24 Aug Radha and Krishna meet for the first time – story for children on Radhashtami day
Every year for Radhashtami I used to tell this story to my children, using the doll puppets of Radha, Krishna, mother Yashoda, and mother Kirtida (Gopal soft toys of Radha and Krishna and our homemade adapted dolls for mothers). I heard it a long time ago from Dinabhandu Prabhu on Vrindavan parikrama. Ah, that was a magical time on our Vrindavan pilgrimage in the year 2000, with so many feelings of fulfillment and happiness that have never happened again, even though I was visiting the same places in some later years. Govardhana parikrama was not as sweet to experience as it was then, and the birthplace of Srimati Radharani, Raval, I have never seen again. But, I remember the story, and I have been passing it on to the next generation, in a form adapted to young children.
My children loved this story and wanted to play it again and again when they were 3-6 years old. It is a very sweet story for the children of that age group and it’s easy to play it with puppets.
The Appearance Of Sri Radha
Mother Yashoda was preparing herself and little Krishna to go for a visit. In the house of Vrishabhanu Maharaja were celebrating the birth of a baby girl. The palace of Vrishabhanu Maharaja and Kirtida Devi was situated on Varshana hill, near Gokula village where Nanda Maharaja, Yashoda, and Krishna were living. Mother Yashoda has prepared many gifts for baby Radha and mother Kirtida. She dressed herself and Krishna very nicely, packed a bullock chart with gifts, and set off with little Krishna in her hands.
Mother Kirtida welcomed Yashoda and Krishna warmly, happy to see them. Mother Yashoda looked at the cradle where baby Radha was lying, enchanted with her beauty: „What a sweet baby girl she is! Her complexion is like gold.“ Mother Kirtida gracefully smiled and said: „Thank you, dear Yashoda, for your kind and loving words. Yes, to us she is more precious than gold. She is perfect, but…“ Mother Kirtda took a deep breath. Seeing her good friend little worried mother Yashoda asked softly: „What is the problem, Kirtida? I do not see any inauspicious sign on her.“ Mother Kirtida lowered her head and whispered: „ She is blind. Since she was born she has not opened her eyes yet.“
Hearing this, Mother Yashoda was stuck with wonder. But, in the next moment, she spoke soothing words to Mother Kirtida: „Oh, my dear friend, do not worry. I am sure that she will open her eyes very soon. She is such a blessing to your family, surely the Supreme Lord will not allow that small imperfection to spoil her beauty and good qualities.“ Mother Kirtida smiled to Mother Yashoda gratefully and led her to the table where she offered her tasty snacks and sweets.
While mother Yashoda and Kirtida were talking they did not pay attention to little Krishna who was crawling around. At that time Krishna was about one or two years old. He was crawling around the cradle where baby Radha was lying. Soon He began to stand up holding Himself on the side of the cradle. After some time He succeeded in standing up high enough to look into the cradle. At that very moment, when Krishna stood up over the cradle and looked at Her, baby Radha opened Her beautiful lotus eyes and looked at Him. It was the first time that Radha had opened Her eyes since she was born. She was waiting for Krishna to come because She wanted to see Krishna first, before anyone and anything else in this world.
It was time for Yashoda and Krishna to return home. Mother Yashoda called for Krishna and came to look at baby Radha to say goodbye. To her amazement, she saw Radha smiling with Her eyes wide open. Mother Yashoda immediately called for Kirtida who came running to the cradle. When mother Kirtida saw her baby with Her eyes open she started to cry with happiness. Mother Yashoda shared her joy and hugged Kirtida lovingly. Both of them were crying and laughing at the same time. And both of them had to admit they had never seen such beautiful lotus eyes as Radha’s… except maybe Krishna’s.
And they did not notice an enigmatic smile on Krishna’s face, as if He were keeping some important secret, known only to Him.