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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

There is an amazing story behind the revival of the original and actual appearance day of Sri Radha Kunda. It was 2017, just a day before Caitra Purnima 2017, when my divine master, Radha-Krishna nitya Vrndavana lila pravista, 108 Pandit Sri Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja revealed the amazing hidden truth.

Gurudeva: “Do you know that Karttika Bahulastami is not the appearance day of Radha Kunda?”

M.Madan Gopal Das: “O, Gurudeva, really? For thirty-five years we’ve been midnight bathing in Radha-kunda on that day thinking it was the appearance day.”

Gurudeva: “There is no sastra proof for that. In Mathura Mahatmyam, Sri Rupa Gosvamipada says that devotees should bathe in Radha-kunda on Karttika Bahulastami to Bhagavan Sri Hari. It says nothing about appearance day or a midnight snana.

“However, Sri Jiva Goswami says (SB 10.45.3 tika) that Radha-kunda appeared at midnight on Caitra Purnima. Thus according to our mahajanas, all Gaudiya Vaisnavas should bathe at midnight on this day to honor and respect the ACTUAL AND REAL APPEARANCE DAY OF RADHA KUNDA, Radha-Krishna’s most merciful lila of manifesting these magnificent kundas!”

So, listen, I want you to spread this truth far and wide, and by doing that you will make Srimati Radharani very happy. Just go rent an auto rikshaw, fix an amplifier and a big, big silver speaker on it, and ride all around Vraja Mandala telling everyone in Hindi this truth.”

M.Madan Gopal Das: “Gurudeva, are you serious, you really want us to do that? We don’t know Hindi so well, but we will try in our own way through I-Net and E mails to inform all devotees about this.”

Since Gurudeva was 99 years old at that time, I never expected him to say yes, but nevertheless, I curiously then asked him: “Gurudeva, would you like to come take Radha-kunda midnight snana tonight to inaugurate the revival of the original appearance day of Sri Radha-kunda?”

Gurudeva: Much to my surprise, Pandit Baba innocently looked at me like a child and said enthusiastically, “YES, I WILL TAKE MIDNIGHT SNANA TOO!”

Jai Gurudeva!

That first Caitra Purnima Radha-kunda appearance day was honored by a party of five—Sri Pandit Baba, Sri Haricarana dasji, Ananta dasji, ourselves and two Russian devotees. And thus it began in 2017, “The First Annual Original Caitra Purnima Midnight Appearance Day Festival of Sri Radha-kunda.”

On behalf of Sri Sri Radha-Syama, Sri Advaita Prabhu, Sri Jiva Goswami and our beloved eternal master, we invite all the devotees to come next year and every year for a midnight bliss bath in Sri Radha-kunda on Caitra Purnima.

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

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Since every pastime of Bhagavan Sri Krishna is eternal, at midnight on Chaitra Purnima, the first full moon of the Hindu new year, Sri Radha-kunda is appearing in some material universe right now before the amazed eyes of Radha Govinda Yugala and the nitya and sadhana siddha gopis of Bhauma Vrndavana.

Sri Sanatana Goswami proves that Chaitra Purnima (April 18th 2019), is the real and actual appearance day of Sri Radha-kunda in his tika (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.45.3): “Bhagavan Sri Krishna killed Arista on the full moon day of Caitra month when Krishna was eleven. Afterwards Radha-Krishna manifested Shyama-kunda and Radha-kunda.”

The Bahulastami Karttika Radha Kunda Bath

So what about Kattika month and the Bahulastami snana? Other than recommending daily or regular bathing in Radha-kunda, the six Goswamis also quote Puranas which prescribe daytime bathing in Radha-kunda on Karttika Bahulastami.

Vrajavasis say that on this day, Krishna tested the saintliness of a cow named Bahula, and thus the Puranas prescribe a holy dip in Radha-kunda on THIS DAY. Incidentally, the Vrindavana forest named Bahulavan is very close to Radha-kunda.

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.”

The Bahulastami MIDNIGHT Radha-kunda BATH is actually a major event for 50,000 or so barren North Indian married couples. In the hopes of attaining a child, they worship a North Indian fertility Devi named Ahouri Devi. The various rites and pujas culminate in a REQUIRED midnight bath in Radha-kunda.

