May 31, 2020
Vaisnava Blog
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Vedic Stories

Srimati Radharani – The Feminine Concept of God


In 2018 Ariana Grande had a hit song called “God Is A Women”. So was she right or was that blasphemous considering that every major religious teachings portray God as a Male. The Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy is, that God is both Male and Female. So how do we understand this. First we have to understand that the Absolute Truth is complete.

om pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idamṁ
pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
ūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate

The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance. (Sri Isopanisads Invocation)

So for God to be Complete He has to be something that is beyond our reasoning. We can not understand the Complete Whole from the perspective of our mundane knowledge and logic. Here we have to take help of those that have been free from material contamination.

So the previous Spirtual masters and teachers has taught through the scriptural references about how God is both Male and Female.
The Caitanya Caritamrta explains that at first God, Krsna was one and then He became two.

ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau

“Although Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves eternally.” (CC 1.5)

So are They one? The previous sentence explains

rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī śaktir asmād

“The loving affairs of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency”

Krsna has many potencies or energies that He uses to manifest or enact many of His pastimes. Basically these three energies are grouped in three headings:
Antaranga-Sakti, Bahiranga Sakti and Tatastha- Sakti

We are Tatastha Sakti, the living entities, bhiranga-Sakti is the external energy and Antaranga-sakti is the internal energy. The Antaranga-Sakti is further divided into three:

Hladini-the pleasure giving potency
Sandhini– eternal existence
Samvit– cognizance (all Knowledgeable)

Hladhini sakti is what gives Krsna pleasure. So everyone is looking for pleasure. Pleasure means that we want to enjoy. And we can not enjoy with ourselves alone. We need people around us to enjoy. Therefore we take the association of friends, family, wife, girlfriends etc. So Krsna is also a Person, the Supreme Person. We are part and parcel of Krsna. So whatever we have He has it in Full. So if we have the propensity to enjoy, the He also has that propensity to enjoy, but His propensity to enjoy is different from ours, because He does not enjoy with just anyone. He uses His antaranga-sakti, internal energy to enjoy. And the internal energy that gives Him pleasure is called the Hladhini sakti. That Hladhini sakti manifest as Srimati Radharani.

Srila Prabhupada explains this point in Srimad Bhagavatam 3.31.38:
“The Lord is the Supreme Person, the supreme male. As a common male wants to be attracted by a female, that propensity similarly exists in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He also wants to be attracted by the beautiful features of a woman. Now the question is, if He wants to be captivated by such womanly attraction, would He be attracted by any material woman? It is not possible. Even persons who are in this material existence can give up womanly attraction if they are attracted by the Supreme Brahman. Such was the case with Haridāsa Ṭhākura. A beautiful prostitute tried to attract him in the dead of night, but since he was situated in devotional service, in transcendental love of Godhead, Haridāsa Ṭhākura was not captivated. Rather, he turned the prostitute into a great devotee by his transcendental association. This material attraction, therefore, certainly cannot attract the Supreme Lord. When He wants to be attracted by a woman, He has to create such a woman from His own energy. That woman is Rādhārāṇī. It is explained by the Gosvāmīs that Rādhārāṇī is the manifestation of the pleasure potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When the Supreme Lord wants to derive transcendental pleasure, He has to create a woman from His internal potency.”

Radharani is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature.”

Srila Prabhupada, Bhagavatam 2.3.23

Srimati Radharani is Krsna’s internal energy and the internal energy of Krsna and Krsna are non-different. They are one

“ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau.”

In this way we can understand how God, Krsna is worshiped as both male and female. If He cannot do this then He cannot be the Complete Whole.

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