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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami > Govinda Lilamrta 2 > Chapter-7


"Description of Radhakunda"



After going some distance, Han took a turn off the main road and came to Radhakunda, eager to see His dearly beloved. (1)


Radhakunda is beautifully surrounded by jeweled steps and jewelled bathing places. On these bathing places are jeweled platforms, with a jeweled dais on each side of each bathing platform. On each side of these platforms are two trees on whose flower laden branches wonderful swings covered with various sheets are hanging. On the southern side of each platform jeweled swings hangs on the branches of two Campaka trees, on the eastern side from two Kadamba trees, on the north from two mango trees, and on the west from two Bakula trees. Between the eastern and the south eastern side is a wonderful bridge on pillars, and Radhakunda's and Syamakunda's waters are meeting under this. (2-6)


Many trees are surrounding Shri Radhakunda on all sides. Those trees and vines are bowing down from the weight of their thick leaves and their many fruits and flowers. On the roots of these trees are big platforms and jeweled alters as beautiful as water-basins. These platforms have staircases which keep one cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Some of these platforms reach up to the neck, some to the chest, some to the belly, navel, knees and some up to the heels only. Some of them are hexagonal, some heptagonal, some octagonal, and some are round. At first sight they resemble waves. The birds, mistaking their jeweled ripples to be waves of water, fall on them when they want to quench their thirst on them. Here Radha and Krishna are always enjoying Their joking conversations along with Their friends. (7-9)


In the four corners of Radhakunda there are gardens of Madhavi flowers surrounded by groves of Vanira, Kesara and Asoka trees.


The outskirts of these gardens are adorned with banana-trees with ripe and unripe fruits and flowers whose leaves provide a cool shade. Outside of that are the outer subforests surrounded by flower gardens. In the middle of the kunda is a jeweled temple connected with the shore by a bridge. (10-13)


Radhakunda has many forest-fairies and hundreds of maidservants who fetch various kinds of fruits, flowers and other items suitable for Radha and Krishna's service. Within the flower gardens and subforests are cottages that are filled with such items by Vrnda devi. Then there are the seasonal forests, like the spring forest, that are endowed with all good qualities. Here the paths, yards and cottages are sprinkled with fragrant water by Vrnda devi. There are flower-canopies and gates as well as kunja-alleys, courtyards, swings and platforms, all decorated with flowers. Within the play-cottages of Radhakunda there are beds made of fresh lotus petals, leaves from the trees and stemless flowers, along with pillows, goblets full of honey wine, water, betel leaves and other sweet things. (14-17)


Honey oozes out of the Kahlara, red lotus, white Pundarika, Pankeruha, blue Indivara and Kairava flowers. The water that is scented with their pollen streams out of the drains from all sides of these cottages. The parrots start reciting sweet poetry about Krishna's romantic plays when they hear the nice songs of the swans, gallulines, cranes, Madgus, Cakravakas, geese and Laksmana-birds. When the peacocks see Krishna coming they become mad with love, mistaking Him for a cloud, and start dancing. Seeing Krishna, the Haritas, pigeons, Catakas and other birds in the beautiful forest start singing songs that are nectar to the ears, their bodies blooming up with joy. Drinking the nectar of Radhesa's ( Krishna's) face, that defeats the splendor of innumerable full moons, the Cakora birds give up their natural attraction for the moon in the sky (18-23)


The trees, that were bowing down with their loads of ripe and unripe fruits, sprouts, flowers, buds and vines, are covering everyone with their shady foliage, and many lotus flowers shine brightly white. This Radhakunda, whose shores and waters facilitate Hari's play, defeats the beauty of the Milk Ocean with Her wonderful qualities. Her waters and shores have sprung from Krishna's lotus feet and are meeting with Arista-kunda (Syamakunda) on the south-eastern side. In the eight directions are the eight kunjas of Radha's eight girlfriends, named after each of them. With love these girls diligently decorate their kunjas with their own hands to perfect the pastimes of the two Lovers. (24-27)


All the gardens extending outwards from these kunjas are nicely set up, and the row of trees within that area shade the pathways on both sides. The middle part of this wonderfully pure crystal pathway is made of emeralds. Looking at it, one thinks it is like wonderful small ripples, or imaginary tiny streams in a river. To outsiders the jeweled gates in those two subforests appear like walls and the walls look like gates. (28-30)


