Narrations on the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna.
Sri Radha Kunda - Appearance Day
Madhava - Mon, 28 Oct 2002 16:56:41 +0530
SRI RADHA KUNDA
Sri Radha Kunda, the supreme lila-sthana of Vraja-mandala, Sri Radha's very own lake, appeared during the night between Soma Saptami and Mangalastami (Bahulastami). The nectarine mid-day pastimes (madhyahna-lila) of the Divine Couple take place on the banks and in the waters of this sacred lake. We will now spend two days immersed in thoughts of Sri Radha Kunda.
This thread will present several narrations describing Sri Radha Kunda and pastimes taking place in and around it.
Sri Madrasi Baba's website also contains much nectar about Sri Radha Kunda. Don't forget to check it out. http://www.madrasibaba.org/en/radhakunda/
.Jai Sri Radhe!
Madhava - Mon, 28 Oct 2002 17:06:35 +0530
Stavamrita Kana Vyakhya of Ananta Das Pandit: In the preceding ‘Sri Govardhanasraya dasakam’ Sripada Raghunatha discussed the importance of taking shelter of Govardhana and in his ‘Sri Govardhana vasa Prarthana dasakam’ he prayed for living at the base of Govardhana. Although there are many holy lakes and ponds around Govardhana Hill, Sri Dasa Gosvami is mostly attached to Sri Radhakunda, because Radhakunda’s glories equal Sri Radha’s glories. kundera mahimna yeno radhara mahima (C.C.). Particularly the desire to serve Sri Radha awoke within the heart of Sri Raghunatha when he first saw the kunda. In Vilapa Kusumanjali (15) he has written:
SRI RADHAKUNDASTAKAM OF RAGHUNATHA DAS GOSVAMI, VERSE 1
vRSabha danuja nAzAn narma dharmokti raGgaiH
Nikhila nija sakhIbhir yat svahastena pUrNam
PrakaTitam api vRndAraNya rAjJA pramodais
Tad ati surabhi rAdhAkuNDam evAzrayo me
That very dear, beautiful and fragrant Radhakunda, that appeared after a joking quarrel between Radha and Krishna about piety after the killing of the Arista bull demon, and which was joyfully revealed and filled up by Sri Radha’s own hand, with the assistance of Her girlfriends, is my only shelter!
yada tava sarovaram sarasa bhrngasanghollasat
saroruhakulojjvalam madhura vari sampuritam
sphutat sarasijaksi he nayana yugma saksad vabhau
tadaiva mama lalasajani tavaiva dasye rase
“O Blooming lotus-eyed girl (Radhe)! When my eyes directly saw Your pond (Radhakunda), which is filled with sweet water and lotus flowers surrounded by blissfully humming bees, then I really got the desire to taste the nectar of Your service!”
Hence Sri Raghunatha glorifies Sri Radhakunda in this Radhakundastaka because he desires to live on its banks. In this verse he describes the appearance of Sri Radhakunda, which is also praised as vraja mukuta mani, the crownjewel of all holy places of Vraja. Although Sri Radhakunda and Syamakunda are manifest from beginningless time, during Krishna’s manifest pastimes on earth Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava and Their sakhis used a humorous pastime to reveal the kundas. In the Adi Varaha Purana, Govardhana Parikrama Prasanga, it is thus described: gangayas cottaram gatva deva devasya cakrinah; aristena samam yatra mahad yuddham pravartitam ghatayitva tatas tasminn aristam vrsarupinam; kopena parsni ghatena mahyas tirtham prakalpitam vrsabhasya vadho jneya atmanah suddhim icchata; snatas tatra tada krsno vrsam hatva sagopakah vipapma radham provaca katham bhadre bhavisyasi; vrsa hato maya cayam aristah papa sucakah tatra radha samaslisya krishnam aklista karinam; sva namna viditam kundam krtam tirtham aduratah radhakundam iti khyatam sarva papaharam subham
“On the northern side of Manasa Ganga, the God of Gods who carries a disc (Visnu or Krishna) began a fierce fight with Aristasura. Then, to atone for the sin of killing a bull, the Lord angrily struck the ground with His left heel and revealed a great holy tank (Syamakunda) in which He bathed for purification along with His cowherd boyfriends. (According to the Hari Vamsa, Krishna then entered the gostha (meadows) with His friends for an hour or so, after which He called the Sri Radha and the gopis for a Rasa-dance with His all-attractive fluteplaying) Then He said:
“Bhadre! (beautiful, auspicious Radhe) Now I am purified from the sin of killing a bull, how will You get purified now (the whole area is, after all, polluted by the sin I committed and everyone must share my karma for it!)? Then Radha embraced Krishna, the remover of all distress who can easily perform difficult tasks like destroying demons, and made a lake which was named after Her, on the west of Syama’s kunda. This auspicious lake, that destroys all sins, is known as Sri Radhakunda.”
How Sri Radhakunda appeared is also elaborately described by parama surasika kavi Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada in his Sarartha Darsini-commentary on Srimad Bhagavata, verse 10.36.15 evam kakudminam. Here he quotes twenty verses from the Puranas that describe the humorous pastimes surrounding the advent of Sri Radhakunda and Sri Syamakunda. The essence of this story is written down here.
