DR SANJAY TEOTIA captures the divine essence of the world’s eternally romantic, yet divine union that spurs us on to touch the divinity within us
Radha’s love for Krishna is unique in every dimension and form of love – and without doubt, it is a type of love that remains forever. Some describe it as a form of platonic love, while others opine that it is a form of affectionate, selfless and enduring love. It is akin to devotion in the highest form. Radha is the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna and many look upon her as the devotional energy of Krishna. This divine couple’s love represents the purest form of love, which is an emotion that binds the whole universe together.
Radha is described as an incarnation of Shakti, and is Krishna’s most ardent devotee. Each is incomplete without the other. They are two bodies, but with one soul, and are called Radhakrishna. Hindusim looks upon Radhakrishna as the combination of both feminine as well as the masculine aspects of God. Their love is eternal and sublime and is symbolic of the divine union between the Jivatma and Paramatma (the individual self and the universal self.
Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu on Earth, derived his strength from Radha. Radha and Krishna’s love represents a relationship between a devotee and God. The two are highly revered deities in the Hindu Vaishnavite tradition. Their relationship does not suggest a romantic relationship or simply the combination of the feminine and the masculine, but symbolises the soul seeking Divine love. Radha is acknowledged as the supreme Goddess, and their relationship embodies love, passion and devotion. Radha’s passion for Krishna symbolises the soul’s intense longing and willingness for the ultimate unification with God.
Devotees believe that Krishna enchants the world, but Radha enchants even him. Therefore, she is the supreme goddess. Radha is not simply a cowherd maiden but is the origin of all the gopis or divine personalities of the rasa dance. In this complex symbolism, the devotee is the same, and yet different form the Lord and so even in the joy of Union, there is the potential pain of separation. The Bhagavad Geeta says devotion is the easiest method to develop bhaav and thereby get close to God.
Our desire to love and be loved comes from God. Radha’s body, mind and words are steeped in love for Krishna. She is indeed the manifest form of devotion unto Krishna. Radha is the blissful energy of God. She never intervenes when the Lord endows someone with riches because her incarnation is meant for spiritual emotion generated from devotion. Radha, is an epitome of selfless love, a love which knows no boundaries, is ageless and belongs to everyone. It is this devotion which pulls Krishna to play his beautiful flute and it is the same devotion which drives Radha to the Raas Leela, forgetting her own self. This love, this devotion, this karma, is pure as a prayer, a silent meditation that makes Radha divine, and it is this bhaav that turns a devotee unto God.
Radhakrishna has been a part of poetry, drama and folklore since time immemorial. And that is the reason why the world worships Radha to celebrate the bond of love and devotion, one of the paths to realise the truth mentioned in the Geeta.
Dr Sanjay Teotia is a senior consultant eye surgeon