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Vraja Vilasa 101: The residents of Radha Kund

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179rkgopinathamandir_1.jpgBecause of having worshiped the beautiful lotus feet of Sri Gāndharvā and Acyuta with the ever fresh sweetness of ecstatic spiritual love in their previous lives, some great souls are able to live on the bank of my Swamini’s dearmost lake, Sri Radha Kund. These great devotees are my life and soul!

purā premodrekaiḥ pratipada-navānanda-madhuraiḥ
nikāmaṁ svāminyāḥ priyatara saras-tīra-bhuvane
vasanti sphītā ye te iha mama jīvātava ime

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā : In this verse Raghunath Das Goswami praises the great souls who live around Sri Radha Kund. Sri Radha Kund is the crown jewel of Vraja and the exclusive abode of Sri Sri Radha Madhava’s confidential noontime dalliances. There is no place more dear to the Divine Pair than this one. Sri Radha Kund is as dear to Sri Krishna as Sri Radha is and Sri Shyama Kund is as dear to Sri Radha as Shyamasundar is, because the two kundas are non-different from Sri Sri Radha Madhava. These two water bodies are especially assisting the separated Couple when they want to meet each other, or to soothe the blazing fire of separation they feel when they are unable to.

The Mahājanas sing:

śrī kṛṣṇa jokhon rādhā daraśana lāgi utkaṇṭhita hoy;
sakala upāya biphala hoiyā rādhā kuṇḍāśraya loy
tat kāle rādhāra pāya daraśana emati kund prabhāva;
rādhāra-o temati śyāma kuṇḍāśraye kṛṣṇa saṅga hoy lābha

“When Krishna becomes eager to see Radha, and all his endeavors fail, he takes shelter of Radha Kund. At that moment he gets the audience of Radha on the strength of the kund. In the same way Radha also takes shelter of Shyama Kund and thus attains the company of Sri Krishna.”
Therefore the most fortunate (sukṛti-śāli) people reside around Sri Radha Kund, the crown jewel of Vraja Mandal. The sukṛti mentioned here does not refer to ordinary pious merit, but the great merit accrued from worshipping the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha Govinda, which is attained by the grace of the great devotees. Hence Raghunath Das Goswami has written in this verse:

purā premodrekaiḥ pratipada-navānanda-madhuraiḥ
kṛta-śrī-gāndharvācyuta caraṇa-varyārcana-balāt:

“Because of having worshiped the beautiful lotus feet of Sri Gāndharvā and Acyuta with the ever-fresh sweetness of ecstatic spiritual love in their previous lives…”

When this great abundance of sweet love appears in the heart of the sādhaka, he will become able to relish the ever-fresh transcendental bliss of bhajan. Sri Radharani mercifully bestows on those who have previously worshiped Sri Sri Radha Madhava’s lotus feet with such love a place to stay at Sri Radha Kund.

The attraction to reside around Sri Radha Kund awakens within the heart of a person who is totally fixed on Sri Radha’s lotus feet. Their knowledge and meditations are all aimed at Swamini Sri Radha, for whom she is everything and to whom she is dearer than millions of life airs, and they don’t know anything but her lotus feet, in life or in death. Those who are fixed in her worship develop the desire to love Sri Krishna’s lotus feet. For example, Śrīla Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī has written:

rādhā-nāma-sudhā-rasaṁ rasayituṁ jihvāstu me vihvalā
pādau tat-pada-kāṅkitāsu caratāṁ vṛndāṭavī-vīthiṣu
tat-karmaiva karaḥ karotu hṛdayaṁ tasyāḥ padaṁ dhyāyatāt
tad-bhāvotsavataḥ paraṁ bhavatu me tat-prāṇa-nāthe ratiḥ

“May my tongue become overwhelmed by relishing the nectarean flavour of Radha’s holy name, may my feet walk over the Vrindavan pathways that are marked with her footprints, may my hands be engaged only in her menial service, may my heart meditate on her lotus feet, and may I develop love for the Lord of her life (Krishna) through her festival of emotions.” (Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi 142)
It is such sādhakas, who are so fixed in Radha that Swamini mercifully allows to live on the bank of her kund, which is nondifferent from her, and such fortunate sādhakas are thus living on the bank of the kund, nourished by drinking the nectar of prema. In other words, the greatly intelligent souls who exchange hearing, chanting and remembering topics about Sri Radha’s names, forms, qualities and pastimes with each other reside on the bank of Swamini’s kund.

Raghunath Das Goswami never left the bank of the kund to go anywhere else. His firm determination was to stay on the bank of the kund, spend his time eating fruits, roots and buttermilk from Vraja and ultimately to leave his body there. atraiva mama saṁvāsa ihaiva mama saṁsthitiḥ — “Here alone will I reside; this alone is my permanent abode!” (Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 97)

With the same determination he prays, “May the great souls who live around Sri Radha Kund be my means of survival.”

pratipade navānanda, sumadhura sevānanda,
yugalera arcana prabhāve.
purākāle santa gaṇe, kṛṣṇa premāmṛta pāne,
vāsa kore rādhākuṇḍa-tīre.
se sab mahānta gaṇa, nāma dhare mahājana,
sabe mora jīvana upāya.
brahmāṇḍa tārite pāre, jane jane śakti dhare,
koto dine luṭāibo pāya?

“All the great souls who live on the bank of Radha Kund on the strength of their sweet and constantly blissful worship of the Divine Pair in previous lives, in which they drank the nectar of love for Krishna, are my very life. each one of these great souls, that are named mahājanas, is able to save the whole world; how many more days before I can roll at their feet?”

Commentary of Sri Radha Kund Mahant, Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj is named Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā (a drop of the nectar of Stavāvalī), and was published in Gaurābda 503 (1989 A.D.) from Sri Krishna Chaitanya Shastra Mandir, Vrajananda Ghera, PO Radhakunda (district Mathura), U.P., India.

Devotional songs in Bengali that follow each commentary were composed by Dr. Haripada Sheel.

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