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Radhasthami -Sep 15th

09/15/2010

Today is the pious day of Radhasthami  which is the birth day of Sri Radha devi . The love of Sri Krishna and Radha devi is eternal and out of this world. Many a wordly idiot passes comments on the divine pastimes of the lord mistaking them to be similar to the meaning based love present in today’s world. There is a very deep mystical meaning behind Lord Krishna and his pastimes with the Gopikas .The very same misguided people justify their affairs comparing themselves to Lord Krishna but will immediately disapper when you ask them to also compare themselves in the matter of miracles performed by the Lord.

Anywaz leaving aside the wordly nonsense today is a day to remember the divine love of Sri Radha and fill one’s heart with love for Lord Krishna. One of the favourite names of the Lord is Gopala and many have intrepreted this superficially as one who loves cows and protector of cows. It is definetly true that the Lord loves cows and it is also true he did take incarnation in Vrindavana or Goloka. However Sanskrit is a language which has various meanings at various levels.

Go –> Can be also translated as light.

Gopala—-> Keeper of the light or guardian of the light or one who leads us to the true light.

Gopika —-> Translated similarly is one who has  adorned herself with light or has become one with light.

Below is an mystical meaning of the incident where Krishna steals the clothes of the Gopikas . Please read through this to understand the beautiful meaning behind this.

(The below  explanation is taken  from Shri PVR Narasimha ji’s writings on spiritual matters )

The love of gopis for Krishna is not physical. Gopis were re-incarnations of blessed beings from higher lokas (realms of consciousness) and were instinctively drawn to Krishna as they were aware that Krishna was the perfected being. They had perfect surrender to the perfected being and aspired for his company always.

The story of vastraapaharana (Krishna stealing the clothes of gopis from the riverbank while they were bathing in the river and forcing them to come out of the river without clothes) explains complete surrender and has an esoteric meaning. The sensual overtones some may perceive in the story are an unfortunate side effect of the overly sensualized society we live in.

* * *

Let me talk about the esoteric meaning.

Gopi literally means the shakti that has control over the cows. Cows and horses in RigVeda symbolize the jnanendriyas and karmendriyas respectively. After all, this is the meaning in “Sri Sooktam” also, where we encounter “ashvadaayI ca godaayI”, though that line has been superficially interpreted by scholars as “one who gives cows and horses”. Extolling Sri Maha Lakshmi as the giver of two specific kinds of cattle would be too frivolous for RigVeda, which represents the timeless and uncreated absolute knowledge rather than relative knowledge bound by space and time. The true meaning is that our jnanendriyas and karmendriyas come into being and operate through the shakti of the Mother. Anyway, let us go back to gopis.

* * *

Within us, gopis represent the control over the senses. Control of various kinds over the senses will restrict the sense activity and safeguard one’s purity. But, merely by controlling or restricting the senses, one cannot reach god or merge in god. The goal of the shaktis that represent control over senses is to merge in the Infinite. That is what the desire of gopis to be with Krishna represents.

Clothes represent conditioning with gunas. Even as one controls/restricts sense activity, there may be pride about it and several other types of conditioning that colors the control exerted over sense activity. That is what the clothes of gopis represent! Gopis going to Krishna without clothes represents pride and other conditioning being withdrawn from one’s control over senses, one’s self-control becoming pure and devoid of ANY conditioning and then merging in the Supreme.

Similarly the Love of Radha and Krishna is very mystical in nature.

A very nice explanation by Swami Chinmaynanda of the Chinmaya Mission

http://www.chinmayauk.org/Articles/Articles%20By%20Mission%20Teachers/Swami%20C/7.htm

Every aspect of Krishna and His deeds is pregnant with deep mystical symbolism, indicating the highest Truth. Consciousness is the pure Self, the sentient Life Principle which enlivens one’s material equipment to function in their respective realms. Consciousness is the very Subject of all experiences and therefore cannot be objectively experienced.

