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

The Kaustubha jewel is an eternal, uniquely distinguishing necklace adorning the beautiful transcendental bodies of both Bhagavan Sri Krishna and Sri Vishnu.

But did you know that Kaustubha contains all the jivas? Did you know that Srimati Radharani can be seen in the Kaustubha? And did you know that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila can be seen in the Kaustubha?

Identity of the Kaustubha

Before answering these intriguing questions let’s first establish the color of the Kaustubha gem. The Srimad Bhagavatam (SB 8.8.6) says, “Kaustubha is a type of ruby.” (Sri Bhanu Swami)

In Ānanda Vrndavana Campu (22.25), Sri Kavi Karnapur says:

kaustubha -rashmi-pura-shonayamana-vara-mauktika.

The word shonayamana means ‘reddened’.

In Krishna Bhavanamrta (12.65), Visvanatha Cakravartipada says:

uditendu -surya -shata -nindi
kaustubha-acchalato -yato
-jagad -avapa -raktatam

“The Kaustubha gem defeats the rising sun and moon and pervades the universe with redness.”

However, Krishna Bhavanamrita also compares Kaustubha with Krishna Himself when Radhika wears it on Her chest after winning it in the dice game (ch.15), which would indicate it is Krishna’s color.

Or it can be read that the Kaustubha is just being a representative of Krishna on Radhika’s chest because the Kaustubha gem is normally an inseparable apparel of Krishna.

The conclusion is that although Krishna’s Kaustubha gem is an unlimitedly brilliant and beautiful transcendental jewel, it is deep red in color something like a ruby.

All Jivas Are in the Kaustubha Jewel

Gopal-tappani-Upanisad (67) says, “Because by its essence, its light, the Kaustubha is the shelter of all jivas, tejasa-sva-svarupina.

Srimad Bhagavatam (3.28.28), says, “The Kaustubha jewel on Krishna’s neck represents jiva-tattva (caityasya tattvam)

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika:
The Kaustubha is the shelter of all  jivas (maha-samasti-rupa). (Krama Sandarbha Canto 3)

Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika:
The Kaustubha is the tattva of jiva-shakti. Vishnu Purana says, “The Kaustubha represents the unlimited rays or jivas, vibharti -kaustubha-mani-svarupam -bhagavan -hari.”

Dr. Sri Satyanarayan Dasji said, “The Kaustubha gem that Bhagavan wears on His chest is also a samasti-jiva because it is the embodiment of the tatastha-shakti.” (Paramatma Sandarbha)

Srimad Bhagavatam (12.11.10) says:

kaustubha-vyapadeshena
svatma-jyotir -bibharty -ajah
tat-prabha -vyapini -sakshat
shrivatsam -urasa -vibhuh

“Upon His chest the almighty, unborn Bhagavan Hari wears the Kaustubha gem which represents the pure spirit soul.”

Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika:

The effulgence from the svarupa of the Kaustubha (vyapadeshena) supports the pure jiva. Thus, Bhagavan Sri Krishna holds His servant on his heart as confirmed in Srimad Bhagavatam (9.4.68):

sadhavo -hrdayam -mahyam
sadhunam -hrdayam -tv -aham
mad-anyat -te -na -jananti
naham -tebhyo -manag api

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said,  “The sadhu, saintly person, is always within the core of My heart, and I am always in the heart of the sadhu devotee. My devotees do not know anything else but Me, and I do not know anyone else but them.”

Pandit Sri Krishna Das Babaji Maharaja tika:

Babaji Maharaja personally told the author, “All jivas stay inside the Kaustubha gem on Sri Vishnu’s chest at the time of jagat pralaya. Kaustubha is the sarva-jiva-ashraya, shelter if all conditioned souls, jivatmas.”

Radharani in the Kaustubha Jewel

Sometimes when They separate after Their intimate nikunja lilas, Sri Krishna can still see the inconceivably beautiful form of Sri Radha inside His Kaustubha gem.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Lila in Kaustubha

Late one rapturous night in Nidhivan, Nikunjivani Sri Radha had a spectacular dream wherein Radha saw Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila.

In Svapna Vilas Amrita, Visvanatha Cakravartipada recounts the dream thus:

Once, at the end of night (nishant-lila), while Lila Yugal Radha-Krishna were sleeping in a keli-kunja in Nidhivana, Vrishabhanu-nandini had an amazing dream. Upon waking, Kishori woke Her Prana-vallabha and said:

“Beloved, I just had an amazing dream wherein I saw an incomparable river, just like the Yamuna. On its charming banks I saw a wonderful golden-complexioned youth singing and dancing very beautifully to the rhythm of the mrdanga and kartalas.

