It is ignorance to talk anything wrong about relationship of Radha-Krishna. In fact, Sri Krishna left Gokul-Virndavan at the age of 12 years. It is stupid to talk their relationship as of mundane love. The love felt by the Gopis is not lust (Kama). Sexual lust cares only for sensual gratification for oneself. The Gopis on the other hand seek Krishna’s enjoyment, not theirs. The unalloyed love of Radha-Krishna is without the slightest touch of self-centeredness. The play of Radha and Krishna is extremely deep and
Radha’s spiritual love for Krishna was without the least taint of selfishness.
In the Skanda Purana, Vaishnava Khanda, Bhagavata Mahatmya talks about Radharani. The 1st chapter (Volume 6) contains the famous statement, “Atma Tu Radhika Tasya” – Radharani is Krishna's soul. Radharani features prominently in Rudra Sampradaya of Sri Vallabhacharya and Gaudiya Sampradaya of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Radha is also the principal god of worship in the Nimbarka Sampradaya, as Nimbarka, the founder of the tradition, declared that Radha and Krishna together constitute the absolute truth.
Gopi is a Sanskrit word, refers to milkmaids. The Skanda Purana states that out of many thousands of gopis who had divine love with Sri Krishna, sixteen thousand were predominant; and out of 108 gopis, eight were still more prominent. The prominent eight gopis were Lalita, Vishakha, Champakalata, Chitra, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi. But the two gopies, Radharani and Chandravalli were most prominent; and out of these two gopis, Radharani is the most prominent. Radha, is also called Radhika, Radharani and Radhikarani.
Why Gopis had love for Sri Krishna:
Goverdhan episode developed trust in the minds of Gopis that Balkrishna is almighty. This sowed the seeds of love and devotion among their minds. Intensity of devotion increased gradually in the minds of Gopis leading to restlessness. This restlessness was due to separation from almighty and not worldly desire or passion.
Balkrishna was eleven years old at the time of Raaslila. Some ignorant persons paint Raslila as ordinary sexual appetite. Any sensible person can understand that eleven years old child can’t have sexual appetite. Gopis were of all ages including married women. They had pure devotion and spiritual love for Sri Krishna and not attachment with body. Further, Raas was done in open and not closed door. Neither Gopis in Gokul were ordinary ladies nor was Balkrishna ordinary human being. In case, the episode would have been for sexual appetite, Shri Shukdev ji who was an enlightened person since birth will not mention this.
Dongra ji Maharaj has explained about the Gopis. Raaslila was not an ordinary meeting of man and woman but meeting of Jivatmas with Parmatama. When the covering of desires and ignorance is abolished, it is pure Jivatma. Sexual appetite is caused in the physical bodies. No sooner feelings of physical body eliminate, sexual appetite is erased from the mind. Everybody has to shed ego to meet almighty.
What is Spiritual Love:
Initially, love starts between two persons. As love intensity grows, feeling of oneness develops. The power of love is revealed in 8 forms i.e.
1. Prem, (प्रेम) - Indissoluble attachment binding devotee to God,
2. Sneh (स्नेह) - The end product of Prema is when the heart melts in love,
3. Maan (मान) – It is marked by sensitiveness due to excessive love,
4. Pranaya (प्रणय),
5. Raag (राग) – It is eager longing for the object of love touched with the enjoyable pain associated with it,
6. Anuraag (अनुराग) – It is the experience of unceasing novelty in the object of love,
7. Bhavavesh (भावावेश) – It is the experience of excellent spirit, admiration, cheerfulness and velour etc. During the experience, there may be continuous flow of tears, and
8.Maha-bhav(महाभाव) - is the most ecstatic expression of love, and is called Divine madness.
Each of them epitomizes a higher degree of love than the previous one. Thus Maha-bhav is highest and in Mahabhav as well there is most intimate level of love which is called Madan Maha-bhav. Shri Radha is the embodiment of Madan Mahabhav.
Gopis are spiritual preceptress of Bhakti. While performing their duties, their mind was constantly engrossed in Balkrishna. This is height of Bhakti. Sri Shankaracharya said, immerse in any form of deity with full devotion. Perform all worldly duties keeping in manas of almighty and for the almighty. If devotion is done all through our actions, speech and thought, shri Krishna enters in life. Believe all other forms part of that form. It will not develop pleasure or pain. All attachments are of manas (मन). Meditating the sensual pleasures makes the manas impure. Abandoning such thoughts of sensual pleasure, purify the manas. When manas becomes steady in almighty, it is peaceful. After liberation of manas, jivatma enjoys freedom.
What is the original form of Radha:
Radha is regarded as the Goddess or Shakti. She is the eternal consort of Sri Krishna. She is the internal potency or Hladini Shakti (Blissful energy) of Sri Krishna. She is the personification of para bhakti (complete devotion) unto Sri Krishna (Bhakti Devi) and is revered as the epitome of selfless love and service towards Krishna. She is also considered by some as the feminine form of Lord Krishna himself.
