Often devotees ask what color is Krishna’s famous Kaustubha gem, and what color is His gunja berry necklace (plain white or mixture of red and white beads), which represent Srimati Radhika’s dainty sweet lotus feet, gunja mala diya dila radhika charana (Cc. 3.6.307). Which color gunja mala should be offered to my Thakura Govindaji or Girirajaji?
Gaudiya rasika mahajana Sri Kavi Karnapura says Sri Krishna’s Kaustubha is RED IN COLOR, like a uniquely brilliant ruby say some. Kaustubha rashmi pura shonayamana vara mauktika (Ananda Vrindavana Campu 22.25). Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada agrees saying, “Defeating the radiance of the rising sun and moon, Krishna’s Kaustubha mani floods the universe with redness, uditendu surya shata nindi kaustubh acchalato yato jagad avapa raktatam.” (Krishna Bhavanamrta 12.65)
Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja says Sri Krishna wears a gunja mala of mixed red and white berries. During Krishna’s dressing, Yashoda Maa orders, “O boy Shalika, please make necklaces of white and red gunja berries for Krishna to wear today, tvam ca malika sita aruna gunja. (Govinda Lilamrta 3.77)
At the time of Radha-Krishna’s madhyahna-lila at Sri Radha Kunda, one gopi said, “O sakhi! Ignorant poets say that the pearl on Radharani’s nose has become red and black like a gunja-berry because it reflects the red of Her lips and the black of Her eye-mascara. My opinion is that black Krishna eternally resides within Radharani’s heart, which is reddened with Her anuraga for Shyama. So when Radhika sighs, the red of Her anuraga and that dark Sri Krishna reflect on Her shiny nose-pearl, turning it red and black like a gunja-berry.” (Govinda Lilamrta 11.99)
Sri Krishna’s alaukika shrngara ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!