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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The following is a wonderfully inspiring prayer written by Gaudiya Vaisnava rasika acharya Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada.

By reading this prayer and absorbing his heart’s moods, the burning candle of desire to hear, and directly serve in Krishna’s Vraja lilas will manifest in your heart.

Sri Krishna is the dashing young son of Yashoda, and the most charming boy in all the universes. Madan Gopalaji is the wealthiest of capitalists, possessing a vast, unlimited treasury of transcendental love.

Nagarendra Shyama is immersed in the sentiments of ever-fresh and amorous love divine. Ananda Bihari always increases the ocean of spiritual joy. Madhava ever delights in the magical mellows of madhura rasa. Pranakantha is the divine necklace adorning Radhika’s graceful neck. All glories to Shyamachandra!

Srimati Radharani is the life and soul of Sri Vrindavana-natha. As the transcendental desire-creeper of brilliant divine rapture, Navina-kishori Radha is forever overwhelmed by intense, amorous love for Nandanandana. Sriji is splendid, virtuous, charmingly youthful and very playful. All glories to Radhika!

Flowing through the amorous pastimes of Radha-Madhava is a sweet river of transcendental joking words. Brahmaji, Shivaji, Naradaji and Sukadeva Gosvami all desire to see the astonishing amorous pastimes of Lila Yugala Radha-Krishna.

I pray that my mind may fully submerge in Radha-Krishna’s immaculately pristine pastimes of sweet divine love. The forest of Vrindavana is the natural home of Radha-Gopinatha’s madhurya-lilas. The ever-fresh nectar of Priya-Priyatama’s pastimes is always manifest in the minds and hearts of Their devotees.

The blissfully fulfilling, divinely sweet lilas Sri Sri Radha-Krishna make impersonal liberation taste completely bitter. Syamaa-Shyama’s pastimes give everyone the most sumptuous experience of Sri Hari’s sweeter than sweet lotus feet. At every moment, the enchanting pastimes of Rasika Yugala, which resemble a vast transcendental ocean of sweet nectar, display the inconceivable zenith of divine amorous love.

Munivara Sukadevaji proclaims that when one understands Radha-Ghanasyama’s Vraja-lila, then even the most exalted post of Brahmaji seems trivial and unimportant. The captivating, heart-thrilling and mind stealing ecstatic divya lilas of Radha-Shyamasundara are far far beyond the dull and insignificant play of Maya.

Radhika’s priya sakhis and manjaris can always directly see Her playful pastimes with Prananatha. But even the essence of the four Vedas can never perceieve them. The scintillating spiritual love of Radha Rasabihari innocently expresses itself in an unlimited variety of divinely crooked lilas.

I, Prabodhananda Sarasvati, pray that the overheated, mad elephant of my mind may plunge into the cooling sweet river flow of Srimati Radharani’s astounding transcendental pastimes, which can easily extinguish the manifold miseries burning everyone in this world!  (Sangita Madhava Cp. 15)

Radha-Krishna nitya vraja lila ki jai! Jaya Jaya 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 Swami

For lovers of Radha-Krishna Vrndavana lila and sadhakas doing yogapitha dhyana, we herein present Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja’s portrayal of Priya-Priyatam’s Vrndavana Yogapitha from the Govinda Lilamrta.

Yogapitha Mandir and Surrounding Area

  1. Simhasana—Radha-Govinda’s simhasana (royal throne or seat). In the middle of the golden Yogapitha Mandir is a golden throne resting on the back of carved golden sunstone jewel lion with ruby eyes resting on his haunches. The ruby eyed lion supporting the simhasana (lion or royal throne/seat) has its front paws raised to appear like he’s flying. A golden umbrella spreads out above the simhasana.
  2. Surrounding Kunjas—Eight desire tree kunjas stand in eight directions around the Yogapitha Mandir. Each kunja has a small, jeweled cottage covered by intertwining desire creepers. Beyond the eight kunjas are circles of many more kunjas, each one double the size of the previous. There are circles of 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 356, etc. individual kunjas around the Vrindavana Yogapitha.

