The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Syamakund


Syamakunda, looking towards Jiva Gosvami ghera

Jul 20, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 153.

The next list in Jaiva Dharma's 'Glossary of Places' is Syama-kunda:

    "Syama-kunda - 'the pond of Sri Syamasundara', situated just next to Sri Radha-kunda. This pond is the direct embodiment of Sri Krsna. This place is also known as Arista-kunda, because it was the pond Krsna made at the instigation of the gopis after He killed the Arista (bull) asura. The gopis accused Krsna of being impure because of having killed a bull. First Sri Krsna dug a small hole with His heal then He called all the sacred rivers throughout the universe, and at once they came together and entered to form this pond. Afterward, the personified deities of those rivers prayed to be accepted in Radha's kunda also.

    Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda are considered to be the eyes of Govardhana, which lies in the shape of a peacock. They are together the site of the topmost pastimes of Radha and Krsna and are superlative among all holy places."

Srila Bhaktivinoda gives a similar description in the 'Glossary of Places' listing for Govardhana.

In an earlier segment on Radha-kunda we covered the story of Sri Krsna killing Aristasura including a passage from chapter five of Bhakti Ratnakara, in which Srila Narahari Cakravarti describes Syama Kunda and Radha Kunda in Airatagrama.

The glories of Syama-kunda and Radha-kunda, Who are present at the foot of Govardhana, are explained by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti in Sri Vraja-riti-cintamani: The Cintamani Jewel of Vraja:

    "Who is able to describe the glories of Govardhana Hill, the best of Lord Hari's servants?

    Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda are Govardhana's two love-filled eyes. Because it nourishes the gopas, gopis, and surabhi cows with Lord Madhava's sweetness, it shines with the name 'go-vardhana'.

    Syama-kunda and Radha-kunda are two great floods of the nectar of beauty. They are two great oceans of splendour. They are two beautiful roots from which sweet devotional service grows.

    They are two jewel-mines of love. They are two seeds from which grow the jewel-vines of transcendental pastimes. How did they become two splendid and nectar-sweet lakes?

    By seeing these two lakes, Radha and Krsna believe They are present in them. It is as if They directly see each other there. The wise say that by approaching these lakes one directly approaches Radha and Krsna.

    Longing to meet, but forced to remain separate, Radha and Krsna assumed the forms of Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda. In this way They become splashed with the nectar of meeting each other.

    I think that when Radha saw Krsna She melted with ecstasy and thus assumed the liquid state of the waters of Radha-kunda, and in the same way when Krsna saw Radha He also melted in ecstasy and became the waters of Syama-kunda. In this way these two lakes bear the names and qualities of the divine couple.

    Out of great kindness to the people, so they could directly taste Their sweetness, Radha and Krsna have become these two lakes. Shining with happiness, the devotees bathe in these two lakes.

    I think these two lakes are the divine couple's love. They who are fortunate bathe there. Because bathing there is like bathing in Their transcendental love, these two lakes bear the names of the divine couple.

    Spelled backwards, the word sara (lake) becomes rasa (nectar). They who are aware of this great secret bathe in these two lakes.

    Wishing to see Their sweet pastimes in the forest, the two lakes have become the divine couple's two pet cakora-birds.

    Limitless beautiful Sri Radha-kunda is filled with the divine couple's great love. On every side are the groves of Radha's friends and the humming of many bees.

    To the north is a jewel lotus garden named Lalita-pramada. To the north is a flower garden named Visakha-pramada.

    To the east is Citra-pramada, a wonderful garden of colourful flowers. To the southeast is Purnendu-kunja, the delight of Indulekha-gopi.

    To the south is Prema-kunja, the delight of Campakalata-gopi. Sri Radha slips away from the protection of her mother-in-law Jatila to meet Krsna in this grove.

    In the southwest is the sapphire studded grove named Nila-nikunja, the delight of Sri Rangadevi-gopi. Once Radha's mother-in-law Jatila happened upon the divine couple sitting together in this sapphire grove. Jatila could not see Krsna, whose bodily lustre camouflaged Him against the background of sapphires. Jatila thought Radha was sitting alone. She glorified Her daughter-in-law and quickly left.

    To the west is Aruna-kunja, the red-flower-filled grove that is the delight of Tungavidya-gopi. To the northwest is the tree grove of Marakata-kunja (grove of emeralds), which is the delight of Sudevi-gopi.

    Placed over the waters in the middle of Radha-kunda is a wonderful jewel palace where Ananga-manjari with great love serves the divine couple. Without love and devotion who is able to know about this palace? All the groves, paths, and various places around Radha-kunda are filled with the nectar of Lord Govinda's pastimes. All these places are elaborately described in Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami's book Sri Govinda-lilamrta."

    (Sri Vraja-riti-cintamani: The Cintamani Jewel of Vraja, 3.28-46)

(To be continued…)


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