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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Jiva Goswami > Madhava Mahotsava > Introduction

Shri Madhava Mahotsava

Shri Jiva Gosvamipada . 1555 a.d

By Mahanidhi Swami, All Rights Reserved.
Please buy this book to support the Author.




This English translation of Shri Madhava Mahotsava by Shri Jiva Gosvamipada is dedicated to my spiritual master, ISKCON Founder-acarya Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.


Shrila Prabhupada performed bhajana for six years in the historic Radha-Damodara temple in Seva Kunja, Vmdavana, which was founded by Shri Jiva Gosvamipada. By the tremendous spiritual  blessings and potency received from Shri-Shri Radha-Damodara Jeu and Shri Jiva Gosvamipada, Shrila Prabhupada translated the works of the Six Gosvamis into English and spread the science of  Krishna consciousness all over the world. We hope, therefore, Shrila Prabhupada will be pleased to see that one of Shri Jiva Gosvamipada's classic books has now been printed in the English  language.




om ajnana-timirandhasya, jnananjana-salakaya

caksur unmilitam yena, tasmai shri-gurave namah


0 Gurudeva! You are so merciful. I respectfully bow down to you and beg you to open my eyes, which have been blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of divine knowledge.


vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca, krpa-sindhubhya eva ca

patitanam pavanebhyo, vaisnavebhyo namo namah


I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaishnavas who are just like desire trees. They are oceans of mercy who purify the conditioned souls.


namo maha-vadanyaya, krishna-prema-pradaya te

krishnaya krishna-chaitanya, namne gaura-tvise namah


 I offer respects to Shri Krishna Chaitanya, who is Krishna Himself. Taking the golden color of Shrimati Radharani, He is magnanimously giving the rare gift of Krishna prema.


tavaivasmi tavaivasmi, najivami tvaya vina,

iti vijnaya devi tvam, naya mam caranatikam


I am Yours! I am Yours! I cannot live without You. O Radhe, please under¬stand this and bring me to Your lotus feet.




tapta-kancana-gaurangi, radhe Vrindavanaesvari

vrsabhanu-sute devi, pranamami hari-priye


"I offer my respects to Radharani, whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vrindavana. You are the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, and You are very dear to Lord  Krishna."


In this prayer and in many others, Shrimati Radharani is referred to as "Vrindavanesvari," the Queen of Vrindavana. While living in Vrindavana dur ing the last twelve years A e often wondered how  Shrimati Radhika received the name "Vrindavanesvari." What exciting pastime lies behind this wonder¬ful name?


Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has an unlimited variety of sweet names describing His various transcendental pastimes. The name Govinda, for example, was awarded to  Krishna by the King of heaven Indra after Krishna vanquished his pride by lifting Govardhana HOI. Indra and Surabhi bathed Lord Shri Krishna in a grand abhiseka and crowned Krishna as Govinda, "the  Lord of the cows, the land of Vrindavana, and thegopas andgopis." Similarly, Shrimati Radharani received the name "Vrindavanesvari" after all the Vrajagopw and demigoddesses performed an  elaborate royal abhiseka ceremony to officially install Her as the Queen of Vrindavana. Shrimati Radharani's royal abhiseka is mentioned in the Puranas and the writings of the Gosvamis headed  by Shri Rupa Gosvami's Dana-keli-kaumudi texts 78-84.


Shrila Krishna dasa Kaviraja refers to Shri Radha's abhiseka in Govinda Lilamrta, Madhyahna-lila 9.52: "Shrimati Radhika said, 'Because my sakhi Vrinda-devi maintains this forest, it is famous as  Vrindavana. But after My raja abhiseka (royal bathing ceremony) wherein I was coronated the Queen of Vrindavana (Vrindavanesvari), Vrinda-devi gave her kingdom to Me.'" In Vraja-vilasa-stava,  text 61, Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami also mentions the coronation ceremony of Shrimati Radharani. "Ordered by Brahma, who spoke from the sky, Paurnamasi and other joyful demigoddesses  like Savitri sprinkled waters of the Manasa Ganga and other sacred rivers upon Radha's head to crown Her "Vrindavanesvari," the queen of the beautiful forest of Vrindavana."


Some acarvas state that Radhika's abhiseka occurred in Umrao (Umraya), which is not far from Varsana, on Magh Purnima (the full moon day Jan-Feb). Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Jiva  Gosvamipada call the place of Shri Radha's abhiseka, "Unmada Radha," the exalted place where Radha be¬came intoxicated in loving bliss. The fifth wave of Bhakti-ratnakara says, "At Chatravan  (Chata) Nandanandana became king, and a few days later Paurnamasi crowned Radharani the Queen of Vrindavana. Who can possibly describe the pastime of Radharani's abhiseka as the  Queen of Vrindavana that was performed here at Radha Sthali?"


