Radha Ashtami is an important festival in Hindu mythology and is celebrated with passion and enthusiasm to commemorate the Appearance day of Radha, who is believed to be the reincarnation of goddess Lakshmi.
She is a prominent figure in the Hindu mythology. So, if you are interested to know more, read below to know everything about Radha Ashtami.
What is Radha Ashtami?
Radha Ashtami, also known as the ‘Radha Jayanti’ is the birth anniversary of Radha, who is the reincarnation of goddess Lakshmi. This auspicious day falls on the eighth day of the Shukla Paksha during the month of ‘Bhadrapada’.
The day honors the selfless and famous bond of love between Lord Krishna and Radha, a unique relationship between human and God. On this auspicious day, special pujas and prayers are organized in temples across the country.
The celebrations are particularly grand and celebrated with magnificence and grandeur in Vrindavan, Mathura and Barsana, which is the birthplace of Radha, and ISKCON temples where the devotees worship goddess Radha and Krishna together with utmost devotion.
To understand the sacred relationship between Lord Krishna and Radha, the first and foremost thing to do is clear the mind of the vices and impurities. Once these are removed from our minds, we will be able to see and understand the real meaning of Raasleela – the individual soul realizing that it is part of the universal soul, which is continuity.
Radha exists with Krishna, not without Him. She represents an individual soul and Krishna as a universal soul. On a lower level, we say the individual soul merges with the universal soul.
Why is Radha Ashtami celebrated?
Radha Ashtami marks the birth anniversary of Srimati Radha Rani. According to Hindu mythology, when Lord Vishnu was born as Krishna, goddess Lakshmi was born as Radha Rani. We all know that Radha is Lord Krishna’s lover and holds a high stature and great significance in Hindu mythology.
The birth of Radha holds an important event in the Hindu calendar and like most festivals in India, Radha Ashtami too is characterized by a puja or prayer session and a fast.
In accordance with the Hindu calendar, the sacred and auspicious eve of Radha Ashtami is celebrated in the month of Bhadrapada, on the Ashtami Tithi. It falls fifteen days after the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna and usually takes place in the month of August or September.
What is the Importance of Radha Ashtami?
According to the scriptures, the love between Radha and Lord Krishna is regarded as the pure love which has even been there between two people. They are considered as one soul and therefore Lord Krishna amalgamates in Radha Rani.
Radha Rani is considered as the mother of the entire universe and on this auspicious day of Sri Radha Ashtami, devotees pray to her to bless them with Krishna-bhakti (devotion towards Lord Krishna). Radha Ashtami’s fast and worshipping Radha-Krishna can help a person be free from all his/her sins.
Radha Ashtami is a major day and it is believed that those who fast on this day are blessed with happiness and prosperity in life. It is believed that chanting the ‘Radha Gayatri Mantra’ or the ‘Radha Ashtami Mantra’ and aarti with full devotion can help overcome all obstacles and attain salvation.
In short, observing a fast on this auspicious day is highly rewarding, blessing you with a prosperous life, freeing you from your problems, helps attain wealth and material desires, and most importantly, attain ‘salvation’.
What is the Puja Vidhi of Radha Ashtami?
Devotees keep a fast on the day of Radha Jayanti with a clean heart and complete devotion. The deity of Radha is cleaned and bathed with panchamrita and she is adorned. You can either install a gold deity or any other metal and worship with complete respect and devotion during the mid-day.
After performing the aarti, with incense sticks and lamp, the bhoga (prasad) is given at the end. On this day, the devotees also offer dhoop, flowers, incense sticks, akshat, kumkum, roli, and shringaar items to the deities.
In many texts, Radha and Krishna are worshiped jointly on the day of Sri Radha Ashtami and most importantly, people worship Goddess Radha during Madhyahna Kala (noon time) and chant the Radha Ashtami mantra.
People also get together for prayer and chanting sessions in temples. The prasad is distributed to all the devotees as it is considered to be blessed by the deity and is holy.
How to do Radha Ashtami Vrata?
There are several ways in which devotees observe the vrata on the supreme day of Sri Radha Ashtami. But the common and widely adopted way for Radha Ashtami vrata vidhi is to first take the morning bath. After this, make a mandala under the pavilion and install clay in the center to place a deity of Srimati Radha Rani.
The deity of Srimati Radha is bathed, and an abhisheka is performed with holy water or ‘Panchamrita’. The deity of Radha is adorned with new clothes, jewelry, and flowers. Recite the shadopchaar and ‘Radha Gayatrimantra’.
After worshipping and offering your prayers, one can complete or break the fast. You can also donate food to the Brahmins. According to Narada Purana, a person fasting on this day can get rid of the sins.
What is the Radha Ashtami Mantra?
!! Om Vrashbhanujaye Vidmahe !! !! Krishnapriyaye Dhimahi !! !! Tanno Radha Prachodayat !!
