anusarati yad ucaaiḥ snāna-sevānubandhais
tad ati-surabhi rādhā-kuṇḍam evāśrayo me
That very dear, beautiful and fragrant Radha Kund, where even Krishna, the enemy of Aghasura, eagerly and carefully bathes and renders submissive and expert devotional service, thereby desiring to obtain the merciful glance of goddess Radhika, this Radha Kund is my only shelter! (Rādhākuṇḍāṣṭakam, Verse 3)
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā by Radha Kund Mahant, Pandit Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj: Shrila Das Goswami is the embodiment of Shri Radha Kund’s mercy and therefore he is always aware of the kuṇḍa’s glories. For the sake of all the devotees who take shelter of Radharani’s lotus feet he reveals all the confidential truths about Radha Kund in this Radhakuṇḍāṣṭakam.
In the previous verse it was explained that the wish yielding tree of mañjarī-bhāva sprouts in the hearts of those who simply bathe in Radha Kund. In this verse it is shown that not only the neophyte-devotees but even Vrajendra-nandana, the original Personality of Godhead, has his greatest desires fulfilled here by Shri Radha’s grace.
This verse describes the sweet memory of a vision attained one day. Once Shripada Raghunath falls on the bank of Radha Kund, weeping out of separation from Shri Radharani.
his life-airs reach up to his throat due to his strong feelings of love-in-separation. Suddenly he sees a sweet pastime before him. Absorbed in his mañjarī-svarūpa he sees the sweet meeting of Shri Shri Radha Madhava on the bank of the kuṇḍa. The Shri Yugala sits down in a beautiful kuñja on a jeweled throne faced by their girlfriends like Lalita and Vishakha, illuminating the bower house with their blue and golden auras. Many wave-like jokes well up in the ocean of their conversation and maidservants are around everywhere, absorbed in their service.
Shri Raghunath Das, in his transcendental identity as Tulasi Manjari, serves the Divine Couple by fanning them. Everyone is immersed in boundless bliss. Then one very amazing wave wells up in this ocean of divine ecstasy: Shrimati sees her own golden luster reflected in Shyam’s shining emerald-colored bluish chest and she becomes angry with him, taking this luster to be that of one of her rival gopis.
rasavatī rāi rasika-vara ṭhāma;
śyāma tanu mukure herai anupāma
nija pratibimba śyāma aṅge heri;
rokhe kohoto dhanī ānana pheri
nāgara eto kiye cañcala bheli;
hāmāri samukhe koru āna saṅge keli
eto kohi rāi korolo tahi māna;
āna ṭhāme cololi upekhiyā kāna
sahacarī gaṇa taba kotoye bujhāya;
uddhava dāsa minati koru pāy
“Rasavatī Rāi looked in the peerless mirror of the body of Shyam, the greatest rasika. Seeing her own reflection there, Dhanī became angry and turned her face away from him, saying: ‘Nāgara! You’ve become so naughty that you’re enjoying with another girl right in front of us!’ Seeing that Rāi was angry Krishna went somewhere else, thus leaving and ignoring her. Now the sakhis have quite some explaining to do to Rāi! Uddhava Das thus humbly prays at Shri Radha’s lotus feet.” (Pada-kalpataru)
Before coming to Radha Kund, Radha had heard that Chandravali’s girlfriend Shyamala had met Shyamasundar on the bank of Kusuma Sarovar (close to Radha Kund) and had told him where he could meet Chandravali, and now, seeing her own reflection in his body, Radhika anxiously presumed that Krishna had actually met her. “Oh! Shyam is playing with Chandravali on his lap right before me! Who can tolerate that?” She went to another cottage near Radha Kund, covered her head with her veil and proudly turned her back on Krishna! Her girlfriends tried to convince her of Krishna’s innocence, but in vain!
sundari! jānaluṁ tuyā dūra bhāṇa
hari ura mukure, heri nija cāhari,
tāhe sautinī kori māna
“O Beautiful girl! We know that you are mistaking! You’ve seen your own reflection in Hari’s mirror-like chest and you take it to be one of your rivals!”
kānana kuñje, kusuma śara jarajara,
vayāna heri puna tori.
bhāgye milalo puna, tohe kamala mukhi,
rokhe cololi mukha moḍi
“We see your face now in this kuñja forest tormented by Cupid’s floral arrows! O lotus faced girl! Fortunately you have met him again, but now you are angrily turning your face away from him!”
koto koto mugadhī, aiche bhelo vañchita,
hari puna tāhe nā lāgi.
tuhuṁ puṇavatī tohe, yohi mānāoto,
ki kohobo tohāri sohāgi.
“How many young girls aren’t there, all deprived of Hari’s love! He doesn’t care about them! But you are such a fortunate girl! Who can describe your fortune in love?”
to vinu śutalo, śītala bhūtale,
dūratara viraha hutāśe
tuyā koro sarasa, paraśe rijhāoha
tohe koho govinda dāsa
“When he is deprived of your love he sleeps on the cold floor, but he doesn’t feel cold at all for he’s burning in the fire of separation from you! Please soothe him once more with your blessed touch, Govinda Das says to you!”
