Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Please read previous part one before.

On the path of Radha-Krishna bhakti bhajana, one must pass through nine steps or stages to reach the final goal, Krishna prema.

1) Beginning with faith in Sri Krishna (Shraddha); bhakti grows, deepens and progresses successively through the levels of:
2) Sadhu sanga;
3) Bhajana kriya (practicing nine limbs of Radha-Krishna hearing, chanting and remembering);
4) Anarthanivrtti (sensual, mental and emotional, purification);
5) Nishtha (firmness, strong conviction, enthusiasm and mental peace);
6) Ruchi (taste, joy and fulfillment in bhakti bhajana;
7) Asakti (strong attachment to Radha-Krishna with intense yearning to meet Them);
 Bhava (experience spiritual ecstasy, and intense desire to see and intimately serve Radha-Krishna along with occasional deep visions or even darshana;
9) Krishna prema (the final stage of perfect, transcendent loving bliss eternal, and constant rapturous Vrajamadhurya-lila immersions in one’s siddha.

One should be forewarned, however, that the fourth stage, anarthanivrtti (cessation of offenses and all bad habits), is the most difficult one to pass through. It may take lifetimes!

In Madhurya-kadambini (3.16,18), Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti explains exactly how aparadhas and anarthas i.e. offenses, unwanted obstacles and impediments gradually disappear from the mind and heart of the sincere sadhaka. He describes five stages in gradual cessation of all aparadhas and anarthas:


1) Partial—15% anarthas & aparadhas destroyed; Bhajankriya stage.At this stage one is 15% attached to serving and being with Krishna and 85% attached to enjoying his/her material body and senses. 15% Krishna consciousness v.s. 85% MAYA!
2) Pervasive—75% anarthas & aparadhas destroyed; Nishtha stage.At this stage one is 75% attached to serving and being with Krishna and 25% attached to enjoying his/her material body and senses. 75% Krishna consciousness v.s. 25% MAYA!
3) Almost complete—95% destroyed; Bhava stage. 95% Krishna consciousness v.s. 5% MAYA!
4) Complete—100% destroyed; Prema stage. 100% Krishna consciousness v.s. .0,01% MAYA!
Even here however, there is a slight chance anarthas may reappear. Sri Rupa Gosvami confirms this: “Yes, it’s true and possible that even at the stage of bhava or prema, one may commit an aparadha if one offends a great devotee of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Krishna presthaaparadhatah.”(Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu 1.3.54)
5) Absolute—100/100% destroyed; 100% Krishna consciousness v.s. 0,00% MAYA!

For the fully realized Krishna premibhakta, the cessation and destruction of ALL ANARTHAS AND APARADHAS IS ABSOLUTE because one has received the complete mercy Sri Krishna along with His direct seva and association (sakshad seva & sanga). There is not even the slightest chance for the appearance of anarthas or aparadhas. One has now attained the perfection of his/her human life and the final goal of Krishna consciousness.

Thus one can see that advancing in Radha-Krishna bhakti bhajana is a gradual process that may extend for many lifetimes.

In Sri Gita, Bhagavan Sri Krishna explains this point:“In the next life, one is automatically attracted to the type of sadhana bhajana one practiced in the previous life, pūrvābhyāsena tenaiva hriyate hy avaśo ’pi saḥ.”(Bhagavad Gita 6.44)
Sridhara Swami tika:“Thus struggling under the momentum of his former practice, the sadhaka gradually attains liberation in Krishna consciousness.”

Sri Krishna continues, “Unlike one’s previous life, the bhakti yogi will now strive for spiritual perfection with intense effort and become purified of his/her anarthas and aparadhas. Then after many births, one will finally attain perfection in Krishna consciousness, Krishna prema. (6.45)

prayatnād yatamānas tu, yogī saṁśuddha-kilbiṣaḥ
aneka-janma-saṁsiddhas, tato yāti parāṁ gatim

Sri Baladeva Vidya bhushana tika: “Due to fear of his previous obstacles, the sadhaka now makes even more effort in bhajana. And this additional effort purifies one of all material desires.”

Srila Prabhupada tika: “With determination, therefore, the bhakta begins his/her unfinished task, and thus one completely cleanses oneself of all material contaminations. When one is finally free from all contaminations, one attains the supreme perfection—Krishna consciousness.”

The principle of a gradual process also applies to the realization and perception of one’s Guru received or mentally conceived siddha svarupa, siddha deha. In the beginning, awareness of one’s eternal, transcendental female identity as Srimati Radharani’s loving loyal maidservant is slight, and bodily attachment is great. Gradually as one advances in meditation and receives more mercy from Sri Krishna and Sri Guru, he/she will more deeply identify with the siddha deha and Sri Radha’s seva, and simultaneously identify less with the external material body and enjoying material sense gratification.

The material body and siddha deha are like communicating vessels—more identity with body, less identity with siddha deha; or more identity with siddha deha, then less identity with one’s temporary material body.

In this regard, Srila Prabhupada said, “The more we make progress in Krishna consciousness, this ‘my consciousness and I consciousness’ will vanish. So this is a natural consequence. And as soon as you begin to eat, your weakness will disappear along with your hunger and satisfaction will come.

“Similarly, these two things cannot stand together, maya and Krishna. If I am in Krishna consciousness then there is no question of maya. It may be that I’m not fully Krishna conscious. Just like while eating it is not that immediately my hunger is satisfied; it takes a little time. Similarly, Krishna consciousness is a gradual process of advancement. That is the test. If I am still in illusion, then I should understand that my Krishna consciousness is not progressing. This is the test.” (folio: 670116CC.NYC)

Further, Srila Prabhupada said, “Material hankerings and spiritual advancement go ill together. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.27 tika) Material attachment and taking shelter of the lotus feet of Bhagavan Sri Krishna go ill together. Material attachment means ignorance of transcendental happiness under the shelter of Sri Krishna (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.12.27 tika). Increasing one’s love for Krishna is a gradual process. “(folio: TLK Verse 36)

In the next wonderful quote, Srila Prabhupada perfectly and beautifully explains the gradual journey to Krishna prema:
“The development of intimacy between Bhagavan Sri Krishna and the living entity happens by a gradual process of progressive devotional activities. Such a progressive march of transcendental devotion for Sri Krishna culminates in the attainment of loving service of Krishna, which is called prema in different transcendental varietgatedness called rasas, [astonishingly tasty, loving divine mellows].” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.37 tika)

The conclusion is that one must try his/her best to perform bhakti bhajana, all the while understanding that perfection does not come easy. One should think, “Krishna prema may come in one life, two or even ten lifetimes, but still I must attain this perfection no matter what! The joy, the peace and the fulfillment I have found so far in bhakti bhajana completely eclipses and surpasses all other pleasures I obtained by trying to enjoy my body and this mundane world.

“I am totally convinced that nothing else in this world but Krishna consciousness is so supremely beautiful, sweet, blissful, tasteful and fulfilling. I know that I am far, far away from Krishna prema perfection, yet I will keep moving on and on. I am sure that if not now then in some future life, my most loving and merciful Radha-Govinda Yugala will grant me Their sweet love, Their blissful darshana and Their tight, loving embrace!!!!

Bhakti bhajana ki jai! Radha-Govinda Yugala prema seva in Vrajanikunjas ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

One can experience, perceive and literally see transcendental phenomena i.e. the spiritual form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna or one’s own siddha svarupa according to the purity of one’s consciousness. Brahmaji says a sadhaka can directly see God, Bhagavan Sri Krishna, when the mind and eyes are fully purified and saturated with Krishna prema.
premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti (Brahma Samhita 5.38)

To enter fire one must become fire. Thus, if one wants to see the transcendental, madhurya prema svarupa of Vrajendranandan Sri Krishna, one must also have a form, heart, mind and eyes full of madhurya prema.

As GaudiyaVaisnavas we are aspiring for the absolute topmost of all conceivable and attainable goals of spiritual perfection i.e. Radha-Krishna prema, and the confidential service of Sri SriRadha-Krishna in the bowers of Vrindavanaas the loyal maidservant manjaris of SrimatiRadharani.

Such a lofty spiritual perfection will naturally demand the utmost sacrifice, dedication, determination, patience and enthusiastic endeavor continually sustained for possibly many life times. Yes, it’s true that spiritual success in Kali-yuga comes to one and all just by chanting Hare Krishna, dancing and honoring Krishna prasadam.

Although it may sound easy, IT IS NOT SO EASY! There are many levels and stages of purification that one must pass through before attaining the coveted goal of Krishna prema, wherein one will pass his/her days chanting and dancing with Krishna in Vrindavana!

When confronted by disciples disappointed over their slow progress, lack of spiritual advancement, and complete absence of any direct experiences of Sri Krishna, Srila Prabhupada repeatedly used the phrase “GRADUAL PROCESS” as seen in the following examples:
“Cleansing the heart is a gradual process, it doesn’t happen abruptly!”
“Krishna consciousness is a gradual process of realization and purification.”

This post will describe the ‘gradual process’ (anukramat) of spiritual advancement in Krishna consciousness, and the consequent seeing or perceiving of one’s individual eternal spiritual body (siddha deha/siddha svarupa).

