- ADVENT OF SHRI RADHAKUND AND SHRI SYAMAKUND
- CIRCUMAMBULATION (PARIKRAMA) OF RADHAKUND
- SAMADHI OF SHRILA RAGHUNATHA DAS GOSWAMI
- MANDIR OF SHRI SHRI RADHA GOPINATHA AND MA JAHNAVA
- SITTING PLACE (BAITHAK) OF MA JAHNAVA
- SHRI SHRI RADHA RAMAN MANDIR
- SHRI SHRI RADHA GOVINDA MANDIR
- THE TONGUE OF GIRIRAJ GOVARDHAN
- BHAJANKUTIR OF SHRILA KRISHNADAS KAVIRAJ GOSWAMI
- BHAJAN KUTIR OF SHRILA RAGHUNATHA DAS GOSWAMI
- PANCHA PANDAVA'S
- MANASA PAVAN GHAT
- CREMATION PLACE
- BHAJAN KUTIR OF SHRILA GOPAL BHATTA GOSWAMI
- MANDIR OF SRI SRI JAGGANATH, SUBHADRA AND BALARAM
- BHAJAN KUTIR OF SHRILA JIVA GOSWAMI
- SHRILA MADHAVENDRA PURI'S BAITHAK
- TAMAL TALA
- SHRI SHRI RADHA-MADAN MOHAN MANDIR
- SHRI SHRI GAUR-NITAI MANDIR
- SHRI SHRI RADHA-GOPINATH MANDIR
- SHRI NITYANANDA BAITHAK
- FUNCTIONS OF THE PANCH COMMITEE
Bhraman kacche kacche kshiti-dhara-pater vakrima gatair
Lapan radhe krishnety-anavataram un matta-vad aham
Patan kvapi kvapi-ucchalita nayana dvandva salilaih
Kada keli sthanam sakalam api sinchami vikalah
(Shrila Raghunatha das Goswami's Shri Shri Vraja-Vilasa Stava : 103)
bhraman wandering; kache kache in the vicinity; kshitidhara - mountain; pateh the Lord; vakrima curved; gataih path-ways; lapan lamenting; radhe krishna O Radhe! Okrishna!; iti thus; anavaratam constantly; mattavad mad; aham I;
patan falling; kvapi kvapi anywhere; ucchalita springing out; nayana eye; dvandva pair; salilaih with the waters; kada when; keli play; sthanam place; sakalam all; api even; sinchami I pour; vikalah confused.
"When shall I wander around the slopes of Govardhan Hill, maddened with ecstatic feelings of love Divine, pathetically shouting : "O Radhe! O Krishna!, fall on the ground in the different places of Shri Shri Radha-Madhava's transcendental pastimes, and drench them with tears springing out from my eyes ?
Gaur amar ye sab stana korolo bhramana range
Se saba sthana heribo ami pranaya-bhakata sange .
Gaur amar My Lord Gauranga; Ye Any; Sab All; Sthana Places; Korolo bhramana Roaming about; Range With pleasure; Se sab sthana All those places of pilgrimages; Heribo ami I will see ; Pranaya bhakata Loving devotees; Sange In their company.
"This humble self will go and visit all those places of pilgrimage where my Lord Gauranga
has gone under the guidance of a loving, submissive devotee.
Radhakund is situated approximatively 150 kilometres from Delhi, 22 kms from Vrindavan and 26 kms from Mathura (U.P) . There are buses from Delhi and from Mathura to Govardhan, and from Govardhan to Radhakund (which is 4 kms away) there are rikshas and tangas There are also two direct buses from Vrindavan, one at 6.30 A.M and the second at 12.30 P.M.