Thus, it seems that over time, the Gaudiya sastric ordained DAYTIME Radha-kunda SNANA on Bahulastami merged with the barren grhasta’s midnight snana in Radha-kunda. This resulted in Gaudiya Vaisnavas thinking their midnight bath was and is a celebration of the appearance of Radha-kunda.

In closing, we include some excerpts from recent posts on this topic.

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.

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.

Thus, all Gaudiya Vaisnavas bathe every year in Radha Kunda at midnight on Caitra Purnima to celebrate Radha-kunda’s appearance. And they also bathe on the day of Karttika Bahulastami to celebrate the day Caitanya Mahaprabhu discovered this lupta tirtha, hidden most holy place.

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: Maybe not others, but for Gaudiya Vaisnavas there are two appearance days of Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda:

1) To the eyes of Radha Govinda and all the sakhis when They manifested Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda 5,000 years ago on Chaitra Purnima according to Gaudiya Vaisnava Mahajana Acarya, Sri Sanatana Goswamipada.

2) To the eyes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu when He found or discovered Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda in the middle of a field 500 years ago.

Karttika Bahulastami Snana ki jai! Chaitra Purnima Radha-kunda Appearance Snana ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

Did you know that not less than 7 siddha dehas are clearly described in the SrimadBhagavatam? Yes, it’s absolutely true—confirmed by the highest authority: the Bhagavata, which is the topmost, perfect shastra pramanam, amala Purana and the Pāramahaṁsa-saṁhitā.

Whether one is a Sri Krishna krpa-patra or a spiritually perfected bhakta sadhaka, he/she WILL ATTAIN a beautiful and divine siddha svarupa or SIDDHA DEHA. By the mercy of Sri Guru and Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the following personalities attained siddha dehas and went eternally to the spiritual sky:

  1. BALAK NARADA MUNI

evaṁ kṛṣṇa mater brahman, nāsaktas yāma lātmanaḥ
kālaḥ prā durabhūt kale, taḍit saudāmanī yathā

“O Brahmin Vyasa! Giving up all material attachments, I focused my pure mind completely on Sri Krishna and gave up my material body. Instantly, without any time interval at all, I received my spiritual body (siddha deha), like lightning flashing simultaneously with lightning.

prayujyamāne mayitāṁ, śuddhāṁ bhāgavatīṁ tanum
ārabdha karma nirvāṇo, nyapatat pāñca-bhautikaḥ

“Having been awarded a transcendental body befitting an associate of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu, my material body made of five material elements and my karmas fell away.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.27-28)

Sridhar Swami tika:

The verse word prayujyamāne means that the siddha deha was personally brought by Bhagavan Sri Vishnu [from Vaikuntha] and given or awarded to Narada Muni at death.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravartitika:

Previously, after once giving His sakshad darshana to the boy sadhaka, Narada Muni, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu disappeared and spoke invisibly from the sky (akashvani), saying, “O Narada, when you give up this body of low birth, you will become My associate.” (SB 1.6.23) Here in verse 28, Sri Vishnu fulfills His promise as Narada Muni simultaneously gives up his material body and receives the spiritual body, siddha deha.

  1. YUDDHISTHIRA & PANDAVAS

“Hearing the arrangements of Sri Krishna and the proper situation of the Yadu family, without others knowing, Yudhiṣṭhira fixed his mind on attaining Krishna’s abode.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.15.32)

SrilaVisvanathaCakravartitika:

The word svah in this verse (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.15.32) usually refers to the celestial heavens, but here it means the spiritual realm of Vaikuntha, as proven four chapters later (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.19.20), which says, “sad yojahur bhagavat pārśva kāmāḥ, “The Pandavas attained Krishna’s abode in the spiritual sky.”

