Radha Ashtami is celebrated on the Shukla Ashtami of Bhadrapad month. Devi Radha is said to be the divine consort of Bhagwan Krishna. Hindu Dharma accords a special place to Radha Devi in the life of Bhagwan Shri Krishna. In popular belief, Radha depicts the finite who blends into the infinite represented by Bhagwan Krishna.
Birth story of Devi Radha
Radha is said to be the consciousness of Sri Krishna. She was born in a village near Gokul named Rawal to Kirti (also known as Kamalavati) and Vrishbhanu. Folklore says that Radha Devi appeared after Kirti prayed to Devi Yogmaya at noon during the Anuradha nakshatra.
As per other beliefs, Kirti prayed to Bhagwan Brahma in her previous birth so that she may be blessed with Devi Lakshmi as her daughter. Vrishbhanu is said to have found a girl child on a lotus in the pond whom he adopted and named Radha.
Another story related to her birth says that Kirti would pray for a child everyday while bathing in the River Yamuna. One day when she was performing puja, a lotus flower appeared in river Yamuna that was said to be shining brightly. As Kirti approached the flower, it bloomed and Devi Radha was found in the form of a child within it. The only temple depicting Devi Radha as a child has been constructed at this place.
It is also said that Radha Devi didn’t open her eyes till eleven months after her birth and it was only to see Bhagwan Krishna that she opened her eyes for the first time when Vrishbhanu gone to Gokul with Radha when Nand was celebrating Sri Krishna’s birth. Such was her love for Bhagwan.
Radha Krishna live on here
It is popularly believed that even today Radha and Krishna live on in the form of a tree in village Rawal. Opposite the Radharani Mandir in Rawal village is a garden where there are two trees side-by-side in the same pose as we’ve seen Bhagwan Krishna and Devi Radha. One of the trees is said to be fair and the other dark. It is said that they are Radha and Krishna who have taken the form of trees and continue to enjoy the sight of Yamuna river.
Radha ashtami celebrations
The main temple dedicated to Radha Devi is situated in Barsana. Lathmar holi of this temple is very popular. She is said to be Bhagwan Krishna’s shakti who emerged from his life-breath (prana).
Devotees generally observe a fast till noon when they offer prayers to Devi Radha before breaking their fasts. Radha Krishna Mandirs are decorated grandly and festive celebrations takes place in them. Radha Ashtami is celebrated with great enthusiasm as devotees sing bhajans extoling Radha and her divine love for Bhagwan Krishna.
त्वं माता कृष्ण प्राणाधिका देवी
कृष्ण प्रेममयी शक्ति शुभे,
पूजितासी मया सा च या श्री कृष्णेन पूजिता,
कृष्ण भक्ति प्रदे राधे नमस्ते मंगल प्रदे !
Meaning: Devi radha you are the soul of Bhagwan Krishna as also His power and glory. I request you Devi, to whom even Bhagwan Krishna prays, to humbly accept my prayers. Please bless me with devotion to Bhagwan Krishna.
The love, affection, devotion, and relationship of Radha Devi and Bhagwan Krishna is beyond human understanding and the bond that they shared can’t be explained. Radha Devi’s love for Bhagwan Krishna is celebrated to this day by devotees.
(Featured Image Source: Times Now)
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