2. ADVENT OF SHRI RADHAKUND AND SHRI SYAMAKUND
Shrila Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakhur wrote his commentary on Shrimad Bhagavatam in Radhakund. When he commented on the killing of the bull demon Aristasura by Shri Krishna in this village, he collected about 20 texts from the Varaha-, Brahma Vaivarta- and Padma Purana , as well as the Harivamsha on which he based his narration. The story runs as follows : Once Shri Krishna, knowing Aristasura's intention to kill him, came here to graze His cows. Seeing that
his victim had come so close, Aristasura thought to assume the form of a bull and finish Him off, and so he did. On his first charge, Shri Krishna simply caught hold of his horns and pushed him back with such a force that Aristasura lost consciousness. On regaining his senses, he charged again, but this time with double force. Seeing this, Shri krishna, the origin of Mahavishnu, simply caught hold of his horns again and picked him up like a toy, whirled him over His head and threw him away with such a force, that the demon lost his life-airs. Later, according to previous arrangements, Shrimati Radharani came there with Her friends to meet Shri Krishna. When She heard that Shri Krishna had killed a bull, She refused to associate with Him unless He purified Himself from the sin of bull-killing by bathing in all the holy rivers of the universe. Shri Krishna pleaded that since the bull was Aristasura in disguise, this was not necessary. But Shrimati Radharani said that She heard from Madhumangal's grandmother Paurnamasi that even Indra the king of the material heavens, had to atone for the sin of killing Vritasura, who was a brahmin by birth. Shri Krishna then asked Shrimati Radharani if She would be pleased if He called all the sacred rivers of the three worlds to come here. Shrimati Radharani replied :We are simple cowherd-village-girls. How could we know?. Shri Krishna then replied :I will convince You . He then struck His right heel into the ground and created a large hollow (Vajrakund). Then He called all the sacred rivers who came in personified forms and offered their obeissances to Him. They identified themselves as Sri Godavari, Kaveri, Brahmaputra, Sindhu, Krishna, Gandaki, Yamuna...ect, and offered prayers to Shri Krishna to become waters to fill Syamakund. After doing this they left and Shri Krishna relieved Himself from the sin of killing a bull to Shrimati Radharani's satisfaction by bathing in the water. He then started joking with Her :Just see what I have done. Everyone will praise Me in the future, but what have you girls done exept selling yoghurt and clarified butter in the streets ? . Shrimati exhibited her transcendental anger (Mana) and seeing a big hoofprint of the Aristasura demon on the western side of Shri Syamakund, She broke one of Her bangles and started digging there. With the help of thousands of her girl-friends (sakhies) and assistants (manjaries) a large depression in the earth was created. When it was finished, there was no water, so Shri Krishna told Shrimati Radharani to take water from His kund to fill it, but She refused, considering that water polluted by the sin of Krishna's bull-killing. She then made arrangements to bring warer from Manasi-Ganga, nearly 5 kilometers away. (previously Nanda Maharaja and all the cowherdmen, had once desired to go on pilgrimage to take a bath in the Ganges some 100 kilometer away from Vrindavan. Knowing this, Shri Krishna called for the Ganges personified to appear at Govardhan, which became and what is now known as Manasi-Ganga. In a similar manner, wherever His father wanted to go to some place of pilgrimage, Krishna would request that tirtha to come to Vrajamandal. Thus, all the places of pilgrimage can be found within the 168 miles parikrama of Vrajamandal). Seeing this quarrel between Radha and Krishna, the personified sacred waters appeared again asnd requested Krishna to be allowed to fill the Radhakund. Shri Krishna told them to do that, but they should take permission first from Shrimati Radharani Herself. All the personified rivers then began offering nice prayers to Shrimati Radharani, Who being kindness personified, hinted through eye-movements to Shrimati Lalita, the chief of the sakhies, to have this done. So at 11.45 P.M. on the eighth day of the waning moon in karttik (Damodar, October-November) the rivers personified broke the walls of Syamakund and entered to fill Radhakund. Shri Krishna then took bath in Radhakund and announced that to whomever takes bath in Radhakund on this day of the year or any day in future, the seed of intense love (Prema-Bhakti) which Shrimati Radharani has for Him would be given. Similarly, Shrimati Radharani took bath in Syamakund and announced that to anyone who takes bath in Syamakund, She would also give the seed of love that Shri Krishna has for Her. Presently, thousands of pilgrims desiring love for Shri Shri Radha-Krishna come to this holy spot on the occasion of Ardha-Ratri-Snan (Midnight bath) to take bath in a reverential mood, bathing first in Shri Radhakund, then in Shri Syamakund, and then again in Shri Radhakund. This is the only place of pilgrimage where an auspicious bath is taken at midnight.