One starts Krishna consciousness by hearing and reading to gain knowledge of Krishna, the practice, and the goal of bhakti sadhana. Transcendental knowledge helps us to perceive our eternal individual spiritual identity as atomic particles of consciousness—a soul, jivatma. Gradually purity and knowledge (aka Krishna consciousness)increases to a point wherein one can meditate on Sri Sri Radha-Krishna’s beautiful names, forms, qualities and sweet Vraja lilas.

Although moving from one level to the next may take many years OR EVEN MANY LIFE TIMES, the fact remains that bhakti sadhana has different stages (anukramat) which one must reach before attaining spiritual perfection in Krishna consciousness.

There are nine levels or stages in performing Krishna bhakti sadhana:
culturing faith – sraddha;
meeting a Vaisnava, hearing hari-katha, taking diksha, and serving Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas – sadhu sanga;
performing bhakti sadhana –bhajanakriya;
purification and inner peace – anarthanivritti;
steadiness and conviction – nishtha;
taste, inner joy and satisfaction – ruchi;
loving attachment and hankering to see Bhagavan Sri Krishna – asakti;
ecstatic spiritual emotions, experiences, and possibly a glimpse of Radha and Krishna – bhava;
overwhelming spiritual bliss and continual communion with Radha and Krishna – Krishna prema.

The Srimad Bhagavatam describes the ‘gradual process’ or the progressive steps to spiritual perfection as follows:

(sraddha, sadhu sanga)

“With an attentive mind one should constantly hear, chant, remember and worship Bhagavan Sri Krishna who protects devotees.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.14)
tasmād ekena manasā, bhagavān sātvatāṁ patiḥ
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca, dhyeyaḥ pūjyaś ca nityadā

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: One may ask, “The Bhagavata directs one to constantly hear about Krishna. But I have no interest or attraction for this. Even if I try to read spiritual books, I get no taste and just fall asleep. So how does one get the desire and a genuine taste to hear and read about Sri Krishna?”

The Bhagavata(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.16) answers:
“By nicely serving pure-hearted devotees (mahatsevanisevanat) one obtains four priceless benefits:
a. Taste for Harikatha (vasudevakatharuchi);
b. Strong faith;
c. Surrender to Guru;
d. Genuine desire to hear more Harikatha.”
śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya, vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ
syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ, puṇya-tīrtha-niṣevaṇāt

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: Here the secret is revealed—it’s mercy. There is a mystic transference from the kind and compassionate heart of the sadhu bhakta into the mind and heart of the humble serving soul. You approach a saint and attentively, lovingly and carefully serve him.

Then the sweet heart of the sadhu melts, and he invisibly deposits into the vault of your heart some jewels from the vast treasure of his personal firm faith in Radha-GovindaYugala and his deep taste for hearing Harikatha. Your newly strengthened faith and taste attracts the attention of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who in turn comes to purify you and personally help you advance in spiritual life.

II. CHANTING GLORIES OF SRI KRISHNA (bhajanakriya, anarthanivrtti)
“By the mercy of the sadhu bhakta, one now hears and chants the beautiful and purifying topics of Sri Harikatha with taste and faith. Becoming pleased, Krishna as the Antaryami within (hṛdiantaḥ)personally removes all one’s obstacles and inauspiciousness (abhadrāṇividhunoti ).” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.17)
śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ, puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi, vidhunoti suhṛt satām

“Daily hearing from and serving the beautiful Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavata devotees destroys all inauspiciousness to nil and brings steadiness in bhakti bhajana.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.18)
naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu, nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
bhagavaty uttama-śloke, bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti: By serving bhaktas and Bhagavata, most of one’s namaaparadhas (abhadresu) diminish, and this continues till the stage of bhava bhakti. Anarthas are mostly destroyed, and one attains the stage of nishtha where one can easily concentrate on Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

“Gradually one becomes very fixed, steady, pure minded and free from lust, desire, greed, hankering and other qualities born of ignorance and passion.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.19)
tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ, kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye
ceta etair anāviddhaṁ, sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti: The mind is not disturbed or transformed (anaviddham) by the agitations of lust, greed and other qualities such as anger, illusion, and hatred arising from passion and ignorance, rajas, tamas.

In the stage of ruchi, one loses his/her taste and interest in material objects because one is relishing great happiness by hearing, chanting and remembering Radha and Krishna. After this, the mind becomes fixed (sthitam) in the transcendental form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and one attains the stage of asakti, which means continuous attachment and thinking of Radha and Krishna.

“By the process of Krishna bhakti bhajana, one’s mind becomes enlivened and satisfied. One obtains clear, realized knowledge of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and freedom from all bad association.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.20)
Second translation: The mind becomes joyful and satisfied on attaining bhava or rati. Finally prema manifests along with complete detachment. The devotee then experiences the transcendental form, qualities, pastimes, powers and sweetness of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

evaṁ prasanna-manaso, bhagavad-bhakti-yogataḥ
bhagavat-tattva-vijñānaṁ, mukta-saṅgasya jāyate

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti: As one becomes more and more attached to Sri Krishna and worships Him at every moment which is the stage of asakti. Afterwards, the stage of bhava bhakti appears (prasanna-manasao). Without having bhava bhakti, no one can be completely detached from the objects of material enjoyment.

And without constant detachment, one can never find mental satisfaction. Finally the long awaited Krishna prema appears (bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah). From that arises realization (vijñānaṁ) of the Sri Krishna’s form, qualities, pastimes, powers and sweetness.

“The knots (ignorance) within the heart are completely cut out, and all doubts and karmic reactions are destroyed because one now sees his real self and His eternal Supreme Controller, Bhagavan Sri Krishna.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.21)
bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś, chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ
kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi, dṛṣṭa evātmanīśvare

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti: Ignorance which is the main knot in the heart is cut out, hrdaya-granthischidyante. All doubts, i.e. thinking that attaining Krishna prema is impossible, are destroyed. And all karmas are destroyed because one directly sees Bhagavan as the Paramatma, (atmani) in the mind (sphurti), and also externally with the eyes.”

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti summarizes the ‘gradual process’ to spiritual perfection in Krishna prema in fourteen steps:
1. mercy of devotees;
2. service to devotees;
3. faith;
4. surrender to guru;
5. desireto worship, serve and hear about Bhagavan Sri Krishna;
6. bhakti;
7. clearance of anarthas;
8. nishtha;
9. ruci;
10. asakti;
11. rati;
12. prema;
13. sphurti, seeing Sri Krishna;
14. madhuryaasvadana, experiencing and relishing the sweetness of Shyamasundara.

Krishna bhakti bhajanaki jai! Nava vidha bhakti ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

To progress nicely in Radha-Krishna bhakti -bhajan, we offer the following ideas for your daily remembrance and practice, sadhana -abhyasa. For most Gaudiya Vaisnavas this is the essence of SAMBANDHA and PRAYOJANA i.e. the foundation and goal of Radha-Krishna bhakti bhajan.

Our Eternal Identity

** By nature every jivatma (you) is an eternal servant, part and parcel of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

** As Gaudiya Vaisnavas we are Radha-Govinda Yugala -upasakas, which means that here every day, and forever in Vraja Gokula, we will worship Radha and Krishna in the keli -kunjas, divine play groves of Sridhama Vrndavana in Goloka—the spiritual sky.

** My Sthayi-rati (permanent mood of loving attachment to Bhagavan Sri Krishna.)

Of the five Vraja rasas or ratis, we possess and serve Sri Krishna in the topmost form of madhurya-rati (divinely ecstatic amorous love), with the same parakiya bhava that Srimati Radharani and all Her confidential sakhis like Lalita, Visakha and Tulasi-manjari feel toward Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

** We are eternal loving maidservants (manjaris/dasis/kinkaris) of Srimati Radharani, following the moods and sevas of Her other manjaris like Sri Rupa and Tulasi manjaris.

** For Sri Radhika’s happiness, in our daily reading and meditation, we offer one specific seva (which we cherish most), and a variety of other tasteful services to please Swamini Radha throughout the day and night, asta-kaliya lila.

** Upon attaining Radha-Govinda prema, we will leave this maya jagat, samsara, once and for all, and go directly to Radha-Govinda Yugala’s pastimes in Bhauma Vrndavana.

** Then Srimati Herself and Her dearest companions like Visakha sakhi, Tulasi-manjari, Guru manjari and param-guru manjari will personally train us in perfect sevas, and all the nuances and advanced feelings beyond Krishna prema i.e sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava and MAHABHAVA.

** Our hearts and bodies have now become perfect (siddha-deha/siddha-bhava)—complete and immaculate divine spiritual beings.

** Upon concluding Their prakata lila in Bhauma Vrndavana, Radha-Govinda Yugala, all Their eternal associates (nitya-siddhas), and all Their sadhana-siddha dasi manjaris (us) will go directly to Goloka Vrndavana in the spiritual sky to eternally serve Radha-Krishna in the ever-fresh, beautiful and natural play land of loving happiness—Sridhama Vrndavana.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Sri Vraja Dhama ki jai!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sri Vilapa Kusumanjali by Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswamipada is the best bhajana guidebook for raganuga sadhakas pursing manjari bhava. However, this is not really a book.

Rather here in a tangible and approachable form one discovers an ocean of loving outpourings for humble seva from the anguished heart of Srimati Radhika’s manjari maidservant crying in separation:

“Ha Radhe! Ha Radhe! Where are You now? I beg to see You and serve Your lotus feet in every possible way. Ha Radhe! Where are You?”

