Published On: Tue, Aug 29th, 2017

The Meaning of Radhe

[This year, 2017, Sri Radhastami is observed on August 29 (in America). As an invocation to the 10th annual Holland Harikatha festival, Srila Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja requested the devotees to sing Srila Rupa Gosvami’s prayer, “Radhe, Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite.” He then gave an elaborate explanation, the transcription of which is below. You will be happy to experience that this lecture, although given in 2005 (July 8, in Holland), is ever-new and appropriate:]

Radhe, jaya jaya madhava-dayite

gokula-taruni mandala-mahite

damodara-rati vardhana vese!



lalita-sakhi! guna ramita-visakhe!

karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite!


What is the meaning of Radhe? “Aradyate iti. Lord Sri Krsna Himself worships Srimati Radhika, and Radhika worships Him. When She manifest from Krsna’s left side in the arena of rasa-lila, She at once ran to Him to worship Him and He ran towards Her. “Radhe, Jaya Jaya – O Radhe, all glories unto You, all glories unto You.”

“Madhava dayite – You are very near and dear to Lord Madhava.”

yasyah kadapi vasanancala-khelanottha-

dhanyati-dhanya-pavanena krtartha-mani

yogindra-durgama-gatir madhusudano ‘pi

tasya namo ‘stu vrsabhanu-bhuvo dise ‘pi

(Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verse 2)

[“Obeisances to the direction that faces Sri Vrsabhanu’s daughter, Srimati Radhika. When the breeze coming from that direction playfully moves the edge of Her garment, Lord Krsna, who cannot be attained by even the kings of the yogis, thinks that His life has now become a great success.”]

Once, Sri Krsna did something that offended Srimati Radhika, and She entered a sulky mood. She was sitting on one side of Radha-kunda, and Krsna was on the other side. The breeze coming from Radha’s side touched the beautiful fragrance of Radha-kunda and also the veil of Radhika – not Radhika, but the veil which held her fragrance. That breeze then touched Krsna and He exclaimed, “My life is successful! My life is successful!”

So many sages and saintly kings are able to control their minds, and their minds are thus purified. Yet, even in their meditation they cannot touch the lotus feet of Sri Krsna. On the other hand, by any connection with Radhika, by even the fragrance of Her veil, that same Krsna was overwhelmed. Radhika is so glorious.

venum karan nipatitam skhalitam sikhandam

bhrastam ca pita-vasanam vraja-raja-sunoh

yasyah kataksa-sara-ghata-vimurcchitasya

tam radhikam paricarami kada rasena

(Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verse 39, by Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati)

[“When will I delight in the service of Srimati Radharani? Struck by the arrow of Her side-long glance Krsna faints, His flute falls from His hands, the peacock feathers on His head become loosened, and His yellow scarf slips from His neck.”]

Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati writes: “When will I have a chance to serve Srimati Radhika with rasa – manjari-rasa – which is so high class, even more so than the transcendental stages of sneha, maan, raga, anuraga, and still more than that.”




radha-preyan vidhur jayati

(Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.1)

[“Let Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, be glorified! By virtue of His expanding attractive features, He subjugated the gopis named Taraka and Pali and absorbed the minds of Syama and Lalita. He is the most attractive lover of Srimati Radharani and is the reservoir of pleasure for devotees in all transcendental mellows.”]

When Sri Krsna plays His flute, all the gopis are controlled. He is an ocean of rasa. By His beauty and flute playing He controls Taraka, Pali, Candravali; and others, such as Bhadra and Syamala and Lalita are also controlled by Him. He also controls all the cows with His flute. Yet, when He saw Srimati Radhika, that flute fell from His hands and His peacock feather fell down to Her lotus feet.

“Brastam ca pita vasanam – He did not know that His yellow shawl was also falling down. He became totally mad and at once fainted.” Srimati Radhika is so glorious, and therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami sings, “Radhe, Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite.”

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has quoted Sri Krsna in Srimad-Bhagavatam:

na paraye ’ham niravadya-samyujam

sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah

ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah

samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)

[“I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.”]

Srila Jayadeva Gosvami has also quoted Krsna in Gita-govinda:

smaragarala kandanam

mama sirasi mandanam

dehi pada pallavam udbharam

Sri Krsna is begging Srimati Radhika, “O Devi, I am taking My ears in My hand.*[See endnote 1] I have done something wrong. I promise that in the future I will never again commit any offense to You. Be pleased with Me. I am offering My flute and My peacock feather at Your feet. I cannot tolerate Your separation for even a moment. I will die without You. So please excuse My faults.  Please excuse me.”

Sri Jayadeva Gosvami could not write this,*[See endnote 2] but our Gosvamis, like Srila Rupa Gosvami, who is Sri Rupa-manjari, could do so. How glorious is Radha. “Jaya jaya madhava dayite – Sri Krsna is controlled by Srimati Radhika.”

