Srimati Radharani is the eternal consort of Lord Krishna. She appeared on the eighth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Bhadra (August – September) fifteen days after the birth of Lord Sri Krishna. She is the foster daughter of Maharaja Vrushabhanu and Kirtida Sundari. She was not born to any couple but was found in a field by Maharaja Vrushabhanu.
All great authorities on devotional science (bhakti yoga) consider Her to be the greatest devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Her devotion is so exalted that even the self-satisfied Supreme Lord Krishna is intensely attracted to Her. Devotees try to follow in Her footsteps in trying to please Lord Krishna. Krishna is considered Her property and only She can deliver Krishna to the sincere devotee. Thus devotees pray to Her fervently to bless them with Krishna bhakti.
Only on the day of Radhashtami devotees can have darshan of Srimati Radharani’s lotus feet. On this day, devotees fast till noon. The Deities are offered a new set of dress. A spectacular abhisheka or bathing ceremony of Srimati Radharani and Lord Krishna is performed with auspicious items like honey, milk, fruit juices, turmeric water, etc. After the abhisheka, songs extolling Srimati Radharani’s wonderful qualities and pastimes with Lord Krishna are sung and arati is performed. The song ‘radhe jaya jaya Madhava dayite gokula taruni mandala mahite’ composed by Srila Rupa Gosvami is sung during the Shayana arati on this day. In the song, Srila Rupa Gosvami is begging for Radharani’s mercy. Her qualities are so exalted that even the four Kumaras of Brahma are singing the glories of Her character. Lord Krishna is endowed with the six opulences to an unlimited extent. Thus He is unquestionably the most attractive person. But, She has subdued even the Supreme Lord Krishna with Her qualities.