Radha-krsna Shyamrani

Śrīmatī Rādhikā – The Crest Jewel of All Potencies / सर्वशक्तिशिरोमणिरूपा स्वामिनी श्रीराधिका (Sanskrit + English + Hindi) 

Śrīmatī Rādhikā ranks foremost among the aggregation consisting Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s potencies. In the third subsection of Śrī Bhagavat-sandarbhaḥ of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmipāda, the potent principle is characterized as the perpetual possessor of divine energies –

 

“atha tadekaṁ tattvaṁ svarūpabhūtayaiva śaktyā kamapi viśeṣaṁ dhartṛparāsāmapi śaktīnāṁ mūlāśrayarūpaṁ tadanubhavānandasandohāntarbhāvitatādṛśabrahmānandānāṁ bhāgavataparamahaṁsānāṁ tathānubhavaikasādhakatamatadīyasvarūpānandaśaktiviśeṣātmakabhaktibhāviteṣvantarbahirapīndriyeṣu parishpuradvā tadvadevaviviktatādṛśaśaktiśaktimattābhedena pratipādyamānaṁ vā bhagavāniti śabdyate .”

 

Simpler rendition of the above quoted excerpt is as follows:

 

“Undertaking some indescribable peculiarity, when a non-dual and felicitous Absolute Truth embraced with its internal energy, begins to illuminate as the substratum of the aggregation of transcendental potencies, by whose realization bhakti – a particular faculty of the Hlādīnī-śakti, the paramount of all internal energies –  instantly awakens in the hearts of brahmānandī-bhāgavata-paramahaṁsas, and through the potent impact of which bhakti, the bhāgavata-paramahaṁsas are eligible to envision within their external and internal senses permeated by bhakti – the Absolute Truth as the proprietor of its potencies and the multifarious sub-aspects of those potencies such as the divine nomenclature, countenance, attributes, exploits etc. – then the said Absolute Truth is duly known as Bhagavān or the Personality of Godhead.”

 

Furthermore, in Śrī Bhakti-sandarbhaḥ, the characteristics of Śrī Bhagavān are defined as (by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmipāda) — “pari-pūrṇa-sarva-śakti-viśiṣṭa-bhagavān iti” or “The complete Absolute Truth endowed with all transcendental potencies is designated as Bhagavān.” Elsewhere in the Sandarbhas, an affirmation is given: “tadevaṁ sarvvābhirmilitvā cidacicchaktirbhagavān” orŚrī Bhagavān is duly endowed with the totality of sentient and insentient energies.”

 

Caitanya-caritāmṛta (1.2.96) affirms thereby —  “kṛṣṇera svarūpa, āra śakti-traya-jñāna / yāṅra haya, tāṇra nāhi kṛṣṇete ajñāna //” – and the subsequent rendition is: “One who knows the real feature of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His three different energies cannot remain ignorant about Him.” Further substantiation is given thus (C.C. 1.2.101 – 103):

 

  • “cic-chakti, svarūpa-śakti, antaraṅgā nāma / tāhāra vaibhava ananta vaikuṇṭhādi dhama //”

 

  • “māyā-śakti, bahiraṅgā, jagat-kāraṇa / tāhāra vaibhava ananta brahmāṇḍera gaṇa //”

 

(iii)      “jīva-śakti taṭasthākhya, nāhi yāra anta / mukhya tina śakti, tāra vibheda ananta //”

      

Translation of the above verses is as follows –

 

“The cit-śakti, which is also called svarūpa-śakti or antaraṇgā-śakti, displays many varied manifestations. It sustains the kingdom of God and its paraphernalia. The external energy, called māyā-śakti, is the cause of innumerable universes with varied material potencies. The marginal potency, which is between these two, consists of the numberless living beings. These are the three principal energies, which have unlimited categories and subdivisions.”

 

The Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.8) proclaims — “parāsya śaktirvividhaiva śrūyate svābhāvikī jñānabalakriyā ca” or “The innately transcendental and multifarious potency of the Absolute Truth is heard as: 1) Cognitive or Jñāna, 2) Vigorous or bala, and 3) Functional or kriyā.” Śrī Viṣṇu-Purāṇa (1.12.69) also elucidates the three-fold internal potentiality of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the following way: “hlādinī sandhinī samvit tvayyekā sarva-samsthitau / hlāda tāpa-karī miśrā tvayi na guṇa-varjite //”. The same is paraphrased as: “O Lord, You are the support of everything. The three attributes Hlādinī, Sandhinī and Samvit exist in You as one spiritual energy. But the material modes, which cause happiness, misery and mixtures of the two, do not exist in You, for You have no material qualities.”

