God-dess, Radha Krishna

God-dess has infinite forms like parts related to the whole. Since God-dess “has no internal difference, the part is not like a piece of stone chopped off from the whole. The part is…the whole–the same all-knowing and all-pervading being. Still, it is called a part, because the” self energy of God-dess “is not fully manifested in it, and the whole is called the whole, because the” self energy “is fully manifested in it.” (101) It is like a hologram which may be cut in pieces, but each piece contains the whole picture even though they vary in size.

Undifferentiated Oneness is the lowest manifestation of divine self energy and Radha Krishna is its highest manifestation. Radha Krishna are, therefore, identical with God-dess. Between Radha Krishna and Undifferentiated Oneness there is an infinite hierarchy of partial manifestations, each of which has a different form. The differences are due to the different combinations of majesty and sweetness manifest in the various forms of God-dess. Different forms do not imply difference in the identity of God-dess. All forms inhere in God-dess.

Radha Krishna, in their intrinsic form, possess infinite potencies, infinite attributes and all the divine excellences of God-dess. They are the ultimate source of everything, the prime cause of all causes. They have spiritual bodies which are beautiful beyond words. They sometimes manifest “simultaneously in many places and there is no qualitative difference between these manifested forms and the original form.” (102)

They also manifest in different forms with myriad conceits to experience unlimited pastimes. These expansions have their own spiritual abodes where they engage in eternal pastimes with their devotees. The different religions are based on our experience of these forms which are revealed according to time and circumstance. This accounts for the different descriptions of God-dess. They manifest themselves in the phenomenal world to create and maintain the cosmos and impart spiritual wisdom to humanity. They are not subject to material energy. They operate in the realms of consciousness and sometimes manifest on the material plane through highly evolved humans.

Many of these forms live in the Cosmic Consciousness and are able to appear in the consciousness of humans and communicate with us. Sometimes they possess a human and appear in human form through that person. Chaitanya is considered to be the incarnation of Radha Krishna who appeared in the guise of a devotee to teach the religion of divine love. Sometimes he was in the mood of a human devotee. At other times, he was completely God-dess possessed. He manifested the mood of Radha Krishna. He was seen and acknowledged as such by others. “The belief in the divinity of…Chaitanya was wide spread in his own time and continues to this day to be shared by a large number of his devoted followers, now spread all over the world.” (106)

The innumerable manifestations of God-dess are all perfect, but they manifest different degrees of perfection based on how many divine qualities they manifest fully or partially. God-dess, Radha Krishna, is the source of all manifestations in whom all divine qualities are fully manifest.

Radha Krishna are the supreme reality. They are both concrete and expansive. Their infinite nature encircles the whole universe, but that infinitude is centered in a concrete form. Their being is an all-embracing, organic unity. Their concrete form does not limit or restrict their freedom because the modulations of their being pervade the infinite expanse of existence. They combine “wideness of spirit with intensity of modulations, the eternal peace and calm of perfection with the dynamism of eternally self-revealing and self-fulfilling creative activity, and quickness of movement with intensive harmony and gracefulness. (Krishna’s) flute wakes up such modulations in our being that our demands for love, knowledge and peace are all satisfied in an integrative synthesis. It provides freedom, elasticity, harmony and everything that makes for the richest and the most complete spiritual life.” (107)

Since we are finite parts of the holographic whole, God-dess is within us. When we attune ourselves to that level of consciousness, God-dess is awakened within us, and we are able to consciously engage in a loving relationship that is the perfection of spiritual life.

Vrindaban is the spiritual abode of Radha Krishna. Like them, it consists of existence, consciousness and bliss. As such it is different from the material world. Vrindaban and Radha Krishna are inseparably related. We cannot think of Radha Krishna without Vrindaban, nor Vrindaban without Radha Krishna. In their original forms, they eternally stay in Vrindaban and never leave it.

Just as there are infinite manifestations of Radha Krishna, there are infinite manifestations of their abode. For each manifestation of Radha Krishna, there is a corresponding manifestation of their abode. Vrindaban is the original and highest abode, just as Radha Krishna are the original and highest forms of God-dess. Highest means the most excellent, complete or full manifestation.

Radha Krishna and their abode are the highest because their sweetness eclipses their majesty. They do not appear as God-dess, or even sovereigns, but as young lovers eternally engaged in amorous sports with their confidants on the bank of the river, in the green groves, laden with sweet smelling flowers, all of which breathe an atmosphere of freedom and sweetness which is most enjoyable.

All other forms of God-dess and their abodes are partial manifestations. When Radha Krishna manifest on earth, they bring their spiritual abode with them. Devotees who perfect their spiritual vision can see Radha Krishna’s sports even today in their manifest abode, Vrindaban, India, as well as in their heart. It is only through the way of the heart that one can enter the spiritual Vrindaban and Radha Krishna’s pastimes. Devotion through regulative principles leads to the more majestic forms of God-dess.

Vrindaban is here on earth, and it is in the heart of the devotee wherever they may live. Radha Krishna’s unmanifest pastimes go on there even now. One can only see them by the grace of Radha Krishna or their devotees.

God-dess’ abodes are populated by eternal associates who enrich the pastimes by their participation in different relationships with God-dess. Some are in this role without beginning. Others attained this role through grace and practice of devotion on the material plane.

The associates serve God-dess according to the particular bond of relationship, like servant, friend, parent or lover, which exists between them. This relationship is not due to birth or an external ceremony like adoption or marriage. It is due to the specific emotion or devotional love an associate has for God-dess. Part of devotional practice is to cultivate such an emotional, loving relationship with God-dess.