  1. PUTANA RAKSHASI

Just see the inconceivable and most astonishing compassion of Bhagavan Sri Krishna! A baby-killing, blood-sucking witch came to kill Him, yet Sri Krishna mercifully gave Putana a spiritual body as a nursemaid [dhatri] assistant to Yashodamaya in GolokaVrindavana.

aho bakī yaṁ stana kāla kūṭaṁ,
jighāṁs ayāpāya yadap yasādhvī
lebhe gatiṁ dhātry ucitāṁ ta tonyaṁ,
kaṁvā dayāluṁ śaraṇaṁ vrajema

Sri Uddhavji said, “O! The most evil Pūtanā, intent on killing Krishna, offered her poisonous breast to Krishna, yet she attained the position of a nurse in the spiritual world. Who else can be as merciful as Bhagavan Sri Krishna? Thus I surrender to Krishna!” (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.2.23]

  1. THE PERFECTED SADHAKA

Here Bhagavata describes the Vishnu/Krishna premi-sadhaka (anuragi Vaisnava) who experiences ecstatic symptoms of divine love just before leaving the material body to attain Vaikuntha and a spiritual form, siddha deha.

yac ca vrajantya-nimiṣām-ṛṣabh-ānuvṛttyā,
dūre-yamāh-yuparinaḥ-spṛhaṇī-yaśīlāḥ
bhartur-mithaḥ-suyaś-asaḥ-kathan-ānurāga,
vaiklav-yabāṣpa-kala-yāpulakī-kṛtāṅgāḥ

Sri Brahmaji said, “The dedicated followers of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu have transcended the rules and regulations (durayama) of yoga meditation and other austerities and even surpassed us. Possessing the most excellent qualities, they cry incessantly due to their intense attraction for Hari-katha and then enter Vaikuntha [which means attaining a siddha deha].” (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.25)

  1. BALAK DHRUVA MAHARAJA

Immediately on the spot, by the inconceivable shakti of Sri Vishnu, Balak Dhruva’s human body underwent transfiguration and became a spiritual body in this most amazing chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam.

parīt-yābhyarcya-dhiṣ-ṇyāgryaṁ, pārṣad-āva-bhivandya ca
iyeṣa tad adhiṣṭhātuṁ, bibhrad-rūpaṁ-hiraṇmayam

“Before boarding the transcendental Vaikuntha airplane, Balak Dhruva circumambulated and worshiped it; offered respects to the Vishnu parshads (associates); and assumed a golden form. Then that plane delivered him to Dhruvaloka, an outpost of Vaikuṇṭha within the material atmosphere.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.29)

Srila Visvanatha Cakravart itika:

Balak Dhruva worshipped the Vaikuntha airplane by offering flowers dipped in chandan while saying “Bhagavad vimānāya-namaḥ.”

  1. AJAMILA THE SINNER

After 80 years of grossly sinful life, the Brahmin Ajamila was saved from hell by Bhagavan Sri Vishnu. Then he went to Haridvartirtha to perform intense Vishnu bhakti bhajana. At death, he got a siddha svarupa [siddha deha] and liberation to Vaikuntha.

hitvā-kalevaraṁ-tīrthe, gaṅgā-yāṁ-darśan-ādanu
sadyaḥ-svarūpaṁ-jagṛhe, bhagavat-pārśva-vartinām

“After seeing the Vishnuduttas [messengers of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu], Ajamila gave up his body at Haridvara by Ma Ganga, and immediately attained a spiritual body as an associate of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu.”

Śrīnātha Cakravartī (Mahaprabhuparshad and Sri Advaita Prabhu shishya) said, the verse word SADYA means a seamless transfer; it occurred immediately without any break.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das:

The Sanskrit word meanings in this verse are crystal clear.

Sadya; immediately Ajamila got it i.e. siddha deha.

Sva-rūpam; means his own individual spiritual form i.e. the siddha deha or “the siddha svarupa” as Sri RupaGosvami describes it in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu.

Jagṛhe; means Ajamila adopted or assumed it.

Bhagavat-pārśva-vartinām; means Ajamila attained a spiritual body as an associate of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu i.e. samipya-mukti.

  1. GAJENDRA THE ELEPHANT

A couple of boys, a fiendish witch and a fallen papi Brahmin all got the mercy of Sri Krishna and attained spiritual bodies, siddha dehas, in the spiritual realm. Now just observe how the line of divine krpa extends even to beasts, as Sri Vishnu liberates a suffering jungle elephant.

yaṁ dharma-kāmārtha-vimukti-kāmā,
bhajan-taiṣṭāṁ-gatim-āpnuvanti
kiṁ-cā-śiṣorāt-yapi-deham-avyayaṁ,
karotu me ‘dabhra-dayo-vimokṣaṇam

Hati Gajendra prayed, “Persons desiring dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa worship Bhagavan Sri Vishnu/Krishna, attain assorted material benedictions, the treasure of prema and a spiritual body too. May that unlimitedly merciful Bhagavan Sri Vishnu/Krishna also liberate me from samsara and give me an imperishable spiritual body [dehamavyayaṁ], siddha deha.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 8.3.19)

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti tika:

Devotees having material desires also serve Sri Krishna. They desire dharma, kāma, artha and liberation which they get by worshipping Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Besides that, they also receive the most cherished goal of Krishna prema.

