Sri Krishna’s Priyasis

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Although each and every mellow of devotional service enjoyed by the devotees and the Lord is wonderfully complete in itself, and the devotees in these different Rasas feel completely satisfied, being always immersed in their own particular mood, yet, according to the exalted previous acharyas, Madhurya Rasa, or the transcendental loving exchanges between Shyamsundar and the Vraja-ramanis, is considered to be the highest. Forsaking everything, including their fathers, husbands, brothers and other family members, which are very difficult to give up, these damsels of Vraja strive to please Sri Krishna with various amorous pastimes. Although appearing as mundane attraction, these love affairs of Sri Krishna and the Gopis are beyond the material platform and therefore, completely pure and transcendental. Their love is such that Sri Krishna himself says that he is incapable of paying back their selfless pure love.

Radha, Chandravalli, Padma, Shyama, Shaibya, Tara, Palika, Gopali, Mangala, Lila and others are the numerous Priyasis or beloveds of Sri Krishna, who are all Nayikas and Yutheshvaris(leader of a Yutha or group of Sakhis), each having numerous sakhis in their groups.  Amongst all these numerous Vrajasundaris, who enjoy transcendental amorous pastimes with Rasikaraj Sri Krishna, the best amongst the enjoyers of Rasa, Srimati Radhika and Chandravalli are the most prominent Nayikas, or heroines. Amongst these two also, Srimati Radhika is eternally celebrated as the top most beloved of Shyamsundar. Srimati Radhika is the embodiment of Mahabhav and the depth of her love for Sri Krishna knows no bounds. The previous acharyas have explained that the sneha, or affection, that Chandravalli has for Sri Krishna can be compared to Ghrit, or Ghee(Clarified butter), which is very nourishing, satisfying and fragrant. However, the sneha of Srimati Radhika is even more relishable than hers and has been described as honey, which, along with being nourishing, satisfying and fragrant, is also very sweet and forever flows in an unending stream. Similarly, Srimati Radhika’s love flows in an unending stream and is delightfully sweet and sublime. In order to make the pastimes even more sweet and relishable and to enhance the rasa of parakiya bhav, in which the Nayika is not maintained by the Nayaka and is therefore independent, Srimati Radhika displays her Vama, or left winged nature, in the form of her maan, as opposed to the Dakshina nature of Chandravalli. The Vama Nayika openly displays her anger, jealousy and displeasure to the Hero, whereas, the dakshina nayika is always submissive to the lover. When Shrimati Radhika thus displays her Maan, Krishna has to use various tactics to break her jealous anger, thus making the pastimes even more wonderful. In this way, Shyamsundar enjoys unlimited mesmerising pastimes with Srimati Radhika and the Sakhis in her group. May Madan-mohan-mohini Srimati Radhika, the very life and soul of Sri Krishna, grant us the shelter and service of her lotus feet.