Radha once asked krishna in Golok whom does he love the most, and krishna told her that he is free from all the emotions and loves everyone. To this she asked about herself, to which Krishna said that you and I are same so how can I love myself. When she asked him why didn’t he marry her? He said how he could marry her because love and marriage needs two people but they are one.
According to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu:
The Story of Maha Raas of Shri Krishna and Gopis
Maha Raas was solemnized by Shri Krishna and Gopis in Vrindavan, by Balkrishna at the age of 8 years 3 months while Radharani was 3 years 3 months only (on October 3, 3222 BC on Kartika Purnima).
Goverdhan episode developed trust in the minds of Gopis that Balkrishna is almighty. This sowed the seeds of love and devotion among their minds. Initially, love starts between two persons. As love intensity grows, feeling of oneness develops. Intensity of devotion increased gradually in the minds of Gopis leading to restlessness. This restlessness was due to separation from almighty and not worldly desire or passion.
Dongra ji Maharaj has explained about the Gopis as under:
Gopis are of two types’ viz. Nityasiddha (नित्यसिद्धा) and Sadhansiddha (साधनसिद्धा). Nityasiddha Gopis are Shrutiroopa (श्रुतिरूपा), Rishiroopa (ऋषिरूपा), Sankeernroopa (संकीर्णरूपा), anypoorva (अन्यपूर्वा) and ananypoorva (अनन्यपूर्वा). Sadhansiddha Gopis were that who’s Sadhna (spiritual elevation) was not yet completed.
Balkrishna asked them to return their homes. Shri Krishna said to Gopis, they would get more pleasure in separation than that of meeting. It was not proper to come here leaving their husbands and children at home. Gopis asked reason for saying this. Shri Krishna replied, body has husband, father etc. but Atman does not belong to father or husband etc. Atman’s duty is to meet almighty. Shri Krishna further said duty of women is to serve husband and children which purifies mind and pure mind attains almighty. Gopis said they have done renunciation of all desires from sense organs & mind and decided to surrender in the feet of almighty. Gopis further said, they are neither man nor woman but pure Atman. For thousands of births, they have waited for him. Shri Krishna said he could deliver them at their homes with the power of yoga. Gopis said it would deliver the physical bodies but not the minds. Gopis were adamant not to go back and preferred to die. They insisted for amrit (nectar) of divine love and wisdom so that feeling of duality eliminates.
Hearing all this, Shri Krishna accepted the defeat. He thought that devotion of Gopis is true and they would give up lives, if sent them away today. Almighty took many forms and did Maha Raas with each individual Gopi. Jivatmas met Parmatama. Narada ji regretted for being a man as he could not participate in Raas. Radha ji advised him to take bath in Radhakund. Narada ji after taking bath in Radhakund became Naradi.
Brahma ji and other deities beheld Raas. Brahma ji thought, although Shri Krishna and Gopis are desireless and flawless, yet Shri Krishna is for establishing virtues and Raas with others’ wives is not proper. Shri Krishna thought Brahma has not understood that this is not ordinary Raas Lila but dharma (Virtuous) Lila. Almighty did one trick. He gave his form of Krishna to all Gopis. Now, there was only Shri Krishna. Brahma ji understood that this is not ordinary Raas.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
When Balkrishna was seven years old, he did Govardhan lila (play). “Go” means wisdom and bhakti. Every year, Nand baba was performing Indra yajna. Balkrishna asked Nand Baba about the Indra Yajna and its purpose. Nand Baba replied, Indra is deity of rains. He gives rains which grow grains and cereals. They perform the yajna to make him happy. Balkrishna said, performing yajna of Indra is good but he cannot be termed as almighty. Anybody who performs one hundred yajna attains the post of Indra. Balkrishna asked Nand Baba whether he is aware about Indra’s Indra. Nand Baba asked who that is. Balkrishna said, Goverdhannath. Goverdhannath is deity of all the four directions. Jagannath Puri is in the east direction, Rameshwar is in the south, Dwarkanath is in west, Badrinath is in north and in the center is Goverdhannath. Balkrishna asked Nand Baba to worship Goverdhan. For so many years, everybody does Indra’s worship but he has not given his vision. It means he is egoistic. Goverdhan could be seen and it protects us so it should be worshipped. Balkrishna decided to erase the pride of Indra. Nand baba asked the procedure to worship Goverdhan. Balkrishna said, caring of poor, cows and virtuous Brahmins is worship of almighty. Food items were collected from all houses and Annakut (mixed vegetable dish) was prepared.
