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Vraja Vilasa: I take shelter of Sri Radhakund

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1614623_10100635541511972_5025255706310927997_o.jpgThe delightful forest of Vrindavan, beautiful Govardhan Hill, and the ambrosial arena of the Raas dance ­ what to speak of other places – are not equal to even a single particle of one of the atoms of Sri Radhakund. I take shelter of that divine lake, which is dearer to Mukunda than his own life’s breath.

VERSE 53:

śrī vṛndāvipinaṁ suramyam api tacchrīmān sa govardhanaḥ
sā rāsa-sthalikāpyalaṁ rasamayī kiṁ tāvad anya sthalam
yasyāpyaṁśa lavena nārhati manāk sāmyaṁ mukundasya tat
prāṇebhyo’pyadhika priyeva dayitaṁ tat kuṇḍam evāśraye

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse, Sri Raghunath Das Goswami, who has taken shelter of Sri Radhakuṇḍ, describes the glories of Vraja’s crownjewel Śrī-Sri Radhakuṇḍ and reveals his exclusive attachment to the shelter of the kuṇḍ.

yathā rādhā priyā viṣṇos tasyāḥ kuṇḍaṁ priyaṁ tathā. sarva gopīṣu saivaikā viṣṇor atyanta vallabhā (Padma Purāṇ) “Just as Sri Radharani is dear to Krishna, so is her pond, Radhakuṇḍ. Of all the gopīs, she alone is the most dear to Sri Krishna.”

On the day of the kuṇḍ’s advent, Sri Krishna personally said:

proce hariḥ priyatame tava kuṇḍam etat mat kuṇḍato’pi mahimādhikam astu loke
atraiva me salila kelir ihaiva nityaṁ snānaṁ yathā tvam asi tadvad idam saro me

Sri Hari said: “O Dearest One! May your kuṇḍ be even more glorious in this world than mine! Here I will always bathe and play in the water, because this lake is as dear to me as you are!”

sarva gopī hoite rādhā kṛṣṇera preyasī; taiche rādhā-kṛṣṇa priya – priyāra sarasī
yei kuṇḍe nitya kṛṣṇa rādhikāra saṅge; jale jalakeli kore – tīre rāsa raṅge
sei kuṇḍe eka bāra yei kore snāna; tāre rādhā sama prema kṛṣṇa kore dāna
kuṇḍera mādhurī yena rādhāra madhurimā; kuṇḍera mahimā yeno rādhāra mahimā

(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 18)

“Of all the gopīs, Radha is Krishna’s most beloved, and similarly her lake is most dear to him. Anyone who bathes even once in this lake, in which Krishna eternally plays water sports with Radhika, and on whose banks he dances the Raas dance with her, will receive a love for Krishna like that of Radhika’s! The sweetness of the kuṇḍ is like Radha’s sweetness, and the glories of the kuṇḍ are like Radha’s glories.”

 

Sri Radhakund

Although there are thousands and thousands of holy water bodies in Braj, no such glorification can be heard of any other holy water body. For this reason Radhakuṇḍ is the crownjewel of Braj.

Das Goswami says: “Within the 168-mile circumference of Braj, Sri Vrindavan is very charming!”

In the Ādi Purāṇ it is written:

yatra vṛndāvanaṁ nāma vanaṁ kāma dughair drumaiḥ
manorama nikuñjāḍhyaṁ sarvartu sukha saṁyutam
yatra nirmala pānīyā kālindī saritāṁ varā
ratna baddhobhaya taṭā haṁsa padmādi saṅkulā

“There (in Vrajadhāma) is Vrindavan, which is enriched by charming arbours that are filled with wish-yielding trees, and where the six seasons spread delight. Here is the best of rivers, Kālindī (Yamuna), which is filled with clear water and blooming lotus flowers, where swans are swimming and whose banks are studded with jewels.”

In the Padma Purāṇ it is written:

idaṁ vṛndāvanaṁ ramyaṁ mama dhāmaiva kevalam
[…]
pañca yojanam evāsti vanaṁ me deha rūpakam
kālindīyaṁ suṣumnākhyā paramāmṛta vāhinī
tejomayam idaṁ ramyam adṛśyaṁ carma cakṣuṣā

“This charming Vrindavan is my only abode, and with its ten-mile circumference this forest is my body and the Kālindī (Yamuna), which carries the greatest nectar, is also known as the suṣumnā (spine). This charming Vrindavan is very powerful and effulgent, but it is invisible to the physical eyes.”

