Making deity worship universal

Raghunath Das Goswami writes in one of his very worshipable literatures that he bows his head millions of times the holy place where the supreme worshipable personality of our Gaudiya vaishnavas sampraday, Shrimati Radharani appeared within this world. Today we are very fortunate, our great acharyas established how to worship the deities in such a way to develop a personal understanding, relationship, & realizations of the absolute truth. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu when he travelled throughput Southern parts of India, he visited thousands & thousands of temples. In Jagannath Puri he made his life & soul the worship of lord Jagannath. And when he came to Vrindavan, he worshiped the deities here of Sri Keshav ji in Mathura & worshiped the holy land of Vrindavan as non-different from Krsna himself. He asked Rupa Goswami, Sanatan Goswami, Raghunath Das Goswami, Raghunath Bhatt Goswämé, Gopal Bhatt Goswämé to establish the culture of Krsna consciousness for the world & a very important part if that is to build temples, to worship the deities & to show the proper method of deity worship by which following the innate natural love of Krsna within the heart awakens. Within our International Society for Krsna consciousness these two personalities that are sitting with us today have been very much instrumental in inspiring the proper standard & devotional spirit of deity worship. We have Jananivas Prabhu, the senior most pujari within our society whom Srila Prabhupada personally instructed not only in the methods of deity worship but in the proper devotional spirit of how we should see the supreme personality of godhead to our service. We also have his grace Krsna Chaitra who is for many years the minister overseeing deity worship for all the temples within our society worldwide. He is a scholar working on his PhD at Oxford University. Oxford University is considered to be the highest place of learning in the whole world, in fact Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur & some of his disciples used to refer to Navadweep a spiritual Oxford of India because it the high seat of learning. Of course the subject matter in Navadweep was the same as Oxford very mundane until Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inaugurated the congregational chanting of the holy name, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare. So similarly Krsna is in his way inaugurating the congregational chanting at Oxford university England but he is working on his PhD on very very careful research of the worship of the deity & how it is done in the spirit of Vrindavan & the six Goswämés. We would like to request both of these illustrious personalities to enlighten our hearts with their deep understanding & realisation of importance of this place let us very graciously & enthusiastically loudly wel-come them, We have heard from these two very special souls realization based on a life time of exclusive dedication with the service of Sri Guru & Gauranga. When a devotee has realisations born of surrender & sacrifice or out of love & devotion the message has a special potency to penetrate our hearts.


Radharani is the heart of Srimad Bhagvatam

Krsna Chaitra Prabhu has raised a very wonderful question of why in this land of Vrindavan the original deities of Krsna, where as Vrindavan is the abode of Shrimati Radharani’s love. I was thinking something & it is based on our acharyas teachings. Srimad Bhagvatam is the literary incarnation of Krsna. Srimad Bhagvatam itself explains that after Krsna left this world the age of kali began & Krsna incarnated as the Srimad Bhagvatam to give light in this world of darkness. Srimad Bhagvatam is non-different than Krsna, Srimad Bhagvatam is deity of Krsna, however we find in Srimad Bhagvatam Shrimati Radharani’s name is never mentioned directly. However those who understand the true meaning of Srimad Bhagvatam every line, every page they see that the heart of Srimad Bhagvatam is the love of Shrimati Radharani. The very essence, the culmination of Srimad Bhagvatam was to reveal the supreme love & devotion of Shrimati Radharani for lord Krsna in the tenth canto. So although her name is not directly mentioned all the great souls in Srimad Bhagvatam that’s what they read about; that the heart of the Bhagvatam is the love of Shrimati Radharani. Similarly, when Vajra Näbha   the great grandson of Krsna installed many deities in Vraja & similarly the deities appeared in various ways; is appears that there is only the deity of Krsna, Govinda Dev. However….. Do you think Rupa Goswami was just seeing Govinda Dev? Rupa Goswami was seeing that here is form of Govinda but heart of Govinda is Shrimati Radharani. Shrimati Radharani is implicit within the deity of Krsna, Shrimati Radharani is the very essence of our approach to the deity of Krsna, so they were seeing that way, they were worshiping that way. Just as the acharyas in their commentaries they profusely elaborate on the direct personal presence of Shrimati Radharani in Srimad Bhagvatam they have revealed through their commentaries, they have extracted the essence, extracted the heart, & made it obvious to the people in general. In a similar way the great acharyas they have installed the deity of Shrimati Radharani beside Krsna so that all of us can understand that, the ultimate perfection of all existence is to assist in the love affairs of Radha & Krsna.

