The transcendental amorous affairs of Radha Govinda Yugala are the epitome of divine love, bliss and sweetness. We all know of love. And we have all heard, read, thought and experienced so much about this feeling called LOVE.
But who really knows what love is? One can easily see by comparison that the one and only pair of pure, unmotivated selfless lovers in this world are the transcendental Divine Couple known as Sri Sri Radha-Krishna—the playful teenage lovers of Vraja, sweetly addressed as “Priya-Priyatama”.
Now let’s hear what Srimati Radharani Herself says about the definition, nature and experience of true love.
One sweet day in Vrindavana, a beautiful heavenly damsel suddenly showed up in the courtyard of Radha’s palace in Yavata-grama. It was Krishna disguised as a lady. Sitting down, she shyly covered her head with her crimson veil.
Noticing her, Lalita inquired, “O Tanvi, who are you?” Where have you come from and what do you want?” But that lady (Krishna) gave no reply
Radha asked, “Your luster enchants My mind. You are so beautiful, are you a celestial being?” Krishna kept quiet.
Radha continued, “O Bhavini! Please introduce yourself. Why should you be shy or afraid here with us?” Krishna just sighed deeply while partly uncovering his face.
Radha: “O Sundari! You must be heart broken and that’s why you’re so quiet and disturbed. If you reveal your mind, I’ll try to remove your distress. Are you sad due to separation from your lover? Have you offended him in some way, or is some antagonist gossiping about you to your lover? Or perhaps you are disgusted with him and attracted to another man. Why are you so sad?
“O Vidhumukhi! You are so beautiful, even more enchanting than the Mohini avatara. If Sri Hari should cast His glance at you, He would become immediately captivated.”
Meanwhile, Krishna (as lady) was becoming so ecstatic from drinking Radha’s wonderful kathamrta that thrill bumps of joy arose on His body.
Noticing this Radhika said, “Are you suffering from some pain in your body?”
Turning to Visakha, Radha said, “O sakhi! Give me that healing oil, and I will massage this girl with My own hand to remove all the pain in her body and then bathe make her feel happy. Then she will surely start speaking with us.”
At this point, Krishna, perfectly imitating the voice of a woman, said, “I’m a heavenly damsel and I have come here thinking that only you can help me.”
Radha: “I can clearly see that you are not an ordinary mortal since you have an incomparable radiance and beautiful face like an autumn lotus. But why are you so sad and forlorn? Just consider me to be yours and reveal your mind.”
Krishna (disguised as lady): “Although I’m a celestial, I simply desire to be your maidservant after observing your amazingly wonderful form, qualities and affection. It’s very difficult to remove, but You must remove my heartache.
“Let me confide in you Radha. Do You know that Krishna’s flute song is so powerful that it even resounds in heaven, and destroys the chastity of all the damsels there. Intensely desiring to know the origin of this bewitching sound, I descended to earth and have been staying at Vamshivata. And often I have observed your incomparible pastimes there with Sri Hari.
“Thus I have concluded that even Lakshmi and Parvati are nothing in comparison with You. There is definitely no lady in creation with as much love as You. As to the cause of my heartache, it is Krishna whom I have fallen deeply in love with.” Then Krishna (as lady) fell silent.
Radha: “Why do you create so much misery for yourself by falling in love with Krishna? Indeed, Krishna is certainly a most handsome, talented, heroic and famous person, but He has one fault. He is very lusty and does not respect another’s love. He will lavish you with love, and then just leave you in kunja to lament and piteously cry in his separation as He runs off with some other girl.”
Krishna (as lady) “Indeed sakhi, I have verily witnessed your agony and distress while I was staying at Vamsivata. Being a celestial, I have personally never experienced any heartaches. But now, after observing Your piteous wailing and lamentations in separation from Krishna, I too have become very pained in heart.”
Radha: “O my beautiful girlfriend! I like you very much, and want you to always stay here with me in Vraja and not return to heaven. Then I will open the jewel box of my love and show you all my gems!”
Krishna: “Yes, just order me. I only want to please you; for you are my only shelter!”
Satisfied, Radha began to describe and define the nature of genuine “TRUE LOVE” i.e. Her own pristine prema for her Priyatama Shyama.