Area Beyond Yogapitha

In concentric circles surrounding the Yogapitha Mandira and its thousands of keli-kunjas (love bowers) are the following:

  1. A Golden Glen—circle filled with jeweled paintings or statues of mating animals, birds and devatas to stimulate amorous feelings.
  2. Banana Grove—circle with thousands of banana trees full of ripened fruits, and cooling leaves due to natural camphor oozing from their trunks.
  3. Flower Gardens—circle blossoming with infinite varieties of inconceivably fragrant flowers.
  4. Fruit Orchards—with heavily laden trees bent down due to lots of juicy tasty fruits.
  5. Kunja Cottages—scattered among the various gardens and orchards wherein Vrnda’s vanadasis store paraphernalia for Radha-Madhava’s ratri-lila.
  6. Dense Forests—spread out beyond the orchards.
  7. Betelnut Tree Grove—with green, yellow and fully ripened fruits hanging within reach of the manjari’s graceful lotus stem arms.
  8. Coconut Groves—surround the entire area of Govinda-sthali Maha Yogapitha and border Yamunaji. The continuous line of trees looks like a necklace around the island.
  9. Keli Nikunjas—beyond the coconut groves and near Yamunaji’s banks are hundreds of secluded intimate pastime groves. These kunjas are formed from various trees and vines i.e. asoka, bakula, campaka, kadamba, mango, punnaga, vetasi; and vines of madhavi, malati etc. Many richly blossoming, verdant trees hang luxuriantly over Yamunaji.

Yogapitha Related Lila Sthalis

  1. Brahma Kunda: 5,000 years ago and in 2018, just northeast of the Yogapitha Mandir, which is exactly where the old Govindaji temple stands today, is Brahma-kunda!
  2. Gopisvara Mahadeva Mandira: today and then this popular temple is still just northeast of Brahma Kunda!
  3. Vamsivata: today and then this lila-sthali is still just northeast of Gopisvara Mahadeva Mandira! Govindaji relaxes on the jeweled dais (ratna-vedi) here to call the gopis to His side with His enchanting murali. Muralidhara Sri Syama ki jai!
  4. Yamuna Pulina: Just north of today’s ancient Vamsivata is a sandbar in Yamunaji where Rasabihari and the gopi ramanis blissfully dance in rasa [invisible today to most]. The brilliant sandbanks along Yamunaji appear brighter than camphor glistening in the moonlight. With her love-excited waves Yamunaji spashes all sides of the rasa-mandala. Hundreds of private pastime madhavi-kunjas and countless celestial flower gardens lie beyond Yamunaji banks. The sensational lotus footprints of Syama and the sakhis can always be found here, and seen even today by some!

Yamunaji’s Sevas:

Sri Yamunaji loving and personally serves Sri Sri Radha and Krishna in the following tasteful ways:

  1. Water Depth—to blissfully serve Syamasunda’s jala-keli lilas with His beloved damsels, Yamunaji varies her depths to either ankle, knee, waist, chest, head, or super deep waters.
  2. Scented Water—shaking the blooming red and white lilies in Yamunaji, excited bumblebees make the fragrant flower pollen fall into the water.
  3. Colorful Birds—swans, cranes, humming birds, nightingales, and others sing attractively and play on Yamunaji’s banks.

We hope this article will increase everyone’s loving appreciation for Sri Vrndavana Dhama, and also help the sadhaka’s dive deep into the blissful world of lila-smarana and manasi-seva in their beautiful eternal and divine spiritual forms, siddha dehas.

To dive deeper in the ocean of Krishna lila you can read chapter 21 of Govinda Lilamrta, Krishna Bhavanamrta or hear our Govinda Lilamrta audio narration on Soundcloud and mnsaudio.com

Sri Maha Vrindavana Yogapitha ki jai!  Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Yugala ki jai!