Each and every verse of Vilapa Kusumanjali is like a fragrant flower (kusuma) sprinkled with the pollen of lamentation (vilapa), and offered with the hands (anjali) of a heart hankering for Srimati’s eternal service.

Sadhakas aware of their siddha-svarupas or spiritual forms should regularly read these verses while deeply meditating on the pastimes described therein; the services being offered; and the moods and feelings being exchanged between Priya Sundari and Her loving maidservant.

With a purified mind and a sensitive, service-oriented heart, a sadhaka can identify with Sri Dasa Goswami in his manjari form as Tulasi-manjari and the sweet confidential sevas she’s doing for Radharani’s pleasure.

With the mercy of Sri Guru, Sri Harinama, and sweet foot dust of Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswamipada, one will gradually see these seva lilas in the mind, and render the same sevas too in one’s individual siddha-svarupa.

To facilitate the sadhana of manjari bhava upasakas, Sri Vilapa Kusumanjali is herein presented. Manjari bhava upasana ki jai! Guru krpa hi kevalam ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Sri Vilapa Kusumanjali

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami

1 My dear friend Rūpa Mañjari! In the town of Vraja, you are well known for your chastity. You don’t even look at the faces of other men! It is surprising therefore that your lips, that are as beautiful as red Bimba-fruits, have been bitten although your husband is not at home. Perhaps this has been done by the best of parrots?

2 O Sthalakamalini (land-lotus)! It is fitting that you are laughing very proudly through your flower bunches, since the black bee Krishna has left all the fragrant flowers in the forest to search only for you!

O Rati Mañjari! You are the most fortunate cowherd girl in the abode of the king of Vraja! When your mistress Śrī Rādhikā forgets Her beloved sash of bells due to absorption in Her love play, She asks You to fetch it from the cave where She left it!

4 I take shelter of my teacher Yadunandana Ācārya, who is so powerful because he is so dear to Yadunandana Śrī Krishna, and who personally showered me with the nectar of his matchless mercy.

5 I worship Sri Chaitanyachandra, who with the ropes of His mercy suddenly pulled me out of the deep, inescapable, waterless well of household life, which is full of limitless suffering, and gave me shelter at the tips of His feet, that defeat the beauty of lotus flowers, and entrusted me into the care of Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara.

6 I take shelter of my lord Sanātana Gosvāmī, who was an ocean of compassion and who always felt sorry for the suffering of others. Although I was blinded by ignorance and unwilling to, he diligently made me drink the nectar of devotion laced with renunciation.

7 O Svāmini Radhe! The heart of this maidservant constantly burns in a great fire of separation from You. Being thus afflicted and crying with great love, I lament in the following verses!

8 O Devi Radhe! I’m helpless and afflicted in the middle of an ocean of sorrow! Please take me to the wonderful abode of Your lotus feet in the powerful boat of Your mercy!

9 O Devi! This person has died from the bites of the black snake of separation from You. Please revive me with the medicinal lac that anoints Your lotus feet!

10 O Devi, I am a maidservant of Your lotus-like feet, but my vine-like body burn is burning in the forest fire of separation from You. Please revive me at once with Your nectarean glances!

11 O Sumukhi! When will I, even in a dream, be justified in calling my head the highest limb (uttamāṅga) of my body by beautifying it with the glistening fragrant pollen of Your lotus feet?

12 O Kalyāṇi! When will the jingling of Your anklebells, that resembles an ocean of nectarean rasa, cure my deafness?

13 O Devi! When You go out to meet Krishna in the moonlit night Your eyes fearfully move in all directions, like bumblebees turning the whole forest into blue lotus petal-interiors. Is this person not to be seen by these eyes?

14 O Vrindavaneshvari! Ever since some mañjarī named Rūpa filled my eyes with light in Vrajabhūmi, I have strongly desired to see the red lac on Your lotus feet!

15 O blooming lotus-eyed girl (Rādhe)! When my eyes directly saw Your pond, Rādhākuṇḍa, which is filled with sweet water and lotus flowers surrounded by blissfully humming bees, then I really got the desire to taste the nectar of Your service!

16 O Devi! I shall never pray to You for anything else but the excellent service of Your lotus feet! I offer my constant obeisances to the idea of becoming Your friend, but I really relish the idea of becoming Your maidservant!

17 O You whose golden hue possesses the pride of the color of a turmeric-bulb scratched by a fingernail! When will You, having, out of great satisfaction, marked my arms with Your emblems of good fortune that are anointed with Your very lovely footlac, bestow the service of Your lotus feet on me?

18 O Devi! When may I daily make Your latrine, which is very dear to me, fragrant with nice incense after I joyfully rinse Your drain with sweetly scented water and lovingly sweep it with my loosened hair?

19 O Bhāvini Radhe! When can I diligently bring camphorated clay and a jug of scented water into Your room, wash Your lotus like feet in a basin and dry them with my hair?

20 After washing Your lotus feet and brushing Your teeth with a twig, when may this maidservant seat You in the bathroom and massage You after anointing You with very fragrant oils?

21 O You whose lotus like face defeats the beauty of the moon! When may I expertly bathe You with jugs of pure water scented with camphor and flowers, brought in advance by a sakhi who is beautified by her love for You?

22 O Śaśimukhi! After Your bath, may I gently and carefully wipe the water from Your tender limbs with fine towels as the borders of Your fish-like eyes joyfully move in all directions. After covering Your hips with a red silken petticoat, my body will erupt with thrill bumps of joy. Then may I cover Your entire body from Your head down with an incomparably beautiful blue sari?

23 O Radhe, beloved of the Prince of Vraja! When will this person, after washing Your lotus feet, lovingly braid Your hair with the beautiful fine garlands made by the florist girl Narmada?

24 O Devi, may I then joyfully make a full moon-like tilaka on Your forehead, anoint Your body with fine glistening vermilion and make pictures on Your breasts with perfumes?

25 O Devi! When will I beautify Your tresses by making a stripe of sindūra on Your hair part with a jeweled pencil?

26 O Devi! With a steady hand when can I make red fragrant spots all around Your tilaka that is the best enchanting herb for Krishna?

27 O Varoru! Your excellent earrings are like ropes that the flower archer Cupid has placed to bind the elephant king-like heart of the Prince of Vraja! When can I happily hang these ornaments on Your ears?

28 O Sundari! I did not desire that Śyāma would not see Your breasts when I placed this kañculī (bodice) on them. Actually, O Swamini, I wanted Shyama Himself to become Your blouse by suddenly coming and firmly embracing Your jewellike breasts that are more dear than His very life.

29 O Hemagauri! When You tire of lovemaking You lie down on the pillow of Mukunda’s chest, which is as soft as cotton. When can this maidservant decorate Your nice chest with a charming necklace of gems and big pearls?

30 O Indīvarakṣi! Will I ever get the chance to ornament You with blue bangles inset with jewels? When will I adorn Your hands, that are expert in all arts and very dear to Śrī Hari, with beautiful glistening rings?

31 O Sunetre! When will I worship Your lotus feet by carefully putting jeweled ankle bells on them, and worship the petals of those lotuses with Your dearest toe rings? When will I worship Your waist, Krishna’s matchless loveseat, with a golden sash of jingling bells

32 When can I humbly and joyfully decorate Your arms, that are like very lovely lotus stems that expertly destroy the patience in the swan-like intelligence of Murajayi Krishna, with gem studded armlets or render any other service to You?

33 O Subhage! When will that day come when I worship Your neck, which attained all good fortune from the touch of Gokulachandra during the Rasa Utsava, with a Graiveya-ornament?

34 O Sumukhi! After Krishna killed the proud Śaṅkhacūḍa-demon, He gave the Syamantaka jewel removed from that demon to His brother Balarāma (the enemy of Pralambāsura). With a happy heart Balarāma gave it to Madhumaṅgala who in turn gave it to You. When can I hang this Syamantaka jewel, the friend of Krishna’s Kaustubha-gem, in a locket around Your neck?

35 O Kṛśodari! Your waist is so thin that I’m very much afraid it will break when I bind it with a golden string with tassels at both ends!

36 O Hemagauri (golden girl)! When will I fasten a round nose pearl attached to a golden string on Your nose that defeats the beauty of a sesame flower? The great bee Madhumathana Krishna will be very agitated by the honey suddenly appearing there.

37 O Svarṇagauri! When on Your order will I tie the nava-ratna armlet on Your left arm with a string beautified by a silken tassel?

38 O Cañcalākṣi! Although Muraśatru Krishna agitates all the gopīs, I make Krishna spin like a disc with the chakra-shaped hairpins that I place above Your ears!

39 O Mṛga Śāvākṣi! When can I beautify Your chin that is the abode of Mukunda’s bliss with a drop of musk?

40 O Devi! When will I decorate Your teeth with reddish lines, making them look just like pearls with lines of ruby on them?

41 O Gāṅgeya Gātri! When will I color Your excellent Bimba fruit reddish, nectarlike lips with lipstick of catechu mixed with fresh camphor? Will the Krishna parrot suddenly come then and forcibly bite them?

42 With just a blink from the corners of Your eyes You immediately tightly tie down the king of elephants Krishna. When will I worship Your two eyes that defeat the fickleness of the wagtail bird with eyeliner?

