Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
In his comments on Sri Rupa Goswamipada’s “Upadesamrta”, Srila Prabhupada reveals the unique identity of Sri Radha-kunda and the glories of visiting, living, and bathing there. To more deeply understand Srila Prabhupada’s wonderful illumination, we introduce each quotation with a question.
- Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, of the many holy places in Vraja Mandala like Mathura, Vrindavana, Varsana, Nandagrama and Govardhana—which is the topmost place?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “Radha-kunda is superior to all!”
- Devotee: What makes Radha-kunda so special and superior, Srila Prabhupada?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “Because it is there [at Radha-kunda] that love of Krishna overflows!”
- Devotee: Srila Prabhupada! If one wants to live somewhere in Vraja Mandala in Vrindavana, where should one stay?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “Advanced devotees prefer to reside at Radha-kunda.”
- Devotee: Why is that Srila Prabhupada?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “Because this place [Radha-kunda] is the site of many memories of the eternal loving affairs between Krishna and Radharani [rati-vilasa].”
- Devotee: Can you say more about why Radha-kunda is so glorious, Srila Prabhupada?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “Why is Radha-kunda so exalted? The lake is so exalted because it belongs to Srimati Radharani, and among all the gopis, Radharani is the most beloved of Krishna!”
- Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, what does Bhagavan Sri Krishna think of Radha-kunda?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “Sri Radha-kunda is also described by great sages as the lake that is as dear to Krishna as Radha Herself. Indeed, Krishna’s love for Radha-kunda and Srimati Radharani is the same in all respects!”
- Devotee: Wow, that’s amazing Srila Prabhupada! I never knew that Radha-kunda was so special and dear to Krishna. Srila Prabhupada is there any limit to the glories of this most wonderful and sacred Radha-kunda?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “There is no limit to the glory of Sri Radha-kunda.”
- Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, why does Sri Rupa Gosvami glorify Radha-kunda so much?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “Sri Rupa Gosvami has given much stress to Radha-kunda because of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s desire to find it.”
- Devotee: So, Srila Prabhupada, since we are Gaudiya Vaisnavas and worshipers of Mahaprabhu, does this mean that we should live at Radha-kunda?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “[Of course] Who, then, would give up Radha-kunda and try to reside elsewhere? No person with transcendental intelligence would do so.”
- Devotee: “So what you’re saying Srila Prabhupada is that an intelligent, mature devotee should live at Radha-kunda and worship Radha-Krishna in order to attain spiritual perfection?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “Living entities who are eager to return home to the transcendental kingdom of God, Goloka Vrndavana, by means of attaining their spiritual bodies (SIDDHA DEHAS) SHOULD LIVE AT RADHA KUNDA, take shelter of the confidential serving maids [manjari/dasis] of Sri Radha, and under their direction engage constantly in Radha’s service.”
- Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, are there any special benefits of bathing in Radha-kunda?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “It is stated that a devotee will at once develop pure love of Krishna in the wake of the gopis if he ONCE TAKES A BATH in Radha-kunda. If one bathes even once, he can develop his transcendental love for Krishna, exactly as the gopis did.”
- Devotee: But Srila Prabhupada, many devotees are confused about this point. So is it okay to bathe in Radha-kunda?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “Sri Rupa Gosvami recommends that even if one cannot live permanently on the banks of Radha-kunda, he should at least TAKE A BATH in the lake AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE! This is a most important item in the execution of devotional service.”
- Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, can you say anything more about bathing in Radha-kunda?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “One should bathe there regularly and give up all material conceptions, taking shelter of Sri Radha and Her assistant gopis.”
- Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, it seems you are saying that devotees should bathe in Radha-kunda and also live in Radha-kunda. Is that right?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “[Yes!] It is also recommended that ONE SHOULD LIVE on the banks of Radha-kunda and should be absorbed in the loving service of the Lord.”
- Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, these days we see many devotees serving Radha-kunda in various ways like parikrama, offering lamps, sweeping, cleaning the sacred waters, planting trees, and renovating the kutirs and samadhis of the Goswamis.
Srila Prabhupada, can you say something about the benefits of serving Radha-kunda?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “By serving Radha-kunda, one can get an opportunity to become an assistant of Srimati Radharani [become a manjari] under the eternal guidance of the gopis.”
- Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, from everything you said so far, it seems that the conclusion is that to bathe and live always in Radha-kunda is the perfection of Krishna consciousness?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “The conclusion is that to live on the banks of the Radha-kunda, and to bathe there daily constitute the highest perfection of devotional service.”
- Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, are you are saying that Radha-kunda is the ideal place for cultivating Krishna consciousness?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “[Yes!] Therefore, everyone interested in Krishna consciousness should ultimately take shelter of Radha-kunda, and execute devotional service there throughout one’s life.”
- Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, to summarize everything we discussed, can you please answer this last question?
What will happen to a devotee who bathes regularly in Radha-kunda, and lives his whole life in Radha-kunda meditating on serving Srimati Radharani in the mood of the gopis?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: “If one is thus constantly engaged during his lifetime, after giving up the body he WILL GO BACK TO GODHEAD to serve Sri Radha in the same way as he contemplated during his life on the banks of Radha-kunda.”
(Upadesamrita “Nectar of Instruction” v. 10-11/ SP purports)
Sri Radha-kunda ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai!