Description of Radhastami Lila

posted in: English 0



From the first day of the bright lunar quarter of the month of Bhādra, a band is sitting down at the Lion Gate of Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja’s town, making it as beautiful as Nandīśvara (at the time of Kṛṣṇa’s birthday).


[On the third day of the light lunar quarter of Bhādra is the birthday of Tungavidyā Sakhī. That night there will be Rāsa-līlā and Śayan līlā (taking rest) in her Kunja. The same thing happens on Aṣṭamī (the eight lunar day) in the Kunja of Śrī Rādhā and Viśākhā, on Navamī (the ninth day) in the Kunja of Campakalatā, on Ekādaśī in the Kunja of Indurekhā, on Pūrṇimā (fullmoon night) in the Kunja of Rangadevī and Sudevī and on the third bright lunar day in Āśvina in the Kunja of Citrā Sakhī.]


Two days before Rādhāṣṭamī, on the sixth day of the light quarter of the month of Bhādra, father Vṛṣabhānu sends an invitation to Nanda Mahārāja (Kṛṣṇa’s father) at Nandīśvara to come and celebrate Śrī Rādhikā’s birthday. Śrīdāma, Śrī Rādhikā’s elder brother, and Ṛṣikanyā deliver the invitation.


The next day, after performing their daily morning-duties, Nanda Mahārāja and his entire entourage, including Goṣṭha Candra Śrī Kṛṣṇa, come to Vṛṣabhānupura (Varṣānā) on foot, with bullock-carts or in palanquins. Hearing the musical instruments of their approaching guests resounding, Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja and his brothers and Mother Kīrtidā and her sisters-in-law are awaiting them. They show the guests their quarters and take a meal with them. Śrī Rādhikā and Her Yūtheśvarīs (group-leaders) cook rice, vegetables, purīs, kṣīra (sweet rice) and many other delicious dishes, and the pūjārī offers everything to Mahārāja Vṛṣabhānu’s Nārāyaṇa-deity. After the pūjārī puts the deity to rest Śrīdāma arranges for prasāda to be served on the courtyard of the palace and Śrī Rādhikā starts quarreling with Her Yūtheśvarīs about who can serve first. Externally angry Śyāmā-sakhī says to Śrī Rādhikā: “It’s Your father’s invitation! What’s it to us? You can serve first or not, whatever You like!”


Hearing this loving quarrel Mother Kīrtidā decides to make lines for serving, and every sakhī can serve her own line of guests. After eating, chewing betelleaves and washing the mouth, everyone lies down in his own guestroom. On the pretext of picking flowers Śrī Rādhikā then goes to Vilāsa Kuṇḍa, which is situated west of Varsānā, where She secretly meets Śrī Śyāmasundara. After a brief meeting everyone returns to their own rooms. Then Śrī Rādhikā cooks something and takes that along for Her usual noontime meeting with Kṛṣṇa at Śrī Rādhākuṇḍa.


On the morning of Rādhāṣṭamī-day, after performing their morning-duties, everyone assembles to witness Śrī Rādhikā’s abhiṣeka (bathing ceremony). Śrī Rādhikā wears a thin, white dress along with all Her usual ornaments for the abhiṣeka. Musicians start playing their instruments (like Vīṇā, Upāṅga, Pakhowāj, Mṛdaṅga, Dundubhīs, Bherīs and Dolaks) and the maidservants come in to bring all the paraphernalia for the bathing-ceremony. Paurṇamāsī-devī chants the mantras and Gargī (the daughter of the priest Gargamuni) starts the abhiṣeka. First she pours Mahauṣadhi-water, water that contains many auspicious herbs, over Śrī Rādhikā’s delectable limbs, then Païca-Gavya, five kinds of dairy-products, like milk, yoghurt, buttermilk, clarified butter and cow’s urine, then a hundred jugs of clear water and finally She bathes Her with a conchshell that makes a thousand streams. The maidservants dry Śrī Rādhikā off with soft white towels and anoint Her with fragrant oils and Catuḥ-Sama (a blend of sandalpaste, vermilion, camphor and musk). Then they take Her to Her Śṛṅgāra Vedī (dais for ornamentation), dress Her in Her usual splendid blue sārī and decorate Her with Her shimmering ornaments, the sixteen śṛṅgāras and twelve ābharaṇas. Gargī worships Śrī Rādhikā with Dūrva-grass (bright green grass which is highly auspicious) and wheat in her hand, and Paurṇamāsī offers Her brahminical blessings. After a maidservant has offered ārati to Śrī Rādhikā, mother Yaśodā blesses Her and presents Her with a jeweled necklace, clothes and ornaments. She also gives such presents to the Yūtheśvarīs. Then Śrī Rādhā gives ornamented cows in charity. Father Vṛṣabhānu also gives thousands of cows and calves. Śrī Rādhikā offers Her obeisances unto all these superiors.


