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Shri Vraja Dhama

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Rādhākuṇḍāṣṭakam, Verse 7

blog-0227573001414273848.jpgtaṭa-bhuvi vara-vedyāṁ yasya narmāti-hṛdyāṁ

madhura-madhura-vārtāṁ goṣṭha-candrasya bhaṅgyā

praṭhayati mitha īśā prāṇa-sakhyālibhiḥ sā

tad ati-surabhi rādhā-kuṇḍam evāśrayo me

That very beautiful and fragrant Radha Kund, where my mistress Shri Radhika makes ever-so-sweet and pleasant jokes about Krishna, the moon of Vraja, with her dearest girlfriends on a nice platform on the shore – this Radha Kund is my only shelter!

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā by Radha Kund Mahant Pandit Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj: Shri Raghunath’s consciousness is immersed in the sweetness of the kuṇḍa. He is the eternally perfect maidservant of Shri Radharani and his life-airs are offered to Shri Radha’s lotus feet. The bank of the kuṇḍa is dearer to him than millions of life-airs, because this is the peerless abode of Rasika Mithuna Shri Shri Radha Madhava’s greatly intoxicated erotic pastimes.

On the bank of this kuṇḍa the priya-kiṅkarīs of Shri Radha are always absorbed in the transcendentally blissful devotional service of the Yugala and in the concomitant relish of their sweet intimate love-pastimes.

The sakhis and mañjarīs are like fishes blissfully swimming in the billowing waves of the rasika pastimes of the ocean of rasa, Shri Krishna, and the ocean of prema, Shri Radha.

These things can’t be understood as long as we are materially conditioned. One must awaken the consciousness of “I am Shri Radhika’s maidservant” in order to enter into this.

Shri Raghunath is a nitya-siddha-kiṅkarī of Vraja and the transcendental saṁskāra of the Yugala-rasa is his innate wealth. Shrila Narottama Thakur Mahashaya called Shrila Rupa Goswami and Shrila Sanatan Goswami yugala ujjvalamaya tanu (“the embodiments of the erotic flavors of the Divine Pair”):

jaya sanātana rūpa, premabhakti rasakūpa, yugala ujjvalamaya tanu (Prema-bhakti-candrikā).

By their grace Shrila Raghunath Das Goswami was emancipated with them. Shrila Jīva Goswami has written:

yan-mitraṁ raghunātha-dāsa iti vikhyātaḥ kṣitau rādhikā-

kṛṣṇa prema-mahārṇavormi-nivahe ghṛṇan sadā dīvyati

dṛṣṭānta-prakara-prabhābharam atityaivānayor bhrājator

yas tulyatva-padaṁ matas tribhuvane sāścaryam āryottamaiḥ

“Raghunath Das has become world famous for being the friend of Shri Rupa and Sanatan. He always swims in the waves of the great ocean of love for Radhika and Krishna. The greatest saints say that no one in the world can be compared to Rupa and Sanatan, but amazingly enough Raghunath Das has attained a position equal to theirs!”

Therefore Shri Raghunath always perceives the self-manifested sweetness of the kuṇḍa as well as the sweet pastimes which are performed there in his consciousness that is fixed on Shri Radha.

In this verse a sweet pastime is described which was perceived one day. On Jatila’s order Shri Radharani leaves her village Javat to go and worship the Sungod with her girlfriends, but instead she goes to Radha Kund to meet Krishna there. With her left hand she holds the hand of her friend Kundalata and with her right she twirls her play lotus.

In this way the Radha, the sura-taraṅginī (Ganges-river), runs towards the Shyam ocean. Dhanishtha and Tulasī walk ahead of her. Lalita and Vishakha walk to her either side, and her maidservants headed by Shri Rupa Manjari follow her, carrying the paraphernalia for the Surya puja and other ingredients for their upcoming devotional service to Radha and Krishna with them.

Bhāva-kusuma (“flowers of ecstatic love”) like goose pimples, tears of love and paralysis are blossoming on Shrimati’s vine-like body when she thinks of her upcoming meeting with Shri Krishna. How beautiful is Shri Radha, the abhisārikā!

taruṇāruṇa caraṇa yugala mañjarī tāhe śobhe;

bhṛṅgāvali puñja puñja guñjare madhulobhe

kumbhi kumbha jini nitamba keśarī khina mājhe;

līlāñcita paṭṭāmbara kiṅkiṇī tahi bāje

bāhu yugala thira vijuri kari śāvaka śuṇḍe;

hemāṅgada maṇi kaṅkaṇa nakhare śaśikhaṇḍe

hemācala kucamaṇḍala kāñcali tahi mājhe;

candrakānta dhvānta damana kaṇṭhe karṇe sāje

jāmbūnada hema yoto mukutāphala pāṅti;

phaṇi maṇi yuta dāma śobhita dāminī sama bhāṅti

bimbaphala nindi adhara dāḍima bīja daśane;

besara tahi nolake jhalake manda manda hasane

nāsā tila phula tula bāṅdhe kabarī chānde

madana mohana mana mohinī calali tahi rādhe

”Her reddish, youthful lotus feet are beautiful like shoots attracting hosts of buzzing bumblebees who are greedy for their honey. Her buttocks defeat the trunks of elephants and her waist is as thin as that of a lion. Waist bells are jingling on her playfully flapping silken sari and her arms resemble the trunks of baby-elephants or a steady lightning streak.