Near the northern ghat (bathingplace) of Radhakunda there are eight kunjas shaped like eight-petaled lotus flowers. There is a temple there called Ananga rangambuja (the lotus of conjugal play) whose filaments are made of nice golden banana trees. The whorl of this thousand-petaled lotus is a brightly shining, beautiful golden platform, which sometimes expands and sometimes shrinks, whenever it suits Krishna's pastimes. (31-32)


The joy of all the seasons can be experienced in this place which is always carefully maintained by Lalita's disciple Kalavalli and which is the very form of playful pleasure. The goddess of beauty, Indira, is manifest in this royal temple of Radha and Krishna and Their friends, named Lalitanandada kunja. This kunja looks like a lotus flower with jeweled filaments and golden whorls divided in many equal jeweled leaves, each in their own colour. Outside of these whorls are the filaments and outside of that, at the tips of the petals, the weight and number gradually increase. Outside of this trowel that gives joy to all the five senses through its attributes like coolness, are platforms, variably made of gold, lapis lazuli, sapphire, crystal, rubies etc., that complete its beauty (33-38)


In the middle of this platform are wonderful jeweled images depicting mating deer, birds, demigods and humans, arousing conjugal feelings. (39) Five colors of leaves, flowers, trees and canopies beautify the center of this thousand-petaled lotus and the jeweled platforms that reach up to the knees are its trowel. The eight subkunjas, that look like lotus petals, are beautified by Asoka-vines that are covered from top to foot by white, red, green, yellow and blue flowers. There is another kunja shaped like an eight petaled lotus flower, full of humming bees and singing cuckoos in the north-east of Lalita's kunja, in a place called Vasanta sukhada (giver of joy to the spring). (40-43)


In the south-western corner of Lalita's kunja is a lotus temple that is beautified by gates and windows on all four sides. On the four walls of this temple Lalita keeps many wonderful jewel-studded pictures of Krishna's pastimes, like His falling in love (urva raga ), His Rasa-dance, His kunja-pastimes and the killings of Putana and Aristasura. The whorl of this lotus temple is made of shining jewels and the interior is its whorl. On the outside it is surrounded by sixteen inner quarters shaped like the petals of this lotus. Within these sixteen quarters there are sixteen sub-quarters, above which are nice balconies. One after another, there are coral balconies on top of crystal pillars with no walls in between. On top of that are jeweled spires with canopies on their peaks that provide shelter from the rain. From this very high turret Radha and Krishna happily behold the beauty of the forest. The sides of this open balcony on the third floor are decorated with pearls. Below that are many sub-platforms shining with so many jewel-studded pictures. In between those platforms are staircases leading to higher platforms that reach up to the neck if one stands on the platform below. On the four sides of these staircases are again other platforms that reach up to the neck from there. Around these platforms are rows of trees with fruits and flowers. This place is an ocean of playful sports for Radha and Krishna and Their friends. (44-54)


In the south-eastern corner of Lalita's kunja is a jeweled lotus shaped swing-platform. The branches of two prominent Bakula trees, one on the west and one on the east, meet there, bending over upwards, covering these swings like a canopy. At the foot of this tree hangs a swing from its branches, bound in four corners with silken strings hanging at navel's length. There are eight ruby seats on this swing with eight lotuses made of coral, each the size of only a hand, surrounding the whorl-like seat of the swing. The centre of this lotus seat is a sixteen petaled lotus beautified with jewels, and there are two supports on each of the eight sides of the seat for keeping the feet, shaped like a lotus petal. There are eight gates (one on each side) on the swing. There are small rungs on the seat to support Radha and Krishna's backs and silken pillows behind Them and on Their sides. A nice canopy covered with clusters of leaves and strings of pearls like rows of moons as well as various wonderful clothes sown with golden threads hang over Their heads. (55-62)


A little below the eight-petaled lotus of Radhika, Acyuta and Their eight girlfriends, Vrndadevi is swinging with some other singing gopis. (63)


When Radha and Acyuta climb on the swing named Madanandolana (Cupid's movements) it look as if They face everyone. (64)


In the north-eastern corner of Lalitanandada kunja is the kunja of Madhavi flowers named Madhavanandada kunja , which looks as sweet as a crane bird and has many presents (of Lalita) for Radha and Krishna's play On the north of Lalita's kunja is the Sitambuja kunja (white lotus grove) which is full of blooming Nagakesara flowers and trees with their branches bowing down like arms with many blooming jasmine-flowers. The whorl of this lotus is made of gold studded with moonstones, and its filaments are made of jewels. This kunja is surrounded by similiar lotus shaped kunjas. (65-67)


