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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Some extremely fortunate Gaudiya Vaisnavas live in either Radha-kunda or Vrindavana. Quoting Srila Prabhupada and the Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas, we’ll answer the question: “Which is the best place practice bhakti sadhana—Radha-kunda or Vrindavana?”

Although there are different views on this, all Gaudiya Vaisnavas must accept of conclusions of our sastras. Srila Prabhupada confirms saying, “To follow Caitanya Mahaprabhu means following the six Goswamis [books], because the six Goswamis were directly instructed by Mahaprabhu to spread this [Krishna consciousness] movement.” (folio 730105ND.BOM)

“Our goal is to become fully Krishna conscious. To attain this goal, we follow the six original Gosvamis [i.e. Sri Rupa, Sanatana, Bhatta Raghunatha, Sri Jiva, Gopala Bhatta, Dasa Raghunatha].” (folio: BTG april/1974 post SP)

Each chapter of Caitanya-caritamrta, ends with the sloka: “The lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Raghunatha [Dasa Goswami] are my only hope and aspiration, sri -rupa -raghunatha -pade vara -asha.”

Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura (Prarthana) prays, “When will I understand Radha-Krishna’s love by eagerly following the footsteps of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha?”

rupa -raghunatha -pade, hoibe –akuti,
kabe -hama -bujhabo, se -jugala -piriti?

The immortal words of Srila Prabhupada and the six Gosvamis will now highlight the preeminent position of Radha-kunda as the best place of residence for Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

Sri Rupa Gosvami:

  1. Mathura is superior to Vaikuntha because Krishna appears there. Better than Mathura is Vrndavana where Krishna dances the rasa-lila. Better than Vrindavana is Govardhana Hill. And best of all is Radha-kunda because it overflows with Krishna prema -amrta. Therefore, anyone who is intelligent will live at Radha-kunda! (Upadesamrta v. 9)
  2. Anyone who is fortunate will take shelter and live at Radha-kunda.” (Upadesamrta v. 10)

Raghunatha Dasa Goswami:

  1. The delightful forest of Vrndavana— site of the nectar-filled Rasa-dance— beautiful Govardhana Hill, and all other holy places are not even equal to one particle of one atom of Sri Radha-kunda! I take shelter of divine Radha-kunda which is dearer to Mukunda than His own breath. (Vraja Vilasa Stava 53)
  2. O restless-eyed Radhika! You and Your beloved Krishna always stay in Radha-kunda. Thus I vow that here only I will live and here only I will stay! (Vilapa Kusumanjali 98).
  3. O sakhi Sri Rupa Manjari! Please arrange for me to always stay in Radha-kunda. (Stavavali, IV. 3)

Srila Prabhupada:

  1. Sri Rupa Goswamipada has given much stress to Radha-kunda, so who would give up Radha-kunda and try to reside elsewhere? No person with transcendental intelligence would do so. (Upadesamrta v. 9 pur.)
  2. One should live at Radha-kunda, take shelter of the confidential serving maids [the manjaris] of Sri Radha, and under their direction engage constantly in Radharani’s service. (Upadesamrta v. 11 pur.)
  3. If one is thus constantly engaged during his lifetime, after giving up the body he will return back to Godhead to serve Sri Radha in the same way as he contemplated during his life on the banks of Radha-kunda.

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. Thus there is no limit to the glory of Sri Radha Kunda. (Upadesamrta v. 11 pur.)

Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Radha-kunda ki jai!

Of course, it is a great fortune to live in any one of the four Gaudiya Vaisnava transcendental dhamas i.e. Radha-kunda, Vrndavana, Jagannatha Puri and Navadvipa. However, the sastras specifically describe the unique and incredible benefits of living in and practicing bhakti sadhana in Sri Vraja Dhama. Srila Prabhupada himself said “Vrndavana is my home”, according to various biographies found in the BBT Folio Archives.