वृषभानुज्यै विधमहे !! !! कृष्णप्रियायै धीमहि !! !! तन्नो राधा प्रचोदयात !!
Radha Ashtami Aartis
आरती श्री वृषभानुसुता की |मंजु मूर्ति मोहन ममताकी || टेक ||
aarati shri vrshabhaanusuta ki | manju moorti mohan mamataaki || tek ||
त्रिविध तापयुत संसृति नाशिनि,विमल विवेकविराग विकासिनि |
trividh taapayut sansrti naashini,vimal vivekaviraag vikaasini |
पावन प्रभु पद प्रीति प्रकाशिनि,सुन्दरतम छवि सुन्दरता की ||
paavan prabhu pad preeti prakaashini,sundaratam chhavi sundarata ki ||
मुनि मन मोहन मोहन मोहनि,मधुर मनोहर मूरती सोहनि |
अविरलप्रेम अमिय रस दोहनि,प्रिय अति सदा सखी ललिताकी ||
muni man mohan mohan mohani,madhur manohar moorati sohani |
aviralaprem amiy ras dohani,priy ati sada sakhee lalitaaki ||
संतत सेव्य सत मुनि जनकी,आकर अमित दिव्यगुन गनकी,
आकर्षिणी कृष्ण तन मनकी,अति अमूल्य सम्पति समता की ||
sant seva sat muni jaanakee, aao aur amit divyagun gunaki,
akshishani krshn tan manakee, ati amooly sampati samata ki ||
कृष्णात्मिका, कृषण सहचारिणि,चिन्मयवृन्दा विपिन विहारिणि |
जगज्जननि जग दुःखनिवारिणि,आदि अनादिशक्ति विभुताकी ||
krshnaatmika, krshan sahachaarini, chinmayavrnda vipin vihaarini |
jagajjanani jag duhkhanivaarini, aadi anaadishy vibhutaaki ||
Shri Radha Ashtami Vrata Katha
Srimati Radha Rani was born to Vrishabhanu Gopa and Keerthi. In the Padma Purana, Srimati Radha is described as the daughter of King Vrishabhanu Gopa. It is believed that when the king was clearing the land yajna, he was blessed with Srimati Radha in the form of land, what we call ‘Dharti’ in Hindi. He took her as his daughter and brought her with love and kindness.
Another legend says that Lord Vishnu had asked other members of his family to incarnate on earth while taking birth in Krishna avatar, then Lakshmi ji, wife of Vishnu, came to Earth as Radha.
According to the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Srimati Radha was the friend of Sri Krishna. But she was married to a person named Rapan or Rayan. It is said that Srimati Radha became an adult at the time of her birth to be the lover of Sri Krishna.
Radha Ashtami Date & Timings in 2020
Wednesday, 26 August 2020.
Ashtami Tithi Begins – 12:21 PM on 25 August 2020;
Ashtami Tithi Ends – 10:39 AM on 26 August 2020
Radha Ashtami falls 15 days after Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. Devotees observe a fast and worship Radha-Krishna on this auspicious day.
Radha Ashtami ISKCON Celebrations
Radha Ashtami is celebrated magnificently in ISKCON temples. On this significant occasion, the deity of Sri Radha Krishnachandra are adorned with a new dress. The altar is decorated with colorful flowers which spread their fragrance, brightness, and positivity in everyone around them.
Furthermore, in the evening, the deities of Lord Krishna and Radha receive a big abhisheka. Devotees sing in joy and glorify the occasion by singing songs about their love. The deities are bathed with milk, ghee, honey, and gud (jaggery) water followed by juices of muskmelon, apple, pineapple, and many more such fruits.
Post this, an elaborate aarti is performed where hundreds and hundreds of devotees sing the ‘Radha Ashami Mantra’ and are engrossed in their devotion towards the Lord.
After the aarti, the deities of Lord Krishna and Radha are purified and sanctified with pure water from 108 kalash, followed by showering multiple varieties of flowers. After the prayers are completed, the head offers Chappan bhog (56 varieties of food) to the deities of Radha and Krishna.
Chappan bhog is an offering to the Lord, where people put together a list of 56 food items. The celebrations are concluded with a grand aarti where Radha-Krishna devotees seek their blessings for a healthier and happier life.
Where all is Radha Ashtami celebrated?
Most of the temples in North India perform pujas and prayers on the eve of Radha Ashtsami. The auspicious festival is celebrated like a grand celebration especially in the ISKCON temples across the globe.
The devotees who offer prayers and worship Radha rani with full concentration, a pure heart, and devotion are bestowed with the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu.
The love of Lord Krishna and Radha has been immortalized by poets and the unparalleled love continues to inspire many. Their love is celebrated as the most soulful and pious which has ever taken place between any two people.
It holds great importance in the heart of true devotees who offer prayers and worship pure heartedly. To understand this love, we need to realize the divine in all.
We hope that this Radha Ashtami each devotee gets happiness and prosperity in life!