After Krishna had killed the demon named Aristasura, who had assumed the form of a bull, Sri Radharani and Her girlfriends blamed Him for killing a bull and told Him that He could only get purified from this sin by bathing in all the holy waters, if He ever wanted to gain qualification to touch the gopis again! Hearing their words Krishna forcefully struck the ground with His left heel and thus made the water of the Bhagavati Ganga appear from the Patala-region. In this Krishna invoked all the holy waters and thus revealed Sri Syamakunda. He bathed in the water of this kunda and then told all the holy waters of the world to appear in it. The gopis did not believe Him, though, and therefore, by Krishna’s wish, the holy waters all assumed visible forms and introduced themselves.
Krishna then jokingly told the gopis that He had revealed such an enormous holy place, but that they were bereft of all religiosity and pious merit. Hearing these joking challenges of Krishna Srimati Radharani wanted to reveal another beautiful kunda, and, seeing a huge cavity created by the hooves of the bull on the western side of Syamakunda, She began to dig the earth out there with Her own hands, assisted by Her girlfriends.
Within 48 minutes She had dug out a beautiful lake of Her own; in this way Sri Radhakunda advented itself. Then Krishna wanted to fill up Radhakunda with all the holy waters that had filled up Syamakunda, but Radharani refused, saying that the water of Syamakunda, in which Syamasundara had bathed, was now stained by His sin of killing a bull and that Her creation of Radhakunda would thus become useless. So She went with Her sakhis to the pure Manasa-Gatiga-lake and filled up Her own kunda with its water.
Then, on Sri Krishna’s indication, all the holy waters of Syamakunda arose and offered choice praises and obeisances unto Sri Radhika. Being satisfied with these praises Radharani gave them permission to enter into Her kunda, so they broke the dam that existed between the kundas and forcefully entered into Sri Radhakunda, filling it up.
In this kunda Sri Radha and Krishna eternally play Their watersports. Sri Radhakunda is even more glorious than Syamakunda (after all, when we go there, we always say ‘I’m going to Radhakunda!’, instead of ‘I’m going to Syamakunda!’, Ed.), and in this lake Radha and Krishna always play Their midday-pastimes.
Hearing about the appearance of Radhakunda, Bhagavati (the holy mother) Paurnamasi ecstatically called Vrindadevi (the presiding goddess of the Vraja-forests) and told her to plant various trees and vines on all four banks of the kundas. According to her own wish, Vrindadevi also had different jewelled and pearly ghatas (bathingplaces) built that were suitable for Radha and Krishna’s pastimes, with stairs that lead down to the kunda. She arranged for beautiful kunja to be laid out with different kinds of trees, vines and flowers. On both sides of the Ghata she had charming wish-yielding kalpavriksa-trees planted. Singing male and female parrots, pigeons, cuckoos and peacocks are always sitting on the branches of these trees, and the kundas are filled with golden, yellow, green, red, blue and white lotus flowers. On all four sides of the kunda are the enchanting arbours of Lalita, Visakha and the other sakhis. This Sri Radhakunda is the place where Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava have Their most confidential eternal midday-pastimes. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami says: “May this very fragrant and beautiful Radhakunda be my only shelter.”
Madhava - Mon, 28 Oct 2002 17:14:02 +0530
Stavamrita Kana Vyakhya: In this verse Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami explains more confidential truths about Sri Radhakunda, saying: “The desiretree of love of prema grows here of anyone who bathes there”. One may ask here: “How can that supreme goal, which is only attained after a long time of devotional practice, be suddenly attained just by bathing in Radhakunda?”
SRI RADHAKUNDASTAKAM OF RAGHUNATHA DAS GOSVAMI, VERSE 2
vrajabhuvi murazatroH preyasInAm nikAmair
Asulabham api tUrNaM prema kalpadrumaM tvam
Janayati hRdi bhumau snAtur uccaiH priyaM yat
Tad ati surabhi rAdhAkuNDam evAzrayo me
That very fragrant, dear and beautiful Radhakunda, that instantly makes a desire-tree of love of God sprout in the land of the heart of anyone who bathes there, although this is very difficult to attain even for Krishna’s beloveds in Vrajabhumi, is my only shelter!
The answer is: Radhakunda’s glories are said to be equal to Radhdrani’s glories. That love which is normally only attained after a long time of practise (sadhya vastu sadhana vina keho nahi pay, no one can attain the goal without practicing, C.C.) is attained simply by seeing Srimati Radharani, even without performing any sadhana. This is the special feature of Radharani that even svayam bhagavan Sri Vrajendranandana (Krishna) does not have!
Srimat Sanatana Gosvami has written in his Brihad Bhagavatamrita (2.5.233) sa radhika bhagavati kvacid iksyate cet prema tad anubhavam rcchati murtiman sah “Anyone who somehow sees the supreme Goddess Radhika will experience prema in its real form”. Therefore it is no wonder that a single bath in Radhakunda causes the tree of prema to sprout in the field of one’s heart.
One may now ask: “But I see thousands of men and women taking bath in Radhakunda every year! Why don’t I see at least one of them getting prema at once then? How can I establish my faith in these statements of the great self-realized souls?”
To this the answer of the Mahajanas will be: “Wherever the scriptures and the saints proclaim such miraculous and inconceivable results, it must be understood to refer to offenseless practitioners. Only an offenseless bather in Radhakunda will attain love of God, otherwise this would actually be visible on anyone who bathes there. Such offenseless persons are very rare, and the fruits of such a benediction are not visible to our eyes so soon. There is no reason to doubt these glorifications. But even an offensive person who bathes in Radhakunda can get rid of his offensive attitude and attain this supreme goal by patiently bathing in Radhakunda again and again. This is the realized conclusion of the scriptures and the great saints.”
