Krishna and RadhaBhakti is often discussed in distinctly human terms, using human love as the model. A parent's love for a child, for instance, is the model for the devotee's love of the god; a parent's love is utterly selfless, absolute. Likewise, the love of a devotee for a god is also described in amorous terms.

Some of the best-known and most beloved stories in Hinduism involve the love "affair" between Krishna and Radha (a particularly beautiful example is the Gita Govinda, by the poet Jayadeva). Krishna in these stories is a lovely young man who plays a bewitching flute. Radha is a beautiful young woman. She is, however, a human being. Gita Govinda manuscript (ca. 1500 CE)She abandons her worldly duty to be with Krishna. The point of these stories is that although worldly duties are importance for the maintenance of society, love of the divine (here specifically Krishna) transcends the worldly dharma. Through such absolute love, one attains salvation through the grace of the god.

Study Questions:

1.     What are a few of the varying Hindu beliefs about afterlife?
2.     What is moksha?
3.     How does one attain salvation?

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