3. CIRCUMAMBULATION (PARIKRAMA) OF RADHAKUND
On entering Shri Radhakund village, after passing through the bazaar on the left side is Shri Kundeshvar Mahadev (Lord Shiva) the protecting deity of Radhakund, and on the right side is Shri Radhakund with Shri Syamakund visible on the other side of the sangam, or connecting link between Shri Radhakund and Syamakund. Parikrama should be started from here. Opposite a banyan tree on a hillock on the leftside is the old mandir of Shri Radha-Krishna. The deities were given by Shri Raghunath Das Goswami to the local brahmins, when Shri Radhakund was reexcavated. This mandir was built by Maharaj Todarmal, a contemporary of Emperor Akhbar. The temple is now in a neglected condition, although the deities are still there. Returning to the parikrama route on the right corner, is the Radhakantha Mandir. Opposite this are the Samasundar Mandir and the Radha Damodar Mandir about 25 meters down a dirt road on the left. The northern side of Shri Radhakund encompasses the most important places of pilgrimage, which are as follows :-
4. SAMADHI OF SHRILA RAGHUNATHA DAS GOSWAMI
This is located at the RadhaGopinath and Ma Jahnava (wife of Lord Nityananda) mandir. Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami renounced house-hold life at the age of 19 and spent the next 16 years in Puri, performing confidential services to Lord Chaitanya mahaprabhu under the guidance of Shri Svarupa Damodar Goswami until the disappearance of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Shortly afterwards Svarupa Damodar also disappeared, and following Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's previous instructions he came to Vraja. Due to feelings of love in separation he desired to end his life by jumping from Govardhan hill, but was dissuaded by Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis. Lord Chaitanya had previously given to Raghunatha Das His small Giriraj Shila and a white Gunjamala. Shrila Rupa and Sanatana interpreted these to mean that Raghunatha Das should go to Radhakund and do bhajan there. There he remained absorbed in love-in-separation for the next 41 years, until he entered nitya-lila (eternal pastimes) in 1582. According to local custom his body was cremated , which was done under the direction of Shrila Jiva Goswami and due to his intense attachment to Shrimati Radharani his remains were interned in this samadhi on the northen bank of Sri Radhakund under the Madhavi-grove, which is still there. Dandavats (flat obeisances) are offered, keeping the samadhi on the left after circumambulating at least 4 times, keeping the samadhi on the right.
5. MANDIR OF SHRI SHRI RADHA GOPINATHA AND MA JAHNAVA
From the samadhi of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami one can proceed to the temple of Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha and Ma Jahnavadevi, the wife of Lord Nityananda, who is Ananga Manjari, Shrimati Radharani's younger sister, in Krishna's pastimes. After darshan of the deities, proceed through the doorway to the left and on to the bank of Shri Radhakund.
6. SITTING PLACE (BAITHAK) OF MA JAHNAVA
In 1582 Ma Jahnava, after the disappearance of Lord Nityananda, desired to perform circumambulation of the 12 forests of Vrindavana. She came to Radhakund with Shrila Jiva Goswami where she experienced Gopinathji playing on His flute beneath the Bokul and Tamal-trees, and due to great ecstasy she sat down there. Ma Jahnava met Shrila Jiva Goswami in Vrindavan who informed Her of the precarious condition of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami, who felt intense love-in-separation from the elder goswamis Shri Rupa, Shri Sanatana and Shri Gopal Bhatta, who had already left the planet. Shrila Jiva Goswami brought Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami from his bhajan-kutir. He had become extremely frail due to his taking no other sustenance but the holy names of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna :-
Radhadeti nama nava sundara sidhu mugdham
Krishneti nama madhuradbhuta gadha dugdham
Sarva ksanam surabhi raga himena ramyam
Kritva tad eva piba me rasane kshudarthe.
Radha Sri Radha; iti this; nama name; nava fresh; sundara fine; sidhu nectar; mugdham intoxitcating; krishna krishna; iti this; nama name; madhura sweet; adbhuta amazing; gadha condensed; dugdham milk; sarvaksanam constantly; surabhi sweet fragrance; raga strange fits of passion, or deep passion; himena cool camphor; ramyam gratifying; kritva thus mixed; tad that; eva only; piba drink; me I; rasane O tongue !; kshuda-arthe if you are really hungry.