“That golden youth was crying and uttering,

‘O Krishna, O Krishna!’ and sometimes He would utter, ‘O Radha, O Radha, where are You?’

“Sometimes He rolled on the ground, and sometimes He became unconscious. He freely distributed these sentiments to all the living entities in the universe.

“My beloved Shyam, upon seeing Him, I began to think, ‘Who is this golden-complexioned youth? Am I that golden youth who is constantly crying and uttering “O Krishna, O Krishna”? Or is this golden-complexioned youth You who is crying loudly, ‘O Radha, O Radha, where are You?’”

Sri Krishna said, “O Priyaji, at different times I have given You darshan of Narayan and some of My other forms, yet You were never astonished.

“I don’t know who this golden-complexioned youth that is bewildering Your mind.” While speaking Krishna smiled slightly.

Radhika said, “Prana-vallabha, now I understand that this golden form is no one but You. No one other than You is able to infatuate Me in this way.”

Then inside His Kaustubha jewel Shyam showed Sriji Her dream just as She had seen it.

Sri Krishna said, “Praneshvari! I will assume Your golden complexion and sentiments to appear in the form of Gauranga to personally relish Your blissful bhavas.

“And I will preach raganuga-bhakti, Harinam-sankirtan, and freely distribute Krishna prema. Radha, You will also appear on earth with Me as My associate.”

By this pastime Radha-Krishna gave an indication of the future appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. (shastra input Sri Advaita Dasji)

Sri Krishna’s Kaustubha jewel ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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

For the Vrajavasis of 5,000 years ago and today, Radha and Krishna are their most adorable and worshipable personalities, ista-devatas. Yet we see that both Krishna’s associates, who were visible here 50 centuries ago, and the contemporary Vrajavasis also honor and worship a host of other gods like Shiva, Surya, Shani and Durga.

Sastras tell that Krishna’s father Nanda Baba’s family deity (kula devata) was Laksmi-Narayana and Nrsimha; Radha’s kula devata was Suryadeva; and Chandravalli’s kula devata was Gauri Durga. One name of Radha is Bhanunandini, which means daughter of the sun, denoting Her father King Vrishabhanu Maharaja. 

In order for Sri Radha, Yasoda Ma, Subala, Raktak and all the other eternal associates in Vrindavana to relish the very personal, sweet intimacy of their eternal relationships with Sri Krishna, they never think for a moment that Krishna is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 

Their prema is unique and special. For the Vrajavasis always think that Krishna is just a cowherd like us—our son, our best friend, or loving master.

Radha and the damsels of Vraja see Krishna simply as their most dashing, daring and handsome darling. Shyama is their swain, the sweet Prince of Vraja, whom they love millions of more times than themselves. 

So if Krishna is Radha’s everything, then why does Radharani devotedly worship Suryadeva, the sun god, every day? This is simply another manifestation of Kishori’s unlimited love for Shyama. Swamini worships Surya just to pray for Krishna’s health and welfare. 

Besides that, on the pretext of surya-puja, Radhika can leave her mother-in-law behind at home, and go to Radha Kunda to enjoy six hours of blissful pastimes with Krishna every day! Occasionally, Jatila, Radha’s mother-in-law, hurries to Surya-kunda to see if Radha is cavorting with Krishna. 

But all she finds in the Surya temple is a cute, “syama-complexioned Brahmin boy” from Mathura conducting the puja for Radharani. 

In this way, Sriji’s surya-puja enhances Krishna’s pleasure, which is the one and only goal of every Vrajavasis’ thoughts, words and deeds. 

Surya Upasaka Radha ki jai!
Bhanunandini Radha ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Herein we present a sweet selection of rasika-acharya, Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Krishna prema-filled comments on the Venu-gita (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21). By reading and studying these comments along with the verses of Venu-gita, you will attain a happy feeling in your heart, and renewed enthusiasm to love and serve Radha and Krishna more and more.

