The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Radha-kunda


Srila Raghunath dasa Goswami sheltered by Srimati Radharani at Radhakunda

Jun 14, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 117.

Stories associated with Sri Radhakunda are found not only in sastra describing Sri Krsna's Vraja-lila pastimes with Srimati Radharani, but also in Chaitanya-lila literature. There is a story in Srila Narahari Dasa Thakur's Bhakti Ratnakara about an associate of Lord Chaitanya's, Sri Virachandra prabhu, who visited Radhakkunda and the forests of Vraja:

    "Virachandra first took permission to visit the forests of Vrndavana from Sri Bugarba and Sri Jiva Gosvami, then started out along with Yadava Acarya and others to visit the forests of Madhu, Tala, Kumuda and Bahula. He also went to Radha Kunda where he relished the association of Sri Jiva and others. Surrounded by numerous great Vaisnavas, Virachandra enjoyed the beauty of the Radhakunda. Seeing the Tamala tree under which Prabhu Gaurachandra had sat during his visit to Sri Radhakunda, Virachandra became ecstatic. After visiting Shyamakunda and Radhakunda he went on to Girigovardhana, where he sang and danced madly absorbed in the ecstacy of sankirtana. Eager to serve him, the people of Vraja offered many items of food for his pleasure. He and his followers stayed there for five or six days. Thereafter Sri Jiva, Sri Bhugarba and others bid farewell to him."

There is also a wonderful narration in Bhakti Ratnakara, about Jahnava Mata's (Sri Isvari's) pastimes at Radha kunda:

    "Sridasa Gosvami [Raghunath Das Goswami] lived at Radhakunda when Sri Isvari arrived in Vrndavana and although he wanted to meet her he did not have the strength to walk to Vrndavana. Since the disappearance of Sri Rupa, Dasa Gosvami had given up eating and drinking water and was thus emaciated and weak. He passed his days miserably, hoping only to leave this world. Krsnadasa Kaviraja wanted the Vrndavana Gosvamis to meet Dasa Gosvami and therefore Gopala and Raghava Pandita went from Nandeswara and Govardhana to meet Sri Isvari about the condition of Dasa Gosvami. Sri Jahnava Isvari was sorry to hear his condition and told Gopala Bhatta and others that the next morning she would visit Radha Kunda. The Gosvamis advised her to return early after their visit to Radha Kunda. She should also rest and visit the various forests of Vrndavana. The next morning Sri Isvari and the Gosvamis started for Radha Kunda through the Bahula forests. She was enchanted by the beauty of Radha Kunda but in her mind, the desire to meet Sridasa Gosvami was foremost.

    Sridasa Gosvami lived in a lonely place and engaged himself in continuously chanting the holy name. Krsnadasa Gosvami went in advance to meet Dasa Gosvami and interrupted his kirtana to tell him that Sri Isvari was on her way. With an emotional surge he jumped up and went to receive Sri Jahnava. Jahnava saw that although his body was emaciated, Dasa Gosvami was as effulgent as the sun, and she began to cry spontaneously. Dasa Gosvami bowed at her feet and then met Sri Madhava Acarya and Jahnava's other associates. They all wept uncontrollably. The Vrajabasis of Arit village were happy to meet Sri Isvari. She stayed at Radha Kunda for three or four days and every day she cooked various items and offered them to Lord Krsna then she happily distributed the food to all the Vrajabasis of the area."

Srila Raghunath Dasa Goswami's residence at Radhakunda is mentioned by Srila Yadunandana Dasa in his Shri Karnananda:

    "Being ordered by Shri Rupa Sanatana, he began to live near the Radhakunda. The Goswami used to follow very stiff and hard rules of worship as if the lines of rules were written on stone. He methodically used to recite hymns in praya to his Guru, Krishnanama and hymns in praya to Shri Chaitanya. He regarded Swarup Goswami and Shri Rupa Sanatana as his elder brothers. he had great devotion to Shri Girindra, Gandharvi Sarovara, Shri Mathura mandala and Shri Vrndavana. He had great confidence in Shri Vrjamandala and devotion to Vrjavasis." (Fourth Extract)

And in the Seventh Extract of Shri Karnananda we read more about Shrila Raghunath's life at Radhakunda:

    "The separation of Shri Rupa Gosvami so dishearted [Shri Raghunath] Dasa Gosvami that he used to spend his days on the bank of the Radha Kunda as a blind man and all the time kept himself in thinking of his own death."

In Caitanya-caritamrta Adi lila 10:91:103 we find this description of the Goswami's pastimes at Radhakunda:

    "Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami took three baths daily in the Radha-kunda lake. As soon as he found a Vaisnava residing in Vrndavana, he would embrace him and give him all respect. He engaged himself in devotional service for more than twenty-two and a half hours a day, and for less than two hours he slept, although on some days that also was not possible. I am struck with wonder when I hear about the devotional service he executed."

Another of the Six Goswamis, Srila Bhatta Raghunath, also lived on Radha-kunda, as described in Caitanya-caritamrta Adi lila 10:158:

    "Later Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami lived by Radha-kunda in a small cottage. In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, verse 185, it is said that Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami was formerly the gopi named Raga-manjari."

There is another wonderful narration in Bhakti Ratnakara about Jahnava Mata (Sri Isvari) and her transcendental pastimes at Radha kunda. This story is known as 'The miracle seen by Sri Isvari at Radha Kunda':

    "One day at noon Sri Isvari heard the sound of a flute on the bank of the kunda and she restlessly looked in all directions. Suddenly she saw Shyamala Shyama standing beneath a kadamba tree in a pose so beautiful that kandarpa himself would be attracted. Shyama was smiling and playing his flute while Sri Radha, Sri Lalita and their other confidants stood around. Unfortunately Sri Isvari got only a brief vision of Radha and Shyamasundar because she fainted on the ground in emotional ecstasy. She regained her senses but she did not discuss this incident with anyone."

The ghat where Jahnava bathed and had this vision is today known as Sri Jahnava Ghat.


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