Radha Mantra

Krishna and Radha Illustration for Mantra

Radha Mantra & Stories of a Hindu Goddess

Chanting a Radha mantra is a joyful part of many kirtan gatherings! Radha is the beloved consort of Krishna. In Hindu mythology, Radha was Krishna’s childhood playmate. She is an embodiment of the divine feminine. During Krishna’s childhood as a cow herder, Radha was a milkmaid.

Symbolism of Radha
Radha symbolizes love, tenderness, compassion and devotion. She is sometimes viewed as a metaphor for the spiritual longing for the divine. Radha is the perfect lover, longing only for Krishna as the focus of her devotion.

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The Evolution of Radha

In the early days of Vedic literature, Radha was simply a gopi (cowgirl or milkmaid). She was a companion in Krishna’s early life, but nothing more. Beginning in the 13th century, she became a focus of storytelling and chanting in the Bhakti movement. Bhakti is the path of devotion, open to any caste and those in any circumstance.

Understanding the Bhakti Path

The Bhakti movement is highly democratic, welcoming people from all classes, genders and backgrounds. Bhaktis believe that divine love is a superior path, open to all. Within a few centuries of the Bhakti revolution, everyone knew the name of Radha. Singing a Radha mantra became popular part of kirtan gatherings. Learn more about Kirtan Music.

Connection Between Radha and Krishna
Some of the stories of Radha are erotic and tell of illicit love. Other stories maintain that all relationships have the potential to trigger divine love: friend, mother, father, teacher, student, daughter, son and guru. In this context, the connection between Radha and Krishna is for the sake of spiritual awakening.

Learn about another Hindu goddess! Explore stories of Kali.

The Story of Radha

Radha and Krishna meet when he is sent to the country as a small child to protect him from the evil king Kansa. Kansa is Krishna’s uncle, a man who fears that Krishna will one day overthrow him. Radha and Krishna become childhood playmates. As they grow older, they fall in love. However, Radha is a villager and Krishna is destined to be a king and ruler.

Krishna and Radha Are Separated
Krishna is so charismatic and attractive that all the village girls are in love with him. In spite of this, they recognize and respect the special bond between Radha and Krishna. Eventually Radha must marry another villager. Krishna leaves to assume his rightful place as a ruler.

Radha's Enlightenment

Krishna never forgets Radha. One day many years later, he sends a friend who is a great yogi to check on the people of the village. Krishna especially wants his friend to inquire about Radha. Arriving in the village, the yogi is shocked to find that Radha and her friends are walking around embracing cows and caressing trees. They are proclaiming the name of Krishna unceasingly.

Seeing Krishna Everywhere
The yogi advises them to mediate and control themselves. They laugh at him, saying “We don’t need to mediate! We see Krishna everywhere!” Radha and her friends have turned their love for Krishna into an enlightened state of seeing God in everything.

Festivals of Radha

There are Hindu festivals that include the celebration of Radha such as Radhashtami, Holi and Sharad Purnima. Images and statues of Radha and Krishna together adorn homes and temples throughout India. To chant a Radha mantra is a deep expression of the fundamental path of Bhakti yoga.

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Author Kathleen Karlsen

Kathleen Karlsen is a musician, artist, writer and speaker. She is the author of two books (Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine) and over 200 articles. Kathleen, her husband Andrew, and their five children live in Bozeman, Montana. More about Kathleen Karlsen.

Radha Mantra Article Summary

Radha is the beloved consort of Krishna. In Hindu mythology, Radha was Krishna’s childhood playmate. She is an embodiment of the divine feminine. This article includes a Radha mantra and the story of Radha’s love for Krishna as well as her own soul evolution and enlightenment.

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