Someone may also think: “The whole of Vraja-mandala has the power to give love of God to its pilgrims, for the Padma Purana states dinam ekam nivasena harau bhaktir prajayate “Simply by staying in the Mathura-district for one day one will attain devotion to Lord Hari.’ What is then so special about bathing in Radhakunda?”
The answer to this is: “Love of Krishna is greater than love for any other form of God, for Krishna is the original personality of Godhead. The pure and intimate love of the ragatmika vrajavasis is far greater than the reverential devotion to Lord Hari of the inhabitants of Dvaraka and Mathura.
On top of that, as the text says, the prema kalpadruma (desiretree of love) attained by bathing in Radhakunda is not only unattainable by aisvarya devotees or by those who worship Krishna in the mood of a servant, friend, or parent, but it is even hard to attain by Krishna’s own madhura-bhavamayi girlfriends. It is well known that the conjugal mellow is superior to the fraternal and servitude-mellow.
dasya sakhya, vatsalya, ara sringara;
cari bhavera caturvidha bhaktai adhara
nija nija bhava sabe srestha kori mane;
nija bhave kore krishna sukha asvadane
tatastha hoiya mone vicara yadi kori;
saba rasa hoite srngara adhika madhuri
(Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi 4)
“There are four kinds of feelings devotees can have for the Lord: servitude, fraternal love, parental love or amorous love. Everyone considers his own feeling to be the best and most fulfilling, and through these feelings he makes Krishna relish happiness, according to the quantity and quality of his love. But if a rasika considers things from a neutral stance, considering the superiority and inferiority of the different ingredients of relish, such as vibhavas, anubhavas, sattvika bhavas and vyabhicari-bhavas, then we will see that the amorous love has the sweetest taste and is the most astonishing.”
The crownjewel of all these madhura rasa nayikas, (gopis) is Vrisabhanu’s princess Sri Radharani. Her astonishing madana rasa gives the greatest and indeed complete relish to Krishna and She has mercifully infused this sweet rasa in Her surrendered girlfriends and maidservants also. Therefore in the kingdom of ecstatic love the relish of the sakhis and manjaris is supreme. Still, the maidservants taste even more rasa than the sakhis. It is their prema, that is hard to attain even for Krishna’s beloveds (the sakhis), that is sown in the heart of someone who faithfully and offenselessly bathes in Sri Radhakunda! Sripada Raghunatha says: “May my dearmost and most desired Sri Radhakunda be my shelter!”
Radhapada - Mon, 28 Oct 2002 21:32:12 +0530
By the divine will of Sri Krsna that dhama manifest within the material universes. It is identical in spiritual nature to the original; they are one, not two different bodies. The land is made of cintamani (wish-fulfilling gem stones), as well as forests of kalpa-vrksa (desire-fulfilling tress). Mundane eyes though, see it as an ordinary place of the five elements. However, prema (divine love) anointed eyes can perceive its spiritual nature as the place where Sri Krsna performs His sportive and amorous pastimes in the company of the cowherd boyfriends and girlfriends(Caitanya Caritarmrta)
Prabhodhananda Saraswat’s glorification of Sri Radha Kunda from Vrndavana Mahimamrta:
What an exquisite beauty is Sri Kundaranya (forest around Sri Kunda, near Giriraja Sri Govardhana, with its fully blossomed: divya-mallika, lavanga, jati, yuthika, kadamba, campaka sreni (range), numerous sthala kamala, sirisa, kunda, ketaki, kusumbha (kusum), kimshukadi and beautiful madhavi-lata. There are unlimited flowers and creepers of priyangu, nagakeshar, ashoka, karnikara and blooming nava-mallika, suvarna yuthika different types of jhintika, sweet smelling bandhu kusum (flower) and variegated hayari. (102-103)
The forest around Sri Kunda is decorated by a growth of fascinating multicolored leaves, varieties of flowers, and variegated twigs with fresh buds and wonderful bunches of leaves. There are various enchanting fragrances, varieties of showering nectar and various brilliant colored trees. (104)
The sweet confidential dialogues of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna are amazingly narrated by the shrieking Sri Shuka-Sharika (male and female parrots), generating an abundance of bliss; soft sweet calls of “kuhu” “kuhu” of the cuckoo attracts the ears; maddened dancing peacocks, and pleasant chirping of various birds blissfully resound this forest. (105)
In its midst are novel and charming kunjas (forest bowers), which are matchless for their glamour and wealth, as well as divinely enchanting flowers and wonderful creepers of jewels. Inside that kunja is a luxurious bed decorated with the best paraphernalia. On all its sides are remnants of meals and things enjoyed by Sri Radha and Madhava, which brightly radiate a kingdom of bliss. (106)
Oh! In the midst of these groves the extremely charming Sri Kunda is always filled with immensely pleasant, excessively flavored and transparent, nectar-like water. Its four banks are built with jewels; the stairs are decorated with transcendental jewel steps; on its four banks are terraces paved with divine gem stones under the shadow of kadamba trees. (107)
For the pleasure pastimes of the dear-most, youthful Divine Couple, are places in Sri Kunda where the water is very shallow, while at others it is very deep; varieties of divine, sweet mellows are manifest for Their satisfaction. Very enchanting lotus flowers open and close again and again for Their fascination. Beautiful shadows of the nikunja (forest bowers) are reflected in the jewel-like body of the water. (108)
