Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

“Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura lists the natural opulences by which Govardhana Hill serves Sri Krsna: Krsna and Balarama drink the fragrant, cool water from Govardhana’s many waterfalls, and use it to wash Their feet and mouth. Govardhana offers tasty beverages, such as honey and mango juice. Govardhana also provides grass that is fragrant, soft and conducive to the strong growth of cows and increased production of milk.

“Thus this grass is used by Krsna to feed the transcendental herds. There are many caves where, Krsna, Balarama, and Their friends play, sit and lie down. These caves give pleasure when the weather is too hot or too cold, or when it is raining. Govardhana also features soft roots for eating, jewels for ornamenting the body, natural mineral dyes for body painting, flat places for sitting, and lamps and mirrors in the form of smooth stones, glistening water and other natural substances.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.18p.)

In Vraja-riti-cintamani, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives another vivid and poetic description of Sri Giri-Govardhana’s services. “Govardhana Hill is like a flag of intense sweetness placed in the opulent land of Vrndavana. As the king of mountains, Giriraja offers pleasing and royal service to the young prince of Vraja. The rocks of Govardhana Hill are many kinds of splendid jewels that provide thrones, couches, and other kinds of furniture for Sri Krsna, the supreme monarch of all nectar mellows. Govardhana Hill’s beautiful forests and caves are Krsna’s nectar pastime palaces—each one perfect for the supreme good fortune of His beloved and His friends. Govardhana Hill’s trees and vines serve Krsna by offering blossoming branches with sweet fruits, and flowers filled with honey, nectar and fragrant pollen.

“The red, vermilion, yellow and other colored pigments of Govardhana Hill decorated Sri Krsna’s transcendental body for the pleasure of His beloved gopis. The musk left by the deer, as well as the kunkuma, camphor and aguru, naturally produced by Govardhana Hill, were all used to give a sweet fragrance to the transcendental body of Sri Krsna. The peacocks dance enthusiastically, the bees and cuckoos sing melodiously, and many other birds chirp a rhythmic accompaniment, as they all gaze on the service to Sri Hari done by Govardhana Hill, the best of Sri Hari’s servants.”

An excerpt from the book Appreciating Sri Vrndavana Dhama.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Although serving in many capacities as the greatest devotee of Krsna, Sri Giri-Govardhana is also a direct incarnation of the Supreme Sri Krsna. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami received a Govardhana-sila and gunja-mala (necklace of small red berries) from Sri Caitanya, and he worshiped them as being non-different from Radha-Krsna. Sri Giriraja-puja, therefore, may be performed in the same manner as the regular deity worship of Radha and Krsna. “When everything was complete,” said Srila Prabhupada, “Krsna assumed a great transcendental form and declared to the inhabitants of Vrndavana that He was Himself Govardhana Hill in order to convince the devotees that Govardhana Hill and Krsna are identical. The identity of Krsna and Govardhana Hill is still honored, and great devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill, and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Krsna in the temple.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.24.35p.)

Sri Krsna, in His eternal form as Sri Giriraja-Govardhana, is very merciful and easily pleased with a daily love offering of Yamuna water for drinking, eight Tulasi manjaris to embrace His lotus feet and a little milk sweet like sandesa. Sannyasis and “Vrajavasi devotees” often keep Govardhana-silas, because the worship is simple, sweet and sublime.

An excerpt from the book Appreciating Sri Vrndavana Dhama

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had an extremely intimate relationship with Giri-Govardhana. In Jagannatha Puri he began worshiping Giriraja upon receiving Sri Caitanya’s personal Govardhana-sila. While worshiping his Govardhana-sila, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, in the mood of taking shelter of Srimati Radharani, would wear the gunja-mala around his neck. After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s disappearance Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami felt overwhelmed by the pain of separation. He went to Vrndavana to end his life by jumping off Govardhana Hill. Convinced to continue living by Srila Rupa and Srila Sanatana Gosvamis, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami remained for forty-one years at Radha-kunda. He performed intensive bhajana, worshiped his Govardhana-sila, honored the Lord and the Vaisnavas and spoke for three hours a day about the all-attractive glories of Lord Gauranga. In his Govardhana-dasakam, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami reveals his heart’s desire.