10.21.3 When the Vraja-gopis hear Shyama’s flute song, which incites Cupid’s influence, some gopis privately describe Krishna’s qualities to their intimate friends.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: Seeing the autumnal beauty, Sri Krishna gets excited and practices flute playing to attract the gopis. Thus they become aroused (verse word smaraudaya), and start glorifying Krishna in this chapter. Although now Krishna is in pauganda period (5-10 years), His flute playing arouses amorous desires in the gopis because it magically manifests the kaisora age (10-15).

Not only ladies but all living entities in Vraja become immensely attracted (verse word sarva-bhuta-manoharam) to Krishna’s venu-nad. For Yashoda, it arouses vatsalya, motherly affection, and not smara or amorous intimacies. But for Radha it is smara, and thus Sriji herein reveals Her mental anguish to Her confidantes like Lalita-sakhi.

10.21.4 While speaking about Krishna, the damsels of Vrajabhumi remember His lilas. The power of Cupid, however, arises to agitate their minds and then they stop speaking.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: This verse describes the sequence of rising love. Although they try, because of love’s impulses (verse word smaravegena), the gopis become mum. They simply think about that “heart stealer”, Muralimanohara, again and again.

10.21.5 Featuring a peacock-feather ornament upon his head, yellow karnikara flowers on his ears, a brilliant golden yellow garment, and a Vaijayanti garland, Sri Krishna looks like the best of dancers as He prances into Vrndaranya, beautifying it with the unique marks of his footprints. As Krishna fills the flute with the nectar of his lips, the gopas sing his glories.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: Among all the sakhas, Govinda is most attractive, and even more so because now Krishna is dressed as a dancer (verse word natavesa). Filling the flute with the nectar of his lips means Krishna’s flute song is as attractive as Krishna’s adharamrta. The verse word vrndaranya means that sakhi Vrnda-devi has already cleaned and specially decorated the forest to stimulate Krishna’s lilas. The presence of Krishna’s extraordinary 19 footprints in the forest of Vrndavana gives bliss (verse word ramanam), to everyone especially Vrnda-devi. And the charming, soft dust, fragrant flowers, leaves etc. give delight (ramanam) to Radha-ramana’s lotus feet.

The verse describes Krishna’s natural adornments of feathers, leaves and Vraja flowers, and not His usual gold and pearl necklaces etc. Why? Because upon entering Vrndaranya, Krishna sets these aside in preference to decking Himself out with Vraja’s natural opulences of leaves, flowers, feathers, mineral pigments and gunja berries. Krishna is also sporting only forest decorations as appropriate for the first day of His Autumnal pastimes.

10.21.6 When the young Vraja-gopis hear Krishna’s venu, which steals the minds of all living beings, they embrace each other and describe it.

Sri Jiva Goswami’s tika: All the gopis (verse word vraja-striyasarva) indicates all degrees of attachment to Krishna i.e. deep, medium and light. Some gopis mentally embrace (verse word abhirebhire) Krishna who is seizing their hearts. Or due to arising love, other gopis mistake their sakhis to be Krishna and embrace them. And some sakhis embrace each other because their natural love is awakened.

Venu-gita ki jai! Sri Jiva Goswamipada ki jai!

Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Herein we present a continuous sweet selection of tikas from the great rasika-acarya, Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Krishna prema-filled comments on the Venu-gita (Srimas Bhagavatam 10.21). By reading and studying these comments along with the verses of Venu-gita, you will attain a happy feeling in your heart, and renewed enthusiasm to love and serve Radha and Krishna more and more. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.11

Translation: The gopis say, “Blessed are all the less intelligent deer because, on hearing the sound of Krishna’s flute, they and their husbands do the best worship by glancing affectionately at Nandanandan, who is gorgeously dressed.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Such is the glory of Vrindavan that all the jivas taking shelter there are very dear to Sri Krishna. Now, let us describe the good fortune of the animals in Vrindavan. The does are without discrimination yet as they wander through Vraja they are directly seen by Krishna.

The Vraja-gopis mention Nanda’s name because their minds are bewildered by uncontrollable agitation. They performed Krishna’s worship with glances filled with affection. Love is the greatest treasure in worship. In great astonishment the gopis speak with lamentation. “O! We do not have such good fortune!”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.12

Translation: The gopis say, “When the devatas’ wives flying in vimans with their husbands see Krishna, whose form and qualities fill all women with joy, and when they hear Krishna’s venu-gita, their hearts are agitated by Cupid, and they become so bewildered that the flowers fall out of their hair and the ropes holding up their undergarments loosen.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Both the animals on the ground and the devatas flying in the sky have become supremely fortunate by seeing Krishna whose all-attractive form and qualities immediately incite anuraga in all women. The devis hear Krishna’s flute playing a raga drenched in madhurya-rasa.