This verse is from Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami's Stavavali, in which he addresses his tongue : "If you are really hungry then take Shri Radha's name which is like fresh fine intoxicating honey, mix it with Shri Krishna's name, which is like sweet wonderful condensed cow milk, add to that the sweet fragrance of saffron, cardamon, a little camphor, etc. and mixing all the above drink constantly with deep passion.
Bhajami radham aravinda-netram
Smarami radham madhura smitasyam
Vadami radham karuna-bharardram
Tato mama nyasti gatir na kapi.
Bhajami I am serving; radham Shrimati Radharani; aravinda (who is) lotus; netram eyes; smarami I remember; radham Shrimati Radharani; madhura sweet; smitasyam smile; vadami I am chanting; radham Shrimati Radharani; karuna kindness; bharardram melting fully in (from Srila Ragunatha Das Goswami's Ashtottara-Shata Nama-Stotram, one of the 108 names of Shrimati Radharani is Karuna-vidravad-deha which means that Her body is melting out of kindness); tato thus; mama my; nyasti no more; gatir way; na not; kapi any;
"I am serving Shrimati Radharani, who has beautiful lotus-eyes; I am remembering Shrimati Radharani, who has a sweet smile, I am chanting the glories of Shrimati Radharani who is melting in full kindness. In this way there is no other occupation for me.
7. SHRI SHRI RADHA RAMAN MANDIR
Returning to the parikrama path through the gate of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami's samadhi, after a few steps on the left, is Shri Radha Raman Mandir which belongs to the disciples of the Goswamis of the Shri Radha Raman Mandir at Vrindavan. The deities of Shri Radha Raman, Shri Balarama and Shrimati Revati-devi were installed in 1879. It is in this temple that the author did Bhajan in a small rented room, for 35 years.
8. SHRI SHRI RADHA GOVINDA MANDIR
After visiting Shri Radha Raman Mandir one enters the Radha-Govinda Mandir, keeping right to the Rasa-mandal platform through a narrow entrance. In 1670 the Muslim emperor Aurangzeb saw the ghi-lamp burning on top of the beautiful seven-storied temple of Shri Govindaji in Vrindavana over 36 miles away from his capital Agra, and in his envious mood he ordered the destruction of all the temples in Vrindavan. The Hindus who were working at the court, forewarned the authorities in Vrindavan who had the deities of Shri Shri Radha-Govinda, Shri Shri Radha-Madan Mohan, Shri Shri Radha.Gopinath, Shri Radha Vinod, Shri Shri Radha Damodar and Vrindadevi removed. Vrindadevi refused to go any further from Kamavan, but the other deities were sent to Jaipur into the care of Maharaj Man Singh. Man Singh gave Shri Radha-Madan Mohan into the care of his son-in-law the Maharaj of Karoli where He still remains. Replicas of the deities are found in Radhakund and Kamavan. Shri Shri Radha-Govinda deities are very beautiful, especially at Mangal Arotik, when Shri Govindaji wears a simple loincloth only (in the summer).
9. THE TONGUE OF GIRIRAJ GOVARDHAN
This is kept in a small temple in the rear of the Shri Radha-Govinda mandir. The key may be obtained from the pujari. Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami did not like the waters of Radhakund to be used for toilet or washing clothes, etc. So he ordered the construction of a new well on the eastern side of Shri Syamakund. At a certain depth the workers came across a large stone which they tried to remove with a iron tool. The stone was stuck in three places and blood was seen to come from it. When Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami was informed of this, he ordered the work to be stopped, afraid that some offence might have been commited. While contemplating on this matter, that night in a dream the great form of Shri Krishna which was shown to Nanda Maharaj at the time of the Giriraj-Govardhan Puja appeared to him and informed him that His tongue was hit unknowingly and it should be removed and installed in a small temple and worshipped. Even now, three blackish marks may be seen on the tongue.