There is more written in the Padma Purāṇ about the loveliness of Vrindavan:

nitya nūtana puṣpādi rañjitaṁ sukha saṅkulam
svātmānanda sukhotkarṣa śabdādi viṣayātmakam
nānā citra vihaṅgādi dhvanibhiḥ parirañjitam
nānā ratna latāśobhi mattāli dhvani maṇḍitam
cintāmaṇi paricchannaṁ jyotsna jāla samākulam
sarvartu phala puṣpāḍhyaṁ prabālaiḥ śobhitaṁ pari
kālindī jala saṁsargi vāyunā kampitaṁ muhuḥ
vṛndāvanaṁ kusumitaṁ nānā vṛkṣa vihaṅgamaiḥ
saṁsmaret sādhako dhīmān vilāsaika niketanam

“An intelligent and attentive practitioner should remember blossoming Vrindavan, which is the only abode of transcendental pastimes. Vrindavan is coloured by evergreen flowers, is filled with transcendental bliss which is greater than the bliss experienced by those who perceive the Paramātma, and which is revealed through transcendental sounds, sensations, forms, flavours and fragrances. Vrindavan is beautified by the sweet calls of different kinds of birds and decorated by various jeweled vines with humming, intoxicated bees. It is pervaded by a transcendental light which is diffused by chintamani jewels, filled with fruits of all the six seasons and beautified with coral stones. In this flowery Vrindavan, which is adorned with lovely trees and birds, the wind makes soft ripples on the water of the Yamuna. Such are the opulences of Vrindavan.”

And in Vrindavan again, the most beautiful place is the delightful Rāsa-sthalī.  śaśvad rāsa rasonmattaṁ yatra gopī-kadambakam. tat kadamba madhyasthaḥ kiśorākṛtir acyutaḥ  “Here Sri Achyuta always dwells in an adolescent form, surrounded by a circle of gopīs that are intoxicated by the flavours of the Rāsa-dance.”

In this Sri Vrindavan the opulence of Govardhan’s beauty is yet again greater. yatra govardhano nāma sunirjharadarīyutaḥ. ratna dhātumayaḥ śrīmān supakṣi gaṇa saṅkulaḥ (ibid.)

“Here in Vrindavan is Govardhana, which is beautified with the most excellent brooks, caves and sweetly singing jewel-like birds.” Therefore it is by nature even more beautiful than Vrindavan.

Das Goswami says: “What to speak of other places, even the most charming Sri Vrindavan, the most beautiful Govardhana hill and the most delectable place where the Rāsa-dance took place can not equal even a fraction of Sri Radhakuṇḍ, for this lake is as dear to Mukunda as his heart’s beloved, Sri Radharani.”

Śrīmat Rūpa Goswami has also written:

vaikuṇṭhājjanitā varā madhupurī tatrāpi rāsotsavād
vṛndāraṇyam udāra pāṇi ramaṇāt tatrāpi govardhanaḥ
rādhākuṇḍam ihāpi gokulapateḥ premāmṛtāplāvanāt
kuryād asya virājato giritaṭe sevāṁ vivekī na kaḥ

“Greater than Vaikuṇṭha is Mathurā and greater than Mathura is Vrindavan, where the Rāsa-festival took place. Greater still is Govardhana, which was beautified by the charming hand of Giridhārī, but greatest of all is Radhakuṇḍ, which is inundated by the nectarean love of the Lord of Gokul. Which intelligent person will not serve this Radhakuṇḍ, which is situated at the base of Girirāj Govardhan?”

Just as Sri Radharani, who is endowed with mādanākhya mahābhāv, the topmost ecstatic love, is dearer than life to Krishna, who is only subdued by pure love, Sri Radhakuṇḍ, which is connected with her and nondifferent from her, is also most dear to her. Therefore there is no comparison to Sri Radhakuṇḍ’s glories.

Das Goswami says: “I take shelter of that Sri Radhakuṇḍa.”

suramya śrī vṛndāvana, nava nava kuñjavana,
śobhāśālī giri govardhana
sei mahārāsa sthalī, yathā rāsa rasa keli,
yāra mana nahe eka kaṇa
śrī vṛndā vipinera, mahimā yāra,
lava nahe yāhāra tulanā
rādhākuṇḍa rādhā-sama, mukundera priyatama,
āśraya kori e mora vāsanā

“Although Sri Vrindavan is very lovely and endlessly glorious because the Rāsa-dance took place there at the Mahārāsa-sthalī, and although Giri Govardhan is beautiful due to its many fresh kuñj-forests, they are still not comparable to even a fraction of a drop from Sri Radhakuṇḍ. I yearn to take shelter of that Radhakuṇḍ, which is as dear to Mukunda as Radha herself.”

anantadas_thumbThe commentary of Sri Radha Kund Mahant, Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj, is named Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā (a drop of the nectar of Stavāvalī).

It was published in Gaurābda 503 (1989 A.D.) by Sri Krishna Chaitanya Shastra Mandir, Vrajananda Ghera, PO Radhakunda (district Mathura), U.P., India.

The devotional songs in Bengali that follow each commentary were composed by Dr. Haripada Sheel.

 

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