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Shri Vraja Dhama

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Rādhākuṇḍāṣṭakam, Verse 6

blog-0304505001414092349.jpgtaṭa-madhura-nikuñjaḥ klpta-nāmāna uccair

nija-parijana-vargaiḥ saṁvibhajyāśritas taiḥ

madhukara-ruta-ramyā yasya rājanti kāmyās

tad ati-surabhi rādhā-kuṇḍam evāśrayo me

That very beautiful and fragrant Radha Kund, whose shores are divided among Shri Radhika’s girlfriends who all have their own sweet nikuñjas (groves), each one taking their respective names, and where the bees are buzzing sweetly – this Radha Kund is my only shelter!

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā by Radha Kund Mahant Pandit Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj: Shri Radha Kund’s heart has melted from the deep anguish of Shri Raghunath’s prayers and so the kuṇḍa now showers him with the rasa of grace, through which he can now perceive the transcendental form of the water and the bank of the kuṇḍa.

Here the actual transcendental form (svarūpa) and sweetness of the kuṇḍa’s banks are described. The bank of this beautiful lake of Shri Radharani has been divided by the kuñjas of Lalita, Vishakha and the other sakhis and they have become known under the names of these sakhis. The eight corners of Shri Radha Kund thus shelter eight kuñjas: one for each of the eight sakhis, starting with Lalita.

  1. In the north is the kuñja named Lalitanandada, which has a regal courtyard named Anaṅga-raṅgāmbuja, the lotus for Cupid’s pastimes, which is nicely maintained by Lalita’s sakhi Kalavali. This Lalitanandada Kunj is shaped like an eight-petaled lotus flower, and each petal contains its own kuñja. In the north is Sitāmbuja (white lotus), in the north-west Vasanta-Sukhada (delighter of spring), in the west Hemāmbuja (golden lotus), in the south-west Shri Padma-mandira (the beautiful lotus temple), in the south is Aruṇāmbuja, in the south-east is Madanāndolana (Cupid’s swing), in the east is Asitāmbuja (the dark lotus) and in the north-east is a wonderful, variegated kuñja named Mādhavānandada (the delighter of Madhava). The Rasika Mithuna (“relishing couple”) Shri Shri Radha Krishna always plays various pastimes in this king of kuñjas which is filled with a very wonderful natural beauty and which is studded with various jewels.
  2. In the north-eastern corner of Radha Kund is the four-colored Vishakhanandada Kunj, also called Madana-sukhada. Vishakha’s very expert and artistic disciple named Mañjumukhī maintains this kuñja. The Madana-Sukhada Kunj resembles a large royal palace which is always inundated by the rasika flood of Shri Shri Radha Krishna’s pastimes and always gives great joy to the eyes.
  3. In the east is Chitranandada Kunj, where there are trees, vines, animals and birds of various colors. Here Chitra Sakhi blissfully serves Shri Shri Radha Krishna and their friends in various ways.
  4. In the south-eastern corner is the white kuñja called Indulekhā-sukhada. The trees, vines, animals and birds are all white here. If Radha and Krishna and their sakhis come on the full moon night and sport here dressed in white, no one will immediately recognize them. Here Indulekha Sakhi lovingly serves Radha and Krishna and their sakhis.
  5. In the south of Radha Kund is the golden kuñja named Campakalatānandada. Here all the trees, vines, animals and birds are golden. If Radha enters this kuñja dressed and ornamented in yellow, Shri Krishna will not recognize her. Here is the famous kitchen of Campakalatā, the expert culinary master, where she prepares feasts for the Divine Yugala and pleases them with various other services.
  6. In the south-western corner of Shri Radha Kund is the all-shyam-colored kuñja named Raṅgadevī-sukhada. If Mukharā or other elders come here while Radha and Krishna are enjoying themselves, they will only see Radha and not Krishna.
  7. In the western corner of Shri Radha Kund is the red kuñja called Tuṅgavidyānandada. Here everything is red. This is wished for by Shri Krishna.
  8. In the north-western corner is the green kuñja called Sudevī-sukhada. Here everything is green and here Radha and Krishna play their rasika game of dice.
  9. Apart from that there is also a kuñja in the middle of the kuṇḍa named Shri Anaṅga-Manjari-sukhada. This ruby, moonstone and emerald-studded kuñja appears to the viewers to be radiant as water and is shaped like a 16-petaled lotus flower and it is connected with the northern bank of the kuṇḍa by a bridge. Here the different articles required for the Shri Yugala’s service are stored and here Ananga Manjari and her group are engaged in this service. Because it is floating on the water like a lotus flower it is called salila-kamala.

All these kuñjas are beautified by different trees and vines, singing birds and cuckoos, humming honeybees, different fragrant flowers, freely playing deer, rabbits and dancing peacocks that all arouse erotic feelings in the hearts of Shri Shri Radha Krishna. This greatly delights the eyes of anyone who sees it.

But only if the mind, the senses and the heart of the neophyte become immersed in viśuddha-sattva, pure goodness, this place can be seen in its real svarūpa (transcendental form). Ordinary eyes see it just as a material place.

cintāmaṇi bhūmi, kalpavṛkṣamaya vana;

carma cakṣe dekhe tāre prapañcera sama

prema netre dekhe tāra svarūpa prakāśa

gopa gopī saṅge yāhā kṛṣṇera vilāsa

“The ground is made of thought-stones and the forests are full of desire-trees, but the physical eye sees it just as a material forest. A loving eye can see this realm, where Krishna plays with the cowherd boys and girls in its real, transcendental form.” (Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Ādi 5)

līlānukūleṣu janeṣu citteṣv utpanna-bhāveṣu ca sādhakānāṁ

evaṁ-vidhaṁ sarvam idaṁ cakāsti svarūpataḥ prākṛtavat pareṣu

Those nitya-siddhas who are favorable to these pastimes and the practitioners in whose hearts these transcendental emotions have appeared, can see the holy realm in its real form, but others (non-devotees) see it just as a material place.” (Govinda-līlāmṛta 7,119)

Shrila Raghunath Das Goswami is an eternal associate of the Lord, so the endless wealth of Shri Radha Kund’s sweetness is naturally manifest to his love-saturated eyes. Therefore Shri Raghunath says: “May that most enchanting Radha Kund be my sanctuary!”

śrī rādhākuṇḍera tīre sakhīyūtha vāsa; sakhī nāme kuñjanāma korilā prakāśa

uttare lalitānanda kuñjavana nāme; viśākhā-sukhada kuñja śobhita īśāne

pūrva-taṭe nāma hoy citrā-sukhada; agnikoṇe indulekhā nāma manomada

dakṣiṇe campakalatā nairṛte raṅgadevī; paścimete tuṅgavidyā vāyute sudevī

prati kuñja ramaṇīya bhramara guñjita; śṛṅgāra rasakeli kore uddīpita

surabhi se rādhākuṇḍa āmāra āśraya; snāna pāna tīre vāsa e lālasā hoy

“On the banks of Shri Radha Kund all groups of sakhis reside and each kuñja is named after one of them. In the north is a forest named Lalitanandada Kunj, in the north-east is the beautiful Vishakha-sukhada Kunj, on the eastern bank is the Citrā-sukhada Kunj, in the south-eastern corner is the inebriating kuñja named after Indulekhā, in the south is Champakalata, in the southwest Rangadevi, in the west Tungavidya and in the northwest Sudevi. Each kuñja is laden with buzzing bumblebees inciting lusty feelings. That fragrant, beautiful Radha Kund is my sanctuary and I desire to drink its water, bathe in it and reside on its banks!”

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