The love between Radha and Krishna is the basis of many stories that have found their way through the pages of history and into the heart of millions of devotees. But many wonder why, despite being so deeply in love, they never marry. However, the real question should not be why they never marry; the real question should be how, despite not marrying, they remain so much devoted to one another. Accordingly to a version, during the last phase of her life, Radharani willingly worked as a maid in Krishna’s palace, just to be close to Him.
To understand the true nature of this divine love, one must acknowledge the fact that when we talk about Radha and Krishna, we cannot place them on the same plane as we put us, mere mortals. Talking about Radha and Krishna, Srila Prabhupada said that we must “understand the relationship between Radha and Krishna very carefully; it’s not like some mundane love affair between a young boy and a young girl.” He also observed that the love between Radha and Krishna is ‘parakiya’, but it is not in the same sense we know it to be. Srila Prabhupada explains, “…in the spiritual world, the highest, topmost level of love is parakiya. Parakiya means love – not by marriage, but by friendship. There, it is pure”.
The love that Radharani has for Krishna is, in fact, devotion in the highest form. Many consider Radha to be the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna and believe her to be the ‘Devotional Energy’ of Sri Krishna. This is one of the reasons why we always say Radha Krishna, putting her name before the name of the Supreme Lord. If we take away the ‘R’ from ‘Radha Krishna’, we are left with ‘adha’ Krishna, that is. Half Krishna— it is Radha’s presence that completes Krishna. Her love for Krishna is the highest state of spiritual ecstasy or Maha Bhaav.
In Chapter 18, Shlokas (verses) 65-66 of Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna, “Let your mind be constantly directed towards me; be devoted to me; dedicate all your actions to me; prostrate yourself before me; over and above the claims of all Dharmas (duties) is complete surrender to me and me alone”. That is what Radharani did all her life—even when she was away from Krishna, even when she was married to someone else. She was immersed in her divine love for Krishna, which was also, the greatest form of devotion.