Considerations on the Context of Universalist Radha-Krishnaism

Some ideas of how to understand where Universalist Radha-Krishnaism fits into a variety of different contexts. As Universalist Radha-Krishnaism is based in fluidity, I encourage further thinking about and critique of what I have here written.

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In the devotional sense, Universalist Radha-Krishnaism is not at all unusual and should run into no conflicts with any Vaishnavas. By this I mean that URK emphasizes a deep, personal relationship with Radha-Krishna that emphasizes the lila, etc. It emphasizes that God-dess’ highest reality is profoundly personal. It encourages common devotional practices like japa, praying, reading, and hearing.

In the historical sense, Universalist Radha-Krishnaism is radical (and I mean that in the good sense). It treats even Radha-Krishna as “myth”, in the deepest and most significant sense of “myth”. It moves the “accuracy” of the lila and the details of Krishna’s life out of the historical sphere and into the transcendental sphere. There will likely be energetic opposition to this
among those who view the scriptures in a literalist manner.

In the behavioral sense, Universalist Radha-Krishnaism is liberal. By that I mean that it views many behaviors (forbidden foods, sexual morality) as not being essential, even if many of them would be ideal. Universalist Radha-Krishnaism does not see sexual love between lovers as bad; rather, it is even good and healthy. Homosexuality is not targeted by Steve’s theology as something evil at all, for example.

In the intellectual sense, Universalist Radha-Krishnaism is liberal. This means that it believes that empirical evidence and reason may sometimes come into conflict with scriptures at a certain level, and that the way this works itself out is not to be determined a priori in terms of a literal interpretation of scripture.

In the political sense, Universalist Radha-Krishnaism is moderate. This means that it is accessible to people of different political persuasions. It emphasizes the importance of the world but also keeps it in perspective in terms of our ultimate goal as associates of God-dess. There should be no conflicts here with the other movements out there.

– Michael Valle


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