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!