“Gokula taruni mandala mahite – So many gopis live in Gokula. They are extremely beautiful, and Candravali is especially beautiful, but not like Radhika. Taruni mandala mahite – in this world no one is as near and dear to Krsna as Radhika.”

“Damodara rati vardhana-vese – Damodara is controlled by His mother, but in this connection that very Damodara is now controlled by Radhika. Vardana vese – to increase Sri Krsna’s love and affection, She appears in such beautiful ways.”

“Hari-niskuta vrndavipinese” – Hari means Krsna, who takes the heart of everyone, especially the gopis. His garden is Vrndavana, where Yamuna is flowing, peacocks are dancing, and cuckoos are singing. Everywhere there are beli, cameli and kadamba flowers. All stimuli reside there. There, Krsna is not Vrndavanesvara (the Lord and controller of Vrndavana). Because Vrnda has given Vrndavana to Srimati Radhika, She is Vrndavanesvari. Especially, Sri Krsna is not Rasesvara (the Lord and controller of rasa-lila); rather, Radhika is Rasesvari. Lord Krsna is one of the participants, but Radhika is all-in-all.

“Jaya jaya – O Devi, be glorious, be glorious. Sprinkle a particle of Your mercy upon me.”


lalita-sakhi! guna ramita-visakhe! (verse 3)

“You are like the moon, who has arisen from the ocean of Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s love. [According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, the moon was born from the churning of the ocean.]

“Lalita sakhi guna-ramita-visakhe – You are the sakhi of Lalita.” In what way?

dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam

ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya

radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim

devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

(Sri Lalitastakam, verse 4)

[“I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Srimati Radhika in this way: “O Kalankini (unchaste one)! Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don’t display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary.”]

Srimati Lalita-devi is so near and dear to Srimati Radhika that sometimes she controls Radhika. “Dhurte vrajendra – Lalita says, ‘Vrajendra-nandana (Sri Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja) is a high class of cheater. He is black inside and outside. He is black everywhere; so don’t be submissive towards Him. Always act in such way as to control Him. Don’t give up your maan (transcendental anger).’” Radhika wants to give up Her maan, but Lalita tells Her not to do so. “Radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim” – Lalita is guru of Radhika, and therefore She can grant anyone the dasya-prema of Radhika.

yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah

preksya sva-paksa-padavim anuruddhyamanam

sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim

devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

(Sri Lalitastakam, verse 7)

[“I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure-house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priyasakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (svapaksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden’s desires.”]

Visakha took birth on the same day that Radhika took birth, so her beauty and other qualities are similar to those of Radhika. Her voice is so sweet, even more so than Sri Krsna’s. All her qualities are like those of Radhika. We pray that She will make us her disciple and give us training on how to serve Radhika and Krsna.

karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite!


In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami says that even those who are first-class brahmavadis, like Sukadeva Gosvami (in the womb of this mother) and the Four Kumaras (who are forever 5 years old, who are always naked, and who are the first sons of Lord Brahma) are glorifying Srimati Radhika. Nisanta-lila (the end-of-night pastimes of Radha and Krsna) and other pastimes of asta-kaliya-lila (Their 24-hour daily pastimes) were told to the Four Kumaras by Lord Siva, and then they wrote about it in the Brhat-vamana Purana. Srila Rupa Gosvami is therefore glorifying Sanaka, Sananda and Sanat and Sanatana Kumara

In this connection, Sanatana means Sanatana of the Four Kumaras. But Srila Sanatana Gosvami has also glorified Her, especially in Brhad-bhagavatamrta and in his Vaisnava Tosani commentary of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

You have all come for hari-katha, and we will give you hari-katha. We will give that hari-katha which Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, your Prabhupada, has left for me. He told me, “You should give this.”

Try to drink the nectar of hari-katha with the two cups of your ears. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has told about this, but not openly like I am telling. Sukadeva Gosvami has never openly told Radhika’s name in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, nor did he reveal the names of Candravali or Lalita and Visakha. But Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has revealed this, and in his parampara I am also telling you so many secret names and their sweet pastimes. Try to take this into your heart, and preach our mission throughout the world. Don’t be weak.  “Radhe, jaya jaya madhava dayite.”

*[endnote 1 – pulling on ones own ears with both hands indicates ones admitting an offense and begging forgivene

*[endnote 2 – Jayadeva Gosvami was somewhat hesitant to write the whole verse, because he had a hint of an opulence mood toward Sri Krsna. So, while he was out, Krsna Himself, in the form of Jayadeva, came to his house and wrote the rest of the verse in Jayadeva’s notebook.]