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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

There is an amazing story behind the revival of the original and actual appearance day of Sri Radha Kunda. It was 2017, just a day before Caitra Purnima 2017, when my divine master, Radha-Krishna nitya Vrndavana lila pravista, 108 Pandit Sri Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja revealed the amazing hidden truth.

Gurudeva: “Do you know that Karttika Bahulastami is not the appearance day of Radha Kunda?”

M.Madan Gopal Das: “O, Gurudeva, really? For thirty-five years we’ve been midnight bathing in Radha-kunda on that day thinking it was the appearance day.”

Gurudeva: “There is no sastra proof for that. In Mathura Mahatmyam, Sri Rupa Gosvamipada says that devotees should bathe in Radha-kunda on Karttika Bahulastami to Bhagavan Sri Hari. It says nothing about appearance day or a midnight snana.

“However, Sri Jiva Goswami says (SB 10.45.3 tika) that Radha-kunda appeared at midnight on Caitra Purnima. Thus according to our mahajanas, all Gaudiya Vaisnavas should bathe at midnight on this day to honor and respect the ACTUAL AND REAL APPEARANCE DAY OF RADHA KUNDA, Radha-Krishna’s most merciful lila of manifesting these magnificent kundas!”

So, listen, I want you to spread this truth far and wide, and by doing that you will make Srimati Radharani very happy. Just go rent an auto rikshaw, fix an amplifier and a big, big silver speaker on it, and ride all around Vraja Mandala telling everyone in Hindi this truth.”

M.Madan Gopal Das: “Gurudeva, are you serious, you really want us to do that? We don’t know Hindi so well, but we will try in our own way through I-Net and E mails to inform all devotees about this.”

Since Gurudeva was 99 years old at that time, I never expected him to say yes, but nevertheless, I curiously then asked him: “Gurudeva, would you like to come take Radha-kunda midnight snana tonight to inaugurate the revival of the original appearance day of Sri Radha-kunda?”

Gurudeva: Much to my surprise, Pandit Baba innocently looked at me like a child and said enthusiastically, “YES, I WILL TAKE MIDNIGHT SNANA TOO!”

Jai Gurudeva!

That first Caitra Purnima Radha-kunda appearance day was honored by a party of five—Sri Pandit Baba, Sri Haricarana dasji, Ananta dasji, ourselves and two Russian devotees. And thus it began in 2017, “The First Annual Original Caitra Purnima Midnight Appearance Day Festival of Sri Radha-kunda.”

On behalf of Sri Sri Radha-Syama, Sri Advaita Prabhu, Sri Jiva Goswami and our beloved eternal master, we invite all the devotees to come next year and every year for a midnight bliss bath in Sri Radha-kunda on Caitra Purnima.

Sri Radha-kunda Dhama ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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

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!