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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!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Some numbers given in the Srimad Bhagavatam seem too high to believe. For example, (10.12.2): “In the morning when Sri Krishna went to the pasturing grounds, He was accompanied by hundreds and thousands of cowherd boys (prthukaah sahasrashah), and hundreds and thousands of groups of calves (sahasra-upari-sankhyayaa anvitaan).”

What to make of these astronomical numbers? In his tika to Srimad Bhagavatam (10.12.3): Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada says, “One should not argue that such a large number of cows could not possibly fit into the thirty-two square mile area of Vrindavana, because the holy dhama is unlimited by the inconceivable energy, achintya-shakti of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Even a small portion of the Vraja Dhama can accommodate billions of universes each measuring fifty million miles in diameter. Krishna showed this fact to Brahmaji in 10.13.

The Srimad Bhagavatam (10.33.38) states Krishna danced with the gopis for a night of Lord Brahma, brahma-ratra upaavrtte, which means several millions and MILLIONS OF YEARS!

In his Sarartha Darshini tika, Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada compares this inconceivable expansion of time to the fact that many universes fit within the forty-mile range of earthly Vrindavana. In this regard, Srila Rupa Goswamipada says, “In Gokula, nothing is impossible for Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the devotees, the abode, and everything in the abode of Vrindavana, by the power of the Sri Krishna’s inconceivable energy.” (Laghu Bh. 1.5.51)

Scriptures state that when Sri Krishna leaves Nandgrama to go the Rasa Mandala, He arrives there in a few seconds? How can one walk 50 kilometers in a few seconds? Our acharyas state that Krishna’s eternal lila-sthalis, pastime places, are like a lotus flower which opens and closes. To facilitate the movement of Radha-Krishna and Their associates over the vast distances of Vraja Mandala, the lotus closes to shrink the distance between two points. Or it opens to create large distances between places to prevent unwanted persons from approaching and interrupting Their pastimes. Only by the blessings of yogamaya can one understand these transcendental topics.

However, for worshipers of the sweetness within Sri Krishna appearing as His beautiful sweet form, flute playing, loving dealings and pastimes, astronomical numbers reduce the intimate, madhurya conception they hold so dear. Devotees of Radha-Krishna in Vraja only deal in reasonable, sweet numbers which perfectly relate to our human experience, and that of a lovable, cute teenage boy frolicking in the forest with His adorable friends. Here is a list of some sweet numbers and their meanings gleaned from Gaudiya granthas for us to consider:

SWEET NUMBERS:

1. Vrajendranandana Sri Krishna.

2. Radha-Krishna.

3. Ages of Krishna: kaumara, pauganda, kaishora.

Krishna’s: in Vraja, in Mathura and Dvaraka.

Types of prema: sadharani, samanjasa, samartha.

Indulekha-sakhi is 3 days younger than Radha.

4. Features of amorous Krishna hero: dhira…lalita; prasanta; oddhata, odatta.

5. Sthayi-ratis: permanent loving mellow with Krishna.

6. Features of Krishna’s love affairs: love journey, sitting together, support, picking a quarrel, peacemaking, and separation (abhisara, asana, ashraya, kalaha, sandhi, dvaidha)

8. Radhaji’s celebrated ashta-sakhis: Lalita, Vishakha, Citra, Champakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Ranga, Sudevi.

Krishna’s sakha’s kunjas at Shyama-kunda: Arjuna, Gandharva, Kokila, Madhumangala, Sananda, Subala, Vidagdha.

Daily pastime periods: (ashta-kaliya-lila).

Krishna Janmastami: bhadra krishna-astami.

Radha Avirbhava: bhadra sukla-astami.

Heroine gopis: abhisarika, vasaka-sajja, utkanthita, khandita, svadhina-bhartrka, kalahantarita, vipralabdha, proshita-bhartrka.

Sattvika-bhavas: experienced in relation to Radha-Krishna.

10. Age of 10.7 months Krishna left Vrindavana.

11. Age of Vasanta-sakha.11.4 months Kokila-sakha.

12. Main forests of Vraja Mandala.

Age of Gandharva-sakha; 12.6 months, Subala.

Body ornaments of Radhaji.

13. Age Rupa-manjari 13.6 months.

14. Age of Vishakha and Sri Radhika (14.2 months15 days).

Older than Radha by 2 days Champakalata; Lalita 27 days; Younger by 3 days Indulekha; 5 days Tungavidya; 10 days Sudevi & Ranga; 26 days Citra;

Ujjvala, Vidagdha and Sananda-sakhas 14 years.

15. Age of Krishna (15.9 months 7 1/2days).

Groups of Krishna’s gopi lovers.

16. Age of Balarama and Sridhama.

Kunjas around Shyama and Radha-kunda.

Varieties Radha’s body and flower ornaments.

17. Sevas of sakhis and manjaris for Radha-Krishna joy.

19. Symbols on bottoms lotus feet of Radha-Krishna.

25. Qualities of Sri Radha; Rooms in Radha’s Varsana palace.

30. Rooms in Radha’s Yavata home.

33. Sanchari-bhavas experienced in Radha-Krishna prema.

50. Rooms in Nanda Baba’s palace, the home of Krishna.

60. Dandas: 24 minute pastime periods in Radha-Krishna’s blissful day.

64. Qualities of Sri Krishna.

Arts; perfectly and completely seen in Radha-Krishna.

Main sakhis and 64 main manjaris serving under Radha’s ashta-sakhis.

96. Total amorous features of hero Sri Krishna.

360. Varieties of gopi heroine lovers of Krishna.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!