Jun 15, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 118.
In the last segment we mentioned two of the Goswamis who resided at Sri Radhakunda -- Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami and Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami. But in fact, all of the Goswamis spent time absorbed in loving service to the Lord on the banks of Radhakunda. Srila Jiva Goswami’s bhajana-kutir is there at Radha Kund, near Lalita Kund. All of the Six Goswamis are mentioned in Srinivasa Acarya's Sri Sri Shad-gosvamy-ashtaka :
radha-kunda-tate kalinda-tanaya-tire ca vamsivate
premonmada-vasad asesha-dasaya grastau pramattau sada
gayantau ca kada harer guna-varam bhavabhibhutau muda
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who were sometimes on the bank of the Radha-kunda lake or the shores of the Yamuna and sometimes at Vamsivata. There they appeared just like madmen in the full ecstasy of love for Krishna, exhibiting different transcendental symptoms in their bodies, and they were merged in the ecstasy of Krishna consciousness."
Many of the great Vaisnava acaryas lived along, or spent time at Radha Kunda. There is a passage in Bhakti Ratnakar in which Srila Narahari Cakravarti Thakur describes some of the Vaisnavas visiting Srimati Radharani's favourite pond:
"Srinvasa and Narottama occasionally visited Radha kunda where they were glad to meet Sri Dasa Gosvami.
How Dasa Gosvami favored them is beyond my power to describe.
The affection shown them by Krsna Dasa Kaviraja and other's also defies description.
They were overwhelmed by affection, and they considered themselves fortunate to see the beauty of the kunda.
With the sun on their heads one day Srinivasa and Narottama visited the Sun temple to worship the Sun God.
Srinivasa showed Narottama the path by which Sri Radha would visit the Sun temple to worship the Sun God.
Srinivasa had hardly spoken the words when they suddenly heard the sound of foot bells.
The ecstatic joy they derived from that sound cannot be described.
With pleasure they visited places like Nandargama, Yavata, Varsana, etc. The glory of these places cannot be described.
They plunged into the sea of pleasure in Vrndavana and their mysterious revelations are beyond the scope of presentation.
How the Gosvamis of Vrndavana graced Srinivasa and Narottama cannot be described for fear of the book becoming too long.
(Bhakti Ratnakar 7.204-214)
Sri Vishwanath Cakravati Thakur once took up residence in the bhajan kutir of Srila Krishna Das Kaviraja on the banks of Radha-kunda. There, in the association of the Kaviraja's disciple Mukunda das, Srila Vishwanath studied the Goswami's literatures and wrote many commentaries on them.
A famous Vaishnavi, Sri Gangamata Gosvamini was instructed by her spiritual master to go live at Radha Kunda with an advanced godsister, Lakshmipriya Devi, who regularly chanted three lakhs of the Holy Name every day. The two would circumambulate Govardhana Hill each day. After several years of this spiritual practice at Radha Kund, she followed her guru's orders and went to Purushottam Kshetra, to take care of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's asrama, which had fallen into disrepair, and which still housed his Shalagrama-shila.
Sometime 1892 A.D., Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur went to Radhakunda. About the glorious departure of Srila Bhaktivinoda from this world, it is said that on June 23, 1914, "he entered the midday pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Govinda at Radha Kund".
In his early years, Srila Gaurakishora Dasa Babaji resided in Vraja. Performing great austerities, he wandered around all around Vrindavan, calling out the names of Radha and Krsna. Sometimes he was begging a little food from the Vrajavasis, and sometimes he ate mud from the banks of Sri Radha-kunda or the Yamuna.
Later on Srila Gaurakishora went to reside at Navadvipa Dhama. He samadhi was originally installed on the west bank of the Ganga, in Kuliyagram, but the holy river eventually took a new course. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati later had his samadhi shifted to the bank of Radha-kunda at Caitanya Matha in Vraja-Pattan.
"On the 5th of Bhadra, 1339 Bengali (1932 AD) Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur retrieved some of his remains from the Ganges bed and took them to the Chaitanya Math where he established a samadhi temple on the banks of Radha Kund. The site was consecrated on the 2nd of Ashvina, 1339 and in the course of time, a small temple housing a murti of Gaura Kishora Das Babaji was constructed there. The murti’s nitya-seva has continued ever since." (Lord Chaitanya's Associates)