About Çré Rädhäkuëòa
Çré Rädhäkuëòa, the place where the Lord plays most beautiful and loving divine Pastimes with Çrématé Rädhäräné, His own Pleasure Potency, is situated at a distance of 150 km from Delhi, 26 km from Mathura (U.P), 22 km from Våndävan and just 4 km away from Govardhan. It is the most splendid of all the divine places.
Of all the holy places where Kåñëa enjoyed His Pastimes viz, Mathura, Våndävan and Govardhana, Çré Rädhäkuëòa is the most dear to Him because He has His most Lovable and sweet divine Pastimes (with Rädhäräné) here.
Çré Rädhäkuëòa is non- different from Çrémati Rädhäräné. All the sacred waters of various rivers have taken the shelter of Rädhäkuëòa, hence It is the most sacred and holiest of all the holy places. It not only sanctifies but also bestows Love and devotion to Kåñëa in its Highest form.
Çréman Mahäprabhu who is Rädhä Kåñëa, combined form has Himself stated-
“Whoever bathes even once in This kuëòa so pure, I grant him Rädhä-like love , That’s for sure!”
The real svarüpa of Çré Rädhäkuëòa is not visible to material eyes and therefore The Kuëòa as well as Its Dhämaväsés appear ordinary. Hence even if we enter the Dhäma, unless and until we consider each and every living entity as transcendental, we shall only commit offences.
Çré Gurudeva Clarifies- ” Dhäma reveals itself. Each and every living entity of Dhäma is worshipable let alone committing offences.”
Therefore, it is important to know its glories and original/real svarüpa which is visible only to the eyes of the meditative devotees blessed with the Love and devotion to Çrémati Rädhäräné.
Çréla Prabodänanda Sarasvaté in his book ,Çré Våndävan Mahimämåta and Çréla Kåñëdäsa Kaviräja Gosvämé in Govinda Lélämåta, have described the transcendental form and inexpressible beauty of Çré Rädhäkuëòa –
“On all four sides there are bejewelled steps and banks made of gems. On all four banks, there are bejewelled altars and both sides are adorned with eight benches made of gemstones.”
“Each pavilion is flanked on both sides by swings hanging from branches of tree. The swings are decked with various flowers and decorations. The swings hang from Champaka trees in the south, from the Kadamba trees in the east, from Mango trees in the west and Bakula trees in the north. The swings are made of gemstones. “
“In between the East and the south east, where Rädhäkuëòa meets Çyämakuëòa, there is a beautiful bridge erected on gem-studded pedestals.”
“under the leadership of Çré Vrëdädevé, one can find innumerous flowers laden with the ingredients of service to the Divine Couple. Goddesses of the forest are seen collecting fruits and tubers. The flower-groves are surrounded by hundreds of maidservants. ”
“Çré Rädhä-Kåñëa ‘s nocturnal conversations are being loudly and sweetly translated by the parrot-couples. Their bliss is being enhanced by the cooing cuckoos and dancing peacocks.”
“One is thrilled every moment by the greatly exuberant fragrance and ever increasing sweetness of the lotuses, water lilies and other flowers that pervade the flower groves in which the Divine couple sports. One may behold very beautiful wondrous gem studded abodes of the sakhés being reflected in the water, appearing as if they are ascending from the kuëòa itself.
Such is the wonderful beauty of Çré Kuëòa which appears in the meditative hearts of the pure devotees and reveals the Divine Pastimes of Çré Yugala.
Raghunäthdäsa Gosvämé spent forty years on the Kuëòa meditating and wailing for the divine seva of Çrémati Rädhäräné ,on its Banks and sages can still hear his heart rendering cries there.
Advent of Çré Rädhäkuòa and Çré Çyämakuëòa-
The twin kuëòas appeared in very interesting way during the pastimes of Lord Çré Kåñëa on this earth. This has been described in Varahpuräëa.
In ‘Govardhana Parikrama’ of Ädivaraha it has been described as:
Once Çré Kåñëa, knowing Aristäsura’s intention to kill Him, came to the north of Mänasagaìgä to graze His cows. Seeing that His victim had come so close, Aristäsura thought to assume the form of a bull to finish Him off. Çré Kåñëa, the origin of Mahäviñëu, simply caught hold of his horns, picked him up like a toy, and threw him away with such a force, that the demon lost his life-airs.
