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Radhashtami: The Appearance Anniversary of Srimati Radharani | Gaudiyamission

Radhashtami: The Appearance Anniversary of Srimati Radharani

Posted on: September 10, 2019 Posted By: Admin

Radhashtami is a Hindu holy day commemorating the birth anniversary of Shri Radha the life energy of Krishna. Shri Radha is the Ishta deity of Shri Hita Harivansh Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Lord Krishna's flute. On this day she emerged from a lotus flower as the lover-consort of the lord Krishna the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is celebrated mainly by devotees of Krishna, especially with great fervor in her birthplace of Barsana, on the Shukla Paksha Ashtami of the Bhadra (Hindu calendar) month. In the Viṣṇu Khaṇḍa of the Skanda Purana, it is mentioned that God Krishna had 16,000 friends called Gopi and Gopikas, out of which Radha was the most prominent one of the revered 108.

Traditionally, followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism will follow a half-day fast on this day. Like Ekadashi, some devotees observe this fast for full day & some even without water. The holiday is an important holiday for followers of the Radhavallabh Sampraday, Haridasi sampradaya and Nimbarka sampradaya. On this day, devotees of Radha Krishna chant the divine names of the holy couple.

Radhashtami is ceremoniously celebrated in the Brij area. On Radhastami, Radha Krishna icons are traditionally dressed entirely in flowers. Additionally, Radhashtami is the only day on which devotees may receive darshan of Radha's feet. On all other days, they remain covered. 

Devotees will fast until noon and sing devotional songs in praise of the divine couple and their pastimes. Then a feast is served, most often including the Radha Red — a spicy, plum chutney.

The mantras which are chanted on Radhashtami are; Aum Vrashbahnujaye Vidmahe, Krishnapriyaye Dheemahi Tanno Radha Prachodyat, and Jai Jai Shree Radhe.

Radhashtami is particularly important for the holy pilgrimage to Manimahesh Lake called Manimahesh Yatra, which is sponsored by the Government of Himachal Pradesh. It is preceded by the "holy chhari", (holy stick carried by the pilgrims on their shoulders). The pilgrims barefooted, singing and dancing to the hymns of God Shiva, undertake this trek of 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) from the nearest road point of Hadsar to the Manimahesh Lake.

Among all the beautiful gopis Srimati Radharani is the best. She is the topmost devotee of Lord Krishna. Srimati Radharani is the Supreme Goddess and the queen of Vrindavana. Her name means that She is the most excellent worshiper of Lord Krishna. She has many famous friends, headed by Lalita and Vishakha. Her father is Vrishbhanu and Her mother is Kirtida Devi, who is also known by the name, Ratnagarbha Devi. Radharani's elder brother is Sridama and her younger sister is Ananga-Manjari. Jatila-Devi is Radharani's mother-in-law and Abhimanyu is Radharani's so-called husband. Kutila-Devi is Radharani's sister-in-law.  Srimati Radharani's worshipable deity is the sun-god.

Srimati Radharani is expert in all the fine arts and Her transcendental form is like an ocean of nectar. Her splendid bodily luster is like the yellow pigment gorocana, molten gold, or stationary lightning. She wears wonderfully beautiful blue garments and She is decorated with various pearls and flowers.he is very beautiful and She has long nicely braided hair. She is decorated with a garland of flowers and a beautiful pearl necklace. Her splendid forehead is decorated with the red pigment sindura and with beautiful locks of curling hair. Decorated with blue bangles, Her arms have defeated Cupid's staff with their beauty. Her nose is as beautiful as a sesame flower and it is nicely decorated with a pearl. She is anointed with various perfumes. She is splendidly beautiful.

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