“O Govardhana! When Sri Radha spoke these words — ‘My dear friends, this mountain is the best of Krsna’s devotees’ all the Vedas then confirmed that you attained the unsurpassable position of becoming the tilaka mark on the forehead of Vrndavana. Please allow me to live close by You.

“O Govardhana! You affectionately and secretly embrace the neck of Your own dear friend, Sri Radha-kunda, the place which is very dear to You and to Sri Hari. Please allow me to live close by You and show me the intimate pastimes of the youthful Divine Couple there.”

An excerpt from the book Appreciating Sri Vrndavana Dhama

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This new series will reveal secret facts about Sri Vrindavana Dhama to help everyone better appreciate its unique position, and the incredible fortune and value of visiting, serving or living in Vraja Dhama. The secrets in these “LOV Posts” (Light on Vraja) come from various Gaudiya Vaisnavashastra.

It is often heard that sadhana done in the Holy Dhama of Vrindavana is 1000X more effective than elsewhere. This is established in the Srimad Bhagavatam (7.14.33): “Religious acts performed in Mathura/Vrindavana give 1000x more result than at other places, madhupuridharmohyatrehitaḥpuṁsāṁ, sahasrādhiphalodayaḥ.”

Besides the 1000x effect, anyone can practically experience that the divinely charged, devotional atmosphere of Vrindavana, unlike anywhere else, is very supportive and makes it easier to chant nama-japa and perform other devotional acts. As the locals say, “In Vraja, bhakti is flowing in the air!”

Is also said that sins and offenses committed in Vrindavana bring 1000x the reaction. This statement may serve as a helpful warning or as a cautionary note to be careful. But this point is NOT FOUND in any Gaudiya Vaisnava shastras we have seen.

It is true that punishment for sins in Vrindavana may be experienced [not 1000x], but at the same time merciful Vrindavana will also destroy that sin’s reactions. Vrindavana is often compared to a mother (Sri Vrindatavi Mata) because she actually forgives the sinner just like a compassionate mother forgiving her wayward child.

Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Mathura Mahatmya (MM) proves this point in several verses:

“Sins committed knowingly or unknowingly in Mathura/Vrindavana will be destroyed in Vrindavana itself, mathurayaṁkṛtaṁpapaṁ, mathurayaṁvinaśyati, jñanatoajñanatovapi.” (Vayu &AdiVaraha P. MM 23/28)

“The sins from many, many births are destroyed at once in Mathura/Vrindavana, bahujanmanipapani, mathuraprabhavamnashyatikshanamatratah.” (Padma Purana MM 29)

Sri VarahaBhagavan said, “Sins are destroyed at once merely by SEEING THE LAND of Mathura/Vrindavana, papaninaśyanti, mathuradarśanatkṣanat.” (AdiVaraha Purana MM 8)

“By bathing anywhere in Vraja Mandala, one will be liberated from all sins, mathuramandalamsnato, mucyatesarvapatakaih.” (AdiVaraha Purana MM 3)

However, one visiting or living in Vraja should not take advantage of Vraja Dhama and willfully commit offenses and sins while thinking, “Oh, merciful Vrindavana will forgive me, and keep blessing me with spiritual advancement.” This thought itself is also a sin as seen in the seventh offense to the Holy Name, nāmnādbalādyasya hi pāpa-buddhir: “It is an offense if one sinfully thinks, ‘I can sin on the strength of Krishna’s Divine Name [and the Name will remove that sin].’

Nama, Dhama and Shyama are all equally transcendental and completely personal. If one displeases (apa/radh) any one of Them by committing sins and offenses then surely reaction will come. No one can fool or cheat either Nama, Dhama or Shyama.

It is privilege and rare fortune to live in Vrindavana which is the heart and eternal home of Sri SriRadha and Krishna. Only by Their divine grace can one visit or live in Their home. Radha and Krishna are completely independent to allow one in or kick one out of Their dhama! Therefore, devotees living in Vrindavana should remain ever-grateful, and always live and act purely.