 

Śrī Rādhikopaniṣad affiliated with the Āraṇyaka section of Ṛg-Veda pronounces parallel —

 

“evaṁ hi tasya śaktayastvanekadhā. āhlādinī sandhinī jñānecchā kriyādyā bahuvidhā śaktayaḥ. tāsvāhlādinī variyasī paramāntaraṅgabhūtā rādhā kṛṣṇena ārādhyate iti rādhā kṛṣṇam samārādhayati sadeti rādhikā gāndharveti vyapadiśyate iti. asyā eva kaya-vyūha-rūpāḥ gopyo mahiṣyaḥ śrīśceti. yeyaṁ rādhā yaśca kṛṣṇo rasābhdir dehenaikaḥ krīḍanārthaṁ dvidhā ‘bhūt.”

 

Or “In this way, the energies of Lord Kṛṣṇa are diverse. These variegated potencies are headed by: 1) Felicitous or Āhlādinī, 2) Existential or Sandhinī, 3) Cognitive or Jñāna, 4) Volition or Icchā, and 5) Functional or Kriyā etc. Among these, the Āhlādinī-śakti or the Felicitous Potency is foremost. The said energy is most integrally inherent in Śrī Kṛṣṇa and is known as Śrī Rādhā. The etymological definition of the term Rādhā is twofold: 1) Since She is worshipped by Śrī Kṛṣṇa, She is renowned as Rādhā, and 2) Because Śrī Kṛṣṇa is perfectly worshipped by Her, She holds the designation – Rādhā. She is also indicated by another term: Gāndharvā (this term is found in Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad). The cowherd damsels of Vrajabhūmī, royal queens of Dvārakā, and Lakṣmīdevī of Vaikuṇṭha are the subjective bodily manifestations of Śrīmatī Rādhā only. Though Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Rādhā forming the ocean of transcendental mellows, are one in identity, still they have manifested in two separate forms for the sake of the performance of divine exploits. ”

 

The Rādhikā-Tāpanī Upaniṣad affiliated to Atharva-Veda’s Āraṇyaka (2, 3, 4, 5, 7, & 9), also, extols the glory of Śrī Rādhā thus:

 

(i) “śrutayaḥ ūcuḥ – sarvāṇi rādhikāyā daivatāni sarvāṇi bhūtāni rādhikāyāstāṁ namāmaḥ”

 

(ii) “devatāyatanāni kampante rādhāyā hasanti nṛtyanti ca sarvāṇi rādhā-daivatāni / sarva-pāpakṣayāyeti vyāhṛtibhir-hutvā’tha rādhikāyai namāmaḥ //”

 

(iii) “bhāsā yasyāḥ kṛṣṇa-deho ‘pi gauro jāyate devesyendranīla-prabhasya / bhṛṅgāḥ kākāḥ kokilāścāpi gaurāstāṁ rādhikāṁ viśva-dhātrīṁ namāmaḥ //”

 

(iv) “yasyā agamyatāṁ śrutayaḥ sāṅkhya-yogāḥ vedāntāni brahma-bhāvaṁ vadanti / na yāṁ purāṇāni vidanti samyak tāṁ rādhikāṁ deva-dhātrīṁ namāmaḥ //”

 

(v) “yasyāḥ reṇuṁ pādayor viśva-bharttā dharate mūrdhni rahasi prema-yuktaḥ / srasta-veṇuḥ kabarīṁ na smared yal-līnaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ krītavat tu tāṁ namāmaḥ //”

 

(vi) “yasyā aṅke viluṇṭhan kṛṣṇa-devo golokākhyaṁ naiva sasmāra dhāma-padaṁ / sāṁśā kamalā śaila-putrī tāṁ rādhikāṁ śakti-dhātrīṁ namāmaḥ //”

 

Above quotations are rendered as –

 

