Mathura-mandala Parikrama, Part 7


BY: SUN STAFF - 15.2 2021

By Srila Narahari Chakravarti Thakur.


The Fulfillment of Shrila Dasa Gosvami's Desire

O Shrinivasa, presently these paddy fields are seen as two kundas full of water. Please listen while I briefly describe the transformation of the two paddy fields into beautiful kundas.

One day Raghunatha dasa Gosvami suddenly considered to himself that if these kundas were filled with water it would be very good. Considering that for this purpose money would be needed, Raghunatha dasa remained silent. He scolded himself again and again, thinking why he had desired such a thing. Solacing himself, he decided to stay alone and behave cautiously for sometime. However, when a devotee desires something, that cannot be denied, for Krishna always fulfills His devotees' desires.

Meanwhile, one rich person had gone to Badarikashrama to get the Lord's darshana. He offered Lord Narayana a large sum of money. That night in a dream the Lord ordered the man, 'Take this money to Arita-grama in Vraja. There you will find the best of the Vaishnavas, Raghunatha dasa. Give the money to him in My name. If Raghunatha does not agree to take the money, you should remind him about his desire to clean the two kundas for bathing and drinking water.'

Speaking these words, the Lord disappeared, and that sincere devotee happily came here to Arita-grama. Going before Raghunatha dasa he fell to the ground, offered his obeisances, and then gave the money to Raghunatha. He explained the instruction given to him by the Lord in his dream. Raghunatha became stunned for some time. After some time he repeatedly praised his fortune and requested the rich man to excavate the two kundas without delay. Hearing this, that fortunate man was filled with ecstasy and proceeded to engage many people for the work. Very soon the kundas were dug out. Now hear why Shyama-kunda was dug in an irregular shape.

Everyone decided that the following day a few old trees on the bank of Shyama-kunda should be cut. That night Raghunatha had a dream in which King Yudhishthira told him, 'My brothers and I are living within those trees. Tomorrow morning go to Manasa-pavana-ghata, identify those five trees, and protect them from being cut.' After the dream, Raghunatha went early the next morning to identify the trees and order the people not to cut them. For that reason they could not make Shyama-kunda square. The two kundas were then filled with clear water and Shri Raghunatha became very satisfied.

Shri Raghunatha dasa Accepts a Bhajana Kutira

Day and night Raghunatha dasa Gosvami would live under a tree. He had no desire for a kutira. One day Sanatana Gosvami came here from Vrindavana to visit Gopala Bhatta's residence. Going to take bath in the Manasa-pavana-ghata, he saw a tiger coming to the ghata for drinking water. As the tiger was returning to the forest, it passed very close to Shri Raghunatha, who was sitting in meditation. After some time, when Raghunatha finished his meditation, he looked around and saw that Sanatana had come for bath.

Raghunatha fell to the ground and paid his obeisances to Sanatana, who affectionately embraced him. In loving words Sanatana asked Raghunatha to give up living under the tree and live in a kutira. After specifically instructing Raghunatha on this point, Sanatana went for his bath. From that very day work on Raghunatha's kutira was begun. From then on, for the benefit of others, Raghunatha lived in a kutira in obedience to the order of Sanatana Gosvami. O Shrinivasa, with one mouth how can I describe the activities of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami?

Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had special affection for one Vraja-vasi named Dasa. One day this Dasa went to Sakhisthali village and got a large leaf of a palasha tree. He was thinking how Dasa Gosvami would not eat grains due to intense feelings of separation. Because Raghunatha's practice was to take only one leaf cup of buttermilk in a day, Dasa thought that with a bigger cup he would then have a little more. Considering this, Dasa went to his home, made a cup from this leaf, and brought the buttermilk to Raghunatha.

On seeing the new leaf cup, the Gosvami inquired where the large leaf cup had come from. Dasa replied that he had gone herding cows at Sakhisthali, where he found the nice leaves which he brought back. Hearing the name 'Sakhisthali' Raghunatha became full of anger and threw the cup along with the buttermilk far away. After some time when he became calm, Raghunatha ordered Dasa never to go again to Sakhisthali as it was the residence of Candravali. Hearing this, Dasa could then understand the spiritual activities of the pure devotees. They always remain fixed in their eternal spiritual form. Whoever doubts this is the most sinful man in the world.

One day in his mind Raghunatha ate rice prasada with milk and afterwards felt very heavy with indigestion. No one was able to determine the reason for this. Hearing of his condition, Shri Vitthalanatha brought two doctors from Shri Vallabhapura. After taking his pulse, the doctor said again and again that the heaviness was caused by taking milk with rice. Astonished, Shri Vitthalanatha said that couldn't be possible as Raghunatha never takes milk and rice. Raghunatha replied saying, 'That is certainly true, but in my mind I had eaten the milk and rice.' Hearing this everyone was struck with wonder. Such are the activities of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. What more can be said?"

Living in Radha-kunda Only by the Grace of Shrila Dasa Gosvami

O Shrinivasa, know for certain that only by the grace of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami can one live at Radha-kunda. Raghunatha's service to Radha-kunda, the govardhana-shila, and the gunja-mala is very famous. [One may refer to Chaitanya-caritamrita, Antya-lila 6.287-307. Gunja is a small bright red and black seed of the gunja creeper found in Vraja.] See the trees and creepers surrounding the most enchanting Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda which are connected together. O Shrinivasa, at Malyahari-kunda wonderful pastimes took place connected with a pearl necklace. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has very mercifully described this incident in his book Shri Mukta Caritra. See here the two kundas, Shiva-khora and Bhanu-khora." Saying this, Raghava Pandita became ecstatic.

After showing Shrinivasa and Narottama various other kundas and pastime places, he then took them to meet Shri Dasa Gosvami. Shri Raghava Pandita offered an account of all their activities to Dasa Gosvami, who felt delighted in his heart. With great respect Shrinivasa and Narottama both fell down on the ground and offered obeisances to Dasa Gosvami's feet. Dasa Gosvami was delighted to meet Shrinivasa and Narottama. Although he was weak with old age, he stood up to embrace them. He also spoke something very softly to Shrinivasa.

Krishnadasa Kaviraja also came there. Shrinivasa and Narottama offered their obeisances to him, and he reciprocated accordingly. Because of Shrinivasa's wonderful activities, Krishnadasa Kaviraja loved him as his very life. Dasa, the Vraja-vasi who was very dear to Dasa Gosvami, quickly came there to meet them. All the other Vaishnavas who lived on the banks of the kundas also came forward to meet Shrinivasa and Narottama. They all happily gave them permission to take bath and then quickly arranged various foodstuffs to be brought for them. Shrinivasa and Narottama went directly for their bath and their eyes were filled with the beauty of the kunda.

The kunja of Subala is on the north side of Shyama-kunda where Manasa-pavana-ghata is situated. This place, where the five Pandavas live in the form of trees, is very dear to Radhika. Shrinivasa and Narottama bathed there in ecstatic love and then returned to Shri Gopala Bhatta's kutira and took maha-prasada. They spent that day in great ecstasy and then continued their tour the next morning.

Raghava Pandita then took them to see Mukharai, a village to the south of Radha-kunda. Everyone knows this as the place where Radha's grandmother Mukhara lived. It was very amusing when Mukhara herself took pleasure arranging the meetings of Radha and Krishna.