Sri Guru ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Part one of Yogapitha meditation is available here.

Mahanidhi Swami

For lovers of Radha-Krishna Vrndavana lila and sadhakas doing yogapitha dhyana, we herein present Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja’s portrayal of Priya-Priyatam’s Vrndavana Yogapitha in Govinda Lilamrta.

Vrindavana Maha Yogapitha

Before Their nightly rasa dance (ratri/nisa lila (10:48 p.m.-3.36 a.m.), Sri Sri Radha-Govindadeva meet Their beloved sakhis in a jeweled temple called the Yogapitha Mandir in Vrndavana. The entire area of Yogapitha appears like an island in Yamunaji. The island is formed by Yamunaji who rushes in from the north, divides into two branches flowing by the island’s east and west sides, and again unites in the south to form one gorgeous blue river. It appears like Yamunaji is holding Yogapitha on her lap with the arms of her beautiful waves.

From Yamunaji’s banks the island rises gradually to a small hillock shaped like a sea turtles’s back. More than fifty types of exotic trees embraced by fragrant flowering vines adorn the island. To facilitate learning lila and meditation, we present the individual features of Vrndavana’s Maha Yogapitha.

Names of Yogapitha

Govinda-sthali is the main name of Yogapitha which amazingly can change its colors according to time and the moods of Radha and Krishna. For various confidential reasons, the gopis call it Keli Mandir. When Sundari and the sakhis see Yogapitha, they succumb to sumptuous thoughts of Syama. The Vedas call it Gopala’s Simhasana Yogapitha.

The Urdhvamnaya Tantra mentions many deeply descriptive names i.e. Ananda Mandap, Candravali Duradarsa, Kandarpa Mandapa, Keli Mandir, Maha-madhurya Mandapa, Radha Saubhagya Mandir, Ratna Mandap, Sathrajya Mandap, Saubhagya Mandapa and Srngara Mandap.

Yogapitha Area General Description

From a drone view the entire golden-soiled area of Govinda-sthali, which stands on top of the hillock, looks like a huge lotus flower with thousands of petals. Each petal is actually a separate seva kunja of a specific sakhi for serving Syamasundara!

Trees: The trees include amaranth, asoka, asvattha (peepul), bakula, banana, banyan, betel, bilva, campaka, date and coconut palms, guvaka, jackfruit, jambu, kadamba, lodhra, mango, naga-kesara, parijata, plaksa, punnaga, tamala, and sandalwood. Water basins of different shapes and heights made of rare gems i.e. blue sapphires crystal, diamond, emerald, moonstone, and ruby surround each tree.

Desire Trees: The unlimited kalpa latas and vrksas (desire-fulfilling vines & trees) supply anything at any time. Fulfilling all Krishna’s seva needs, they regularly give lots of tasty fruits, fragrant powders, clothes, ornaments, scents and gems! The flower laden vines automatically form garlands for Krishna’s use. To satisfy Radha-Govinda, colorful jeweled swings decorated with fancy fabrics and flowers hang from the many desire trees.

Birds: Vraja’s birds attract and excite everyone with their skittish movements and jovial sweet singing. There are bharadvajas, cakoras, cakravakas, cranes, cuckoos, doves, haritas, mynas, parrots, peacocks, pigeons, roosters, sparrows, swans etc.

Animals: Assorted animals, including black stags and twelve species of deer i.e. Renku, Camaru, and Rohita frolic in the forests and nibble on the fresh grass in Vrndavana.

Kunjas: To excite loving hearts, the walls of Krishna’s jeweled keli kunjas have gem pictures of mating birds, animals and celestials. Colorful canopies hang over the beds of fragrant flower petals adorned with comfortable pillows.

Next to the beds are small tables with canisters of kajjala and kunkuma, crystal glasses, flower fans, jugs of honey nectar, mirrors of jewels, pan boxes, and perfumes. Aho! The kunjas look like jeweled temples, but the walls are merely flowering creepers and the roofs are just dense tree foliage.

