Johannesburg, South Africa — Wednesday, September 19th

Sri Radhastami

Today is the most auspicious appearance day of Srimati Radharani. Our gurus have taught us to appreciate this as the most important day in our Vaishnava calendar — even more important than Lord Krishna's appearance day! — because we want a relationship with Krishna only through service, and Srimati Radharani is "the Mistress of Service."

In his unparalleled and unprecedented exposition of the brahma-gayatri mantra, Srila Sridhar Maharaj has shown us that it is Srimati Radharani (or Her emissary in this world, Sri Guru) who engages us in Krishna's service (bhargo devasya dhimahi).

And Srila Govinda Maharaj, after profoundly meditating on Srila Guru Maharaj's unique contribution to our sampradaya, designed the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math logo to boldly proclaim:

gayatri muralista-kirtana-dhanam / radha-padam dhimahi

Krishna's flute exclusively sings the song of service to the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani.

Srimati Radharani's position in our sampradaya is paramount. Without Her, even Lord Krishna Himself has no attraction for us. Krishna consciousness is not Krishna consciousness without Srimati Radharani, because only She can fully attract Krishna's grace. Our highest aspiration, our highest attainment, and our highest fulfillment will be found only in the service of Her lotus feet (radha-padam dhimahi).

When we first begin to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra,

hare krishna hare krishna / krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama / rama rama hare hare

we may think of it as a prayer to Krishna to engage us in His service, but as our consciousness develops, as we progress in Krishna consciousness, we realize that it is actually an earnest appeal to Srimati Radharani (Hara) to engage us in Her service to Her All-Attractive Lord (Krishna).

It is impossible to serve Krishna without serving Srimati Radharani, nor do we want to serve "the Lord of Love" without serving "the Mistress of Service." We don't worship Srimati Radharani because She is dear to Krishna: we worship Krishna because He is dear to Srimati Radharani!

Our gurus have shown us that the highest conception of divinity is Hari-Hara (Radha-Krishna) and the highest conception of Krishna is Krishna in Vrindavan, so when we chant Hare Rama, Rama cannot refer to Lord Ramachandra or even to Lord Balaram. In the highest conception of the Hare Krishna mantra, Rama can only mean Krishna, because Hara only serves Krishna. She is exclusively engaged in Her service to Radha-Ramana Rama — that is, Krishna (He who gives ramana, or pleasure, to Srimati Radharani).

By the grace of Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Gurudeva, we understand that when we chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, this is the proper conception, the real meaning of our prayer:

"Hare (O Srimati Radharani, please engage me as Your servant in Your service to) Krishna. Hare (O Supreme Mistress of Service, please allow me to assist You, in some small way, in Your service to your Lover, Radha-Ramana) Rama."

All glories to Srimati Radharani!

Tags: Srimati Radharani | Chanting

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Layout by iMonk — September 19th, 2007.