Radha Kunda

Sacred bathing place of Srimati Radharani 

Radha Kunda

Krishnasyoccaih pranaya-vasatih preyasibhyo ’pi radha
kundam casya munibhir abhitas tadrg eva vyadhayi
yat presthair apy alam asulabham kim punar bhakti-bhajam
tat premedam sakrd api sarah snatur aviskaroti
"Of 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." (Srila Rupa Goswami's "The Nectar of Instruction," by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, verses 9-11)


Radha Kunda
"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?"

"In 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)

Radha Kunda
Radhakunda is located in northwest part of Vraja (the area near Vrindavana) 100 km south from capitol Delhi. Gaudiya-vaisnavas consider this lake of Srimati Radharani to be the most sacred place on Earth...

Radhakunda 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.
 
1. Radha-Krishna Purana Mandira
2. Jhulana sthali
3. Gopala Manipur Mandira
4. Radha-Shyamasundar Mandira
5. Radha-Gopinath Mandira
6. Ma Jahnava Baithak
7. Ananga Manjari kunja
8. Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami Samadhi
9. Govinda Ghata
10. Radharaman Mandira
11. Radha-Govinda Mandira
12. Jihva Mandir (tongue of Govardhan)
13. Gopala Bhatta Goswami Bhajan Kutir
14. Three Goswami Samadhi
15. Raghunatha dasa Goswami Bhajan Kutir
16. Vishvanatha Cakravarti Bhajan Kutir
17. Pilu tree
18. Manasa-pavana Ghata
19. Krishnadasa Kaviraja Bhajan Kutir
20. Bhaktivinoda Thakura Bhajan Kutir
 
21. Jagannatha Mandira
22. Lalita Kund
23. Jiva Goswami Bhajan Kutir
24. Jiva Goswami Ghata
25. Lalita-Bihari Mandir
26. Manipur Maharaja Mandira
27. Radha-Vinoda Mandira
28. Madhavendra Puri Baithak
29. Gopi-kupa
30. Ashta-sakhi Mandira
31. Nitai-Gauranga Sitanath Mandira
32. Radha-Madhava Mandira
33. Caitanya Mahaprabhu Baithak
34. Pasha-khela Ghata
35. Radha-Madana-mohana Mandira
36. Lotus Footprints
37. Sangam
38. Giriraja Maharaja
39. Mahaprabhu Mandira
40. Radha-Gopinatha Mandira
41. Nityananda Prabhu Baithak

Radha Kunda

Radha-kunda appeared after Lord Krishna killed the demon Aristasura. Because Aristasura was in the form of a bull, which is considered to be the symbol of religion, the gopis told him that he had made an offence.

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.

Radha Kunda
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 shelter. 

"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 - 

Eight Prayers Glorifying Radhakunda
vrsabha danuja nasan narma dharmokti rangair
nikhila nija sakhibhir yat sva hastena purnam
prakatitam api vrndaranya rajna pramodais
tad ati surabhi radhakundam evasrayo me
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
asulabham api turnam prema kalpa drumam tam
janayati hrdi bhumau snatur uccair priyam yat
tad ati surabhi radhakundam evasrayo me
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
prasara krta kataksa prapti kamah prakamam
anusarati yad uccaih snana sevanubandhais
tad ati surabhi radhakundam evasrayo me
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
vraja madhura kisori mauli ratna priyeva
paricitam api namna yac ca tenaiva tasyas
tad ati surabhi radhakundam evasrayo me
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
pranaya sura lata syat tasya gosthendra sunoh
sapadi kila mad isa dasya puspa prasasya
tad ati surabhi radhakundam evasrayo me
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
nija parijana vargaih samvibhaj yasritas taih
madhukara ruta ramya yasya rajanti kamyas
tad ati surabhi radhakundam evasrayo me
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
madhura madhura vartam gostha candrasya bhangya
prathayati mitha isa prana sakhyalibhih sa
tad ati surabhi radhakundam evasrayo me
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
vara sarasija gandhair hari vari prapurne
viharata iha yasmin dam pati tau pramattau
tad ati surabhi radhakundam evasrayo me
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
paripathati tadiyollasi dasyarpitatma
aciram iha sarire darsayaty eva tasmai
madhu ripur ati modaih slisyamanam priyam tam
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.



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