An astonishing vast fragrance is constantly increasing in sweetness moment by moment, due to joy of various jewel lotuses, white lotuses, etc., as they stand in thrill. Streams of honey flow from trees standing on the beautiful banks that mix with the water of Sri Kunda. Situated there is a wonderful kunja for the play and amusement of the Divine Couple. Or, very astonishing and lovely jewel cottages of the sakhis are visible, as if having originated from the water itself. On all sides, on the top and bottom and on the very beautiful, transcendental crystal and jewel land, various items have been collected for Their pleasure. The inside is filled with divine flowers. (109-110)
Oh! This Sri Kunda is decorated with the highest quality jewels on its four glistening banks, wonderfully ornamented pavilions shaded with creepers, many beautiful rows of blooming kadamba trees, etc., as well as splendidly adorned, uniquely radiant, nectar-like trees. (111)
Oh! Sri Kunda. You are an expansive manifestation of the unlimited ocean of thirst for Sri Sri Radha-Krsna’s amorous pastimes. Please reveal to me the supremely astonishing, clever pastimes of Sri Yugala Kishora, the pleasure enjoyers of Sri Vrndavana’s forests. (112)
Hiding in the clumps of golden lotuses in Sri Kunda, whereupon beautiful black bees were sweetly humming, golden Radhika could not be detected. Syamasundara was kissing a golden lotus by mistake as if it where Sri Radha’s face because He thought the bees to be Her hair curls. Sri Radha was smiling pleasantly and pacified Her lover with a kiss from Her own lips. (113)
Malatilata - Tue, 29 Oct 2002 16:44:39 +0530
Stavamrita Kana Vyakhya: By the grace of Sri Kundesvari, Kundasrayi Sripada Raghunatha perceives the watersports of the Twin Divinities in Radhakunda, and he describes it here in this final verse of the Radhakundastakam. yei kunde nitya krishna radhikara sange; jale jalakeli kore - tire rasa range (C.C.) “In the water of this (Radhakunda Krishna eternally performs watersports with Radhika or dances the Rasa on its banks.”
SRI RADHAKUNDASTAKAM OF RAGHUNATHA DAS GOSVAMI, VERSE 8
anudinam ati raGgaiH prema mattAli saGghaiH
vara sarasija gandhair hAri vAri prapUrNe
viharata iha yasmin dampati tau pramattau
tad ati surabhi rAdhAkuNDam evAzrayo me
That very beautiful and fragrant Radhakunda, in whose water, that is filled with nicely smelling lotusflowers, Radha and Krishna daily sport in loving intoxication, along with Their girlfriends, who are in a similar loving frenzy, is my only shelter!
sri radheva hares tadiya sarasi presthadbhutaih svair gunair
yasyam sri yukta madhavendur anisam pritya taya kridati (Govinda Lilamrta 7.102)
“Because of its own qualities this lake is as dear to Hari as Sri Radha Herself is; here the beautiful moon-like Madhava always lovingly plays with Her.”
In this transcendental vision Sri Raghunatha sees that Radha and Madhava have become tired of Their midday-sports such as touring the forest, drinking honeywine and making love, so they enter into the water of Sri Radhakunda to play there with their girlfriends, like king of elephants with its she-elephants. When Krishna and the gopis enter into the water, holding hands, they look like a golden net (the gopis) radiating moonbeams (their radiant smiles) surrounding a monsooncloud (Krishna). The most amazing thing is, though, that the raincloud itself is sprinkled by the golden net (with Radhakunda-water) although a cloud usually sprinkles water itself.
The gopis gently sprinkle Krishna with small handsful of water and Krishna blissfully protects His eyes with His hands. Then, when Sri Krishna forcefully splashes the beautiful gopis in return they all become physically agitated. Only their moonlike faces do not wilt because of their great ecstasy.
Now Radha and Krishna begin to play in the water. The loser of this watersplashing-game must give a prize to the winner. Kundalata is the referee. Sri Radha first splashes Krishna. How sweetly Her jewelled bangles jingle around Her lotuswhorl-like hands! It is as if Cupid wants to defeat Krishna with His watermissile! It’s become intolerable for Krishna! How beautiful Srimati looks when She throws the water! Syama and the sakhis swim in this ocean of beauty. The water that Srimati throws at Her Prananatha brightly shimmers on His chest. His garland of divine forestflowers loosens and His big vine-like necklace falls off. Only the powerful Kaustubha-gem is able to tolerate this stream of water without agitation and remain on Priyatama’s body.
After this gill Krishna says: “Priyatame! Now You tolerate this!”, and blissfully starts splashing Preyasi’s lotuslike face with enchanting streams of water. Tulasi watches on the bank of the kunda how Radha and Syama are having a huge fight in the water. Tenderhearted Svamini thinks that Her Prananatha, who is dearer to Her than millions of Her life-airs, will suffer too much if She splashes in His eyes, so She doesn’t do that, but Syama, desiring victory, does splash Srimati’s eyes again and again. The premavati sakhis forbid Syama again and again to throw water at Her eyes, but Syama does not listen. Svamini becomes mad from His expert splashing, although She is normally so grave, and She backs away. Syama loudly laughs, claps in His hands and says: “You’re defeated! You’re vanquished! Give Me My prize! I’m the victor!”
