First we shoould understand who is Srimati Radha Rani ?
The first time when Srimati Radha Rani is mentioned in the texts is when Jayadev wrote about her in Geet govind and also when Nimbaark sect (founded by Nimbaarkacharya) started preaching people about her. Before this era Srimati Radha Rani was not worshipped with Krishna in any temple. The village cow girl Radha who lived only for Krishna, whose life and soul everything was dedicated to Krishna has not been mentioned in these prime texts.
Radha- a synonym for divine love
We all have seen Srimati Radha Rani along with Shree Krishna in so many temples and know that they are the embodiment of love and the purest form of love. We know that they are divine lovers but many of us do not know who Srimati Radha Rani was and what happened to her after Krishna left Nandgaon. Did Krishna meet him after he left Nandgaon? How did she leave the earth? All these questions are very ambiguous and are not very clear to everyone.
Srimati Radha Rani is though mentioned in Brahma Vaivart Purana but very rarely and it is not mentioned what happened to her after Krishna left for Mathura. So why Srimati Radha Rani was not mentioned before Jayadev or Nimbaarkacharya? Or why she has no detailed description in Brahma Vaivart Purana? Answer is unknown and we probably won’t get to know these answers but let’s talk about what actually happened to Srimati Radha Rani and who was she actually?
Srimati Radha Rani and Sri Krishna together are supreme Godhead. They are one but they have manifested themselves eternally as two for performing pastimes of love. Its very difficult to grasp this concept. Not just difficult, humanly impossible with logic or argument. It is inconceivable how one soul can manifest as two eternally, and still be one.
Because they are supreme they share the supreme form of all rasas or mellows between them – Madhurya rasa. The mellow of conjugal love (not to be confused with mundane love, or physical pleasure ordinarily found everywhere).
That supreme rasa or mellow of madhurya manifests itself as two primary forms.
1. Svakiya (Nuptial bond like Husband and Wife)
2. Parakiya (Non nuptial bond like extra marital)
Again this Parakiya rasa is not to be confused with a mundane extra marital affair. In mundane terms it may represent lack of character in those who engage in it, because the motivation may be lust.
In the transcendental realm, the motivation is pure love. There is no carnal lust involved in Parakiya Rasa.
Parakiya rasa involves sacrifice. You are physically separated from your lover. You can only remember him or her and long for reunion. It involves suffering and pain in great amount. You are engaged in other duties. Maybe you have a wife or husband, children, duties towards parents, society, and family. You need to satisfy all of them, but still you are separated from your real interest, your real love. There is absolutely no comfort zone but you do not give it up. You continue to tolerate all suffering and maintain the flame of love, and protect it from dying out because you really love unconditionally. You don’t expect any rewards or pleasure out of it. This kind of love is truly divine because it continues to persist despite all adverse conditions. This kind of divine love truly wins and gives divine pleasure.
You always wish for the well being and happiness of your love, never thinking or caring about your own. There is no jealousy or lust. There is a selfless attitude of giving and caring for him or her, rather than trying to get attention for yourself. You continue loving, giving and caring even if there is no chance of meeting your lover again. People will never allow you to meet. They will never accept your relationship. They will never respect it. In fact they will insult you and call you name but still you don’t give up. There is only a glimmer of hope somewhere in distant future but you latch onto that hope and continue loving him or her in your heart. Nourished by this selflessness and unselfishness your love grows year after year. It gives you many amazing feelings and realizations in your heart. The separation, and the anticipation of meeting again makes it more mature. It is an infinite process. Ultimately it becomes so strong and powerful that no force in the universe can destroy it. Your love becomes immortal. The fruits of such divine love manifest themselves. These fruits can be enjoyed by the lovers for eternity. This is the reason why Srimati Radha Rani and Sri Krishna are still worshiped even today, after so many thousands of years and they will continue to be worshiped for eons in the future as well. Their love is timeless and immortal because it developed in separation from each other. It is selfless and pure. Whenever anyone talks about divine love, selfless love, sacrifice in love – the names of Srimati Radha Rani and Sri Krishna immediately come to our mind.