Sri Rupa Gosvami explains this point: “Without the mercy of Vishnu/Krishna no one can live in Vrindavana for even a moment, vināviṣṇoḥprasādena, kṣaṇamekaṁnatiṣṭhati. Residence in Vraja can NEVER BE ATTAINED by punya, jnana, tapa, japa or yajnas. However, if one is favored by Sri Krishna one can attain residence in Vrindavana, śrī-viṣnoḥkṛpayanunaṁ, tatravasobhaviṣyati.” (AdiVaraha Purana MM 82-83)

The following prayers from Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada’s Vrindavana Mahimamrita are very useful for devotees living in Vrindavana and should always be remembered:

“Again and again I have committed inexcusable offenses to you. Still, O mother Vṛndāvana, I am like your son so please do not abandon me, su-durmarṣaiḥsvasminnasakṛdaparādhairapiyutaṁ, sutaṁmātevatvaṁvisṛjabatavṛndāṭavinamām!” (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 1.96)

“O mother Vṛndāvana, you are my life and soul! Out of affection for me, please drag me from my friends and relatives and keep me on your lap.” (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 1.93)

śrī-vṛndāṭavimātarekamihamaj-jīvāturastisvayaṁ
yattvaṁsnehamayīvikṣyajanatāṁsvāṇkaṁsamāneṣyasi

“O noble mother Sri Vrindatavi, by nature You are overflowing with boundless affection, sumātaḥśrīmatvṛndāṭavitvamsahaja, niravadhisnehapūre. Please hold on your lap this very mischievous child who has been playing in the dirt. Be merciful and forgive my offenses; always feed me the breast-milk of transcendental love for your master and mistress; and give me all protection. (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 11.1)

“I have fallen into the blind well of household-life, and I am being devoured by the black snakes of lust, greed, anger, envy and so on. O mother Vrindavana! When will you lift me out of this well, and give me shelter on your lap.” (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 1.88)

gṛhāndha-kūpepatitaḥkadāmām, uddhṛtyamūḍhaṁkrpayāsvayaiva
kāmādi-kālāhi-guṇairnigīrṇaṁ, mātevavṛndāṭavineṣyase’ṅkam

Pavana Radhe tero nama, pavanasri Vrindavana Dhama! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

According to Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya tattva acarya Sri Jiva Goswamipada, Sri Sri Radha-Krishna personally manifested Shyamkund and Radhakund on midnight of Chaitra Purnima.

He revealed this truth in his tika to Srimad Bhagavatam (10.45.3), and in Gopal Champu (I. 31.8), wherein Sri Jiva Goswamipada says: “When the full moon of the Chaitra month is in the CHITRA NAKSATRA (star), that is the EXACT TIME OF THE APPEARANCE OF Radha Kund, yada-hi–CHITRA–yuta–purna–candram-purnimam-anu–turnita–cetah.”

In 2019, ISKCON GBC passed the following resolution: “According to research, the observance of “the appearance of Radha-kunda” on Bahulastami in Karttika is incorrect. And the appearance of Radha-kunda SHOULD BE OBSERVED ON CHAITRA PURNIMA.”

Unfortunately, due to the present restrictions the proper observance of Radha-kunda appearance with a midnight nectar bath will not be possible even if one lives in Radha-kunda or Vrndavana; what to speak of New Delhi. Thus, we will explain how to mentally observe this most wonderful and amazingly merciful appearance of Radha and Krishna as two lakes of prema ambrosia.

Note: Everyone regardless of where you are staying, should honor Radha-kunda avirbhav by staying awake on this day until 12.30 a.m. or so. If you have a container of Radha-kunda amrit, you can honorably place it on a table. Then you can both mentally and physically observe the appearance of Radha-kunda by doing parikrama of the container, offer bhoga, arati and dandavats to it, and finally sprinkle some of the Radha-kunda amrit on your head.   

