Radha Kund and Shyama Kund
|Radha & Shyama Kund, Govardhan;|
Radha Kund and Shyama Kund, the two most spiritually surcharged Kunds (ponds), are located in a village called Arita about 3 miles north-east of Govardhan and fourteen miles from Mathura and Vrindavan.
|Krishna is killing a demon Arishtasura;|
That night when Krishna went to meet His beloved Srimati Radharani, She jokingly forbade Him to touch Her and said, “Today, You have killed a bull, which belongs to the cow family. You have therefore committed the sin of killing a cow. Please do not touch My pure body.”
Krishna then asked how He could atone for the sin. In reply, Radharani said that the only way to atone the sin is to take bath in every holy place in the world. To fulfill Her desire Krishna created a large kunda by striking the ground with His heel. He then summoned all the holy places from all over the planet. When they appeared Krishna asked their personified forms to enter in to the Kunda in the form of water, which they promptly did. Within moments the kunda was filled with the most pure and sacred water. Krishna then bathed in it and approached Radharani, having atoned for the sin of killing a bull. He bragged about how His kunda was the most beautiful and how great He was in creating such a kunda. Hearing Her beloved boast in such a manner, Radharani along with Her sakhis decided to create an even more exquisite kunda adjacent to the one created by Krishna, by digging the place with their bracelets. When not a drop of water manifested in the kunda, Krishna said that they could take water from His kunda. Radharani refused and She along with Her sakhis decided to fill Her kunda by carrying water from Manasi-ganga in clay water pots. Sri Krishna signalled to the holy places that they should insist that Radharani and Her sakhis fill up their kunda with water from His. The holy places personified prayed to Radharani and Her sakhis and pleased them by glorifying them in many ways. She then mercifully gave them the permission to enter Her kunda, and immediately a current of water flowed from Krishna-kunda to Radha-kunda.
|Shyama Kund, Govardhan;|
After Radha-kunda was filled with holy waters of the entire planet, Lord Krishna told Srimati Radharani that Her kund would be the most famous place in the world and that He would daily bathe in Her kunda. Lord Krishna declared that Radha-kunda is as dear to Him as Srimati Radharani Herself and anyone who bathes in it will get Her love. Radha kunda is the personified love of Srimati Radharani.
|Radha Kund, Govardhan;|
Since these are the places where Radha and Krishna performed their most intimate and sweet pastimes, Srila Prabhupada, told that we should not approach Radha Kund in a familiar or light manner. Otherwise it would not help us to advance in our spiritual life. We should approach these pastimes with great reverence and should not treat them as something ordinary or talk about it lightly. We should consider these pastimes to be way above our heads and should aspire to be the servants of the servants of those who have realized the glories of Sri Radha Kunda.
The Mentality of Arishtasura
Arishtasura represents one of the very serious obstacles on the path of devotional service: the propensity to consider oneself very religious, and to follow the principles of religion invented by other conditioned souls—while criticizing the path of devotional service. This is a very serious obstacle, and it’s everywhere. In the name of religion, in this age of Kali, there is so much concoction: what is religion is taken to be irreligion and what is irreligion is taken to be religion. There are people presenting so many different ideas about God, about who is God and how to attain God.
We should therefore understand what Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:
Therefore Krishna says:
Evam parampara praptam imam rajarsayo viduh
Sa kaleneha mahata yogo nastah parantapa (B.G. – 4.2)
So many people are dragged away from the process of devotional service, due to this type of association—represented by Arishtasura.
Kamsa worshipped Shiva, considered himself a very, very religious man, and he sent Arishtasura to promote hisreligiosity. What was the purpose? To kill Krishna. Similarly, all these Arishtasuras who are preaching principles that are contrary to pure devotional service, they are coming to attack Krishna in our hearts. Therefore, we must defend ourselves by maintaining proper association, by understanding philosophically what our siddhanta is, and ultimately by crying out to Krishna for help by chanting his holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
|Jihva Mandir, Govardhan;|
Raghunath Das Goswami wanted to dig a well so that the Vrajvasis would not wash their clothes in Radha-Kunda. While digging the well the workers hit upon a rock and blood began to come out of that rock. Raghunath Das Goswami immediately stopped the digging. Later on, Lord Krishna appeared in his dream and told him that He was non-different from Govardhan and the rock that was hit upon was the tongue of Giriraj. Krishna then asked Radhunath Das Goswami to take out that sila and worship it on the altar.
Even to this day the Govardhan sila representing the tongue of Giriraj is worshipped with Tulasi leaves and water from the Radha-kunda as instructed by Lord Krishna to Das Goswami.
Excavation of Radha Kunda and Shyam Kunda
|Lord Krishna in the mood of Srimati Radharani in Govardhan;|
Generally it is noted that after the great spiritual personalities wind up their pastimes in this material world, the places associated with them are lost to the world in due course of time. The Lord then arranges these places to re-manifest to the world through His pure loving devotees, in order to reveal to the world the glories of these devotees.
After Krishna disappeared from this world, Radha Kunda and Shyama Kunda were also lost to the world.
The pastime of how Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda were revealed to the world through one of the most intimate and pure devotees of Lord Chaitanya, Srila Raghunath Das Goswami.
Radha Kunda and Shyama Kunda were lost to the world for a long time. Then in 1550 Lord Chaitanya came to Vrindavan on the day of Kartika Poornima and stayed in Vrindavan for two months.
|Place where Lord Chaitania found Radha and Shyama Kunds;|
| Lord very happily took the waters of the kundas
and applied tilaka on His body using the clay from Radha-kunda;
The Highest Position of Sri Radha Kunda
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is none other than the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna in the compassionate mood of Srimati Radharani, invested within the heart of Rupa Goswami his own divine love and commissioned him to come to Vrindavan and reveal Vrindavan to the world. In Shri Updeshamruta(text 9) Srila Rupa Goswami has written about all holy places in this creation. It is said that Mathura Puri is most sacred because here the Supreme Lord Krishna appeared. Of all the places in Mathura Puri Vrindavan is more sacred because here Krishna performs the Rasa Lila or dances of Vraja. Of all places in forests of Vrindavan, Govardhan is most sacred because such very, very confidential pleasing pastimes are eternally being enacted here. Of all places of Govardhan, the supreme-most of all places in all the spiritual and material worlds is Sri Radha kunda, because it is at Radha-kunda that the highest divine loving relations of Sri Radha and Sri Krishna are enacted. For devotees what is highest is whatever gives Radha and Krishna most pleasure. Because They enjoy each other’s company with highest degree of ecstatic love at Radha kunda, it is considered holiest of all holy places in all of creation.