Q. Why did Lord Krishna not marry Radharani? When Her deity is always next to Krishna and we worship Krishna and Radha? Krishna loved Srimati Radharani, but married someone else. Why?
A. The relationship between Radha and Krishna in Their Vrindavan-lila is of a very special type known as “parakiya rasa” or unwedded love. Even from our mundane experience we know that such a relationship can be of greater intensity than within marriage. Yet these ‘affairs’ are grossly perverted reflections of the love found in the spiritual world; worldly paramourship is morally reprehensible but the spiritual counterpart is of the highest level of spiritual joy as well as purity.
In Vrindavana, yoga-maya (the Lord’s personal internal potency) orchestrates events just to enhance this ‘parakiya-bhava‘, which serve to increase the intensity of the loving pastimes between Radha and Krishna. For example, there is a very sweet pastime described by our acaryas wherein Radha and Krishna were actually to be betrothed, but Paurnamasi (who is Yogamaya herself) foils the plan on the pretext of so-called inauspicious planetary influences, just so that the parakiya relationship is preserved.
In short, the lila of Radha and Krishna is that of an unwed couple, lover and beloved, but the spiritual reality is that they are eternally with one another as the Lord and His internal potency or His ‘consort’. Their unmarried love enhances the sweetness of their exchanges and is altogether wholesome and pure.
Rukmini devi is an expansion of Radharani. She also belongs to the internal potency of Krishna, just like Radha, only the lila is that they marry.
Radha and Krishna’s loving relationship can be (and has been) misused by unscrupulous people to manipulate religious principles. But Radha-Krishna relationship should not be confused with that of a mundane relationship.
The material world is 180 degrees the opposite of the spiritual world. When looking upon the lake’s surface where a tree is growing on the far bank of the lake, what do you see? You see a reflection! And what is the upper portion of the tree which you see in the reflection? Since the reflected image is upside down, you will see the roots growing up, and the branches growing down!
In the ‘spiritual tree of life’, everything is actually meant for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, but when misused for our sense gratification, it becomes reflected, upside-down and perverted. Thus we see even lust, greed, anger – all abominable qualities! – have their untainted spiritual counterpart in ‘the spiritual tree, in the spiritual realm, the realm of Krishna’s pastimes.
And, If you go to Bhandiravana one of the 12 forests in Vrajamandala, you will come to know that when Radha and Krishna were very small, they had come with Nanda Maharaja to Bhandiravana. And then suddenly clouds came and it was about to rain and at that time Nanda Maharaja made both of them sit under a Banyan tree holding each other hands and gone for his work … At that time both of them became young and Brahmaji came and performed their formal marriage….
Radharani is Krishna’s own internal pleasure potency. Thus there is no question of immorality in their relationship. Krishna, being self-satisfied, does not depend on an external source for happiness but manifests His own potency when He wants to enjoy; this manifestation is Radharani. We worship Radha with Krishna, because She is the dearest devotee of Krishna and by pleasing Her we can also become dear to Him.