Mahanidhi Swami

Although it is a popular notion that one will suffer 1000 X reactions for any offenses committed in Vrindavana (aparadhas to Thakuraji, Guru, Vaisnavas, Nama, Vrajavasis, Yatris, and the dhama itself, this fact is not stated anywhere in the Srimad Bhagavatam, or any of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Goswami granthas.

In this regard, Srila Prabhupada said, “It is the verdict of Vedic culture that one must follow the authorities. Krishna also said this in the Bhagavad-gita (16.24), tasmad shastras pramanam te: ‘Whatever you do, you must follow the shastras.’ Otherwise it is not bona fide. So we cannot avoid shastras.” (751103CC.BOM)

The Srimad Bhagavatam ( 7.14.30-33) which is the shastra pramana, amala Purana for the entire Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya says: “The extremely, sacred transcendental pilgrimage sites (tirthas, dhamas) of MATHURA/VRINDAVAN, Pushkara, Kurukshetra, Gaya, Prayaga, Dvaraka, Varanasi, Badarikashrama, Citrakuta…etc., and places where Radha-Krishna murtis are worshiped are the purest places on earth (punya tamah deshah). If one wants to advance in spiritual life, one should visit these transcendental holy places again and again.

shreyas kamo hy abhikshnashah, dharmo hy atrehitah pumsam, sahasradhi phalodayah sahasra adhi  

“All good activities like dana (giving charity), tapa (observing fasts and austerities) puja, punya karmas, Thakuraji puja, and Radha-Krishna bhakti bhajan performed in these sacred place give MORE THAN a thousand times the result of the same activities performed in other places.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 7.14.33)

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti tika: Acts performed in these places give a thousand times more result than at other places.

Vraja vasa, Harinama japa, kirtan and Krishna lila smaran ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

Since every pastime of Bhagavan Sri Krishna is eternal, in some other universe Radha-kunda will appear at midnight on Chaitra Purnima (March 26, 2018) before the amazed eyes of Radhika-Shyama, and all their dearest sakhi/manjaris.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada proves that Chaitra Purnima (March 31, 2018), is the real and actual appearance day of Sri Radha-kunda in his tika (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.45.3): “Bhagavan Sri Krishna killed Arishta on the full moon day of Caitra month (caitra-paurnamasyam arishta-vadhah) when Krishna was eleven [and then Radha-Krishna manifested Shyama-kunda and Radha-kunda].” That wonderful appearance lila, described in the Vishnu Purana, will conclude this article.

In other words, the actual appearance day of Sri Radha-kunda is Chaitra Purnima at midnight. I know a few bhavuka bhaktas that celebrate this wonderful lila every year on Caitra Purnima with puja and a midnight bath in Sri Kunda. So why don’t you too please attend!

So what about the Radha Kunda Bahulastami midnight snana in Kattika month? Is this a required niyama for Gaudiya Vaisnavas? The answer is ABSOLUTELY NO!!!

Why? Because No Gaudiya Vaisnava granthas or Acharya mahajanas mention midnight bathing in Karttika. Nevertheless, Gaudiya Vaisnavas must and DO take bath on the DAY of Kattika Bahulastami to honor Karttiki-devi Srimati Radharani, Radha Kunda, Sri Rupa Goswamipada, and the Padma Purana. The proof or praman for the necessary daytime snana is this:

In his Mathura Mahatyam, Sri Rupa Gosvami quotes the Padma Purana Karttika Mahatmya (v. 420):

govardhane girau ramye,   radha kundam priyam hareh
karttike bahulashtamyam,   tatra snatva hareh priyah

“Near the delightful Mount Govardhana is Sri Hari”s beloved Radha-kunda. One who bathes in Radha-kunda on the DAY OF Bahulastami (Karttika krsna paksa) will become dear to Sri Hari.”

Certainly Gaudiya Vaisnavas want to become dear to Sri Hari, and especially dear to His most beloved Haripriya Swamini Sri Radhe, so they will all bathe in Radha Kunda on this auspicious, transcendental day.


Karunamayi Prema pradata Srimati Radharani is compassionately bestowing “DOUBLE MERCY TO GAUDIYAS” because we get to worship Sri Radha as Sri Radha Kunda by taking at least TWO YEARLY BATHS: 1. Chaitra Purnima MIDNIGHT Snana on Radha Kunda Appearance Day and; 2. Karttika Bahulastami DAYTIME snana.