Later, Çrématé Rädhäräné came there with Her friends to meet Çré Kåñëa. When She heard that Çré Kåñëa had killed a bull, since the creature of bovine species is considered to be sacred, She refused to associate with Him, on which Kåñëa pleaded that he was a demon which came out to destroy the Vraja. To this Rädhäräné replied that He had to go by what great people like Paurnmäsé, Gärgé say and she heard that even Indra, the king of the material heavens, had to atone for the sin of killing Vritasura, who was a brähamaëa by birth and for purifying the sin, he had to bathe in the holy waters of entire universe. Shedding off His modesty, Çré Kåñëa then retorted as to how dare that He was suggested to go around the universe, rather, He would bring all the holy places there instead and bathe therein. Saying thus He forcefully struck the earth with His left heel. Immediately Bhogvati Gaìgä appeared. Then He becked all the sacred rivers to join this water and they obeyed. To this, Rädhäräné and sakhés refused to believe Kåñëa saying that they were holy places unified. Then all the holy places arose with folded palms and spoke up- “i am Godävaré “, i am Yamunä”, ”i am Bhramaputra” After this Çré Kåñëa bathed in the waters of all holy places to Rädhäräné’s satisfaction and declared proudly that He would see all these holy places reside eternally in this pure lake and jokingly said to Gopés- ”you people haven’t performed a single pious activity in all your lives.” Çrématé exhibited Her transcendental anger (māna) and seeing a big hoof print of the Aristäsura demon on the western side of Çré Çyämakuëòa, She broke one of Her bangles and started digging there. With the help of thousands of her girl-friends (sakhés) and assistants (maïjarés) a large depression in the earth was created which revealed a divine lake. Kåñëa was astonished and told Çrématé Rädhäräné to take water from His kuëòa to fill it, but She refused, considering that water polluted by the sin of Kåñëa ‘s bull-killing. She then made arrangements to bring water from Mänasé-Gaìgä, nearly 5 kilometers away with millions of sakhés, carrying crores of pitchers. Then as per Kåñëa ‘s indications, personified sacred waters appeared again in their divine forms. They paid obeisances to Rädhäräné and glorified Her devoutly with tear-filled eyes. Then the merciful daughter of Våñabhänu heard the glorifying prayers of the holy places, She was satisfied and granted them a place in Her lake. Having obtained the mercy of Çré Rädhikä, the holy places present in Çré Çyämakuëòa most joyously and speedily filled Çré Rädhäkuëòa with their waters.
Then Çré Kåñëa spoke to Çré Rädhä-“May Your kuëòa be more glorious than Mine. I shall bathe and sport daily in Your kuëòa. I love it as much as I love You!!! ”
“ei kuëòae ekbar yei kare snäna,
täre rädhä- sama prema kåñëa kare däna”
Meaning-Çré Krsna said whosoever takes bath in Rädhäkuëòa, the seed of intense love (Prema-Bhakti) which Çrématé Rädhäräné has for Him would be given. Similarly, Çrématé Rädhäräné took bath in Çyämakuëòa and announced that to anyone who takes bath in Çyämakuëòa and lives on Its banks, all his sins will be destroyed and will be very dear to Me.
The wish yielding tree of love for Krsna swiftly grows in the heart of anyone who always bath in Çré Rädhäkuëòa, such is the prowess of the kuëòa.
When Lord Kåñëa was personally present on earth , the Kuëòas were visible in their original form , but after He finished His pastimes on earth, the Kuëòas too concealed their original forms .
Moreover, with the passage of time they became lost until discovered by Çréman Mahäprabhu.
The discovery of Çré Rädhäkuëòa-Çyämakuëòa-
Mahäprabhu arrived in Braja during the reign of Sikander Lodhi , He circumambulated the Vraj Mandala and dancing in ecstasy, reached the village of Arit. There he came to His external senses and asked the villagers the whereabouts of Çré Rädhäkuëòa, but nobody knew.
The all-knowing Lord went ahead and bathed in the little water that had collected in between two paddy fields. All the villagers were surprised to see this. Filled with Love ,the Lord glorified Çré Rädhäkuëòa-” Amongst all the Gopés , Rädhäräné is the dearmost to Kåñëa . In the same way Her lake is also dearmost to Him. ” He danced on its banks by remembering the Divine Pastimes enacted therein. He donned tilaka with the earth of Rädhäkuëòa and asked Bhattacharya to carry some earth along.
Gosvämés and Rädhäkuëòa-
Çré Rüpa Gosvämé and Çré Sanätana Gosvämé were given the charge of reestablishing Våndävan and Temples there, by Çréman Mahäprabhu.
After the disappearance of Mahäprabhu and subsequently Svarüpa Dämodar’s, Çrépäda Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé came to Rädhäkuëòa at the instructions of Çré Rüpa-Sanätan to do Bhajana there. The personification of renunciation Çrépäda did his Bhajana in open.
