How to Serve Radha Kunda?
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.”
- Sweep, wash and clean the footpaths, steps of kundas and sarovaras, parikrama paths, lila sthalis and old temples.
- Donate money to repair and maintain old temples, especially at specific lila sthalis.
- 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).
- Show the utmost respect to Vrajavasis, temple pujaris and pandas (brahmana guides) at each holy place.
- Give donations of food (sweets, fruits, juices, grains etc), cloth and money to children and needy Vrajavasis.
- Wherever possible plant fragrant flowering trees, creepers and plants to beautify lila sthalis, temples and other open areas of the holy dhama.
- Don’t pollute Vrajadhama with plastic bags, bottles, containers and other non-biodegradable articles.
- 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.
- Help the Vrajavasis who are performing Nama and Dhama seva.
- Offer dandavats and roll in the dust of all lila sthalis.
- Glorify the presiding Deities at each temple and lila sthali with sweet kirtana, katha and bhajanas.
- Hear or read about Krishna’s lilas at every holy place you visit.
- Also ask the pujari or panda to tell you some transcendental pastimes of Krishna.
- Never visit Vraja without hearing Hari-katha from devotional Vrajavasis.
- Inspire and help others to visit or live in Vraja dhama.
- Speak, write, make videos and print books about the glories of Vraja dhama.
- Every day in Vraja rise early and chant, sing, hear and read the glories of Radha-Govinda with a fixed vow.
- Never ever think, hear or speak, criticism or gossip about any Vrajavasis.
- 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!
Jai Sri Radhe
Abundance of guidance will surely help us, to follow the right path, provided we remain under the protection, of our Beloved Bhanunandini Srimati Radharani, please bless all Your followers to always remember Your Kind Beneficial preachings, in every aspect of our lives, so that without committing any offence, some day we will also be able to serve Sri Radha Kunda….