1. Mental Kunds Parikrama; Mentally think now it’s 11 p.m. Chaitra Purnima, and I am in Radha-kund doing parikrama beginning with dandavats and prayers to Kundeshvara Mahadeva. Then immediately on my right I see and offer dandavats to Radha-Krishna kunds and the Sangam. Continuing on parikram, I will pause before each temple doorway and offer pranams beginning with Purana Radha-Krishna Mandir, Jhulan Sthali, then on to Radha-Kanta, Gopalji, Shyamsundarji, Damodarji, Gopinath Ji, Ma Jahnava Bhaitak, Das Goswami Samadhi, Radha-Ramanji, Govindaji, Ras Mandal, Jagannathji, Vallabhaji, Sita-Ram, Damodarji, Lalita-kund, Mahadeva, Giridhari, Lalita-Bihariji, Prachin Radha Govindadeva, Vinodilal, Gopi-kua, Nita-Gaur Sitanath, Asta-Sakhis, Radha-Madhava, Bankhandi Siva, Mahaprabhu Baithak, Laxmi-Narayana, Madan-Mohan, Gaur-Nitai, Prachin Radha-Gopinath, Nitai Baithak,  Hanumanji, then complete parikrama with dandavats to Kundeshvara.

2. Prayers; sit in your favorite place or before Giriraj Baba on the Sangam between the kunds, and offer prayers such as Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami’s “Radha-kundastakam”:

That very dear, beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, that appeared after a joking quarrel between Radha and Krishna about piety after the killing of the Arishta bull demon, and which was joyfully revealed and filled up by Sri Radha’s own hand, with the assistance of Her sakhis, is my only shelter!

That very fragrant, dear and beautiful Radhakund, that instantly makes a desire-tree of prema, love of Krishna, sprout in the land of the heart of anyone who bathes there, although this is very difficult to attain even by the Vraja-gopis, is my only shelter!

That very dear, beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, where even Krishna, the enemy of Aghasura, eagerly and carefully bathes and renders submissive and expert devotional service, desiring to obtain the merciful glance of goddess Radhika, is my only shelter!

That very dear, beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, that is the abode of love for Vrajachandra, which is as dear to Krishna as the crownjewel of sweet adolescent damsels of Vraja, Sri Radhika Herself, and which was called after Her by Krishna, is my only shelter!

That very beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, by whose mercy the desire vine of love for Krishna, that bears the flowers of service of my Ishvari Sri Radha, instantly sprouts in the heart of anyone who performs devotional service there, is my only shelter!

That very beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, whose shores are divided among Sri Radhika’s girlfriends who all have their own sweet nikunjas named after them, and where the bees are buzzing sweetly, is my only shelter!

That very beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, where my Ishvari Sri Radhika makes ever-so-sweet and pleasant jokes about Vrndavanachandra, with Her dearest sakhis  on a nice platform on the shore, is my only shelter!

That very beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, in whose water, that is filled with nicely smelling lotus flowers, Radha and Krishna daily sport in loving intoxication, along with Their sakhis, who are in a similar loving frenzy, is my only shelter!

The benediction offered by Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami:

Anyone who recites this beautiful Radha-kundastakam for Devi Radha with a peaceful mind and a fixed intelligence and who submits one’s self to Radha’s blissful service, will soon see Madhuripu Krishna in Radha’s delightful embrace, even in this material body!

2. Offer Puja: Mentally stand on the Sangam and offer to both Shyamkund and Radhakund a panchamrita abhishek, some sweet bhog, and arati with dhoop, deep and flowers.

3. Do Harinam Kirtan for few minutes to sanctify your being.

4. Mental Snana; Then at 12 midnight mentally or physically offer dandavats to Sri Guru, Six Goswamis, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Radha Govinda Yugala; then sprinkle few sacred sweet drops of kundamrita on your head and in mouth; then most humbly, respectfully and prayerfully bathe first in Shyamkund at Manasa Pavan Ghat followed by snana in Radha-kunda.

5. Dan; Give some money and sweet mahaprasad to any Brahmin you see at Radha-kunda. 

Hopefully next year, by Srimati Radharani’s loving grace, all the Krishna bhaktas will be able to physically come to Radha-kunda on Chaitra Purnima to experience the full ecstasy of honoring the holy appearance of Shyamkund and Radha-kunda.

Radha-kunda divine appearance day ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!