They came along with their husbands since they didn’t have the adhikari for direct association with Krishna. Just by seeing Shyam the Svargadevis became intensely afflicted with lust for Krishna. Their enchantment was further enhanced by hearing Krishna’s venu-gita. Hearing and seeing  were both causes of bewilderment. 

This is the anubhava called mottayita which is the appearance of desire in the heart from the arousal of the sthayi-bhava from remembering or hearing about Krishna.

The gopis pine, “We are most unfortunate for not having seen Krishna, the astonishing ocean of all auspiciousness, who bewilders the foolish female deer and the most intelligent wives of devatas. Or, we are most unfortunate for not seeing Krishna as He wanders in the forest, whereas they are fortunate.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.13

Translation: The gopis say, “Using their upraised ears as cups, the cows drink the nectar of Krishna’s flute-song flowing out of from His mouth. The calves, their mouths full of milk from their mothers’ moist nipples, with tear-filled eyes, stand still as they embrace Krishna within their hearts.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Other gopis speak three verses to hide their amorous emotions by describing the cows which have maternal affection for Krishna. “Even cows that are famous for not being able to distinguish good from bad, are relishing the sound of Krishna’s flute coming from His moon-like mouth which is endowed with more nectar than billions of nectar-filled moons.

“Krishna is the fullest embodiment of the highest bliss. In astonishment the cows simply stand, stunned, overcome by sattvika-bhava. Govinda indicates the master of the cows. They touch Krishna with affection. Some calves have mouthfuls of their mothers’ milk flowing from their mouths. Other calves are chewing grass.

“They all start crying as they embrace Govinda in their minds. Since their eyes are covered with tears, they can only see Krishna in their minds. We however are most unfortunate since we cannot even see Krishna.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.14

Translation: “O Amba! In this forest all the birds have risen onto the budding branches of the trees to see Krishna. With closed eyes, like sages, they are simply listening in silence to the sweet vibrations of Krishna flute, and they speak of nothing except Krishna.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: In astonishment, the gopis say, “O mother!” (amba)

It is the nature of those immersed in prema to make such statements. Since no mother is present, the gopis address their friends in this manner.

The gopis say, “What to speak of the good fortune of the cows protected by Krishna, how can we describe the fortune of these forest birds? Most of the birds are like this, but some like the peacocks are like the greatest devotees because they are dancing in prema, not just sitting in the tress.

“The birds climb on the branches of trees in order that they can see Krishna or so that Krishna can see them.  But the buds create obstacles to seeing Krishna, so they listen to Krishna’s venu-gita with half-closed eyes.” This indicates lassitude because of intense prema.

“No words except the words of the flute are sensed by their minds, ears or voice. Thus, they are fortunate.”

The word munayah refers to atmaramas like the Kumaras who have become birds to see Krishna. When they hear the sound of Krishna’s flute which they have never experienced before, that enchanting sound attracts them away from their brahma-samadhi. These sages have surpassed the branches of the Vedas and given up study of the Vedas. Their consciousness of their bodies has disappeared (milita-drsha—closed vision). The have become silent on all topics except Krishna. What else can they deliberate on?

Venu-gita ki jai! Sri Jiva Goswamipada ki jai!

Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

A disciple of Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Bhugarbha Gosvami shared an intimate friendship with Sri Lokanatha Gosvami. Inspired by Lord Caitanya, they were the first and most senior devotees to settle in Vrndavana. Before the arrival of Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana Gosvamis they tried to uncover the lost holy places of Radha Govindaji.

Unlike the aggressive approach of modern scientists to discover the unknown, Bhugarbha and Lokanatha Gosvamis found Sri Krsna’s pastime forests by the humble method of surrender. They simply wandered around Vrndavana calling out the names of her twelve forests, “Bhandiravan, Kamyavan, Mahavan, Talavan … ” And Srimati Vrnda Devi (the maintainer of the forests and an expansion of Krsna’s pastime potency) revealed the exact location of each and every forest.

It is told that to avoid material distractions Bhugarbha would perform his bhajana underground. So, he received the name Bhugarbha (bhu means earth, garbha means cave, womb, hidden place) He is Prema manjari or Bhadra Rekhika in Radha Gopinatha’s nitya nikunja lila. His samadhi stands near Sri Rupa Gosvami’s in the Radha Damodara temple courtyard.