Yogapitha Mandira Area

  1. Grounds—The central ground of Govinda-sthali is golden with jeweled designed borders surrounded by thousands of kalpa vrksa kunjas.
  2. Yogapitha Mandir—in the center of everything is the jeweled Yogapitha Mandir. The mandir is surrounded by a raised veranda with jeweled steps on four sides. Parijata, Mandara, Haricandana and Santanaka desire trees decorate its four corners.

From the four directions around the Yogapitha Mandir, there are four jeweled pathways down the hill to Yamunaji. Evenly spaced, super fragrant bakula trees line the paths. Colorful well-designed flower beds lie between the trees. At the end of each pathway are four beautiful jeweled bathing ghatas jutting into Yamunaji.

Radha-Govinda Yugala Vrindavana Yogapitha ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Jai Sri Krishna!

Read part two here.

Mahanidhi Swami

One night in Nidhuvana, Vrindavana, while sleeping beside Shyamasundara, Srimati Radharani saw an amazing dream. The contents of Sri Radha’s wonderful experience have been revealed by Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada and other Gaudiya Vaisnava poets. Here we will share their visions and versions of Srimati’s ambrosial dream experience. So my dear friends, please read, relish, remember and realize as you feel the bliss arise in your eyes! Gaurangi Shyama ki jai ho!

Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada:

First we will present his short work, “Svapna Vilasamritam”, Ambrosial Interlude in a Dream.

Startled and amazed, Radhika suddenly awoke and said, “O Priyatama! I just saw an incredible dream. I saw a river, very much like our Yamuna here in Vrindavana. And wandering along the banks of that river were many expert dancers, mrdanga players and other musicians. In the middle of everyone, was one beautiful brahmana of golden hue. Overwhelmed in prema, he sometimes cried out, ‘O Krishna!’ And a moment later, he would sigh, ‘O Radha, where are You?’ Sometimes he became stunned and collapsed on the ground or danced in exhilaration with his companions. He made the whole world cry.

“Seeing these astonishing sights, I became confused and wondered, ‘Is he My lover or is this Me, and if it’s Me then where is My beloved? And if it’s he then where am I?” As my bewilderment accelerated, I gradually fell asleep again.”

Shyama listened quietly while smiling gently. Then Krishna glanced down at the brilliant Kaustubha gem resting upon the vast expanse of His chest. Understanding Krishna’s wish, the Kaustubha-mani suddenly flooded the keli-mandira with a soothing light revealing all the scenes and personalities that Radhika had just seen in Her dream.

By seeing this, Radharani realized the truth of Her dream and said, “O Shyama! Now I understand that You are the golden dancer I saw, and that I too am there in that dance party also in that same golden form. So this means that You and Your shaktis will descend to the material world and reveal Your compassionate pastimes, and inundate the entire world in the ocean of prema!”

Sri Jagadananda Dasa:

At the end of night, Radha Govinda Yugala were relishing sleeping together in Nidhuvana. Suddenly, Chandramukhi woke up crying and crying, “O Shyama, get up! get up” Listen, You won’t believe the dream I just had. I saw a golden complexioned youth whose bodily beauty conquered crores of Cupids.

“Appearing as both Rasaraja and Rasikashekhara, he continually displayed ecstatic symptoms i.e. tears, shaking and thrill bumps while dancing and singing in divine madness. Beholding his matchless beauty, My eyes flood with tears and My mind runs seeking another glimpse. Although golden in form, he appeared like a fresh raincloud full of delicious divine mellows. But now Prabhu, I can no longer see him. I have seen many amazing personalities in Vrindavana before and never been disturbed, but this golden gallant has completely stolen My mind!”

After speaking, Radhika fainted in bliss. Then Shyama lifted Radha onto His lap. Getting a glimpse of this beautiful scene, the poet Jagadananda is captivated.

