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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > Pre-2007 QnA Swami Gaurangapada > Should one bathe in Shri Radha Kunda

Title: Should one bathe in Shri Radha Kunda

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-05-21 11:19:00


Maharaja, please can you let me know if is it okay to bathe in Radha Kunda  or one should just do acamana. I heard that Shrila Prabhupada forbade his  disciples to bathe in Radha Kunda.


Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:




"Indeed, Lord Krishna gives ecstatic love like that of Shrimati Radharani to  whoever bathes in Shri Radha Kunda even once in his life." Shri Chaitanya  Charitamrita Madhya lila 18.10



 " Shrila Rupa Gosvami recommends that even if one cannot live permanently on  the banks of Radha-kunda, he should at least take a bath in the lake as many  times as possible. This is a most important item in the execution of devotional  service." Shrila Prabhupada in NOI Verse 11 purport

 The word "bathing" is used by Shrila Prabhupada seven times in the verse 11  of Upadeshamrita quoted below and the commentary. Why would he recommend us to  bathe there in his books repeatedly if he does not want us to bathe there?  Infact bathing in Radha Kunda repeatedly constitutes the topmost spiritual  activity in creation and is recommended by all our acharyas including the  foremost Shrila Rupa Goswami. Our Prayojana Acharya Shrila Raghunatha dasa  Goswami used to bathe a minimum of 3 times daily in Radha kunda.




Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu Himself bathed in Radha Kunda and applied the  transcendental mud all over his body and set the example for all of us to do  so.Shrila Prabhupada refused some disciples because they were jumping in and  swimming in the waters showing disrespect to Shri Radha Kunda. So he said like  that in a lecture in 1976. They did not know the proper way to bathe in Radha  Kunda which is to first offer parikrama, then dandavats, then prayers and then  to slowly enter the waters wearing a new cloth and then immerse oneself three  times in the water by remaining standing in one place,offer prayers or recite  the Radha Kripa Kataksha Stotra and come back and again offer dandavats and soo  on.



Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya lila 18th Chapter:









 ei-mata mahaprabhu nacite nacite



‘arit'-grame asi' ‘bahya' haila acambite






 ei-mata -- in this way; mahaprabhu -- Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu; nacite nacite  -- dancing and dancing; arit-grame -- in the village known as Arit-grama; asi'  -- coming; bahya -- sense perception; haila -- there was; acambite --  suddenly.






 Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu danced in ecstasy, but when He arrived at Arit-grama,  His sense perception was awakened.






 Arit-grama is also called Arista-grama. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu understood  that in that village Aristasura had been killed by Shri Krishna. While there, He  inquired about Radha-kunda, but no one could tell Him where it was. The brahmana  accompanying Him could also not ascertain its whereabouts. Shri Chaitanya  Mahaprabhu could then understand that the holy places known as Radha-kunda and  Syama-kunda were at that time lost to everyone's vision.

He therefore  discovered Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda, which were two reservoirs of water in  two paddy fields. Although there was very little water, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu  was omniscient and could understand that formerly these two ponds were called  Shri Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda. In this way Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda were  discovered.



 Madhya 18.4









  arite radha-kunda-varta puche loka-sthane keha nahi kahe, sangera brahmana na  jane







arite -- in the village known as Arit-grama; radha-kunda-varta -- news of  Radha-kunda; puche -- inquires; loka-sthane -- from the local people; keha

--  anyone; nahi -- not; kahe -- could say; sangera -- the companion; brahmana --  brahmana; na jane -- does not know.






 Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked the local people, "Where is Radha-kunda?" No  one could inform Him, and the brahmana accompanying Him did not know either.



 Madhya 18.5









 tirtha ‘lupta' jani' prabhu sarvajna bhagavan dui dhanya-ksetre alpa-jale

  kaila snana







 tirtha -- holy place; lupta -- lost; jani' -- knowing; prabhu -- Shri Chaitanya  Mahaprabhu; sarva-jna -- omniscient; bhagavan -- the Supreme Personality of  Godhead; dui -- two; dhanya-ksetre -- in paddy fields; alpa-jale -- in not very  deep water; kaila snana -- took a bath.






 The Lord then understood that the holy place called Radha-kunda was no longer  visible. However, being the omniscient Supreme Personality of Godhead, He  discovered Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda in two paddy fields.There was only a  little water, but He took His bath there.



 Madhya 18.6









 dekhi' saba gramya-lokera vismaya haila mana preme prabhu kare radha-kundera  stavana SYNONYMS



 dekhi' -- seeing; saba gramya-lokera -- of all the people of the village;  vismaya haila -- became astonished; mana -- the minds; preme -- in ecstatic  love; prabhu -- Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu; kare -- does; radha-kundera -- of  Radha-kunda; stavana -- prayers.






