Sacred bathing place of Srimati Radharani
pranaya-vasatih preyasibhyo ípi radha
the many objects of favored delight and of all the lovable damsels of Vrajabhumi,
Srimati Radharani is certainly the most treasured object of Krishna's love. And,
in every respect, Her divine kunda is described by great sages as similarly dear
to Him. Undoubtedly Radha-kunda is rarely attained even by the great devotees;
therefore it is even more difficult for ordinary devotees to attain. If one simply
bathes once within those holy waters, one's pure love of Krishna is fully aroused."
Goswami's "The Nectar of Instruction," by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,
"The holy place known as Mathura is spiritually superior to Vaikuntha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathura-puri is the transcendental forest of Vrndavana because of Krishna's rasa-lila pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vrndavana is Govardhana Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Sri Krishna and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the superexcellent Sri Radha-kunda stands supreme, for it is overflooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Sri Krishna. Where, then, is that intelligent person who is unwilling to serve this divine Radha-kunda, which is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill?"
the sastra it is said that of all types of fruitive workers, he who is advanced
in knowledge of the higher values of life is favored by the Supreme Lord Hari.
Out of many such people who are advanced i knowledge [jnanis], one who is practically
liberated by virtue of his knowledge may take to devotional service. He is superior
to all the others. However, one who has actually attained prema, pure love of
Krishna, is superior to him. The gopis are exalted above all the advanced devotees
because thay are always totally dependent upon Sri Krishna, the transcendental
cowherd boy. Among the gopis, Srimati Radharani is the most dear to Krishna. Her
kunda [lake] is as profoundly dear to Lord Krishna as this most beloved of gopis.
Who, then, will not reside at Radha-kunda and, in a spiritual body surcharged
with ecstatic devotional feelings [aprakrta-bhava], render loving service to the
divine couple Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, who perform Their astakaliya-lila, Their
eightfold daily pastimes. Indeed, those who execute devotional service on the
banks of Radha- kunda are the most fortunate people in the universe." (Srila
Rupa Goswami's "The Nectar of Instruction," by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada, verses 9-11)
is situated on the parikrama (pilgrimage) road around the Govardhana Hill. The
whole Govardhana is about 11 km long and by its shape it resembles the form of
a peacock. Both ponds - Radhakunda and Syamakunda - are like its eyes.
Radha-kunda is considered to be the holiest place on earth for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
Also Radharani rebuked Krishna, saying that He became impure by killing a bull, the symbol of religion. She suggested that He could get purified by taking bath in the holy rivers of all sacred places.
Rather than travel to all the holy places, the Lord brought all the holy places to that spot. He struck the ground with His heel and immediately all the waters from all holy rivers appeared. This place became known as Syama-kunda. In a competitive mood, the gopis led by Srimati Radharani also created a kunda by digging the earth with their bangles. All the holy rivers then petitioned Srimati Radharani to allow them to enter Her new kunda. Thus Radha-kunda appeared. About 5,000 years later the location of Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda was unknown, then Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavana and discovered them. Later, Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami and Srila Jiva Gosvami supervised the expansion and building of the kundas to what they are today.
In the center of Radhakunda of today is small area with the wall around it called Kankanakunda (or Kancankunda). It is the area of the original pond created by gopis with their bracelets.
Radhakunda appeared at 12-th midnight on Bahulastami (the eight day of waning moon in the month of Karttika). In the autumn (October/November) at the appearance day of Radhakunda many thousands of people gather and wait for the midnight. Then they take bath in Radhakunda. It is really ecstatic and exiting event with ghee lamps shining on darkened waters of Radhakunda.
Bahulastami - Origin of Radha Kunda, the sacred bathing place of Srimati Radharani.
On the eighth day of the waning phase of the damodara
month the appearance day of Radha Kunda is celebrated by the residents. Bathing
in Radha Kunda is especially benefical on this day. By this one gains the favour
of Radha, by which one gains the favor of Krishna. Radha Kunda appeared at midnight.
People go to Radha Kunda and offer prasadam, garlands and pumkins (gords) into
the water, then at midnight take bath in Radha Kunda and then bathe in Syama Kunda.
Many people like to bathe at a ghat where Lord Nityananda's sakti, Jahnava Mata
used to bathe. But wherever you go you better get there early as thousands of
people/ devotees will be there. And bring some warm clothing for afterwards, as
it is sooooo "cooling".
The holy place known as Mathura is spiritually
superior to Vaikuntha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there.
Superior to Mathura puri is the transcendental forest of Vrindavana because of
Krishna's rasalila pastimes. And superior to theforest of Vrindavana is Goverdhana
Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Sri Krishna and was the site of
his various loving pastimes. And, above all, the super excellent Sri Radha Kunda
stands supreme, for it is over flooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the
Lord of gokula, Sri Krishna. Where, then, is that intelligent person who is unwilling
to serve this divine Radha Kunda, which is situated at the foot of Govardhana
Hill? Srila Rupa Goswami's Nectar of Instruction (Upadeshamritam)
The Origin of Radha-kund After killing a bull-demon
named Aristasura, Krishna approached Radharani to engage in loving affairs. However,
She rebuked Him, stating He was impure because of committing the sin of killing
a bull, the symbol of religion. She suggested that to counteract this sin He should
bathe in all the sacred rivers.