The Bhagavata says, “Bhagavan Sri Vishnu certainly gives the objects desired by His devotees. However, He gives them in such a way that the devotee, after enjoying them, will not ask for them again. Even though they don’t desire them, Sri Krishna lovingly gives His lotus feet to such motivated worshipers. (Srimad Bhagavatam 5.19.27)

Bhagavan Sri Vishnu gives the desired material objects, and also gives them a spiritual body as He did with Dhruva and others. Thus Sri Vishnu is unlimitedly merciful.

mmgd: The siddha deha that Gajendra prayed for here was attained in the next chapter of SrimadBhagavatam. This is a very very important point for sadhakas of bhakti. Following Gajendra’s example of intentionally praying to Sri Krishna for a siddha deha, we too should pray to Sri Krishna to kindly and mercifully reveal our personal siddha dehas.

However, unlike Gajendra, who seeing his life about to end in the jaws of the crocodile of death, prayed once at death to attain a siddha deha, sincere sadhakas SHOULD PRAY EVERDAY to Sri Krishna to please reveal their individual and beautiful siddha dehas right here and right now.

gajendro-bhagavat-sparśād, vimukto ‘jñāna-bandhanāt
prāpto-bhagavato-rūpaṁ, pīta-vāsāś-catur-bhujaḥ

“Because Bhagavan Sri Vishnu directly touched HatiGajendra, the elephant was totally freed from ignorance and samsara. Gajendra attained the Vaikuntha liberation of svarupya-mukti, i.e. the same transcendental bodily features as Sri Vishnu with four hands and a brilliant yellow dress.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 8.4.6.)

Conclusion:

Can anyone imagine the tremendous power, beauty and sweetness of bhakti in any form, be it karma/jnanamishra bhakti, shuddha-bhakti or even deceitful devotion masking murderous intents? Disregarding all mixed motives, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu/Krishna kindly purifies His worshipers, humbly fulfills their material desires, and gives them eternal spiritual forms in Vaikuntha even if they aren’t desiring them.

Children, sinful Brahmins, sincere sadhakas, prakrta-bhaktas, murderous witches and even beasts like elephants—all get the mercy and attain the spiritual sky by the infinite, divine compassion of Sri Vishnu/Krishna.

“O Sri Krishna, remembering all these success stories of Srimad Bhagavatam, I too hope one day to receive a drop of Your mercy, the embrace of Your love, and a spiritual form too. Please, O Sri Krishna, please, O please, don’t neglect this one piteously crying in Your divya dhama!” (verses from madan-gopal blogspot)

Sri Krishna krpa ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

There is an amazing story behind this. The day before Caitra Purnima 2017, I met with 108 Pandit Sri Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja and had the following conversation:

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: “Gurudeva, since Sri Sanatana Goswami says in (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.45.3) Vaisnava Toshani tika that today, Caitra Purnima midnight is the ACTUAL AND REAL APPEARANCE DAY OF RADHA KUNDA, should we bathe tonight to honor that wonderful, most merciful lila of Radha and Krishna?”

Gurudeva: (replied affirmatively while looking straight into my eyes from about one foot away), “Yes, you should!”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: “Should I tell all your disciples about this?

Gurudeva: “Yes, get a microphone, go around Radha-kunda and tell everyone.”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: “Really, Gurudeva, are you serious that I should do that?”

Gurudeva: “Yes, because the Karttika Bahulastami snana is NOT THE APPEARANCE DAY OF Radha-kunda. In Mathura Mahatmyam, Sri Rupa Gosvamipada says that devotees should BATHE ON THE KARTTIKA DAY OF BAHULASTAMI just to please Bhagavan Sri Hari. It says nothing about appearance day.

