giving Me distress, than that distress is My greatest happiness. And even if Krishna wants to enjoy another beautiful gopi but can’t attain her, then I will go fall at her feet and take her by the hand to Krishna for His pleasure.”

While concluding Her illumination on the inconceivable level of Her pure divine love for Krishna, Srimati Radhika speaks a wonderful verse which sets the standard for any sadhaka trying to become a pure lover of God, a Krishna premi:

Srimati Radharani said, “Krishna is My life and soul. Krishna is the treasure of My life. Indeed, Krishna is the very life of My life. I therefore keep Krishna always in My heart and try to please Krishna by rendering service. That is My constant meditation.” (Caitanya-caritamrta 3.20.1-60)

Mahabhavati Sri Radha ki jai!

Vishuddha nirmala srngara-prema ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!