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Radha
Radha
(IAST: Rādhā), also called Radhika, Radharani, and Radhe, is a Hindu
Hindu
goddess popular in the Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
tradition. She is a milkmaid (gopi), the lover of the Hindu
Hindu
god Krishna
Krishna
in the medieval era texts.[4][5] She is also a part of Shaktism
Shaktism
– the Hindu
Hindu
goddess tradition, and considered an avatar of Lakshmi.[6][7][1] Radha
Radha
is worshipped in some regions of India, particularly by Vaishnavas in West Bengal, Assam, Manipur and Odisha. Elsewhere, she is revered in the Nimbarka Sampradaya
Nimbarka Sampradaya
and movements linked to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
and Chandidas.[8][9] Radha
Radha
is considered a metaphor for soul, her longing for Krishna theologically seen as a symbolism for the longing for spirituality and the divine.[10] She has inspired numerous literary works,[8] and her Rasa lila
Rasa lila
dance with Krishna
Krishna
has inspired many types of performance arts till this day.[11]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Description

2.1 Radha
Radha
and Sita

3 Influence

3.1 Nimbarka

4 Temples 5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Etymology[edit] The Sanskrit
Sanskrit
term Rādhā (Sanskrit: राधा) means “prosperity, success”.[6][12] It is a common word and name founded in various contexts in the ancient and medieval texts of India. Of these the most celebrated is the name of the Gopi
Gopi
who was the beloved of Krishna. Both Radha
Radha
and Krishna
Krishna
are the main characters of Gita Govinda
Govinda
of Jayadeva.[6] Radha
Radha
in this context is considered the avatar of Lakshmi, just like Krishna
Krishna
is considered an avatar of Vishnu.[6] The term is related to Rādha (Sanskrit: राध), which means "kindness, any gift but particularly the gift of affection, success, wealth".[6] The word appears in the Vedic literature as well as the Epics, but is elusive and not as a major deity.[5] In some Vedic contexts, states Sukumar Sen, it could mean "beloved, desired woman" based on an Avestan cognate.[12] However, Barbara Stoller and other scholars disagree with the Avestan interpretation. They state that the better interpretation of Radha
Radha
in these ancient texts is "someone or something that fulfills a need".[13] Starting with the Bhakti
Bhakti
movement and particularly with Jayadeva's composition, her profile as a goddess and constant companion of Krishna
Krishna
became dominant in Krishna-related Vaishnavism.[5] Rādhikā refers to an endearing form of Gopi
Gopi
Radha.[6] Description[edit]

Radha
Radha
with Krishna, a 1915 painting.

Radha
Radha
is an important goddess in the Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
tradition of Hinduism, as well as an aspect of the Shaktism
Shaktism
tradition. She is a goddess whose traits, manifestations, descriptions, and roles vary with region. Since the earliest times, she has been associated with one of the most popular Hindu
Hindu
gods, the cowherd Krishna.[4] In the early Indian literature, her mentions are illusive and not as common as other major goddesses of Hinduism, but during the Bhakti
Bhakti
movement era she became popular among Krishna
Krishna
devotees whose strength is her love.[14] According to Jaya Chemburkar, there are at least two significant and different aspects of Radha
Radha
in the literature associated with her, such as Sriradhika namasahasram. One aspect is she is a milkmaid (Gopi), another as a female deity similar to those found in the Hindu
Hindu
goddess traditions.[15] She also appears in Hindu
Hindu
arts as ardhanari with Krishna, that is an iconography where half of the image is Radha
Radha
and the other half is Krishna. This is found in sculpture such as those discovered in Maharashtra, and in texts such as Shiva Purana
Shiva Purana
and Brahmavaivarta Purana.[16] In these texts, this ardhanari is sometimes referred to as Ardharadhavenudhara murti, and it symbolizes the complete union and inseparability of Radha
Radha
and Krishna.[16] Radha's depictions vary from being an already married woman who becomes an adulterous lover of Krishna
Krishna
in a secondary role,[10] to being dual divinity equal to Krishna
Krishna
in Jayadeva's Gita Govinda, to being supreme object of devotional love for both Krishna
Krishna
and devotees in Rupa Gosvami's tradition.[4][14] In some Hindu
Hindu
sub-traditions, Radha
Radha
is conceptualized as a goddess who breaks social norms by leaving her marriage, and entering into a relationship with Krishna
Krishna
to pursue her love.[10] According to Heidi Pauwels, it is a "hotly debated issue" whether Radha
Radha
was already married or had an affair with Krishna
Krishna
while she remained married.[17] Several Hindu texts
Hindu texts
allude to these circumstances.[10]

