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At present one can find many temples of Radha and Krishna. There is a grand temple of Radharani in Vrindavan. Radha’s name is associated with Krishna’s name. Now the question arises that when Radha was so important in Shri Krishna’s life then why did he not marry Radha? After all, who was Radha, how did she die? Were they there or not? Know the answers to all these questions…

 

1. Where was Radha born and married?

 

There is no mention of Radha in Mahabharata. It is not found even in Bhagwat Purana. Radha is mentioned in Padma Purana and Brahmavaivarta Purana. According to Padma Purana, Radha was the daughter of a gop named Vrishbhanu. According to Brahmavaivarta Purana, Radha was a friend of Krishna and was married to a person named Rapana, Rayana or Ayanghosha.

Some scholars believe that Radhaji was born in Rawal village located near Yamuna and later his father settled in Barsana. But most believe that he was born in Barsana. The world famous temple of Radharani is situated on the hill of Barsana village. In Barsana, Radha is called ‘Ladli’.

According to Prakriti Khand Chapter 49 Verse 35, 36, 37, 40, 47 of Brahmavaivarta Purana, Radha was the maternal aunt of Shri Krishna, because she was married to Rayana, brother of Krishna’s mother Yashoda. According to verses 25, 26 in the 5th chapter of Brahmavaivarta Purana Brahmakhand, Radha has been proved to be the daughter of Krishna.

Radha’s husband Rayana was an integral part of Shri Krishna’s Gop in Goloka. Hence, Radha became the daughter-in-law of Shri Krishna from the relationship of Goloka. It is believed that Rayana lived in Gokul. This means that Radha also has a relation with Shri Krishna in her previous life. She is also considered to be a form of Lakshmi.

 

2. Was Rukmani the only Radha or was there no woman named Radha?

 

Some scholars believe that there was no woman named Radha. Rukmani was Radha. Both Radha and Rukmani were older than Krishna. Shri Krishna was married to Rukmani, hence understand that he was married to Radha only. This means that Radha has no separate existence.

According to the Puranas, Goddess Rukmani was born on Ashtami Tithi in Krishna Paksha and Shri Krishna was also born in Krishna Paksha on Ashtami Tithi and Goddess Radha was also incarnated on Ashtami Tithi. One difference between the birth of Radhaji and the birth of Goddess Rukmani is that Goddess Rukmani was born in Krishna Paksha and Radhaji was born in Shukla Paksha. Radhaji had to suffer separation due to the curse of Naradji and Krishnaji got married to Goddess Rukmani. Although there are two Radha and Rukmani, both are part of Goddess Lakshmi.

It is believed that the poets of the medieval or Bhakti period gave an exaggerated description of the incident of Radha-Krishna in Vrindavan. The devotion of Radha-Krishna was started by Nimbarka sect, Vallabha sect, Radhavallabh sect, Sakhibhav sect etc. This means that along with the devotion of Krishna, the devotion of Radha started in the medieval period. Before that it was not in vogue. Acharya Nimbarkaji of the South had first introduced the couple worship of Radha-Krishna. It is also said that Jaydev had mentioned Radha for the first time and since then Radha’s name has been associated with Shri Krishna. Before this there was no mention of the name Radha.

 

3. Meeting and marriage of Radha-Krishna at a symbolic place

 

According to Brahmavaivarta Purana Prakriti Khand Chapter 48 and a story from Garga Samhita written by Garg Rishi, the patriarch of the Yaduvanshis, Krishna and Radha were married in their childhood. It is said that once Nandababa went out to the market with Shri Krishna when he saw a beautiful and supernatural girl. That girl was none other than Radha.

Krishna and Radha saw each other for the first time there. Both were mesmerized after seeing each other. The place where Radha and Krishna met for the first time is called Sanket Tirtha, probably between Nandgaon and Barsana. There is a temple at this place today. This is called signal space. It is believed that both of them had decided in their previous lives that they would meet at this place. A fair is held here every year from Radha’s birthday i.e. Radhashtami to Anant Chaturdashi.

According to Garga Samhita, Brahma himself had organized the Gandharva marriage of Radha and Krishna in a forest. Shri Krishna’s father often took him to the nearby Bhandir village. There he used to meet Radha. Once upon a time, when he went to Bhandir village with his father, suddenly a bright light flashed and the weather started deteriorating, within a short time there was complete darkness all around.

A transcendent personality was experienced in this darkness. She was none other than Radharani. Leaving his child form, Shri Krishna assumed the form of a teenager and in the same forest, Brahmaji got the Gandharva marriage of Radha and Krishna done in the presence of Vishakha and Lalita. After the marriage, the atmosphere became normal and Radha, Brahma, Vishakha and Lalita disappeared.

In fact this real incident has been embellished. Radha was indeed older than Krishna and due to social pressures it was not possible to marry a girl much older in age. But if there was love between the two then surely the Gandharva marriage must have taken place secretly and this fact was kept hidden?

 

4. Krishna did not keep his promise

 

According to another story, Radha and Krishna started loving each other. At that time Krishna was 8 years old and Radha was 12 years old. When the people of Radha’s house came to know about this, they imprisoned her in the house itself. There were many reasons for doing this. One reason was that Radha was engaged.

When Krishna came to know about this, he freed him from captivity and brought him to Mother Yashoda. Yashoda Maa was also stunned to see this. Then he explained a lot to Krishna that Lalla, it is not right to do this. I would get you married to someone else, but Krishna did not agree.

