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Rādhā-kuṇḍāṣṭakam, Verse 5

blog-0761049001414018573.jpgapi jana iha kaścid yasya sevā-prasādaiḥ

praṇaya-sura-latā syāt tasya goṣṭhendra-sūnoḥ

sapadi kila mad-īśā-dāsya-puṣpa-praśasyā

tad ati-surabhi rādhā-kuṇḍam evāśrayo me

That very beautiful and fragrant Radha Kund, by whose mercy the desire vine of love for Krishna, which bears the flowers of service for my queen Shri Radha, instantly sprouts in the heart of anyone who performs devotional service there – this Radha Kund is my only shelter!

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā by Radha Kund Mahant Pandit Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj: Shri Kuṇḍāśrayī Shripada Raghunath has attained the greatest fixation in the kuṇḍa of his Prāṇeśvarī. In his heart pervaded by mahābhāva, he perceives the glorious sweetness of the kuṇḍa, which is as glorious as Radharani herself hundreds of times over.

In the previous two verses Shri Raghunath described how Shri Govinda took shelter of the kuṇḍa in order to please Shri Radha and how glorious the kuṇḍa is because its service is dear even to Krishna.

Hearing this, someone may ask: “Shripada! Shri Krishna may attain Radharani by serving her kuṇḍa, the kuṇḍa may be as dear to him as she is, and the kuṇḍa may be the supreme attainment for great saints like yourself who can sit there and get such sublime visions, but please tell me something about the kuṇḍa’s mercy upon persons like me, who are attached to materialistic life and who are fallen and blinded by ignorance! Although you have already said something about this before (in verse 2), still I would like to hear such kind of aspirations once more from your blessed mouth!”

To answer such people, Shri Raghunath Das speaks this verse:

api jana iha kaścid yasya sevā-prasādaiḥ

praṇaya-suralatā syāt tasya goṣṭhendra-sūnoḥ

“By the kuṇḍa’s mercy the desire vine of love for Krishna will swiftly sprout and grow in the heart of any person (kaścit), even one who is unscrupulous or unqualified, who serves it by living on its banks, bathing there, performing some worship there, seeing or touching the water or circumambulating the kuṇḍas.”

Love for Krishna is the crown jewel of all human pursuits, the great treasure of the spirit soul and the highest result of any human activity. It is the only thing that can permit one to relish Shri Krishna’s sweetness.

Prema makes the otherwise supremely independent Krishna completely submissive to his surrendered devotee and prema can forever bless all the living entities, who are constitutionally Krishna’s eternal servants, by bestowing the bliss of devotional service on them.

pañcama puruṣārtha sei prema mahādhana;

kṛṣṇera mādhurya rasa korāya āsvādana

premā hoite hoy kṛṣṇa nija bhakta vaśa;

premā hoite pāi kṛṣṇa sevā sukha rasa

“The great treasure of prema is the fifth goal of human life (beyond religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation) and it makes one relish the sweet Krishna-flavors. Through prema Krishna becomes controlled by his devotees and through prema the devotees attain the blissful mellows of Krishna’s devotional service.” (Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Ādi 7)

Devotion is a rarely attained thing. the Bhāgavata states:

bhagavān mukundo muktiṁ dadāti karhicit sma na bhakti-yogam

Lord Mukuṇḍa may grant liberation to some, but he does not give bhakti yoga so easily! (5.6.18)

akaitava kṛṣṇa-prema, yeno jāmbūnada hema, [

sei premā nṛ-loke nā hoy.

Earnest love for Krishna is as pure as the gold from the Jambu River. Such love can’t be found in the human world. (Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Madhya 2)”

In all these statements the rarity of prema is declared. After realizing how rarely attained prema is, Shrimat Rupa Goswami wrote,:

yasya sphūrti-lavāṅkureṇa laghunāpy antar munīnāṁ manaḥ

spṛṣṭaṁ mokṣa-sukhād virajyati jhaṭity āsvādyamānād api

premṇas tasya mukunda sāhasitayā śaknotu kaḥ prārthane

bhūyāj janmani janmani pracayinī kintu spṛhāpy atra me

O Mukunda! Who dares to pray for that prema, even the slightest relish of which causes the munis to give up the bliss of liberation? May my desire for prema simply increase birth after birth!” (Stavamālā)

Again, love of God, prema, the ultimate result of bhakti, is the highest aspiration for a living entity and is most rarely attained. It is the Lord’s svarūpa-śakti, or innate potency, being a combination of the essence of the hlādinī-śakti and the sandhinī-śakti. A fortunate soul who attains the grace of a great saint can enter into the workings of this innate potency of the Lord through the process of hearing, chanting and remembering the glories of the Lord.

In this way the material dullness will disappear from the heart of the neophyte and everything will culminate in prema. Prema is the culmination of a whole sequence of spiritual advancement: Association with the saints, hearing and remembering the glories of the Lord, faith in the scriptures, obtaining the association of a qualified guru, taking initiation and instructions from him, surrendering and serving the guru and the Vaishnavas, serving the deity, aspiring for bhajana, earnestly practicing bhajana, having taste for bhajana, becoming attached to the Lord, bhāva and rati.

