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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
 
To glorify Priya Swamini Vrndavanesvari Srimati Radharani on Her most beautiful, beneficent, and bountiful appearance day, this post will philosophically describe Radhika’s unlimited sweet love, power and grace i.e. bhakti, hladini-sakti and krpa.
The essence of Krishna bhakti is service—the happy-minded, selfless, loving service of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The devotee serves Sri Krishna simply to please Him and not for anything else. Because serving Krishna is the natural function of the soul, it naturally gives one inner pleasure and satisfaction. The nature of bhakti is that that by pleasing Krishna, the devotee automatically feels blissful. Krishna’s seva is BLISS!
 
However, if selfishness or personal desires taint one’s service attitude, one is deprived of the full joy and delight naturally arising from pure bhakti.
In Krishna’s spiritual realm of Goloka Vrndavana where divine love reigns, to serve is to love. In love, self-sacrifice is self-realization and self-effacement is self-fulfillment. In love, one feels deficient without the other, so each wants to draw close to the other to charm the other by their love and service.
 
In the Bhagavan bhakti prema sambandha, Sri Krishna feels deficient without His devotee, so He draws himself close to the bhakta to realize Himself more fully through love and service to His devotee. Sri Krishna derives greater pleasure in being controlled by his devotee than in controlling His devotee.
 
In suddha-bhakti i.e. transcendental pure devotion to Sri Krishna, there is no place for karma, jnana or vairagya, action, knowledge and detachment, still they are present. To develop deep faith and exclusive devotion to Sri Krishna, every devotee must have some knowledge, Krishna tattva-jnana, of his/her object of devotion—Bhagavan Sri Krishna, His transcendental forms, qualities, and Krishna’s relationship with the rest of the world.
Suddha Krishna bhakti also includes vairagya, detachment, in the sense that a devotee dedicates all the objects of his/her world in the service of Sri Krishna. By Krishna’s seva a devotee’s material cravings and impulses are transformed and purified.
The infusion of transcendental Krishna bhakti into our lives changes the very nature of our natural urges by turning them into transcendental urges to please and love the most beautiful one, Syamasundara. Any bhakta can experience that material urges sear with pain, whereas spiritual urges surge with delight!
How is it that the practice of Krishna bhakti bhajana brings a new and special joy? Krishna bhakti enters the heart and mind to rejuvenate and reform our lives according to spiritual principles and a blissful, transcendental lifestyle. Bhakti works on one’s entire personality, and it takes different shapes in knowledge, devotion and service.
In knowledge—bhakti is divine curiosity to learn all about Krishna. In devotional expressions—bhakti is the integrating force giving the power and drive to act for Krishna’s joy. And in Krishna’s service—bhakti creates the will to continue serving, pleasing and loving Sri Krishna forever!
 
What is the interplay of knowledge and bliss in Krishna bhakti? Sastras say Srimati Radharani is the perfect embodiment of Sri Krishna’s internal love/ bliss potency called hladini-sakti. Within bhaktas, Radhika’s divine power of hladini-sakti acts forcefully acts to bring them into a close and intimate relationship with Sri Krishna.
Such intimacy with Krishna then results in deeper knowledge of Krishna, followed in turn by the bhakta’s active expressions of love and service to Krishna for His divine pleasure. Thus bhakti and knowledge mutually nourish and expand each other for the benefit both, Bhagavan and the bhakta. (adapted, “Philosophy & Religion of Sri Caitanya”, O.B.L. Kapoor)
Radhastami katha ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!