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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Glories of Shri Radha > Shri Radha in the Vedas > Radha in the Vedas

Radharani in the Vedas

Although Shri Radharani's name does not appear directly in the Bhagavatam Sukadeva Gosvami has given it in many places in an indirect way. Sukadeva Gosvami did not mention Radharani's name directly because he was the parrot of Radha and if he had mentioned Her name directly he would have gone into ecstatic trance for six months. As Maharaja Pariksit had only seven days to hear Shrimad Bhagavatam he gave Radha's name in an indirect, hidden way. He cited the writings of Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and Jiva Gosvami who have described the Bhagavatam phrase "shri suka uvaca" to mean "suka" - the parrot, of "Shri" - Radha.

As this is a very big topic I will present only a few items here. Perhaps some other Vaishnavas may want to add to this.

Shrila Prabhupada has addresses the subject of Radha's name in the Bhagavatam in several places. In CC Madhya 8.100 Ramananda Raya cites SB 10.30.28:

anayaradhito nunam
bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah
prito yam anayad rahah

"[When the gopis began to talk among themselves, they said:] 'Dear friends, the gopi who has been taken away by Krishna to a secluded place must have worshiped the Lord more than anyone else.'"

In his purport Shrila Prabhupada writes:

"The name Radha is derived from this verse (SB 10.30.28), from the words anayaradhitah, meaning "by Her the Lord is worshiped." Sometimes the critics of Shrimad-Bhagavatam find it difficult to find Radharani's holy name in that book, but the secret is disclosed here in the word aradhita, from which the name Radha has come. Of course, the name of Radharani is directly mentioned in other Puranas. This gopi's worship of Krishna is topmost, and therefore Her name is Radha, or 'the topmost worshiper.'"

Although Radharani's name is only given in an indirect way in the Bhagavatam, rasika Vaishnavas see Her presence in each and every verse. Sanatana Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami and Vishvanatha Chakravarti have given many purports showing how Sukadeva Gosvami has given Radharani's name in an indirect way. In his commentary on the first verse of the Bhagavatam Jiva gives a long explanation of how the verse is referring to Radha. A few other examples of Sukadeva's indirect references to Radha follow:

In SB 10.32.4 Sukadeva has said, "kacit karambujam saurer jagrhe 'njalina - one of them seized Krishna's hand in her folded palms." Kacit refers to "*one* of them". That one is Radharani.

SB 10.30.38 describes:

evam uktah priyam aha
skandha aruhyatam iti
tatas cantardadhe krishnah
sa vadhur anvatapyata

"After being addressed by a particular gopi, Krishna told Her, "Climb up on My shoulder." Saying this He suddenly disappeared. Sa vadhur anvatapyata - His beloved consort (Radharani) then immediately felt great remorse."

SB 10.30.26 describes how after Krishna left the rasa dance with one special gopi the other gopis went searching for "vadhvah"- that special gopi (Radharani).

In the Bhramara-gita, SB 10.47.11, Sukadeva describes:

kacin madhukaram drstva
dhyayanti krishna-sangamam
priya-prasthapitam dutam
kalpayitvedam abravit

"*One* of the gopis, while meditating on Her previous association with Krishna, saw a honeybee before Her and imagined it to be a messenger sent by Her beloved. Thus She spoke as follows."

The word "kacin" in this verse, meaning "one of the gopis" refers to Radha.

Aside from the Bhagavatam, Radharani is described elaborately in Brahma-vaivarta, Padma, and Narada Puranas as well as Garga Samhita. In the 4th chapter of Ujjvala-nilamani, "Shri Radha-prakaranam" texts 3 and 4, Rupapada cites the Gopala-tapani Upanisad, Uttara-khanda where Radha is called Gandharva and the Rg Veda-parisista where Her name Radha is mentioned. There She is described as the consort of Madhava.

A note of interest: Although this verse was quoted by Rupa, the original texts for this part of the Gopal-tapani Upanisad were unknown to scholars for many, many years. In 1966 one Vaishnava scholar here in Orissa named Fakir Mohan Das discovered original palm leaf copies of this rare literature in the Balasore district of northern Orissa. After finding it he quickly reprinted it to preserve it.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Dr Fakir Mohan entitled "The History of Shri Shri Radha Krishna Worship in Orissan Culture":

"In Ujjvala Nilamani Shrila Rupa Goswami cites the Gopala Tapani Upanisad and the Rg Parisista to show the authenticity of the worship of Shrimati Radharani:

gopalottaratapinyam yad gandharveti visrutah radhet rk parisiste ca, etc.

'From the Vedic literature we come to know that Shri Radharani is referred to as 'Gandharva' in the second part of the Gopal Tapani, and as 'Radha' in the Rg Parishistha.'

"Shrila Vishvanath Cakravarti Thakur and Baladev Vidyabhushan have stated in their commentaries on Gopal Tapani Upanisad that this tapani of the Atharva Veda, Paippalada branch, was previously being recited by the brahmanas of Gujarat and Orissa. Although presently there are no brahmanas of the Atharva Veda Paippalada branch found in Gujarat, thousands of this lineage are still living in the vicinity of the village Remuna, the birth place of Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana, and in other places of Orissa. In the absence of any help from ancient manuscripts, the original text of the Paippalada Samhita can be reconstructed even today from the tradition, which the village reciters still carry with them unimpaired. In this area some rare Paippalada Samhita manuscripts have been found along with a number of hitherto unknown manuals of special Paippalada rites which give an insight into the social, religious and cultural traditions of Paippaladiyans found in the tapani literature.

"In the 18th century, Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushan has quoted the Purusa-bodhini Sruti, Purusottama Tapini, in his Prameya Ratnavali in connection with the worship of Shri Shri Radha Krishna in the Vedic period. Vaishnava poets like Anandi of Nilachala Dhama and Narahari Cakravarti of Shri Khanda, Bengal, have quoted from the Purusa-bodhini Shruti to establish the authentic nature of the worship of Shri Shri Radha Krishna and Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

"Later in the 18th century, Shrila Radha Krishna Goswami, the disciple of Haridas Pandita (who was the grand-disciple of Gadadhara Pandit Goswami of Puri), published four prapathakas (chapters) of the Purusa-bodhini sruti in his Sadhana-dipika. Thakur Bhaktivinode of village Chotimangalpur in Kendrapara District, Orissa, also collected the Shri Chaitanya Upanishad of the Paippalada branch from Pandit Madhusudan Das of Sambalpur, Orissa, publishing it in 1887. In 1901 Mahamahopadhyaya Sadashiva Kavyakantha of Puri published some additional chapters of this Sruti. In 1966 we collected all twelve prapathakas of this Purusa-bodhini Sruti from different parts of Orissa and published them from our Shri Bhaktivinode Library in Baripada."

For other references on this subject from Shrila Prabhupada's books, one may refer to the second to the last paragraph of Prabhupada's purport to SB 10.3.31. Also CC Madhya 18.8 which cites Padma Purana on the glories of Radha-kunda. And CC Adi 4.83 which addresses the glories of Radharani from the Brhad-gautamiya-tantra.

adapted from Madhavananda Dasa GGS
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