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:
- 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)
- Anyone who is fortunate will take shelter and live at Radha-kunda.” (Upadesamrta v. 10)
Raghunatha Dasa Goswami:
- 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)
- 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).
- O sakhi Sri Rupa Manjari! Please arrange for me to always stay in Radha-kunda. (Stavavali, IV. 3)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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!