By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society For Krishna Consciousness
Lecture given in London(on Radhastami) on August 29, 1971

The best way to please Krsna is to please His greatest devotee.

This evening we are talking about Radhashtami, the appearance day of Srimati Radharani. We are trying to understand the chief potency of Krishna. Radharani is the pleasure potency of Krishna. As we understand from Vedic literature, Krishna has many varieties of potency. As a big man has many assistants and secretaries and hasn’t got to do anything personally because simply by his will everything is done, similarly the Supreme Personality of Godhead has got varieties of energy, and everything is being done so nicely.

The Sanskrit name for the material energy is bahir-anga-shakti, or the “external energy” of Krishna. How nicely everything is being done by the material energy. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita (9.10), mayadhyakshena prakritih suyate sa-characharam: “Under My superintendence the material energy is working.” The material energy is not blind. Krishna is there in the background. Prakriti means the material energy, the external energy.

There is another energy, the internal energy, by which the spiritual world is being manifested. Paras tasmat tu bhavah anyah (Gita 8.20). It is para: superior, transcendental, the spiritual world. As this material world is being manipulated under the external energy, the spiritual world is conducted by the internal potency. That internal potency is Radharani.

Today is Radharani’s appearance day. We should try to understand Radharani. She is the pleasure potency, hladini-shakti. Anandamayo ’bhyasat. In the Vedanta-sutras (1.1.12) the Absolute Truth is described as anandamaya, always in the pleasure potency. When you want ananda, pleasure, you cannot have it alone. You cannot enjoy alone. When you are in the circle of friends or family or other associates, you feel pleasure. I am speaking, and the speaking is very pleasing for me when there are many persons here. I cannot speak alone here. That is not ananda. I can speak here in the dead of night when nobody is here, but that is not ananda. For ananda there must be others. So because Krishna, the Absolute Truth, is anandamaya, He has become many: eko bahu syam. We are part and parcel of Krishna and are meant to give pleasure to Krishna. The chief pleasure potency is Radharani.

Krishna is Param Brahman, as you know from the Bhagavad-gita. When Arjuna understood Bhagavad-gita, he affirmed Krishna as Param Brahman ( Gita 10.12). In the material world we see that a great saintly person gives up all material enjoyment simply to enjoy brahmananda, the bliss of spiritual existence. He becomes a sannyasi, renouncing the world to gain Brahman realization. So if one has to give up everything material for Brahman realization, do you think that Param Brahman, the Supreme Brahman, can enjoy anything material? No. Krishna’s enjoyment is nothing material. This point should be understood. For Brahman realization we are giving up everything material. So how can Param Brahman enjoy anything material? This question has been very much nicely discussed by Jiva Goswami in his Bhagavata-sandarbha.

Information about Param Brahman is not there in this material world. A little Brahman information is there, a little Paramatma information is there, but not Param Brahman, or Bhagavan, information. Therefore Krishna says,

manushyanam sahasreshu
kashcid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kashcin mam vetti tattvatah

“Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” (Gita 7.3) Siddhaye means to understand Brahman or Paramatma, the Supersoul. Out of many persons who have realized Brahman and Paramatma, hardly one person can know Krishna. What can we understand about Krishna’s pleasure potency? Without knowing a big man, how can I understand his internal affairs? Similarly, if we do not understand Krishna, how can we understand how Krishna is enjoying? That is not possible. But the six Goswamis, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s leading disciples, have given us information about Krishna’s pleasure potency, Srimati Radharani.

We have given information about the loving affairs of Radha-Krishna in our book Teachings of Lord Chaitanya. If you have got this book, you can read about the transcendental loving reciprocation between Radha and Krishna.

Pray to Radharani

We pray to Radharani because She is the pleasure potency of Krishna. Krishna means “all-attractive.” But Radharani is so great that She attracts Krishna. Krishna is all-attractive, but She is the attractor of Krishna. So today we should try to understand the position of Srimati Radharani and offer our obeisances to Radharani.

radhe vrindavaneshvari
vrishabhanu-sute devi
pranamami hari-priye

“I offer my respects to Radharani, whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vrindavana. You are the daughter of King Vrishabhanu, and You are very dear to Lord Krishna.” Our business is to pray, “Radharani, You are so dear to Krishna. So we offer our respectful obeisances unto You.”

Radharani is hari-priya, “very dear to Krishna.” Approaching Krishna becomes very easy when done through Radharani, through the mercy of Radharani. If Radharani recommends, “This devotee is very nice,” then Krishna immediately accepts us, however great a fool we may be. Because we have been recommended by Radharani, Krishna accepts us. Therefore in Vrindavan today you’ll find all the devotees chanting Radharani’s name more than Krishna’s. Wherever you go you’ll find the devotees are addressing one another with “Jaya Radhe!” You’ll still find this in Vrindavan. They are glorifying Radharani. They are more interested in worshiping Radharani than in worshiping Krishna, because however fallen I may be, if some way or other I can please Radharani, then it will be very easy for me to understand Krishna.

