We are told that Krishna was ten years old when he left Vrundavanam (Brindavan) for Mathura to kill Kamsa.. and that he never returned.
And we are told that Krishna romanced many Gopikas of Vrundavanam by this time.
We are told that Radha, was the most important of these Gopikas. Some go as far as saying that she was not only married but his aunt.
Thanks to Jayadeva and others, Radha and Krishna have become a symbol for eternal love, pangs of separation, undying devotion and so much more.
Today, a girl named Isabel from Peru asked me, “What about Radha’s sons?” and that set me thinking.
These are my thoughts :
Krishna was a kid – a young pre-teen boy – when he left Brindavan/Gokul. Radha was the daughter of mother Yasoda’s brother.
Marrying one’s father’s sister’s son was kind of a done deal both among the Yadavas of the yore and among South Indians even of my generation. It is called Menarikam. So it is possible that there was some teasing and mischief as is wont to happen when other kids gang up on the “intended pair”. It is even possible that little Krishna thought it was hilarious to hide the clothes of the skinny dipping gopikas.
It is certainly possible that he could charm everyone with his flute and that he gave his flute to Radha as a parting gift. It is subsequently possible that Radha married her mother’s brother Ayana (another form of menarikam, also practiced even in my generation) and THEN became Krishna’s aunt. Radha was not related to Krishna at all by blood.
Neither Radha nor any of the gopikas could have actually “had an affair” with Krishna as some of the Bhakthi Marg Poets elaborated in detail. There were no sons of Krishna in Brindavan.
I do think Krishna spent more than 64 days and nights in Ujjain with Sandeepani. He was super brilliant and super smart and probably could work out most things for himself with very little instruction. But in the context of the Bhagavad Gita, I think Krishna spent a lot more time at school.
It is very possible that Ila one of the junior wives of Krishna was trained by Radha, but she was not Radha’s daughter. Radha’s daughter would work out as Krishna’s parallel cousin and not cross cousin even after Radha’s marriage to her maternal uncle. Neither the yadavas of the yore nor the south Indians of today will marry a parallel cousin.. That is “varasa kaadu”.
There was a courtesan who wrote some non-puritan poetry about how Radha prepared Ila for marriage with Krishna. That may have whatever in poetic value, but not much in factual value.
It is a part of Indian culture today that we see Rama and Sita in every young married couple and Radha and Krishna in every pair of people in love. It is a lovely custom, but 5000 years of our nation’s romance has been projected onto a pair of little children. This is a little much!
In the wonderful song below from the movie Lagaan, the couple talks of Radha and Krishna, but are referring to their own feelings of jealousy and amusement. (Interestingly, the lyric writer and lead actor are muslims and the lead actress is a Christian.)
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