Sri Balarama Dasa:

After hearing the nectarean words from Radha’s lips describing Her astonishing dream, clever Krishna contemplated His response. Absorbed in His own bliss, Shyama said, “O Sundari Kishori, that golden form You saw is Gauranga, the form I take due to the captivation of Your prema.

“O Priyaji! Seeing the intensity of Your love for Me, I developed three desires: What are the glorious qualities of Your love? What is the extent of Your sweetness? And what is the source of Your incredible happiness? In Vrindavana, however, these most valuable desires of Mine could not be fulfilled.

“I have concluded that unless I assume Your form and moods, I will never experience the limitless bliss You relish. Thus I will accept the effulgence of Your ecstatic conjugal moods and make Your love My Guru. Then I will manifest Myself in Navadvipa in a beautiful golden form as Lord Gauranga. Now My heart’s desires will be realized without any limitations, and I will distribute the treasure of Your blissful love throughout the world. The poet Balarama dasa says my Prabhu Gauranga Sri Krishna is full of mercy, yet being completely fallen I have failed to worship Him.

Sri Vaisnava Dasa:

After hearing Priyatama reveal His intentions to become Gauranga, Radhika became joyful and said, “O Prananatha! Surely You have told the truth so now I know that My dream was factual. Such a beautiful form I saw. But how will we two become one? What will You do with Your mor mukuta, Your vamshi, and how will Your syama varna become gaura?”

Suddenly, Krishnachandra showed the reflection of Radharani’s elegant form in His brilliant Kaustubha gem. Then Krishna Himself entered into it, and the two forms became one divine form whose every limb was pervaded with ecstatic love. Thus Radha and Krishna became one and appeared in Navadvia along with all Their priya-bhaktas to perform ecstatic Gaura Hari nama-sankirtana to inundate the universe in tidal waves of pure love.

The external activities of that unified form of prema were performed to liberate the fallen souls. But within His heart, Gaura Hari relished the prema rasa of frolicking with the gopas and gopis of Vraja. Although I see Yugala’s reddish lotus feet in my mind, this unfortunate this poet named Vaishnava dasa cannot perceive the waves of Their bliss.

Sri Narahari Dasa:

One day Srimati Radhika revealed Her mind saying, “O sakhi, My eyes are always overflowing with tears of loving bliss after seeing a golden youth in My dream. O My priya-sakhi, what more can I say about the ecstasy I felt last night. In fact, every night I dream of this beautiful Gaurachandra happily sporting with His companions in Navadvipa. If the nadiya-vasis don’t see Gauranga one day, they became very disturbed. But as soon as they catch a glimpse of Gauranga’s golden face, all their grief disappears.”

It is only I, Narahari dasa, who cannot see these amazing lilas so my heart is splitting in two and I am rolling in the dust, weeping and weeping.

Gauranga Mahaprabhu ki jai! Radha-Govinda Yugala Prema Svarupa ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

At midday, Srimati Radharani and all the sakhis walk to the Swing Pavilion (jhulana mandapa). Beautiful blossoming kalpa vrksha trees surround the mandapa. The intertwining, bending branches of the densely foliated trees that are all embraced by fragrant creepers of madhavi and malati form a natural canopy overhead.

The pleasure swings suspended from these trees on silken ropes are covered with seats, soft cushions and pillows.

On the pretext of admiring the beauty of the forest, Sri Krishna slips away from the boys and cows, and comes here along with His confidantes Subala and Madhumangala to meet Radhika and the sakhis. While playing vinas, drums and other instruments, the lovely damsels of Vraja start singing and dancing for the joy of Yugala. With their sweetest possible voices, the cuckoos and parrots add to the concert, and the tail fanned peacocks dance ecstatically while shrieking “Ka Ka!, Ke Ka!”. Bees buzz, deer frolic and the entire forest vibrates with the bliss of the festival. “Radhe jhulana padharo, jhuki ayi badara.”

