Posts

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

How should we worship Radha-kunda on Her appearance day in Caitra Purnima (april), and on Karttika Bahulastami (october), the day Caitanya Mahaprabhu discovered Radha-kunda?

Sri Sanatana Goswami’s Hari Bhakti Vilasa, the lawbook (smrti) for the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya, describes the observance of and worship details for Krishna, Rama, Nrsimha, Vamana, Visnu and Siva. It does not mention anything about observing or worshipping the appearance (avirbhava) days of Radharani, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda or Advaita Acarya, what to speak about Radha-kunda.

Nevertheless, for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas these appearance days are supremely worshipable. They should be observed with grand celebrations of fasting, puja, worship, tirtha snana (Radha-kunda, Yamuna, Ganga), Hari-katha, kirtana, bhajans, Sri Harinama Sankirtana and sumptuous transcendental maha-prasadam!

But why are these most significant divine days not mentioned in Hari Bhakti Vilasa? Sri Sanatana Goswami produced this important law book by collecting references from all the authentic and ancient Vedic literatures, especially the Puranas. These sastras say very little or nothing about worshiping Srimati Radharani. And they say nothing at all about worshiping Caitanya and the Panca Tattva because they appeared here long after these sastras were written.

Thus over the last 500 years, the different lineages of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya have developed their own worship standards for observing these sacred appearance days.

How to observe Radha-kunda’s appearance and discovery days depends on one’s devotional inspiration and the instructions of Sri Guru.

Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself, Vedic sastras i.e. Puranas, and our Gaudiya Vaisnava sastras all say that Radha-kunda is non-different from Srimati Radharani, which means SRI RADHA KUNDA IS SRIMATI RADHARANI!

So on Her appearance day in Caitra Purnima, one can worship Radha-kunda just like one observes Radhastami by:

-fasting until midnight;
-panca-amrta abhiseka;
-wonderful bhoga offering;
-astakams and prayers;
-Radha-Krishna katha;
-grand aratika;
-kirtan;
-kunda parikrama & Sri Harinama Sankirtana;
-snana—midnight moon light bath in Yugala’s prema-amrta;
-relish Radharani’s maha-prasadam!

Now that’s the proper way to observe the divine appearance of Vrndavanesvari Srimati Radharani in Her most merciful, compassionate, prema-giving, madhurya rasananda svarupa as SRI RADHA KUNDA!

Srimati Radharani ki jai! Caitra Purnima Radha-kunda appearance day ki jai!

Sridhama Vrndavana ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Since every pastime of Bhagavan Sri Krishna is eternal, at midnight on Chaitra Purnima, the first full moon of the Hindu new year, Sri Radha-kunda is appearing in some material universe right now before the amazed eyes of Radha Govinda Yugala and the nitya and sadhana siddha gopis of Bhauma Vrndavana.

Sri Sanatana Goswami proves that Chaitra Purnima (April 18th 2019), is the real and actual appearance day of Sri Radha-kunda in his tika (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.45.3): “Bhagavan Sri Krishna killed Arista on the full moon day of Caitra month when Krishna was eleven. Afterwards Radha-Krishna manifested Shyama-kunda and Radha-kunda.”

The Bahulastami Karttika Radha Kunda Bath

So what about Kattika month and the Bahulastami snana? Other than recommending daily or regular bathing in Radha-kunda, the six Goswamis also quote Puranas which prescribe daytime bathing in Radha-kunda on Karttika Bahulastami.

Vrajavasis say that on this day, Krishna tested the saintliness of a cow named Bahula, and thus the Puranas prescribe a holy dip in Radha-kunda on THIS DAY. Incidentally, the Vrindavana forest named Bahulavan is very close to Radha-kunda.

Sri Rupa Goswamipada in Mathura Mahatmyam (verse 439, 441) and Sri Sanatama Goswamipada in Hari Bhakti Vilasa (16.207, 210) both quote the Padma Purana, Karttika Mahatmyam which says:

“Anyone who BATHES ON THE DAY of Bahulastami in Radha-kunda becomes very dear to Bhagavan Sri Hari, karttike- bahulastamyam, tatra -snatva -haripriya.”

The Bahulastami MIDNIGHT Radha-kunda BATH is actually a major event for 50,000 or so barren North Indian married couples. In the hopes of attaining a child, they worship a North Indian fertility Devi named Ahouri Devi. The various rites and pujas culminate in a REQUIRED midnight bath in Radha-kunda.

Thus, it seems that over time, the Gaudiya sastric ordained DAYTIME Radha-kunda SNANA on Bahulastami merged with the barren grhasta’s midnight snana in Radha-kunda. This resulted in Gaudiya Vaisnavas thinking their midnight bath was and is a celebration of the appearance of Radha-kunda.

In closing, we include some excerpts from recent posts on this topic.

