O brother, simply by chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa, one can receive the lotus feet of Rādhikā, and by chanting the names of Rādhikā, one can receive the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Thus, I have briefly explained everything by which you will be relieved from the pains of your heart. All other topics are full of miseries and dualities. Txt.1
Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī writes in the Nāmaṣṭaka, “Nārada muni bājāya vīṇā rādhikā-ramaṇa name_Nārada Muni plays his vīṇā, singing the names of Śrī Rādhikā-Ramaṇa.”
tvaṁ kṛṣṇa-nāma! kāmaṁ sphura me rasane rasena sadā
O life of Nārada’s vīṇā! You are the exhilarating waves on the transcendental ocean of nectar! O condensed form of all sweetness! O holy name of Kṛṣṇa! By Your own sweet will, may You eternally dance on my tongue, along with all transcendental rasa.
Before, Nārada Muni chanted God’s holy name. But once Kṛṣṇa appeared in Vṛndāvana, Nārada understood that Kṛṣṇa can never leave His svarūpa-śakti, and he must receive Her mercy; therefore, Śrīmatī Rādhārānī must also have appeared nearby. Nārada came to Vṛṣabhānupura for Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s darśana, but Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja was hiding Her. Nārada Ṛṣi’s desire to have darśana of svarūpa-śakti was very strong, so somehow he convinced Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja to give Her darśana. He requested Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja to bring the necessary paraphernalia to perform a blessing ceremony. Once Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja had left the room, Nārada Ṛṣi offered sāṣṭāṅga–praṇāma and performed parikramā of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. She gave Nārada Ṛṣi Her darśana and mercy and instructed him to go to the foot of Girirāja Govardhan and there to wait at Nārada Kuṇḍa. She told him to wait there and soon he would understand and witness everything. From that time on Nārada began chanting Rādhā’s holy name. He thought, “I have chanted Kṛṣṇa’s name for millions of years, and now this chanting has produced the fruit of rādhā–nāma.” By chanting kṛṣṇa-nāma, His causeless mercy will manifest as a taste for chanting the name of Rādhā. For that person who chants Her name, Kṛṣṇa will arrange a place in sevā–kuñja with Rādhikā and the mañjarīs. The sādhaka will learn there to serve Her lotus feet. Therefore it should be understood that if one continuously chants kṛṣṇa–nāma, the result will be the blessing of service to Rādhā’s feet. When one chants rādhā–nāma, all of Kṛṣṇa’s nāma, rūpa, guṇa, līlā and mādhurya-mayī sevā will manifest in his heart. Chanting of Kṛṣṇa’s name alone is the same as brahma–upāsanā or the worship of impersonal Brahma. Brahma is not Parameśvara, the Supreme Lord or avatārī, the source of all incarnations. If the Lord is without svarūpa-śakti then He is śakti–hīna or devoid of all power; He is only Brahma. The name Kṛṣṇa implies that He is present with His svarūpa-śakti. Then He is complete and happy. Similarly if someone is not taking shelter at svarūpa–śaktis’ feet, then Kṛṣṇa will never be happy with that person. Kṛṣṇa Himself does ārādhana of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and also teaches everyone rādhā–upāsanā.
In Vraja-maṇḍala everyone is serving Rādhārānī. Everyone has so much affection, faith, and love for Rādhā. Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodā Mātā’s love for Rādhā even exceeds their love for Kṛṣṇa. The sakhās Śrīdāma, Sudāma, and others respect Her so much.
Without Rādhā’s holy name everything in this world is very painful. That person who does not chant Her name is very far away from Kṛṣṇa and the family of God.
Ādi Guru Brahmā came and offered his four heads as a place for Rādhā and Her associates to perform their pastimes. His four heads became Dāna-gaṛa, Mān-gaṛa, Vilāsa-gaṛa, and Bhāna-gaṛa. There Brahmā is carrying Rādhārānī’s and the gopī’s footdust on his heads. There his life was perfected and he became our Gauḍīya-sampradāya’s Ādi Guru. Mahāprabhu accepted his sampradāya.
So always hear and chant rādhā–nāma and smear your body with Her foot dust. This is real holī–līlā. Holī means pavitra or to purify. This is the only way to become pavitra. Rādhā’s foot dust grants spiritual mood. This dust is so powerful. All Vrajavāsī’s smear their bodies in this dust. Brahmā and Śivajī have also come to Vraja-dhāma to participate in the holī–līlā. Vā–raja means viśeṣa–rūpeṇa–raja or very special dust. This dust is refering to the sakhīs and mañjarīs of Rādhā. They are always present here in Vṛndāvana. These gopīs are always carrying Kṛṣṇa in their hearts.
Whoever does not have love for Rādhā’s name, whoever has not taken shelter of Her holy dhāma, and has not heard Her special glories, may Kṛṣṇa and the Guru-varga protect me so that I will never see, talk, or even think about that person. This person’s association is great asat-saṅga. Without Rādhā’s guidance, one will surely become proud. On the path of paramārtha this is a major obstacle.
In this kali–yuga Mahāprabhu has manifested this yuga-dharma of nāma–saṅkīrtanam. He has taught the process of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra. In this mantra the first name of Rādhā has come as Hare. First one must take shelter of Rādhā’s name, then naturally one will chant the name of Kṛṣṇa. Why has the name Hare been used here instead of clearly using the name Rādhā? The name Rādhā refers to that Rādhārānī who is present with Kṛṣṇa. But Hare has a deeper hidden meaning. Hare is that Rādhā who is not only present with Kṛṣṇa, but who has stolen His mind and heart: “Hare–harati praśana manaḥ.” How has She stolen Kṛṣṇa’s heart and mind? With the assistance of Her sakhīs and mañjarīs She has placed Kṛṣṇa under Her control. Hare is that Rādhā who is always present with Her sakhīs and mañjarīs. By chanting first this name Hare, we are praying to Rādhā and Her sakhī and mañjarīs. By their mercy, their powerful love will come to our hearts and we also will be able to conquer Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Rādhā’s name as Hare is most powerful because it includes Her mañjarīs and sakhīs. This is the specialty of the mahāmantra. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura is saying here, “Inside of yuga-dharma, nāma-saṅkīrtana everything is present. If one fails to chant this harināma then everything will be useless. Nāma is everything in life, without hare–nāma everything will be miserable. If one chants this yugala–nāma, even without understanding, everything will become favorable.
Srila Narottama das Thakur ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Sri Prema-Bhakti Candrika”. Available from; [email protected] )