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Candravali – Dear Friend Of Radha Krishna

Candravali is a dear friend of Radha and famous as Radha Krishna Chandravali. She is referred to in Puranic literature. Her name is found in Brahma Vaivarta Krishna Janma Khanda (2.55.49) and Padma Purana Patalkhanda (43.123). She is also mentioned as a close friend of Radha in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu of Rupa Goswami. In this famous literary work her husband’s name is given as Govardhan Malla and her mother-in-law is known as Jarati.

Her position as a close friend of Radha is particularly significant due to the emphasis upon sakha-sakhi-bhava (a deep friendly relationship) with Bhagavan Sri Krishna, bordering at times on the mystical, as an accepted and appreciated mode of devotion in many sects of Sri Krishna devotion.

She is one of the intimate friends of the couple and watches their meetings and is privy to all that goes on in the love-play of Radha and Krishna.

In the mystical descriptions of the love-play of Krishna with various gopis, which is the symbolic portrayal of the blissful immersion of the individual self with the Absolute Self, Chandravali – like another primary attendant, Lalita – has been depicted at times as the khandita nayika. This nayika is a lady who has been deserted by her paramour in favor of another as in Surasagara, (verse 1,455), where she is the daughter of king Chandrabhanu and again in the danalila episodes where Radha surrenders to Krishna.

Chandravali Natika (1876), a play written in Hindi by Bharatendu Harishchandra, treats her has as the protagonist instead of just an attendant to Radha. In the play she represents the epitome of Pushtimargiya devotion.