Shrila Prabhupada often glorified Shri Jiva Gosvamipada in his books with such statements as, "Shrila Jiva GosvamI was the most authoritative dcdrya of our sampraddya." {Teachings of Lord  Chaitanya, Chap.31) "Nobody can com¬pete with Jiva Gosvami's scholarship in Sanskrit and philosophy. That is the verdict of all learned scholars. The world's best philosopher and Sanskrit  scholar was Shrila Jiva Gosvami. His books are still adored by all spiritual sections." (Shrila Prabhupada Lecture 28june 71) All of Shri Jiva Gosvamipada's writings are extremely essential and  valu¬able works full of devotional sentiments and siddhanta. They are known as bhaktigranthas, "scriptures full of pure devotion to Krishna." Shri Krishna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami describes Shri Jiva  Gosvamipada thus:


tanra bhratus-putra nama shri-jiva-gosani

yata bhakti-grantha kaila, tara anta nai


"Shri Rupa Gosvami's nephew, Shrila Jiva Gosvami, has compiled so many books on devotional service that there is no counting them. (Cc. Madhya 1.42) In his purport to the  Chaitanya-charitamrita,Adi 10.85, Shrila Prabhupada praises Shri Jiva Gosvamipada's books as "very celebrated" and presents a list of his major works, wherein Shri Madhava Mahotsava appears as  number seven.In the first chapter of Shri Madhava Mahotsava, Shri Jiva Gosvamipada explains the form of his work: "My goal is to elaborate upon what has been suggested in the Kartika Mahatmya  of the Padma Purana, confirmed in the Brhad Gautamiya Tantra and Matsya Purana, and described in Shri Rupa Gosvami's works such as Dana-keli-kaumudi." Six years after Shri Rupa Gosvami  wrote Dana-keli-kaumudi, he ordered Shri Jiva Gosvami to compile a book describing the royal abhiseka of Shri Radha and Her coronation as the Queen of Vrindavana. Surrendering to Shri Rupa's  request, Shri Jiva composed this prayer in the mangalacarana to Shri Madhava Mahotsava: "A great wealth of courage to fulfil the order of Shri Rupa Gosvami has made this insignificant creature  begin this poetic work with excessive boldness. By the mercy of Shri Rupa Gosvami, may the great devotees experienced in bhakti rasa derive satisfaction from this work.


Shri Madhava Mahotsava beautifully depicts Shrimati Radhika's raja abhiseka Lila wherein She was crowned the Queen of Vrindavana, "Vrindavanesvari." One may ask w hy the book is entitled Shri  Madhava Mahotsava since it is all about Radha's mahotsava (festival)? In order to avoid Shrimati Radhika's embarrassment due to Her naturally shy nature, Shri Krishna instructed Vrinda-devi, "O  Vrinda! Make all arrangements such that when the elder women come, they will be happy and Radha and I will not be embarrassed. Arrange all things properly for the event. To avoid Radha's  embarrassment, externally the festival will bear My name (Madhava Mahotsava), though Her name will be understood." {Shri Madhava Mahotsava Ch. 4) In nine chapters Shri Radha's maha  aisvarya is pompously exhibited as Shri Paurnamasi-devi bathes Radharani in the most spectacular abhiseka ever performed in Vrindavana. In attendance are all the Vrajavasis, and the  resi¬dents of heaven who give Radha numerous special gifts. This book is excit¬ing, filled with rasa, and herein the reader finds Shri Jiva Gosvami at his best.We extend our heartfelt thanks to  Bhanu Swami Maharaja for expertlv translating Shri Madhava Mahotsava. We also thank Shriman Kusakratah Prabhu who kindly provided the Sanskrit edition of this rare gem of devo¬tional nectar.


We humbly pray that Vrindavanesvari shrimati Radhika anu sn Jiva Gosvamipada will be pleased with this English edition of Shri Madhava Mahotsava. It is our sincere hope that the Vaishnava  devotees will drink deeply from this ambrosial river flowing into the eternally expanding ocean of Radha-Syamasundara's ecstatic transcendental pastimes. In closing, we quote Shri Jiva  Gosvamipada, "Ears, lips, and tongue! May these words describing the abhiseka to install Radha as the Queen of Vrindavana protect you birth after birth, and give you devotion to Radha and  Krishna. O nostrils! May the fra¬grance of the abhiseka protect You! Eyes and hands! May the beauty and the happiness of the service nourish you!" {Shri Madhava Mahotsava Ch. 7)


Mahanidhi Swami.  Krishna Balaram Mandir.  Vrindavana

Magh Purnima 19 February 2000


List of Characters




lalita, Vishakha, vrinda devi, Kundalata, Dhanistha-girlfriends of Radhika

Syamala and Mangala-tatastha sakhis bathing Radha

Malati-Radhika's friend

Nandimukhi-Radhrka's triend, the brahmani sister of Madhumangala-Kirtida-mother of Radharani

Mukhara-grandmother of Radharani

Abhimanyu-"so called husband" of Shrimati Radharani

Jatila-mother of Abhimanyu, mother in-law of Radha

Kutila-daughter of Jatila

Sarasvati, Savitri, Indrani, Svaha, Uma, Chaya, Sanjna-demigoddesses

bathing Radha

Candravali-chief rival sakhi of Radha

Padma, Saibya-Candravali's dear assistants

Subala-Krishna's bosom friend

Vidagdha, Kinkini-Krishna's friends

Paurnamasi-mother of Sandipani Muni, helps Radha-Krishna meet and enjoy pastimes.