Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Forty years ago, in Mayapura, West Bengal, Srila Prabhupada wrote the following words in glorification of Sri Radha-kunda. Manifesting as his comments to Srila Rupa Goswamipada’s Upadesamrta, these ambrosial words gushed out of Prabhupada’s heart like a waterfall to inundate the desert dry hearts of thirsty souls hankering for love divine.
Please read them again and again. After sometime, they will magically move your mind and then captivate your heart. And if Kundesvari -Radha glances upon you, you may find yourself living here someday serving the eternal sweethearts of your soul—Radha-Govinda -Yugala.
What is Radha-kunda?
Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda, situated at Govardhana Hill in Sri Vrndavana Dhama, are two beautiful love-filled lakes surrounded by kunjas, forests, and play grounds, wherein Sri Sri Radha and Krishna pass five hours every single day (1030am-330pm). The beautiful Divine Couple and the Vraja gopis enjoy a variety of ecstatic confidential pastimes here.
5, 000 years ago, these divine lakes of love were created by Sri Krishna, Srimati Radharani and the gopis at midnight on Caitra Purnima. For Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Radha Kunda is the topmost place of Radha-Krishna’s eternal pastimes, and the best place in Vrndavana to live and practice Krishna bhakti bhajan.
Featured here at Radha Kunda are small replica temples of tall the major Goswami temples in Vrndavana i.e. Madan-mohana, Govindaji, Gopinatha, Radha—Raman, Syama, Gokulananda, Damodara, Giridhari and Vinoda. There are samadhis and bhajana-kutiras of the Goswamis—Sanatana, Bhatta and Dasa Raghunatha, Sri Jiva, Gopala Bhatta, Lokanatha, Krishnadasa Kaviraja, Narahari Sarkara, Srinivasa Acarya and Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.
Sri Krishna and the sastras proclaim that the beautiful transcendental waters of Radha-kunda are non-different from Radharani, and can easily give Radha-Krishna prema to anyone bathing, seeing, serving or worshiping here.
While commenting on Sri Rupa Goswamipada’s wonderful book of bhakti yoga sadhana titled “Upadesamrta”, Srila Prabhupada personally praises Radha Kunda with the following amazing statements:
Radha Kunda Glories
“There is no limit to the glory of Sri Radha-kunda.” (Upadesamrta v.11 pur.)
“The importance of Radha-kunda cannot be realized by other Vaisnava sampradayas. Radha-kunda is mainly worshipped by the Gaudiya Vaisnavas.” (Upadesamrta v.9 pur.)
“Radha-kunda is very rarely attained, even by great personalities fully engaged in devotional service.” (Upadesamrta v.11 pur.)
“Sri Radha-kunda, is the most exalted place.” (Upadesamrta v. 10 pur.)
“Radha-kunda is so exalted because it belongs to Srimati Radharani, who is the most beloved object of Sri Krishna” (Upadesamrta v. 11 pur.)
“Krishna’s love for Radha-kunda and Srimati Radharani is the same in all respects.” (Upadesamrta v. 11 pur.)
“Radha-kunda is superior to all [places of Krishna’s pastimes] because there love of Krishna overflows.” (Upadesamrta v 9 pur).
Radha-kunda is the site of many memories of the eternal loving affairs between Krishna and Radharani, rati-vilasa” (Upadesamrta v.9 pur).
“Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that Sri Radha-kunda is the most select place for those interested in advancing their devotional service in the wake of the lady friends (sakhis) and confidential serving maids (manjaris) of Srimati Radharani.” (Upadesamrta v. 11 pur.)
Serving Radha Kunda
“By serving Radha-kunda, one can get an opportunity to become an assistant of Srimati Radharani under the eternal guidance of the gopis.” (Upadesamrta v. 11 pur.)
Bathing in Radha Kunda
“A devotee will at once develop pure love of Krishna in the wake of the gopis if he once takes a bath in Radha-kunda.” (Upadesamrta v. 11 pur.)
Comment: Snana or bathing means complete immersion of one’s full body in the prema-filled waters of Radha Kunda (not water drops on one’s head)
“Srila Rupa Gosvami recommends that one should take a bath in the lake as many times as possible. This is a most important item in the execution of devotional service.” (Upadesamrta v.11 pur.)
“If, by great fortune, one gets an opportunity to come to Radha-kunda and bathe even once, he can develop his transcendental love for Krishna, exactly as the gopis did.” (Upadesamrta v.11 pur.)
“One should bathe there regularly and give up all material conceptions, taking shelter of Sri Radha and Her assistant gopis. If one is thus constantly engaged during his lifetime, after giving up the body he will return back to Godhead to serve Sri Radha in the same way as he contemplated during his life on the banks of Radha-kunda.” (Upadesamrta v. 11 pur.)
Residing in Radha Kunda
“It is also recommended that one should live on the banks of Radha-kunda and should be absorbed in the loving service of the Krishna.” (Upadesamrta v. 11 pur.)
“Srila Rupa Gosvami has given much stress to Radha-kunda because of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s desire to find it. Who, then, would give up Radha-kunda and try to reside elsewhere? No person with transcendental intelligence would do so.” (Upadesamrta v. 9 pur.)
“Everyone interested in Krishna consciousness should ultimately take shelter of Radha-kunda and execute devotional service there throughout one’s life. This is the conclusion of Rupa Gosvami in the tenth verse of Upadesamrta.” (v. 10 pur.)
“Living entities who are eager to return home to Goloka Vrndavana, by means of attaining their spiritual bodies (siddha-deha), should live at Radha-kunda, take shelter of the confidential serving maids of Sri Radha, and under their direction engage constantly in Radha’s service.” (Upadesamrta v. 11 pur.)
“Raghunatha dasa Gosvami showed how to live in Radha-kunda. Sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih kala-vasani-krtau. Not only did Raghunatha dasa count the holy names, but he was offering obeisances so many hundred times [in front of his kutir while remembering Radha-Krishna and Vaisnava] (folio: 760816.rc.bom)
Books & Radha Kunda
“In my last meeting with Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati in Radha Kunda, he advised me to print some [spiritual] books if I get money. I took it very seriously and by His grace we have now published many translations.” (folio: SPLetter 15/11/76)
Wearing Radha Kunda Tilaka
Three months before leaving this world, Srila Prabhupada said, “There is no harm in wearing Radha-kunda tilaka, but devotees should understand what is Radha-kunda and how to deal with Radha-kunda.” (folio: 760816R1.BOM)
Final Words on Radha Kunda
“The conclusion is that to live on the banks of the Radha-kunda, and to bathe there daily constitute the highest perfection of devotional service.” (Upadesamrtav.11 pur.)
“If one is thus constantly engaged during his lifetime, after giving up the body he will return back to Godhead to serve Sri Radha in the same way as he contemplated during his life on the banks of Radha-kunda.” (Upadesamrta v. 11 pur.)
On November 10, 1977, just four days before Srila Prabhupada left this planet to enter the eternal pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, Srila Prabhupada told his disciples to bathe in Radha-kunda on his behalf.
Srila Prabhupada said, “So you [my disciples] will take bath in Radha-kunda on my behalf.” (folio: 771110R3.VRN)
Summary Glories of Radha Kunda
In his illuminations above, Srila Prabhupada makes four supremely significant points:
1) First, Srila Prabhupada glorifies the supreme position of Radha-kunda and Srimati Radharani. And then His Divine Grace says:
2) We should serve Radha Kunda.
3) We should bathe daily in Radha-kunda.
4) We should live in Radha-kunda.
Sri Shyama-kunda Radha-kunda ki jai!
Sri Radha Kunda ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!