“According to our Gaudiya Vaisnava mahajana and supreme praman, Srimad Bhagavatam, today at midnight Caitra Purnima IS THE REAL APPEARANCE DAY OF SRI RADHA KUNDA!”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: (Since Gurudeva is 99 years old, I never expected him to say yes), but nevertheless, I curiously asked him the next question): “Gurudeva, would you like to join us and take Radha-kunda midnight snana tonight?”

Gurudeva: (Much to my surprise), Pandit Baba looked at me innocently like a child and said enthusiastically, “YES, I’LL WILL ALSO TAKE MIDNIGHT SNANA!”

And that’s how our first annual Caitra Purnima Radha-kunda Appearance Festival started. On behalf of Sri Advaita Prabhu, Sri Gurudeva and all the faithful followers of the six Goswamis, we invite all the devotees to come bathe at midnight on every Caitra Purnima to celebrate the actual, real APPEARANCE DAY OF RADHA KUNDA.

Radha-kunda Annual Avirbhava Mahotsava ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

Why do raganuga bhaktas especially worship Govardhana shilas?

Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja answers in Chaitanya-caritamrita (3.6.294-307):

“One day during His gambhira-lila in Jagannatha Puri, Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu lovingly gave Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami the Govardhana Shila that He had been personally worshiping for three years. At that most auspicious time, Mahaprabhu said, ‘This Govardhana Shila is directly the transcendental form of Sri Krishna. You should attentively worship Sri Girirajaji with great eagerness.’ ”

prabhu hahe ei shila Krishnera vigraha
inhara seva kara tumi kariya agraha

Mahaprabhu continued, “Worship Sri Girirajaji with purity, then you will quickly attain the wealth of Krishna prema”.

ei shilara kara tumi sattvika pujana
acirat pabe tumi Krishna prema dhana

‘To worship Sri Girirajaji, you need a jug of water and tulasi manjaris. You should serve Sri Girirajaji with all purity and gopi bhava”. sattvika seva ei shuddha bhava kari[gopi-bhava is the purest bhava, shuddha bhava].

“With faith you should offer eight soft tulasi manjaris [four to each lotus foot].”

dui dike dui patra madhye komala manjari
ei mata ashta manjari dibe shraddha kari

“After receiving the Govardhana Shila, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami served Sri Girirajaji with great bliss, anande raghunatha seva karite lagila. Svarupa Damodara gave Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami two cloths, a wooden platform and a water jug for Sri Girirajaji puja”.

“When Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami worshiped Sri Girirajaji, he saw the shila as directly Vrajendranandana”, puja kale dekhe shila vrajendranandana.” [The carefree, funny, witty lover of the cowherd girls]. In other words, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami worshiped Sri Girirajaji in the raganuga mood of worship.

Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja continues, “Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami submerged in Krishna prema whenever he remembered how Mahaprabhu had given him the Govardhana Shila with His own hand”.

prabhura sva hasta data Govardhana Shila
ei chinti raghunatha prema bhashi gela

“Great happiness would arise in his heart when Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami simply offered water and tulasi to Sri Girirajaji [in the simple Vraja mood of gopi-bhava in raga marga.] Such joy does not arise even if one worships with all the 16 different articles of Thakuraji puja”. [as done in vaidhi-marga]

jala tulasira sevaya tanra yata sukhodaya
shodash opacara ujaya tata sukha naya

“One day Svarupa Damodara said, ‘O Dasa Goswamiji! Now start offering Sri Girirajaji a small amount of khaja [a rich and sweet, crunchy grain sweet] and sandesh [a mild milk sweet]. If you offer these with faith, they will taste just like nectar.’ ”

ashta khaja sandesha kara samarpana,
shraddha kari dile sei amritera sama

“Upon receiving the Govardhana Shila and the garland [mala] of small, shiny red and black dried seeds of the gunja shrub from Mahaprabhu, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami thought, ‘By giving me this Govardhana Shila, Mahaprabhu has awarded me a place near Govardhana Hill. And by giving me this gunja mala, Mahaprabhu has offered me the beautiful, sweet lotus feet of Srimati Radhika.’” [Bengali trans. Sri Advaita dasji]

shila diya gosani samarpila govaradhane
gunja mala diya dila RADHIKA CHARANE

Sri Radhika charanashraya ki jai! Sri Giriraja Maharaja ki jai ho! Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja ki jai! Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

 

There is an amazing story behind this. The day before Caitra Purnima 2017, I met with 108 Pandit Sri Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja and had the following conversation:

  1. Madan Gopal Das: “Gurudeva, since Sri Sanatana Goswami says in (SB 10.45.3) Vaisnava Toshani tika that today, Caitra Purnima midnight is the ACTUAL AND REAL APPEARANCE DAY OF RADHA KUNDA, should we bathe tonight to honor that wonderful, most merciful lila of Radha and Krishna?”

