Radha prem has two senses. In the first place it signifies the love of Krishna for Radha, and in the second place that of Radha for Krishna. Let us take them in order. What is the meaning of Krishna’s love for Radha?
Radha, as is well known, signifies the haladini Shakti, the Ananda Shakti of Sri Krishna. The object of Sri Krishna’s Vrindaban Lila is to achieve meetings with Radha and enjoy the bliss of her company. In plain words, what Krishna desires is that His bliss should be manifest in the world. Everywhere and in everything He wishes to see the shining forth of Bliss.
The selfishness of the world, as represented by Radha’s husband and relations, places all sorts of obstacles in the path of Their meeting but Krishna triumphs over all, so that time and again meetings take place and here, in this world, is seen the bliss of the eternal.
On the other hand, we have the fact of Sri Radha’s love for Krishna. Everything She does is for Him and without Him She would die. There are those that seek bliss for themselves, but never find it, for all bliss belongs to Krishna and can only be found in utter self giving to Him.
It is thus seen that the two meanings of Radhaprem are the two sides of the cosmic process.
On the one side there is the Divine will that Bliss should be manifested and on the other side there is the self giving, the making of everything to centre in Sri Krishna so that the world may be the vessel of that Bliss.
Wherever men’s hearts are filled with the hard rock of selfishness, the Divine union cannot take place and in consequence the world is grey, loveless and sorrowful. But wherever the Love of Krishna drives out all self and man is able to give himself utterly, there the desire of Krishna is fulfilled. Radha is His and the eternal Bliss of Parabrahman is manifested here on Earth.
For, as the Upanishads say, “All this is verily Brahman”
It is ignorance which makes us think there are two worlds, this world and the world of Brahman. Seen rightly, this is Vrindaban, this is Goloka, this is Satchitananda.
It is the delusion that our separate selves exist that makes this world hell for most. Krishna is everything and everywhere and He is manifest wherever Radha is and self is not. We are like men suffering from cataract of the eye. Because of our blindness the world seems dark and gloomy. If we remove the selfishness that covers the inner eye of wisdom we see that it is not the world that was dark but ourselves.
Now that our eyes have been cleaned, we see that all is light, light on the way, light dancing on the waves of the great ocean, light in the cloudless sky where the eternal Sun shines in his stainless splendor. This is the Mahabhava which none other than Radha ever knows.
No one else can know it for only where all self has vanished like the flame of an extinguished lamp can it be manifest.
What is the path that leads us to this goal? The path is that of love for Krishna. But where is Krishna? Like fire in the fire sticks, like oil in til, like butter in milk, Krishna dwells in secret in the hearts of all. To seek Him elsewhere is like trying to milk a cow from its horn or trying to produce fire by worshipping the fire- sticks instead of using them.
Krishna is in all and must be served in all.
Then, when constant service has kindled the flame of love, that flame will consume all, even the sticks which gave it birth and there will be only Krishna shining gloriously with Radha on His breast.
Then the Blue color of Radha’s cloth mingles with the blue of Krishna’s body and the sunlike brilliance of Krishna’s clothes blends with the golden radiance of Her limbs — Is it one figure or two? we cannot say — all that we know is that is the only Reality in the triple world.
With deep gratitude to Sri Krishna Prem