Ok, this might be a little weird question, but are there any sort of references to Srimati Radharani INDIRECTLY in the two epics we have (viz. Ramayana and Mahabharata)? Just like Brahma extols Rama as Krsna in the Yuddha Kanda and Rama himself refers to Nriga's curse being uplifted in the future in the Uttara kanda, and a reference to Goloka in the Ayodhya Kanda... And in the Mahabharata there are a couple or three references to Goloka, both in the Shanti Parva, including one where Krsna says something like, "I will be found residing in Goloka,"?

So in that way, is there a similar reference to Radha? Like Krsna's favourite gopi (the way it is described in the Bhagavata)?

I know there are several mentions of Radha in the various Puranas though... so any similar mentions in the two itihasas we have?

P.S. I do not seek answers like Radha is a created character, the verses of Ramayana and Mahabharata are interpolated and so on... I just want to know whether there has been any sort of mention of anything related to Krsna and his consort...

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    The Yuddha Kanda reference is just using Krishna as a name of Vishnu. Apart from that I do think that some of the references you mentioned are interpolations. In any case, I just Google-searched the text of the Mahabharata. I sifted through all 12 pages of search results, and every single reference to the name Radha is to Karna's adopted mother rather than Krishna's lover. I also searched the Ramayana, and it doesn't contain the word Radha at all. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 18 '15 at 17:23
  • I expected that the name as such wouldn't appear, I was just wondering whether there is any indirect reference, like the anayaradhito verse of Bhagavata? – Surya Oct 18 '15 at 17:29
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    You're welcome! By the way, I don't think the anyaradhito verse is a reference to Radha. S. Subbarao's Srimad Bhagavatam book is a compilation of the traditional Advaita, Dvaita, and Visishtadvaita commentaries on the Srimad Bhagavatam, and as you can see none of them says anything about verse 10.30.28: new.dli.gov.in/data58/upload/0096/144/PTIFF/00000350.tif I think the first person to suggest that word Anyaradhito refers to Radha was the Gaudiya Vaishnava Acharya Visvanatha Chakravarthi in the 1600's. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 18 '15 at 18:21
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    But yeah, it's possible that similar to the Anyaradhito there's a verse somewhere in the Mahabharata that someone's interpreted as a reference to Radha. I don't think the 18 Parvas of the Mahabharata ever talk about the Gopis; the references to Krishna's childhood are mainly about him defeating various demons. But the Gopis are referenced in the Harivamsa, which is considered a Khila portion of the Mahabharata. I'm not sure if you'd include Harivamsa references as "Itihasa references", but it's possible there's some Harivamsa verse that some might interpret as an indirect allusion to Radha. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 18 '15 at 18:27
  • On a side note, it may interest you to know that Sri Vaishnavas believe in a figure similar to Radha called Nappinnai, as I discuss here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/7800/36 Nappinnai is considered an incarnation of Vishnu's third wife Nila Devi. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 18 '15 at 18:38

The name "rAdhA" occurs a few times in itihAsa. However, it is controversial whether these are connected to the rAdhA worshipped by some today.

mahAbhArata Adi parva:


taM utsR^iShTaM tadA garbhaM rAdhAbhartA mahAyashaH putratve kalpayAmAsa sabhAryaH sUtanandanaH

The famous husband of Rādhā (Adhiratha), the son of a charioteer, took that abandoned child and with his wife, made him their son.


ko hi rAdhAsutaM karNaM shakto yodhayituM raNe anyatra rAmAddroNAdvA kR^ipAdvApi sharadvataH

Who is able to fight on the battlefield with Karṇa, the son of Rādhā, other than [Paraśu]rāma, Droṇa, Kṛpa, or Śaradvata

The rAdhA of the itihAsa was the adoptive mother of karNa. This is recorded in vana parva 293, where it is said (verse 2):

rAdhA nAma mahAbhAgA na sA putram avindata apatyArthe paraM yatnam akaroch cha visheShataH

named Radha was unparalleled on earth for beauty. And although that highly blessed dame had made great endeavours to obtain a son, yet she had failed

Whether this refers to the rAdhA of the purAnas is unclear and probably up to your personal opinion. There are no references that I could find in the rAmAyaNa. There are also some other possible references in the veda saMhitAs, and a fairly strong reference in the viShNu purANa (5.13.31-54). In total, rAdhA is mainly found in the purAnas, which were also written by vyAsa around the same time as mahAbhArata. This is because the mahAbhArata has little interest in describing kRRishNa as gopAla, and his earlier life of rasa with the gopIs, who are not even mentioned in the main text. It is focused on his later life, and mainly about kurukShetra and the war.

  • Unfortunately all three references you provided are of Karna's mother, whom I'm not asking about. Thanks for the references anyway. :) – Surya Mar 21 at 9:23
  • I gave these references because it's possible that they're the same Radha, so they might be the "indirect" references that you wanted. It's nice to meet fellow devotees of Radha-Krishna here :) – Vedavedya Mar 21 at 9:26
  • how is it possible that Karna's mother and Radharani are the same person?! Like obviously they're two different people named Radha. Also by indirect references, I mean indirect references to Lord Krsna's beloved, not a name Radha. – Surya Mar 21 at 9:28
  • yes, it's nice to know that you too are a devotee of Radhakrsna. :) – Surya Mar 21 at 9:29
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    You make a good point, in which case the answer is probably no: Krishna's gopi lovers are almost completely absent from the Mahabharata. The Radha mother of Karna was probably much older than Krishna. – Vedavedya Mar 21 at 9:33

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