After this Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His friends take a snack and Śrī Rādhā and Her girlfriends and groupleaders also take a snack. Śrī Rādhikā then takes off Her ornaments and cooks Her own birthday-feast together with mother Rohiṇī – sweet rice, savouries, rice and vegetables. Hundreds of brāhmaṇas are cooking another feast for all the villagers outside. Compassionate Yaśodā says to her friend Kīrtidā: “Sakhi! Your heart is so hard! You make Śrī Rādhikā, who is as tender as a Śirīṣa-flower, cook so much! You don’t have any love and affection! Just see how warm She feels of this hard labour on Her very birthday!” Mother Kīrtidā replies: “Because Śrī Rādhikā got the blessing that whatever She cooks would be more delicious than nectar, Vṛṣabhānu-Mahārāja wanted Nanda Mahārāja and his family to savour this once. That’s why Śrī Rādhikā is cooking on this special occasion! O Queen of Vraja! Just see how nice Her preparations are!” Mother Rohiṇī then shows mother Yaśodā all the preparations Śrī Rādhikā had cooked. Śrī Rādhikā offers Her obeisances unto Queen Yaśodā’s feet and Yaśodā blesses Her, saying: “O Rādhe! Your preparations please my eyes with their form and my nose with their fragrance!” Then Lalitā and Śyāmalā come and offer their obeisances to mother Yaśodā’s lotus feet and she then also affectionately praises and blesses them. Mother Rohiṇī then says: “O Kṛṣṇa-Janani, mother of Kṛṣṇa! This Śrī Rādhikā is a golden gem and Śrī Kṛṣṇa is a sapphire gem-stone! They are just like a couple of necklaces for the Vraja-Lakṣmī (the goddess of Vraja’s pastoral beauty)!” Śrī Rādhikā’s nostrils bloom of shyness when She hears this. When Lalitā and the other sakhīs see this they rejoice. Śrī Yaśodā then orders some maidservants to prepare the offering for the deities and to fan Śrī Rādhā to remove Her fatigue. After this the pūjārī offers the bhoga and puts the deities to rest. (Meanwhile outside hundreds of brahmins have also completed their enormous cooking work) After this everyone dresses properly and, like on Kṛṣṇa-Janmāṣṭamī in Pāvan Sarovara, proceed to Bhānukhora, the pond that lies east of Varsānā, to play Dadhikādā, a game of throwing butter, yoghurt and other dairy-products at each other, and splashing each other with water from different corners of the Khora – one ghāṭa (bathing place) is reserved for men, one for women, one for girls and one for boys. After this Mahārāja Vṛṣabhānu and Kīrtidā Mahārāṇī present all ladies and gentlemen present with proper gifts of clothes and ornaments. Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja first sumptuously feeds all the brāhmaṇas and then all other people, on a large courtyard. Everyone eats in supreme ecstasy, and after flushing their mouths they take betelleaves and take rest in their individual abodes.

In the inner chambers of the palace mother Kīrtidā and mother Śrī Yaśodā also feed all the ladies, after which they too take rest in their individual quarters. After this he generously gives clothes, ornaments and dakṣiṇā (monetary donations). Then everyone takes rest in their own rooms.

After taking some rest Śrī Rādhikā goes picking flowers with Her girlfriends on the bank of Vilāsa Kunda in the west of Barsana. While they depart the sakhīs give a hint to Śrī Kṛṣṇa through the window. Śrī Kṛṣṇa then joins them at Vilāsa Kuṇḍa, performs His amorous pastimes with Śrī Rādhā there, performs Yogapīṭha pastimes and then everyone returns to their own bedroom for taking some rest. After this Śrī Rādhā’s pastimes of cooking offerings for the Sun-god and going on abhisāra are the same as on the Saptamī. At night They dance the Rāsa and recline in the kuïja of Viśākhā-sakhī, because it is also her birthday on this day.