She wears golden armlets and jewelled bangles and her nails resemble moons. Her breasts resemble golden mountains which are covered by a blouse and the ornaments on her ears and her neck destroy the shining of the moonlight. She shines like a lightning streak with her golden ornaments. Her pearls and her lips defeat the red splendor of bimba cherries and her teeth shine more brightly than pomegranate seeds. Her nose pearl shimmers and oscillates on her sesame flower-like nose when she slightly smiles and her hair is nicely braided. Thus Radha moves on, enchanting the mind of the enchanter of Cupid (Krishna).” (Pada-kalpataru)

Keeping the paraphernalia for her pūjā at the Sūrya mandir in Surya Kund Shrimati proceeds to Radha Kund, accompanied by her sakhis, thereby floating on waves of ecstatic love. Goṣṭhacandra Shri Krishna meanwhile hands the responsibility for his herd of cows over to Baladeva and his friends at Govardhana and then also comes to the bank of Radha Kund on the pretext of admiring the beauty of the forest there.

Here he sits down, endlessly waiting for Premamayī, eagerly desiring to see her. Then they see each other from close by through the vines. Endless waves of bhāva well up from the ocean of rasa (Krishna) and the ocean of prema (Radha) when they thus meet each other.

duhuṇ mukha heraite duhuṅ bhelo dhanda;

rāi kohe tamāla mādhava kohe canda

cita putalī janu rahu duhuṅ deha;

nā jāniye prema kemona achu leho

e sakhi! dekho dekhi duhuṅka vicāra;

ṭhāmahi koi lakhai nāhi pāra

dhanī kohe kānanamaya dekhi śyāma;

so kiye guṇabo majhu pariṇāma

camaki camaki dekhi nāgara kāna;

prati tarutale dekhi rāi samāna

doṅhe doṅhe yabahu nicaya kori jāno;

duhuṅka hṛdaye paiṭhala premabāna

daraśane nayane nayane bohe lora;

āpāda mastaka duhuṅ pulake āgora

sajani hero dekho prema taraṅga;

koto bhāve thakito bhelo aṅga

duhuṅkara dehe ghāma bohi yāto;

gada gada kāhuka nā nikasaye bāta

duhuṅ jana kampana heri lāge dhanda;

rādhā mohana heri parama ānanda

“When they saw each other’s faces they became doubtful. Rāi said ‘This (Krishna) is a tamāla tree!’ and Madhava said ‘This (Radha) is the moon!’

I don’t know how love dwells within their bodies and within their doll-like hearts! O sakhi! Just behold their doubts! They can’t distinguish between anything of Each other! Fortunate Dhanī Radha says ‘I see Shyam all throughout the forest! How will I distinguish him from all?’”

Nāgara Kāna is astonished as He sees Rāi at the base of each and every tree. And then, when They clearly have recognized

Each other, Cupid’s arrows enter into Their hearts! As They look at Each other tears stream from Their eyes and Their bodies are covered from tip to toe with goose pimples.

O sakhi! Look at these waves of love! How many ecstatic symptoms are visible on Their limbs! Their bodies are studded with sweat drops and They can’t utter a word because Their voices are faltering. They see Each other shivering and when Radha Mohana dāsa sees this he is most ecstatic.” (Pada Kalpataru)

After this the Divine Pair and their sakhis have a lot of rasika fun over flower picking, the theft of Krishna’s flute and so on. While Krishna quarrels with the sakhis over his stolen flute Shri Radha catches the opportunity to hide herself in a secret kuñja. Finally, after a long search for Radha, Krishna gets a hint from Kundalata that she’s hiding in that kuñja so He enters it and becomes absorbed in a highly astonishing love game there with Shri Radha.

After this vilāsa the Yugala comes out of the kuñja and sits on a jewelled platform on the bank of Radha Kund.

Shri Raghunath Das, in his kiṅkarī-svarūpa, then becomes absorbed in fanning the Twin Divinities along with other maidservants. Lalita, Vishakha and other sakhis all giggle and come to sit around the jewelled platform where the Shri Yugala is seated, releasing a stream of parihāsa-rasa by telling Shri Radha: “O sakhi! Where have you gone, leaving us all behind? We looked for you everywhere, but could not find you! Where did you meet this shameless guy? Anyway, fortunately you were not defeated by that cheater. This is very good news!”

When Shri Radha heard these joking, crooked words from her sakhis and saw the naughty insinuating gestures they made about the signs of her love making with Krishna, she became both shy and malicious. She frowned her vine like eyebrows, waved her index finger and chastised her kānta with trembling lips and a faltering voice, telling her friends: “Sakhis! I was on my way home when you tugged at my garment and then brought Krishna who was in hiding to me! In this way I had to suffer even while you were here with me! Tell me, why should I still stay with you?”

In this way Shri Radha and her sakhis engage in so many hundreds of rasika discussions. Nothing can be compared to these ever-so-sweet discussions between Shrimati and her prāṇa-sakhis!

While the maidservants are absorbed in their ecstatic devotional services they float on the waves of sweet Krishna-kathā created by their Ishwari and her sakhis.

Remembering these most lovely pastimes Shri Raghunath says: “May Shri Radha Kund, where all these rasika pastimes are performed, be my sanctuary! If I take shelter of this place then I can be blessed with the ever-so-sweet relish of Krishna-kathā!”

yei rādhākuṇḍa-tīre ratana vedite;

bosi rādhārāṇī sab sakhīra sahite

prāṇa koṭi nirmañchana govinda prasaṅga;

bhaṅgīkori bole sumadhura rasaraṅga

sarva jana manohara rādhākuṇḍa nāma;

āmāra āśraya hauk nayanābhirāma

“May that eye-enchanting Radha Kund, on whose bank Radharani sits on a jewelled platform with her sakhis, speaking so sweetly about Govinda, who is dearer to her than millions of life-airs, and that enchants everyone, be my shelter!”

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