Radha Kund, 2018.03.27
Since every pastime of Bhagavan Sri Krishna is eternal, in some other universe Radha Kund will appear at midnight on Chaitra Purnima (March 31, 2018) before the amazed eyes of Radhika-Shyama, and all their dearest sakhis and manjaris.
Sri Jiva Goswamipada proves that Chaitra Purnima (this year, March 31, 2018), is the real and actual appearance day of Sri Radha Kund in his commentary to SB 10.45.3: “Bhagavan Sri Krishna killed Arishta on the full moon day of Chaitra month (caitra-paurṇamāsyām ariṣṭa-vadhaḥ) when Krishna was eleven [and then Radha-Krishna manifested Shyam Kund and Radha Kund].” That wonderful appearance lila, as described in the Purāṇas, will conclude this article.
So the actual appearance of Sri Radha Kund takes place at midnight on Chaitra Purnima. I and a few bhāvuka bhaktas celebrate this wonderful lila every year on this date by doing puja and taking a midnight bath in Sri Kunda. So why don’t you also please join us for this holy occasion?
Saturday, 31 March, 10-12 p.m.: Harinama Sankirtan and Midnight Snana
So what about the Radha Kunda Bahulashtami midnight snana in Kārttika month? Is this a required niyama for Gaudiya Vaishnava? The answer is absolutely not!!!
Why? Because no Gaudiya Vaisnava granthas or Acharya mahajanas mention midnight bathing in Kārttika. Nevertheless, Gaudiya Vaishnavas must and do take bath on the day of Kārttika Bahulāṣṭamī to honor Karttiki Devi Srimati Radharani, Radha Kund, Sri Rupa Goswamipada, and the Padma Purana. The proof or praman for the necessary daytime snana is this:
In his Mathurā-māhātmya, Sri Rupa Goswami quotes the Padma-purāṇa Kārttika-māhātmya (v. 420):
govardhane girau ramye rādhākuṇḍaṁ priyaṁ hareḥ
kārttike bahulāṣṭamyāṁ tatra snātvā hareḥ priyaḥ
“Near the delightful Mount Govardhana is Sri Hari’s beloved Radha Kund. One who bathes in Radha Kund on the day of Bahulāṣṭamī (Kārttika-kṛṣṇa-pakṣa) will become dear to Sri Hari.”
Certainly Gaudiya Vaishnavas want to become dear to Sri Hari, and especially dear to his most beloved Swamini Sri Radhe, so they will all bathe in Radha Kund on this auspicious, transcendental day.
Karunamayi Premapradata Srimati Radharani is compassionately bestowing a double mercy on the Gaudiyas because we get to worship Sri Radha as Sri Radha Kund by taking at least two yearly baths:
- Chaitra Purnima midnight bath on Radha Kund Appearance Day and,
- Kārttika Bahulāstami daytime snāna.
So why do lacs of people take Radha Kund bath at midnight on Bahulāṣṭamī? The answer is that barren North Indian married couples worship a local fertility devata named Ahouri (Ahoi) in hopes of getting a child. The puja rites prescribe many activities culminating with a midnight bath in Radha Kund.
It seems that over time, the Gaudiya’s daytime Bahulāṣṭamī snāna merged with the grihastha’s midnight in Radha Kund, resulting in Gaudiyas’ thinking that they are bathing at midnight to celebrate the appearance of Radha Kund.
This idea is absolutely incorrect. Because of personal concerns, seasonal conveniences, and most importantly the time factor, the truth concerning various events, especially religious celebrations, becomes covered and lost.
Surely, during the time of Sri Jiva Goswamipada (15-16th century) and up to the 17th century with Srila Vishvanath Chakravarti, all Gaudiya Vaishnava observed the real and true Radha Kund Appearance Day by bathing in Radha Kund at midnight on Chaitra Purnima.
But as was said, the time factor, the mixing of different local religious rituals, and Kārttika pilgrimage concerns have distorted the truth and caused confusion among most Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Now is the time for the sunlight of our Gaudiya shastra siddhanta to shine through the dense cloud covering of time, distortion and misconception.
So anyone who can walk, drive or fly, we humbly beg you to come to Sri Govardhan Maharaj for a holy midnight dip in Sri Radha Kund Dham under the the Vasanta rasa-filled full moon night of Caitra to rejoice over the actual appearance day of Sri Radha Kunda!
Radha Kund Appearance Lila:
In his Sārārtha-darśinī ṭīkā (SB 10.36.16) Srila Vishvanath Chakravarti quotes the Radha Kund appearance pastime from some purāṇa, which describes a joking conversation between Radha-Madhava after Krishna killed the Arishta demon bull on Chaitra Purnima during ardha-pradoṣa-kāla, i.e. about 9:30 p.m.
Viṣṇu-purāṇa: “The innocent young gopis say,“Ah, Krishna, don’t touch us now, O killer of a bull! Alas, even though Arishta was a terrible demon, still he was posing as a bull, who represents dharma, so you will have to undergo atonement, just as Lord Indra did after killing Vritrasura. But how can you purify yourself without going to the trouble of visiting every single holy place in the three worlds?”
Krishna: “Why should I have to wander throughout the entire universe? I will immediately summon all the countless pilgrimage places here and take my bath in them. Just watch!” With this, Sri Mukunda strikes his left heel on the ground.