Devotees of Radha-Krishna can feel this love when they chant the names of Srimati Radha Rani and Shree Krishna, when they take darshan (vision) of the Archa Vigraha (Deities). They forget all the Maya (illusions) of this world and enter the trance of Hari Bhakti (devotion to God). They can taste the sweetness of their divine love. It is freely available to everyone without any discrimination. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and people belonging to any religion or nationality can chant “Hare Krishna” to feel this divine love, to feel bliss, peace and love of God. You can see so many devotees of Hare Krishna all over this planet.
This is the call of Krishna in Bhagavad Gita. A divine call of love for all of us to join Him in His pastimes of love.
Divine beings like Srimati Radha Rani and Sri Krishna get divine pleasure simply by remembering each other, and longing to meet someday. They do not need any carnal pleasures from each other. They reside in each others’ heart and mind. The physical reality is of no importance to them. They live forever in the realm of spirit, of love, which is beyond space and time. It is transcendental and beyond description by a human mind.
Therefore parakiya rasa is higher than svakiya rasa. It is the highest rasa of all.
In svakiya rasa you can easily meet your lover. You have a right to be with him or her. You are married. People respect your relationship. You can easily express your desires and fulfill them. After a few years there is no longing to meet. You become very familiar with each other. (And as they say, familiarity breeds contempt!).
In svakiya rasa there is a sense of “You are mine. I have a right over you.” Both the partners are duty bound by many rituals, rules and regulations. After some time the spontaneity and excitement dies. Then it becomes like a routine which “has” to be followed.
But in parakiya rasa there is no sense of duty. The lovers are bound by spontaneous love, not by mundane rules and regulations. They have their own rules and regulations based on love, not based on fear of society. There is a sense of “I am yours. You have a right over me”. There is a mystery and excitement of the unknown. There is no boring “routine” which has to be followed. There is always something exciting and adventurous which they love to and want to follow from the heart.
Scriptures describe that the Gopis of Vrindavan were not even sure what is their relationship with Sri Krishna? When will He return to Vrindavan? Will they ever see Him again? There was a lot of uncertainty in their relationship. But still they never stopped loving Him. It is said that their love for Him is so pure and strong that Lord Krishna never sets a foot outside Vrindavan – Vrindavanam parityajya padam ekam na gacchati. He lives with them eternally bound by their unconditional love. But mundane logic and a skeptical mind cannot understand this supreme mystery.
That is why Lord Krishna declares in the Bhagavad Gita –
“The form which you are seeing with your transcendental eyes cannot be understood simply by studying the Vedas, nor by undergoing serious penances, nor by charity, nor by worship. It is not by these means that one can see Me as I am.
My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding.” – Chapter 11, Text 53 and 54
Therefore the story of Sri Radhika and Sri Krishna in separation (where they remember each other as separated lovers) gives great ecstasy to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Who is the combined form of Srimati Radha Rani and Sri Krishna; an avatar of Godhead to bless humanity with divine love).
Lord Krishna is the supreme enjoyer and therefore his Yoga Maya potency arranges for situations where his desires can be fulfilled in the best possible way. So when Lord Krishna wanted to taste the pleasure of Love in Separation (Parakiya Rasa), His Yoga Maya induced Sridama (Krishna’s Sakha or friend) to curse Radharani that she will have to remain separated from her beloved Lord Krishna for 100 years when they descend to this earth. So Lord Krishna andSrimati Radha Rani enjoyed each others’ association for 11 years as long as Lord Krishna was in Gokul dham. But then he left Gokul for Mathura and thus both of them got the opportunity to feel separation from each other. It is described in the scriptures that Lord Krishna used to cry in his sleep and call out the names of Radharani, Yashoda mai, and his gopa and gopi . Even after he was crowned the supreme ruler of Dwarka. Even when he had 16,108 wives to love and serve Him. Because His heart was always longing for reuniting with his childhood love – Srimati Radha Rani . He could not forget them even for a moment. Neither could the Vrajavasis forget their Kanha for one moment. All of them used to longingly see the path from where Lord Krishna had left Gokul, expecting that He might come back any moment. Only that hope was keeping them alive.