Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
To glorify Priya Swamini Vrndavanesvari Srimati Radharani on Her most beautiful, beneficent, and bountiful appearance day, this post will philosophically describe Radhika’s unlimited sweet love, power and grace i.e. bhakti, hladini-sakti and krpa.
The essence of Krishna bhakti is service—the happy-minded, selfless, loving service of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The devotee serves Sri Krishna simply to please Him and not for anything else. Because serving Krishna is the natural function of the soul, it naturally gives one inner pleasure and satisfaction. The nature of bhakti is that that by pleasing Krishna, the devotee automatically feels blissful. Krishna’s seva is BLISS!
However, if selfishness or personal desires taint one’s service attitude, one is deprived of the full joy and delight naturally arising from pure bhakti.
In Krishna’s spiritual realm of Goloka Vrndavana where divine love reigns, to serve is to love. In love, self-sacrifice is self-realization and self-effacement is self-fulfillment. In love, one feels deficient without the other, so each wants to draw close to the other to charm the other by their love and service.
In the Bhagavan bhakti prema sambandha, Sri Krishna feels deficient without His devotee, so He draws himself close to the bhakta to realize Himself more fully through love and service to His devotee. Sri Krishna derives greater pleasure in being controlled by his devotee than in controlling His devotee.
In suddha-bhakti i.e. transcendental pure devotion to Sri Krishna, there is no place for karma, jnana or vairagya, action, knowledge and detachment, still they are present. To develop deep faith and exclusive devotion to Sri Krishna, every devotee must have some knowledge, Krishna tattva-jnana, of his/her object of devotion—Bhagavan Sri Krishna, His transcendental forms, qualities, and Krishna’s relationship with the rest of the world.
Suddha Krishna bhakti also includes vairagya, detachment, in the sense that a devotee dedicates all the objects of his/her world in the service of Sri Krishna. By Krishna’s seva a devotee’s material cravings and impulses are transformed and purified.
The infusion of transcendental Krishna bhakti into our lives changes the very nature of our natural urges by turning them into transcendental urges to please and love the most beautiful one, Syamasundara. Any bhakta can experience that material urges sear with pain, whereas spiritual urges surge with delight!
How is it that the practice of Krishna bhakti bhajana brings a new and special joy? Krishna bhakti enters the heart and mind to rejuvenate and reform our lives according to spiritual principles and a blissful, transcendental lifestyle. Bhakti works on one’s entire personality, and it takes different shapes in knowledge, devotion and service.
In knowledge—bhakti is divine curiosity to learn all about Krishna. In devotional expressions—bhakti is the integrating force giving the power and drive to act for Krishna’s joy. And in Krishna’s service—bhakti creates the will to continue serving, pleasing and loving Sri Krishna forever!
What is the interplay of knowledge and bliss in Krishna bhakti? Sastras say Srimati Radharani is the perfect embodiment of Sri Krishna’s internal love/ bliss potency called hladini-sakti. Within bhaktas, Radhika’s divine power of hladini-sakti acts forcefully acts to bring them into a close and intimate relationship with Sri Krishna.
Such intimacy with Krishna then results in deeper knowledge of Krishna, followed in turn by the bhakta’s active expressions of love and service to Krishna for His divine pleasure. Thus bhakti and knowledge mutually nourish and expand each other for the benefit both, Bhagavan and the bhakta. (adapted, “Philosophy & Religion of Sri Caitanya”, O.B.L. Kapoor)
Radhastami katha ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Sri Krishna concludes His teaching on dhyana-yoga, which means, “divine communion through self-control and meditation”, by saying that the bhakti-yogi or Krishna bhakta is the yuktatamo yogi, the greatest yogi. (Bhagavat Gita 6.47)
Before reaching this conclusion, however, Krishna gives important instructions on yoga that apply to all classes of transcendentalists. Of course, as Krishna bhaktas our dhyana yoga is mainly chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra along with meditation upon its meaning, and the divine forms and pastimes of Radha and Krishna fully present within the mantra.
To improve our understanding and practices of devotion, we will examine Krishna’s universal teachings on yoga presented in chapter six of Bhagavad Gita.
Verse 37:
Why does a devotee fall down? Sri Krishna answers, “A devotee falls down from the path of bhakti-yoga because of being negligent in his practices, calita manash yogat.”
Srila Prabhupada explains, “Despite constant endeavor [in sadhana bhakti], one may fail for many reasons. First of all, one may not be following the process [rules of vaidhi-sadhana]. Or due to the attraction of Maya, one may deviate from the true path [of bhakti yoga].”
The message is clear here: Insincerity in bhakti bhajana, and succumbing to the allurements of illusion will certainly deviate one’s mind from the path of pure bhakti, calita manasah.