DISCOVERY DAY

Bhakti-ratnakara and Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya chapter 18) say that Mahaprabhu stayed in Vraja Mandala for about 4 months (September-December). Sri Caitanyadeva first came to Mathura (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.17.155); then Gaurahari toured the 12 forests of Vrndavana (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.17.193); and He arrived in Arita Grama (Radha Kunda) on Karttika Bahulastami when MAHAPRABHU DISCOVERED RADHA KUNDA (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.1-13).

Since then, the old Vrajavasi sadhus and Gaudiya saints say that Gaudiya Vaisnavas have been especially honoring Mahaprabhu’s discovery of Radha Kunda by bathing in Radha Kunda on Bahulastami in Karttika. The Goswamis also endorse this practice.

Both the appearance and discovery days of Radha Kunda are equally sacred and worshipable. Because they are always eager to take advantage of every possible opportunity to serve and worship Srimati Radharani.

Thus, all Gaudiya Vaisnavas bathe every year in Radha Kunda at midnight on Caitra Purnima to celebrate Radha-kunda’s appearance. And they also bathe on the day of Karttika Bahulastami to celebrate the day Caitanya Mahaprabhu discovered this lupta tirtha, hidden most holy place.

There is no real conflict or problem with having two appearance days because in spiritual matters everything is perfectly included within the complete whole, Sri Krishna. All the different spiritual truths, practices and places exist together in perfect harmony vibrating beautifully for the happiness of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

SUMMARY: Maybe not others, but for Gaudiya Vaisnavas there are two appearance days of Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda:

1) To the eyes of Radha Govinda and all the sakhis when They manifested Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda 5,000 years ago on Chaitra Purnima according to Gaudiya Vaisnava Mahajana Acarya, Sri Sanatana Goswamipada.

2) To the eyes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu when He found or discovered Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda in the middle of a field 500 years ago.

Karttika Bahulastami Snana ki jai! Chaitra Purnima Radha-kunda Appearance Snana ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

According to our Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas, 5,000 years ago, Bhagavan Sri Krishna originally manifested Radha-Syama Kundas on Caitra Purnima. For Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Karttika Bahulastami is the sacred day that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu unveiled the hidden location of Radha Kunda.

Appearance Day

As far as we know, the only Gaudiya Vaisnava pramana or evidence to establish the appearance day of Radha Kunda comes from Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam (10.45.3): “ON CAITRA PURNIMA (March-April) Bhagavan Sri Krishna killed Aristasura at midnight and manifested Shyama-kunda.”

Both the appearance and discovery days of Radha Kunda are equally sacred and worshipable. Because they are always eager to take advantage of every possible opportunity to serve and worship Srimati Radharani, Gaudiya Vaisnavas bathe every year in Radha Kunda at midnight on Caitra Purnima to celebrate the appearance, and also in Karttika on the day of Bahulastami.

Besides being beautiful, Caitra Purnima is the first Purnima of the Hindu new year. One can only imagine how incredibly beautiful, romantic and blissful it was on that magical full moon night five millenniums ago when Madhuri-Madhava manifested Radha-Syama Kundas, and enjoyed a festive rasa dance on the banks! Jai Radhe!

** Note: In 2019, the Chaitra Purnima Tithi bathing is at midnight 18th April.

DISCOVERY DAY

Bhakti-ratnakara and Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya chapter 18) say that Mahaprabhu stayed in Vraja Mandala for about 4 months (September-December). Sri Caitanyadeva first came to Mathura (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.17.155); then Gaurahari toured the 12 forests of Vrndavana (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.17.193); and He arrived in Arita Grama (Radha Kunda) on Karttika Bahulastami when MAHAPRABHU DISCOVERED RADHA KUNDA (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.1-13).

Since then, the old Vrajavasi sadhus and Gaudiya saints say that Gaudiya Vaisnavas have been especially honoring Mahaprabhu’s discovery of Radha Kunda by bathing in Radha Kunda on Bahulastami in Karttika. The Goswamis also endorse this practice.

Sri Rupa Goswamipada in Mathura Mahatmyam (verse 439, 441) and Sri Sanatama Goswamipada in Hari Bhakti Vilasa (16.207, 210) both quote the Padma Purana, Karttika mahatmyam which says: “Anyone who BATHES ON THE DAY of Bahulastami in Radha-kunda becomes very dear to Bhagavan Sri Hari, karttike- bahulastamyam, tatra -snatva -haripriya.”

There is no real conflict or problem with having two appearance days because in spiritual matters everything is perfectly included within the complete whole, Sri Krishna. All the different spiritual truths, practices and places exist together in perfect harmony vibrating beautifully for the happiness of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

SUMMARY: Thus for the last five-hundred years, Gaudiya Vaisnavas have been worshiping and bathing in Radha Kunda to celebrate both these wonderful days!

In other words, there are two appearance days:

1) To the eyes of Radha Govinda and all the sakhis when they manifested it 5,000 years ago;

2) To the eyes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu when He found it in the middle of a field 500 years ago.

Karttika Bahulastami ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Chaitra Purnima Radha-kunda Appearance ki jai!