 When the people of the village saw Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taking His bath in  those two ponds in the middle of the paddy fields, they were very much  astonished. The Lord then offered His prayers to Shri Radha-kunda.



 Madhya 18.7









 saba gopi haite radha krsnera preyasi

taiche radha-kunda priya ‘priyara  sarasi'






 saba -- all; gopi -- the gopis; haite -- from; radha -- Radharani;  krsnera

-- of Lord Krishna; preyasi -- most beloved; taiche -- similarly;  radha-kunda -- Radha-kunda; priya -- very dear; priyara sarasi -- the lake of  the most beloved Radharani.






 "Of all the gopis, Radharani is the dearmost. Similarly, the lake known as  Radha-kunda is very dear to the Lord because it is very dear to Shrimati  Radharani.



 Madhya 18.8









 yatha radha priya visnos

tasyah kundam priyam tatha

sarva-gopisu  saivaika

visnor atyanta-vallabha






 yatha -- as; radha -- Shrimati Radharani; priya -- beloved; visnoh -- of Lord  Krishna; tasyah -- Her; kundam -- lake; priyam -- very dear; tatha -- similarly;  sarva-gopisu -- among all the gopis; sa -- She; eva -- certainly; eka -- alone;  visnoh -- of Lord Krishna; atyanta -- very; vallabha

-- dear.






 "‘Just as Shrimati Radharani is most dear to Lord Krishna, so Her lake, known as  Radha-kunda, is also very dear to Him. Of all the gopis, Shrimati Radharani is  certainly the most beloved.'






 This is a verse from the Padma Purana.



 Madhya 18.9









 yei kunde nitya krishna radhikara sange

jale jala-keli kare, tire  rasa-range






 yei kunde -- in which lake; nitya -- daily; krishna -- Lord Krishna; radhikara  sange -- accompanied by Shrimati Radharani; jale -- in the water; jala-keli

--  sporting in the water; kare -- performs; tire -- on the bank; rasa-range -- His  rasa dance.






 "In that lake, Lord Krishna and Shrimati Radharani used to sport daily in the  water and have a rasa dance on the bank.



 Madhya 18.10



 TEXT 10






 sei kunde yei eka-bara kare snana

tanre radha-sama ‘prema' krishna kare dana






 sei kunde -- in that lake; yei -- anyone who; eka-bara -- once; kare  snana

-- takes a bath; tanre -- unto him; radha-sama -- like Shrimati  Radharani; prema -- ecstatic love; krishna -- Lord Krishna; kare dana -- gives as  charity.






 "Indeed, Lord Krishna gives ecstatic love like that of Shrimati Radharani to  whoever bathes in that lake even once in his life.



 Madhya 18.11



 TEXT 11






 kundera ‘madhuri' -- -- yena radhara ‘madhurima'

kundera ‘mahima' -- --  yena radhara ‘mahima'






 kundera -- of the lake; madhuri -- sweetness; yena -- as if; radhara -- of  Shrimati Radharani; madhurima -- sweetness; kundera -- of the lake; mahima

--  glories; yena -- as if; radhara -- of Shrimati Radharani; mahima -- glories.






 "The attraction of Radha-kunda is as sweet as that of Shrimati  Radharani.

Similarly, the glories of the kunda  are as great as Shrimati  Radharani's.



 Madhya 18.12



 TEXT 12






 shri-radheva hares tadiya-sarasi presthadbhutaih svair gunair yasyam

  shri-yuta-madhavendur anisam pritya taya kridati premasmin bata radhikeva labhate  yasyam sakrt snana-krt tasya vai mahima tatha madhurima kenastu varnyah ksitau







 shri-radha -- Shrimati Radharani; iva -- like; hareh -- of Krishna; tadiya --  Her; sarasi -- lake; prestha -- very dear; adbhutaih -- by wonderful;  svaih

-- own; gunaih -- transcendental qualities; yasyam -- in which;  shri-yuta

-- all-opulent; madhava -- Shri Krishna; induh -- like the moon; anisam  -- incessantly; pritya -- with great affection; taya -- in association with  Shrimati Radharani; kridati -- performs pastimes; prema -- love; asmin -- for  Lord Krishna; bata -- certainly; radhika iva -- exactly like Shrimati Radharani;  labhate -- obtains; yasyam -- in which; sakrt -- once; snana-krt -- one who  takes a bath; tasyah -- of the lake; vai -- certainly; mahima -- glories; tatha  -- as well as; madhurima -- sweetness; kena -- by whom; astu -- can be; varnyah  -- described; ksitau -- on this earth.