Once , while Raghunäth däs Gosvämé was doing his Bhajana, a tiger and a tigress came at the Banks to drink water, then Çré Kåñëa personally came there stood for the protection of Çrépäda däs Gosvämé. Sanätana Gosvämé saw this and Kåñëa smiled to him and disappeared. He informed Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé of this so that he build kuöéra and do Bhajana in it, instead of taking sevä from the Lord Himself.
Later, again during day time, when it was very hot, Çré Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé was absorbed in remembering Çrématé Rädhäräné and tears rolled from his eyes. At the same time, he was sweating profusely . Karunāmayi Rädhäräné Herself came there and shaded Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé with Her own cloth while bearing all sunrays Herself. On viewing this, Sanätana Gosvämé disturbed him in between and entailed whole scene ,upon which Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé repented a lot. Sanätana Gosvämé consoled him and immediately made arrangements for his kuöéra. Since then, kuöéra system began at Rädhäkuëòa .
Çrépad Raghunätha däsa is the first Mahaìta of Rädhäkuëòa and instrumental in getting Çré Rädhäkuëòa and Çyämakuëòa excavated and enlarged, thereby revealing Kankan Kuëòa in Rädhäkuëòa which Rädhäräné and sakhés made with Their bangles.. Also revealing Vajra kuëòa in Çyämakuëòa.
Lord fulfilled Däsa Gosvämé päd’s desire to clean the kuëòas by coming in the dream of a person and directing him to donate it at Rädhäkuëòa for The cleaning who was to donate it at Badrinätha.
The five paëdavas in the form of trees were also revealed to him when they came in his dream to request not cut off the trees near Çyämakuëòa, which is why It has irregular shape.
The land under Çyämakuëòa and Rädhäkuëòa were called ‘ kari’ and ‘Gori’ respectively and were bought by Jéva Gosvämé . He was the second Mahaìt of Rädhäkuëòa.
Çréla Kåñëa däsa kaviräja Gosvämé composed Chaitanya Caritamåta in Rädhäkuëòa itself.
Çré Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé spent 41 years on the banks of Çré Rädhäkuëòa remembering and wailing for Çrématé Rädhäräné and Her service. During the last years of his life, he recorded his love and separation filled prayers to Rädhäräné in his book Çré Viläpakusumaïjalé.
While living on the banks of Çré Rädhäkuëòaa, Raghunätha became oblivious of his body and remained absorbed in bhajana all day and night. Therefore, Çré Rüpa-Sanätana came to Rädhäkuëòa to inquire about him. Even in this situation he had a desire to perform saàskära of the kuëòas, it is due to this that even today the kuëòas and the land attached to them are hailed as the Bhajana wealth of the entire Gauòéya Vaiñëava community. We owe this to Çré Raghunäthadäsa Gosvämé alone.
Çré Rädhäkuëòa is the crest jewel of Çré Vraja Maëdala, most lovable and glorious place for Gauòéya Vaiñëavas.
For past more than 400 years the Gauòéya Vaiñëavas have incessantly endeavored for the protection of The Kuëòas and the Virakta Vaiñëava who have taken Its shelter, from tyrants as well as ignorants.
At Çré Rädhäkuëòa, there are many temples, a few Baithaks, Bhajanasthalis and Samadhi- Mandirs, all having a significance and glories of their own.
Çré Rädhä Govinda Mandir,
Çré Rädhä Vinod Jiu Mandir,
Çré Rädhä Dämodara Mandir,
Çré Rädhä Mädhava Mandir
Other than these, are-
Çréman Mahäprabhu’s baithak under the Tamäl Tree which one must visit,
Çré Nityänanda Prabhu’s baithak in Çré Gopinätha Mandir
Çrémati Jahnava Thakurani’s baithak at Çré Jahnava Ghat
Samadhi of Çré Raghunäthadäsa Gosvämé .
Five Pandavas in the form of Trees
Rädhäkuëòaa holds immense significance for any Gauòéya Vaiñëava.Çré Rüpa Gosvämé tells in Updeçamåta-” Mathura is greater than Vaikuntha, within Mathura Çré Våndävan is greater since it is the location of the Räsa-lélä festival. Therein Çré Govardhan is greater since Çré Govinda enacts His pleasure sorts here. Therein Çré Rädhäkuëòa is greater since it is flooded with the nectarine love of Gokulpati Çré Kåñëa Chandra.
Is there any conscious person who would not serve Çré Rädhäkuëòa that is present at the foothills of Govardhan?