We think, speak and do so many things each day. But how often do we reflect on the sweet Vraja madhurya-lilas of Radha Govinda Yugala?
For those treading the sacred path of heart-inspired bhakti, remembering Radha-Krishna throughout the day is essential. We must regularly pause to think of Radha and Krishna—where are They right now and what are Radha-Madhava doing?
Sri Rupa Gosvamipada has nicely summarized the sweet daily pastimes of Radha Govinda Yugala [asta-kaliya lila] in only eight verses. Please store these verses on your phone or print them.
Then time-to-time through the day read the verses and fix your heart in Vraja dhama and Lila Yugala Radhe-Shyama’s blissful pastimes. Within a short time you can memorize them, and then mentally tune into the joyful world of sweet lila whenever your heart turns in that direction. Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!
Radha Govinda Yugala Asta-kaliya-lila
Nishanta Lila: Dawn Pastimes (3.24—6 a.m.)
I remember Radha and Krishna at night’s end, being awakened by the variegated songs of the parrots sent by Vrnda devi. With both pleasant and unpleasant poems the parrots inspire Yugala to rise from Their pleasure-bed.
The sakhis joyfully observe how Radha-Krishna are fatigued from from Their loving pastimes. Hearing the pinching words of the old she-monkey named Kakkhati, Radha-Madhava become afraid. And though They are still thirsty for more pastimes, Radha-Govinda scurry off to Their individual homes and go to sleep.
Pratah Lila: Morning Pastimes (6—8.24 a.m.)
In the morning, I take shelter of Sri Radha who is bathed and decorated by Her sakhis, and then goes to Nandagrama to cook for Krishna on the request of Vrajeshvari Yashoda. After cooking, Radhika eats Krishna’s prasadi. I also take shelter of Sri Krishna, who wakes, milks the cows, bathes and eats along with His friends.
Purvahna Lila: Pastimes at Forenoon (8.24—10.48 a.m.)
In the forenoon, I remember Sri Krishna going to the forest with His cows and friends while being followed by the Vrajavasis. Later in the morning, Krishna goes to the bank of Radha-kunda, eager to meet Sri Radha.
I also remember Sri Radha being ordered by Her elder Jatila to go worship Suryadeva. Anxious to hear about Krishna, Radhika sends Her sakhis to look for Krishna. Hoping for some good news, Radharani casts Her eyes down the road searching for the returning sakhis.
Madhyahna Lila: Midday Pastimes (10.48 a.m.—3.36 p.m.)
I remember Radha and Krishna at midday, overwhelmed by desire and enchanted by various ornament-like physical transformations of ecstasy arising out of meeting each other, yet being anxious due to shyness and eagerness, and being served by Their attendant sakhis and manjaris.
The joking words of Lalita and other sakhis please Radha-Madhava as They perform a Kandarpa Yajna, enjoy Jhulana, Vana-Vihara, and Jala-keli in Radha-kunda, quarrel over Krishna’s stolen flute, enjoy conjugal pastimes, drink honey-wine, worship the sun god and enjoy other sports.
Aparahna Lila: Afternoon pastimes (3.36—6.00 p.m.)
In the afternoon, I remember Sri Radha returning home and cooking different dishes for Her beloved Krishna. Radha bathes, dresses nicely and is filled with joy upon seeing Her lover’s lotuslike face.
I also remember Sri Krishna returning home with His cows and friends. Krishna feels pleased upon seeing, and later being fondled by Maa Yashoda when He meets His parents.
Sayahna Lila: Evening pastimes (6.00—8.24 p.m.)
In the evening, I remember Sri Radha sending many eatables to Krishna’s home through a sakhi. Later Radhika eats Vrajachandra’s prasadi brought by a sakhi.
At this time, I also remember Sri Krishna being nicely bathed, beautifully dressed and fondled by Maa Yashoda. Then Krishna milks some cows and returns to the palace to eat.
Pradosh Lila: Pastimes at Nightfall (8.24—10.48 p.m.)
At nightfall, I remember Sri Radha being dressed by Her sakhis in either white or dark clothes according to the moon’s luminosity. On Vrinda’s indication, Radhika and some of Her messengers go to meet Krishna in a desire tree grove in Vrindavana.
I also remember Sri Krishna, who witnesses artful games in the assembly of cowherders before His affectionate mother carefully takes Him to bed. Shortly later, Krishna slips away to go to solitary grove to meet Radhika.
Nakta Lila: Night Pastimes (10.48 p.m.—3.36 a.m.)
In the night, I remember Radha and Krishna, who are intensely eager to meet and being attended by Vrinda in many ways. Radhe-Shyama and Their priya-sakhis play, sing and dance in the forest. After enjoying many pastimes, Radha Govinda Yugala sleep on a nice flowerbed, being attended by Their loving sakhis.
Alternate reading: At night, I remember Radha and Krishna meeting together and being worshipped by Vrinda with various items. Lila Yugala Radha-Madhava enjoy joking riddles, sweet talks, plays and Rasa and Lasya dances with Their dearest sakhis. Radha-Madhava drink honeywine, and master various kinds of ever-increasing conjugal bliss in the nikunja.
Radha-Madhava nitya-lila smarana ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!