10. BHAJANKUTIR OF SHRILA KRISHNADAS KAVIRAJ GOSWAMI
Turning left outside the Radha-Govinda Mandir for 30 meters, on the first left, one comes to the bhajan kutir of Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami. Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami came from the Jhamatpur village in West Bengal. Lord Nityananda told him in a dream to go to Radhakund and take shelter of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami and all his wishes would be fulfilled.
Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami was a great scholar who wtote :
a) Govinda lilamritam :- A 23 chapter elaboration on Srila Rupa Goswami's Smarana mangala-stotram, dealing with the 24-hour pastimes (Ashtakal-lila) of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna.
b) Shri Sharanga Rangada :- A commentary on Bilvamangal Thakur's Krishna Karnamritam. This book was originally brought from South India by Sriman Mahaprabhu along with the 5th chapter of Brahma Samhita. Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami heard from Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami how Lord Chaitanya tasted Krishna Karnamritam with Shrila
Svarup Damodar and Ramananda Ray in his antyalila (final pastimes) in Puri.To explain the deeper meaning of this book Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami wrote this commentary.
c) Shri Chaitanya Charitamritam :- Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami used to give lectures at Radhakund regarding Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's antya-lila, how He was experiencing love-in-separation just like Shrimati Radharani for Shri Krishna. The assembled devotees thought that if this is not put into writing, how then will it be preserved for future generations like ours ? They requested Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami to record those pastimes of Shriman mahaprabhu. The result is the Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, which, along with the Shri Chaitanya Bhagavat of Shrila Vrindavan DasThakur, encompasses the life, pastimes and teachings of Lord Chaitanya.
11. BHAJAN KUTIR OF SHRILA RAGHUNATHA DAS GOSWAMI
To the right of Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswamipad's bhajan kutir is the bhajan kutir of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami. When Shrila Raghunath Das Goswami first came to Radhakund from Puri after Lord Chaitanya's disappearance he used to do his bhajan in the open. It is related in the Bhakti Ratnakar that one day on the bank of Shyamakund, which was surrounded in those days by dense jungles, he was absorbed in meditation and a tiger and a tigress came to drink water from the kund. As Lord Krishna is eternally protecting His devotees, He came and saw from a distance that the tigers slowly went away. At that time Shrila Sanatana Goswami came and saw the whole scene. As Shri Krishna couldn't remain hidden from Shrila Sanatana Goswami, He simply smiled at him and disappeared. Shrila Sanatana Goswami then came to Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami, disturbed his bhajan and admonished him, asking him what kind of bhajan he is doing that the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna has to come and personally protect him from wild animals ? Shrila Sanatana Goswami then advised him to build a small kutir and do bhajan inside, But Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami did not take him seriously.
On another occasion in mid-summer, Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami was sitting in the open in the early morning, lamenting in separation from Shrimati Radharani. As the day progressed, the sun became hotter and hotter and Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami was perspiring profusely.Tears were flowing from his eyes, making the ground muddy. Shrimati Radharani could not bear this scene and personally came and stood at his back to shade him with Her apron, bearing the full force of the sunlight, so that She was also perspiring profusely. Shrimati Radharani was Herself so anxious to taste the love in separation from Her felt by Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami that the ground became even more muddy. At that time Shrila Sanatana Goswami came and saw the whole scene, but didn't know what to do. Shrimati Radharani smiled at Shrila Sanatana Goswami and disappeared. Shrila Sanatana Goswami then disturbed Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami and admonished him again, describing what he had just seen. When Shrila Das Goswami saw Shrimati Radharani's footprints behind him, he rolled on the footprints crying like a child. Shrila Sanatana Goswami consoled him and with the help of some devotees quickly made a small thatched cottage (kutir) for Raghunatha Das. Since that time the kutir-system started. Some time later, while doing bhajan, Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami thought that as Radhakund and Shyamakund were two muddy ponds, if steps could be built around them, then the devotees would not have to wade through the mud to take bath. Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami immediately regretted the thought, thinking that already for his sake Their Lordships have been disturbed twice in Their pastimes, and now They will have to be disturbed again to fulfill this desire through an external agent. Now a rich merchant had gone to Shri Badri-Narayan in the Himalayas to donate his profits to a deity, but the night before he was to give the money, Shri Nara-Narayan appeared to him in a dream, telling him to go to Shri Radhakund, nearly 1000 miles away, and take shelter of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami to offer him the money to use as he wished. On offering the money at Shri Radhakund, Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami, who is renunciation personified, at first refused the money, but when the merchant explained the situation , Raghunatha Das Goswami accepted it and sent for Shrila Jiva Goswami in Vrindavan, who, under the instruction of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami, purchased the two paddy lands, Gauri and Kari, in the name of Shrila Jiva Goswami. During the excavation of Shri Radhakund, the original kund made by Shrimati Radharani's broken bangle was uncovered in the bottom and around this about 20 steps were built on all sides. Then in 1817 a rich landlord from Bengal, Lala Babu, who also built the Lala Babu Temple in Vrindavana, built the stone steps around Shri Radhakund and Shyamakund, as can be seen at the present time. After the completion of Shri Radhakund, the original idea was to create Shyamakund in the same shape, but this would necessitate the removal of many trees, including those where Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami was doing bhajan. The night before the trees were due to be removed, the Pancha Pandava's Yudhishtir, Bhima, Arjun. Nakul an Sahadev requested Raghunatha Das in a dream not to cut the trees as they themselves were doing bhajan there in the form of trees. The next morning Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami ordered that only the vacant plot would be used to dig Shri Shyamakund. This accounts for the irregular shape of Shri Shyamakund. Again during the excavation a small kund was found in the center of the bottom known as Vajrakund, which was created by Krishna's right heel.
Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami wrote the following books.
a) Stavavali : A collection of prayers to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Shri Radha-Krishna.
b) Dan Keli Chintamani : A one-scene drama written after reading Rupa Goswami's Dan Keli Kaumudi.
c) Mukta Charit : A one-scene drama, The pearl story.
12. PANCHA PANDAVA'S
In this area around to the right are many trees. As the five pandavas informed Shrila Raghunath Das Goswami that they were doing bhajan in the form of trees, and that all the trees had the association of the six Goswamis, respects are to be offered to them.
13. MANASA PAVAN GHAT
Close to the bhajan kutir of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami is the Manasa Pavan Ghat on the banks of Shri Shyamakund, where Shrimati Radharani takes bath after her midday pastimes with Shri Krishna. She then proceeds to Suryakund, 8 km away, to the north-east, to worship the Sun-god.
14. CREMATION PLACE
Returning towards Radhakund, one passes the cremation place of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami, Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami and Shrila Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, who all passed away on the same day, Ashvin Shukla Dwadashi of Damodar month, but in different years. Shrila Jiva Goswami arranged for the samadhi of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami to be situated on the northern bank of Shri Radhakund and for the one of Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami at the Radha-Damodar temple in Vrindavan.
15.BHAJAN KUTIR OF SHRILA GOPAL BHATTA GOSWAMI
To the right of the cremation place is the bhajan kutir of Shrila Gopal Bhatta Goswami , who, before the advent of his self-manifest deity Shri Radha Raman, used to do bhajan in Shri Radhakund an Samket between Barshana and Nandagram. As a child Gopal Bhatta Goswami had the chance to serve Lord Chaitanya when He stayed at the house of his father Venkata Bhatta in Shri Rangam (South India) for the four months of the rainy season. Lord Chaitanya blessed him that while his father was alive, he should serve him and come to Vrindavan afterwards. When Gopal Bhatta Goswami arrived in Vrindavan, the news were sent to Lord Chaitanya through Shrila Rupa and Sanatan Goswamies. Lord Chaitanya then sent him His loincloth and kantha (garment of old clothes stiched together used as a wrap during the cold season). These are still being worshipped alongside the deities inside Shri Radha Raman temple in Vrindavan.
16. MANDIR OF SRI SRI JAGGANATH, SUBHADRA AND BALARAM
Returning to the parikrama path near Shri Radha-Govinda mandir the route turns to the right and then to the left past the temple of Their Lordships Jagganath, Subhadra and Balaram. Functions such as Snan-yatra (bathing festival) and Ratha-yatra (cart festival) are observed here when Their Lordships are taken on a parikrama around Shri Radhakund and Shri Shyamakund in a hand-pulled cart.
