BY JEYANTHY PILLAI
KLANG, MALAYSIA – My daughter, Breenda was so excited as Radhastami was approaching. She kept asking if I could prepare a dance for Radhastami. She looked really disappointed when I told her I was simply too tired after Krishna Janmastami and all that sewing for Radhastami clothes for our lovely deities. I had made an apple green outfit with mush green lace and shimmering turquoise butterfly sequins with little white pearls for Them. I wanted my Nitai Gaurasundar deities to be in real dancing mood so the outfit was fashioned in Rajaput styled skirts. We also made sea green with pearl bead sets for our deities to match their outfits. My children helped in the final touches.
Little Breenda was persistent though, she never gave up. Her desire was so overwhelming that I simply had to choreograph some dance steps for her and another girl, Anuthra from Gopal’s Fun School, who acted as Krishna. We had less than 24 hours to practice. Anuthra stayed overnight at our place. Coaching them was a breeze. They were such gems. They absorbed the moods and dance steps like duck to water. The storyline was simple, Sri Radha goes in search of her beloved in the kunja, but does not find Him. She continues searching again, this time carrying the Vaijayanti garland she made for Him, still no sight of him. Not finding Him, she weeps in sadness. Then Krishna comes and she places the garland on Him and They dance happily and then run away. The gopis then continue their earlier dance (something we adapted from Nadia’s choreography from Iskcon KL, where my elder daughter, Shevaanni had participated) singing the glories of their mistress. The divine couple appear again, this time performing various other dances and play.
It was simply ecstatic watching older matajis swirling around the gopis and prabhus ulu-uluting followed by loud whistles. One prabhu even performed a full dandavat to the divine couple as they ended the dance while another prabhu showered Them with petals of flowers. None of these were pre-planned. No one could contain their feelings. Everyone was overflowing with ecstasy. Even the prabhus who were intoxicated with the dance dashed to the dance floor to dance the moment our dance finished. Srimati Radharani is so merciful, she gave us a taste of the true joy. I recalled a story I had read earlier.
Once Krishna told Sri Radha, “I am so indebted to You. How can I become free from this debt? Please be merciful; You are the abode of mercy. Only You can give Me love and fulfill My desires.”
Hearing this, Srimati Radhika became shy and replied, “O Syamasundara, O You whose eyes are like lotus petals, O You who are the son of the king of Vraja. You steal My heart. To meet with You I shall give up all the rules and regulations of society. I will leave My in-laws house, I will give up all consideration of shyness, respect from others, religion, and irreligion. I want to come to You and keep You as My own. I want to keep You, even for a moment, but I am only a village girl. I have no quality at all and I am not beautiful. You, on the other hand, are extremely qualified and beautiful, and You are the ornament of Your dynasty. There is no rasa in me. I have no idea about rasa, whereas You are the abode of rasa. You are the ocean of mercy, so please bestow Your mercy on Me. This is My desire.”
Looking at the photos I took while waiting for the performance to start, I was shocked to see the different moods the children displayed. I never asked them to pose in any way but their facial expressions were remarkable. Without my spectacles, I couldn’t really see what I was snapping as my eyesight was faltering with age. What I saw in the photos reminded me of the Sri Radha’s innumerable transcendental attributes.The descriptions of the beauty of Radharani are wonderfully poetic and descriptive. Actually, the residents of Vrindavana care more for Radharani than they do for Lord Krishna. They know that Radha can bring one to Krishna. She is also the compassionate nature of the Lord, and thus more easily approached than trying to reach Lord Krishna directly. And when we read these descriptions of Radha, it is no wonder why they are devoted to Her.
Radharani is very sweet and most charming to look at Radha is adolescent and always freshly youthful Radhika’s eyes are doe-like and restless Sri Radha’s face is smiling and every blissful
Auspicious, beautiful lines adorn Sri Radha’s lotus hands and feet Radharani maddens Krishna with Her fragrant bodily aroma Srimati Radharani is the most exceptional singer and vina player Radha’s words are charming and pleasing
Radha is expert at telling jokes that delight Krishna Srimati Radhika is exceptionally humble Radha is the embodiment of mercy and compassion Sri Radha’s intelligence and wit surpasses all Radharani is expert at performing all activities of love
Shyness is the shining gem in Radha’s character Srimati Radharani is the beacon light of modesty and never swerves from the path of honesty Sri Radha is never perturbed by worldly sorrow or misery Sri Radha has unbounded gravity and sublimity
Sri Radhika is ever fascinated to unite Herself with Krishna Sri Radha possesses Mahabhava, the highest sentiments of love Srimati Radharani is the reservoir of loving affairs in Gokula Sri Radha’s transcendental glories are shining in all the worlds
Sri Radha is most affectionate to her superiors Radhika is submissive to the love of Her senior girlfriends Srimati Radharani is the chief among Krishna’s gopi lovers Sri Radha always keeps Sri Krishna under Her control. Krishna submissively obeys Radha’s command.
“When Srimati Radharani smiles, waves of joy overtake Her cheeks, and Her arched eyebrows dance like the bow of Cupid. Her glance is so enchanting that it is like a dancing bumblebee, moving unsteadily due to intoxication. That bee has bitten the whorl of My heart.” (Vidagdha-madhava 2.51)