Radha's story has inspired many paintings. Above: Radha
Radha
waiting for Krishna
Krishna
by Raja Ravi Varma.

According to David Kinsley, a professor of Religious Studies known for his studies on Hindu
Hindu
goddesses, the Krishna- Radha
Radha
love story is a metaphor for divine-human relationship, where Radha
Radha
is the human devotee or soul who is frustrated with the past, obligations to social expectations and the ideas she inherited, who then longs for real meaning, the true love, the divine (Krishna). This metaphoric Radha (soul) finds new liberation in learning more about Krishna, bonding in devotion and with passion.[10][18] Radha
Radha
and Sita[edit] The popular Itihasas
Itihasas
and other legendary literature of the Hindu traditions present two major Lakshmi
Lakshmi
avatars – Radha
Radha
and Sita, and two major Vishnu
Vishnu
avatars as their respective companions – Krishna
Krishna
in the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
and Rama
Rama
in the Ramayana. The Radha- Krishna
Krishna
and Sita- Rama
Rama
pairs represent two different personality sets, two perspectives on dharma and lifestyles, both cherished in the way of life called Hinduism.[19] Sita
Sita
is traditionally wedded, dedicated, and virtuous wife of Rama, an introspective temperate paragon of a serious, virtuous man.[20][21][22] Radha
Radha
is a lover of Krishna, a playful adventurer.[20][19] Radha
Radha
and Sita
Sita
offer two competing templates within the Hindu tradition.[19] If " Sita
Sita
is a queen, aware of her social responsibilities", states Pauwels, then " Radha
Radha
is exclusively focused on her romantic relationship with her lover", giving two contrasting role models from two ends of the moral universe. Yet they share common elements as well. Both love their man and their lives, both face life challenges, both are committed to their true love and both have been influential, adored and beloved goddesses in the Hindu culture.[19][23] Influence[edit] See also: Radha
Radha
Krishna

A 16th-century Radha
Radha
sculpture in copper from Bengal.

In some devotional (bhakti) traditions of Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
that focus on Krishna, Radha
Radha
represents "the feeling of love towards Krishna".[8] For some of the adherents of these traditions, her importance approaches or even exceeds that of Krishna. Radha
Radha
is worshipped along with Krishna
Krishna
in Bengal, Assam and Odisha by Vaishnava
Vaishnava
Hindus. Elsewhere, such as with Visnusvamins, she is a revered deity.[24] She is considered to be his original shakti, the supreme goddess in both the Nimbarka Sampradaya
Nimbarka Sampradaya
and following the advent of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also within the Gaudiya Vaishnava
Vaishnava
tradition.[8][9] Radha
Radha
Chalisa mentions that Krishna
Krishna
accompanies one who chants " Radha" with pure heart. Other gopis are usually considered to be self willing maidservants (Sevika) of Radha. Radharani's superiority is seen in Krishna's flute, which repeats the name Radha. Between Radha and Rukmini, Radha
Radha
is superior. It is also said that when lord Krishna brought all his consorts to meet Radha, they saw Radha's face and declared her the most beautiful and sacred hearted woman in the whole universe and that she would retain this position until the end of the universe as no one will surpass her beauty and her nature. Radha's connection to Krishna
Krishna
is of two types: svakiya-rasa (married relationship) and parakiya-rasa (a relationship signified with eternal mental "love"). The Gaudiya tradition focuses upon parakiya-rasa as the highest form of love, wherein Radha
Radha
and Krishna
Krishna
share thoughts even through separation. The love the gopis feel for Krishna
Krishna
is also described in this esoteric manner as the highest platform of spontaneous love of God, and not of a sexual nature.[citation needed] Nimbarka[edit] Nimbarka
Nimbarka
was the first well known Vaishnava
Vaishnava
scholar whose theology centered on goddess Radha.[25][26] Temples[edit]

Left:Radha- Krishna
Krishna
Prem Mandir (Love Temple) in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh; Right: Krishna- Radha
Radha
in Gokarneshwar temple, Nepal.