17. BHAJAN KUTIR OF SHRILA JIVA GOSWAMI
Continuing along the parikrama path opposite Shri Lalitakund on the right is a group of small samadhi's. In the center of these is a path leading to the bhajan kutir of Shrila Jiva goswami at the rear right hand side. Here also is a cast of the footprints of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, taken from the inside of the temple at Jagannath puri, which gives some indication the Lord's large stature. Shrila jiva Goswami was the son of Shrila Rupa Goswami's younger brother Anupam and he used to come to Shri Radhakund regularly to look after the affairs of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami, who was always absorbed in love-in-separation from Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. Shrila Jiva Goswami wrote many books, totalling some 400,000 verses, in particular Bhagavat-Sandharbha and Gopal Champu. Passing the bridge flanking Sri Lalitakund and after the turn of the path, just on the left is a decaying place which served as a place of exile for the king of Manipur after some dispute with the British Raj. There are deities o Shri Shri Radha-Govinda and Radha-Krishna in what was once a beautiful temple. On the right side of the parikrama path is a replica of the deity (Radha Vinod) of Shrila Lokanath Goswami. The deities which are being nicely looked after, are in a small open parikrama-side mandir.
18. SHRILA MADHAVENDRA PURI'S BAITHAK
While circumambulating Govardhan Hill, Shrila Madhavendra Puripad came and sat down at this
spot which is now marked by a small marble monument. This was before the revelation of Shri Radhakund and Shyamakund by Lord Chaitanya.
This is the well from which the tongue of Govardhan was taken by Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami and not a 5000-year old well used by the gopies of Krishna lila. Continuing on the parikrama path, there is the mandir of Shri Shri Nitai-Gaur-Sitanath. On the left side and opposite to this is the Ashtasakhi temple with Shri Shri Radha-Krishna and further on the left, Shri Shri Radha-Madhav mandir , which contains some old paintings of Krishna's pastimes on the roof. A little away from the road in the south eastern corner is Shri Ban-Kandi mahadev mandir, one of the protecting Shiva deities for Shri Radhakund and Shri Shyamakund. Formely , there was a dense forest of Kadamba-trees in this area, but they have all been cut down and no one has bothered to replace them. Coming back to the parikrama path there is a small temple of Shri Shri Gaur-Nitai on the right side with two deities of Lord Chaitanya on the altar.
20. TAMAL TALA
Just after the Shri Shri Nitai-Gaur temple on the bank of Shri Shyamakund is the place where Lord Chaitanya sat down under the tamal tree and indicated Shri Radhakund and Shyamakund. It is related in the Bhakti Ratnakar by Shrila Narahari Chakravarti Thakur or Ghanashyam Das (renouncer's name), and in Chaitanya Charitamritam (Madhya Lila Chapter 18), that when Lord Chaitanya came here, this village was known as Aritgram or Arishtagram and neither Balabhadra Bhattacharya nor the Sanodian Brahmin , a disciple of Shrila Madhavendra Puri from Mathura, who was accompanying Him, nor the local people could tell the whereabouts of Shri Shri Radhakund-Shyamakund.Time had levelled the kunds. The local people were cultivating paddy on those two fields known as Gauri and Kari. As lord Chaitanya is Krishna Himself He knows His own pastimes and He revealed that Gauri is Shri Radhakund and Kari is Shri Shyamakund. He took bath in the middle of the paddy-field where there was little water, put tilak on with dark Radhakund mud and took some clay back with Him to Puri. Close by (continuing always on the right side) is the baithak of Shri Vallabhacharya, the founder of the Vallabha-sampradaya, and a close follower of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
21. SHRI SHRI RADHA-MADAN MOHAN MANDIR
On the right side (60 meters further on the parikrama path) through the archway in the interior of the courtyard is a temple of Shri Shri Radha-Madan Mohan, where the deities are looked after nicely. These are replica's of the original deities which were removed from Vrindavan due to Muslim atrocities. Entering the courtyard, on the left side is an engraved stone marking the sitting place of Shrila Sanatan Goswami.
