View Full Version : Radha's role in Krishna's glory
12 May 2010, 10:45 PM
I found out that Radha is not an avatar of laxsmi nor according to some sources his consort.... sooo what exactly is her role in all this? Anyone know from a Nimbark prospective?
13 May 2010, 08:44 AM
well , radha was popularised by nimbarka and gaudiya sampradayas , but i think its the gaudiyas who are to be given the ultimate credit . when chaitanya maharpabhu 'restored' or 'rediscovered' the lost tirtha of vrindavana the gaudiyas brought their radha-krishna worship cult to vrindavan from bengal . and once it was established in vrindavan it took no time to spread to the whole of north india .
some subsects of gaudiya vaishnavism view radha , lakshmi and durga(yogamaya or vishnumaya) as different . but actually the line of difference between them narrow .
jayadeva goswamis geetagovinda makes the first mention of srimati radharani . here krishna adrresses radha as chandi !!! chandi as you might know is the name of a ugra form of devi ! in the pranaam mantra of radha she is being reffered to as vishnumaya--a name used to describe durga . then again lakshmi is but a form of shakti . and krishna is an avatar of vishnu . so it automatically follows that radha is the avatar of lakshmi . again lakshmi was cursed to be born as tulsi . later tulsi was cursed to be reborn as the plant !
so there is hardly any differences between all of them . all of them are linked together . ofcourse gaudiyas have their own texts which clearly seperates them from each other . but outside of gaudiya philosophy the distinction often becomes blurred .
13 May 2010, 09:16 AM
Thanks Sambya, what a tangled web of avatars we have, especially once you add in the factor that Rukmini is also viewd as all these things as well.
So you see my confusion, if Rukmini is wife and consort to Krishna, and the avatar of Laksmi, who is Radha, a contemporary of Rukmini, how can they both be an avatar living at the same time. Then you add the fact that some traditions say Radha IS wife and consort to Krishna, and then other say she is not. HOW DO YOU KEEP THIS STRAIGHT?
About the introduction of Radha from my reading it was the Nimbarka that brought this forward and the worship of Radha was one of the two virtues that Chitanaya took from Nimbarka.
13 May 2010, 09:57 AM
well , when an avatar comes he brings his associates with him for leela , who are gods , goddesses , demigods and sometimes his own expansions . like krishna balaram . balaram was the expansion of krishna as ananta sesha . they are actually non-different . infact in jayadevas original dasavatar stotra balaram is the one who is shown as the 8th incarnation , not krishna . so it is not impossible for lord to be present in two bodies simultaneously . but at such times each of the two bodies personify a particular aspect of the divinity .
radha is actually not the wife of krishna . the whole tatwa of parakiya rasa rests on radha not being krishn's own wife . but gaudiya siddhanta does have a story which says that radha actually married krishna by 'accident' by garlanding him . i dont know its source . and radha's original husband was impotent so the marraige was unconsummated in any case . radha and krishna also married through gandharva-vivaha(one among the forms of marraige described in manu samhita) on jhulan poornima or the full moon night of swing festival .
my study says that nimbarka and gaudiyas both started the wroship of radha independently . but it was probably the gaudiyas who played a crucial role in popularising her . actually the religion that runs strong in the east is shaktism -- wroshipping the divine as female--the mother goddess . this veiw is so strong in east that it isnt suprising that radha was eventually elevated to the highest position by gaudiyas(an eastern bengali sect) . the first mention of radha is in in geeta govindam which was composed about 1000 years ago in bengal(although some say in orissa , but still in the east) . this clearly indicates the original place of radha cult .
later chaitanya mahaprabhu went out on pilgrimage and located the place of krishna's divine plays , which at that time was deep forest . then he instructed his choice discples is re-identifying the sacred spots and restoring the lost tirtha . the main temples of vrindavan( govindaji , gopinath , madanmohan , radharaman , shyamsaundar , etc ) , with the exception of banke vihari , was made under the gaudiyas . most of the the leela spots were also identified by them . once radha cult reached vrindvaan it quickly grew in popularity and spread amongst north indians . influence of gaudiyas on vrindvan is significantly more than that of nibarka sampradya , which can still be seen in present vrindvan .
nothing can be said with absolute certainity , but all evidences indicate that the gaudiyas played a more important role in spreading radha than nimbarka . although both had developed their philosphy independently .
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