Celebrated In: India
Celebrated By: (Hindu)
Rasha Ashtami is commemorated as birth anniversary of Goddess Radha, the consort of Lord Krishna. It falls on Ashtami Tithi during Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapada month.
Devotees keep fast on Radha Asthami day. Goddess Radha is worshipped during Madhyana Kaal which is noon time according to Hindu division of the day. Currently Radha Ashtami falls in the month of August or September in English calendar.
On the day of Radhaashtami, devotees are allowed special sanctions which are not allowed generally. Like, Radharani's name is usually not chanted due to the possibility of committing faults towards her. Neither people are allowed to enter into Radha Kunda, or Radharani's Pond, which is considered holy. On the day of Radhastami, people wait until midnight in order to bathe there. People chant her names on the ''appearance day'' or birthday of Sri Radha. Radharani is believed to ''appear'', being an eternal companion of Krishna, she does not take birth or die.
The legends of Radha-Krishna have become immortal. There are numerous legends and stories of Radha and Krishna depicting their true love. Radha's devotion and dedication towards Sri Krishna is the most sincere one. Here are some legends of Radha-Krishna portraying their love for each other.
Legend of Hot Milk
This is one interesting story showing the eternal relation of Radha and Krishna. Radha was not married to Lord Krishna. The immeasurable love of Krishna for Radha made Krishna's wives jealous of Radha. Once, they all planned a mischief to make Radha suffer. They set out a bowl of burning hot milk. They gave the bowl to Radha, saying that Krishna had sent it for her. Radha readily drank the hot milk.
When the wives returned to Krishna, they found him full of painful ulcers. This shows that Krishna resides in every pore of Radha i.e. why the hot milk didn't touch Radha, but it affected Krishna. He took all her pain and miseries upon himself.
Legend of Charanaamrit
This is another sweet story depicting the intense love between Radha and Krishna. Once, Sri Krishna got very ill. Krishna asked that he would be alright if, he would get the Charanaamrit of a true devotee. All the Gopis were asked but none of them offered. They were afraid of committing a serious offense, by offering the water with which they had washed their feet to Sri Krishna.
When Radha came to know about the situation, she said: "Take as much as you like. What does it matter if I have to go to hell as long as my Lord is released of His pain and ailment"! Radha offered the Charanaamrit with true heart. It is due to this fact; it is believed that Radha could not marry Lord Krishna. Radha loved Krishna from the core of her heart but still she offered Charanaamrit to Krishna to save him from his sickness.