Why do we worship Radha if Rukmini is the legally wedded wife of Krishna? Is it not better or moral to worship Rukmini and Krishna than Radha and Krishna?
Worshipping Rukmini is great, its wonderful, and we should do it. In fact, devotees do worship Rukmini Krishna and there are many temples which have the deity of Rukmini and Krishna.
But still the great saintly personalities revere the relationship between Radha and Krishna. The transcendental loving relationship between Radha and Krishna cannot be equalled in this world and not even in the spiritual world.
Is Radha and Krishna married?
Yes. Radha and Krishna are eternally married. They are eternally one. Just like our parents are married before our birth, similarly Radha and Krishna are married since the dawn of creation. As our parents do not again marry to prove to us that they are married.
Similarly, our eternal parents – Radha and Krishna – do not have to marry again in this world to prove their marital status.
But there is also a pastime which is quite famous in braj, Vrindavan, that Lord Brahma got Radha and Krishna married when they were performing their childhood pastimes in Vrindavan and Barsana.
Radha is the source of incarnation of goddesses of fortune
Krishna is the source of incarnations of Vishnu and Narayan who reside in various Vaikuntha planets. Similarly, Radha is the source of expansion of Krishna’s pleasure potency.
She is the source of all the gopis and also the source of goddess of fortune, Laksmidevi.
Wherever Krishna is, there is Radha. So, when Krishna is in Dwarka, Radha expands as Rukmini, the goddess of fortune, to serve Krishna and to give pleasure to Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada writes, “According to expert opinion, Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, is a subordinate expansion of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. As Kṛṣṇa has numerous expansions of viṣṇu-mūrtis, so His pleasure potency, Rādhārāṇī, also has innumerable expansions of goddesses of fortune.”
Radha is very dear to Krishna
Krishna without Radharani is like sun without sunshine. Krishna is the supreme enjoyer and Radharani is the source of that enjoyment.
There are millions of gopis in Goloka Vrindavan, the spiritual world. And all the gopis always serve Krishna and give joy to Krishna. All the gopis are great devotees and they desperately desire to be with Krishna but Krishna longs to be with Radha.
And although the gopis want to be with Krishna but they get great pleasure when they see Radha and Krishna together.
And Radharani, the best among all the gopis, wants to give Krishna to others. So, she happily allows the gopis to enjoy pastimes with Krishna.
In fact, if Srimati Radharani is pleased with our devotion then she will allow us also to participate in the eternal blissful pastimes of Goloka Vrindavan.
She wants us to be always with her in the spiritual world. She does not want anyone of us to suffer. In fact, if we cry for her help then she will quickly free us from all sufferings.
Radha saves a suffering soul in Vrindavan
Once in Vrindavan, some kids were harassing a jackal, they were chasing him with sticks and throwing rocks at him. And the Jackal running for his life entered into a hole in the ground. When the boys saw Jackal inside the hole they set fire around the hole. The heat was intolerable and the Jackal started screaming and crying.
Radharani was within the vicinity. When she heard the cry she asked Lalita Sakhi, her friend, to find out what was happening. She said, “This is Vrajbhumi, my land, no one should be suffering here.”
Lalita Sakhi immediately went and saw boys giving trouble to the Jackal, she chased the boys away. She took the Jackal out from that hole, he was trembling in fear. The Jackal was brought to Radharani. He fell at her feet and she blessed the Jackal. She gave the Jackal the body of a gopi.
And this gopi became an associate of Radharani in the spiritual world. The Jackal’s sincere cry for mercy attracted the mercy of Srimati Radharani.
It is explained that the hole in which Jackal got confined represents the material existence. The Jackal represents us, the living entities. The fire around the hole is the misery of material existence. The loud cry of Jackal represents our utter helplessness in this material world.
But like the Jackal if we cry for Radha’s mercy then she will surely free us from all miseries. She will give us her shelter and an opportunity to be with her and serve her in the land of Vraja where Krishna is the King and she is the queen.
Why worship of Radha is important?
To get freedom from material sufferings and to become dear to Krishna and attain love of Krishna, we should worship Radha.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura one of the most prominent Vaisnav acharyas underlines the importance of worshipping Radha in his book Gitavali. He writes, “radha-bhajane jadi mati nahi bhela/krsna-bhajana tava akarana gela – If your desire for the worship of Radha does not come about, then your so-called worship of Krsna is completely useless.”
Once when a person was worshiping Krishna at Radha Kunda and begging for Krishna’s mercy then Bhaktisiddhnata Saraswati Thakura immediately remarked, “We are worshippers of the servant of the servant of Srimati Radharani. This is the mood of all the followers of Rupa Goswami.”
We cannot attain Krishna without becoming a devotee of Radha. She is not like a demigod or demigoddess. She is greater than all the demigods of any material universe.
As Krishna is the supreme father of all living entities of all the universes, Radha, Krishna’s eternal consort, is the supreme mother of all the living entities of all the universes.
Pleasing mother is easier than pleasing father. Why? Because mothers are soft-hearted. Similarly, our eternal mother, Radharani’s heart is soft like butter. She can be easily pleased. And we know that Krishna loves butter!
So, if by our sincere devotion we attract Radharani’s attention, we will eventually get Krishna’s affection.
Bhaktivinod Thakura further writes in Gitavali, “If one considers oneself to be a humble maidservant of Radhika, then such a person very quickly meets the Lord of Gokula.”