So why do lacs of people take Radha-kunda bath on Bahulastami midnight? Barren North Indian married couples worship a local fertility devata named Ahouri in hopes of getting a child. The puja rites prescribe many things culminating with a midnight bath in Radha-kunda.

For Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Bahulastami is also significant. In 1515, Sri Chaitanya came to Vraja Mandala. Mahaprabhu visited all the tirthas in Mathura, the 12 forests of Vrindavana, Nandgrama, Pavana Sarovar, and did Govardhana Parikrama just at the beginning of Karttika month. On Karttika “Bahulastami”, Sriman Mahaprabhu DISCOVERED RADHA KUNDA.

This fact has been established by hundreds of years of sadhu/mahajana vani, and the histories told by the Vrajavasis (loka grantheshu vividheshu/”radha-krsna ganoddesh dipika” v. 4, Sri Rupa Goswamipada)

It seems that over time, the Gaudiya’s daytime Bahulastami snana merged with the grhasta’s midnight in Radha-kunda, resulting in Gaudiyas thinking that they are bathing at midnight to celebrate the appearance of Radha-kunda.

This idea is absolutely incorrect. Because of personal concerns, seasonal conveniences, and most importantly the time factor, the truth concerning various events, especially religious celebrations becomes covered and lost.

Surely, during the time of Sri Jiva Goswamipada (15-16th century) and up to the 17th century with Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti, all Gaudiya Vaisnavas observed the real and true Radha Kunda Appearance Day by bathing in Radha Kunda at midnight on Chaitra Purnima.

But as was say the time factor, the mixing of different local religious rituals, and Karttika Yatri concerns have distorted the truth and caused confusion among most Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Now is the time for the sunlight of our Gaudiya shastra siddhanta to shine through the dense cloud covering of time, distortion and misconception.

So anyone who can walk, drive or fly, we humbly beg you to come ti Govardhana Maharaja for a holy Midnight dip in Sri Radha-kunda Dhama under the Vasanta rasa-filled full moon night of Caitra TO REJOICE OVER THE ACTUAL APPEARANCE DAY OF SRI RADHA KUNDA!

Radha Kunda Appearance Lila: SRI VISHNU PURANA

In his Sarartha Darshini tikas (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.36.16) Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti quotes the Radha-kunda appearance pastime from Vishnu Purana, which describes a joking conversation between Radha-Madhava after Krishna killed the Arishta demon bull on Chaitra Purnima during ardha pradosh kala i.e. about 9:30 p.m.

Vishnu Purana: “The innocent young gopis say, “Ah, Krishna, don”t touch us now, O killer of a bull! Alas, even though Arishta was a terrible demon, still he was posing as a bull, who represents dharma, so You will have to undergo atonement, just as Lord Indra did after killing Vrtrasura. But how can You purify Yourself without going to the trouble of visiting every single holy place in the three worlds?”

Krishna: “Why should I have to wander throughout the entire universe? I will immediately summon all the countless pilgrimage places here and take My bath in them. Just watch!” With this, Sri Mukunda strikes His left heel on the ground.

Then Krishna says, “Just see sakhis! The Patala Ganga has come!” Then all the holy places magically manifest before Mukunda.

Proudly, Priyatama says, “O gopis, just see all the holy places are now here!”

Gopis: “No, we don”t see any holy places. What are You talking about anyway.”

Then each holy tirtha joins their palms and proclaims: “I am the salt ocean.” “I am the ocean of milk.” “I am the Amara-dirghika.” I am the river Shona. “I am the Sindhu. “I am the Tamraparni. “I am the holy place Pushkara.” “I am the river Sarasvati.”“ And we are the Godavari, Yamuna and Reva rivers and the triveni of Prayaga. Just see our waters!” ”

Sri Krishna then takes a “purifying bath” in all those tirtha waters while arrogantly taunting the gopis: “Bho, bho sakhis! I have produced a pond containing all the holy places, whereas you gopis have never done any pious acts to please Brahmaji”

Sri Radha boldly replies, “Just watch Shyamasundara! I will create an even more beautiful pond than Yours. Turning to Her confidantes, Radhika says, “Hey Sakhis! Get to work!”

In a ditch created by the hooves of the huge asura, the gopis start digging a kunda with their golden kankana, bangles. Within an hour, the expert damsels of Vraja manifest a most majestic and beautiful divine kunda.