There is another kunja shaped like a blue lotus, beautifying the eastern wing of Lalita's kunja. This kunja is filled with bowed down armlike twigs embracing the Tamala-trees. This kunja, which is decorated with blue gems, is known as Asitambuja kunja (blue lotusgrove) and is surrounded by eight subgroves with golden whorls. (68-69)


In the south is Arunambuja kunja (red lotus grove) which is studded inside out with rubies and which is covered over by blossoming clove-vines. (70)


In the west is Hemambuja kunja (golden lotus grove) which is covered over by golden Campaka vines and is studded with gold inside and out. (71)


In this way, Lalita's kunja on the northern bank of Radhakunda astonishes Radha and Hari's eyes with its different beautiful colors and shapes. In all four directions there are Campaka trees in the famous Madananandada kunja, or Visakhanandada kunja, Visakha's grove. These trees have very fragrant red, green, yellow and blue flowers, that obstruct other smells from entering. There are also sweetly singing blue, yellow and green parrots, and bees. The whole scene is shaded by Madhavi vines with Campaka branches bowing down, making the kunja look like a palace. On all sides there are beautiful, wonderful land lotuses, water flowers, leaves, ornaments, clothes, beds canopies and red, yellow and blue lotus flowers with similarly colored stems and other kinds of flowers. On all four sides of this kunja are small gates made of stakes with different flowers and leaves strung on them. Intoxicated honeybees are buzzing around these flowers, as if they are gatekeepers of the kunja. In the centre of the kunja is a sixteen petaled lotus studded with jewels. (72-76)


In Madana Sukhada-kunja, or Visakhanandada kunja, which is the abode of bliss for the eyes, Shri Visakha devi resides. It is the king of kunjas, where Visakha's disciple Manjumukhi, who is expert in drawing pictures, and who is in charge of the kunja, which is surrounded by four very nice platforms shaded all around by wide branches, is always engaged in devotional service. This kunja lies on the shore of Radhakunda, which is the very form of love, and it is inundated by the flood of Radha and Krishna's pastimes. (77-78)


On the eastern shore of Radhakunda is Citra's wonderful kunja, named Citranandada, where there are various forms and colours of trees and vines. (Citra means: variegated , or wonderful, and all creatures in her kunja have these qualities), as well as wonderful jeweled birds, bees, platforms, courtyards and pavilions of different colors. (79-80)


In the southeastern corner of Radhakunda lies lndulekha's kunja, named Purnendu (full moon), or lndulekha sukhaprada (giving joy to Indulekha) where there are white beds, where the platforms and pavilions are made of crystal and moonstone, where there are white Pundarika lotuses, Kairava's, jasmines, vines and trees with white leaves and flowers. The white bees, Pika birds and parrots are only distinguishable by their sounds. If someone comes here accidentally while Radha and Krishna are playing here with Their girlfriends on the full moon night, nobody will notice Them in the white light, as They wear white clothes then. (81-84)


In the south of Radhakunda is the golden kunja of Campakalata, named Campakalatanandada kunja, where everything becomes golden because of the blazing golden ground here. The kunja is completely covered over by golden vines and trees. The lotus flowers, the vines, flowers, trees, pavilions, swings, bees and birds on the golden yards and platforms are all golden, as are the clothes worn there during Radha and Krishna's pastimes. Whenever Shri Radhika comes there, anointed and ornamented in yellow, and wearing a yellow dress, even Krishna cannot recognize Her (because of Her natural golden lustre). And when Krishna wears yellow clothes He can hear the sweet words Radha and Her girlfriends speak about Him without being noticed by them. And Her sweet love, the lotus flowers in the water of Her lotus face, the bees surrounding those lotuses of Her curly locks surrounding Her lotus face, the restless wagtail birds of Her restless eyes and the loud and sweet warbling of the swans reminded Him of Her jingling ankle bells. (105)


The red lotus flowers that stop the intruding waves of Syamakunda's water reminded Krishna of Radhika's red lotuslike hands that try to stop Him from embracing Her with His arms, and the lotus flowers, moved by the wind from Syamakunda, that are falling over the lotuses in Radhakunda, that are adorned with honeybees, remind Him of Her crooked looks during His efforts to forcibly kiss Her lotuslike face. The buzzing of the bees reminded Krishna of Radhika's faltering screams when She pretends to be angry with Him. (106-108)


