Sri Sri Radha Krishna Pastimes

"When Srimati Radharani first saw Krishna, She suddenly became conscious of all transcendental happiness, and the functions of Her different limbs were stunned. When Lalita, Her constant companion, whispered into Her ear, the holy name of Krishna, Radharani immediately opened Her eyes wide. (Nectar of Devotion, pg 259)

Srimati Radharani"One day, in a joking mood, Krishna informed Radharani, 'My dear Radharani, I am going to give up Your Company.' Upon saying this, He immediately disappeared, and because of this, Radharani immediately fell down upon the ground of Vrindavana. she had practically stopped breathing, but when She smelled the flavor of the flowers on the ground, She awoke in ecstasy and got up.

"One night, Srimati Radharani was talking in a dream. “My dear Krishna”, She said, “please do not play any more jokes on Me! Please stop! And please don't touch my garments either. Otherwise I shall inform the elder persons, and I shall disclose all of Your naughty behavior. She was talking like this in a dream. She suddenly awoke and saw some of Her superiors standing before Her. Thus Radharani became ashamed and bowed Her head"

Relationship between Sri Krishna and Srimati Radharani

The relationship between Sri Krishna and Srimati Radharani (maya-mrgam) indicates yogamaya in this context since Radharani is Krishna’s hladini-sakti, His original internal pleasure potency. Because Krishna is Madana-mohana and Radharani is Madana-mohana-mohini, therefore mrgam means Krishna is like a deer that is controlled by the beautiful Radharani. Sri Radha always performs puja to bind Krishna because She cannot live without Him. Due to Radharani’s aradhana, or worship, Krishna never leaves Vrndavana. He runs through the forests of Vrndavana (anvadhavat), playing with His friends and cows and engaging in amorous pastimes with His most desired object (ipsitam), Srimati Radharani.

All the gopis love to hear Mother Yasoda sing about the glories of Krishna. Radharani is especially keen to hear Krishna’s pastimes, but She is particularly attracted to the Damodara pastime. Charmed by Damodara’s mood of surrender in agreeing to be bound by Mother Yasoda’s love, Sri Radha longs to have that same exchange with Krishna. She desires to express such intense love for Krishna that He will also agree to be bound by Her love. Appreciating this mood of  Mother Yasoda to enhance Her own feelings for Krishna, She resolves to experience this same reciprocation of love. (unknown source)

Radha-Damodara thus refers to Radharani’s mood of intense attraction for this pastime between Damodara and Mother Yasoda. In celebration of this mood of love, She performs Katyayani vrata in the month of Kartik to receive the benediction to enter into this intimate relationship of loving exchange. By performing this vrata, Sri Radha is willing to undergo any austerities so that Krishna will agree to be bound by Her love.

According to Vedic civilization, during the month of Kartik unmarried girls are required to worship goddess Durga and perform austerities in order to get a good husband. In KRSNA book, the unmarried gopis perform Katyayani vrata to get Krishna as their husband. They eat only havisyanna—a bland kichari prepared by boiling mung dahl and rice together without any spices—to purify the body before enacting a ritualistic ceremony. After taking bath in the Yamuna River, they worship a deity of goddess Durga with sandalwood pulp, garlands, incense, lamps, fruits, grains, and twigs of plants. After worship, they pray for the benediction to become the wives of Krishna. (KRSNA, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, chapter 22)

Jiva Goswami has written that Srimati Radharani always performs austerities simply to bind Krishna more and more with Her love. Because without Krishna She cannot even bear to live. It is due to Sri Radha’s aradhana, or worship, that Krishna never leaves Vrndavana. Gaudiya Vaisnavas consider Radharani to be the presiding Deity for the month of Kartik, which, significantly, is also called Damodara. Srila Rupa Goswami, in his Sri Utkalika-vallari, proclaims Radharani as Kartik-devi, the goddess of  Kartik.

The Hari-bhakti-vilasa proclaims, “O learned brahmanas! Lord Damodara becomes very pleased if during the month of Kartik one worships a Deity of Radhika solely for Her pleasure.” (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 16.95) For this reason, Vaisnavas perform austerities in the month of Kartik to please Sri Radha. They consider Kartik as the month of Radha-Damodara because of the following pastime in the Uttara-khanda of the Bhavisya Purana.

“Once in the auspicious month of Kartik, Krishna came late for a rendezvous with Radharani in Her kunja. In loving anger, Sri Radha looked at Krishna with frowning eyebrows. Using some golden vines, Radha then tied a rope around Sri Krishna’s belly to punish Him for not showing up as promised. Krishna said He was late because Mother Yasoda kept Him home for a festival. Seeing Her mistake, Radha quickly untied Her beloved Damodara.” (Radha Kunda Mahima Madhuri, by Mahanidhi Swami, page 50)

Radharani’s desire to bind Krishna with Her love is fulfilled in this pastime. Therefore, Vraja Vaisnavas worship this Damodara who is bound by Radharani’s love. Of course, Krishna is already famous as Damodara from His childhood. In fact, just as Krishna is eternal, so is His Holy Name. He is always known as Damodara, although it appears that His name comes into being as a result of the pastime with Mother Yasoda. Damodar also means one who is bound with ropes of love by his mother.

An example concerning Her beautiful form is given in Ujjvala-nîlamani, wherein Sri Krsna says, "O Radhe! The locks of Your hair curl beautifully, and You have a lotus-like face with elongated restless eyes. Your chest is adorned with lovely large and firm breasts. Your waist is attractively slender, Your head is bowed slightly in modesty, and Your fingernails are like rows of jewels. Your beautiful form is a festival of elegance and sweetness that crushes the vanity of the three worlds."

Concerning Her sixteen items of beautification, Subala says to Sri Krsna, "After bathing, Sri Radhika decorates the tip of Her nose with an effulgent jewel. She dresses in blue clothing, with a sash (nivibandhana) around Her waist. Her hair is plaited and She wears ornaments on Her ears. Her limbs are smeared with camphor, musk and sandal paste. She wears flowers in Her hair and a garland around Her neck. In Her hand She playfully carries a lotus flower. In Her mouth She has tambula, and on Her chin a dot of musk. She wears kajjala around Her eyes and on Her cheeks are muskpaintings of dolphins, etc. The bottoms of Her lotus feet are painted red and She wears tilaka on Her forehead."

Concerning Her twelve ornaments, Subala says, "Sri Radhika wears a diamond on Her head, golden earrings on Her ears, and tiny golden bells around Her hips. A golden locket hangs around Her neck. She wears a cakri-salaka (an elaborate ornament that encircles the entire ear and fastens at the top) over Her ears, bangles on Her hands, and a necklace around Her throat. There are rings on Her fingers and a group of star-like necklaces on Her bosom. She is adorned with jewelled armlets, jewelled ankle bells and radiant toe rings. She is very beautiful wearing these twelve ornaments."