Completely astonished at their feat, Sri Krishna says, “O Priyaji! You and Your sakhis can fill Your lake with the holy waters of mine.”

“NO! NO! NO! Impossible”, replies Radharani, “We will not even touch, what to speak about taking Your water which is completely contaminated with Your terrible sin of killing a cow. I have unlimited sakhis who can easily bring billions of pots of pure water from Manasi Ganga. And thus the fame of My kunda i.e. Radha Kunda will be unequalled!”

Bhagavan Sri Krishna then gestures to a celestial representative of all the holy places gathered there. Arising from Shyama kunda, that devata bows to Vrshabhanunandini, and then prays to Swamini Radha with folded palms and tear-filled eyes:

“O Devi! Brahmaji, Shivaji and Lakshmi can never understand the fathomless depth of Your glories. Only Sri Krishna knows, and thus with His own hand He humbly wipes off the perspiration from Your face when You are tired. And Krishna always thrills in delight whenever He gets the chance to wash Your beautiful lotus feet and fasten Your ankle bells. In fact, Shyama feels supremely fortunate simply by touching the tips of Your toes.

“It is on Krishna’s command that we are now living in this lake created by one stroke of Krishna’s heel. Alas! The tree of our cherished desire will only bear fruit if You are pleased and grant us Your merciful glance!”

Sri Radha: “Well, then what do you want?”

In unison, all the sacred places plead, “Our lives will be successful if we can come and fill the wonderful lake You have manifested. This is the only benediction we desire.”

Casting a side-long glance toward Shyama, Srimati Radharani replies to the sacred celestials: “Oh, certainly, please come!”

Then all the holy rivers and lakes collected in Sri Shyama-kunda forcibly break the boundary separating the two kunds so they can swiftly fill Sri Radha-kunda with their sanctifying waters.”

Sri Hari: “O Priyatama! On earth and throughout the universe, Your Radha-kunda will become supremely more famous than Mine! And I will personally come here daily to bathe and enjoy water pastimes with You and all My preyasis. Indeed, Your beautiful Sri Kunda is as dear to Me as You!”

Srimati Radharani: “O Prana Priyatama! I don”t even care if You vanquish hundreds of Arishtas here, Still I will come here every day and bathe in Your Krishna Kunda i.e. Shyama Kunda.

“Furthermore, I proclaim forevermore that anyone who has intense devotion for My Sri Kunda, and then bathes or resides here, he or she will surely become very dear to Me.”

Then that very night [Caitra Purnima], Sri Krishna and the Vraja-gopis happily bathe, laugh, splash and play in Shyama-Radha Kundas. Afterwards, They all dance and spin, thrill and rejoice in Their Vasanta Purnima maha rasotsavam on the banks of Radha-kunda.

At that astonishing and most auspicious time, the lightning strike of Srimati hits the Krishna cloud to create a torrential downpour of blissful prema to flood the three worlds with Their playfully divine lila-rasa:

krishna ambudah maha rasa harsha varsha, sri radhika pravara vidyud,
trai lokya madhya vitati krta divya kirti! 
(Thus concludes Vishnu Purana)

Caitra Purnima Appearance Night of Radha-kunda ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

The Puranas, the Gaudiya Vaisnava sastras and acaryas like Sri Rupa Goswamipada, Sri Sanatana Goswami, Sri Jiva Goswamipada, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti and Srila Prabhupada all mention the magnificent, beneficial and sweet glories of ati ati pavitram and mangalam transcendental dhama called Sri Radha Kunda.

In Mathura Mahatmya (v. 421-22), Sri Rupa Goswamipada quotes the Padma Purana: “Among unlimited number of Vraja-gopis, there is one i.e. Srimati Radharani who is the dearest beloved of Sri Krishna. Just as Radha is Krishna’s dearest, similarly, Radha-kunda is also most dear to Bhagavan Sri Krishna.”

sarva-gopisu saivaika, visnor atyanta-vallabha
atha radha priya visnos, tasyah kundam priyam tatha

Since Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda are saksad, directly and personally Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, the obvious first answer to the question, “how to serve Radha Kunda”, is to directly serve Shyama and Radha Kundas by speaking and writing about Their glories, offering arati and chanting astakams and prayers exalting the kundas, parikrama, sweeping, taking snana, bringing friends for darsana, seva and snana etc. More ideas listed below.