43 Just to soothe Your proud love sulk, the Prince of Vraja holds Your feet on His head to enhance its beauty with the mark of Your footlac! When will I make Your feet most splendid with this nectarean footlac?

44 O Devi, when Muradvisha Krishna touches Your lowered shoulders in the Rāsa dance, He looks like a full moon (Kalānidhi) shining with an abundance of lust. O Kalāvati (artistic girl)! When will this maidservant joyfully place a garland of sweet jasmine flowers, surrounded by wandering humming bees, on Your shoulders?

45 O Mugdhāṅgi! O Sumukhi! When will this maidservant sit next to You, who are surrounded by Your sakhis, and lovingly hand You the paraphernalia to offer formal oblations to the Sungod sitting on an altar made of sunstones?

46 O Varoru! After You very carefully cook a variety of sweets for Madhumathana on the order of the Queen Yaśodā, You hand them to Your girlfriends like me [to bring them to Krishna].

47 O Bhavye! Seeing me bringing Your sweets and knowing me to be Yours, when will the Queen of Vraja hold her forehead on my forehead in loving joy as if she is my mother and inquire about Your wellbeing?

48 O Devi! When will I most affectionately bring and present to You the remnants of Krishna’s lotus like mouth given to me by Dhanishtha.

49 O Kuṅkumāṅgi! When will I carefully serve You the many remnants left by Krishna, that are like an elixir of the quintessence of nectar, mixed with other eatables and drinks, as You sit down, surrounded by Lalitā and other girlfriends?

50 O Taralākṣi! When will the time come when I can offer You sweet drinking water scented with fresh roses and camphor for flushing Your mouth, along with a twig for brushing Your teeth?

51 O Devi! While You are eating, when can I lovingly and attentively fan You, light lots of nicely fragrant incense, or serve You in other appropriate ways at that time?

52 O Madhura Gātri! When will my hair stand erect in ecstasy when I place a betel-leaf packed with camphor, catechu, cloves and guvak into Your lotus like mouth?

53 O Devi! While Lalitā joyfully offers arati to You, and the other sakhīs worship You with auspicious songs and fresh flowers, when can this maidservant, to whom You are dearer than billions of lives, worship You with her hair?

54 O Devi! While You are absorbed in an intimate joking discussion with Your girlfriends, headed by Lalitā, I will make a beautiful play bed for You with my own hands. When will You decorate that bed by dreaming on it?

55 O Manojña Hṛdaye! O Sadaye! When will that beautiful, blessed day come when this maidservant of Yours will massage Your feet as Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī takes care of Your hands?

56 O Sumukhi! When will I, like a vine of devotion, on the strength of great arising fortune, obtain the remnants of food that You spat out along with Your gargling water and the water that has washed Your lotus like feet? With love I shall enjoy it in so many ways along with Your other loving friends!

57 O Devi! When will You, while You are eating, affectionately give me, whose heart is dedicated to You, the nectarean remnants from Your lotus like mouth?

58 O Svāmini! Can I ever obtain Your darshana as You walk to Nandishvara to cook for Mādhava Sri Krishna, with Your gait faltering and Your hair standing on end out of joy?

59 Rūpa Mañjarī will lead You on the path, Lalitā and Viśākhā will be at Your sides, Your friends will be all around You, and I will walk behind You holding Your gracefully slender waist.

60 When You arrive in Nandīśvara, the great abode of Vrajaraja Nanda, which is filled with the bellowing of cows, the shouts of the cowherders and the different songs of the artists and panegyrists, and which shines with love, being dearer to Krishna, the Prince of Vraja, than even Govardhana.

61 Surrounded by Your loving friends, You will arrive in Nandishvara. When will I then see Dhanishtha, after seeing You coming from afar, quickly and lovingly bring You inside the palace right in front of me?

62 O Kuśale! You are an expert cook! After I wash Your lotus like feet, You enter into the kitchen and offer obeisances to the queen of Vraja and other superiors. When will You drown me in an ocean of bliss by doing this?

63 O Devi, when can I see Your lowered blushing face affectionately looking at Mādhava while You collect all His food and drinks and place them in Rohiṇī’s hands?

64 O Madhure! When will You gladden me when I see Mādhava glancing at Your joyful and eager lotus face with lowered eyes as He sits in the dining room with His superiors?

65 When will Krishna, the Prince of Vraja, glance at You with His smiling face as He goes out to wander in the forest with the Surabhī cows in whose care He was initiated, being cuddled by His worried mother?

66 O Hrīmati Sumukhi! When will my heart feel great joy when I see the Queen of Vraja, who is more affectionate than billions of mothers, taking eager oaths to make You sit down to eat with Your friends?

67 O Khañjanākṣi! When will I feel a great festival of joy in my heart when I see You being cuddled by the Queen of Vraja, who embraces You, kisses Your head and lovingly stares at You as if You are Her newly married daughter-in-law?

68 O my dear friend Rūpa Mañjari! When can I walk behind you when you lovingly take wide-eyed goddess Rādhikā, who is moved by waves of desire, to the play grove that is decorated by Śrī Hari, as She holds Her vine-like arm with yours?

69 My dear friend Rūpa Mañjari! When will I be able to see you with my mistress decorating Her dearest One with flower-ornaments in the grove-cottage on the bank of Radha-kunda?

70 O Subhage! Can I joyfully decorate You with fine garments, floral earrings, necklaces and so after hearing from the parrot Vicakṣaṇa that the prince of Vraja has gone out for His excellent noontime meeting with You?

71 O Śaśimukhi! O Devi! When will I make a bed of jasmine-flowers for You in the cottage in Madanānandada-kuñja (Visakha’s grove which gives joy to Cupid) which has beautiful gates and erotic vermilion pictures hanging in it, hung with garlands made of various flowers surrounded by humming bees?

72 O Kanaka Gauri (golden girl)! Can I carefully and happily massage Your lotus feet while Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī massages the lotus feet of Krishna, the Prince of Vraja, on whose arm You have placed Your head?

73 Madhusūdana is the crest jewel of clever pranksters! One day He obstructs Your path on the pretext of collecting tax from You as You are walking near Govardhana Hill! Will I then see Your proud eyes crowned with frowned eyebrows?

74 O Madhura-mukhi! When the wind carries Your excellent bodily fragrance to Candrāvalī’s handmade play bed where Mukunda enjoys with her, Krishna finds a clever excuse to meet You on the shore of Radha-kunda, like a bumblebee leaving an inferior flower. When will I proudly witness this?

75 O Śaśimukhi! When will we witness Your ever-fresh water sports with Pranapati Shyama and Your friends all together in Your own sweet lake, which is filled with many lotus flowers and surrounded by singing birds and humming bees?

76 O Varoru! When will the ocean of my bliss expand when I see You being decorated with flowers by joyful Arishtajayi Krishna in a grove with many blooming flowers and bees on the beautiful bank of Your lake?

77 Will the joy of my eyes increase when I see one maiden swiftly and happily bringing various blooming flowers, big guñjā-beads and peacock feathers? While Hari places these things in Svamini’s hair braid, He shivers and Radha’s whole body blooms up with tiny bumps of bliss!

78 O Sumukhi! When will I secretly smile when I see You proudly and excitedly beating Mādhava with Your play lotus during Your love sports?

79 O Subhaga Mukhi! When will You give me great joy by singing sweet love songs with the Prince of Vraja as You embrace Him with Your very graceful arms, and Shyama holds His strong arm on Your low shoulders?

80 O Devi, when You defeat Hari in a dice game You snatch away His flute. When will You throw it to me, so that I can hide it somewhere?

81 O Sumukhi)! When will I have thrill bumps of ecstasy all over my body as I fan You in a temple that gives bliss to Cupid, where You enjoy ever-so-sweet talks with Your lover, Your cheeks blossoming with a smile as You lie on a play bed made of Mālatī flowers?

82 O Rādhe with a face like a fully blooming lotus flower! When You go out to meet Krishna at night Your swiftly moving feet become afflicted with fatigue. O Devi! When will You, although You are shyness personified, call me by name to massage Your lotus feet? Then I know that You have accepted me as Your own!

83 ‘O Rādhe! O Granddaughter! The time has come for Your worship of the sungod! Where are You?’ Will these angry words of Mukharā sound like nectar to me and make me happy?

84 O Devi! Can I serve Your nectarean words with My ears and Your camphor-scented smile with My eyes?

85 O Suvrate! Will you increase my bliss by falsely and angrily quarreling with Your Prananatha, being supported by Your girlfriends, who are expert in helping You in Your loving tricks while You play the flower picking game?

86 O Sadaye! When will this maiden, whom Mādhava knows to be very dear to You and piteously petitioned in so many unbearable ways, anxiously fall at Lalitā’s feet to plead for Him that You give up Your maan?

87 O Dhīre! When will I see Your great ceremonial bathing as You are crowned the queen of Vṛndāvana by Paurṇamāsī’s personal arrangement? While You are being bathed with many jugs of pure fragrant water, there will be a grand festival of love with dancing, singing of auspicious songs and playing of vīṇās and other instruments!

88 O Mañju-vadane! On the full moon day of Śrāvana (August) named Rakṣa Pūrṇimā, Your brother Śrīdāma comes to Yāvata with ten thousand cows to satisfy the greedy Jaṭilā before affectionately taking You along to Varṣānā, where Your parents lovingly cuddle You in front of me as You melt with weeping from happiness and sorrow.