How beautiful are Svamini’s eyes and face when Syama holds Her around the neck! How many hundreds of waves of ecstatic love are there in this ocean of beauty! The fish-like eyes of Syamasundara, the sakhis and the manjaris are swimming in this ocean of beauty! Then, when Syama has collected His prize, Svamini dives under water and swims to a patch of golden lotusflowers, feeling ashamed before Her girlfriends. Her lotuslike face on Her deha-mrnala, lotusstem-like body, mixes with the golden lotusflowers (in the kunda). The sakhis tell Syama: “What have You done to our sakhi? Quickly Go and look for Her!”, but Syamasundara cannot find Srimati anywhere. Finally He notices many bees becoming attracted to the extraordinary fragrance of Isvari’s face, abandoning a cluster of lotusflowers and madly coming to fly towards the cluster of golden lotusflowers where She’s hiding, so He goes there and catches Srimati. The sakhis also go there.
Then Madhusudana forcibly begins to drink the honey from the lotuslike mouths of Sri Radha-padmini and Her sakhis, that are maddened by prema in the lotus-scented water. Of some sakhis He removes the jewelled ornaments, some sakhis loudly exclaim ‘my necklace is gone!’, some say: ‘my locket is gone!’ and some cry out: ‘where have my waistbells gone?!’ Krishna then removes some sakhis’ veils and blouses in order to behold their indescribable sweetness.
Seeing the different erotic watersports of Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava, that are maddened by Their own pastimes, Tulasi Manjari and the other kinkaris are beside themselves of transcendental bliss. After the watersports the Navina Yugala comes back on the shore with Their sakhis, and the kinkaris anoint and massage Them there with oil, bathe Them once more and dress them in the nikunja mandira with a variety of wonderful garments and ornaments.
Malatilata - Tue, 29 Oct 2002 17:37:19 +0530
Notes: In the previous verse Sri Raghunatha dasa prayed to Srimati that he may once see Her lotus feet anointed with lac-dye, and in this verse he prays for the actual service of these anointed lotus feet, having become greedy for that service. “O lotus-eyed Radhe! Ever since I got to see Your lake I developed a liking for Your devotional service!” Sri Radhakunda is the limitlessly beautiful crownjewel of Vraja (vraja mukutamani), Priyaji’s Sarasi which is most dear to those whose everything is the service of Sri Radhika’s lotus feet.
VILAPA KUSUMANJALI, VERSE 15
yadA tava sarovaraM sarasa-bhRGga-saGghollasan
saroruha-kulojjvalaM madhura-vAri-sampUritam |
sphuTat-sarasijAkSi he nayana-yugma-sAkSAd-babhau
tadaiva mama lAlasAjani tavaiva dAsye rase ||15||
O Blooming lotus-eyed girl (Radhe)! When my eyes directly saw Your pond (Radhakunda) which is filled with sweet water and lotus flowers surrounded by blissfully humming bees, then I really got the desire to taste the nectar of Your service!
kundera madhuri heno radhara madhurima;
kundera mahima yeno radhara mahima
sei kunde eka bara yei kore snana;
tare radha sama prema krishna kore dana
(C.C. Madhya 18, 11-10)
“The kunda is as sweet as Radha’s sweetness and the kunda is as great as Radha’s greatness. Sri Krishna will bestow a love equal to that of Radha’s to anyone who bathes even once in this kunda”.
Only the experienced devotees understand the complete feelings of mine-ness of the Radha-nistha devotees (those who are completely loyal to Radha), who love Priyaji with their whole hearts and who have offered their hearts to Her lotus feet, towards Sri Radhakuneda. It is here that Sri-Sri Radha Madhava eternally play Their midday-pastimes, and there is no place so dear to Them as this. The kunda is related to Svamini as being non-different from Her, so along with the kunda those devotees who are surrendered to Her see the lila.
When Sri Krishna is eager to meet Sri Radha and can find no means to see Her, He takes shelter of Sri Radhakunda. The most fortunate souls can live on the banks of Sri Radhakunda, and that fortune consists of Radharani’s personal mercy upon them. In Vraja Vilasa Stava (101) Srila Dasa Gosvami writes:pura premodrekaih pratipada navananda madhuraih
krta sri gandharvacyuta carana varyarcana balat
nikamam svaminyh priyatara saras tira bhuvane
vasanti sphita ye ta iha mama jivatava ime
“Because of having worshiped the beautiful lotus feet of Sri Gandharva and Acyuta with the ever-fresh sweetness of pure spiritual love in their previous lives, some great souls are able to live on the bank of Svamini’s dearmost lake (Sri Radhakunda). These great devotees are my life and soul!”
The bank of Radhakunda is really wonderful: There are divine Kadamba-, Campaka-, Kunda-, Sirisa-, -Ketaki- and Kimsuka-trees as well as beautiful Lavanga- (clove), Jati-, Yuthi- and Madhavi-vines. There are many different fragrant flowers and Suka- and Sarika-parrots are sitting on the branches of the trees, singing sweet songs (rasa-gana) about Radhika and Madhava. Cuckoos sing in the fifth note, and bees are humming, so many birds are chirping and the peacocks spread their tail-feathers out as they sweetly dance and cry out: ‘ke ka!’.
