Unlimited Transcendental Qualities, Affection, Compassion, Calmness, Mercy, Humbleness, Charm
Krishna, and topmost of all goddesses. Her name means that She is the most excellent worshiper of Lord Krishna. However, She is also an expansion of the Lord’s energy. Since She is also an extension of Krishna, She is the feminine aspect of God. Thus, in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, God is both male and female. They are one, but Krishna expands into two, Himself and Radharani, for the sake of divine loving pastimes.
Radharani is the source of all expansions of the energies of God – the shaktis, or other goddesses. Thus, Vishnu, Rama, even Shiva are all expansions of the one Supreme Being, Krishna, and similarly Lakshmi, Sita, and even Durga are all expansions of this Supreme Feminine form of God, Radharani.
Radharani has many names according to Her qualities and characteristics. Some of the names that Radharani is known by include:
Govinda-anandini–She who gives pleasure to Govinda [Krishna];
Govinda-mohini–She who mystifies Govinda;
Govinda-sarvasa–the all-in-all of Lord Govinda;
Shiromani Sarva-kanta–the crown jewel of all the Lord’s consorts; and…
Krishnamayi–the one who sees Krishna both within and without.
She is also known as Sarva-kanti, which indicates that all beauty and luster rest in Her body, and all the Lakshmis derive their beauty from Her. Sarva-kanti also means that all the desires of Lord Krishna rest in Srimati Radharani. As Lord Krishna enchants the world with His beauty and charm, Sri Radha enchants Him. Therefore She is the Supreme Goddess. Sri Radha is the full power, and Lord Krishna is the possessor of full power. (Cc.Adi-lila, 4.82, 84, 87-96) Thus, the two are non-different, as the sunshine is nondifferent from the sun, or as the energy is non-different from the energetic or source of energy.
In this way, without Radha there is no meaning to Krishna and without Krishna there is no meaning to Radha. Because of this, in the Vaishnava tradition we always pay respects first to the Lord’s internal energy in the form of Radha, and then to the Lord. Thus They are referred to as Radha-Krishna. In this way, Radha and Krishna are one, but when Lord Krishna wants to enjoy, He manifests Himself as Radharani. Otherwise, there is no energy in which Krishna can attain pleasure outside Himself.
Appearing 500 years ago in Bengal, India, Lord Chaitanya propagated the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mantra as the only means to experience Radha’s love for Krishna.
The Hare Krishna mantra directs one’s attention and devotion to Radha as well as Krishna. Radha is also known as Mother Hara, which is the name Hare in the vocative form within the mantra. So in chanting Hare Krishna, we are first approaching the Lord’s internal potency and asking Radha to please engage us in the service of Lord Krishna.
She is also the compassionate nature of the Lord, and thus more easily approached than trying to reach Lord Krishna directly. And when we read these descriptions of Radha, it is no wonder why they are devoted to Her. For example, it is explained that Srimati Radharani has unlimited transcendental qualities, of which twenty-five are principal.
1) She is very sweet.
2) She is always freshly youthful.
3) Her eyes are restless.
4) She smiles brightly.
5) She has beautiful, auspicious lines.
6) She makes Krishna happy with Her bodily aroma.
7) She is very expert in singing.
Her speech is charming.
9) She is very expert in joking and speaking pleasantly.
10) She is very humble and meek.
11) She is always full of mercy.
12) She is cunning
13) She is expert in executing Her duties.
14) She is shy.
15) She is always respectful.
16) She is always calm.
17) She is always grave.
18) She is expert in enjoying life.
19) She is situated in the topmost level of ecstatic love.
20) She is the reservoir of loving affairs in Gokula.
21) She is the most famous of submissive devotees.
22) She is very affectionate to elderly people.
23) She is very submissive to the love of Her friends.
24) She is the chief gopi.
25) She always keeps Krishna under Her control.In short, She possesses unlimited transcendental qualities, just as Lord Krishna does. (Ujjvala-nilamani, Sri-radha-prakarana 11-15)