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Aug. 25, 2020, 12:14 p.m. by Dr Gayatri Mohapatra ( 348 views)

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Radhastami celebration, ISKCON Vrindaban

Radhashtami is celebrated on the eighth day of the bright fortnight of Shukla paksha Ashtami tithi, in the month of Bhadraba.

It is a very significant festival for the Krishna bhakts celebrating Radharani's birth anniversary.

She is Goddess Mahalakshmi, as considered in some scriptures & is hladini shakti of Krishna and a separate goddess or shakti in Vaishnav scriptures. On this day she emerged from a lotus flower as the lover-consort of Lord Krishna as mentioned in the VishnuKhand of Skanda Purana.

Radha also called Radhika, Radhe, Madhavi, Keshavi, Raseshwari, Kishori, Shyama, and Radharani is a popular and revered goddess in Hinduism, especially in the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition and is worshipped as the goddess of love, tenderness, compassion, and devotion.

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The meaning of ‘Radha’ in Sanskrit means ‘prosperity’. She is the fountainhead of divinity, auspiciousness, opulence, and spirituality. Shiva Purana and Brahmavaivarta Purana mention Her inseparability from the Lord.

Radhashtami is ceremoniously celebrated in the Brij area, especially in the Radharani temple of Barsana.

On Radhastami, Radha Krishna idols are traditionally dressed entirely in flowers. The Gaudiya Vaishnava cult & ISCKON temples celebrate this festival with pomp & gaiety. Radhashtami is the only day on which devotees may receive darshan of Radha's feet. On all other days, they remain covered.

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Radha’s feet, Sakhigopal temple, Puri

This festival is also celebrated in the Jagannath temple, Puri in a unique way. The "Sudarshana" Is worshipped exclusively and on Radhashtami, it circumambulates the inner enclosure of the temple. The Radha-Krishna cult could not make a dent in the cult of Jagannath despite Sri Chaitanya's bhakti movement. Since it received acceptance in Oriya spiritual consciousness only after the 18th century, this festival is of recent origin comparatively, although it does find mention in the calendar of festivals. However, Radha is hardly remembered & it's a mystery how Sudarshana takes her place on this day.

There are many stories about why Radha & Krishna never married despite eternal love for each other. Shri Krishna did not marry Radha. Instead, he married Rukmini and Satyabhama. Therefore, devotees wonder why Krishna never married Radha, whom he loved so much, and the one who was in love with him. According to mythology, when he was asked this question by Radha, Srikrishna said "How can one marry one's, own soul"?

Radha and Krishna's love cannot be compared to earthly definitions and explanations.

It is an unparalleled example of the mortal human beings to proclaim the supreme union between the human and divine energy around us that is God.

The mantra of radhashtami is "Aum Vrashbahnujaye Vidmahe, Krishnapriyaye Dheemahi Tanno Radha Prachodyat and Jai Jai Shree Radhe".

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