This is attained by two kinds of fortunate souls: those who attain it on the strength of their own bhajana and those who attain it by the grace of Krishna or his devotees.

Everywhere it is seen that prema is attained through sādhana while the attainment of prema through grace is rare. Shrila Rupa Goswami teaches us:

sādhanābhiniveśena kṛṣṇa-tad-bhaktayos tathāprasādenati dhanyānāṁ bhāvo dvedhābhijāyateādyas tu prāyikas tatra dvitīyo viralodayaḥ

Love of God is attained either by absorption in devotional practice or by the grace of Krishna and/or his devotees. Of these, the former occurs most often, the latter rarely. (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.3.6)

This very rarely attained desire vine of love for Krishna, which is attained by grace, suddenly grows in the soil of the heart of any person (either qualified or unqualified) who serves Shri Radha Kund by bathing in it, seeing it, touching it, living on its banks or worshiping it, by the inconceivable potency and grace of the kuṇḍa.

Shri Raghunath says: “And this is also not just dāsya or sakhya-bhāva, but mad-īśā-dāsya-puṣpa-praśasyā: “The desire-vine of love becomes manifest, beautified by the flowers of service to my Ishwari Shri Radha.”

By the grace of the the service to the kuṇḍa the highest goal ever to be achieved by any sādhaka, mañjarī-bhāva or the loving devotional service to Shri Radha, grows up. No higher stage than this can be achieved for a person who treads the path of loving devotion.

Shrila Prabodhananda Saraswati says:

rādhā-nāgara-keli-sāgara-nimagnāli-dṛśāṁ yat sukham

no tal-leśa-lavāyate bhagavataḥ sarvo’pi saukhyotsavaḥ

“All the bliss enjoyed in connection with the Lord can’t be compared to even a drop of the transcendental bliss the gopīs experience when they are absorbed in witnessing the ocean of pastimes of Radha’s lover!” (Vṛndāvana-mahimāmṛta 1.54)

The maidservants of Shri Radha swim in an ocean of indescribable bliss when they relish the mellows of these devotional services.

rati-raṇe śrama-yuta, nāgarī nāgara

mukha bhari tāmbūla yogāya

malaya-ja kuṅkuma, mṛga-mada karpūra,

militahi gāta lāgāya

aparūpa priya sakhī prema!

nija prāṇa koṭi, dei niramañchai,

naha tula lākho bāṇa hema

“How wonderful is the love of the priya sakhis! They serve Nāgarī (heroine Radhika) and Nāgara (hero Krishna) with millions of lives when they are tired of love making, by filling their mouths with betel leaves and by anointing their bodies with sandalwood paste, vermilion, musk and camphor. Their love is so pure that it can’t even be compared to gold smelted a hundred thousand times over!”

manorama mālya, duhu gole arpai,

vījai śīta mṛdu bāta

sugandhī śītala, koru jala arpaṇa,

yaiche hota duhu śāṅta

“They offer enchanting garlands to their necks, give them a cool breeze by fanning them and relieve them from their heated affliction by offering them cool and fragrant water.”

duhuka caraṇa puna, mṛdu saṁvāhana,

kori śrama korolohi dūra

iṅgite śayana, korolo duhu sakhī-gaṇa

abahu manoratha pūra

“These sakhis again softly massage their feet and thus remove their fatigue. On their indication they put the Divine Pair to rest and fulfill any of their other desires.”

kusuma śeje duhu, nidrita herai,

sevana parāyaṇa sukha.

rādhā mohana dāsa, kiye herabo,

meṭabo sab mano-duḥkha

“These girls, being totally dedicated to their devotional service, then put the Divine Pair to sleep on a bed of flowers. All the mental distress of Radha Mohana Das is mitigated when he sees this.”

The practicing devotee is blessed if he attains this wealth of service and supreme love by the grace of serving the kuṇḍa.

Shri Raghunath said: “May that most glorious Shri Radha Kund be my sanctuary!”

ei saṁsāre vivekādi śūnya kon jana;

śrī rādhākuṇḍera yadi koroye sevana

kuṇḍera prasāde sei bhāgyavanta jana;

kṛṣṇa premakalpalatā peye dhanya hon

śrī rādhāra dāsya rūpa vicitra puṣpete;

kalpalatā suśobhita hoy trijagate

ei rūpa guṇānvita ati manorame;

rādhākuṇḍa āśraya mora jīvane maraṇe

“Even if any dull-witted person in this world would serve Shri Radha Kund, then by the grace of the kuṇḍa such a fortunate person would be blessed to attain the wish-yielding vine of love for Krishna. This wish-yielding vine beautifies the three worlds with the wonderful flowers of Shri Radha’s service. The shelter of such a qualified and utterly enchanting Radha Kund is my shelter, in life or in death!”

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