Otherwise, if you try to understand Krishna by the speculative process, it will take many, many lives. But if you take to devotional service and just try to please Radharani, Krishna will be gotten very easily, because Radharani can deliver Krishna. She is such a great devotee – the emblem of the maha-bhagavata, the greatest devotee.

Even Krishna cannot understand Radharani’s qualities. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita (7.26), vedaham samatitani – “I know everything” – but He fails to understand Radharani. Radharani is so great.

Krishna as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

To understand Radharani, Krishna came as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to accept the position of Radharani. Krishna wanted to understand the potency of Radharani. He thought, “I am full. I am complete in every respect, but still I want to understand Radharani. Why?” This desire obliged Krishna to accept the propensities of Radharani.

This is a very great transcendental science. Only one who is advanced in Krishna consciousness and well conversant with the shastras, the Vedic scriptures, can understand. But still, we can discuss from the shastras. When Krishna wanted to understand Himself, He took the tendencies of Srimati Radharani, and that is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam: Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna, but He has accepted the propensities of Radharani. As Radharani is always in feelings of separation from Krishna, similarly, in the position of Radharani, Lord Chaitanya was feeling separation from Krishna. The process of devotional service taught by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His disciplic succession is how to feel separation from Krishna. That is Radharani’s position – always feeling the separation.

The six Goswamis, also, when they were in Vrindavan, never said, “I have seen Krishna.” Although they were the most perfect devotees, they never said, “I have seen Krishna.” Their prayers were like this: he radhe vraja-devike cha lalite he nanda-suno kutah. “O Queen of Vrindavana, Radharani! O Lalita! O son of Nanda Maharaja! Where are you all now?” Radharani does not remain alone. She remains always with Her friends Lalita, Vishakha, and other damsels of Vrindavan. The Goswamis, in their mature stage, when they were living in Vrindavan, were praying in this way. “Radharani, where are You? Where are Your associates? Where are You, son of Nanda Maharaja, Krishna? Where are all of you?”

They were always searching. They never said, “Last night I saw Krishna dancing with the gopis.” A sahajiya will speak like that, not a mature devotee. One who considers Radha-Krishna’s pastimes to be something very cheap is called a sahajiya. Krishna very cheap, Radharani very cheap – as if they can see Them every night. No. The Goswamis do not teach us like that. They were searching after Radharani and Krishna. Sri-govardhana-kalpa-padapa-tale kalindi-vane kutah: “Are You at Govardhana Hill? Are You on the bank of the Yamuna?” Their business was crying like this. “Where are You, Radharani? Where are You? Where are you, Lalita, Vishakha, the associates of Radharani? Where are You, Krishna? Are You near Govardhana Hill? On the bank of the Yamuna?” Throughout the whole tract of Vrindavan they were crying and searching after them. Khedair maha-vihvalau: as if madmen. This was the devotional example of the six Goswamis: Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, Jiva Goswami, and Gopala Bhatta Goswami.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Process of Worship

We have to follow the footprints of the Goswamis to learn how to search out Krishna and Radharani in Vrindavan or within our hearts. That is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s process of worship: feeling separation, or vipralambha-seva. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu felt such separation from Krishna that in the dead of night He left His room, and nobody knew where He had gone. He was searching for Krishna, and He fell into the sea.

This is the process of devotional service taught by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is not that one thinks, “I have seen Krishna and Radharani in the rasa-lila.” No, not like that. Feel the separation. The more you feel separation from Krishna, the more you are advancing. Don’t try to see Krishna artificially. Be advanced in feelings of separation, and then your devotional service will be perfect. That is the teaching of Lord Chaitanya.

With our material eyes we cannot see Krishna.

atah sri-krishna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah

“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality, and pastimes of Sri Krishna through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality, and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.” (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.234) With our material senses we cannot see or hear Krishna, but we can realize Him through service to Him. Where does the service begin? Jihvadau: with the tongue, not the legs, eyes, ears. It begins with the tongue. How? Chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And take Krishna prasada. The tongue has got two businesses: to articulate sound and to taste. So chant Hare Krishna and take prasada. By this process you’ll realize Krishna.

Don’t try to see Krishna. You cannot see Krishna with your material eyes. Nor can you hear Him with your material ears. Nor can you touch Him. But if you engage your tongue in the service of the Lord, then He’ll reveal Himself to you: “Here I am.” That is wanted.

So feel separation from Krishna just like Radharani, as Lord Chaitanya teaches us, and engage your tongue in the service of the Lord. Then one day, when you are mature, you’ll see Krishna eye to eye.

Thank you very much.