Radha - consort of Krishna

Venkataramani K. VenkataramaniK at AOL.COM
Tue Oct 8 09:33:15 CDT 2002

In a message dated 10/8/02 12:53:56 AM US Eastern Standard Time,
Rajesh_Sarin at RIL.COM writes:

> Can anybody share his/her knowledge about Radha - the consort of Lord
> Krishna. I am interested to know, which book can give me complete life
> story of Radha. Moreover, please share knowledge about - who was Radha,
> where was she born, who were her parents,

There is hardly any mention of Radha in Vishnu Purana or Bhagavata Purana,
though Bhagavata Purana does mention about many exalted gopis in canto X and
it is accepted that Radha is one of them, though she is never mentioned by
name. The first book that mentions Radha by name is Brahma Vaivarta PurAnA.
This describes in detail the passion between Radha and Krishna and the rAsa
lIlA [sensuous pastimes] between them. It has been a while since I read that,
so I am not sure if it talks of who her parents were.

I can only take guess for an answer. Different books portray her relationship
with Krishna differently. Once again, my memory is rusty, but I think
Jayadeva [Gita Govindam??] portrays Radha as Krishna's aunt [uncle's wife].
Perhaps, that is the reason, she was never married to Krishna. Traditionally,
the worship of Radha has been confined to Bengal and Vrindavan and a few
other pockets where the 6 Gosvamis had been teaching. Since, the above 2
books I mentioned are dated around the 10th century to 11th century CE, it is
my guess that the worship of Radha started around that time. I haven't come
across any mention of Radha in the devotional outpourings of the 12 AzhwArs
in Tamil. They all lived before the 10th century CE. Incidentally, the
worship of Lakshmi NArAyanA [and not Radha Krishna] is most prevalent in the

Various sects have taken different approach to the descriptions in the 2
books I mentioned above. Adherents to Radha worship find nothing wrong in the
relationship between Radha and Krishna [though she might have been married to
another man], because, any relationship with Krishna is transcendental and it
is not constrained by the material laws. This is quite true as can be seen
from the legend of Meera also. She was married [again, there are 2
conflicting accounts - one claiming she was a widow], yet attracted to
Krishna and our society never passed a moral judgement on her. It shows that
our society in general recognized devotional rAsa in its own merit and never
judged that from a prudish, Victorian moral stand point.

There is another school, typified by Swami Dayananda Sarasvati [19th century
CE], which considers all the purAnAs as bogus and as products of evil minds,
which concocted them during the Muslim rule. This argument too is not without
its sets of merits.

I should conclude that nothing is really black & white and one has to decide
whether he accepts faith and tradition or not. [I just realized that except
providing the names of 2 books, I have said little that answers your
questions -:))]


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