The great branches of the trees, that beautify all the banks of the kunda, are studded with goosepimples of ecstasy, which they show in the form of their knots, and they shed tears of ecstasy in the form of the honey that trickles from their flowers. The water that fills Radhakunda and Syamakunda, sweet and filled with many colorful lotusflowers, is not actually water, it is the splendid spiritual erotic flavour of Radha and Madhava’s pastimes! These things can only be seen with spiritual eyes that are anointed with the salve of love. Materialistic people cannot see it as it is. In antar dasa (internal consciousness) we practise lilamaya bhakti (devotion that is filled with the transcendental pastimes).donhara ujjvala madhura ye rasa varna viparyaya kori;
bhakte sukha dite rahasya sahite ache sara nama dhari
“The syllables ra-sa stand for the sweet splendid love of the Divine Couple Radha and Krishna, and when these syllables are reversed we get the word sa-ra, or lake. This secret makes the devotees very happy.”e karana bhakta sara kori vyakta se rase koriya snana;
krsnera krpaya radha sama prema labha kore bhagyavan
“Therefore the devotees reveal that sara (lake) by bathing in that rasa, and by Krsna’s grace they become blessed by attaining a love for Krsna that is equal to that of Sri Radha’s.”sri krsna yokhon radha darasana lagi utkanthita hoy;
sakala upaya viphala hoiya radhakundasraya loy
“When Krishna becomes eager to see Radha, and all His endeavours fail, He takes shelter of Radhakunda.”tat kale radhara paya darasana emati kunda prabhava;
radhara-o temati syamakundasraye krsna sanga hoy labha
“At that moment He gets the audience of Radha on the strength of the kunda. In the same way Radha also takes shelter of Syamakunda and thus attains the company of Sri Krishna.”
Amazing lotusflowers, lilies and Kahlara-flowers are covering the sweet water of the kunda, surrounded by buzzing bees that become intoxicated by their fragrance. The chest (surface) of the kunda also bears many beautiful lordly swans and cranes that sing beautiful songs. When Krishna sees this Radhakunda He remembers Sri Radhika and when Sri Radhika sees Syamakunda She similarly remembers Krishna. The kunda is related to Sri Radha in all respects, and while Raghunatha describes the way he sees the kunda he simultaneously describes the self-manifest pastimes that take place there.
At noontime Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami anxiously cries out of grief, sitting on the bank of Radhakunda, as he suddenly perceives one very sweet pastime: He sees Radha and Krishna playing in the water. The loser of this watersplashing-game must give a prize to the winner. Kundalata is the referee and the prize is nectar from the lips (kisses) of the loser. Radhika first splashes Krishna. How beautiful Her eyes are!tam siseca kara pankaja kosaih sambubhih samani kankana ghosaih
varunastram eva tat kusumesor atyasahyam abhavad vijigisoh
saslathe bhagavati vanamala hara yastir apatat suvisala
eka eva balavan priya dehe kaustubhah paribhavam na visese
(Krishnahnika Kaumudi 4/146, 149)
“How sweetly Her jewelled bangles jingle around Her lotuswhorl-like hands! It is as if Cupid wants to defeat Krishna with His watermissile! It’s become intolerable for Krishna! His garland of divine forestflowers loosens, His big pearl necklace falls off and His stick falls out of His hand; only His powerful Kaustubha-gem is able to tolerate this stream of water without lamenting!”
Isvari thinks tender Syamasundara will suffer too much if She splashes in His eyes, so She doesn’t do that, but cruel Syama, desiring victory, does splash Sukumari’s (tender Radhika’s) eyes all too hard, saying: “Priye! See if You can tolerate this!”sahyatam ayam ayam mama pathah seka ity atha nigadya sa nathah
preyasi vadana eva saharsah sasmitah sarasam ambu vavarsah
(Krishnahnika Kaumudi 4,150)
Tulasl watches on the bank of the kunda how Radha and Syama have a huge fight in the water. The sakhis rebuke Syama, saying: “Syama! Don’t splash our sakhi like that! Has She ever done that with You? Just see how much She suffers!”, but Syama does not listen. Svamini becomes mad from His splashing, although She is normally so grave, and She backs away. What can a sukumari (tender girl) do against such a powerful wrestler?
Sri Lilasuka (Bilvamangala Thakura) calls Krishna ananda (ecstasy), and on the mouth of that ananda a sringara-rasa (erotic flavour) smile blooms up. He does not play any other games than the games of sringara rasa. Rasamaya Krishna and Rasamayi Radha shower Eachother with nothing else but rasa during Their rasa-krida (delectable games), and the devotees that are fixed in smarana are constantly showered with the sweet relish of this rasa-krida. These pastimes can only be attended in svarupavesa. When the mind returns to the external world this svarupavesa disappears, therefore Srila Narottama dasa Thakura sings: sadhana smarana lila, ihate na koro hela, kaya mane koriya susara “Do not neglect the practise of lila smarana; make it the essence of everything for your body and mind!”
It is the nature of these transcendental pastimes to draw the mind towards one’s siddha svarupa. That sacred greed that is the only and essential requirement for entering into raganuga bhakti is also awakening the revelation of these transcendental pastimes. When a fortunate devotee hears about the sweetness of these feelings this sacred greed awakens in his heart.tat tad bhdvadi madhurye srute dhir yad apeksate
natra sastram na yuktim ca tal lobhotpatti laksanam
(Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhuh 1.2.292)
“The definition of the birth of transcendental greed is that when one hears about the sweetness of the moods and pastimes of Krishna and His Vraja-devotees one becomes attracted up to the point that one is not sensitive to the instruction of the revealed scriptures anymore, nor to logical arguments.”
Experience will come automatically while hearing about these sweet moods. These topics while destroy bodily conciousness and will nourish the siddha svarupa. One who becomes lusty after hearing these topics is unfortunate. Sri Suka Muni says: “The topics of Radha and Madhava’s loving affairs will cure the heart’s disease of lust and will bless the hearer with the highest possible devotion to the Lord (which is undoubtedly manjari bhava).”
