Sri Radha

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'ra' sabdam kurvatas trasto
dadami bhaktim uttamam 
'dha' sabdam kurvatah pascat 
yami sravana lobhatah. 

Shri Krishn proclaims, the moment I hear the sound ‘Ra’ from anyone’s lips, I grant them My supreme prema-bhakti. But the next moment when I hear the sound ‘dha’, I become intoxicated in Radha naam. My great longing to hear the name of My Beloved, I run after the devotees who chant Radha-naam.

The holy names of Sri Krishna are the sweetest, most auspicious, most merciful and most purifying names, and through out the shastras it has been instructed that one should always chant the transcendental holy names of the Lord. This chanting of the holy names of the Lord is the Yuga dharma, or the religion of the age, for this age of Kali. The holy names of Sri Krishna are so attractive that they attract the hearts of the great detached and self realised sages like Narad, Vyas, Shuka dev and others. The glories of the holy names of the Lord are like an unfathomable ocean, and Ananta dev himself is incapable of fully describing their glories despite of singing about them with his millions of mouths over millions of years.

Yet, Sri Krishna himself glorifies the holy names of Srimati Radhika, the embodiment of Mahabhav, or the ultimate extent of pure love for Krishna. Being completely bound by her pure love, he worships her by chanting her holy names and meditating upon her. Therefore, Shyamsundar himself is saying in the above mentioned verse that he bestows pure love of Godhead just by hearing the syllable ‘Ra’ and when he hears the second syllable ‘dha’, he gets completely intoxicated with the nectar of the names of his beloved Sriji. Desiring to hear her names over and over again, he runs after the devotees who chant her holy names. Therefore, the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, following in the footsteps of Sri Sachinandana Gaurahari, who is Sri Krishna himself endowed with the mood and lustre of Srimati Radhika and who descended to taste the moods of his beloved, take full shelter of the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika. They do not attempt to approach Sri Krishna directly, rather they submit themselves to Sri Radha and engage in her loving service. Indeed the only aspiration of the Rupanuga Vaishnavas is to attain the service of the queen of Vraja. Knowing her to be their life and soul, they continuously worship her along with her beloved Shyamsundar with the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and internally meditate upon the divine pastimes of the youthful couple of Vraja.

Although according to the ultimate truth of the Shastras, Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Srimati Radhika is his complete potency and is thus always engaged in his service for his pleasure, yet from the perspective of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord, due to her being the best of the servants of the Lord and possessing such unfathomable deep love for him, Sri Krishna, the controller of the entire spiritual and material universes, gets controlled by her, Sri Shyamsundar, the completely self satisfied and blissful personality, longs for her association to experience bliss, and Sri Madan mohan, the complete whole, feels incomplete without her. Such are the glories of Srimati Radhika, the hladini shakti or bliss potency of Sri Krishna. It is through her that Shyam experiences bliss and it is in her that all his desires are completely satisfied.

Understanding the glories of Srimati Radhika, we should all take shelter of her lotus feet and aspire to be blessed with the service of the divine fair and dark complexioned couple of Vrindavan, who are forever engaged in transcendental loving pastimes in the groves of Vraja at the banks of the Yamuna in the company of their beloved sakhis.