22. SHRI SHRI GAUR-NITAI MANDIR
On the corner is a nice temple of Shri Shri Gaur-Nitai. These deities were brought from Bengal originally by an elderly widow 65 years ago and worshipped privately. After her demise, two babajies continued the worship in seclusion, but about 45 years ago, the panch committee of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami's estate arranged for the construction of the present temple. This temple is very popular especially for the small children during the time of jhulan (Swing festival).
23. SHRI SHRI RADHA-GOPINATH MANDIR
20 meters on the left side of the Shri Shri Gaur-Nitai temple is the Shri Shri Radha-Gopinath temple. In the rear of this compound is a 5000-year old Tamarind tree with a peculiarly bent arm twisted and the other branch straight. Shri Shri Radha-Krishna had a face-to-face swing there (Patti Jhulan) and Shri Krishna pushed the swing in such a way that it went beyond 90 degrees. At that time, out of fear Shrimati Radharani voluntarily embraced Shri Krishna and all the sakhies and manjaries shouted "Radharani Ki jay, Radharani Ki Jay.
24. SHRI NITYANANDA BAITHAK
In the compound of the same Shri Radha-Gopinath mandir is the sitting place of Lord nityananda. Lord Nityananda came here on His pilgrimage throughout the holy places of India and on being told that Shri Shri Radha-Krishna had gone to Navadvip, He left ad met Shriman Mahaprabhu there at the house of Shri Nandan Acharya. The Shri Radha-Gopinath deities in this mandir are replicas of the Shri Radha-Gopinath deities that were moved from Vrindavan to Jaipur.
25. FUNCTIONS OF THE PANCH COMMITEE
After the passing of Shrila Jiva Goswami a committee of 5 or 6 resident babajis were appointed to look after the properties of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami under the leadership of a mahanta, The present mahanta, 108 Pandit Shri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj, is the 34th repèresentative of the Gadi (chair) of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami.
THE FOLLOWING ARE THE FUNCTIONS OF THE PANCH-COMMITEE :-
1) Management, restoration and maintenance of the estate of Srila Raghunatha Das Goswami.
2) Organisation of various festivals, such as Ma Jahnava's appearance day in the month of Vaishakh (April-May), Ratha Yatra in Ashadh (June-July), the disappearance day of Shrila Sanatana Goswami on Ashadh purnima (July) and the advent of Shri Radhakund (Ardha-Ratri Snan Midnight bath) in Damodar month (October-November).
3) To maintain a sanskrit school in the Bengali medium to give better understanding of the teachings and philosophy of Lord Chaitanya and the six Goswamies of Vrindavan.
4) To maintain a free dispensary to administer simple homeopathic and biochemic medicines to the resident babajies and vrajavasis.
5) Organisation of 24-hour kirtan at the samadhi of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami. (This has been going on in a simple fashion for the past 35 years).
6) To maintain small cottages (betnam kutirs) for those who want to do a lifetime of bhajan (for a small sum according to one's individual financial situation, a small cottage is available for a lifetime of bhajan. Any property left behind is auctioned amongst the babajis. Finance so obtained is used for maintaining the cottages).
7) Organisation of a free prasad-distribution centre at the samadhi of Shrila Raghunatha Das Goswami. Approximatively 100 babajis receive 4 or 5 chapaties (indian bread without yeast), dhal (pulse's soup), rice and sabji (cooked vegetables) daily. This is financed by Shriman Vishvambar Das Bhagatji of Vrindavan.
Another organisation the Bhagavan Bhajan Ashram with head office in Vrindavan and branches in Radhakund, Govardhan and Barshana, also suplies free prashad (4 chapaties and dhal daily) to the babajies and 250g of rice and 8 rupies daily are given to the matajies (ladies) who attend the 8-hour kirtan programme. This organisation also gives free clothes. But these organisations and others similar in the Vrindavan-area are dependent on the generosity of the merchant class and house-holders, many of whom are daily setting aside a specific sum for this purpose.
Srila Rupa Goswami wrote in his Upadeshamritam text (9) : "...but greatest of all (holy places) is Sri Radhakund which is inundated with the nectarean love of the Lord of Gokula, Sri Krishna. Which intelligent person will not serve this Radhakund, which is situated at the base of Giri Govardhan ?
Originally Written by: Zakrent Christian (Karunamayidas) on http://web-image.at/Babaji/html/Radhakund.html