(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 23 September 2012, Durban, South Africa, Radhastami Lecture)


Wherever in this world there were great manifestations of love between Radha and Krsna, not only was it an extraordinary experience for those who were present there, but actually that entire place also became transformed.

Various places in Vrindavan, where Radha and Krsna had great exchanges of love, are very potent with powerful mercy that becomes available to us as well. The appearance of Radha-kund, the lake of Srimati Radharani, is a most special occasion, as it is said that Radha kund is the most sacred space in the entire universe – because it is made of liquid prema, pure love of Radha and Krsna who perform many pastimes on the banks of those sacred waters.

In the tenth canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, there is a little anecdote given by Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur on appearance of Radha-kund. Krsna, at one point, killed the demon Aristasura that appeared in the form of a bull. Aristasura was a demoniac personality who took the form of the bull and came to kill the residents of Vrindavan, but then Krsna killed him. At that point, the innocent young gopis said, ‘Ah Krsna, do not touch us now, O killer of a bull! Alas, even though Aristasura was a terrible demon, still he was a male cow, so you will have to undergo atonement, just as Lord Indra did after killing Vritasura. But how can you purify yourself without taking trouble of visiting every single holy place in the three worlds?’  Krsna replied to them, ‘Why should I have to wonder throughout the entire universe? I will at once bring all the countless pilgrimage places here and take my bath in them. Just watch!’

Lord Mukunda struck his heel on the ground and said, ‘This is the water from the Ganga River coming from the Patala region! Now, oh holy places, all of you, please come here!’  When the Supreme Lord had spoken these words, all the holy places appeared before him. Krsna then addressed the gopis, ‘See, all the holy places!’ But the gopis replied, ‘We don’t see them, as you have described!’  Then the presiding deities of all the holy places, joining their palms in supplication, spoke up, ‘I am the salt ocean, I am the ocean of milk, I am the river Sindhu, I am the Tamraparni, I am the holy place Pushkar, I am the river Sarasvati. We are: Yamuna, Godavari and Reva rivers, and also the confluence of rivers at Prayag! Just see our waters!’

Then, after purifying himself by bathing in their waters, Lord Hari became quite arrogant and said, ‘I produced a pond that contains all the various holy places, whereas you gopis never executed any religious duties on this earth for the pleasure of Lord Narayana!’  Then Srimati Radharani addressed her gopi friends as follows, ‘I must create an even more beautiful pond, so please go to work!’  Having heard these words, the gopis saw that Aristasura’s hooves have dug a shallow ditch just west of Sri Krsna’s pond and at that nearby spot, all the gopis started digging lumps of earth. In this way, a divine pond manifested in an hour. Krsna was astonished to see the lake they had produced! The gopis wanted to make a human chain from Manasi Ganga and fill the lake with its waters with help of buckets, but Krsna was thinking that this would take too long. So, he ordered all the holy waters to enter into Radharani’s kund.

Thus in Vrindavan, we have Syama-kund and Radha-kund, divine lakes of Krsna and Srimati Radharani. Such eternal places that exist in the spiritual world are manifested within the material universe by the divine arrangement of the Supreme Lord in order to make his mercy widely available. These places are evenly accessible, at least to a degree, to the conditioned souls like us  – and that is just extraordinary! Such is the inconceivable mercy of the Lord!


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