“The personified Goddesses of Upaniṣads (bhagavatayaḥ śrutayaḥ) acclaimed: The celestial prowess found invested within the demigods and demigoddesses have certainly emanated from the Personality of Śrī Rādhikā. Indeed, all the creatures have their respective existence dependent on Her (this notion is corroborated in other testimonies like Kṛṣṇopanidṣad, Gopālatāpanyupaniṣad, Brahmavaivarttapurāṇam, Gargasaṁhitā, Brahmāṇḍapurāṇam, Bṛhadgautamīyatantram and Brahmasaṁhitā etc. to name few). When Śrī Rādhā tilts Her angry eyebrows, the demigods tremble in fear, and upon receiving Her grace, they laugh and dance ecstatically. We pay homage unto Her through mystical oration, so that we, the personified Upaniṣads, can remain aloof from all mundane contamination. The sportive Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s icon resembling the complexion of a sapphire, also assumes a golden hue coming into the proximity of Śrī Rādhā’s fair colour. (This indicates the form of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu who is Kṛṣṇa manifesting in a golden form by undertaking the golden complexion of Śrī Rādhā. This is substantiated in the Bhaviṣya-purāṇa verse 3.4.10.34 – “anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayā ‘vatīrṇaḥ kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam / hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ sadā sphuratu no hṛdaya-kandare śacī-nandanaḥ //”). Even inferior creatures like crows, cuckoos, wasps relinquish their physical darkness of vices and exhibit fairness upon purifying their existence in the association of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. We submit our prostration unto such Śrīmatī Rādhā, who is the maintainer of these universes as well as the Mother of all demigods (devatās), and who is the potency of the Supreme Brahman and whose full comprehension cannot be had by us i.e. the Śrutīs, accompanied by Sāṅkhya-darśanaṁ, Yoga-darśanaṁ and the Vedānta-darśanaṁ. The Purāṇas, also, cannot wholly describe Her principle. In whose affection, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the maintainer of universe, acting like a purchased slave, looses all apprehension about His personal paraphernalia such as His flute and cowherd-stick, and even smears the foot-dust of Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s dual lotus-like feet on His face – unto that Cowherd Maiden, we offer our obeisance. Dangling in whose lap, Śrī Kṛṣṇa fails to recall His personal abode of Goloka Vṛndāvana, and who is the progenitor of all other predominating deities of various potencies including Lakṣmī and Pārvatī i.e. Durgā – unto that Śrī Vārṣabhānavī, we pay our venerations.”

      

The aforesaid Śrīmatī Rādhikā is known as ‘antaraṅgā-śakti’ and/or ‘svarūpa-śakti’ because of Her forming the integral identity of Para-Brahman Śrī Govindadeva and thus having closest ties with Him; hence, She becomes analogous to the odour of musk (here musk refers to the potent Śrī Kṛṣna and Rādhā as its odour). She is, also, termed as ‘cit-śakti’ due to Her complete reversal with the inanimate energy in terms of nature, and, also, because of Her self-illuminating propensity. Because She is par-excellent among all the potencies, the title of ‘parā-śakti’ rightfully befits Her. Again, this internal potency displays three faculties of Sandhinī, Saṁvit, and (Ā)hlādinī. Para-brahman is fully saturated with the trio of sat (eternality), cit (knowledge), and ānanda (bliss). This cit-śakti  becomes, chronologically, renowned as Sandhinī, Saṁvit, and Hlādinī due to its coalescence with the above mentioned triple attributes of sat, etc. Therefore, Śrī Caitanya Caritamṛta (1.4.61 -62) also corroborates this theme in the following words:

 

(i) “sac-cid-ānanda, pūrṇa, kṛṣṇera svarūpa / eka-i cic-chakti tāṅra dhare tina rūpa //”

 

(ii) “ānandāṁśe hlādinī, sad-aṁśe sandhinī / cid-aṁśe samvit — yāre jñāna kari’ māni //”

 

Above verses are paraphrased as: “Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s form is eternal (sat), full of knowledge (cit) and full of bliss (ānanda). His one spiritual energy manifests three forms. Hlādinī is His aspect of bliss; Sandhinī, of eternal existence; and Samvit, of cognizance, which is also accepted as knowledge.”