Seeing these two lakes with their trembling play lotuses and their waves moved by the wind, Hari thought they were the two tearfilled eyes in the bent-down head of Govardhana Hill, whose body is like that of a peacock shivering out of love for Him. (109)


When He saw His beloved's lake like this, each one of its limbs reminding Him of Her by it's qualities, Krishna felt great bliss and He became restless, anticipating Her arrival. (110)


Seeing His own lake Syamakunda, where His dearest cowherd boyfriends had all nicely prepared their own kunjas, Krishna considered it to be just as dear to Him as Radhakunda. This lake, Radhakunda, was also divided into eight kunjas by Krishna's friends Subala, Madhumangala, Ujjvala, Arjuna, Gandharva, Vidagdha, Bhrnga, Kokila, Daksa and Sannanda, who had submitted their kunjas to one particular gopi, like Radha, Lalita, etc. (111-113)


On the northwestern bank is Subala' kunja named Subalanandada. This kunja was accepted by Radha and is known as Manasa Pavana Ghata. Shri Radha always very eagerly bathes there with Her girlfriends, because this water consists of honey flowing from Krishna's lotus feet. Therefore this water is as dear to Her as Krishna is Himself. (114-115)


In the northern corner is Madhumangala's kunja, known as Madhumangala Sanda (giving joy to Madhumangala). This very amazing kunja is accepted by Lalita and is very dear to Shri Radhika. In the northwestern corner is Ujjvala's kunja known as Ujjvalanandada, which is accepted by Visakha-sakhi. In this way the kunjas of all of Krishna's best friends are situated around Syamakunda. (116-117)


There are two paths, one east of Syamakunda and one west of Radhakunda, where humans and animals can drink and bathe. (118)


All this can be seen in it's real form (svarupa ) by those who are favorable to these pastimes and by practising devotees, but others see it as just a material place. (119)


When Vrnda saw the son of Nanda (Krishna) coming, she became very happy and gave Him two flower buds to decorate His ears. She took Radha's lover to Madana Sukhada kunja in the north west of Radhakunda, showing Him the beauty of all the kunjas on the shore, and reminded Him of her mistress Shri Radha, showing Him her expertise in decorating. Seeing this, Krishna became very happy and, remembering all the pastimes He had there with Radha, He desired to have them again. Krishna became very enthusiastic when He saw the kunjas so nicely decorated by Visakha, Manjumukhi and Vrnda, and with love He said: "0 Vrnde! If I can be so fortunate that I can promptly meet your friend Radha and if I can sport with Her without disturbance, then the wonderful decoration of the lake's forest and the kunja cottages, sweetened by the presence of spring in it, will be useful!" (120-124)


"Radha may not come after hearing from Tulasi that I met Saibya this morning, but someone should see Her and tell Her that I actually cheated Saibya and that I'm waiting for Her here." (125)


"0 Dhanisthe! Tell Lalita to bring Radha here quickly! Make Her eager and anxious to come here, telling Her of Madhava's (Krishna's, or the spring-season's) condition! Say: "Krishna is pierced by Cupid's arrows and is very eager to meet You". (126)


"0 Vrnde! Keep one gopi on the lookout down the road to the meadows! Who knows if some cowherd boy may come! If so, she must deceive that boy and keep him from entering here. Put another expert gopi on the road to Gauri tirtha, in case Saibya comes back. She must also be deceived." (127-128)


Seeing Madhumangala's greed after the ripe bananas, Han told Vrnda: "Fill up his belly with these fruits!" (129)


Madhumangala said: "0 Friend! Why are You ordering me? I will look around myself and satisfy my greed with whatever I find!" (130)


While Vrnda placed two expert girls on the two roads, Krishna eagerly looked down the road over which He expected Radha to come. As long as smiling, lotus faced Radhika did not come, Krishna, who is normally as grave as hundreds of oceans, was impatient and considered one moment to last longer than a hundred thousand ages. That is not so astonishing, for this is the natural attachment or the lover for the beloved. (131-132)


In the poem Govinda Lilamrta, which was the result of service to Shri Rupa Gosvami, who is a honeybee at the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya, the encouragement of Shri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, the association of Shri Jiva Gosvami and the blessings of Shri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, this was the seventh chapter, that nicely describes Krishna's forenoon-pastimes.