Radha


Radha
/rah"dah/, n. Hindu Legend.
the milkmaid who became the consort of Krishna.

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In Hindu mythology, mistress of the god Krishna when he lived among the cowherds of Vrndavana.

Though Radha was the wife of another cowherd, she was the most beloved of Krishna's consorts and his constant companion. In the bhakti movement of Vaishnavism, Radha symbolizes the human soul and Krishna the divine. The allegorical love of Radha and Krishna has been celebrated in the poetry of many Indian languages, and Radha is often worshiped along with Krishna, especially in northern and eastern India.

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▪ Hindu mythology
      in Hindu mythology, the mistress of the god Krishna during that period of his life when he lived among the cowherds of Vṛndāvana. Rādhā was the wife of another gopa (cowherd) but was the most beloved of Krishna's consorts and his constant companion. In the bhakti (devotional) movement of Vaiṣṇavism, the woman, Rādhā, symbolizes the human soul and the male, Krishna, the divine.

      The allegorical love of Rādhā has been given expression in the lyrical poetry of many Indian languages. In Bengal, many poets composed such poetry, including the supremely lyrical Govinda Dās. The Bengali saint Caitanya was said to be an incarnation of the two lovers; he was Krishna on the inside and Rādhā on the outside. Caitanya also composed many lyrics celebrating the divine love, which have not survived. The Gītagovinda by Jayadeva was a favourite source of inspiration for the later Rajasthani and Pahari miniature painters, in whose works Rādhā is seen waiting for Krishna to return with the cows in the twilight or sitting with him in a forest grove engaged in amorous play. The bronze images of Krishna playing the flute that are enshrined in temples are often accompanied, particularly in the northern and eastern parts of India, by images of his beloved Rādhā, and she is also worshiped.

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