Radha: “The absolute purity of one’s love is shown by one’s actions, which are all dedicated only to the happiness of the beloved. But other than in Krishna, in all the three worlds where can such prema be found? It is the prema of the Vraja gopis only that gives Krishna unlimited bliss. Sometimes the gopis’ love may even appear like lust, but you should not think that it is lust. Because the Vraja-gopis are only interested in Krishna’s happiness and never their own.
“Our Sri Krishna is an ocean of sweet love, full of all jewel-like transcendental qualities, and most attractive to all women. Yet even lacs and lacs of pretty girls cannot satisfy Krishna’s desires. It is the Vraja-gopis alone, with their pure selfless love, who have conquered Krishna’s heart.
Radha continued, “Let me explain. Sometimes Krishna does not show up in the trysting place where I am waiting. Even though his mind is completely fixed on me, he may feel obliged sometimes to enjoy another gopi after being accosted by her on his way to me. Krishna, however, will not feel satisfied with her, because he will be thinking about how sad I must be feeling in his absence.
“And that makes me doubly sad along with the fact that my beautiful dress, ornaments and loving expertise are all for naught because they could not be enjoyed by Krishna. Then when Krishna humbly comes to me at daybreak, I angrily tell him, ‘Go back and enjoy with that other girl!’ But this is also said all for Krishna’s pleasure. Such is the way of love in Vraja!”
After hearing Radha’s ambrosial talk on the subject of prema, Krishna (as lady) summarized it saying, “O Priyasakhi! In essence, true love is such that it turns the lover’s faults into virtues, and the misery he gives into nectar bliss. A true beloved cannot tolerate even the slightest misery to the lover. Prema makes the lover appear to be grand and glorious, even though he may not be glorious at all! It very clear to me now that you, Radha, are the only shelter of that prema.”
Radhika then replied, “Listen sakhi, I immediately know exactly what is on My lover’s mind.”
Krishna: (as lady) said, “Hey Gandharvike! I don’t doubt that you know Krishna’s mind, but the question is does Krishna know Your mind?”
Radha: “Sakhi, people think that Krishna and I know each other’s minds, and that We eternally dwell within each other. This is not quite correct, because in reality Krishna and I are one soul in two bodies. And We forever destroy the darkness of each other’s separation and delight Our sakhis.”
Krishna: “How can I believe that You and Krishna are one soul without testing You? I will fully believe You if You can show Me that You are both thinking of the same thing at the same time. If You close Your eyes and just think, ‘Krishna should come here right now’ and He does, then I will believe that You and Krishna are one soul. And this will make Me very happy.”
Vrshabhanunandini Radha then closed Her beautiful eyes and deeply meditated upon Her beloved Shyamasundara, thinking, “O Suryadeva (Radha’s ishtadeva)! O fulfiller of all My desires! O merciful one! If Gandharvika and Giridhari are indeed one soul, then bring Giridhari before Me right now to please My friends!”
While Radharani was rapt in meditation, Hari abandoned His female disguise. Winking at the sakhis nearby, Shyama (now in His dashing handsome form) began to kiss and embrace Sri Radhika again and again. As Radhika was seeing Shyama within Her meditation and experiencing Him outside as well, She became immersed in ecstasy.
After sometime, Radhika came to external consciousness. Seeing Shyama before Her, Lajjeshvari Radha shyly covered Her face with Her veil.
Observing this amazing turn of events, Lalita said, “O gallant hero! It is most most amazing that You came here into the private inner chambers of Radha’s home without being seen by any of Radha’s superiors.”
Krishna: “Actually Lalita, I am very surprised Myself how it happened. I was playing near the goshalla when suddenly I remembered Radhika and then this celestial damsel brought Me here.”
Radha: “Hey Lalite! What happened to that celestial damsel anyway, and where is she now? By seeing that Shyama has come here just by My calling Him in meditation, she should now believe that Krishna and I are one soul.”
Krishna: “Radha, was that damsel some kind of siddha yogini who gave You a mantra to fully control Me? I also want that mantra, so then I can fulfill all My desires!”
Lalita: “I am sorry Shyama for it seems that that yogini has suddenly disappeared. I will go outside and try to find her.”
Turning to Radha, Lalita-sakhi said, “O sakhi, I think You can make Your beloved happy by giving Him this mantra Yourself!” Then Lalita and all the sakhis scurried out of the bedroom, leaving Radha-Madhava all alone to adorn each other with the many play jewels from the jewel box of Their mutual love. (Prema Samputa, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti, adapted)
Radharani’s shuddha nirmala madhurya prema ki jai!
Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!