All virtuous Brahmins were invited. Brahmins started chanting Mantras and Abhishek (consecration) of Balkrishna. Children got tired of bringing water from Yamuna for Abhishek. It required a large quantity of water for Abhishek. Balkrishna said to Goverdhan that his friends are tired and prayed to reveal Ganga-Yamuna from its foothills. Ganga appeared which is called as Mansiganga. Abhishek of Goverdhan was completed. Balkrishna entered in his another form into Goverdhan. He was worshipped like a living deity. Balkrishna asked to offer food to Goverdhannath. Braj people asked whether Goverdhannath would consume food. Balkrishna said in affirmative. Balkrishna in form of Goverdhannath started consuming food. Entire Braj was very happy. Later, Braj people got worried as Goverdhannath appeared to consume everything. Balkrishna dispelled their fear and said, Goverdhannath would give equivalent amount of food as Lakshmi ji has arrived. After worship and aarti of Goverdhannath, all Braj people sat to take food. Balkrishna served it to everybody. Everybody enjoyed food and rested in the foothills of Goverdhan.
Meanwhile, Narada went to Indra and informed him about the worship of Goverdhan. Indra felt insulted and asked all the twelve clouds to rain over Braj and to destroy everything. Due to heavy rains, there was outcry of Braj people. Everybody was terrified. Balkrishna said Goverdhannath would protect us. Believe him. He informed that Goverdhan appeared in his dream and said, he is happy with them. It would rain for seven days and he will stand weightlessly on his finger. Balkrishna asked the help of everybody to take Goverdhan on his finger. Goverdhannath became light. Balkrishna took Goverdhannath on his little finger. There were heavy rains for seven days. Gapals thought that Balkrishna must be tired and asked to place Goverdhannath on the wooden sticks. As soon as Balkrishna removed his finger, the weight of Goverdhan became unbearable. Gopals cried Balkrishna to put his finger. Ultimately, base is almighty. To see the divine form of Balkrishna, Braj people forgot their body requirements and hunger for seven days.
Now, Indra realized the original form of Balkrishna. He lost pride. He ordered clouds to stop raining. Indra did Abhishek of Balkrishna with milk. Milk was collected in a furrow which is called as Surubhikund. Braj people was surprised with the powers of Balkrishna and surmised that he is almighty. They asked Nand baba, who is father of Balkrishna. Nand baba told them that he is his son. Gargacharya rishi informed them that he has attributes of almighty. In Goverdhan episode, Shri Krishna is worshipping and worshipped.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
When Balkrishna was five years old, he desired to go to Vrindavan. Vrinda means Bhakti. Balkrishna alongwith Gopis & Gopals went to play near Yamuna River in Virndavan.
Stories of Balkrishna during the age of five to eleven years & their Spiritual Significances:
At that time, Brahma ji came there and saw this. Brahma ji was surprised to see this. He doubted Balkrishna being almighty. Brahma ji decided to test Balkrishna whether he is almighty. Brahma ji took all the calves to Brahmaloka (his realm). When children saw no calves there, they told Balkrishna. Balkrishna said to them to continue taking food and went to search calves but could not find. When Balkrishna came back, he could not find children also. Balkrishna understood that this is handiwork of Brahma ji. Balkrishna formed another calves and children.
Brahma ji again came to find the status but he saw everything normal. Children and calves were there. He went back to Brahma loka. There also children and calves were playing. Brahma ji pondered over it and could not decide which children and calves are real. Meanwhile, Balkrishna decided to play one more trick. He took the form of Brahma ji and asked the servants to beat fake Brahma who is roaming around here. When Brahma ji reached Brahmaloka, the servants started beating him saying real Brahma is sitting on the throne. Brahma ji meditated upon to find the truth. He found Balkrishna sitting on the throne and children & calves also there. Balkrishna removed Brahma’s ego.
Dongra ji Maharaj has explained the spiritual significance of various episodes of Balkrishna lucidly as under:
Shri Bhagavad Purana
Balkrishna Kanhiya lal ki jai
In the mid night of eighth day in Shravan month (Krishna Paksh), four armed Narayana appeared before Vasudev and Devaki. Narayana said to them that they could see his form and continue to meditate for eleven years, he would again come. Later, Kanahiya (child form) appeared. Vasudev carried him to Gokul and brought Yogmaya. Yogmaya announced Kansaa that the child to kill him has already been born. “Go” means sense organs and “kul” means group.
During Gokul stay, Balkrishna never wore stitched clothes and shoes as his friends were poor. He carried flute and butter-sugar candy (मिश्री). He never cut his hairs in Gokul.
Balkrishna in his childhood faced several attacks in Gokul.
Stories of Balkrishna up to age of five years & their Spiritual Significances:
Tranavrat signifies Rajasika attribute which sweeps manas (मन). Manas loses connect with intellect and Kama or krodha enters manas. Kama and krodha are sons of Rajas attribute.
Balkrishna’s friends went to the homes and informed their mothers about this. Gopis came running and told Yashodha to leave Balkrishna. They started complaining that Balkrishna had broken their butter pots several times but they never tied him. They also promised to give five pots as against leaving Balkrishna. But Yashodha was adamant. She said to Gopis that he is her son and would do whatever she likes.
Yashodha tried to tie Balkrishna. To her surprise, cord fell short despite using all the cords of the home. Shri Krishna saw that Yasodha mata is tired and out of affection, he got bonded with pestle. Shri Krishna cannot be tied with worldly chord, but tie with chord of love.