The other day, I was caught unaware when a friend texted me a question.
Why didn’t Krishna marry Radha?
I stared at my screen, a little taken aback by the suddenness of the question. Twiddling my thumbs on the keypad, I fumbled around, hoping to come up with an answer. This question hadn’t struck me before and given my exceptionally paltry knowledge of the scriptures, I felt I had no right to question something I hadn’t even begun to understand.
Besides, I had already made my peace with not knowing the answers to the many questions of life. What, where, when, why and how — of the five questioning brothers, why is the most cunning and sly. It is the most elaborate trickster, always coaxing you to commence on an endless trail, like a dog chasing its own tail. Every answer you construct will only push you further into the depths of questioning.
Looking back on my life, I can’t find a single instance that I can point to and say, “Yes, this is what happened, and here’s why it happened.” Everything that had conspired was an outpouring of circumstances and forces that functioned in realms beyond my comprehension. Thinking otherwise would be another instance of my haughty ignorance.
When I couldn’t deduce the reasoning behind my own decisions, how could I even pretend to understand what goes on in the heart of the Supreme?
And so I proceeded to type the obvious, “I really don’t know.”
But before I could, I felt a silent stirring rushing forth like a poem that had composed itself.
Each time I think of Radharani, I am reminded of the sweetest and the most relatable aspect of devotion. The feet that had caressed the soil of Vrindavan, had walked far away in a moment of separation. Krishna doesn’t marry Radha. Physically, he is no longer there with her.
And what does he leave her with?
The love that can only be experienced in longing.
Despite his dwelling in every atom and every second, for someone here on this planet of dirt and dust, it can sometimes feel as if he has run far away. So used to the solidity of the fragments we have known, so hopelessly blinded to the whole, it can feel like a game of peek-a-boo.
And what do you do then?
You yearn. You call out. You love in feverish rememberance. You feel the pain that is so hauntingly beautiful, so painfully poignant, that it transforms into something even more beautiful than union.
To me, Radha represents that love of longing. That love of separation. And in her intense yearning, she becomes an inspiration to every other one calling out to him.
So intense is her yearning, that even in the moments of separation, there really is no separation.
In the beauty of her longing, she puts to rest every question that was ever raised.