Radharani is the shadow of lord Krsna

Raval was the birth place of Shrimati Radharani. Krsna tells us in Gita,

yadä yadä hi dharmasya

glänir bhavati bhärata

abhyutthänam adharmasya

tadätmänaà såjämy aham

he appears again & again in this world not like an ordinary man simply due to the predestined karma that he has to enjoy or suffer but he comes simply to give his mercy to all the suffering fallen souls who have rejected him. Srila Prabhupada explains that, he named the deities not far from here in Delhi, Radha Parthasarathi & the devotees says, Radharani is in Vrindavan & Parthasarathi is driving a chariot for Arjuna in battle of Kurushetra, how is that they are Radha Parthasarathi? We never hear of Radharani standing on the chariot of Krsna, helping Arjuna fight the Kurus. Prabhupada understood the essence of Krsna’s heart, that do you not have faith that Krsna wherever he may be is not constantly meditating on Radharani in his heart? Sanatan Goswami revealed in Dwarka in Brihad Bhagavatamrita, Krsna telling the queens the only reason I love you because you remind me of Shrimati Radharani, the only reason I married you because I was feeling separation from Shrimati Radharani & gopis & you reminded me of them. When he is sleeping at night he is crying out her name, Satyabhämä is saying like this & Rukmini says why you are talking only at night? He says, all the day is crying out Radharani’s name, so Krsna is never without Shrimati Radharani. Shrimati Radharani is the very heart of Krsna & our acharyas have revealed that to us through their writings & through installing her murti before the lord.


Appearance of Shrimati Radharani

One time in a day of Brahma Krsna appears in his original form from Goloka Vrindavan, otherwise he appears as Yuga avatar as one of the expansions of the expansions of Kshirodakashayi Vishnu or although may be coming through Kshirodakashayi Vishnu as far as the form in which he incarnates. Narsiàha Dev, Vämana Dev, Matsya avatar, Kurma avatar they are descends of the lord from various Vaikuntha planets. Only one time in a day of brahma, over four billion, three hundred millions years Krsna appears directly in his original form & Krsna never appears without his eternal pleasure potency Shrimati Radharani. It is described that, the capital of maharaj Nanda is Nandagam. The capital of Vrishabhänu maharaj is Barsana. Because Nanda maharaj had no children for many many years that decide to move to Gokul Mahavan close to Yamuna because that would be an auspicious place by which their desire to have the lord as their child may be fulfilled. Vrishabhänu maharaj being very very best friend of Nanda maharaj & relatives as well he moved here to Raval because he was also very eager to have a child. In a few moments we will be going to Gokul Mahavan where Krsna appeared. The story of Shrimati Radharani appearance is very purifying to hear in this holy place. long ago, very pure hearted devotees Suchandra & Kalävaté, husband & wife they living in a forest performing very very severe austerities totally fixing their heart & their minds on the  lotus feet of the supreme personality of godhead that the tens & thousands of years lord Brahma appeared to them & offered them a benediction. Because they are actually eternal associates of the lord their desire from the heat was the lord’s desire so they we desire to love & to worship & to serve the supreme goddess of fortune as our daughter; Brahma gave that benediction. Suchandra too his birth as Vrishabhänu maharaj & Kalävaté took her birth as Kértidä. Srila Prabhupada in 1968 gave a lecture in Montreal on the occasion of Radhashtami & there he explained how Vrishabhänu maharaj in this field of Raval he was ploughing & as the earth was turning a beautiful golden child came out from the earth, Shrimati Radharani & brought her home to Kértidä Mataji & raised her very lovingly as her child. It is explained, in other days of Brahma how sometimes Vrishabhänu maharaj was going to take his bath in Yamuna which that time was flowing very close to here & when he came to Yamuna he saw a divine effulgence, he came closer there was a beautiful lotus flower & in the whorl of the lotus flower was a beautiful effulgent golden complexion baby child. He couldn’t reach it so then lord Brahma appeared & lifted up the child & handed her to Vrishabhänu & explained this is the benediction you sought from me in your previous life, this Shrimati Radharani, the source of all Lakshmis. When she was born, she would not open her eyes & she did not make any sound so her parent were thinking is she blind, is she dumb, is she deaf she doesn’t responds to anything. Now Narada Muni he came to Vraja bhumi on a mission, he was thinking that Krsna has appeared here in Gokul in his original form so self realization must have appeared somewhere because he will not come without her. I must find her, he was searching throughout all of Vraja bhumi, & then he came to this place where we are sitting today, the home of maharaj Vrishabhänu. Vrishabhänu maharaj became so happy that this great sage Narada muni has come to their home. Kértidä Mataji she offered him all kind of respect, worshiped him. Narada Muni asked, was a child born here recently? And they were thinking that we don’t want to show him blind, dumb, deaf child not so auspicious but maybe he bless her so she can separation. They brought him into the room where Shrimati Radharani was lying & right in front of everyone’s eyes Narada muni the greatest of all transcendental rishi began to offer his repeated dandavat, he offered his prayers. Afterwards he asked everyone to leave the room & when he was worshiping Radharani she revealed to him the eternal transcendental youthful form as the goddess of devotion. Then happily he left. In fact from he went to Narada kund near Govardhana & he wrote the Narada Bhakti Shastras. Few day after this Nanda maharaj & Yashoda mayi came to congratulate Vrishabhänu maharaj for the appearance of their such a beautiful child so they came here along with little child & as everyone was talking together Krsna he somehow or other made it over to the little bed that Radharani was lying on & pulled himself up to put his beautiful moon like face right before her & at that moment like two blossoming lotus flowers her eyes opened. She refused to see anything in this world before the smiling face of Govinda & then she began to cry out holy names of Krsna, she refused to speak anything until she spoke the name of Krsna. So this is the tattva of Shrimati Radharani, she is the ladini Shakti of the lord; she is the supreme embodiment of all love, of all ecstasy, änanda Shakti. And in order for us to understand & awaken that in nature within ourselves it can only come by the mercy of Shrimati Radharani. In Vrindavan Radharani is Vrindavaneshavari, she is the queen. Krsna is eternally subordinate to that love, that is the most esoteric mystical & elevated conclusion of all the scriptures in all of existence; the love of Radha & Krsna.