Syama claps in His hands and says: “You’re defeated! You’re vanquished! Give Me My prize! I’m the victor!” But nobody, not even the parrots in the trees, sings Krishna’s glories. All the creatures in Vraja feel sorry for Radhika. How beautiful are Svamini’s eyes when Syama holds Her around the neck! Although Her eyes are filled with water She still keeps them wide open. Sri Raghunatha dasa addresses Her here as sphutat sarasijaksi: blooming lotuseyed girl! Her eyes have become slightly reddish from all the water, although they are usually compared to blue lotusflowers by the maha janas.alasa locana heri kajare ujala;
jale bosi tapa kore nila utapala
“When they see Radhika’s languid eyes, made up with eyeliner, the blue lotusflowers sit in the water and perform penances (to become as beautiful as them).”indivara vara garava garasita khanjana ganjana nayana
“These eyes (of Radhika) swallow the pride of the most excellent of blue lotusflowers (in colour) and the wagtailbirds (in restlessness).”
How bold is our Nagara! When He collects His prize (of kisses) Svamini, wanting to know what He’s doing exactly, does not close Her eyes completely, but keeps them slightly opened. Then, when Syama has collected His prize, Svamini dives under water, feeling ashamed before Her girlfriends. Nobody noticed where She went. There are shining red, blue, white and golden lotusflowers floating on the kunda (saroruha kulojjvalam) and Svamini surfaces in a cluster of golden lotusflowers, where She remains unnoticed (since Her face resembles a golden lotusflower also).
padme mukhe na pari cinite (C.C.) Suddenly the bees become attracted to Her extraordinary fragrance and leave all the other lotusflowers to come to Her face, humming sweetly and blissfully (sarasa bhrnga sanghollasat). The sakhis meanwhile tell Syama: “What have You done to our sakhi ? Go and look for Her!”
Our Hero sees the many bees buzzing around the golden lotuses, so He goes there and catches Srimati. The sakhis also go there. Syama brags: “Priye! If I would hide like this, You and Your girlfriends would never find Me!”
Svamini proudly says: “O yes? Allright, hide out then! I’ll surely find You!”
Syamasundara dives into a cluster of blue lotusflowers. While searching, Svamini notices that the monkeys, that sit on the branches of the trees that hang over the kunda, are staring at this cluster of blue lotusflowers. She understands that Syama must be hiding there, so She goes there and catches Him. Then She swims across the deep kunda, holding on to Syama’s neck. tinho krsna kantha dhari, bhase jalera upori, gajotkhate yaiche kamalini (C.C.) “She floats upon the water, holding on to Krishna’s neck like a female lotusflower picked by an elephant.”
The whole kunda is illuminated by Radha and Syama’s sweet bodily luster. How happy the kunda is to get her own Isvari swimming at her chest! Seeing this sweet pastime Tulasi is completely overwhelmed. How much joy the sweet water shows by making high waves! madhura vari sampuritam . How sweet this pastime is! Tulasi Manjari is beside herself of ecstasy when she sees it. Suddenly the spiritual vision disappears and remembering this pastime she says: “My mind became immersed in the spiritual flavour of Your service, as my eyes directly saw Your kunda”.
In his Radhakundastakam Sri Raghunatha dasa has confirmed that the desirevine of love for Krishna of even an ignorant and unqualified person who performs some service at Radhakunda in the form of bathing there, living there, seeing it or touching it, will blossom and bear the fruits of Radha’s service:api jana iha kascid yasya seva prasadaih
pranaya suralata syat tasya gosthendra sunoh
sapadi kila mad isa dasya puspa prasasyas
tad ati surabhi radhakundam evasrayo me
(Radhakundastakam - 5)
That is the inconceivable potency of seeing and touching Radhakunda. “When I saw the sweetness of Your kunda I became attracted to Your devotional service. I don’t want anything else but that anymore. May that very fragrant and beautiful Radhakunda be my only shelter!”
Radhapada - Tue, 29 Oct 2002 19:28:00 +0530
The following is a translation to Sri Visvantha Cakravati's 20 verses on the appearance of Sri Radha Kunda.
Sri Radha and Her intimate girlfriends like Lalita and others are having a dialogue with one another, “He, the Son of the king of Vraja, has killed a bull. The effect of a sin committed by a king is incurred onto the citizens as well. According to this logic His vices have contaminated us. There is nothing that can save us unless we do penance according to the direction of Bhagavati Paurnamasi devi.”
Although the women folks of Vraja were whispering these conversations, Sri Krsna heard them. Then they told Him, “You should not touch us today.” Sri Krsna said, “Oh! You dull milk-women! It was a dreadful demon in the disguise of a bull creating disturbances to the area of Vraja.” Sri Radha replied, “Oh! Krsna! Still it was a bull. For instance, Indra committed a sin by killing the demon Vrtrasura, who was a brahmana. Will You not have to reap the same result?”
On hearing this, Sri Krsna kept silent with a sorrowful face. Then, with a distressed voice He said, “In that case, what is the way out?” Then Sri Radha, along with Her confidantes said, “Listen! What we have heard from Paurnamasi, Gargi and others: Take the appropriate measures as approved by the srutis and smrtis, that is, if You can take bath in all the holy places within this universe, only then can You free Yourself from this great sin.”