So how to keep from falling down? Earlier in verse 35, Sri Krishna answers, “You can prevent mental and practical deviation by controlling the mind through abhyasa and vairagya, constant practice and renunciation or austerities.”
Verse 40:
Here Sri Krishna describes the destination of the fallen devotee. “One who walks the path of virtue is never overcome by evil.” The word never is an absolute adverb which means never at any time now or in the future will a Krishna bhakta become degraded, durgatim gacchati.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura: “Krishna is saying here that the devotee, treading the path leading to eternal good, can never be subject to an evil future.”
Srila Prabhupada: “In this verse, Sri Krishna is telling that the unsuccessful transcendentalist need not worry, because the auspicious practices of Krishna consciousness (kalyana-krt) are never forgotten. And one will continue to practice devotional service even if he is lowborn in the next life.”
Here Sri Krishna is speaking like a fatherly guru to all of us, His devotee sons and daughters. By using the word tata, meaning “son”, the all-benevolent, Supreme Father Sri Krishna is showing His love for us. Krishna is assuring us that the future will always be bright—full of the light and hope of good fortune, kalyana.
Verses 41 -42:
In verses 41-42, Sri Krishna assures that in his future births the unsuccessful devotee will attain material happiness and eventually liberation in Krishna prema.
Verse 41:
What happens to a devotee who falls down after a short time of practicing Krishna consciousness? Krishna answers, “He will enjoy happiness in heaven, and then take birth in a religious or wealthy family, shucinam shrimatam gehe, yoga brashta abhijayate.
Srila Prabhupada: “Devotees who do not achieve the highest perfection of Krishna consciousness due to material allurements are allowed, by the grace of Lord Sri Krishna, to make full utilization of their material propensities. And after that, they are given opportunities to live prosperous lives, so that they may take advantage of the facilities and elevate themselves to full Krishna consciousness.”
Srila Prabhupada mentioned this exact point in a letter he wrote to a disciple named Jayananda Dasa just after he left his body. “I hope at the time of your death you were remembering Krishna and as such, you have been promoted to the eternal association of Krishna. If not, if you had any tinge of material desire, you have gone to the celestial kingdom to live with the demigods for many thousands of years and enjoy the most opulent life of material existence.
“From there you can promote yourself to the spiritual world. But even if one fails to promote himself to the spiritual world, at that time he comes down again on the surface of this globe and takes birth in a big family like a yogis, brahmanas, or an aristocratic family, where there is again chance of reviving Krishna Consciousness.” (May 5, 1977)
Destiny or divine will sometimes manifests desires to enjoy within a devotee. Krishna says he will get that in his next life in heaven. Eventually exhausting his enjoying propensity, he will be reborn in a favorable situation to continue the practice of Krishna consciousness.
Verse 42:
Here Krishna describes the destiny of a devotee who does not attain perfection, even after practicing for a long time. “He will take birth in a family of wise transcendentalists, kule bhavati dhimatam.” Srila Prabhupada says, “By taking birth in a family of wise men, the devotee will receive spiritual impetus from the very beginning of his life.”
Thus the advanced devotee, who fails to attain Krishna prema in this life, will not stopover in heaven. He will be reborn directly in an intelligent, faithful family practicing bhakti yoga or Krishna consciousness. O how merciful is Shyama!
Verse 43:
Srila Prabhupada comments, “By the grace of Lord Sri Krishna the devotee gets repeated opportunities to perfect his Krishna consciousness.”
Verse 45:
Here, Srila Prabhupada very nicely summarizes the whole discussion about the destiny of the unsuccessful bhakta yogi, the devotee of Sri Krishna:
“A person born in a particularly righteous, aristocratic or sacred family becomes conscious of his favorable condition for executing [bhakti] yoga practice. With determination, therefore, he begins his unfinished task, and thus he completely cleanses himself of all material contaminations. When he is finally free from all contaminations, he attains the supreme perfection—Krishna consciousness.”
The path of devotion to perfection in prema is indeed difficult, yet blissful at the same time. Perseverance in practice, strict following of Guru’s guidance, and a humble heart softened by compassion for others will surely move us quickly down the road to Krishna.
Anything and everything is possible by the mercy of Sri Krishna and Sri Guru. Yes, in this very life we can attain Krishna prema, and live forever in Vrindavana lovingly serving Radha-Govinda in the bowers of Vraja. But even if we don’t make it in this one, the merciful Lord Sri Krishna guarantees in these verses that success is sure in a future life or two.
Sri Krishna krpa ki jai ho!!
Krishna bhakti yogi ki jai! Pure devotional service ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