Then Krishna says, “Just see sakhis! The Patala Ganga has come!” Then all the holy places magically manifest before Mukunda.
Proudly, Priyatama says, “O gopis, just see all the holy places are now here!”
Gopis: “No, we don’t see any holy places. What are you talking about anyway?”
Then all the holy tirtha join their palms and proclaim, one by one:“I am the salt ocean.” “I am the ocean of milk.” “I am the Amara-dirghika.” “I am the river Shona. ” “I am the Sindhu. “I am the Tamraparni. ” “I am the holy place Pushkara.” “I am the river Sarasvati.” “And we are the Godavari, Yamuna and Reva rivers and the Triveni of Prayaga. Just see our waters!”
Sri Krishna then takes a purifying bath in all those tirtha waters while arrogantly taunting the gopis: “Bho, bho, sakhis! I have produced a pond containing all the holy places, whereas you gopis have never done any pious acts to please Brahmaji.”
Sri Radha boldly replies, “Just watch, Shyamasundara! I will create an even more beautiful pond than yours. Turning to her confidantes, Radhika says, “Hey Sakhis! Get to work!”
In a ditch created by the hooves of the huge asura, the gopis start digging a kund with their golden kankanas or bangles. Within an hour, the expert damsels of Vraja manifest a most majestic and beautiful divine kunda.
Completely astonished at their feat, Sri Krishna says, “O Priyaji! you and your sakhis can fill your lake with the holy waters from mine.”
“No! no! no! That’s impossible”, repliesRadharani, “We will not even touch, what to speak about takingyour water which is completely contaminated with your terrible sin of killing a cow. I have unlimited sakhis who can easily bring billions of pots of pure water from Manasi Ganga. And thus the fame of Mykundai.e. Radha Kundwill be unequalled!”
Bhagavan Sri Krishna then gestures to a celestial representative of all the holy places gathered there. Arising from Shyam Kund, that devata bows to Vrishabhanu Nandini, and then prays to her with folded palms and tear-filled eyes:
“O Devi! Brahmaji, Shivaji and Lakshmi can never understand the fathomless depth of your glories. Only Sri Krishna knows, and thus with his own hand he humbly wipes off the perspiration from your face when you are tired. And Krishna always thrills in delight whenever he gets the chance to wash your beautiful lotus feet and fasten your ankle bells. In fact, Shyama feels supremely fortunate simply by touching the tips of your toes.
“It is on Krishna’s command that we are now living in this lake created by one stroke of Krishna’s heel. Alas! The tree of our cherished desire will only bear fruit if you are pleased and grant us your merciful glance!”
Sri Radha: “Well, then what do you want?”
In unison, all the sacred places plead, “Our lives will be successful if we can come and fill the wonderful lake you have manifested. This is the only benediction we desire.”
Casting a side-long glance toward Shyama, Srimati Radharani replies to the sacred celestials: “Oh, certainly, please come!”
Then all the holy rivers and lakes collected in Sri Shyam Kund forcibly break the boundary separating the two kunds so they can swiftly fill Sri Radha Kund with their sanctifying waters.”
Sri Hari: “O Priyatama! On earth and throughout the universe, your Radha Kund will become supremely more famous than mine! And I will personally come here daily to bathe and enjoy water pastimes with you and all my preyasis. Indeed, your beautiful Sri Kunda is as dear to me as you are!”
Srimati Radharani: “O Prana Priyatama! I don’t even care if you vanquish hundreds of Arishtas here, I will still come here every day and bathe in your Krishna Kunda i.e. Shyam Kunda.
“Furthermore, I proclaim forevermore that anyone who has intense devotion for my Sri Kunda, and then bathes or resides here, he or she will surely become very dear to me.”
Then that very night [Chaitra Purnima], Sri Krishna and the Vraja-gopis happily bathe, laugh, splash and play in Shyama-Radha Kunds. Afterwards, They all dance and spin, thrill and rejoice in their Vasanta Purnima-maha-rasotsavam on the banks of Radha Kund.
At that astonishing and most auspicious time, the lightning strike of Srimati hits the Krishna cloud to create a torrential downpour of blissful prema to flood the three worlds with their playfully divine lila-rasa:
kṛṣṇāmbudaḥ kṛta-mahā-rasa-harṣa-varṣaḥ |
Chaitra Purnima Appearance Night of Radha Kundki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!
vaikuṇṭhāj janito varā madhu-purī tatrāpi rāsotsavād
vṛndāraṇyam udāra-pāṇi-ramaṇāt tatrāpi govardhanaḥ
rādhā-kuṇḍam ihāpi gokula-pateḥ premāmṛta-plavanāt
kuryād asya virājato giri-taṭe sevāṁ vivekī na kaḥ
The holy place known as Mathura is spiritually superior to Vaikuntha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathura Puri is the transcendental forest of Vrindavan because of Krishna’s rasa-lila pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vrindavan is Govardhan hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Sri Krishna and was the site of his various loving pastimes. And, above all, the super excellent Sri Radha Kund stands supreme, for it is overflooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Sri Krishna. Where, then, is that intelligent person who is unwilling to serve this divine Radha Kund, which is situated at the foot of Govardhan Hill?