 

In his thesis Bhagavat-sandarbhaḥ (103), Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī explains the potencies of the Lord as follows: “The transcendental potency of the Bhagavān by which He maintains His existence (and the existence of His eternal associates) is called Sandhinī. The transcendental potency by which He knows Himself and causes others to know Him is called Samvit. The transcendental potency by which He possesses transcendental bliss and causes His devotees to have bliss is called Hlādinī.”

 

Because Śrī Bhagavān is akhaṇḍa-tattva (or the undivided complete whole), His triple intrinsic attributes namely sat, cit, and ānanda are not prone to mutual disassociation. Likewise, the trio of internal potency is also mutually inseparable. As already elucidated, the cit-śakti of Kṛṣṇa is self-luminous which illuminates both itself and the extraneous (viz., tad-itar-padārtha or the sādhaka-bhakta who represents the separated marginal potency) and affiliated (i.e. tat-saṁśliṣṭa-padārtha or Śrī Bhagavān who is the source and shelter of cit-śakti) objects as analogous to the luminous prowess of sun. ‘Viśuddha-sattva’ (refer to Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 4.3.23 – “sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditaṁ yad īyate tatra pumān apāvṛtaḥ / sattve ca tasmin bhagavān vāsudevo hy adhokṣajo me manasā vidhīyate //”)  is an allotted designation for the peculiar self-illuminating faculty of the three-fold internal potency, through which the svarūpa of Śrī Bhagavān and the various transformations of its cit-śakti are precisely made manifest. Within Viśuddha-sattva, though there is a concurrent expression of the triple sub-categories of cit-śakti (such as Sandhinī etc.), still the quantitative manifestation is not in equal proportion. But elsewhere, this trio is displayed in equal order too. When there occurs a prominence of Sandhinī-śakti, then the resultant particular form of Viśuddha-sattva is publicized as ‘ādhāra-śakti’ – through which the supra-mundane realm (both that within the prapañca/eka-pāda-vibhūty-antargata and that located above the prapañca/tri-pāda-vibhūty-antargata) of the Lord is manifest. Hence, the affirmation of this is again found in the Ṛg-vedīya Rādhikopaniṣad as: “sandhinī tu dhāma-bhūṣaṇa-śayyāsanādi mitra-bhṛtyādi rupeṇa pariṇatā mṛtyu-lokāvataraṇa-kāle mātṛ-pitṛ-rūpeṇa cā ‘sīd ity anekāvatāra-kāraṇā….” which is rendered as: “The resultant Sandhinī potency is displayed diversely as the transcendental abode, garments, ornaments, cushion, friends, and servitors etc. and the same exhibits itself as the guardians (such as Nanda & Yaśodā etc.) during the descent of the Lord. Indeed, this very potency is the primal cause of all the various incarnations of Godhead.” The same theme has been substantiated by the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta as follows (1.4.64-65):

 

(i) “sandhinīra sāra aṁśa — ‘śuddha-sattva’ nāma / bhagavānera sattā haya yāhāte viśrāma //”

 

(ii) “mātā, pitā, sthāna, gṛha, śayyāsana āra / e-saba kṛṣṇera śuddha-sattvera vikāra //”

 

The above passage is translated as: “The essential portion of the sandhinī potency is śuddha-sattva. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s existence rests upon it. Kṛṣṇa’s mother, father, abode, house, bedding, seats and so on are all transformations of śuddha-sattva.”

 

On the other hand, the particular viśuddha-sattva, which is pervaded by a great particle of cognizance i.e. śamvidaṁśa-pradhāna, is known as ‘ātma-vidyā’. This ‘ātma-vidyā’ diverges into two divisions: 1) Cognition & 2) The stimulant for the cognition. Through the latter, devotee’s knowledge becomes illuminated. C.C. (1.4.67) corroborates the same as:

 

“kṛṣṇe bhagavattā-jñāna — samvitera sāra /brahma-jñānādika saba tāra parivāra //”

 

It is rendered as: “The essence of the Samvit potency is knowledge that the Para-brahman is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. All other kinds of knowledge, such as the knowledge of Brahman, are its components.”

