Updated: Sep 15
Today is Radhastami, the holy appearance day of Srimati Radharani, the eternal consort and pleasure potency of Lord Sri Krishna.
In the Gaudiya Vaishnava sect of Vaishnavism, we are also referred to as Rupanugas as we are followers of the teachings of Srila Rupa Goswami, the head or main teacher of The Six Goswamis of Vrindavan. The following is a stanza composed by Srila Rupa Goswami known as an ashtakam. Ashtakam refers to a particular form of poetry, written in eight stanzas. I share this with you today as it sets the mood for our devotion, it reminds us of how the great Goswamis meditated on Srimati Radharani. May we all have such deep devotion to the queen of Vrindavan, for by pleasing Her, we please Sri Krishna.
1. O Goddess! Be merciful to me and reveal Your lotus face to me when You and Sri Krsna play in the play grooves of Vrndavana, enjoying like intoxicated, blissful Lordly elephants!
2. O Goddess! In great distress I prostrate myself before You, falling onto the ground, praying piteously unto You with faltering voice. O Gandharvike! After You bestowed Your mercy on this fool, count him (her) amongst Your own people!
3. O Syame (Sri Radhe)! When will I worship You as Indira (Laksmi), when Your beautiful body is bound up by Syama's left arm? Krsna's beauty enchants all the people of the world and is even greater than that of Rama - ramana (Lord Visnu, Laksmi's husband).
4. O Goddess! When can I arrange for Your blissful nocturnal meeting with the son of the king of Vraja in the grove by covering Your body with a cloud blue sari and by removing the ankle bells from Your feet?
5. When will this person serve Your lotus feet, that adorn the three worlds by massaging them, as You are sitting together on a playbed made of flowers in a grove, while You are making sweet jokes with each other?
6. O Queen of Vrndavana! When can I fan You with a yak tail fan with a jeweled rod when You and Sri Krsna are sitting under a tree, Your lotus-like faces beautified by drops of perspiration from fatigue after Your pastimes on the shore of Your pond (Sri Radha Kund)?
7. O beautiful-eyed One! It was not me who told Mukunda in which corner of the kunja You were hiding! Citra did it! Don't frown Your eyebrows at me in false anger! When can I take You before the son of the king of Vraja?
8. When You defeat Krsna in a joking argument, You show even greater pride, extending Your proud words to Your blooming friends, who will praise You. When will I see You like this?
9. Anyone who nicely recites these eight prayers to the daughter of king Vrsabhanu will be accepted by Her in a wave of mercy and She will joyfully appear before her with Her lover.