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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

According to Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya tattva acarya Sri Jiva Goswamipada, Sri Sri Radha-Krishna personally manifested Shyamkund and Radhakund on midnight of Chaitra Purnima.

He revealed this truth in his tika to Srimad Bhagavatam (10.45.3), and in Gopal Champu (I. 31.8), wherein Sri Jiva Goswamipada says: “When the full moon of the Chaitra month is in the CHITRA NAKSATRA (star), that is the EXACT TIME OF THE APPEARANCE OF Radha Kund, yada-hi–CHITRA–yuta–purna–candram-purnimam-anu–turnita–cetah.”

In 2019, ISKCON GBC passed the following resolution: “According to research, the observance of “the appearance of Radha-kunda” on Bahulastami in Karttika is incorrect. And the appearance of Radha-kunda SHOULD BE OBSERVED ON CHAITRA PURNIMA.”

Unfortunately, due to the present restrictions the proper observance of Radha-kunda appearance with a midnight nectar bath will not be possible even if one lives in Radha-kunda or Vrndavana; what to speak of New Delhi. Thus, we will explain how to mentally observe this most wonderful and amazingly merciful appearance of Radha and Krishna as two lakes of prema ambrosia.

Note: Everyone regardless of where you are staying, should honor Radha-kunda avirbhav by staying awake on this day until 12.30 a.m. or so. If you have a container of Radha-kunda amrit, you can honorably place it on a table. Then you can both mentally and physically observe the appearance of Radha-kunda by doing parikrama of the container, offer bhoga, arati and dandavats to it, and finally sprinkle some of the Radha-kunda amrit on your head.   

1. Mental Kunds Parikrama; Mentally think now it’s 11 p.m. Chaitra Purnima, and I am in Radha-kund doing parikrama beginning with dandavats and prayers to Kundeshvara Mahadeva. Then immediately on my right I see and offer dandavats to Radha-Krishna kunds and the Sangam. Continuing on parikram, I will pause before each temple doorway and offer pranams beginning with Purana Radha-Krishna Mandir, Jhulan Sthali, then on to Radha-Kanta, Gopalji, Shyamsundarji, Damodarji, Gopinath Ji, Ma Jahnava Bhaitak, Das Goswami Samadhi, Radha-Ramanji, Govindaji, Ras Mandal, Jagannathji, Vallabhaji, Sita-Ram, Damodarji, Lalita-kund, Mahadeva, Giridhari, Lalita-Bihariji, Prachin Radha Govindadeva, Vinodilal, Gopi-kua, Nita-Gaur Sitanath, Asta-Sakhis, Radha-Madhava, Bankhandi Siva, Mahaprabhu Baithak, Laxmi-Narayana, Madan-Mohan, Gaur-Nitai, Prachin Radha-Gopinath, Nitai Baithak,  Hanumanji, then complete parikrama with dandavats to Kundeshvara.

2. Prayers; sit in your favorite place or before Giriraj Baba on the Sangam between the kunds, and offer prayers such as Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami’s “Radha-kundastakam”:

That very dear, beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, that appeared after a joking quarrel between Radha and Krishna about piety after the killing of the Arishta bull demon, and which was joyfully revealed and filled up by Sri Radha’s own hand, with the assistance of Her sakhis, is my only shelter!

That very fragrant, dear and beautiful Radhakund, that instantly makes a desire-tree of prema, love of Krishna, sprout in the land of the heart of anyone who bathes there, although this is very difficult to attain even by the Vraja-gopis, is my only shelter!

That very dear, beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, where even Krishna, the enemy of Aghasura, eagerly and carefully bathes and renders submissive and expert devotional service, desiring to obtain the merciful glance of goddess Radhika, is my only shelter!

That very dear, beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, that is the abode of love for Vrajachandra, which is as dear to Krishna as the crownjewel of sweet adolescent damsels of Vraja, Sri Radhika Herself, and which was called after Her by Krishna, is my only shelter!

That very beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, by whose mercy the desire vine of love for Krishna, that bears the flowers of service of my Ishvari Sri Radha, instantly sprouts in the heart of anyone who performs devotional service there, is my only shelter!

That very beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, whose shores are divided among Sri Radhika’s girlfriends who all have their own sweet nikunjas named after them, and where the bees are buzzing sweetly, is my only shelter!

That very beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, where my Ishvari Sri Radhika makes ever-so-sweet and pleasant jokes about Vrndavanachandra, with Her dearest sakhis  on a nice platform on the shore, is my only shelter!

That very beautiful and fragrant Radhakund, in whose water, that is filled with nicely smelling lotus flowers, Radha and Krishna daily sport in loving intoxication, along with Their sakhis, who are in a similar loving frenzy, is my only shelter!

The benediction offered by Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami:

Anyone who recites this beautiful Radha-kundastakam for Devi Radha with a peaceful mind and a fixed intelligence and who submits one’s self to Radha’s blissful service, will soon see Madhuripu Krishna in Radha’s delightful embrace, even in this material body!

2. Offer Puja: Mentally stand on the Sangam and offer to both Shyamkund and Radhakund a panchamrita abhishek, some sweet bhog, and arati with dhoop, deep and flowers.

3. Do Harinam Kirtan for few minutes to sanctify your being.

4. Mental Snana; Then at 12 midnight mentally or physically offer dandavats to Sri Guru, Six Goswamis, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Radha Govinda Yugala; then sprinkle few sacred sweet drops of kundamrita on your head and in mouth; then most humbly, respectfully and prayerfully bathe first in Shyamkund at Manasa Pavan Ghat followed by snana in Radha-kunda.

5. Dan; Give some money and sweet mahaprasad to any Brahmin you see at Radha-kunda. 

Hopefully next year, by Srimati Radharani’s loving grace, all the Krishna bhaktas will be able to physically come to Radha-kunda on Chaitra Purnima to experience the full ecstasy of honoring the holy appearance of Shyamkund and Radha-kunda.

Radha-kunda divine appearance day ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe! 

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

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

Appearance Day

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

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

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

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

DISCOVERY DAY

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

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

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

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

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

In other words, there are two appearance days:

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

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

Karttika Bahulastami ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Chaitra Purnima Radha-kunda Appearance ki jai!