Surrounded by all Their intimate sakhis, Radha-Shyama sit in the whorl of the spectacular 1000-petalled lotus-swing. On other swings nearby, the different chief sakhis (yutheshvaris) sit with their girlfriends. In the east on her swing is Candravali and her party; south Bhadra and her sakhis; north Shyamala and friends; and west Dhanya and company. Hovering in their vimanas, the devas and devis observe the swing celebration from the sky.

Just to make it a super spectacle bliss festival, Vrinda-devi brings colored powders made of pulverized fragrant flowers, flowers bombs and powerful 3 foot long syringes to douse everyone in festive colors of joyful love along with the Jhulana utsava. “Preme Se! Preme Se!” Holi and Jhulana—two festivals in one!!

The yutheshvaris surrounding Radha-Krishna team up together and bombard the Playful Pair with clouds of colors and streams of rainbow hued liquids shot from their gem-studded golden syringes (huge squirt guns). To protect Radha-Govinda from the attack, clever Lalita and Her sakhis form a human shield all around Yugala. In seconds, the sakhis are completely drenched and dusted from the torrential hail of colored liquids, powders and flower bombs. Day has become night from the color monsoon.

After some time, the dense color clouds settle and the sakhis step down from their swings to push the hindolana of Radha-Shyama. Due to the forceful swinging, Radha-Madhava’s mala start to oscillate. Nectar thirsty bumblebees try to land on Their flower garlands. But they end up just swinging back in forth without getting the nectar.

Then a variety of swinging partners takes place. Krishna, with Radhika sitting on His right, swings with Lalita and then every individual sakhi sitting on His left. Then Sri Radha descends from the swing, seats a pair of sakhis on either side of Shyama and then happily swings Them. Then Shyama gets down and pushes Priyaji sitting with Her dearest Vraja damsels.

At the conclusion of the Jhulana bliss festival, Radha’s kinkari maidservants relieve the Divine Pair by fanning Them, daubing Them with sandalwood paste and offering Them tasty sweet fruits and refreshing cool drinks. (Gutika, adapted)

Jhulana Chalo Hidolana, Vrishabhanu Nandini!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

One day in Jagannatha Puri, Sri Chaitanydeva was rescued from the tossing waves of the sea by His loving devotees. Slightly dazed, Mahaprabhu sat on the beach and looked up into the vast sky above. Suddenly, Mahaprabhu began speaking in a most absent-minded way.

Sri Chaitanya said, “Coming to Vrindavana, I saw the Yamuna and the damsels of Vraja. The gopis were removing their garments and ornaments and handing them to their attendant sakhis. Donning thin white bathing attire, they joyfully entered the Yamuna along with their beloved Priyatama Shyama.

“While standing on the bank, I saw Vrajrendranandana playing in the water, jala-krida. Krishna, Radhika and all the gopis were enjoying pastimes in a greatly sportive mood, maha-range karena keli.

“They began a water fight, and everyone started splashing water back and forth. In the tumultuous showers of water, no one knew who won or lost, jaya-parajaya. The water fight, jala-yuddha, went on and on unlimitedly. Nava-ghana Shyama and the tadit-gana sakhis mutually drenched each other in showers of water.

“In the beginning, they just playfully splashed water on each other. Then it broke out into a free-for-all as they fought hand to hand; face to face; chest to chest; teeth to teeth; and finally nail to nail! O, what prema can’t do!

“Thousands of hands splashed water; thousands of gopis’ eyes gazed at Govinda; thousands of legs brought them near Shyama; and then they kissed Krishna with thousands of faces and embraced Him with thousands of bodies. And with thousands of ears they relished Raman’s intimate joking words.

“Krishna forcibly dragged Radha into water up to Her neck. Grasping Shyama’s neck, however, Padma Sri floated on the water like a lotus.

