This is one of most asked question from the general crowd as well as seekers beginning their journey in spirituality. Did Radha and Krishna marry?
Rasika Vaishnavas, exalted saints and Vedic Texts never give a generic answer in spirituality to any question. The answer depends on the person asking the question. They give answers that vary in spiritual depth that is based on adhikar (eligibility) and position of devotee or person who asks the question.
It's like how can a child in Class II even though he knows about the shape of a triangle understand trigonometry. As the child grows up and goes to Class IX, he learns about trigonometry after being taught about it by the teacher. To learn trigonometry, he needs to know about the triangle. First, the foundation needs to be there.
So, Rasika Vaishnavas and exalted devotees give answers as per the individual person's adhikar (eligibility) to understand the inner answer. If he is not ready to accept the answer, they will give him a good bait and answer it simply so that he eventually advances.
Like a good teacher, they want you to achieve the topmost aspect of Vraja-Prema-Bhakti, which is very rare to obtain even for siddha yogis and tapasvis (renunciates) doing sadhana for many lifetimes.
I will try to write various layers of answers to this popular question as inspired from within by Vrindavan Dham and by remembering the texts and vani (lectures) of Rasika Vaishnavas, Srila Prabhupada, Six Goswamis and guru-shisya parampara. Though, as mentioned in the About section for this site, I write strictly for my own bhajan and remembering Shyama Shyam and not for anybody, hence use your discretion and Vedic References to analyse this article as inspired to you from within.
To understand this query first, we need to know about the position of Srimati Radharani and Krishna.
In every text including Chanakya Niti, Srimad Bhagavatam, Chaitanya Caritamrta or even the four Vedas, the very first sloka is dedicated to Sri Krishna in His full feature as Supreme Personality of Godhead - One who has no beginning, no end, one from whom everything emanates, who is the most attractive, most powerful, most beautiful, most knowledgeable, most famous and most renounced.
All the scriptures praise Him and sing His glory. Lord Shiva praises him in Shiva Purana and offers respect. Adi Shankara, who is none other than Lord Shiva writes Jagannathsakatam in praise of Lord Jagannath explaining His Vrindavan lilas (Jagannath is another name of Krishna).
Frankly, Krishna's lila, avatars, guna (qualities) and rupa (form) are endless and it is impossible for scriptures to justify it in the most glorious manner, what to speak of me and you. But the interesting thing to note here is that the same Krishna is owned by vrajavasis, which we will discuss later.
One needs to at least have an understanding and rough idea of Krishna as a whole and cause of all causes. For sincere seekers, I would highly advise reading these books for spiritual advancement if they haven't gone through it so as to arrive at a favourable position to establish sambandh (relationship) with Divine Couple Sri Radha and Sri Krishna to dive further into their Inner confidential pastimes.
And knowing Radha is the most confidential secret which is not easy to understand even for demigods, top yogis and liberated jivas, leave apart the general masses. Sukhdev Goswami didn't speak about Sri Radha while speaking Srimad Bhagavatam to Maharaja Parikshit, as whenever he spoke "Radha," he would go in meditation of his Queen Sri Radha for 6 months, and since Parikshit Maharaj just had 7 days of life left and wanted to hear Bhagavatam, Sukhdev Goswami refrained from using Sri Radha's name. Bhagavatam is considering as the ripened fruit of prema (love). If we go deeper, then we realise that Sukhdev Goswami is none other than Shuka, Radharani's personal parrot in Nitya-Goloka Lila.
So, in this bhauma lila (earthly pastimes), Krishna appeared as Son of Devaki, Vasudev and Yashoda-Nandan to teach prema apart from establishing the religious principle for the deliverance of fallen conditioned souls.
On more subtle terms, His lilas are complete and stylish. He attracts all devotees in the form they are seeking and looking up to Him. However, the vraja-prema bhakti in 5 rasas (shant, dasya, sakha, vatsalya, gopi) is very rarely attained unless having special mercy (kripa) of Vrindavan Dham and Rasika Vaishnavas.
So, to beautify the lila, in front of the world, Radharani and Krishna didn't marry. Abhimanyu is the husband of Sri Radha here in the bhauma lila, though he is none other than an expansion of Sri Krishna Himself.
And yet if you go deeper, for inner pastimes and relishing of devotees with adhikar (eligibility), they married at Bhandirvan. This marriage was not for the entire world. This was extremely confidential and was performed by Lord Brahma. In this marriage, there were only 10 million associates of Divine Couple, including sakhis, peacocks, parrots, monkeys etc.
It is said by local vrajavasis that only those amongst those 10 million can enter Bhandirvan. Even if people get the opportunity to come to Vrindavan (which itself is very rare), out of them, hardly rare of them visit Bhandirvan.
Talking about Rukmini and other 16000 wives of Krishna, they are none other than Radharani's expansions. This is impossible to understand without taking shelter of Rasika Vaishnav's and chanting the holy names of Lord Hare Krishna Hare Krishna | Krishna Krishna Hare Hare | Hare Rama Hare Rama | Rama Rama Hare Hare.
So, to conclude, our Divine Couple Sri Radhika Kisori and Vrajendra Nandana Shyam didn't' marry in the bhauma lila (earthly passtimes 5000 years ago) as well as married in the bhauma lila. Shocked? This is Krishna.
It is not easy to understand Him and His inner confidential lilas without kripa of Rasika Vaishnavas. Basically, Radharani and Krishna are the Supreme Eternal Divine Couple. The cause of all causes, but for vrajavasis, They are their own Priya-Priyatam (Divine Lovers).
As repeated several times above, it requires a lot of kripa (mercy) of Rasika Vaishnavas to understand this. To receive and embrace their kripa, listening to their instructions is the key. They own Radharani and Krishna with their love (prema bhakti).
They say that their highest treasure is nama. Nama, or chanting of holy names of Lord in form of Hare Krishna Mahamantra manifests everything from within. Srila Prabhupada stressed that his writing of so many thick books is meant to just convince one to chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
Rasika Vaishnavas mention to stick to ABCDE of spiritual life and everything will manifest internally. Check this very important and confidential ABCDE of spiritual life that is very simple yet will boost your advancement in bhakti by a million times.
Vrindavan awaits you!
Jai Jai Shri Radhe!
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