(An excerpt from the book Gaudiya Vaisnava Biographies and samadhis in Vrndavana by Mahanidhi Swami)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sri Isvara Puri sent his disciples, Govinda and Kasisvara Pandita, to Jagannatha Puri to humbly serve Lord Caitanya. Reluctant to accept service from His Godbrothers, Sri Caitanya finally agreed since it was His guru’s wish. Named Kalavati and Sasi rekha in Vraja lila, Govinda and Kasisvara bring Yamuna water to Lord Sri Krsna. Kasisvara Pandita, who was strong and powerfully built, used to walk before Lord Caitanya keeping the crowds from touching Him. And after kirtanas he would serve prasadam to all the devotees.

Sri Gaurasundara asked Kasisvara to move to Vrndavana for worshiping Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Deity of Govindaji. Fearing separation from Lord Caitanya, Kasisvara said, “My Lord, if I must give up Your association my heart will split in two.” Out of compassion for His devotee Lord Gauracandra gave him a Deity of Himself that was so perfectly formed it exactly resembled the Lord. “Gaura Govinda,” the Deity’s name, is a golden form of Krsna playing flute. Then Kasisvara Pandita happily went to Vrndavana to serve Gaura Govinda and Govindaji.

Sri Sadhana Dipika says, “I worship Sri Kasisvara Pandita whose power of love and devotion brought Sri Caitanya to Western India as a Deity.” Today the original Deities of Gaura Govinda and Govindaji are lovingly adored by thousands of devotees in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Kasisvara Pandita’s original samadhi is in 64 Samadhis Area.

(An excerpt from the book Gaudiya Vaisnava Biographies and Samadhis in Vrndavana).

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sri Nimbarkacarya

Accurate biographies are difficult to find, yet authorities agree that Sri Nimbarkacarya preached Krishna consciousness about three-hundred years before the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

In Navadvipa Dhama Mahatyam, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that Nimbarka had previously worshiped Lord Siva in Bilva Paksha, Rudradvipa (Navadvipa). Lord Siva appeared before Nimbarka instructing him to take initiation from the four Kumaras, who were meditating nearby. Nimbarka received Radha Krishna mantra and continued living in Navadvipa.

Following the teachings of the Sanat-Kumara Samhita, he worshiped Radha and Krishna with great love. Soon Radha and Krishna appeared before Nimbarka. Then the Divine Couple displayed Their unified form as Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

Lord Gauranga said, “Nimbarka, in the future when I begin My sankirtana movement I will personally preach the perfect transcendental philosophy of acintya-bheda-abheda-tattva. I will take the essence of the philosophies of Madhva, Ramanuja, Vishnuswami.

“From you, Nimbarka, I will take two important principles:

(1) The necessity of taking shelter of Srimati Radharani.
(2) The high esteem of the Vraja gopis love for Sri Krishna.”

Lord Gauranga disappeared after instructing Nimbarka. Shedding tears of ecstasy, Nimbarka left Navadvipa to begin his preaching mission.

In Caitanya lila, Nimbarka reappeared as Keshava Kasmiri and received love of Godhead directly from Nimai Pandit.

There are striking similarities between the Gaudiyas and Nimbarkas. The followers of Nimbarka accept the six forms of surrender, practice the nine limbs of bhakti, and believe in the dasa mula (ten cardinal points of Gaudiya philosophy). They also worship Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana.

They worship Srimati Radharani as the topmost devotee, and they accept the gopis love for Krishna is supreme. With beads, bhajans, and kirtans the Nimbarkas chant their version of the maha-mantra:

Radhe Krishna Radhe Krishna
Krishna Krishna Radhe Radhe,
Radhe Syama Radhe Syama,
Syama Syama Radhe Radhe
.

In Vrndavana, about one mile from Govardhana, there is the village of Nimgaon, named after Nimbarkacarya, who lived there from childhood and later performed bhajana there. Many of Radha-Krishna’s pastime places in Vrndavana are now maintained by the Nimbarka sect.

In Mathura-Vrndavana, innumerable devotees follow Nimbarka’s path of bhakti. The Sriji Mandir, just off Loi Bazaar in Vrndavana, serves as the center of Nimbarka sampradaya.

Sri Nimbarka Acharya ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!