The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Radha-kunda

BY: SUN STAFF - 17.1 2020

A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 116.

The divine pastimes of Srimati Radharani and Sri Krsna at Her jewel-like pond, Radhakunda are sung in so many poems and prayers by the Vaisnava acaryas. Hoping to get the lotus feet of Sri Radha, by which Sri Krsna is also attained, the Vaisnavas pray:

"O Queen of Vrndavana! When can I fan You with a yaktail fan with a jeweled rod when You and Sri Krsna are sitting under a tree, Your lotus-like faces beautified by drops of perspiration from fatigue after Your pastimes on the shore of Your pond (Sri Radha Kund)?"

(Sri Sri Gandharva Samprarthanastakam, Verse 6, by Srila Rupa Goswami)

And in Sri Vrndavana-Mahimamrita (5.7-8), Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati prays:

"May Sri Radha and Her beloved, Who are flooded with waves of very, very wonderful sweetness, playful transcendental pastimes, splendid beauty, and expert knowledge of the arts of love, who have come to Vrndavana from Vraja, and the wonder of whose beauty increases hundreds and hundreds of times at Radha-kunda, appear in my heart."

Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami, in his Govinda Lilamrita, offers this nectarian exposition on the pastimes of Danistha-sakhi

"Rati's husband cupid is now hurling torrents of flower-arrows, bumble-bees , cuckoos, spring-breezes, and other dangerous weapons at Sri Krsna in the forest by Radha-kunda. Sri Krsna wished that You come at once to aid Him in the battle…

Decorated with many ornaments, Lord Hari sits on a couch of flowers in Radha-kunda's grove, which is filled with humming bees and singing cuckoos. He wonders whether You will come, He yearned for You to come. He constantly talks about You. Although He is the most powerful hero, He has lost all composure, being tortured by the cruel Cupid.

My dear saintly friend, handsome Lord Hari is now waiting in the grove by Radha-kunda. His complexion is the color of a fresh rain-cloud, and His exquisite garments are the color of gold. He wears glistening shark-shaped earrings and a garland of golden yuthika flowers. His body is anointed with attractive kumkuma, and His wide open eyes are like fully blossomed lotus flowers."

(Govinda Lilamrita, Chapter 8, verses 30-34)

These confidential pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna at Radha Kunda unfold according to a transcendental schedule, dividing the day into eight segments. This is explained by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami in his Sri Radha-Krsnayoh Asta-kaliya-lila Smarana-mangala Stotram: 'A sacred song of remembering the sports performed by Sri Radha and Krishna during the eight periods of the day':

tritiya-yama-kirttanam : Chanting during the third period: (8:10 a.m. to 10:34 a.m.)

purvahne dhenuamatrairvipina manusrtam gosthalokanuyatam
krsnam radhapti lolam tadabhisrtikrte prapta-tankunda-tiram
radham calokya krsnam krtagrhagamanamaryaya 'rkarcanayai
distam krsnapravrtyai prahitanijasakhivartmanetram smarami

purvahne --in the forenoon; dhenuamatraih --by cows and friends; vipinam --towards the forest; anusrtam --followed; gostha-loka- 'anuyatam --followed by cowherd people (i.e., Nanda and others); krsnam --Krsna; radhaptelolam --anxious to find Radha; tadabhisrtikrte --for the purpose of secretly approaching Her; prapta-tankunda-tiram --who had gone to her pond (Radha-kunda); radham --Radha; ca --and; alokya --having seen; krsnam --Krsna; krta- grha-gamanam --who had gone home; aryaya --by the mother-in-law; arkarcanayai --for worshiping the sun god; distam --ordered; krsnapravrtyai --to get news of Krsna's whereabouts; prahitanija- sakhivartmanetram --who was casting her eyes toward the path by which Her friends would return; smarami --I remember.

"I remember Sri Krsna in the forenoon. He was going toward the forest, followed by cows and cowherd friends. Others like Nanda Maharaja also followed Him. Because He was anxious to be with Radharani, Krsna went to search Her out on the banks of Sri Radha-kunda.

I also remember Sri Radha, who, having caught a glimpse of Krsna, went home, where She was ordered by Her mother-in-law (Jatila) to worship the Sun god. Radharani had sent Her girlfriends to discover Krsna's whereabouts, and thus She was casting her eyes down the pathway by which they were likely to return."

The transcendental schedule of the Divine Couple is also discussed by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati in his "Sri Bhajan Rahasya", an exposition setting forth the "prior obligatory regulation for being eligible to realize ontological mystery of bhajan". Meditating upon the Forenoon Pastimes of Radhakrishna, the Thakur writes:

"The blessed votary should think about it while doing Harinam—

purvahne dhenu-mitrair vipinam anusritam goshtha-lokanuyatam
krishnam radhapti-lolam tad abhisriti-krite prapta-tat-kunda-tiram
radham calokya krishnam krita-griha-gamanam aryayarkarcanayai
dishtam krishna-pravrityai prahita-nija-sakhi-vartma-netram smarami
Govindalilamrita 5/1

When Krishna with calves (or cows) and cowherd boys goes to forest, Nanda Maharaja, Yashoda Devi and other milkmen and milkwomen of Brajadham are following Krishna as long as they can see Him. They are going but when they cannot see Him, they return disappointed. Krishna delights the calves and cowherd boys but attracted by pure devotion of Radharani, goes to Radhakunda to meet Radharani, who has been anxiously waiting at Radhakunda to see Krishna and to get His company. Krishna, of course, consoled the calves or cows and cowherd boys before going to Radhakunda at noon. I remember the Lotus Feet of such Krishna in the forenoon pastimes."