Goddess Radha: The true love of Krishna
No love story is as famous as the Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna love. Radha was Lord Krishna’s first and purest love. Given the stature of a Goddess in the Hindu religion, Radha is also known as the avatar of Goddess Shakti. Together, Radha and Krishna is a sacred couple representing the absolute truth. She is also the important gopika in the dance of raas. Krishna and Radha did the raas together. She was the devoted lover, then a devotee of Lord Krishna.
Other names of Goddess Radha
Radha was also known as Radhe, Radhika, Radharani, and so on.
Radha was a cow herding girl, who lived in Vrindavan, where Krishna too grew up. They were childhood friends who grew up to become lovers. Radha was the daughter of Vrishabhanu. Krishna and Radha spent their time together, playing, singing, fighting, dancing and making love. When Krishna left Vrindavan as duties beckoned, Radha stayed back, always thinking of Krishna and waiting to meet him.
Radha is always referred to as shrimati, which denotes that she was very well married. Radha was older than Krishna, but that never came in between the love that they shared for each other. Her birthday is still celebrated in Mathura as Radha Astami.
Some stories said that Lord Brahma was evidence to Krishna and Radha’s secret marriage in the woods. It is known as the Gandharva Vivah.
Another version says that Radha refused to marry Krishna publicly and go with him because she thought that a cowgirl like her would not fit in a palace as Krishna had by then become a king.
It is said that among all the women that he met, Lord Krishna loved Radha the most. Radha is considered the superior, even above Rukmini. Once, Krishna brought all his wives to meet Radha. They all agreed that she was the most beautiful woman in the universe.
Radha had two types of relationships with Lord Krishna, svakiya-rasa, which means a married relationship and parakiya–rasa which is the eternal mental “love” even when they were not together. The parakiya-rasa is the highest form of love. Here Radha and Krishna could share thoughts even when they were distant from each other. Radha’s relationship with Krishna was highly mysterious natured, hence their story is not written down in details anywhere.
Many temples are dedicated to Maa Radha in Vrindavan and Barsana in Mathura of Northern India. The important one is the Radhavallabh Temple. In Delhi, Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Mandir is a famous Radha Krishna Temple.
All the ISKON temples have the deity of Radha.
Not only in India, but you can also find a Radha temple in the US. The Shree Raseshwari Radha Rani Temple in Radha Madhav Dham, in Texas, USA, is the largest Hindu Temple complexes in North America.
Radha is considered a very sacred goddess, and it is believed that people, who chant Radha’s name and remember her will always get the blessings of Lord Krishna. Krishna’s name seems incomplete without Radha next to it. Such is the power of Goddess Radha.