89 O Sadaye! When will You shyly take me far away from Your girlfriends to a cave of Govardhana Hill to teach me beautiful songs in different tunes?

90 O Devi, when will I shyly lower my head in the assembly as You are requested by Lalitā-devī to lovingly read some beautiful romantic poetry to me?

91 O Devi! When will You teach me how to play the Kacchapī vina in a grove that is filled with humming bees, on the shore of Your lake?

92 O Devi! When will You, being shy before Your girlfriends, order me through a hint to restring Your dear necklace which broke during Your pastimes with Krishna?

93 O Devi! When will You affectionately give me the remnants of Your chewed betel from Your mouth into mine, looking all around (to see if anybody’s looking)?

94 O Śaśimukhi! During intense love-pastimes with Your Prananatha You become bewildered and forget Your dear sweet sash of bells in the kunja. When will You give me a wink to go quickly back and fetch it?

95 O Devi! Although You are generally very grave, You once severely rebuked me and sent me away for committing just the tiniest mistake. When will You cast a slight glance on this pitiful person after Lalitā brings her back to You?

96 I am Yours, I am Yours! I cannot live without You! O Devi! Knowing this, please take me to Your lotus feet!

97 O Lolākṣi! Sri Radha-kunda is always the dwelling place of You and Your Beloved. Here only at Radha-kunda I will live and here alone I will stay!

98 O beautiful Radha-kunda! My Ishvari Radha always plays erotic games in you with Her beloved Krishna. If you are dearer to Them than the dearest, then please show me my Ishvari, who is my very life!

99 O fair-faced Viśākhe! My Queen will not leave your company for even a moment! Because You are of the same age as Radha, you are the realm of Her joking pastimes. Please save my life from the affliction of separation and show me my Ishvari!

100 O Natha, O Gokula-sudhakara! O You who are melting with compassion! O You whose lotus like face smiles sweetly and satisfied! Wherever You go to enjoy loving pastimes with Your beloved, please take me there, so that I can affectionately serve You there!

101 O Ishe Radhe! The goddess of fortune cannot attain even a drop of the beauty of the tips of Your lotus like toenails! If You do not bestow the gift of Your darshana, then what is the use of this life that just burns in a forest fire of sorrow?

102 O Varoru! Thus I somehow spent my time at Radha-kunda aspiring after oceans of nectar. But Radha, if You are not merciful to me, then what is the use of my life—my living in Vraja—and even Krishna to me?

103 O Kṛpāmayi Radha! If You are not kind upon this suffering girl then what was the use of all these lamentations and all my service to Your kunda for such a long time?

104 O Praṇaya-śālini Radha! Thus I am loudly crying, desiring to attain Your mature loving service! Holding Your lotus feet to my heart, which is burning out of intense agony, I’m offering these lamentations to them as a bouquet of flowers. May they be the cause of even the slightest satisfaction to You.

(adapted from translation of Sri Advaita Dasji)

Mahanidhi Swami

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.”

  1. Sweep, wash and clean the footpaths, steps of kundas and sarovaras, parikrama paths, lila sthalis and old temples.
  2. Donate money to repair and maintain old temples, especially at specific lila sthalis.
  3. 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).
  4. Show the utmost respect to Vrajavasis, temple pujaris and pandas (brahmana guides) at each holy place.
  5. Give donations of food (sweets, fruits, juices, grains etc), cloth and money to children and needy Vrajavasis.
  6. Wherever possible plant fragrant flowering trees, creepers and plants to beautify lila sthalis, temples and other open areas of the holy dhama.
  7. Don’t pollute Vrajadhama with plastic bags, bottles, containers and other non-biodegradable articles.
  8. 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.
  9. Help the Vrajavasis who are performing Nama and Dhama seva.
  10. Offer dandavats and roll in the dust of all lila sthalis.
  11. Glorify the presiding Deities at each temple and lila sthali with sweet kirtana, katha and bhajanas.
  12. Hear or read about Krishna’s lilas at every holy place you visit.
  13. Also ask the pujari or panda to tell you some transcendental pastimes of Krishna.
  14. Never visit Vraja without hearing Hari-katha from devotional Vrajavasis.
  15. Inspire and help others to visit or live in Vraja dhama.
  16. Speak, write, make videos and print books about the glories of Vraja dhama.
  17. Every day in Vraja rise early and chant, sing, hear and read the glories of Radha-Govinda with a fixed vow.
  18. Never ever think, hear or speak, criticism or gossip about any Vrajavasis.
  19. 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!

Mahanidhi Swami

It was summer 1975, a Saturday night Harinama Sankirtana party, 100 saints strong on the streets of Los Angeles, U.S.A.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Being a new recruit at that time, I was feeling a little sick and feverish so I was not much “into it”. Just then a blissful loving swami with a big pony tail came up to me while playing wildly enthusiastic mrdanga.

Smiling with the intoxicating taste of love divine, that naturally happy swami said, “Hey, come on, what are you doing? This is Gauranga’s bliss party, so you have to CHANT AND DANCE LIKE A MADMAN!!!”

There and then I went whirling, spinning and jumping, “Hari Bol!” “Hari Bol” as I danced “like a madman” down the sidewalks of Hollywood! Little did I know then, that 500 years ago Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was also doing the same.

Gauranga Mahaprabhu danced in divine madness down the footpaths and byways of India while singing the most magnetic and transforming prema-nama Harinama sankirtana of Sri Krishna’s transcendental names.

Mahaprabhu flooded the lanes of Navadvipa with rivers of pure prema-nama enriched with His dancing in the madness of gopi-bhava. Hari is an extremely rasika, Vraja lila-filled name, so naturally it was one of Gaurahari’s favorites.

Dancing through Nadia, Nimai, the genius child, sweetly and ecstatically sang:

“Hari! Hari!” “Hari! Hari!” “Hari! Hari!” “Hari! Hari!” “Hari! Hari!” (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.7.159)

“Hari bol!” “Hari bol!” “Hari bol!” “Hari bol!” “Hari bol!” “Hari bol!” (Caitanya Bhagavata 3.5.155)

Having heard directly from Mahaprabhu’s associates, the Gaura-lila Vedavyasa, Sri Vrindavana Das Thakura, recorded the “all-time favorite” Vraja rasika divine nama-sankirtana names of Sri Krishna that Mahaprabhu loved to sing throughout His blissful, compassionate presence. One can see below that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu often juxtaposed these favorite names to savor different flavors of rasa.

Gathering a group of loving friends, playing mrdangas, karatals, whompers, and divine horns [srnga], Sri Chaitanya sang:

jaya kṛṣṇa murāri, mukunda vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.8.276)
jaya kṛṣṇa mukunda, murāri vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.23.422)
jaya kṛṣṇa gopāla, govinda vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.16.100)
jaya kṛṣṇa govinda gopāla vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.26.17)
kṛṣṇa rāma mukunda, murāri vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.23.29)
hari bolo mukunda, gopāla vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.23.435)

Putting the above divya nama together minus references, one gets a complete song that could be sung on Sankirtana. Here it is (refrain: repeat 2x):

hari bol, hari bol, hari bol
jaya krishna murāri, mukunda vanamālī
jaya krishna mukunda, murāri vanamālī
jaya krishna gopāla, govinda vanamālī
jaya krishna govinda, gopāla vanamālī
krishna rāma mukunda, murāri vanamālī
hari bolo mukunda, gopala vanamali
hari bol, hari bol, hari bol!

During Audarya Purusottama, Sri Chaitanya’s Dakshina Bharata tirtha yatra, Mahaprabhu moved along like a maddened lion (matta simha) absorbed in prema-sankirtan singing:

kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! he
kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! he
kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! rakṣa mām
kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! pāhi mām
kṛṣṇa! keśava! kṛṣṇa! keśava! kṛṣṇa! keśava! rakṣa mām
(Caitanya Caritamrita 2.7.95-96)

Madness: Two Kinds

The English word mad comes from the Sanskrit word mada or matta, which means madness or intoxication. Madness (matta) means to be completely obsessed with, or to be frantic, turbulent, crazy and wild about someone or something. Madness is of two kinds: mundane and transcendental. In other words, one can be crazy for Krishna or crazy for Maya, the illusion of enjoyment.

Regarding the varieties of madness, Srila Prabhupada said, “There are two kinds of madness [material & spiritual]. One madness is for material enjoyment which entangles people more and more in the process of birth and death. So this material madness you have to give up.

“And you have to become mad after Krishna. Then your life is successful. That [divine transcendental] madness is exhibited by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, wherein He experiences one moment to be one yuga. Tears in the eyes like the torrents of rain, Mahaprabhu cried, “I feel the whole world is vacant in separation from Govinda.”

“This madness is wanted, missing Govinda madness. When Krishna left Vṛndāvana and went to Mathurā, the Vraja gopis became so mad that they had no other business than just crying torrents of rain. That is wanted. That is Vṛndāvana life.” (folio: 760910SB.VRN)

“For others, madness is a disease. But if anyone hears about or sees Mahaprabhu’s divine madness in Krishna prema, then that madness will destroy one’s bondage to repeated birth and death.)” (Chaitanya-chandrodaya 2.119)

Definition of Divine Madness

Sri Nama Alvar, the famous Vaisnava premi saint, defined divine madness thus: “When one is overcome by bhakti exaltation and trembling in every cell of his being, one must freely and passively allow this influence to penetrate one’s entire being. It will carry one beyond all known states of consciousness.

