Rādhārānī is the prema–sūrya, the sun of divine love. Everyone who is lit up by the rays of love coming from the Śrīmatī Rādhārānī feels transcendental joy. If we hide in the dark, afraid of the sun and of love, then we can never receive that joy; instead we will always be sad, worried, and miserable. We can recognize those who are hiding from the prema–sūrya by their association. They will all be dark, dirty, and filled with demonic qualities. Followers of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, however, are always joyous and in the association of devotees who possess all good qualities. Without kṛṣṇa–śakti no one can preach or help the jīvas we cannot give anything to help them.
Rādhārānī is also renowned as the ocean of prema.
The ocean is filled with water. This water moves about in powerful waves, which can sweep one off his feet and into the sea’s depths. Someone who has been caught by the waves of svarūpa-śakti-svarūpinī Śrīmatī Rādhārānī will be unable to stay on the beach of anarthas.
We are led to this ocean by Guru and Vaiṣṇavas and by their mercy when we arrive there we will be caught up in one wave after the other rasa and this will completely force out all our anarthas and false ego.
Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra passes the night with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī in a kuñja of Vraja. In the morning, when the first rays of the sun peak into the kuñja, Kṛṣṇa opens His eyes. Kṛṣṇa opens his eyes and gazes at Śrīmatī Rādhikā who is covered with a cloth the color of the rising sun and says, “A sannyāsinī has come?” He asks the mañjarīs, “Who is this sannyāsinī wearing aruṇa colored cloth?” Aruṇa, or the color of the rising sun is the color of anurāga, or love. So Kṛṣṇa asks, “Has Rādhārānī taken sannyāsa to go and spread Her love with everyone?”
The mañjarīs chastise Kṛṣṇa, telling Him, “What are you saying, You do not know anything. Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is the reservoir of all rasa. One who takes shelter of Her and chants Her name receives this rasa from Rādhārānī and becomes very sweet and attractive.”
When we remember Rādhārānī’s names, qualities, or form we become freed from all material attachments. We will have attachment only for Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and we will become full of rasa. Rādhārānī will plant our seed-like hearts in the soil of Vraja-dhāma and we will receive rasa. Then we will become sannyāsīs, possessed of anurāga, and we will soon be able to share our love for Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa like a tree shares its fruits. Kṛṣṇa is eager to taste the fruits of our love.
This is a simple way to understand the meaning of rasa. How are trees able to fill their fruits with such sweet juice? Where does it all come from? Where does the sugarcane get all of it sweetness from? The answer is that it collects rasa from the earth and according to its own qualities it can give this rasa to others. According to our own mood and nature we will have our own particulate unique sweetness that can be an offering to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, but ultimately all this rasa comes from Rādhārānī, just like all the trees receive the rasa from the earth, water, and the light of the sun.
You should know that nothing in this world or the spiritual world can compare to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Also know that by your own efforts you cannot please Rādhārānī. No one can attain Her lotus feet by austerity or research; it is only possible by Her own mercy and the mercy of Her followers. By spiritual greed and favorable association we can progress toward serving Her and one day achieve that exalted position or connection.
Kṛṣṇa is not happy in Vaikuṇṭha. There are no problems or worries there. Unfortunately, there is also no mādhurya. Vaikuṇṭha is governed by opulence and etiquette—rules and regulations. If someone is following vaikuṇṭīya–bhakti and he breaks those rules and regulations he will be punished. But it is not like that in Vṛndāvana. In Vṛndāvana, Rādhārānī says, “Even if my followers do something wrong, no one has the right to punish them. I am their guardian.”
utphullendīvara-kanakayoḥ, kānti-coraṁ kiśoraṁ, jyotir dvandvaṁ kim api, paramānanda-kandaṁ cakāsti
Two splendors filled with the supreme good fortune of perfect bliss and love, who are enjoying ever-new amorous play in one forest grove after another, steal away the beauty of the gold and blue lotus.
In Vṛndāvana, Rādhārānī gives everyone a perfect chance to serve. Rādhārānī engages the grass, trees, plants, animals and all Vrajavāsīs in the bliss of service. All the residence of Vraja are humble because they are so filled with the rasa from Rādhārānī. They feel so fortunate to be present in Vraja and to have a chance to serve there, they carry Rādhārānī’s potency in their hearts because they are always remembering her. Yamunā distributes this rādhā–rasa with her current that runs through Vraja and sustains everyone.
Rādhārānī does not only engage others, but She Herself is engaged in service at every moment. Sometimes, Rādhārānī makes a peacock feather crown or makes garlands of guñjā berries.
None of the Vrajavāsīs are lazy or lethargic. Rāgānugā–sādhakas, are also always absorbed in serving as a sādhaka in their external form as well as internally through mānasik-sevā
sevā sādhaka rūpeṇa siddha rūpeṇa cātra hi
tad-bhava-lipsuna karya vraja-loka-anusaratah
One who has no desire to serve Kṛṣṇa cannot enter Vraja. There is nothing for them to do there. You cannot achieve perfection without sevā-vṛtti. Just chanting on your mālā and sitting in the corner all day will not gain you entrance into Vraja. Do not think that you will just go to Vraja and enjoy there like it is a heavenly realm meant for your enjoyment.
Vraja is the transcendental abode where everything is perfect because everyone is selflessly engaged in service. Also, while serving, the Vrajavāsīs are not silent. They are always singing, or chanting, or speaking together about Kṛṣṇa’s nāma, guṇa, rūpa and līlā. These are all manifesting in their hearts one after the other so they naturally express them to one another.
In this world people who have a close relationship are sad when they are apart and wish they could meet again. In the spiritual world, when one feels this pain of separation and is separated from one’s beloved, just by remembering each other the two meet.
Kṛṣṇa’s name and Himself are non-different, so when the gopīs are apart from Kṛṣṇa and are feeling the anguish of that separation they constantly think about Him, sing about His qualities, and chant His names. By this, they are actually meeting Him within their hearts where they are serving Him and engaged in loving pastimes with Him.
Why is there separation? Separation enhances meeting. When they are externally separated the gopīs feel, “I am not qualified to serve Kṛṣṇa. I am not beautiful and I do not serve him sweetly. That is why He has gone far away from me.”
The gopīs think like this when only separated from Him for a few minutes. They feel that if they were to ever forget Kṛṣṇa for a moment their life would be worthless. A sādhaka who has greed to enter Vraja becomes like this. Forgetting kṛṣṇa–nāma for but a few minutes they think, “Why have I stopped chanting? Oh, my life is useless. I am a sinful wretch. I have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of my heart, the beloved of my life. I am full of so many sins and offenses; therefore I do not remember him. Alas!”
As the veil of ignorance is removed from the conditioned soul, the real nature of the soul gradually awakens and pure love for Kṛṣṇa continually increases. The jīvas suffers when it is far away from Kṛṣṇa. It is the real cause of all suffering. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura sings in his songs explaining Śrī Śikṣtaṣṭakam: āra je saṁsāra mora nāhi lāge bhāla, kāṅhā jāi kṛṣṇa heri e cintā viśāla
He says, “I no longer have any taste for this worldly life, where is Kṛṣṇa the beloved of my life? I cannot tolerate being apart from Him.”
When the gopīs are separated from Kṛṣṇa they experience sāttvika-vikāra; their hair stands on end, their voice chokes up as they dance and sing, and tears fall from their eyes.
Vaisnava Thakur ki Jaya! (excerpted from the book Sri Sri Radha Rasa Suddha Nidhi by Srila Prabhodananda Sarasvati Thakura. Please order this wonderful book from: [email protected] )