Sri Radhashtami

the divine appearance of Srimati radharani

Sri Radhashtami

The divine appearance day of Srimati Radharani, the eternal consort of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Five thousand years ago, when Lord Krishna came to this planet to perform His pastimes, Srimati Radharani also appeared.

Radhastami is a very special day for all the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, as by obtaining the mercy of Srimati Radharani one can easily achieve Krishna-prema. Radha is Krishna’s dearest servant, and is His pleasure potency.

Srimati Radharani’s glorious birth occured on the eighth day of the bright moon in the month of Bhadra. Although generally not full on that day, the moon appeared full to celebrate Radharani’s appearance in this world. Among all of Krishna’s consorts in Sri Vrindavana, Srimati Radharani is the greatest. In fact, She is the queen of Vrndavana.

Radhastami is a very special day for all the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, as by obtaining the mercy of Srimati Radharani one can easily achieve Krishna-prema. Radharani is Krishna’s dearest servant, and is His pleasure potency.

In the Krishna consciousness movement, devotees carefully worship Srimati Radharani as the bestower of devotional service to Krishna, by attentively chanting her name in the maha-mantra, by worshiping her deity form, and by following the instructions of the most merciful Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the combined form of Radha and Krishna.

“(Therefore) Radha is parama-devata, the supreme goddess, and She is worshipable for everyone. She is the protectress of all, and She is the mother of the entire universe.” —Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi 4.89

On Radhashtami day, a new outfit is offered to Srimati Radharani and the temple is lavishly decorated with flowers and garlands. A maha-abhisheka is performed at sunset with a variety of ingredients and many colorful flowers. Devotee men and women in the Deity kitchen an elaborate bhoga with more than 100 varieties along with many sweet dishes, pastries, and cakes. After the abhisheka, bhoga is offered and maha-arati is performed. Devotees fast till noon and enjoy a transcendental feast in the afternoon.

The celebrations conclude with a grand shayana arati. Devotees sing Radhikastaka, a special song composed by Srila Rupa Gosvami. The shayana arati is followed by a grand pallakki utsava.