Gurudeva: (replied affirmatively while looking straight into my eyes from about one foot away), “Yes, you should!”

mmgd: “Should I tell all your disciples about this?

Gurudeva: “Yes, get a microphone, go around Radha-kunda and tell everyone.”

mmgd: “Really, Gurudeva, are you serious that I should do that?”

Gurudeva: “Yes, because the Karttika Bahulastami snana is NOT THE APPEARANCE DAY OF Radha-kunda. In Mathura Mahatmyam, Sri Rupa Gosvamipada says that devotees should BATHE ON THE KARTTIKA DAY OF BAHULASTAMI just to please Bhagavan Sri Hari. It says nothing about appearance day. According to our Gaudiya Vaisnava mahajana and supreme praman, Srimad Bhagavatam, today at midnight Caitra Purnima IS THE REAL APPEARANCE DAY OF SRI RADHA KUNDA!”

mmgd: (Since Gurudeva is 99 years old,  I never expected him to say yes, but nevertheless, I curiously asked him the next question):

“Gurudeva, would you like to join us and take Radha-kunda midnight snana tonight?”

Gurudeva: (Much to my surprise, Pandit Baba looked at me innocently like a child and said enthusiastically, “YES, I’LL WILL TAKE MIDNIGHT SNANA TOO!”

 

And that’s how our first annual Caitra Purnima Radha-kunda Appearance Festival started. On behalf of Sri Advaita Prabhu, Sri Gurudeva and all the faithful followers of the six Goswamis, we invite all the devotees to come bathe at midnight on every Caitra Purnima to celebrate the actual, real APPEARANCE DAY OF RADHA KUNDA.

Radha-kunda Annual Avirbhava Mahotsava ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

 

Since every pastime of Bhagavan Sri Krishna is eternal, tonight in some other universe Radha-kunda will appear at midnight before the amazed eyes of the gopis and Vrajavasis.

 

Sri Sanatana Goswami proves that today is the appearance day of Sri Radha-kunda in his tika (SB 10.45.3): “Bhagavan Sri Krishna killed Arishta on the full moon day of Caitra month when Krishna was eleven.” Afterwards Radha-Krishna manifested Shyama-kunda and Radha-kunda. That wonderful appearance lila, as described in the Vishnu Purana, will conclude this article.

 

In other words, the actual appearance day/night of Sri Radha-kunda is tonight April 10th at midnight when the moon will be full. I know a few bhavuka bhaktas that celebrate this wonderful lila every year on Caitra Purnima with puja and a midnight bath in Sri Kunda.

 

So what about Kattika month and the Bahulastami snana? Other than recommending daily or regular bathing in Radha-kunda, the six Goswamis only mention Karttika Bahulastami as one special day to bathe in Radha-kunda. Vrajavasis say that on this day, Krishna tested the saintliness of a cow named Bahula, and thus the Puranas recommend a holy dip in Radha-kunda on THIS DAY. Incidentally, the Vrindavana forest of Bahulavan is very close to Radha-kunda.

 

In his Mathura Mahatyam, Sri Rupa Gosvami, quoting the Puranas, says, “Anyone who ON THE DAY of Bahulastami (aka Karttika Krishna astami) bathes in Radha-kunda, that person will become very dear to Sri Hari.” Certainly all Gaudiya Vaisnavas want to become dear to Sri Hari, and dear to His dearest Haripriya Swamini Sri Radhe! Thus, they all try to honor this auspicious, transcendental day by bathing in Radha-kunda.

 

On Bahulastami evening, barren North Indian grhasta couples worship a fertility devi named Ahouri in hopes of getting a child. The puja rites culminate with a midnight bath in Radha-kunda. It seems that over time, the Gaudiya’s daytime Bahulastami snana merged with the grhasta’s midnight in Radha-kunda, resulting in Gaudiyas’ thinking that they are bathing at midnight to celebrate the appearance of Radha-kunda.

