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Radha Krishna: The Highest Point of Consciousness

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The epitome of eternal spirit getting submerged with a human body is the tale of Lord Krishna. Today, we all know and praise Krishna as a divine spirit of Vishnu, the supreme lord, who came on earth in a human form to create and narrate the teachings of life.

Krishna took birth around 5000 years back in the Mathura city of Uttar Pradesh, India. He was a high spirited being from the childhood, and everyone loved him. Yes, everyone. Such was the charm of Krishna that the people who even had a feeling of rage and hatred towards him after a conversation with him, would become his devotee.

We all have heard millions of stories about how naughty Krishna was in his childhood. His act of stealing butter has inspired many artists, story makers, writers, and poets to express this utter playfulness in enticing vocabulary. But, the most epic and miraculous of all the events from Krishna’s life was his love affair with Radha.

Krishna was adorable and had the capability to encapsulate the attention of others in an instant. Even though Radha was ten years older than him, she felt an instant connection between heart and soul right from their first encounter. The relationship between Radha and Krishna was of such sanctity and fidelity that even today the name of two divine beings are inseparable.

Millions of Radha-Krishna paintings are sold in India every year. Vrindavan, the place where Krishna spent his childhood and where the pious love between him and Radha was ignited, still witnesses millions of devotees every month. Such is the eminence of Radha and Krishna.

Radha and Krishna – The Connection

A lot of religious scriptures in Hinduism have mentioned Radha here and there multiple times. To add to this, religious experts believe that Krishna, himself was the supreme God, while Radha was his devout energy.

When Krishna was about to leave Vrindavan to fulfil his duties, Radha asked, “Why can’t you marry me?” Krishna looked at her and said, “For the union of marriage, you need two souls. Since you and I are one and the same, how could I marry myself?”

This phrase gives us a clear sight of the intensity of the relationship between Radha and Krishna. It is also believed that God Vishnu reincarnated in the form of both Radha and Krishna; i.e. one soul segmented in two forms to represent the union of ‘aatma’ (spirit) and ‘Parmatma’ (the creator).

Different artists have beautifully expressed the relationship or the connection that blossomed and sustained between Radha and Krishna across the centuries. You can get an exquisite Radha-Krishna painting from any reputed online or offline gallery and see the blessed meaning of love and eternity in front of your eyes.

Even though both Radha and Krishna never got married to each other and got separated at a very young age, their love and devotion for each other was never-ending. I mean how often do we hear about such a graceful and mesmerising tale of love? Today, Krishna’s name is never taken before Radha as the two are inseparable.

The Abstract Theory

The story and the events that occurred during Krishna’s life is an encoded form of God’s way of living life. It is the ultimate mantra of how we should act and react. For instance, Krishna was equally benevolent and exuberant to help his enemies as his friends; he took victory and defeat in the same manner and always kept a charming smile.

Radha, on the other hand, is more of an idea than a character. In the present time, Radha is praised as much as Krishna, even though she is not considered a goddess like Rukmani, who was believed to be an avatar of Devi Lakshmi. Radha-Krishna paintings also display the encircling Gopis, around the spiritual pair. This was termed as “Raas Leela”. Let’s first understand this term in depth. Leela and actions are two very different words.

Leela is said to be done when a being offers or does something without involving their ego. For instance, whatever Krishna did during each stage of his life was without ego and self-pride. His love for Radha, his friendship with the Pandavas, his playfulness as a son and his dutifulness as a king – all of these roles he played without any ego. That is why they are known as Leelas. On the other hand, everything and anything humans do is done with ego, and that’s why it is called the action.

The union of Radha and Krishna display a very emotional and spiritually high formation of two different parts of a single soul; it is the cosmic blend of consciousness, where everything becomes real to a singularity known as God or Krishna himself. The fame Radha earned was not because she was a critical character in Krishna’s story, but because she showed the path of pure devotion that could help a soul attain the ultimate bliss. She was pious, devoted, and a manifestation of Krishna himself.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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