In Mathura Mahatyam (v. 420), Sri Rupa Goswamipada quotes the Padma Purana, Karttika-mahatmya: “If you BATHE IN RADHA KUNDA on Bahulastami, you will become very dear to Bhagavan Sri Hari, karttike bahulastamyam, tatra snatva hareh priyah.” Please note that the verse does not specifically say anything about bathing at midnight.

Sri Rupa Goswamipada says (Upadesamrta 11), “If you just take ONE BATH in Radha-kunda, then that Krishna prema [like Sri Radha and the gopis have] will manifest in your heart, tat premedam sakrd api sarah snatur aviskaroti!

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami says, “If anyone, qualified or not (jana kascit), serves Radha-kunda, he/she will obtain the transcendental creeper of Krishna prema, bearing the flowers of radha-dasya i.e. service to my Isvari Sri Radha.” (Stavavali, Radha-kunda astakam v.5)

api jana iha kascid yasya seva-prasadaih
pranaya-sura-lata syat tasya gosthendra-sunoh
sapadi kila mad-isa dasya puspa prasasya

Srila Prabhupada said, “By serving Radha-kunda, you will get an opportunity to become an assistant of Srimati Radharani under the eternal guidance of the gopis [means dasi manjari]” (Nectar of Instruction 11 pur.)

Another way to “serve Radha-kunda” is to serve the Kundavasis or full time residents of Sri Radha-kunda Dhama. Many types of Radha-Krishna bhaktas, local and foreign born, are staying here, including Brahmins and Pandas, Vrajavasis, Babajis, Sannyasis, Widows, Grhastas and single persons. Serving Radha-kunda certainly includes serving Srimati Radharani’s dear kunda nivasis by donating money, cloth, blankets, books, utensils, umbrellas, shoes, sweets, grains, dal, ghee, oil, sugar, fruits, vegetables, etc.

Radha Kundavasi service is mentioned in the ancient Padma Purana, Karttika-mahatmya quoted by Sri Rupa Goswamipada in his Mathura Mahatmya (v. 421):

“You should please and satisfy the HUMANS, DEVOTEES and BRAHMINS staying at Radha-kunda.”

naro bhakto bhaved vipras, tat-sthitasya pratosanam

So serving Radha-kunda means serving the place which is Srimati Radharani Herself, and the people staying here—the Radha-kunda nivasis.

19 Ways to Serve Radha-kunda and Vrndavana

Sri Krishna, His associates and His holy abode of Vraja are all beautiful and blissful, sweet, charming, purifying and worshipable. However, it is very very difficult and practically impossible to directly see and intimately serve Radha and Krishna. It is the rare fortune of the premi bhaktas.

However, many bhaktas get the fortune to visit, see and live in Sridhama Vrindavana. So whenever you visit Radha-kunda or Vrndavana, please take advantage of the opportunity to directly see, worship and serve Sri Radha and Sri Krishna in Their dhama-svarupa by performing the following wonderful sevas.

By serving Sri Radha-kunda and Sri Krishna’s Holy Dhama, you will become free from janam grama and indriya grama, attachment to your birthplace and material body made of senses (indriya). You can do the following dhama-sevas alone or with kindred spirits. The saying goes, “Cleaning Krishna’s dhama removes krodha and kama.”

  1. Sweep, wash and clean the footpaths, steps of kundas and sarovaras, parikrama paths, lila sthalis and old temples.
  2. Donate money to repair and maintain old temples, especially at specific lila sthalis.
  3. Visit each holy place with great respect, eagerness and enthusiasm to hear its glories and also give donations to the temple pujaris and pandas (brahmana guides).
  4. Show the utmost respect to Vrajavasis, temple pujaris and pandas (brahmana guides) at each holy place.
  5. Give donations of food (sweets, fruits, juices, grains etc), cloth and money to children and needy Vrajavasis.
  6. Wherever possible plant fragrant flowering trees, creepers and plants to beautify lila sthalis, temples and other open areas of the holy dhama.
  7. Don’t pollute Vrajadhama with plastic bags, bottles, containers and other non-biodegradable articles.
  8. Regularly and respectfully bathe in sacred waters and worship them. And also worship all the Deities with at least a ghee lamp and some incense.
  9. Help the Vrajavasis who are performing Nama and Dhama seva.
  10. Offer dandavats and roll in the dust of all lila sthalis.
  11. Glorify the presiding Deities at each temple and lila sthali with sweet kirtana, katha and bhajanas.
  12. Hear or read about Krishna’s lilas at every holy place you visit.
  13. Also ask the pujari or panda to tell you some transcendental pastimes of Krishna.
  14. Never visit Vraja without hearing Hari-katha from devotional Vrajavasis.
  15. Inspire and help others to visit or live in Vraja dhama.
  16. Speak, write, make videos and print books about the glories of Vraja dhama.
  17. Every day in Vraja rise early and chant, sing, hear and read the glories of Radha-Govinda with a fixed vow.
  18. Never ever think, hear or speak, criticism or gossip about any Vrajavasis.
  19. When not in Vraja dhama, try to remember the Vraja deities, lila sthalis, pastimes, Hari-katha and devotees you experienced there.

