Nectar Radha

by Rasakhan

English version by Shyamdas
Original Language Hindi

When Radha's eyes bashfully meet Hari's,
     their delightful gestures
          entice His heart.

Her enchanting banter swindles His mind.
     Her words divulge an exquisite disposition.

She puts Her lips to His,
     filling that Abode of elixir
          with the nectar of Her very soul.

Although Krishna is an expert in all of love's spells,
     Radha captivates God
          with a few soft syllables.

-- from Treasure House of Love: Poems of Rasakhan, Translated by Shyamdas

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

How about some bhakti verses in honor of Valentine's Day?

As with many bhakti poems, this is, on the surface, a poem of lovers, Radha and Krishna (also referred to as Hari). But these, like the Song of Songs in the Bible, are usually understood to reflect deeper spiritual truths. Radha is the soul, the spiritual seeker. Krishna is the one the soul seeks, the eternal Beloved, God. Radha's yearning and seeking is the spiritual journey. Their love play is spiritual union.

Most bhakti poems dwell on how Krishna's enchanting beauty draws Radha (the soul) to him. God/Krishna is, after all, "an expert in all of love's spells," for all sincere seekers are in love with the Divine One. In truth, every soul, no matter how closed off, has a deep-seated hunger for something, and that yearning, whether recognized or not, is ultimately for the eternal Beloved. Every single being is caught up in Krisnha's love spell.

But these lines by Rasakhan point out that there is a reciprocal attraction, as well. The soul doesn't just reach out to the Divine. Turning eager eyes toward the Beloved magnetically draws the Divine to the individual soul, as well. When done with total sincerity and with one's full, unedited being, a response from the Beloved becomes unavoidable.

In this way, "Radha captivates God / with a few soft syllables." The soul and God draw each other, the two becoming enfolded within their mutual love.

Have a beautiful Valentine's Day with your beloved / Beloved.

Recommended Books: Rasakhan

Treasure House of Love: Poems of Rasakhan

Nectar Radha