Glories of Radha Kunda
Within the holy dhama of Vrindavana are twelve sacred forests where Lord Sri Krishna performed many of His wonderful activities. Of these twelve, the forest of Vrindavana is not only the largest, but also the most sacred because the rasa-lila was performed here. In the middle of this Vrindavana forest is the transcendental mountain Govardhana Hill, and situated at the northern most point of this great mountain is the sacred lake called Radha kunda, where the most intimate of all the Lord's
transcendental loving pastimes took place.
In Upadesamrta (Nectar of Instructions), Rupa Goswami says: The holy place known as Mathura is spiritually superior to Vaikuntha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared here. Superior to Mathurapuri is the transcendental forest of Vrindavana because of Krishna's rasa-lila pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vrindavana 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 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 unintelligent person unwilling to serve this divine Radha kunda which is situated at the foot of the Govardhana hill?
Within all the three worlds and beyond to the spiritual realm, there is no place more sacred and holy than Radha kunda. This has been confirmed in all Vedic literature's such as the Puranas and Ithias as well as by all the great sages of yore. Five hundred years ago the six Goswamis of Vrindavana also revealed through their teachings that of all the holy places within the universe, Radha kunda should be considered the holiest of all.
The reason that Radha kunda is considered to be the most holy place is because it is the personal bathing place of Srimati Radharani. When the Supreme Lord desires to enjoy transcendental mellows of divine love, Srimati Radharani manifest from the Lord's internal potency (hladini shakti) and perfectly reciprocates those loving feelings. At Radha kunda, some of the most intimate exchange of transcendental love between Radha and Krishna took place, and for this reason Radha kunda is very dear to Srimati Radharani.
The appearance of Radha kunda is transcendentally related to the pastimes of Sri Krishna. One day during the month of Kartika, King Kamsa, the evil uncle of Krishna, received news that Krishna was grazing His cows near Govardhana hill. Kamsa immediately dispatched his most powerful demon, Aristasura to kill Krishna. The demon assuming the form of a gigantic bull charged to attack Sri Krishna. When the demon came close enough, Krishna caught him by the horns and repeatedly threw him with such force that the demon gave up his life. Even though the inhabitants of Vraja were happy at the killing of the demon, Srimati Radharani and Her gopi friends were upset at the killing of a cow.
Despite all explanations from Sri Krishna, Radharani informed Him that to wash away the sins of killing a cow, He would have to purify Himself by bathing in all the holy places of the universe. Instead of taking the trouble to visit all the holy places, Sri Krishna summoned them and requested them to reside in a large hole He made by striking His heel on the ground. In this way the Shyama kunda was filled by each and every holy place in the universe and then Krishna Himself took bath in it to
purify Himself. Krishna then began teasing Radharani about the glories of His kunda.
Srimati Radharani, displaying transcendental anger, broke one of her bangles and began to dig into one of the hollows created by the hoof print of Aristasura. The other Gopis also broke their bangles and began digging with Radharani and soon they had dug a huge kunda. Amazed by this Sri Krishna offered to fill the kunda with the water from His kunda, but Srimati Radharani flatly refused. However all the holy places personified prayed to Srimati Radharani to let them reside in Her kunda,and when She finally agreed, they joyfully broke the banks of Shyama kunda and flowed into Radha kunda. Sri Krishna then immediately took a bath in Radha kunda and declared that henceforth any one bathing offenselessly in the kunda will achieve the same ecstatic love for Krishna that Srimati Radharani has.
After Sri Krishna returned to His
spiritual abode, King Yudhisthira established Parikshit as the
king of Hastinapura, and Lord Krishna's great grandson,
Vajranabha, as the kind of Mathura. King Vajranabha
re-established many holy places linked with the pastimes of Sri
Krishna. He installed many important deities and also excavated
the Shyama and Radha kunda. Almost five thousand years later
Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana and once again
re-discovered these transcendental kunda which had been forgotten
over the passage of time.
Following the instructions of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Raghunatha Dasa Goswami established his bhajan kutir (place of worship) next to Radha kunda. Fulfilling his intense desire to develop the kunda and make them accessible to many devotees, the Lord motivated a rich merchant to make a generous donation to Raghunatha Dasa Goswami. The Radha and Shyama kunda under the supervision of Jiva and Raghunatha Dasa Goswami was developed with wide boundaries and steps around it. It has since then been very nicely maintained by pious kings and religious people.
Bathing in the Radha kunda offenselessly gives one the highest form of Krishna prema. However, a devotee has to be extremely cautious of committing offenses at this holiest of the holy places. Srila Prabhupada once said that it is very easy to go to hell by committing offenses at Radha kunda. Living on the banks or bathing in the kunda is meant for the very advanced devotees like Raghunatha Dasa Goswami who are beyond the bodily concept of life. However, taking three drops of water from the kunda and sprinkling over one's head gives one all the benefit of bathing in the kunda without the dangers of any of the offenses.
We would humbly request all serious devotees of Sri Krishna to visit this holiest of the holy places at least once in their life times and get the mercy of Srimati Radharani.
Based on Radha Kunda: The
Holiest of the Holy Places by Rajasekhara dasa