By Saroj Swain
Radha is recognized as the loveliest of all the cowgirls. She was the wife of Ayana and the daughter of the cowherd Vrishabhanu and his wife, Kamalavati. Radha was a childhood friend and soulmate of Krishna and the two were inseparable as playmates and later as lovers. Theirs was a love hidden from society, given Radha’s status of a married woman. They had their moments of love, passion and anger, just like any two lovers in love and yet their love could not stand the test of duty that Krishna had to face. He had to leave Vrindavan, and Radha, to ensure that the ideals of truth and justice were established but in the process had to let down the ideal of personal love. He became a king, defeated innumerable enemies and even married a number of times. And yet it is said Radha kept waiting for him to come back to her. Her love for Krishna is considered so divine and so pure that Radha herself obtained the status of a deity, with her name being inseparably linked to that of Krishna. Most of Krishna’s images are considered complete when Radha stands by his side.
The word Radha means the greatest worshiper of Krishna. No other gopi in Vrindavana has such a significant name as Sri Radha. Of course, all the Brajagopis love and give pleasure to Krishna. However, compared to Radhika’s ocean of love for Krishna, the othergopis are merely pools, ponds, and rivers. As the ocean is the original source of all the water found in lakes and rivers, similarly the love found in the gopis, and in all the other devotees has its origin in Sri Radha alone. Since Radha’s love is the greatest, she gives the greatest pleasure to Krishna. ‘Krishna enchants the whole world, but Srimati Radhika enchants even Him. Therefore, Radha is the Supreme Goddess.’ In Vrindavana, people are accustomed to chanting Radha’s name more than Krishna’s name.
An opportunity availed when I was invited to a function called Kumar festival of Puri, Odisha by Sri Uma Ballav Rath, a senior political leader of Puri district and able to capture the shots of my desire.The evening was very colorful and the artists performed “Rasalila of Radha and Krishna along with Gopies”. A wonderful moment with my wife Kiran who accompanied me in this function. Thanks, JPG and all the photo lovers of JPG family who have appreciated the shots and narration of the story.