“Krishna expanded Himself into one form for each loving gopa-sundari. Shyama then behaved with them in many naughty ways. Suddenly Radha and Krishna started a love quarrel, krishna kalaha radha sane.

“While this was going on, all the other gopis fled and hid amongst the yellow lotuses. Submerging their bodies up to their necks, only their beautiful faces could be seen floating on the water.

“Radha broke away from Kanu and met with Her gopis. Together they attacked Govinda with full force and vigor. Nothing short of a maha-pralaya of water cascaded down on Madhava’s head.”

After describing His wonderful lila-drshti of seeing Radha-Krishna’s amazing jala-krida in the Yamuna, Mahaprabhu said, “By experiencing and tasting this lila, My mind has become blissful and My eyes and ears are now fully satisfied, kari asvadana, anandita mora mana, netra-karna judaila!” (Cc. 3.18.79-99)

Indeed, that lucky person, who in any place or time sees Radha-Krishna’s jala-keli lila, will definitely taste the highest bliss and feel absolutely rejuvenated and completely satisfied.

Gaura-Govinda Jala Keli Lila ki jai!

Yamunaji ki leheray bole, “Sri Radha! Sri Radha!”

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

Sri Krishna’s water pastimes (jala-keli) are beautifully described in a variety of scriptures. The following lila comes from mahanidhi swami’s book titled, Radha Krishna Pastimes at Radha Kunda:

A Splashing Defeat (Jala-keli)

Every afternoon, Radha-Govinda and the sakhis play in the prema rasa-filled water of Radha-kunda. While in the kunda, they relish different sporting activities like water splashing, hide and seek and battling with lotuses, which will now be described.

One day in Radha-kunda, after sporting and enjoying in different ways for about 2½ hours, Sri Krishna and the gopis become a little fatigued. Observing this, Radha’s maidservants (manjaris) invite everyone to relax in the refreshing cool waters of Radha-kunda.

Radha-Madhava and the sakhis gladly accept the invitation and prepare for Their divine water sports. The manjaris tie up the sakhis’ hair, remove their heavy saris and ornaments, and dress them in fine white bathing outfits. Shyama also wears thin white bathing cloth.

Eager to mitigate His love-fatigue and that of His girlfriends, Krishna enthusiastically enters Radha-kunda and begins sporting like an intoxicated elephant. Shyama’s eyes blossom like flowers of joy as He gazes upon the glistening bodies of the gopis, whose lovely features resemble the beautiful Radha-kunda.

The attractive azure eyes of the gopis look like the blue lotuses in the lake; their faces, flushed with the luster of love, mimic the pink lotuses; their bouncing locks of cobalt black hair are swarms of restless bees; their full breasts are like chakravaka birds; and their graceful golden arms are the soft stems of attractive lotus flowers.

Some timid sakhis stand on the shore, hesitating to enter. The gopis in Radha-kunda splash them with water, tug on their garments and giggle while pulling them into the kuëòa, clothes and all. Fearing Krishna’s attack, some gopis protect themselves by standing in knee or waist deep water.

Smiling proudly, Krishna stands in waist-deep water and begins bombarding them with water. The intoxicated elephants of Krishna’s eyes revel in a river of delight admiring the gopis’ gorgeous figures shining through their thin wet bathing attire. Similarly, the female elephants of the gopis’ eyes submerge in the nectar stream of Syama’s enticing form shimmering beneath His wet garments.

The gopis hold hands with each other to form a golden rope around Shyama. Then they move toward the center, tightening the circle as they draw closer to Krishna. All at once in a surprise attack, the sakhis dump loads and loads of water over Shyama’s head. To tolerate the downpour, Krishna covers His eyes while smiling blissfully.

In retaliation, Madhava drenches the gopis with such torrents of water that they become momentarily stunned. But even then, the radiant loving faces of the gopis remain as effulgent as the orb of the full moon.