An exquisite line of mountains called Govardhana stretches down the middle of Vrindavana. Giriraja’s thousands of peaks appear like the thousands of hands and feet of the purusa avatara. Many smaller hills surround these peaks, and many jeweled plateaus and lakes like Radha-kunda provide additional beauty. In this way Giriraja appears just like a romantic hero decorated with many jeweled bracelets and earrings. Just as Giriraja contains many minerals (dhatus) of red clay and arsenics, similarly, the Sanskrit language features a variety of word roots (dhatus).

By the Lord’s grace Dhruva traveled beyond Maharloka. Similarly, by the mercy of the Lord, Govardhana has surpassed the splendor of Vaikuntha and become famous as the best of mountains. Just as Kartikeya, the commander who is difficult to conquer, supports the king of heaven, Govardhana holds many difficult to enter caves. Many snakes surround the valuable sandalwood trees adorning the Malaya Mountain, but there are no snakes guarding the unlimited treasures found on Govardhana Hill.

Lord Siva holds the moon in his topknot, but Giriraja’s peaks touch the moon. Siva is fearsome, but Govardhana is kind and gentle. As Kṛṣṇa is adorned with forest garlands that reach to His ankles, Govardhana is decorated with long lines of forests. Cascading waterfalls caress all sides of Govardhana. Bhu-mandala is made pleasant by the Loka-loka mountain range, whereas Govardhana pleases the eyes of all devotees. Govardhana is made glorious by banyan trees that distribute joy to everyone. The interiors of its caves are the embodiments of bliss. It is Govardhana’s nature to protect the deer and other forest creatures.

Mt. Kailasa, Mt. Meru, or even the best of metaphors cannot compare with the unlimited glories of Govardhana. Kailasa is composed of silver, and golden Mt. Meru is born of the material nature. They pale in comparison with Govardhana, which is eternally manifested, and made of inconceivably precious jewels.

Just as dancers enhance the sweetness of theatrical performances, the sonalu trees increase the sweetness of seeing Govardhana Hill. The streams flowing by the roots of the many sandalwood trees growing there pick up the divine fragrance and pass it on to the valleys and grass growing on Govardhana. When all the different animals such as rurus, camaras, gavayas, gandharvas, srmaras, rohisas, sasa, and sambaras bathe in the parrot-green colored streams flowing under the densely foliated green trees they appear to be made of emeralds. No one can tell whether they are real animals or made out of green jewels.

The crystal rocks of Govardhana reflect the blue rays of its sapphires to appear like Balarama dressed in blue cloth. The large emeralds reflecting the golden rocks look like Narayana adorned in His golden dhoti. The yellow sapphire platforms standing on beds of diamonds appear like Siva and Gauri. The waterfalls pouring over the emerald cliffs look like Lord Rama carrying His curved bow. The ruby platforms standing on silver bases appear like Brahma mounted on his swan. The clear waterfalls rapidly falling from the tall peaks of Govardhana carry the reflections of many multi-colored jewels and appear like long rainbows. The light coming from the various stones and jewels in the plateaus reflect in the sky like a rainbow. The effulgence from the peaks of vaidurya gems appears like the tail of a comet streaking over Govardhana, or like a flock of flying gray birds.

Govardhana offers many thrones made of cooling stones for the sitting pleasure of Kṛṣṇa. Its flat, jeweled-studded areas await to serve Kṛṣṇa’s rasa dance. Its wonderful caves look more enchanting than temples made of jewels. For serving Kṛṣṇa there are many flower canopies that pour down fragrant pollen when shaken by the wind. The dense cool forests provide soothing relief from the hot sun. Animals such as deer and tigers live there in peace and harmony.

An excerpt from the book Ananda Vrndavana Campu.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The Vraja gopis are glorified throughout the Vedas, and by Sri Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as being the best devotees of Krsna, because they offer completely surrendered, selfless service at the lotus feet of Sri Krsna. But the humble gopis themselves praise Sri Giriraja as the best devotee: “Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krsna and Balarama, along with Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities—water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krsna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.18)

Sri Giriraja plays many roles in the pastimes of Sri Krsna. He is Krsna’s friend, protector, playland and He always looks after all of Krsna’s needs. He witnesses Krsna’s most intimate conjugal pastimes. Every blade of grass, every stream, tree, creeper and flower bears witness to Krsna’s unlimited pastimes.

An excerpt from the book Appreciating Sri Vrndavana Dhama.

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:

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!