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tapta-kāñcana-gaurāṅgi
rādhe vṛndāvaneśvari
vṛṣabhānu-sute devi
praṇamāmi hari-priye
I offer my respects to Rādhārāṇī, whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vṛndāvana. You are the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu, and You are very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa.
(Bhagavad-Gita------introduction).

Distinguishing between pure devotees and internal or confidential devotees, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, in his book Upadeśāmṛta, traces the following gradual process of development. Out of many thousands of karmīs, one is better when he is situated in perfect Vedic knowledge. Out of many such learned scholars and philosophers, one who is actually liberated from material bondage is better, and out of many such persons who are actually liberated, one who is a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is considered to be the best. Among the many such transcendental lovers of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the gopīs are the best, and among the gopīs Śrīmatī Rādhikā is the best. Śrīmatī Rādhikā is very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa, and similarly Her ponds, namely, Śyāma-kuṇḍa and Rādhā-kuṇḍa, are also very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta------1:7:18-19-------purport).

Just as Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is most dear to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Her bathing place [Rādhā-kuṇḍa] is also dear to Him. Among all the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is supermost and very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa.’
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta------2:8:99--------translation).

“‘Because of its wonderful transcendental qualities, Rādhā-kuṇḍa is as dear to Kṛṣṇa as Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. It was in that lake that the all-opulent Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa performed His pastimes with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī with great pleasure and transcendental bliss. Whoever bathes just once in Rādhā-kuṇḍa attains Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s loving attraction for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Who within this world can describe the glories and sweetness of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa?’”
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta------2:18:12--------translation).

Lord Caitanya exhibited the mode of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī when She was contacted from Dvārakā by Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Such transcendental love is not possible for any common man; therefore one should not imitate the highest perfectional stage exhibited by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. If, however, one desires to be in that association, he may follow in the footsteps of the gopīs. In the Padma Purāṇa it is stated that just as Rādhārāṇī is dear to Kṛṣṇa, similarly the kuṇḍa known as Rādhākuṇḍa is also very dear to Him. Rādhārāṇī is the only gopī who is dearer to Kṛṣṇa than all the other gopīs. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.30.28) it is also stated that Rādhārāṇī and the gopīs render the highest perfectional loving service to the Lord and that the Lord is so pleased with them that He does not wish to leave the company of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.
(TEACHINGS OF LORD CAITANYA).

In the śāstra it is said that of all types of fruitive workers, he who is advanced in knowledge of the higher values of life is favored by the Supreme Lord Hari. Out of many such people who are advanced in knowledge [jñānīs], one who is practically liberated by virtue of his knowledge may take to devotional service. He is superior to the others. However, one who has actually attained prema, pure love of Kṛṣṇa, is superior to him. The gopīs are exalted above all the advanced devotees because they are always totally dependent upon Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the transcendental cowherd boy. Among the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the most dear to Kṛṣṇa. Her kuṇḍa [lake] is as profoundly dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa as this most beloved of the gopīs. Who, then, will not reside at Rādhā-kuṇḍa and, in a spiritual body surcharged with ecstatic devotional feelings [aprākṛtabhāva], render loving service to the divine couple Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda, who perform Their aṣṭakālīya-līlā, Their eternal eightfold daily pastimes. Indeed, those who execute devotional service on the banks of Rādhā-kuṇḍa are the most fortunate people in the universe.
(NECTAR OF INSTRUCTIONS).

Rādhārāṇī is the most exalted devotee of Kṛṣṇa and that Her kuṇḍa (lake), Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa, is the most exalted place. This is verified in a quotation from Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta (Uttara-khaṇḍa 45), as quoted in Caitanya-caritāmṛta:
yathā rādhā priyā viṣṇos
tasyāḥ kuṇḍaṁ priyaṁ tathā
sarva-gopīṣu saivaikā
viṣṇor atyanta-vallabhā
"Just as Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is dear to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa [Viṣṇu], so Her bathing place [Rādhā-kuṇḍa] is equally dear to Kṛṣṇa. Among all the gopīs, She alone stands supreme as the Lord's most beloved."
(NECTAR OF INSTRUCTIONS).

Of the many objects of favored delight and of all the lovable damsels of Vrajabhūmi, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is certainly the most treasured object of Kṛṣṇa's love. And, in every respect, Her divine kuṇḍa is described by great sages as similarly dear to Him. Undoubtedly Rādhā-kuṇḍa is very rarely attained even by the great devotees; therefore it is even more difficult for ordinary devotees to attain. If one simply bathes once within those holy waters, one's pure love of Kṛṣṇa is fully aroused. Why is Rādhā-kuṇḍa so exalted? The lake is so exalted because it belongs to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is the most beloved object of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Among all the gopīs, She is the most beloved. Similarly, Her lake, Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa, is also described by great sages as the lake that is as dear to Kṛṣṇa as Rādhā Herself. Indeed, Kṛṣṇa's love for Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the same in all respects. Rādhā-kuṇḍa is very rarely attained, even by great personalities fully engaged in devotional service, not to speak of ordinary devotees who are only engaged in the practice of vaidhī bhakti.
(NECTAR OF INSTRUCTIONS).

In this way all the gopīs were madly feeling the absence of Kṛṣṇa. They inquired about Him from the trees and plants. In some places they found the imprints of the marks on the soles of His feet—namely the flag, the lotus flower, the trident, the thunderbolt, etc. After seeing those footprints, they exclaimed, “Oh, here is the impression of the marks on the soles of Kṛṣṇa’s feet! All the marks, such as the flag, the lotus flower, the trident and the thunderbolt, are distinctly visible here.” They began to follow the footprints, and shortly they saw another set of footprints beside them, and immediately they became very sorry. “Dear friends, just see! Whose are these other footprints? They are beside the footprints of the son of Mahārāja Nanda. It is certainly Kṛṣṇa passing through, resting His hand on some other gopī, exactly as an elephant goes side by side with his beloved mate. We must, therefore, understand that this particular gopī served Kṛṣṇa with greater affectionate love than ourselves. Because of this, although He has left us, He could not leave Her company. He has taken Her along with Him. Dear friends, just imagine how the dust of this place is transcendentally glorious. The dust of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa is worshiped even by Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva and the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī. But at the same time, we are very sorry that this particular gopī has gone along with Kṛṣṇa, for She is sharing the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s kisses and leaving us aside to lament. O friends, just see! At this particular spot we do not see the footprints of that gopī. It appears that because there were some pinpricks from the dried grass, Kṛṣṇa took Rādhārāṇī on His shoulder. Oh, She is so dear to Him! Kṛṣṇa must have picked some flowers in this spot to satisfy Rādhārāṇī, because here, where He stood erect to get the flowers from the high branches of the tree, we find only half the impression of His feet. Dear friends, just see how Kṛṣṇa must have sat down here with Rādhārāṇī and tried to set flowers in Her hair. You can be certain that both of Them sat together here.” Kṛṣṇa is self-sufficient: He has nothing to enjoy from any other source. Yet just to satisfy His devotee, He treated Rādhārāṇī exactly as a lusty boy treats his girlfriend. Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He always tolerates the disturbances created by His girlfriends.
(krsna book).

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