In Sanskrit, the word Krishna means “dark”, indicating the Supreme Consciousness. Pure Consciousness is said to be “dark”, not as opposed to “light” but in the sense that it is unseen by or unknown to one as long as one remains rooted in earthly experiences, limited to the realms of perceptions, emotions, and thoughts gained through the physical body, the mind, and the intellect.

The incarnation of Krishna represents the descent of the infinite Brahman to the material world. The ever smiling Lotus – eyed Krishna, with a garland of flowers around His neck, is described as being blue in colour and wearing yellow clothes. Blue is the colour of the infinite and whatever is immeasurable can appear to the mortal eye only as blue, like the sky and the ocean. Yellow represents the earth. Anything buried in the earth gathers a yellow hue; and fire earth (mud silica) emits a yellow hue. Hence, the finite blue form of Krishna clothed in yellow appropriately suggests the pure infinite Consciousness. The one infinite Reality has become the world of endless forms. Therefore, every form in the universe, in a sense, is but a representation of a primeval Truth.

The infinite, all pervading Truth, donning the finite form of a human being, gives the impression that Truth is fettered and limited. This idea of the limitless Truth seeming to be limited, is well brought out by the fact that Krishna is said to have been born in prison. Kamsa, Krishna’s maternal uncle and Chanura his minister, imprisoned his father and usurped the throne of Mathura. Their tyrannical rule caused confusion and chaos everywhere. Krishna destroyed the tyrants and restored peace and order in the land. Similarly, our bosom is usurped by two evil forces, namely, the ego and the egocentric desires, which cause agitations, worries, and anxieties within. When these two forces are conquered by one’s higher nature, the original glory and splendour of the Self is restored.

Krishna, the beloved boy of Brindavan, is pictured amid the dancing gopis. Much criticism has been levelled against Krishna’s association with milkmaids. Little do the critics realize that the Lord is ever an unconcerned and unaffected witness of the milkmaids’ dance, even though He may be in their midst. Krishna is like the Consciousness within, which vitalizes one’s thoughts (gopis) but remains unperturbed and unaffected by them. The Self is ever immaculate, uncontaminated by the thoughts in one’s bosom. Thus, if the lives of such godmen are read without understanding their mystical symbolism one comes to wrong and, at times, absurd conclusions.

The gopis performed their obligatory duties throughout the day in constant remembrance of Krishna. Their limbs were ceaselessly engaged in activity while their minds were very attuned to the Lord. Thus, in essence, karma yoga is the dedication of one’s actions to a higher altar while working without ego and egocentric desires. Such dedicated activities exhaust one’s existing vasanas (inherent tendencies) and also prevent the formation of any new vasanas. Hence, Krishna is described as a thief stealing the butter which the gopis had carefully stored in their homes.

The most beautiful and most beloved of all gopis was Radha. The love of Radha and Krishna is symbolic of the eternal love affair between the devoted mortal and the Divine. In relation to God, it is said that we are all women. Radha’s yearning for union with her beloved Krishna is the soul’s longing for spiritual awakening — to be united with the one Source of Peace and Bliss from which it has become separated. This long forgotten pain of separation is the root cause of all suffering. To rediscover our Oneness is the source of all happiness and fulfillment. In this sense, Krishna is the fulfillment of all desires.

Every human being is constantly seeking a share of peace and happiness, and since one does not know the real source of these, one seeks them in the midst of sense objects. But when, in devotion, one comes to turn one’s entire attention towards the Higher and the Nobler, one experiences the Immortal, the Infinite, as intimately as one experienced the world and its changes earlier. Bhagavan Himself says in the Bhagavatam, “The mind that constantly contemplates upon the sense objects, irresistibly comes to revel in their finite joys, and the mind that learns to constantly remember Me comes to dissolve into Me.” Radha represents this state of devotion and the consequent merging with the Lord.

Being simply devoted to the Lord is a sure shot path to salvation rather than fool one’s ego  with complicated spiritual theories.I hope you spend a few minutes today remembering the divine play of the Lord.

Sri Radha devi-Bless our hearts that we may imbibe the same love for Krishna

The Bewitching images of Radha Krishna

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