 

So if you’re near, come over to Govardhana for a holy dip in Sri Radha-kunda Dhama under the rasa-filled full moon night of Caitra TO REJOICE OVER THE ACTUAL APPEARANCE DAY OF SRI RADHA KUNDA!

 

Appearance of Sri Radha Kunda 

 

In his Sarartha Darshini tikas (SB 10.36.16) Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti quotes the Radha-kunda appearance pastime from Vishnu Purana, describing a joking conversation between Radha-Madhava after Krishna had killed the Arishta demon bull.

 

“The innocent young gopis said, ‘Ah, Krishna, don’t touch us now, O killer of a bull! Alas, even though Arishta was a terrible demon, still he was posing as a bull, who represents dharma, so You will have to undergo atonement, just as Lord Indra did after killing Vrtrasura. But how can You purify Yourself without going to the trouble of visiting every single holy place in the three worlds?”

 

Krishna: “Why should I have to wander throughout the entire universe? I will at once bring all the countless pilgrimage places here and take My bath in them. Just watch!” With this, Lord Mukunda struck His left heel on the ground.

 

Then Krishna said, “Just see sakhis! This is the water of the Patala Ganga. And now, all holy places please come here!” Then all the holy places arrived before Sri Krishna.

 

Krishna proudly said, “O gopis, you see all the holy places!”

Vraja-gopis: “No, we don’t see them as You describe.”

 

Then those best of holy places, joining their palms in supplication, spoke up:

‘I am the salt ocean.’I am the ocean of milk.’ ‘I am the Amara-dirghika.’ I am the river Shona.’I am the Sindhu.’I am the Tamraparni.’I am the holy place Pushkara.’ ‘I am the river Sarasvati.”And we are the Godavari, Yamuna and Reva rivers and the triveni of Prayaga. Just see our waters!’ ”

 

Sri Krishna took a purifying bath, and then arrogantly said, “Bho, bho sakhis! I have produced a pond containing all the holy places, whereas you gopis have never done any pious acts to please Brahmaji”

 

Sri Radha said boldly, “I must create an even more beautiful pond than His. Sakhis! Get to work!” In a ditch created by the hooves of the huge asura, the gopis started digging out a kunda with their golden kankana, bangles. Within an hour, the expert sakhis manifested a most majestic and beautiful divine kunda.

 

Completely astonished at their feat, Sri Krishna said, “O Priyaji! You and Your sakhis can fill Your lake with the holy waters of mine.”

 

“NO! NO! NO! Impossible”, said Radharani, “We cannot take Your water which is contaminated with the terrible sin of killing a cow. I have an unlimited number of sakhis who can easily bring billions of pots of pure water from Manasi Ganga. And thus the fame of My kunda will be unequalled!”

 

Bhagavan Sri Krishna then gestured to a celestial representative of all the holy places there. He arose from Krishna kunda, bowed to Vrshabhanunandini, and prayed to Swamini Radha with folded palms and tear-filled eyes:

 

“O Devi! Brahmaji, Shivaji and Lakshmi can never understand the fathomless depth of Your glories. Only Sri Krishna knows, and thus He humbly washes away Your perspiration when You are tired. And Krishna always thrills in delight whenever He gets the chance to wash Your beautiful lotus feet and fasten Your ankle bells. In fact, Shyama feels supremely fortunate simply by satisfying the tips Your toes of Your lotus feet.

 

“It is on Krishna’s command we have immediately come to live in this lake, created by one stroke of Krishna’s heel. Alas! The tree of our cherished desire will only bear fruit if You are pleased and grant us Your merciful glance!”

 

Sri Radha: “Well, then what do you want?”

 

In unison, all the sacred places said, “Our lives will be successful if we can come and fill the wonderful lake You have manifested. This is the only benediction we desire.”

 

With a side-long glance toward Shyama, Srimati Radharani replied to the sacred celestials: “Oh, certainly, please come!” Thus all the holy rivers and lakes in Sri Shyama-kunda forcibly broke through its boundary walls [at the Sangam} and swiftly filled Sri Radha-kunda with their waters.”

 

Sri Hari: “O Priyatama! Throughout the world and the universe, Your Radha-kunda will become supremly more famous than Mine! And I will come here every day to bathe and enjoy water pastimes with You and all My preyasis. Indeed, Your beautiful Sri Kunda is as dear to Me as You!”

