Just 15 days after the grand celebration of Shri Krishna Janmashtami, Radha Rani’s birth anniversary is observed on the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Bhadrapad. In the eternal tradition, Shri Radha Ji is regarded as the divine energy of Lord Shri Krishna. Without her, not only is Krishna incomplete, but the worship of his devotees is also considered incomplete. It is believed that worshipping both Lord Krishna and Radha Ji blesses one with a happy married life and removes all life’s hardships. According to the Panchang (Hindu calendar), the Ashtami Tithi (eighth day) of the Shukla Paksha in the month of Bhadrapad will begin at 1:35 PM on September 22 and last until 12:17 PM on September 23. Radhashtami will be celebrated on September 23, according to the Udhyatithi (next day’s sunrise).
Radha, the Divine Consort of Krishna
Radha Ji holds a special place in the heart of Lord Krishna. She resides in his heart, and her love and devotion are the source of his joy. Radha worships Lord Krishna, and Lord Krishna worships Radha. They are both mutual adorers, meaning they are each other’s beloved deities. According to scriptures, one should first utter the name ‘Radha’ and then the name ‘Krishna.’ Reversing this sequence is considered sinful.
Shri Krishna’s Worship of Radha
As per scriptures, on Kartik Purnima, Lord Krishna worshipped Radha Ji in the Goloka Rasmandal. He adorned Radha with a necklace of precious gems called ‘Radha-Kavach’ and placed it around her neck. With devotion, Lord Krishna focused on Radha and offered her betel leaves. This signifies the importance of Radha’s worship.
Radha’s Devotion and Lord Krishna’s Submission
Once, Lord Shiva asked Lord Krishna how one could attain his divine form. Lord Krishna replied that to attain Him, one must take shelter in Radha Rani. He emphasized that those who worship Radha Ji first and then Krishna find favor with Him. Scriptures assert that if Radha Ji is not worshipped, one has no right to worship Lord Krishna. Therefore, Lord Krishna resides under her shelter, and those who worship Radha first are more beloved to Him.
How to Observe Radhashtami Vrat
To observe Radhashtami Vrat, begin your day with a bath and meditation in the early morning. Make a solemn vow to perform the vrat with devotion. Start by worshipping Lord Ganesha and then offer flowers, cosmetics, fruits, bhog (food offerings), and prayers to Radha Rani. Don’t forget to include the worship of Lord Krishna. Recite the Radha Mantra: “ॐ राधायै स्वाहा” with devotion. Worship of Radha Ji brings wealth, prosperity, and blessings into one’s life. Chanting the name of Radha helps appease Lord Krishna, and according to the Narada Purana, observing Radhashtami Vrat helps one understand the mysteries of Brij (the sacred land associated with Lord Krishna) and reside in the realm of Radha Rani.