But Shrimati’s māna did not subside because of the sakhis’ canvassing words. When she heard their words she thought that they were all engaged by Krishna in pacifying her with false and crooked words.
As a princess, she gave up her honor, her family reputation and her shame and she went through different kinds of bodily suffering to come out of her house to see this boy, and now he enjoys with one of her rivals on his lap right before her? This agony is intolerable!
When the sakhis saw that Shrimati could not be pacified, they went to Krishna and urged him to personally apologize to her lotus feet. He went to her and tried his best:
yāhāṅ sakhīgaṇa, saba rāi bujhāyato,
turite āolo tāhā kāna.heraite kama
la vayanī, dhanī māninī
avanata korolo vayāna
“The sakhis all tried to explain to Rāi the truth of the matter when Krishna quickly arrived there. Seeing him, lotus faced Dhanī-Māninī lowered her face.”
heraite nāgara, gadagada antara,
mana māhā bhelo bahu bhīte.
gale pītāmbara, caraṇa yugala dhara,
kohotohi gadagada cite
“Seeing this, Nāgara became very much afraid at heart and spoke with faltering voice, keeping his pītāmbara at his neck and clasping both her lotus feet.”
sundari! michāi koroho mujhe māna.
nirahetu hetu, jāni tuhu rokhali.
pratibimba heri koho āna.
“O beautiful girl! You are wrongly proud at me for no reason! You mistook your own reflection to be some other girl!”
tuyā vine nayane, āna nāhi heriye,
nā kohiye āna saṅe bāta.
tohāri sakhinī vine, bāta nā puchiye,
nā bosiye kāhuka sātha
“My eyes don’t see anyone else but you. I don’t speak with anyone else. I don’t inquire from anyone else but from your girlfriends or maidservants and I don’t sit with anyone else either!
tab tuhuṁ kāhe, māna mujhe korotahi,
nā bujhiye tuyā manakāje
uddhava dāsa minati, kori kohotohi
heraho nāgara rāja
“But still You maintain this unreasonable huff against me; I don’t understand what’s on Your mind! Uddhava Das humbly prays to You: Look at Your king of lovers!”
Despite Nāgara’s endeavours Shrimati’s māna was not broken. She just stubbornly sat there, covering her head with her veil.
The rejected Nāgara thought of different means to break Shrimati’s māna. Suddenly He thought: “Aho! I’m standing on the bank of Radha Kund! By the grace of the kuṇḍa I will also be showered by the grace of Shri Kuṇḍeśvarī!After all, the Mahājanas have written:
śrī kṛṣṇa yokhon rādhā daraśana lāgi utkaṇṭhita hoy;
sakala upāya viphala hoiyā rādhākuṇḍāśraya loy
tat kāle rādhāra pāya daraśana emati kuṇḍa prabhāva;
rādhāra-o temati śyāmakuṇḍāśraye kṛṣṇa saṅga hoy lābha
“When Krishna becomes eager to see Radha, and all his endeavours fail, He takes shelter of Radha Kund. At that moment He gets the audience of Radha on the strength of the kuṇḍa. In the same way Radha also takes shelter of Shyam Kund and thus attains the company of Shri Krishna.”
In this way some hope illuminated Nāgara’s desperate heart. He bathed in Shri Radha Kund, picked flowers from the trees and vines on its banks and sat down on his knees on the jewelled steps leading down to the kuṇḍa, moistening the flowers with his tears of love before throwing them into the kuṇḍa as a devotional offering. He offered prostrated obeisances to the kuṇḍa while praying: “O Shri Radha Kund! May I get the merciful glance of your Ishwari (presiding goddess) by your grace!”
One sakhī who witnessed Nāgara’s activities ran to Shrimati’s kuñja and told Kuṇḍeśvarī of Krishna’s devotional service to her kuṇḍa, making tears of compassion trickle from her lotus like eyes. The sakhis understood that Shrimati was pleased with Krishna again, so they quickly brought him to her.
Kuṇḍeśvarī, being pleased with this servant of the kuṇḍa, cast a merciful glance at him, filled with the rasa of love. Nāgara, understanding that his service of the kuṇḍa was successful, considered himself blessed and the sakhis and mañjarīs were also blessed by seeing the sweet meeting of the Yugala. Remembering his vision of this pastime Shri Raghunath said:
anyera kā kathā svayaṁ vrajendranandana;
rādhikāra praṇaya kaṭākṣa korite darśana
rādhā-priya rādhākuṇḍe avagāhana kore;
sevā pāripāṭye koto bhāse aśru-nīre
atiśaya kamanīya rādhākuṇḍa nāma;
satata āśraya hok prema pariṇāma
“What to speak of others, even Vrajendra-Nandana himself, in order to receive Radhika’s loving glance, bathes in Radha’s dear lake Radha Kund! Floating on his own tears, He shows his dexterity in devotional service. May the most enchanting and lovely name of Radha Kund always be my shelter, culminating in prema!”