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

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!