In Vṛṣabhānupura on the ninth day of the lunar fortnight in the month of Bhādra Śrī Rādhā, Śrī Kṛṣṇa and everyone else take their morning baths, bathe, dress, ornament and then take a snack. After that, after Śrī Rādhikā and Her assistants have completed their cooking work and the offering is done to the deities, everyone takes their meal in due order and take rest. As in the previous day Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa perform Yogapīṭha-pastimes and Their various other eternal pastimes such as wandering through the forest. Then, in the afternoon they return to Barsana where they all have a snack in due course. After that Śrī Nanda Mahārāja and others take leave from Śrī Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja in order to return home. Just like Nanda Mahārāja did on Śrī Kṛṣṇa Janmāṣṭamī, Śrī Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja is bidding everyone goodbye after offering them suitable presents. Everyone then returns home in topmost bliss.

After this Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s cow-milking pastimes and others take place as usual. On this Navamī-tithi the Rāsa- and Śayana-līlā take place at Rādhākuṇḍa in the kuïja of Campakalatā-sakhī on the occasion of her birthday.



On the full moon day of Bhādra in Navadvīpa Śrīman Mahāprabhu performs His usual morning duties and follows the usual course of His eternal pastimes by sitting in the Mādhavī-pavilion of Śrīvāsa’s flower garden with His devotees at noon. Knowing Mahāprabhu’s heart, Svarūpa Goswāmī sings a song about Śrī Rādhā’s coronation pastime in Vraja with a very sweet voice. Hearing this, everyone gets absorbed in Vraja-bhāva and relishing the līlā-rasa.



In Vraja Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa follow the usual course of Their eternal līlā by eating, resting and having Yogapīṭha-meeting in Nandīśvara. After that Kṛṣṇa and His friends go to tend cows in pūrvāhna (8.24 a.m.) time, while Śrī Rādhā and Her sakhīs return to Her parental home. Meanwhile in Vṛndāvana, Vṛndā-devī, on the order of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Paurṇamāsī devī, creates an Ākāśa-vāṇī (ethereal message) announcing the royal coronation shower to make Śrī Rādhārāṇī the queen of Vṛndāvana. Along with Paurṇamāsī she creates an assembly of elders on the courtyard of Vṛndāvana’s Hemāmbuja Kuñja. Śrī Paurṇamāsī is the speaker of that assembly and Vṛndā-devī the prastāvikā (someone who puts up a candidate for election).


As She always does in Her nitya-līlā, Śrī Rādhā goes on abhisāra at noon on the pretext of going out for Sūrya-pūjā, and thus arrives on the courtyard of Hemāmbuja Kuñja. Śrī Kṛṣṇa also gives up herding His cows and comes there with His dearmost friends. Vṛndā-devī seats everyone on appropriate seats, and the assembly can start its session. Prastāvikā Vṛndā-devī tells the chairwoman Śrī Paurṇamāsī-devī: “O Yogeśvari! Crown Śrī Rādhā as the queen of Vṛndāvana, because that was clearly ordered by this disembodied ethereal voice in our presence.” Then, on the beckoning of the great ascetic Śrī Paurṇamāsī, five goddesses appeared – Devakī’s daughter Ekānāṁsā, the resident of Vindhya, Sūrya’s wives Saṁjñā and Chāyā, and Sūrya’s daughters Yamunā and Mānasa Gangā. Sūrya’s wife Chāyā-devī said: “Bhagavati! We know your purpose and we will comply. But where is the greatly glorious Śrī Rādhā and where is the tiny kingdom of Vṛndāvana, measuring just 16 kroṣa (32 miles)? I wish you would crown Her the queen of the whole universe!”

Then Vindhya-vāsinī-devī (glancing at Śrī Paurṇamāsī) said: “O Tulya-rūpiṇī sakhi! (girlfriend who is equally attractive) This Vṛndāvana, measuring 16 kroṣa, is extraordinary and unequalled – what is the significance of presiding over millions of universes? They dwell in a single region of Vṛndāvana!” Hearing this, everyone bloomed up of joy. Yamunā, daughter of the sun, staring at the sky, from which divine flowers were being showered, said: “Bhagavati! Sarasvatī, daughter of Brahmā, is eager to come over here, but cannot come unless you yourself call her. She is waiting in the sky with a divine basket.” Then, upon being called by Paurṇamāsī-devī, Vāg Devī (Sarasvatī) entered the assembly, opened the basket, and said: “Mother Sāvitrī handed me this fragrant lotus-garland, Indra’s wife Śacī-devī gave me this golden lion-throne, Kuvera’s wife Ṛddhī gave jewelled ornaments, Varuṇa’s wife Gaurī gave an umbrella, Pavana’s wife Śivā gave two cāmara-fans, Agni’s wife Svāhā two garments, and Yama’s wife Dhūmorṇā eagerly handed me this jewelled mirror.”

