WHY DO DEVOTEES TAKE SHELTER OF RADHARANI?

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

radha krishna's internal potency“To perform devotional service means to follow in the footsteps of Rādhārānī, and devotees in Vrindāvana put themselves under the care of Rādhārānī in order to achieve perfection in their devotional service. In other words, devotional service is not an activity of the material world; it is directly under the control of Rādhārānī. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is confirmed that the mahātmās, or great souls, are under the protection of daivī prakrti, the internal energy—Rādhārānī. So, being directly under the control of the internal potency of Krishna, devotional service attracts even Krishna Himself.” [Nectar of Devotion]

Mahātmānas tu mām pārtha daivīm prakrtim āśritāh, bhajanty ananya-manaso [Bg. 9.13]. Here we are under the influence of this material energy, but those who are devotees of Krishna – they are under the influence of internal energy. The internal energy of Krishna has got three different functions and one of the functions is hlādinī śakti. That is Rādhārānī. Rādhārānī is the pleasure potency of Krishna.

rādhā krishna-pranaya-vikrtir hlādinī śaktir asmād
ekātmānāv api purā deha-bhedam gatau tau
caitanyākhyam prakatam adhunā tad-dvayam caikyam āptam
radha-bhāva-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krishna svarūpam
 [Cc. Ādi 1.5]

That is the version of Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara – that “Rādhā and Krishna – They are one.” When Krishna wants to enjoy, He manifests His energy – that is Rādhārānī.

Krishna cannot enjoy the material energy; He enjoys the internal energy. Krishna has got many energies. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate, svābhāvakī-jnāna-bala-kriyā ca: The Supreme Absolute Truth has got multi-energies, and by utilizing and manipulating that energy, He is manifesting Himself in so many ways.

The same example: just like the sun is perceived by expanding its energies – heat and light. The sun is ninety-three million miles away from us. So how do we understand the sun? “By his heat and energy.” By his heat, we can calculate what the actual temperature is. The scientists are calculating the actual temperature of the sun.

So similarly, although Krishna is far, far away from us… Goloka eva nivasati. He’s residing in His abode, Goloka Vrindāvana. This is the replica of that Vrindāvana. So akhilātma-bhūtah. How He’s akhilātma-bhūtah [Bs. 5.37]? How He’s all-pervading? By His energy! Just like Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gītā: mayā tatam idam sarvam jagat avyakta-mūrtinā [Bg. 9.4]. That energy is avyakta, impersonal. But Krishna is not impersonal. Krishna is a person. Just like the sun-god, he’s a person, but his energy – sunshine and heat – is impersonal. To reach sunshine, the impersonal feature of the sun, is not approaching the sun. It is both, approaching and not approaching.

It is approaching in the sense that one is directly in touch with his energy, but still, the sun globe and the sun-god is far away. Similarly, brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. To approach the impersonal feature of Brahman is not sufficient. We have to approach Krishna.

So Rādhārānī is the personal (aspect of his internal energy) – His energy is also personal. So mahātmānas tu mām pārtha daivīm prakrtim āśritāh [Bg. 9.13].

If we take shelter of His external energy, where forgetfulness of Krishna is very prominent, then we become far and far away from Krishna.

But if we take shelter of the internal energy of Krishna, Rādhārānī, She will help us to approach Krishna very soon because She’s directly serving Krishna.

Just like in Vrindāvana, they always speak of Rādhārānī because they have taken shelter of Rādhārānī to approach Krishna very easily. Daivīm prakrtim āśritāh. The facility of Vrindāvana is that you take shelter of Rādhārānī directly and She will help you to approach Krishna very soon. This is the idea of coming to Vrindāvana.

[An excerpt from a lecture on the “Nectar of Devotion” delivered  in Vrindavana on Nov 11, 1972]

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