 

When the manifestation of Hlādinī predominates Viśuddha-sattva, then it advertises itself as ‘guhya-vidyā’. The said ‘guhya-vidyā’ is exhibited in double faculties: (1) Bhakti (as premā bhakti) and 2) The stimulant of Bhakti (bhakti-pravarttaka-rūpā). The, transcendentally, unadulterated affectionate devotional service viz., premā-bhakti, is highlighted via the agency of the latter faculty. C.C. (2.8.159-160) also elucidates the same as:

 

(i) “hlādinīra sāra aṁśa, tāra ‘prema’ nāma / ānanda-cinmaya-rasa premera ākhyāna //”

 

(ii) “premera parama-sāra ‘mahābhāva’ jāni / sei mahābhāva-rūpa rādhā-ṭhākurāṇi //”

 

The translation is: “The most essential part of this pleasure potency is love for Para-brahma is prema/prīti (in the context of the Bhakti-rasa-darśanam). Consequently, the explanation of love for Para-brahma is, also, a transcendental mellow full of pleasure. The essential part of love for Para-brahma (Svayaṁ-bhagavān – vide Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 1.2.11 – “vadanti tat-tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj-jñānam advayam / brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate //”  +  1.3.28 – “ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam…”) is called mahābhāva, transcendental ecstasy, and that ecstasy is represented by Srīmatī Rādhikā.”

 

The gist of the above produced philosophical analysis is given in synopsis as follows: “Though Śrī Bhagavān is the very emblem of non-phenomenal existence, the agency through which He, artistically, sustains His existence, as well as that of others – is known as ‘Sandhinī’. Though being the cognition embodied, the potency through which Śrī Bhagavān knows His svarūpa and causes others (i.e. His devotees) to know the same – is designated as ‘Samvit’. Though Śrī Bhagavān personifies the principle of felicity, the energy via which He savours the bliss and makes others replete with the same – is duly entitled as ‘Hlādinī’. Due to internal hierarchy (i.e. the antar-tāratamya and not the impossible and inapplicable internal difference or the svagata-bheda), this trio receives its chronological three-fold name as: (1) Sandhinī (the elementary level), 2) Samvit (the intermediate level), and 3) Hlādinī (the paramount level). However, when the aforesaid ‘Viśuddha-sattva’ displays the triple variegated faculties simultaneously in equal proportion, then it is celebrated as ‘mūrti’. The transcendental deity form of the Lord manifests through the equal admixture of the trio i.e. ‘mūrti’. Lord Śrī Gaurāṅgasundara is the combination of ‘mahā-bhāva’ aspect of the ‘hlādinī-śakti’ i.e. Śrīmatī Rādhā and the ‘rasa-rāja’ aspect of the  ‘śaktimān-tattva’ i.e. Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

 

 

 

— Bhakti-rasa-vedānta-pīṭhādhīśvara Gurupādācārya Svāmī

 

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10 thoughts on “Śrīmatī Rādhikā – The Crest Jewel of All Potencies / सर्वशक्तिशिरोमणिरूपा स्वामिनी श्रीराधिका (Sanskrit + English + Hindi)

  1. I like and appreciate your presentation. When we have the shalter of a bonafied guru and with strong feith on the previous acharyas the studies scriptures reveals the eternal truth about Krishna with His potencies.
    We need to have a system of education to teach this to the whole world about this king of knowledge which pleases the Lord and the achariyas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your fervent appreciation of the scriptural sermons. Are you the same Pankajnabh Pr., who is in Vrindavan & is initiated by HH DG?

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      1. I am sorry for not being able to recognize your identity. Yes, Prabhu Ji, to establish the Vidyāpīṭham would be the most important task for whole Gauḍīya Vaiṇavism at the moment. Your Grace has my full support. Kindly move forward. The whole paramparā is with you.

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      2. Namaste Acharya Sri. Just a query arose after reading the essay. please do help. “Since She is worshipped by Śrī Kṛṣṇa, She is renowned as Rādhā” It seems from this statement that Radha is greater then Sri Krsna beacuse greater is worshiped. So why Sri Krsna is worshiped by Radha? And instead of Sri Krsna we should worship Srimati Radha, isn’t?

        —–Aditya Sharma

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  2. I read some of your article and thought it was good, but was just wondering if I know you. If you don’t mind me asking – who is your Guru Maharaja and where do you live mostly?

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  3. I have been initiated by HH Gopālakṛṣṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja of ISKCON. I live in Śrī Caitanya Saṅkīrtana Kuṭīra, Vallabha-Vidyānagara, Dist: Ānanda, State – Gujarāta, India. I appreciate your positive feedback.

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