Radha
Radha
and Krishna
Krishna
are the focus of temples in the Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Vallabhacharya, Chandidas
Chandidas
and other sub-traditions of Vaishnavism.[9] She is typically shown standing immediately next to Krishna, jeweled up like a bride, happy.[9] Some important Radha temples are:

Barsana
Barsana
and Vrindavan
Vrindavan
in Mathura District, Northern India
India
contain a large number of temples dedicated to both Radha
Radha
and Krishna, including the Radhavallabh Temple.[27] Sri Sri Radha
Radha
Parthasarathi Mandir in Delhi
Delhi
is also the Radha
Radha
krishna Temple.[28][29] The Shree Raseshwari Radha
Radha
Rani Temple at Radha Madhav Dham
Radha Madhav Dham
in Austin, Texas, USA, established by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, is one of the largest Hindu
Hindu
Temple complexes in the Western Hemisphere,[30] and the largest in North America.[31][32][33]

See also[edit]

Devi Hindu
Hindu
deities Krishna
Krishna
Janmashtami Radha
Radha
Krishna Vrindavan
Vrindavan
Chandrodaya Mandir – the tallest Radha- Krishna
Krishna
temple under construction Krishna
Krishna
Janmashtami
Janmashtami
2018 in Nathdwara

References[edit]

