Rādhā

The cowherd woman (gopī) whose passionate love for the god Kṛṣṇa has been celebrated in song and story throughout the Indian subcontinent since medieval times, Rādhā has been revered by Vaiṣṇava devotees not only as Kṛṣṇa's earthly beloved but also as his eternal consort, as one half of the divine duality. Her name may be a feminine form of the Vedic rādhās ("desired object"). Epitomizing the ideal of prema bhakti ("loving devotion"), she has herself been an object of Vaiṣṇava worship, sometimes as a mediator but often as the highest reality, surpassing even Kṛṣṇa.

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