It is also clearly seen in sastras and in the personal lives of the six Gosvamis that among all the holy places in the universe, Radha-kunda is the most powerful, beneficial, and madhurya rasa-filled sacred place to reside and do Krishna bhajan. In fact, five of the six Gosvamis lived in Vrndavana, and one, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, did Radha-Govinda Yugala bhajan in Radha-kunda for about fifty-years.

Thus, to quickly attain spiritual perfection and Sri Sri Radha-Krishna’s eternal loving service, one should live in and practice bhakti sadhana in Sri Radha-kunda Dhama.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Radha-kunda vasa ki jai!

Six Goswamis ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

In the beginning of the rasa lila, Bhagavan Sri Krishna says something very special to Srimati Radharani. Krishna’s words are very inspiring and encouraging to all the fortunate devotees now living in Vrndavana Dhama performing Krishna bhakti bhajan, or to any devotees planning to live here in the future.

The great rasika acarya Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada mercifully reveals the golden promise of parama bhakta vatsala, Bhagavan Sri Govinda Gopala thus:

“Acyuta Sri Krishna says, ‘O Radha! You are always bathing in a matchless nectar of sweet affection (anupama sneha amrta snana)! I want You to know something. It is my unbroken vow and promise (me vratam abranam) that anyone who comes to My Vrndavana and lives here, serving Me, doing bhakti bhajan, and looking and searching for Me, I guarantee that I will keep that person deep in My heart. And I will always look after his/her needs and take complete care of them. This is My solemn promise.” (Krishna Bhavanamrta 19.2)

Jai Sri Krishna! Great words of encouragement to live in Vraja doing Krishna bhakti bhajan, and to come to Vraja for bhajan. Living in Vrndavana means being accepted directly into the heart of Sri Krishna. He is personally saying that here, and that He will take care of everyone in Vrndavana.

Krishna is telling this to Radharani, the eternal Empress of Vraja, Vrndavanesvari. Indeed, any Vrndavana nivasi Vaisnava will always cherish in their hearts this most wonderful golden promise of satya-sankalpa, Syamasundara Bhagavan.

In 1958, to practice Vraja bhajan, Srila Prabhupada left everything he had in the world to live in Sridhama Vrndavana. In that first year in Vraja, he wrote the following emotionally packed poem “Vrndavana Bhajan”. Here are a few pure devotional effusions from that work which clearly reveal the extraordinary power of living in Vrndavana and doing Krishna bhajan.

FUTILITY OF PLAN MAKING

Srila Prabhupada said:

“Again and again making plans, and again and again they are destroyed.

Sometimes he falls on the dry earth and sometimes in the mud.

In this way the universe is filled with wandering jiva souls

who finally by the grace of Guru and Krishna

get bhakti, the eternal wealth.” (folio: EA 23-7)

RELATIVES? ALL ARE BROTHERS

Srila Prabhupada said:

“But everyone is your relative, your brother on the spiritual platform

This relationship is not tinged with the smell of maya.

The Supreme Lord is the soul of everyone,

In relation to Him, everyone in the universe is the same.”

“All are your relatives, brothers! All the billions of jivas.

When seen in relation to Krishna they are all in harmony.

Forgetting Krishna, the jiva [living entity] desires sense gratification,

And as a result he is firmly grasped by maya!” (folio: EA 23-4)

ILLUSION OF “MY FAMILY”

Srila Prabhupada said,

“Everyone has abandoned me, seeing me as penniless

Wife, relatives, friends, brothers, everyone.

This is misery, but it gives me a laugh. I sit alone and laugh.

In this maya-samsara, whom do I really love?”

“Where have all my loving fathers and mothers gone to now?

And where are all my elders, who were my own folk?

Who will give me news of them, tell me who?

All that is left of this family life is a list of names.”

“Gaining the wealth of Krishna bhakti,

then he can give up all other so-called wealth,

Then very easily he crosses over the ocean of samsara.

There on the other side is unparalled spiritual variegatedness.

There he enjoys eternal happiness and peace.” (folio: EA 23-2)

Vrndavana bhajan ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!