God-dess is perfect, without wants and all “activities are without motive or conscious effort. They spring from exuberance of intrinsic bliss.” (115) They are called sport, play or pastimes. They manifest in the hearts, minds and lives of devotees.

God-dess’ names, forms, abodes, associates and sports exist within us, along with everything else we can imagine. There are different levels of existence and consciousness pervading everything. The devotional practices are meant to help us attain that level of consciousness where God-dess lives and enacts eternal pastimes with the liberated associates.

Radha Krishna are the embodiment of the highest, most concentrated bliss. This bliss is different from ordinary happiness. Ordinary happiness is material, while bliss is spiritual. Ordinary happiness is transient and limited while bliss is eternal and unlimited. Spiritual bliss is
quantitatively and qualitatively vastly superior to material happiness. Transcendental bliss is unique and indescribable.

Radha Krishna are not only the embodiment of bliss but of enjoyment. They are both the object that is enjoyed and the person who enjoys. This transcendental enjoyment is astonishingly wonderful, and it totally absorbs the mind and senses. God-dess is full of infinite variety and is therefore ever new. God-dess is the embodiment of all enjoyment.

God-dess’ blissful energy increases a thousand-fold when it is implanted in the heart of a devotee. Devotees have a passionate desire to serve God-dess according to their different moods. The love of devotees who are aware of God-dess’ power and majesty is enjoyable, but divine love is always shy before majesty. The more awareness of majesty, the less intense the love.

Devotees who, unaware of God-dess’ power and majesty, serve Radha Krishna as a sweet, loving couple with ordinary human wants and weaknesses, give them the highest enjoyment. Their divine love is enjoyed by Radha Krishna more than anything else. The highest development of divine love is only possible when neither God-dess nor the devotees are conscious of divinity.

Rupa Goswami was a learned playwright and poet knowledgeable of classical Indian aesthetics. Based on the Tenth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, he elaborated the play of Radha Krishna and hierarchically systematized the various forms of God-dess, moods of devotion, devotional symptoms of love, forms of sport and how to enter into those sports. His brother, Sanatan, and nephew, Jiva, philosophically systematized these concepts.

Thus, we arrive at a point where the highest conception of God-dess and the highest service one can render them is for them to be a loving young couple with us as their friends and lovers, totally unaware of divinity. Deep, intense love is the key element. If we apply the principle “as above, so below,” see ourselves created in the image of God-dess and understand this world to be a temporary, illusory reflection of the spiritual world, we can understand that God-dess and the transcendental abode must bear some resemblance to the highest, most enjoyable aspects of human life.

Radha Krishna, Vrindaban, the cow-herding pastimes, and so forth are the Indian cultural revelation of that ideal life. Now that Radha Krishnaism spread throughout the world, we need to divest it of its cultural accretions and re-imagine it in our own indigenous contexts. This process may take generations to complete. God-dess realization is a dynamic process. God-dess and God-dess’ play is ever expanding. God-dess responds according to the mood in which the devotee approaches, therefore, it is not a closed, fixed system.

God-dess craves the love of devotees who are free of all constraints in their talk and behavior. Their divine love is ever fresh and enjoyable. God-dess, though eternally free, is eternally captive in their hearts. There is an extremely intimate, loving relationship between God-dess and such devotees.

God-dess and the devotee are united in love, but this does not imply a monistic union in which the devotee completely loses their own identity. “They are so absorbed in each other’s love and lost in each other’s thought that there is hardly any room in their hearts for the thought of anything else.” (121) God-dess and the devotee become mutually subservient to each other surrendering their freedom to each other. God-dess is controlled by the pure divine love of the devotee.

All God-dess’ activities are intended to make the devotees happy. This is natural in love. God-dess loves the devotees as much as they love God-dess. God-dess manifests in different forms to satisfy the devotees different tastes for enjoying devotion. God-dess loves the devotees in the same manner in which they love. God-dess lives in the devotee’s heart in the form the devotee meditates upon and bestows divine love. The devotee enjoys the bliss of closeness to God-dess and learns to engage in loving play. These unlimited varieties of loving relationships with innumerable devotees are supremely enjoyable for God-dess.

Radha Krishna are supremely enjoyable due to the sweet taste of their love. Sweetness is the essence of their nature. Scriptures describe both the sweetness and majesty of God-dess, but the sweetness alone is the essence of perfection. God-dess’ sweetness is due to the blissful, loving energy personified as Radha who governs Krishna. A ruler may make a person captive by power, but only their sweet behavior can win the person’s heart and soul. Sweetness is God-dess’ intrinsic quality, and it is most fully manifest in the love of Radha Krishna.

Love is by nature imperfect. “It is never satisfied with itself. The more love one has the more one longs for it. Love is essentially dynamic. It is ever growing, ever trying to overreach itself. This, at any rate, is spiritual love.” (129) Since God-dess’ love is limitless, God-dess’ hunger for love is also limitless. To satisfy this limitless hunger, God-dess bestows devotion to have more persons to love and be loved by.

God-dess experiences bliss in the act of mercifully imparting devotion like a mother nursing her child. God-dess’ mercy blesses the giver and receiver. God-dess is essentially dynamic. Though perfect in all respects, God-dess always grows and changes through enjoying relationships. God-dess’ every act of mercy is an act of self-fulfillment and self-transcendent bliss.


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