^ a b Charles Russell Coulter (2013). Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities. Routledge. p. 276. ISBN 978-1-135-96390-3. , Quote: "Radha, an incarnation of goddess Lakshmi, (...)" ^ Constance Jones, James D. Ryan (2007). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. p. 341. ISBN 978-0-8160-5458-9.  ^ a b Jackie Menzies (2006). Goddess: divine energy. Art Gallery of New South Wales. p. 54.  ^ a b c John Stratton Hawley; Donna Marie Wulff (1982). The Divine Consort: Rādhā and the Goddesses of India. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 1–12. ISBN 978-0-89581-102-8.  ^ a b c Miller, Barbara Stoler (1975). "Rādhā: Consort of Kṛṣṇa's Vernal Passion". Journal of the American Oriental Society. American Oriental Society. 95 (4): 655–671. doi:10.2307/601022.  ^ a b c d e f Monier Monier-Williams, Rādhā, Sanskrit-English Dictionary with Etymology, Oxford University Press, page 876 ^ D. Mason (2009). Theatre and Religion on Krishna’s Stage: Performing in Vrindavan. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-230-62158-9.  ^ a b c d John Stratton Hawley; Donna Marie Wulff (1982). The Divine Consort: Rādhā and the Goddesses of India. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. xiii–xviii. ISBN 978-0-89581-102-8.  ^ a b c d Roshen Dalal (2010). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books. pp. 321–322. ISBN 978-0-14-341421-6.  ^ a b c d e David Kinsley (1988). Hindu
Hindu
Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu
Hindu
Religious Tradition. University of California Press. pp. 81–86, 89–90. ISBN 978-0-520-90883-3.  ^ Guy L. Beck (2006). Alternative Krishnas: Regional and Vernacular Variations on a Hindu
Hindu
Deity. State University of New York Press. pp. 46–47. ISBN 978-0-7914-6416-8.  ^ a b Sukumar Sen (1943), "Etymology of the Name Radha- krishana," Indian Linguistics, Vol. 8, pp. 434-435 ^ Jayadeva; Barbara S Miller (Translator) (January 1997). Love Song of the Dark Lord: Jayadeva's Gitagovinda. Columbia University Press. pp. 56 footnote 5. ISBN 978-0-231-11097-6.  ^ a b Heidi R. M. Pauwels (1996), The Great Goddess and Fulfilment in Love: Rādhā Seen Through a Sixteenth-Century Lens, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Cambridge University Press, Vol. 59, No. 1 (1996), pp. 29-43 ^ Jaya Chemburkar (1976), ŚRĪRĀDHIKĀNĀMASAHASRAM, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol. 57, No. 1/4 (1976), pp. 107-116 ^ a b Shrikant Pradhan (2008), A UNIQUE IMAGE OF "ARDHARADHAVENUDHARAMURTI: OR "ARDHANARI KRISHNA", Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Institute, Vol. 68/69 (2008-2009), pp. 207-213 ^ Heidi R.M. Pauwels (2008). The Goddess as Role Model: Sita
Sita
and Radha in Scripture and on Screen. Oxford University Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-0-19-970857-4.  ^ Roshen Dalal (2010). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-14-341421-6.  ^ a b c d Heidi R.M. Pauwels (2008). The Goddess as Role Model: Sita and Radha
Radha
in Scripture and on Screen. Oxford University Press. pp. 12–15, 497–517. ISBN 978-0-19-970857-4.  ^ a b Vālmīki; Robert P Goldman (Translator) (1990). The Ramayana
Ramayana
of Valmiki: Balakanda. Princeton University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9781400884551.  ^ Dimock Jr, E.C. (1963). "Doctrine and Practice among the Vaisnavas of Bengal". History of Religions. 3 (1): 106–127. doi:10.1086/462474. JSTOR 1062079.  ^ Marijke J. Klokke (2000). Narrative Sculpture and Literary Traditions in South and Southeast Asia. BRILL. pp. 51–57. ISBN 90-04-11865-9.  ^ Jacqueline Suthren Hirst; Lynn Karen Thomas (2004). Playing for Real: Hindu
Hindu
Role Models, Religion, and Gender. Oxford University Press. pp. 117–140. ISBN 978-0-19-566722-6.  ^ Asoke Kumar Majumdar (1955), A Note on the Development of Radha Cult, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol. 36, No. 3/4 (July - October 1955), pp. 231-257 ^ Singh, K.B. (2004). "Manipur Vaishnavism: A Sociological Interpretat1on". Sociology of Religion in India. ISBN 978-0-7619-9781-8. Retrieved 2008-05-03.  ^ Kinsley, D. (2010). "Without Krsna There Is No Song". History of Religions. 12 (2): 149. doi:10.1086/462672. Retrieved 2008-05-03.  " Nimbarka
Nimbarka
seems to have been the first well-known religious leader to regard Radha
Radha
as central to his cult (thirteenth century)" ^ Radhavallabh Temple ^ "Asia and India
India
ISKCON temples". Radha.  ^ Dandavats http://m.dandavats.com/?p=6770.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ Vedic Foundation Inaugurated at Barsana
Barsana
Dham, Austin Archived 18 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved Dec 15th, 2011. ^ Ciment, J. 2001. Encyclopedia of American Immigration. Michigan: M.E. Sharpe ^ Hylton, H. & Rosie, C. 2006. Insiders' Guide to Austin. Globe Pequot Press. ^ Mugno, M. & Rafferty, R.R. 1998. Texas Monthly Guidebook to Texas. Gulf Pub. Co.

Further reading[edit]

Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead (ISBN 0-89213-354-6) by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Hindu
Hindu
Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu
Hindu
Religious Traditions (ISBN 81-208-0379-5) by David Kinsley Hawley J.S. & D.M. Wulff (ed.) (1986) The Divine Consort: Radha and the Goddesses of India, Beacon Press, Boston, ISBN 0-8070-1303-X. Radha
Radha
by Krishna
Krishna
Dharabasi, a Nepali novel awarded with Madan Puraskar, Most prestigious literary award.

External links[edit]

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Radha
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Devi
Devi
in Hinduism
Hinduism
(with Radha)[permanent dead link], Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC Radha
Radha
in the Erotic Play of the Universe, David C. Scott, United Theological College, Bangalore

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