Then a loud tumult of heavenly music began in the canopy of the sky. The Gandharvas, like Tumburu, blissfully sang in between the clouds, the Apsaras danced in the sky and well mannered beautiful goddesses blissfully began the abhiṣeka-festival. Śrī Kṛṣṇa blissfully witnessed all this.

Then, on Bhagavatī Śrī Paurṇamāsī-devī’s order, all world-sanctifying rivers Mānasa Gangā, Yamunā, Sarasvatī and their accompanying goddesses and girlfriends, seated Śrī Rādhā on the golden dais, filled jewelled jugs with the divine rasika nectar of great herbs, and bathed Her with it, thus granting Her the sovereignty over the kingdom of Vṛndāvana. Then the golden lion-throne which was donated by Śacī-devī was established on the dais and Śrī Rādhā took Her seat on it. Yamunā Devī then began to fan Her with a cāmara, while Sarasvatī Devī held an umbrella above Śrī Rādhā’s head. Lalitā and other sakhīs were standing all around, engaged each in their own services while the manjarīs performed Śrīmatī’s mahā-śṛṅgāra (elaborate ornamentation and make up).

Sarasvatī-devī then took the divine fragrant lotus-garland from the basket and said – “My mother Sāvitrī affectionately sent this garland.” Hearing this, Vindhya-vāsinī Devī took the garland and placed it around Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s neck. Seeing this, Yamunā-Devī playfully smiled and said: “O Devi! Why did you give this garland, that belongs to my sister Śrī Rādhā, to your brother (Kṛṣṇa being the son of Devakī)?” Laughing, Vindhya-vāsinī Devī took the divine garland plus a captivating necklace from Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s neck and placed them around Śrī Rādhā’s neck and said: ‘Ayi! Accept Your very own garland.”

Seeing this, Yamunā Devī said: ‘This necklace associated with a hard heart, so we don’t need it!” Saying this, she laughed and in jest took the Manohara necklace from Śrī Rādhā’s neck to place it around Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s neck. Vindhya-vāsinī devī then took some musk from Kṛṣṇa’s chest and made tilaka of it on Śrī Rādhā’s forehead. Chāyā-devi, the mother of Sūryadeva´s son Śani, placed a crown on Her head, Tvaṣṭā’s daughter Saṁjñā bound Her braid, and Lalitā and other sakhīs dressed and decorated Rādhārāṇī with the jewels and ornaments brought by Vāg Devī, holding a jeweled mirror in front of Her donated by Yama’s wife Dhūmorṇa.

Then Paurṇamāsī-devī announced: “O mobile and immobile trees and vines of Vṛndāvana! A subjects like the animals and birds! All of you create a festival, because today Śrī Rādhikā has become the most prominent general among sakhīs and has commenced Her reign over the kingdom on your behalf, appointing Vṛndā-devī as the pure minister of garden affairs.” Yamunā-devī said: “May Lalitā and the other sakhīs peacefully and blissfully pick flowers in their playgarden in Vṛndāvana from today on.” Vindhya-vāsinī devī said: “Yamune! But the flowers are under the control of Mādhava (the spring season or Kṛṣṇa).

After this everyone took a little snack, after which the goddesses blissfully dispersed to their own abodes and Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His cowherd boyfriends went to Rādhākuṇḍa. Śrī Rādhā also went to Rādhākuṇḍa with Her sakhīs and performed all pastimes of meeting there with Śrī Kṛṣṇa, as always.



In Navadvīpa Mahāprabhu is absorbed in Vraja-bhāva with His devotees in Śrīvāsa’s flower garden. Svarūpa Goswāmī then ends his songs about Śrī Rādhā’s rājyābhiṣeka līlā. Everyone attains bhāva śānti (the end of their absorption). After this their pastimes are as always.




#radhastami.  #radharani      #Lila

Post view 291 times

Notify of
0 Adds or Replies
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments