Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Radha has developed into a major model in the eyes of Krshna worshipers.
But, originally, she was conceived and created by Orissa’s revolutionary social reformer Sri Jaya Dev in consonance with the tenets of Buddhist Sahajayana to restore the non-Vedic and female-centric distinction of his motherland, then under pernicious grip of the Vedic and patriarch caste supremacists.
The immortal love-lyricist of Orissa, being a Sahajayani Buddhist, whom Mother Nature was the fountainhead of creation and final destination of life, had watched how waves of the ocean were rising from the water and after touching the shore were going back into the sea and melting in the water from which they had come, had coined a word to describe the returning water. That word was RADHA (RA+DHA) – the returning shape of DHARA (DHA+RA), meaning the ‘spread of water’.
After arriving at this significant concept, he used the word RADHA for depicting the idea of female centric union that Sahajayan school of Buddhist philosophy had been propounding as the cause of creation.
He accordingly authored his female centric love lyrics, which we find compiled together under a caption wrongfully called ‘Geeta Govinda’.
Sri Jay Dev had composed his Astapadi lyrics that revolved around Radha to counter the impact of male-centric anarchy Orissa was drowned in under Vedic caste-supremacists.
Antagonists of Buddhism having failed to undo the Buddhist impact of the Sahajia lyrics of Sri Jaya Dev, have usurped Radha for Hindu religion, projecting her as the beloved concert of Krushna of Dwaraka and to make their story look authentic, have projected her as the daughter of Brushabhanu and the wife of Chandrasena. But Sri Jaya Dev, creator of Radha, had never created Chandrasena or Brusabhanu.
Radha, as daughter of Brushabhanu or wife of Chandrasena was nothing but a product of the tactics of interpolation adopted for burying down her role as a Sahaja Nayika of the Sahajayana (Kama Vajrayana) school of Buddhism. At a much later time, works of poets contemporary or junior to Jayadev were interpolated with verse or verses to show Radha as consort of Krshna in a manner that would best serve the design of Hinduism and in order to establish this, interpolations were made on various works to show that Radha-Krshna cult was created centuries before Sri Jayadev. The entire exercise was meant to usurp Radha for Hindu chauvinism by diverting attention from her role in Sahajiya Buddhism.
That this was a deliberate development is proved by the very fact that there is no mention of Radha in connection to Krshna in Mahabharat despite rampant interpolations up to 18th century.
No mention of her is found in Bhagavat Mahapurana.
No mention of her is found even in Puranas written in the Chaitanya era.
As for example, the famous Bhagavata authored in Oriya by Jagannatha Dasa is totally silent on Radha even though by his time, Jaya Dev’s love lyrics depicting Radha as the beloved of Krshna was most popular in Orissa; and not only that, Chaitanya had also adopted the Radha cult. Absolutely oblivious of Radha, Jagannath Dasa has narrated the love of the Gopies.
Radha was not even recognized by avowed worshipers of Krshna till many centuries after Jaya Dev. A reading of the a very famous hymn addressed to Srikrshna as GOPASTRIPARIBESTITA meaning embraced collectively by the women of the Cowherd caste proves this as in this hymn the author has not mentioned Radha for once.
There is no mention of Radha in any literature, in Krshna context, at least up to this. Therefore, till 18th century we do not find any Radhakrshna temple. We find only Gopinath temples.
It is note worthy that, Oriya Vaisnav saints were so much averse to Radha that they had opposed Goudiya Vaisnavas as they were singing glory to her under the influence of Chaitanya, whom Ray Ramananda Pattanayak had initiated into Radha cult; the cult created and developed by Sri Jaya Dev with the sole purpose of propagating the tenets of Sahajiya Buddhism.
Prior to Chaitanya’s arrival, Gajapati Purusottama Dev (son of Gajapati Kapilendra Dev) had prohibited recitation of Jaya Dev’s love lyrics in Sri Mandira and had, in its place, promulgated a work, purported to have been authored by himself, under the caption Abhinav Gita Govinda.
As people revolted, he had to withdraw his own work in favor of Jaya Dev’s; but with a tactful approval of interpolation in form of many stanzas. The mass unrest over this issue was constant till Prataprudra Dev made it mandatory that only the songs of Jaya Dev, and nothing else, can be sung in Sri Mandira.
But in the process, the then State Power could succeed in usurping Radha for Hinduism. And with this, many stories were concocted to show that she was the daughter of Brusabhanu, wife of Chandrasena etc so that general public could be diverted from her Sahajiya status to Hindu Vaisnavite role.
This is proved by the fact that there is no mention of Radha as Krshna’s consort in any of religious or religio-historical texts before Purusottam Dev’s aborted attempt to marshal a Radha of his own design in the above said Abhinav Gita Govinda.
Taking advantage of Orissa’s disadvantage under the Britishraj, the Begalis have made all out attempt to usurp Orissa’s Jaya Dev for their land and even have dared to say that Radha was creation of Bengal! As for example, Dr. Bagchi says in History of Bengal, Vol.1, p.404, “Radha was probably a Bengali innovation made shortly before the time of Jayadev and represented only a Vaishnavite phase of growing Shaktism”.
This dare devil cultural dishonesty was threadbare exposed when History admitted that before Chaitanya came to know of Sri Jaya Dev’s love lyrics at Puri, and adopted Jaya Dev’s Radha cult as the base of his preaching, there was no trace of Radha in Bengal. The historian in Rakhal Das Banerjee came out to declare, “The popularity of Radha Krshna cult in the North-Eastern provinces of India appears to date from the advent of the great reformer Chaitanya”.(Eastern Indian school of Mediaval Sclupture, Chapter VI, p.127)
And, Chaitanya came to know of Radha only from Orissa’s great son Raya Ramananda Pattanayak. It has been clearly admitted by Chaitanya who has said that he has learnt everything that he was preaching from Raya Ramananda.
Chaitanya had not kept it secret. It was known to all his followers.
Kavi Karnapura’s famous Chaitanya Chandrodaya Natakam carries this truth in specific dialogues, where Chaitanya asks, “Who should be worshiped?” (KIMUPAASYAMATRA?) and Raya Ramananda Pattanayak says, “Only Srikrshna with Radha”. (MAHASISRIKRSHNARADHABHIDHE) (Act-VII)
So, it is Raya Ramananda Pattanayak who initiated Chaitanya in the cult of Radha and it is Chaitanya from whom the people of Bengal could come to know of Radha. It is therefore a shame that Bengalis like Dr.Bagchi (quoted supra) claim that Radha was probably a Bengali innovation!
However, Bengal and for that matter none of the rest of India, had any contribution to projection of Radha as the consort of Krshna. This is proved from the fact that Radha was unknown to Vrindavan, the citadel of Krshna cult till even the eighteenth century A.D.
I quote from “Bhakti Ratnakara” authored by the famous Vaisnav poet Narahari Chakravarty. He has mentioned that when the image of Govinda was established at
Vrindavan, there was no image of Radha.
Where from, then, Radha came to Vrindavan? She came only from Orissa.
It is only the King of Orissa who installed Radha at Vrindavana. Admitting this in Indian Culture’, (Vol.V, No.2), historian Amar Nath Roy says,
The deities installed by the Goswamis at Vrindavana were single images of Krshna; that long after their times a Chief of Orissa sent to Vrindavana the first Srimati (Image of Radha) which was installed by the side of one of the deities and the omission in case of others was made good gradually.
From this it is clear that Radha was created in Orissa and popularized through the Radha cult conceived and carried ahead by Sri Jaya Dev of Orissa.