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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.
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.
tirtha ‘lupta' jani' prabhu sarvajna bhagavan dui dhanya-ksetre alpa-jale
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.
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.
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.
yatha radha priya visnos
tasyah kundam priyam tatha
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
"‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.