Krishna, being eager to engage in loving affairs with Srimati Radharani, immediately shoved His lotus foot into the ground, making a large hole, and called all the sacred rivers to enter into it. They appeared before Him and formed Syama-kunda (the bathing place of Syama-one who is the colour of a dark rain cloud). After bathing, Krishna stated that He had become pure by bathing in Syama-kunda, but that the gopis had become impure, having sided with a demon, even though he appeared in the form of a bull.
Radharani, along with some of Her gopi friends,
broke their bangles and dug a hole with the broken pieces. But there was no water
- so Krishna laughed. The gopis then formed a line to the Manasi Ganga and started
to fill the hole with water that was passed from one gopi to another. At that
time, all the sacred rivers again arrived in person and requested permission to
enter into Radharani's kunda, which they did after receiving Radharani's blessing.
Sri Radha-Kunda-astakam by Srimad Raghunatha
dasa Gosvami "After the killig of Aristasura, Srimati Radhika and Her
sakhis exchanged many joking words with Sri Krishna concerning the necessary atonement
for one who has committed the offence of killing a bull. As a result, the Queen
of Vrindavana, Srimati Radhika, and Her sakhis joyfully excavated and filled Sri
Radha-kunda with their own hands. May that immensely fragrant Radha-kunda be my
"In the land of the hearts of those who bathe in Radha-kunda, a desire tree of the superlative prema, which is not attainable even for Krishna's principal queens in Dvaraka, will arise. May that supremely charming Radha-kunda be my shelter. "For the pleasure of Srimati Radhika, even Sri Krishna Himself, yearning to attain Her merciful sidelong glance, regularly bathes in Radha-kunda, carefully observing all the appropriate rituals. May that supremely enchanting Radha-kunda be my shelter.
"May that supremely enchanting Radha-kunda,
which the moon of Vraja, Sri Krishna, loves as much as He loves the crown-jewel
amongst the sweet girls of Vraja, Srimati Radhika, and which He has made known
by the name of Radhika Herself, be my shelter. "The mercy obtained by serving
Radha-kunda makes the desire-creeper of prema for the prince of Vraja sprout and
is celebrated for bearing the flower of service to my svamini Srimati Radhika.
May that supremely charming Radha-kunda be my shelter.
"Gloriously manifest on the banks of Radha-kunda
are eight kunjas named after Radhika's principal sakhis. Acting as stimuli for
the amorous pastimes of the Divine Couple, these kunjas are filled with the sweet
humming of bumblebees and are desired by everyone. May that supremely enchanting
Radha-kunda be the shelter of my life. "Situated on an exquisite dais on
the bank of Radha-kunda and accompanied by Her beloved sakhis, our svamini Srimati
Radhika charmingly engages in sweet, joking words with Sri Krishna, the moon of
Vraja. These playful verbal exchanges are enhanced by the suggestion of so many
innuendoes. May that Radha-kunda be the shelter of my life.
"May that very charming and especially fragrant Radha-kunda, where intoxicated with love the Divine Couple and the sakhis daily sport with great joy in the water so fragrant with exquisite lotus flowers, be the sole shelter of my life. "To that devotee who, in a resolute mood of aspiring to serve Srimati Radhika, reads this charming prayer describing Sri Radha-kunda, even in their present body Sri Krishna will quickly grant them darshana of not only His beloved Radhika, but also of Their many variegated amorous pastimes. Witnessing these pastimes and envisioning himself serving Yugala-kishora in various ways, such a devotee will feel immense jubilation. This astaka is recited in the poetic meter known as 'Malini'."
- SRI RADHAKUNDA-ASTAKA -
vrsabha danuja nasan narma dharmokti rangair
May very fragrant Radhakunda, which, prodded by the gopis' many joking words after Vrsabhasura's death, the king of Vrndavana forest happily built and filled with His own hand, be my shelter.
vraja bhavi mura satroh preyasinam nikamair
May very dear and fragrant Radhakunda, which for one who bathes in it immediately creates in the land of the heart a desire tree of pure love rare even among the gopi beloveds of Lord Krishna in Vraja, be my shelter.
agha ripur api yatnad atra devyah prasada
May very dear and fragrant Radhakunda, where, yearning to attain the merciful sidelong glance of His queen, Lord Krishna, diligently follows Her bathing attendants, be my shelter.
vraja bhuvana sudhamsoh prema bhumir nikamam
May very fragrant Radhakunda, which is named after a girl who is a realm of love for He who is the moon of Vraja, a girl who is like the most precious jewel in the crown of the sweet girls of Vraja, be my shelter.
api jana iha kascid yasya seva prasadaih
The mercy obtained by serving Radhakunda makes the celestial vine of pure love for the prince of Vraja, which is famous for bearing the flowers of service to my queen, sprout. May that very fragrant Radhakunda be my shelter.
tata madhura nikunjah klpta namana uccair
May very fragrant Radhakunda, on the shores of which are many splendid and charming forest groves filled with the sweet sounds of bumblebees and each named after one of Sri Radha's friends, be my shelter.
tata bhuvi vara vedyam yasya narmati hrdyam
May very fragrant Radhakunda, on the shore of which, in a pleasant courtyard Queen Radha and Her friends sweetly joke with Lord Krishna, the moon of Vraja, be my shelter.
anudinam ati rangaih prema mattali sanghair
May very fragrant Radhakunda, where the passionate divine couple daily plays with Their passionate friends in the charming lotus scented water, be my shelter.
avikalam ati devyas caru kundastakam yah
To one who is completely dedicated to Queen Radha's service and who happily reads these eight beautiful verses describing Her lake, even in this present body Lord Krishna shows His beloved as He happily embraces Her.