The most important seva, which is the main part of all the preceding nineteen sevas, is to always chant the ambrosial name of Srimati Radharani.

Vrajavasis say, “Radhe Radhe Bol, Vrindavana Mein Dol”, which means, If you want to live and wander in Vrindavana, then always chant “Radhe! Radhe!”

Shyama Kunda Radha Kunda ki jai! Sri Dhama Vrindavana ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

There is an amazing story behind this. The day before Caitra Purnima 2017, I met with 108 Pandit Sri Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja and had the following conversation:

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: “Gurudeva, since Sri Sanatana Goswami says in (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.45.3) Vaisnava Toshani tika that today, Caitra Purnima midnight is the ACTUAL AND REAL APPEARANCE DAY OF RADHA KUNDA, should we bathe tonight to honor that wonderful, most merciful lila of Radha and Krishna?”

Gurudeva: (replied affirmatively while looking straight into my eyes from about one foot away), “Yes, you should!”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: “Should I tell all your disciples about this?

Gurudeva: “Yes, get a microphone, go around Radha-kunda and tell everyone.”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: “Really, Gurudeva, are you serious that I should do that?”

Gurudeva: “Yes, because the Karttika Bahulastami snana is NOT THE APPEARANCE DAY OF Radha-kunda. In Mathura Mahatmyam, Sri Rupa Gosvamipada says that devotees should BATHE ON THE KARTTIKA DAY OF BAHULASTAMI just to please Bhagavan Sri Hari. It says nothing about appearance day.

“According to our Gaudiya Vaisnava mahajana and supreme praman, Srimad Bhagavatam, today at midnight Caitra Purnima IS THE REAL APPEARANCE DAY OF SRI RADHA KUNDA!”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: (Since Gurudeva is 99 years old, I never expected him to say yes), but nevertheless, I curiously asked him the next question): “Gurudeva, would you like to join us and take Radha-kunda midnight snana tonight?”

Gurudeva: (Much to my surprise), Pandit Baba looked at me innocently like a child and said enthusiastically, “YES, I’LL WILL ALSO TAKE MIDNIGHT SNANA!”

And that’s how our first annual Caitra Purnima Radha-kunda Appearance Festival started. On behalf of Sri Advaita Prabhu, Sri Gurudeva and all the faithful followers of the six Goswamis, we invite all the devotees to come bathe at midnight on every Caitra Purnima to celebrate the actual, real APPEARANCE DAY OF RADHA KUNDA.

Radha-kunda Annual Avirbhava Mahotsava ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

In Govinda Lilamrta (Sri Govinda Lilamrita, chapter 7), Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja describes the astonishing glories of Sri Radha Kunda: “As Sri Radha is Sri Hari’s dearest beloved, Radha-kunda is also most dear to Krishna because of its amazing qualities, śrī-rādheva- hares -tadīya-sarasī -preṣṭh ādbhutaiḥ –svair- guṇair.

“Just by taking one bath in Radha-kunda, one will attain prema for Krishna similar to Radhika’s, premāsmin- bata -rādhikeva –labhate-yasmin- sakṛt -snāna-kṛt. (102)

“Just by seeing Priyaji’s kunda, Krishna’s heart fills with joy, priyā-kuṇḍaṁ -dṛṣṭvā mudita-hṛdayo. Then Priyatama Syama becomes extremely eager to meet His beloved Priyaji Sri Radha, priyā-prāpty-utkaṇṭhā.” (103)

Radha-Krishna mahima madhuri ki jai! Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!