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Kartik Inspirations 2018 - Day 29

Radha’s Journey

By Sacinandana Swami

It is my great pleasure to share something with you today that is characteristic for Vrindavan: talk about Radha and Krishna. The topic is the journey of Radharani to meet Her beloved Krishna. It is very nectarean and dear to the vaisnava’s heart because in some ways it represents our own journey of eagerness to Krishna.

Lotus-eyed Radha walks into the forest like the personified Goddess of spring, making the trees and creepers bloom with flowers. Everywhere She looks She sees only Krishna. The beautiful sesame flowers remind Her of Krishna’s tilak, the peacocks strutting about remind Her of the peacock feathers adorning Krishna’s head. The blackish-blue tamal-trees left and right of the path remind Her of Krishna and there is another peacock in one of the tree’s upper branches. She thinks: ‘Krishna is also blackish-blue and He wears a peacock feather on top of His head.’

Then She sees Syama’s footprints on the ground. “Oh, Visakha,” Radharani says, “the forest is brilliantly ornamented with Krishna’s footprints, marked with a flag, the goad, the lotus and the thunderbolt. My heart is overflowing with ecstatic delight upon beholding the forest.”

As Srimati Radharani moves further into forest, She arrives at the meeting place at Radha-kund and waits there for Krishna. Then something happens which Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur describes is the first realisation of Krishna a sadhaka [practitioner of bhakti-yoga] has: the forest filled with Murari’s enticing bodily fragrance which rivals the scent of a blue lotus mixed with musk. Upon beholding the first sign of Krishna, Srimati Radharani says: “Oh, brother wind. You must have performed great austerities at some holy place of pilgrimage. As the result of this you are now continually happily touching the feet of Lord Gokulacandra with your entire wind-body.”

This is a description of the journey of love, a journey propelled by eagerness. If we want to come to Lord Krishna, eagerness, lobha, an intense emotion of ‘Krishna, I want only You’ is absolutely necessary. Your chanting without eagerness, your reading without eagerness to know more about Krishna, your waving of different ritual paraphernalia as you are offering an aratik without the eagerness of ‘My Lord, this is for You, please accept it’ is without life, empty, and will at one stage be given up.

Divine longing is something you get automatically here in Vrindavan where everyone wants to serve Krishna: the dust, the trees, the birds, the different devotees – this is the land of service. Touch it with an open heart, even from afar in meditation, and the divine longing that turns everything into a loving journey to Krishna will be with you.

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