“So never be afraid or embarrassed that others may think that you are mad. For that would suppress the display of the rapturous bhakti that deluges your being. That very divine madness is what distinguishes one from ordinary mortals who have no access to such beatific vision.

“That divine madness is the bhakta’s pride. Enveloped in that divine madness, one should follow the saint who implores, “Just sing and cry, laugh, jump and run about so that everyone can witness it.” (Hindu Mysticism)

Crazy for Radha-Krishna ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe! (see part two)

Mahanidhi Swami

Divine Madness of Mahaprabhu

Worried over Nimai’s apparent mental health, mother Shachi showed Him to a doctor. The doctor examined and said, “Nimai is exhibiting madness, so you must tie His legs together and keep Him home. Massage Nimai’s head with medicated oil and feed Him fresh coconut water until his madness is cured!”

A few days later, Srivasa Thakura visited Vishvambhara in His home in Navadvipa and saw Gaurahari doing tulasi parikrama. Then upon suddenly noticing a devotee, Mahaprabhu swooned and shivered intensely in divine love. Upon assuming external consciousness, Mahaprabhu greeted Srivasa Thakura and said, “They say I am mad, insane. What do you think?”

hāsi’ bale śrīvāsa, paṇḍita bhāla vāi
tomāra ye-mata vāi, tāhā āmi cāi

Smilingly, Srivasa said, “O Mahaprabhu, Your madness is good. I also want the same kind of madness that You have, wherein I experience divine love and the direct mercy of Sri Krishna.” (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.2.98-114)

Since Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lilas are eternally manifest in one universe or another, His divine madness is also eternal. Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja explains:

rādhikāra bhāva yaiche, uddhava-darśane
sei bhāve matta prabhu, rahe rātri-dine

Just as Rādhikā entered a state of divine madness [in mahabhava] upon seeing Uddhava, Mahaprabhu was all day and night in that same state of divine madness [in separation from Krishna] (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.108)

Divine Madness in Vrindavana

preme matta cali’ āilā govardhana-grāma

Arriving at Mt. Govardhana, Mahaprabhu went mad in Krishna prema. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.17)

harideva-āge nāce preme matta hañā

And while taking darshana of Sri Haridevji at Mansi Ganga, Mahaprabhu madly danced in Krishna prema. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.19)

Divine Madness Distribution

śuni’ ‘Krishna’ ‘Krishna’ bali, amogha uṭhilā
premonmāde matta hañā, nācite lāgilā

Upon hearing Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu chant ‘Krishna! Krishna!’ the terminally diseased Amogha immediately got off his deathbed and began to chant Krishna nama. Becoming mad with ecstatic love, Amogha danced very emotionally. (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.15.278)

yāṅhāra darśane loke preme matta hañā
hāse, kānde, nāce, gāya, Krishna-nāma lañā

The people said, “Simply by seeing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, everyone is maddened with love of Krishna. Thus they are laughing, crying, dancing, chanting Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.15.162)

With a mere embrace of mercy from Mahaprabhu, Krishna dasa went mad in love divine and began dancing and singing, “Hari! Hari! Hari!” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.88)

tomā dekhi Krishna-preme, jagata-pāgala

By seeing Mahaprabhu everyone went crazy with Krishna prema. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.120)

ye tomāra ‘nāma’ śune
sei Krishna-preme matta, tāre tribhuvane

If anyone hears Mahaprabhu’s name, he/she will go mad in Krishna prema and perform harinama sankirtana to deliver the three worlds. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.123, 219)

Divine Madness & Harinama Sankirtana

punaḥ punaḥ piyāiyā haya mahāmatta
nāce, kānde, hāse, gāya, yaiche mada-matta

Repeatedly drinking Harinama rasa, Sri Gauranga and the others became greatly mad. So they all started singing, dancing, laughing and crying in the madness of divine delirium. (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.7.22)

And with His saṅkīrtana movement, Mahaprabhu made everyone mad like Himself. We do not find anyone who was not maddened by Gauranga’s saṅkīrtana movement. (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.9.52)

“When the people assembled, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu raised His beautiful long golden arms and shouted, “Haribol!” Responding, the people became ecstatic in divine madness, dancing and chanting the transcendental sound “Hari!” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.17.189)

“Like a mad lion, matta-siṁha, Mahaprabhu danced in the center of a circle of kirtaneers. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.12.137) “If anyone, after hearing from Sri Chaitanya, would chant “Hari Krishna” he or she would go mad in love divine (prema-matta)” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.7.98)

Divine Madness & Krishna Prema

krishna prema phal āsvāde, matta loka ha-ila sakala

Everyone who tastes the fruit of Krishna prema will become mad in divine bliss. (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.9.48)

Srila Prabhupada explains the nature of Krishna prema, separation and madness: “We become mad after Krishna in our separation from Him. This is called Krishna-premā. And this love was distributed by Caitanya Mahāprabhu.” (TLK v. 30 p.)

“When one is separated from Radha-Krishna, then all the bodily symptoms of transcendental ecstasy manifest, and one appears inconceivably crazy i.e. transcendental madness.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.1.87 p.)

Divine Madness Is Krishna Consciousness

Dancing madly on harinama sankirtan, being crazy about Krishna, and going mad in separation from Radha-Govinda Yugala—this is Krishna Consciousness. The true devotee is one who feels intense separation from the sweetness in Shyama, and goes mad by a mere remembrance of those first sweet drops of joy in Krishna bhakti.

The greatest Krishna bhakta is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. His madness in separation from love divine Sri Krishna is legendary and astonishing. As Mahaprabhu was, we too should become mad men/women searching in separation for Krishna within ourselves, within others and within the medium we move.

In the following amazing rasa-filled quote, Srila Prabhupada explains Krishna consciousness in a nutshell.

Srila Prabhupada said, “Sri Caitanya, the greatest symbol of a Krishna-bhakta, was mad after Krishna, [crying continually], ‘Where I can see Krishna? Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna? He was mad after Krishna.”(folio: 670323SB.SF)

“This is Krishna consciousness—when one becomes mad after Krishna, thinking, “How to see Him? How to see Krishna? How to see Him. How to see Him? Where He is? Where He is? Where He is?” Increasing this intense love for Krishna.

“When we will be mad for Krishna that is the perfection of life. We should be very, very serious to see Krishna. At least this attitude will help us: “Where is Krishna? How I will see Him? How I would meet Him?” That is called Krishna consciousness.” (folio: 730901R2.LON)

Madhureṇa Samāpayed: A Sweet Ending

“Murari’s mesmerizing flute forces the maidens of Vraja to forsake their self-control, righteousness and bashfulness. They ramble through the woods of Vrindavan like ones possessed, asking the trees, creepers and shrubs about Sri Krishna. Undoubtedly, a colossal maddening-shakti is working on them.

“Yet the madness of the damsels of Vraja is nothing in comparison to the special divine lunacy of Srimati Radharani i.e. divyonmada mahabhava. Radhika alone has the monopoly over this priceless gem called ‘divine lunacy’. And we are fortunate that we belong to this particular Kali-yuga, wherein Sri Goursundar has relished the sweet rasa of Sri Radha’s divine lunacy.” (Analytical Study of Love: Sri Ananta Dasji Maharaja)

Mahaprabhu and Madness! Krishna creates the madness, places it in the hearts of His beloveds, and then relishes the sweet taste of loving separation for time eternal as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We Their humble servants cry in Their footsteps, begging in separation for a drop of prema or a glimpse of Shyama. O Srimati Radharani! With Your power and tender mercy, that impossible vision becomes a sweet reality.

Crazy for Radha-Krishna ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

The following list of obstacles to Vraja-bhajana comes from Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s ‘Caitanya Siksastakam’ which says, “The demons manifesting in Vraja Gokula on earth have symbolic significance. They are not found in the spiritual world. There they appear only as rumors or impressions.”

The Thakura says, “By reading the namittika (occasional) lilas of killing the twenty demons mentioned in the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, the sadhaka purifies his heart of all the impediments, obstacles, anarthas and aparadhas. Then one becomes eligible to read, reflect upon and taste the asta-kaliya lilas of Radha Krsna.”

Until one reaches the platform of bhava-bhakti, it is necessary to cultivate devotion by meditating on both the naimittika and asta-kaliya lilas. By reading and remembering the asta-kaliya lilas (Bhavanasara Sangraha, Krsnahnika Kaumudi), one gets a taste of madhura-rasa. By understanding and appreciating the naimittika lilas, a devotee will destroy all the obstacles to tasting the bhakti rasa within Radha Krsna’s eternal pastimes.

With a sincere desire to become purified of all material contaminations, one should read all the above pastimes from the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. With all humility, one should pray to Krsna and Balarama to remove the impurities personified by the demons whom they had killed.

The demons killed by Krsna in the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam represent anarthas (impurities or obstacles) preventing a devotee from attaining pure love for Radha and Krsna.

These undesirable impurities and demoniac qualities must be completely uprooted from the core of one’s heart. Only cent percent pure devotees of Krsna can live eternally in Vrndavana blissfully serving the Divine Couple.