 "‘Because of its wonderful transcendental qualities, Radha-kunda is as dear  to Krishna as Shrimati Radharani. It was in that lake that the all-opulent Lord Shri  Krishna performed His pastimes with Shrimati Radharani with great pleasure and  transcendental bliss. Whoever bathes just once in Radha-kunda attains Shrimati  Radharani's loving attraction for Shri Krishna. Who within this world can describe  the glories and sweetness of Shri Radha-kunda?'"






 This verse is found in the Govinda-lilamrta (7.102).



 Madhya 18.13



 TEXT 13






 ei-mata stuti kare premavista hana

tire nrtya kare kunda-lila  sanariya






 ei-mata -- in this way; stuti kare -- offers prayers; prema-avista --  overwhelmed by ecstatic love; hana -- becoming; tire -- on the bank; nrtya kare  -- dances; kunda-lila -- pastimes of Radha-kunda; sanariya -- remembering.






 Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu thus offered prayers to Radha-kunda. Overwhelmed by  ecstatic love, He danced on the bank, remembering the pastimes Lord Krishna  performed on the bank of Radha-kunda.



 Madhya 18.14



 TEXT 14






 kundera mrttika lana tilaka karila

bhattacarya-dvara mrttika sange kari'  laila







 kundera -- of the lake; mrttika -- earth; lana -- taking; tilaka karila --

  formed tilaka; bhattacarya-dvara -- with the help of Balabhadra Bhattacarya;  mrttika -- earth; sange -- along; kari' -- making; laila -- took.






   Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then marked His body with tilaka made from the mud of  Radha-kunda, and with the help of Balabhadra Bhattacarya, He collected some of  the mud and took it with Him.



Upadeshamrita Verse 11:



Translation and Commentary by Shrila  Prabhupada:



 "Of the many objects of favored delight and of all the lovable damsels of  Vrajabhumi, Shrimati Radharani is certainly the most treasured object of Krishna's  love. And, in every respect, Her divine kunda is described by great sages as  similarly dear to Him. Undoubtedly Radha-kunda 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  Krishna is fully aroused."






 Why is Radha-kunda so exalted? The lake is so exalted because it belongs to  Shrimati Radharani, who is the most beloved object of Shri Krishna. Among all the  gopis, She is the most beloved. Similarly, Her lake, Shri Radha-kunda, is also  described by great sages as the lake that is as dear to Krishna as Radha Herself.  Indeed, Krishna's love for Radha-kunda and Shrimati Radharani is the same in all  respects. Radha-kunda 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 vaidhi bhakti.



 It is stated that a devotee will at once develop pure love of Krishna in the  wake of the gopis if he once takes a bath in Radha-kunda. Shrila Rupa Gosvami  recommends that even if one cannot live permanently on the banks of Radha-kunda,  he should at least take a bath in the lake as many times as possible. This is a  most important item in the execution of devotional service. Shrila Bhaktivinoda  Thakura writes in this connection that Shri Radha-kunda is the most select place  for those interested in advancing their devotional service in the wake of the  lady friends (sakhis) and confidential serving maids (manjaris) of Shrimati  Radharani. Living entities who are eager to return home to the transcendental  kingdom of God, Goloka Vrndavana, by means of attaining their spiritual bodies  (siddha-deha) should live at Radha-kunda, take shelter of the confidential  serving maids of Shri Radha and under their direction engage constantly in Her  service.



 This is the most exalted method for those engaged in devotional service under  the protection of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In this connection Shrila  Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura writes that even great sages and great  devotees like Narada and Sanaka do not get an opportunity to come to Radha-kunda  TO TAKE THEIR BATHS. What, then, to speak of ordinary devotees? If, by great  fortune, one gets an opportunity to come to Radha-kunda AND BATHE EVEN ONCE, he  can develop his transcendental love for Krishna, exactly as the gopis did. It is  also recommended that one should live on the banks of Radha-kunda and should be  absorbed in the loving service of the Lord. ONE SHOULD BATHE THERE REGULARLY and  give up all material conceptions, taking shelter of Shri Radha and Her assistant  gopis. If one is thus constantly engaged during his lifetime, after giving up  the body he will return back to Godhead to serve Shri Radha in the same way as he  contemplated during his life on the banks of Radha-kunda. The conclusion is that  to live on the banks of the Radha-kunda and TO BATHE THERE daily constitute the  highest perfection of devotional service. It is a difficult position to attain,  even for great sages and devotees like Narada. Thus there is no limit to the  glory of Shri Radha-kunda. By serving Radha-kunda, one can get an opportunity to  become an assistant of Shrimati Radharani under the eternal guidance of the  gopis.