Srimati Radharani’s Appearance
“On the Ashtami tithi of Gaura paksha, in the month of Bhadra, King Vrishabhanu came to the Yamuna river to bathe and found himself engulfed in a golden aura of pure love. It was emanating from a lotus, which had a baby girl in its whorl. The King picked up the beautiful girl and decided to raise her as his own daughter. When the king returned to the palace with the baby, Queen Kirtida was delighted doubted if she were blind as she did not open her eyes.
“Lord Krishna’s mother, Yashoda, heard that her best friend Kirtida had a baby, so she came to visit along with her husband and her son. Krishna crawled up to the cradle and pulled Himself up and looked in. At that moment, Srimati Radharani’s eyes fluttered and opened wide and blossomed like lotuses. It seems that she did not want to see anything of this world, only the form of Sri Krishna. Everyone was delighted.
Srila Prabhupada’s caution
Srila Prabhupada, in his commentary on Srimad-Bhagavatam, cautions that although Krishna and Radharani’s relationship may appear like romantic dealings between young boys and girls, it is purely transcendental; there are spiritual prerequisites for properly understanding it. In his summary study of the Tenth Canto – Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead – Srila Prabhupada recommends that an aspiring devotee of Krishna thoroughly study the Bhagavatam’s first nine cantos – which stress the greatness of God and His divine energy – before delving into the more intimate, confidential pastimes found in the Tenth Canto.
Radharani also appears in the Hare Krishna mantra as “Hare,” the vocative form of “Hara.” Hara is the feminine form of Hari, another name of Krishna. Her name appears before Krishna’s in the mantra because She’s known for Her compassionate nature; devotees of Krishna approach Her before approaching Him.
Radha, Krishna’s Female Counterpart
The complete conception of God includes God and His energies, which exist simultaneously with Him. The sum of Krishna’s energies is Radha, His eternal consort. Like the sun and sunshine, Krishna and Radha are inseparable.
Radha embodies the totality of love for Krishna. Thus She is known as the personification of Bhakti, or loving devotion to God.
Loving God is our natural state, now dormant. By Her pure example, Radha is the beacon calling everyone to re-awaken full love for Krishna. She also dispenses mercy to help us achieve that goal.
Radha-Krishna are the male and female aspects of God. Known as the Divine Couple, together they are the full manifestation of God.
“Radharani is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Radharani is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Krishna, the Lord at once accepts the devotee’s admittance into His association.” —Srila Prabhupada, Bhagavatam 2.3.23