If a devotee cries out humbly and sincerely to Lord Sri Krsna to remove these demoniac qualities which are represented by the demons killed by Lord Krsna, then Sri Krsna Himself will remove those evils. But the devotees must personally work to drive out the anarthas represented by the demons killed by Lord Balarama.

This is a mystery of Vraja-bhajana. The aspirant must personally remove these strong impediments with his best care and efforts and by obtaining the mercy of Krsna. If the devotee’s humility- becomes very deep and intense, Krsna will be merciful.

In that case, the feeling of Lord Baladeva will arise in his mind and quickly destroy these demoniac qualities. Then one will gradually improve his cultivation of bhajana.

List of Anarthas & and The Cure

Tenth Canto Srimad Bhagavatam

  1. Aisvarya— Attachment to awe and reverence instead of Krsna’s sweetness Brahma-vimohana Lila – Ch.13
  2. Argument— Attachment to false arguments Trnavarta – Ch.7
  3. Argument— Accepting arguments as your guru Putana – Ch.6
  4. Argument— Pointless Forest fire – Ch.17 & 19
  5. Arrogance— Due to wealth and high birth Liberation of yamala-arjuna trees – Ch. 10
  6. Association— With atheists believing in chemical evolution Trnavarta – Ch.7
  7. Association— With proud people Trnavarta – Ch.7
  8. Association— With dry logicians Trnavarta – Ch.7
  9. Association— Giving up association of false, deceitful devotees Vyoma – Ch.37
  10. Attachment— To enjoyment and salvation Putana – Ch.6
  11. Battles & Conflicts— Fighting mental enemies or looking for fight with others due to ego Forest fire – Ch. 17&19
  12. Buddhist philosophy— Trapped in the whirlwind of Trnavarta – Ch.7
  13. Cheating propensity— Tendency to disobey the instructions of guru & Krsna due to material attachment Bakasura – Ch.11
  14. Compassion— Lack of, for others Aghasura –Ch.12
  15. Crookedness— Illegal, dishonest, bent out of shape Kaliya – Ch.16
  16. Cruelty— In any form by the actions of one’s body, mind or words Liberation of yarnala-arjuna trees – Ch.10
  17. Cruelty & unkindness— Due to envy of other living entities Kaliya – Ch.16
  18. Cunningness— Skilled at deceiving people Bakasura – Ch.11
  19. Debauchery— Indulging in sex, alcohol and drugs Liberation of yamala-arjuna trees – Ch.10
  20. Addiction— To drinking alcohol Liberation of yamala-arjuna trees – Ch.10
  21. Demigods— Attachment to worshipping different demigods for fruits even after initiation Stopping Indra-puja – Ch.24& 25
  22. Doubts— Illusions about Absolute Truth and position of Krsna Brahma-vimohana lila – Ch.13
  23. Fame— Destroying the desire for name and fame Sankhachuda – Ch.34
  24. Falsity— Leaving vaidhi-bhakti to practice raganuga-bhakti; but if one doesn’t attain spiritual attachment to Krsna, he then cultivates perverted material attachments; becoming a show-bottle devotee. Vyoma – Ch.37
  25. Fighting— Against the opinions of others Forest fire-Ch.17& 19
  26. Greed— For position, worship and money Pralambasura – Ch 18
  27. Greed— Performing bad activities due to greed Vatsasura – Ch.11
  28. Habits— Bad – Old & new; load bearing down on bhakti Sakatasura – Ch.7
  29. Hatred— Towards others; tendency to harass them Aghasura – Ch.12
  30. Hatred— Towards others because of pride in one’s birth and money Liberation of yamala-arjuna trees – Ch.10
  31. Hatred — Inner hatred towards other communities and groups Forest fire – Ch.l7&19
  32. Honour— Desire for honour Pralarnbasura – Ch.18
  33. Holy Name— Ignorance about the oneness of Krsna, the person and His Holy Name Dhenukasura – Ch.15
  34. Hypocrisy— In behaviour—Pretending to have higher standards Bakasura – Ch.11
  35. Ignorance— About one’s relationship with Krsna (sarnbandha-jnana) Dhenukasura – Ch.15
  36. Illicit Sex— Removing the desire for illicit sex and attachment to it Pralambasura – Ch.18
  37. Illusion— Freedom from the illusion of thinking, “I am a great devotee and acarya” Kesi – Ch. 37
  38. Intolerance— Inability to tolerate ideas or behaviour different from yours Aghasura – Ch.12
  39. Intoxication— Destroying the idea — “I can increase my bliss by intoxication” Releasing Nanda Maharaja from Varuna – Ch. 28
  40. Knowledge— Loss of knowledge concerning one’s spiritual identity Dhenukasura – Ch.15
  41. Karma -kanda— Becoming indifferent to bhakti due to absorption in karma-kandiya activities Yajnic brahmanas – Ch. 23
  42. Laziness— Due to bad habits or attachment to the mode of ignorance Sakatasura – Ch.7
  43. Lies— Tendency to speak Vyoma – Ch.37
  44. Logic— Attachment to material logic (nyaya) Trnavarta – Ch.7
  45. Lust— An external show of devotion while maintaining lust for opposite sex Pralambasura – Ch.18
  46. Mayavada philosophy— Letting the truth of bhakti be swallowed by Mayavada philosophy Vidyadhara liberated – Ch.34
  47. Mentality— Ass-like neophyte mentality which can’t appreciate books of previous acaryas and forbids others to read them Dhenukasura – Ch.15
  48. Mind— Immature; performing sinful activities due to an immature mind Vatsasura – Ch.11
  49. Misconception— Carrying the load of misconceptions and bad philosophies Sakatasura – Ch.7
  50. Neophyte— Strong spirit to enjoy and tendency to perform illicit activities Vatsasura – Ch.11 & read Krsna sporting lila with the cowhered boys
  51. Offenses— Due to pride, one thinks that he is a great devotee and therefore offensively lords over others. Kesi – Ch.37
  52. Philosophies— Other than bhakti, which try to diminish or destroy bhakti Vidyadhara liberated – Ch.34
  53. Pride— Pride in scholarship and material learning Trnavarta – Ch.7
  54. Pride— Pride caused by money and worldly attachments. Kesi – Ch.37
  55. Pride— Thinking you are more expert in bhakti than other devotees Vyoma – Ch.37
  56. Religious practices— Disregard for religious practices of others Forest fire – Ch.17 & 19
  57. Religious principles— Not understanding the purpose of religious principles; merely carrying the burden of following them due to attachment Sakatasura – Ch.7
  58. Sampradayas— Disagreement with other sampradayas and mathas Forest fire – Ch.17 & 19
  59. Sectarianism— Due to sectarianism, you can’t accept anyone outside your group as a vaisnava Forest fire – Ch.17 & 19
  60. Scepticism— Doubts regarding the path of bhakti Brahma-vimohana lila – Ch.13
  61. Shameful behaviour— Breaking of four religious principles Liberation of yamala-arjuna trees – Ch.10
  62. Speech— Loose speech; speaking offensively due to one’s birth or money Liberation of yamala-arjuna trees – Ch.10
  63. Sense gratification— Desiring to attain sense gratification via bhakti Sankhachuda – Ch.34
  64. Suddha bhakti— Negligence or disregard for Aristasura – Ch.36
  65. Stealing— Others’ property Vyoma – Ch.37
  66. Varnasrama— Due to pride and attachment to varnasrama, one neglects Krsna bhakti Yajnic brahmanas – Ch.23
  67. Vanity— Pride in one’s own appearance or achievements Sakatasura – Ch.7 Kaliya – Ch.16
  68. Violence— Tendency of the mind to commit violence to others Aghasura – Ch.12
  69. Women — Destroying the desire to associate with women Sankhachuda – Ch.34
  70. Yajna— Attachment to vedic homas and yajnas, and therefore becoming indifferent to bhakti. Yajnic brahmanas – Ch.23

Srimad Bhagavat Maha Purana Ki Jai! Anartha Nivritti ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

With His beautiful form, fragrance, features, ages, dress, ornaments, hair styles, footmarks, flute and pastimes Sri Krishnachandra ignites, nourishes and excites love in the soft and sweet hearts of His devotees (bhava uddipana:Bhakti-rasamrita sindhu. 2.1.301).

The contents of this post come from Bhakti-rasamrita sindhu (Vibhava: 2.1.301-381, wherein Sri Rupa Gosvami describes the following unique features of Bhagavan Sri Krishna which, although actually part of His svarupa i.e. divine transcendental form, also act independently as stimulants or excitants (uddipanas) to expand the blissful feelings of His loving premi bhaktas.

Reading about these features of Sri Krishna will create attraction in the curious; nourish the surrendered hearts of Krishna’s bhaktas, and cause a cascade of bliss within Krishna’s loving servants.


In his prakata bhauma Vrindavana lila, Bhagavan Sri Krishna displays three ages: kaumara, pauganda, kaishora. From babyhood to a fun-filled five year old Kaumara Makhancora Gopala plays and frolics stealing yogurt and so on with Janani Yashoda and other mothers.

Pauganda Krishna Govinda cavorts with His cows and boyfriends through the meadows of Vraja from ages 5-10.

