Radha Krishna's beloved

Radha is the eternal lover and supreme devotee of Krishna. Born in Barsana, a village about 8 kilometers from Vrindavan (in Uttar Pradesh), to the cowherd Vrishabhanu and his wife, Kamalavati, she was the loveliest of cowherds and childhood friend of Krishna. Her love for Krishna was all consuming for she willingly ignored all the societal mores and obligations. Married to Ayana, a cowherd she continued her secret rendezvous with Krishna even after her marriage.

Though there were several gopis (cowherds) who were in love with Krishna, it was the love of Radha that binded Krishna. It was Radha who gave the greatest pleasure to Krishna. Whenever she punished Krishna for his straying ways, he as an obedient lover accepted Radha's commands willingly.

She was the dominant partner in the relationship whose spell on Krishna was irrevocable. The charm of Radha has been beautifully described by Rupa Gosvami as "The beauty of Srimati Radharani's eyes forcibly devours the beauty of newly grown blue lotus flowers, and the beauty of her face surpasses that of an entire forest of fully blossomed lotuses. Her bodily luster seems to place even gold in a painful situation.."

While Sivananda Saraswati Maharaj eloquently narrates, "The body of Radha is made up of sweet tenderness and loveliness for Sri Krishna . The substance of her subtle form as Mahabhava is Krishna Prem. Ardent passion for Sri Krishna is her dress. Her sweet radiant smile is the camphor. All good qualities are her garlands. All the Bhavas form the ornaments, her limbs. Lord Krishna's name, qualities form the ornaments of Her ears. Krishna's name and qualities flow out in a stream from Her tongue. She serves Krishna with the drink of Premarasa or Shyama-rasa."

The love game or Rasalila between the two was the embodiment of passion, devotion and spiritual. However Krishna had to leave for Mathura to set his parents free, who were imprisoned by his uncle Kansa. At the time of leaving, he told Radha that she would not see him again. Radha was left alone but with her love for Krishna. Later, he went to become the king of Dwarka and also played a key role in the epic battle of Mahabharata. After the battle a stray poisoned arrow of a hunter pierced the feet of Krishna in Dwarka catalyzing his accession to heaven. At the time of departure, he was joined by Radha and other Gopis.

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