 

Srimati Radharani: “O Prana Priyatama! Even if You vanquish hundreds of Arishtas here, I will still come and bathe every day in Your Krishna Kunda.

Furthermore, I proclaim that in the future, anyone who has intense devotion for My Sri Kunda, who who bathes or resides here is sure to become very dear to Me.”

 

That night [Caitra Purnima], Sri Krishna and the Vraja-gopis enjoyed maha rasotsavam on the banks of Radha-kunda. The Krishna cloud combined with the lightning strike of Sri to cause a downpour of glee to flood the three worlds with their playfully divine lila, krishna ambudah maha rasa harsha varsha, sri radhika pravara vidyud, trai lokya madhya vitati krta divya kirti!

Caitra Purnima Appearance Night of Radha-kunda ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

 

The magnetic enchantment of Sri Vraja Dhama first captivated my heart in 1977, when good fortune brought Her most rare and auspicious darshana.

 

After lacs and lacs of miserable births my undeserving eyes were blessed with the vision of the mind-stealing Thakuraji’s of Vrindavana i.e. Radha-ramanji, Bihariji, Damodarji, Govindaji, Shyamasundaraji, and the enchanting vanas, kunjas and lila-sthalis of Yugala Kishora.

 

My useless hands attained worth by touching the astonishing, ecstasy-twisted trees of Vrindavana. My feet found fulfillment in parikrama of Vrindavana and Giriraja Govardhana. Hearing the joyous parrots and midnight cries of the peacocks attracted my ears. Smelling Vraja’s exotic fragrant flowers of juhi, mogra, kadamba, kunda, parijata and rose gave purpose to my nose. The exotically fragrant, and divinely delicious remnants of the Goswami’s Thakurajis, and the cool Shyama-blue water of Yamunaji fully satiated and satisfied my sense of taste.

 

During that visit in 1977, I visited Radha Kunda and had a mystical experience. While gazing at the peaceful, prema-filled waters and feeling the intense spiritual ambience of the place, a prayer spontaneously arose from my heart: “O Sri Radha! I don’t when or how it will be ever be possible, but please Radharani let me live on Your banks and attain the eternal service of Your lotus feet.”

 

The magic, the sweet attraction, and the indescribable enchantment of Vrindavana had somehow captured my heart. The next ten years I spent traveling back and forth between America and Vrindavana, where I would pass the month of Karttika feeling, “Yes, Vrindavana is my home, now and forever!”

 

Finally in 1987—my feelings, my attraction, my attachment and my enchantment with Vrindavana fused into one sankalpa. I vowed before the Lord in my heart: “O Krishna, I want to go to Vrindavana and never, ever return to America again!” With this sankalpa as my only possession and a one way ticket, I came to Vrindavana.

 

Somehow by the causeless mercy of Srimati Radhika, Sri Krishna, the Thakurajis of Vraja, Giridhari Shyama, Vrnda-devi, Yogamaya, Yamunaji, Gopishvara Mahadeva, Sri Guru, the Vaisnavas, the Vrajavasis, and the sacred dust of Vrindavana I was able to settle in Sridhama Vrindavana. By their mercy I received Indian citizenship in 1998, and have lived continuously in Vrindavana for the last thirty years.

 

From 1987 until 2012, I lived in various places in Vrindavana. As per my guru’s order to his sannyasis, I lived three years (1989-1992) in Srila Prabhupada’s bhajana kutira at the Radha Damodara Mandir in Seva Kunja. Inspired by Srila Prabhupada and the divine presence of Srila Rupa Goswamipada and Sri Jiva Goswamipada, I started writing spiritual books. To date we have published twenty-six books glorifying Radha-Krishna; the most famous being Appreciating Sri Vrindavana Dhama, Art of Chanting Hare Krishna and Gaudiya Vaisnava Samadhis. All books are available as E-books on Amazon.

 

In 2002, Srimati Radhika kindly and compassionately answered my prayer of 1977 while sitting on the banks of Radha Kunda. By Srimati Radharani’s mercy, I moved from Vrindavana to Radha Kunda and remain here engaged in bhajana and writing. Our latest publication is titled Radha-Krishna Pastimes at Radha Kunda.

Mohini Vrndatavi ki jai! Karunamayi Srimati Radhika ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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!