From 10-15 Krishna Kaishora exhibits His youthful pastimes with the cows, boys and the charming fresh damsels of Vrajabhumi. Upon reaching the age of 15 years, 9 months, 7 ½ days, Sri Krishna stays eternally in this most complete condition of being carefree, beautiful, playful and youthful.


Ages 10-12 years

Sri Rupa Gosvami describes Krishna’s beauty during this part His kaishora age. Sri Krishna’s complexion is indescribably radiant; His eye corners turn ruddy; and fine hairs arise on His body. During this time, Govinda wears a Vaijayanti mala, peacock feather, refulgent dress like an actor, and plays sweetly on His flute, vamshi madhurima. At this time, as per local Vrajavasi customs, Govinda sports very sharp fingernails, dancing Cupid eyebrows, and fine designs painted on His glistening white teeth.

When Vrinda-devi sees this dashing boy, she exclaims, “O when the sakhis see Your fresh sweet smile they become stunned and bewildered unable to reveal their budding love. They feel such love pangs that their life airs practically leave their bodies.”

Ages 12-14

Now Krishna exhibits an indescribably sweet form with His beautiful chest rivaling a door of gems; arms challenging the bolts of doors; and thighs conquering the beauty of elephant trunks. Krishna’s restless flirty eyes move craftily like another Cupid, and His radiant lotus face is embellished with attractive lips and smiles. Krishna’s sweet singing enchants all and breaks the vows of chaste women. Krishna’s behavior consists of lots of charming, cunning actions, festive pastimes in Vraja bowers (kunja keli mahotsavah), and initiating His famous His rasa-lila, arambho rasa lila.

AGES 14-16

Entering His nitya-kaishora period, Sri Krishna’s limbs and entire form become extremely beautiful and alluring with three lines manifest in His belly. This last part of Krishna’s youth is called nava-yauvana, which is Krishna’s eternal feature. During the Kurukshetra war, Krishna was about 100 years old but looked like sweet sixteen!

At this time, Sri Krishna’s youth is distinguished by His special bodily characteristics, dress, actions and astonishing beauty. Now a special quality of sweetness appears in Krishna as one experiences great pleasure in the unique beauty and attractiveness manifesting in Krishna during this amazing period. In this last period of youth, Sri Krishna displays various romantic actions including quarreling with a beloved; dispatching love letters; eagerness to meet and enjoy; resolving differences via a go between; and meeting intimately with a gopi.


Sri Krishna has three styles of outfits which include two, four or multi piece dresses worn according to the occasion.

Two-piece: Here Mukunda wears a golden yellow dhoti because it’s Radha’s complexion, and a brilliant red chaddar, representing His passionate attraction for His beloved Priyaji Radha.

Four-piece: Here Sri Krishna sports a turban, shirt, dhoti and sash. “Smiling blissfully, Krishna wore an orange turban, gold vest, pink dhoti and a multi-color sash.” (351)

Multi-piece: This consists of pieces of cloth of many colors, cut and uncut, suitable for performing artists. “One gopi said, “O sakhi! I feel blissful seeing Madhava so radiantly attractive with His fancy red, white, blue and gold cut and uncut cloth.” (353)


Hair styles: Sri Hari shows four hair styles: a pony tail tied behind the neck; a tightly tied braid hanging far down His beautiful back; a topknot tied atop His head; and floral decorations bound in His hair.

Flower Garlands: Shyama adorns Himself with five types of malas: vaijayanti of five colored flowers hanging to knees; forest mala of leaves and wild flowers extending to the lotus feet; a mala draped on the chest; a chaplet of flowers around the topknot; and a small mala hanging straight down from the throat.


Sri Krishna’s tilaka and body designs in curly patterns and so are made with red, white and yellow substances. Sri Rupa says wise decorators can make additional colors including black as in musk tilaka.


Shyama’s jewelry includes a colorful belt, an incomparable diadem, enchanting diamond earrings, a necklace of spotless pearls, golden bracelets, a pearl-studded broach, delightful rings, armbands and anklets filled with sweetness.


Flute: “O killer of Kamsa, all glories to your unpredictable flute song which defeats the sweetest nectar, shatters sages’ meditations, and continually surpasses the burden of Cupid.” (364) Krishna expertly plays three types of flutes made from gold, jewels and bamboo: Venu: 9 inches long; Vamshi: 12 inches in four types called akarshini, anandini, mahananda, sammohini. Murali: 18 inches.

Horns: Hari’s horns, made from antelope or wild buffalo horns, are bound with gold at both ends and inlaid in the middle. Mandraghosha (rumbling thunder) is the name of Krishna’s buffalo horn. These items along with Sri Krishna’s lovely divine footprints, lila sthalis and Tulasi-devi are all sources of stimulating and exciting a devotees’ loving sentiments for Sri Krishna.

Sri Krishna uddipanas ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami


Radha and Krishna are eternally connected in a loving bond of sweet intimacy. Yet to relish the rich flavor arising from the curious and tender moments of first falling in love, the Divine Couple appear to fall in love one day.


Our acharyas describe the beginning stage of love before meeting closely as purva-raga, which means prior attachment or budding love. In these initial days of Radha-Madhava’s relationship, mutual attraction, infatuation, desire and captivation flood Their minds and hearts.


Many exalted devotees have portrayed this stage of love in their writings. Because this stage of Radha Govinda Yugala’s immaculate love affair is so wonderfully attractive, sweet and endearing, we are including translations of some rasika purva-raga bhajans for the purifying pleasure of one and all. By hearing and meditating upon them, we are sure that your hearts will melt into rivers of attraction rushing to the lotus feet of Radha Govinda Yugala to engage in their eternal prema seva!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!


Shyama Falls in Love with Radha


  1. Meeting

Once upon a time, Shyama met a sakhi and opened His restless heart to her.

Shyama said, “O sakhi! I just met a most extraordinary girl whose face resembles a mixture of Madana (Cupid) and the moon. And surrounding that face is a mass of rain clouds! That Sundari cast Her furtive eyes at Me, smirked and turned away. Since that moment, My heart started burning in the fire of desire. My mind has become most agitated and unsteady due to constantly meditating on Her while awake and while dreaming. You are a clever girl and a good person, so please help Me and show Me this sweet form once again.” (Padakarta Radha Vallabha)


  1. Meeting

One day Shyama described His amazing first meeting with Kishori.

Shyama said, “O, I have seen a wonderful golden girl who just pierced My heart. Lotus flowers blossom wherever She glances, and nectar flows whenever She smiles. And Her crooked glances release thousands of Cupid’s arrows! (Sri Vidyapati Thakura).


III. Meeting

One day a sakhi messenger told Radhika how much Krishna is in love with Her.

Sakhi: “O Radhe! When Subala gives Govinda a garland of golden Champaka flowers, His mind wavers and tears of passionate love flow from Shyama’s eyes. O beautiful girl! Your form forever awakens intense love in Shyama’s heart.


“Vrishabhanunandini! Vrishabhanunandini! Vrishabhanunandini!” is the only word that Shyama says throughout the day and night! Although lacs of girls speak sweet words to Shyama, He does not hear them even in His dreams! In His ecstasy, Shyama can only pronounce RAA! Then tears stream from Shyama’s eyes and He rolls on the ground! O Radha, how can I describe Kanu’s distress? In His miserable state only Your mercy can destroy Shyama’s suffering! (Govinda Dasa)


  1. Meeting

By chance, Krishna once heard someone chant the most astonishing name of RADHA. A few moments later, Priyatama met a sakhi and disclosed His mind.

Murari said, “O priya-sakhi! Who just chanted Radha’s name? Upon hearing Radha’s name My heart moved in many ways. Gokula is filled with so many names, but none of them can agitate My heart like the name of Radha!


“There is so much sweetness in this name RADHA that it automatically fills My heart with nectar, and brings the beautiful form of Vrishabhanunandini into My mind! I feel I am swimming in an ocean of nectar! (Yadunandana)


Radhika Falls in Love


  1. Meeting

Ramani Radha is similarly stunned with ecstatic symptoms whenever She hears the name KRISHNA. One day in the stage of purva-raga, Radha became agitated and overwhelmed upon hearing Krishna’s name.


Revealing Her heart to a confidante, Radha said, “O sakhi! Who just sang the name Krishna, which has pierced My heart and disturbed My mind? There is so much honey in Krishna nama that My mouth cannot stop drinking it. Repeating the name “Krishna! Krishna! Krishna!” I become astounded so how can I ever forget it?


“Hey sakhi! If Krishna’s name has such power, then what will happen when I touch Krishna’s body? Wherever I am, My eyes see Shyama. In this condition, how can I possibly uphold the principles of dharma? Although I do try to cast Krishna out of My mind, it is to no avail! O sakhi, what shall I do now?” (Dvija Chandi das)


  1. Meeting

Once upon a time, Priyaji revealed Her heart to Paurnamasi, the elderly yogini who always helps Radha and Krishna meet.

Radha said, “Who is this playing His flute along the Yamuna’s bank? And who is that filling the meadows of Gokula with the melodies of His flute? My body and mind have gone mad in agitation by hearing this flute song! O Paurnamasi, I simply cannot stop the flow of tears from My eyes. And My mind is so overwhelmed that it has gone blank upon hearing that sweet flute of Nandanandana!”

May we eternally serve the Yugala Vilasa of Priya-Priyatama in Vraja ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!