Attaining the lotus feet of the lord through humble prayers

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Shrimati Radharani distributing entrance into that love to everyone & anyone without discrimination. His divine grace Srila Prabhupada he appeared in this world specially to fulfil the mission of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to give the whole world entrance into the Goloka Vrindavan as a servant of servant of the servant of the loving past times of Radha & Krsna. Here in this very holy place where Sri Vrishabhänu Nandiné Radhika appeared we should humbly place our head in this dust of this place with great reverence & gratitude & begged at the lotus feet of Shrimati Radharani that by her infinite causeless mercy she will accept us as the servant of the servant of the servant of her servants. And that means we may her serve her servants with such sincerity with such dedication that she will be please that is the ultimate prayer of the bhakta. So let us pray in this way. The deity here Ladalilal was installed by Vajra Näbha approximately five thousand years ago.


The intensity with which pray shows our desperation to seek shelter of the lord

At this time we will all go to offer our prayers & obeiscences to Sri Ladalilal’s lotus feet. When praying we should do so in a spirit of helpless beggars, if we think we have something much then how can we beg? If you have thousands of rupees in your bank account & you go to someone’s door & say, please give me a chapatti. They will not take you seriously, nor will you take yourself seriously. But if you are actually starving & you have nothing when you go to that house you are really begging. So if we are humble…

trinad api sunicena, taror api sahishnuna

amanina manadena, kirtaniya sada hari

If we are Akinchanagocharam, if we understand our defect & our deficiencies & our insignificance & our fallen condition then we can actually beg for mercy.

ye yathä mäà prapadyante

täàs tathaiva bhajämy aham

According to the spirit & how you prayed that is how Krsna will reciprocate. So we have come here to Vraja Bhumi as beggars to beg for mercy, to beg for service. Then Krsna & Shrimati Radharani will certainly fulfil the prayers of their sincere devotees.

Thank you very much


Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

You May Also Like to Read

About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.