Later Yashoda Maiya and Nandbaba took him to Rishi Garg. Then Garga Rishi explained to Kanha that he was born for some great purpose and hence he cannot get bound by any attachment. Leave this useless stubbornness. Kanha became sad after hearing this and at that time his call came for Mathura. Then he left Vrindavan and went to Mathura forever. While leaving, Krishna had promised Radha that he would return, but Krishna never returned to Radha and this pain always remained in the minds of Radha and Krishna.

 

5. There are signs of love in the streets of Vrindavan

 

Radha’s village was Barsana. Kanha first started living in Gokul, then Nandgaon and later in Vrindavan. Radha’s family members had also come to live in Vrindavan. It was just there that the love of Radha and Krishna, born out of a symbolic pilgrimage, blossomed. It is said that childhood love cannot be forgotten.

At that time, on the day of Holi, there was so much excitement in Vrindavan that people from both villages Barsana and Nandgaon used to gather in Vrindavan. Nandgaon group used to come from Barsana and also group used to go from Nandgaon. Two hills meet near Barsana village. Their valley is very little wide. It is believed that Gopis used to go through this route to sell curd and butter. It was here that sometimes Krishna used to snatch or break his butter pot.

There is a description of Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavan in Vishnu Purana. It is believed that it was here that Shri Krishna and Radha used to take a couple bath at a ghat. It was here that Shri Krishna and the Gopis used to play the game of hide and seek. It was here that Shri Krishna and all his friends used to organize Rasleela i.e. dance festivals on Teej festivals. Because of Krishna’s mischief he is called Bankebihari. Here, the story of Lord Krishna is associated with each ghat of Yamuna Ghat.

The poets of the Bhakti period have written many poems about the short time that Krishna spent in Nandgaon and Vrindavan. When Krishna left Vrindavan and went to Mathura to kill Kansa, his life changed completely. After killing Kansa, turmoil started in his life.

 

6. Due to the curse of Narada, Radha and Krishna had to suffer separation.

 

According to Balkand of Ramcharit Manas, once Vishnuji had cheated Naradji. Instead of giving him his own form, he was given the form of a monkey. Due to this, he became a laughing stock in Lakshmiji’s swayamvar and his desire to marry Lakshmiji remained suppressed in his mind.

When Naradji came to know about this deceit, he got angry and reached Vaikuntha and said many good and bad things to God and cursed him that ‘he will have to suffer the separation from his wife’. Due to this curse of Naradji, Lord Ramchandraji had to bear the separation of Sita in Ramavatar and Goddess Radha in Krishnaavatar.

 

7. Reunion of Radha and Krishna

 

When Krishna left Vrindavan and went to Mathura, it became more rare for Radha to see and meet him. It is said that the reunion of both Radha and Krishna is said to be in Kurukshetra, where on the occasion of solar eclipse, Radha came with Krishna from Dwarka and Nanda from Vrindavan.

Radha had gone with Nand just to see and meet Krishna. It is mentioned in the Puranas. It is said that when Narayana took birth as Shri Krishna in Dwapara Yuga, Mother Lakshmi took birth as Radharani so that he could remain with her even in the mortal world, but this could not happen.

 

8. Touching story of the love of Radha and Krishna

 

Due to the meeting between Radha and Krishna, first at Sanket Sthal and then later at Vrindavan, love started taking birth. Childhood love is very deep and selfless. At that time Shri Krishna was 8 years old and Radha was 12 years old. It is said that at that time Shri Krishna loved only two things the most – flute and Radha. Like Radha, she used to die after listening to the tune of Krishna’s flute. There was an effort to dig up the memories of many births and she was drawn towards Shri Krishna.

Radha separated from Lord Shri Krishna for the first time when Shri Krishna was leaving Vrindavan and going to Mathura with Balram on the invitation of Kansa. Even he did not know then that his life was about to change. This love life is now about to go towards war. The entire Vrindavan cried at that time. For Radha it seemed as if everything was coming to an end. Radha’s tears had dried and frozen. At that time, Shri Krishna could only say to Radha that ‘I will return.’

But Shri Krishna never returned and he got embroiled in a long struggle in Mathura. Later he married Rukmani and settled a separate life in Dwarka. When Krishna left Vrindavan, Radha’s life took a different turn. Radha got married, but Radha continued to live and die in separation from Shri Krishna. Radha lived her married life honestly and when she grew old, she had a hope to see Shri Krishna once before she died.

After being freed from all duties, Radha went to meet her beloved Krishna for the last time. When she reached Dwarka, she saw Krishna’s palace and his 8 wives, but she did not feel sad. When Krishna saw Radha he was very happy. It is said that both of them kept talking to each other for a long time in sign language. Then on Radha’s request, Krishna appointed her to the post of a Devika in the palace.

It is said that Radha used to look after the work related to the palace there and whenever she got a chance, she used to have darshan of Krishna. One day, feeling sad, Radha decided to go away from the palace. She thought that she would go far away and establish a deep intimate relationship with Shri Krishna again. However, Shri Krishna was an inner being and he knew what was in Radha’s mind.

It is said that Radha started living in a forest village. Gradually time passed and Radha became completely alone and weak. At that time he started remembering Lord Krishna. Lord Shri Krishna appeared before him at the last moment. Lord Shri Krishna asked Radha to ask for something from him, but Radha refused. On Krishna’s request again, Radha said that she wanted to see and hear him playing the flute for the last time. Shri Krishna took the flute and started playing it in a very melodious tune.

Shri Krishna played the flute day and night. One day, while listening to the tune of the flute, Radha abandoned her body. It is said that Shri Krishna could not bear the death of his beloved and he broke the flute and threw it in the bush. Since then Shri Krishna never played the flute in his life!

 

Final Word

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