Then Sri Krsna, abandoning politeness and with pride slowly started speaking to their hearing, “Hmm! Should I go for touring the whole of universe? Look here, immediately I will bring here all the holy places (water) of this world and take bath in them!” With this utterance, He forcefully struck the earth with His left heel.
Immediately thereafter, appeared the Bhagavati Ganga from the Patala region. On seeing this Krsna invited, “Oh! All you holy places welcome! Welcome!” With this utterance, all the holy waters of the universe took their entry into that water. Then Sri Krsna addressed the gopis with a boastful voice, “Hey! You foolish milk-women! You behold all the holy places (waters) assembled here.” On hearing Sri Krsna’s words they said, “We don’t believe in Your talks.” At that moment all the holy waters assumed their personified forms and with folded hands appealed to the gopis, “I am Lavana Samudra (Salt Ocean).” “I am Ksira Sindhu (Milk Ocean).” “I am Surdirghila.” “I am Sona.” “I am Sindhu.“ “I am Tamraparni.” “I am Puskara.” “I am Sarasvati.” “I am Godavari.” “I am Yamuna.” “I am Saraju.” “I am Prayaga.” “I am Reva.” “Please believe seeing our waters!’”
Thereafter, Sri Krsna after taking bath in those holy waters, declared with pride, “I will make sure that this sacred lake containing water of all the holy places remains eternally for time immemorial, which I have done. However, You have not attained any religious merit during your lifetime.” On hearing this comment of Sri Krsna, Srimati Radhika addressed Her girlfriends saying, “Dear sakhis, it is also our duty to create an enchanting kunda. All of you should whole-heartedly work towards this endeavor.” Upon hearing this statement of Srimati’s, they became zealous to excavate a kunda. Then, they discovered on the west of Sri Krsna Kunda a large cavity, visible to them all, which was earlier unearthed by the hoof of the bull demon. From that cavity every one of them lifted moist and soft clay balls by their own hands and started throwing them at a nearby place. Within a very short time a large beautiful tank became manifest. Upon observing this Sri Krsna was very astonished and said to Sri Radha, “Hey! Sarasijakai (lotus-eyed one)! Fill up Your kunda with the water from that of Mine which contains water of all the holy places.” Then Sri Radha sternly replied, “No! No! No! The water of Your kunda is polluted with sin incurred out of slaying a bull. I along with My one hundred million girlfriends will bring sacred water, one by one with hundreds of millions of pitchers from Manasa Ganga with which this Kunda will be filled up at once. Thus, it will attain fame unmatched throughout the universe.”
Then at that moment, with a gesture from Sri Krsna, all the holy waters suddenly assumed divine bodies offering obeisance to Sri Vrsabhanu-nandini. With folded hands and tearful eyes they offered heartfelt prayers of devotion as follows:
“O Goddess! Your glories are unlimited. They are unknown to even those who are thoroughly versed in all the scriptures. Brahma, Shiva, Narada and others cannot even imagine their limit. Uddhava only contemplates on the tiny particle of effulgence from Your beautiful toe-nail. Lakami also longs for it at every moment. However, they are known to only one man, the Son of the King of Vraja, who wipes clean Your perspiration from amorous fatigue.”
“He who decorates Your lotus feet with beautiful lac-dye and becomes overwhelmed with emotion while putting on a jeweled nupur (ankle set with small bells) to Your lotus feet. He gazes at Your face and being favored with Your amorous glance feels Himself most fortunate.”
“Under His merciful command we have all assembled here in this Kunda manifested by the strike of His heel. Oh! Devi, if You kindly accept us and cast Your merciful side-long glance, we would like to take shelter in Your kunda and witness Your pastimes, then, our thirsty-tree of desire will become fruitful.”
Upon hearing this eulogy of all the holy waters, soft-hearted Sri Vrsabhanu-nandini became pleased and asked them, “What is you earnest desire”. Then the holy waters replied, “We would like to come to Your lake and thus, make our names fruitful. Kindly grant us this boon.”
After hearing the petition of the holy waters, Sri Vrsabhanu-nandini, casting a quickly moving glance on the lotus-like face of Her beloved, told them with a slight smile, “Then, all of you come”. On this command of Srimati the confidantes also gave their consent. Then everyone there, including all the mobile and immobile creatures within the universe became submerged in an ocean of bliss.
Having had the grace of Sri Vrsabhanu-nandini the holy waters of Sri Krsna Kunda, with joy and great force, broke through the middle dike and filled up Sri Radha Kunda with their individual flow of water.
Sri Krsna then told Sri Radha, “Oh! Beloved. I wish the glory of Your kunda be greater than that of Mine. I will take bath everyday in Your kunda and perform water-sports. As You are My beloved, so Your kunda would be equally beloved to Me.”
After hearing Sri Krsna’s proclamation Srimati expressed the following: “I will, along with all My girlfriends, take bath everyday in this Kunda where Aristasura was pounded. He who takes bath in this Krsna Kunda with devotion and resides on its bank -- hundreds of sins committed by him will be futile and he will be My most favorite person.”
On that same night, after these dialogues took place, the Cloud (Sri Krsna) was embraced by the Lightning (Sri Radha) as They performed a rasa festival with an abundant shower of amusement and pleasure. Thus, They made it known within the universe the peerless status of both Kundas.
Madhava - Sat, 18 Oct 2003 23:03:01 +0530
Madhava - Thu, 04 Nov 2004 06:40:00 +0530
Prepare for the celebration!