Unable to tolerate Her sakhis’ defeat, Sri Radha launches a bold offensive, splashing Shyama with both hands. Using Her cupped hands, Kishori completely soaks Krishna with thick streams of water. As the glittering water continually cascades down Krishna’s chest, it appears that Shyama is being pierced by the irresistible power of Cupid’s flower arrows. Krishna’s flower garland and pearl necklace snap; only His Kaustubha withstands defeat.

Regaining His composure, Krishna starts boasting before Radha, “O Priyaji, now see if You can bear My water barrage!” Laughing affectionately, Shyama souses Shyamaa jiu’s face with water. Although somewhat afflicted by Krishna’s onslaught, Kundeshvari Radha easily tolerates it by covering Her excited eyes with Her lotus hands.

From all the commotion, Radha-kunda becomes scented with flower pollen and honey falling off the pink, red, white and blue lotus flowers, and water lilies. The touch of Krishna and the Vraja-gopis increases the natural fragrance and coolness of the kunda. The musk, sandalwood and kunkuma falling from their bodies scents and tints the water with different attractive colors.

From a pavilion overlooking the kunda, Vrinda-devi, Nandimukhi and Dhanistha throw flower petals and loudly cheer for Swamini, “Jaya Radhe! Jaya Radhe!” From the opposite side of the lake, Subala and Kundalata, supporting Krishna’s side, shower flowers on Krishna while shouting, “Jaya Sri Krishna! Jaya Sri Krishna!”

Krishna renews His attack on the gopis by throwing armfuls of water. To protect themselves, the gentle gopis lower their heads and cover their eyes, ears and noses with their hands. With a thousand eyes, Shyama relishes the tender beauty of their lovely bodies; with a thousand feet, Krishna approaches them; with a thousand arms, He embraces them tightly; and with a thousand faces, Krishna softly kisses the doe-eyed gopis.

Seeing the golden faces and reddish pan-stained lips of Her sakhis turning pale from Krishna’s assault, sweet-voiced Radhika attacks Krishna with redoubled enthusiasm. The constant splashing of Radha and Her sakhis forces Krishna, the crest-jewel of lovers, to lower His head and say, “Stop, Stop! I am defeated.”

Radha, accepts Shyama’s surrender, stops spraying Him and bursts into laughter. Appreciating Radha’s blissful mood, one sakhi says, “O Radha! There is no need to splash Krishna anymore since He admits defeat. The flower garland on Hari’s head is hiding amidst His dark hair out of fear. The water has washed off His mineral powder designs, and the bees have rejected Rasika Mohana’s fallen flower garland.”

Lalita says, “O Swamini! Stop fighting now! Just see how Krishna’s topknot is undone, His tilaka has rubbed off, His earrings are shaking, and Govinda’s garland is torn to shreds. And now the glowing rays of Krishna’s Kaustubha gem have taken shelter of Your cheeks. O sakhi! Don’t torture Krishna anymore!”

The gopis celebrate their victory by slapping the water with their hands to make music, and sounds resembling croaking frogs, (jala manduka vaadya). Hearing the sound of thumping water, the peacocks mistake it for rumbling clouds, fan their feathers and dance madly. Madhumangala joins the peacocks while flapping his armpits and exclaiming ‘hee hee!’

During the water battles, sometimes Krishna defeats the gopis, and sometimes they defeat Krishna. From sporting in the water so long, the gopis’ bodies tire and become slightly thin. Consequently, their bangles start slipping from their wrists. Out of compassion, Krishna picks some lotus stems and lovingly fashions some bangles from them. Then Gopinatha ties them on the gopis’ wrists to keep their golden bangles from sliding off into the water.

After some time, the damsels of Vraja lose interest in splashing water as their creeper-like arms tire, and their braids, garlands and garments loosen. Similarly, their supporters also lose interest in cheering for their own team or ridiculing their opponents. Thus ends the water splashing pastime.

Radha-Krishna jala-keli lila ki jai!

Radha Kunda ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!