HH Radhanath Swami
Pastimes of Gauri Kund
To the left of our Parikrama route is Gauri Kund a very holy place. There is a famous story of that place. Abhimanyu, Jatila, Kutila from Javat. They were thinking that Sri Radha Rani is spending time with Krishna. So they made a decision. One day Abhimanyu was walking down the road and he met Purna masi and told her that we have decided to move to Mathura. And Purna Masi said please do not do this so hastily. First you should have Radha Rani worship Goddess Gauri and Gauri Kund. So Radha Rani was sent, she went to Gauri Kund and Krishna met her just at that place. Now this news came to Abhimanyu so he came with his mother and sister. Because Purna Masi said that these are all rumors, you really don’t have moral right to move to Mathura unless you personally see Radha and Krishna with your own eyes. So when they heard that Krishna was in the vicinity where Srimati Radha Rani was going to worship Gauri, they came. When they came in the temple Krishna dressed up as the deity Gauri and stood right in front of the deity and Sri Radha Rani was worshipping Gauri (Krishna). So when Abhimanyu, Jatila entered Gauri was speaking to Radha Rani. He said I do not know if it is possible to fulfill your prayer. So Abhimanyu asked what was her prayer? What was Radha rani’s prayer? Vrinda Devi said I don’t think I can tell you what that prayer was. No no you must tell me. I don’t think I have the right to tell you but I will tell you. The prayer was to releave you of a great burden. Abhimanyu said what Burden what burden? The burden is that Kamsa has decided to capture you and cut off your head and offer it to Lord Shiva the day after tomorrow. So he was praying praying Gauri please save me save me. Gauri said it is not possible to save you. And then Srimati Radha Rani prayed please please save my Abhimanyu. And Gauri said Radha Rani because your love and devotion so pure, because you are the supreme chaste of all women in all creation, I cannot say no when you asked for your prayer. I am so attached to you. I can only fulfill your prayer of saving the life of Abhimanyu only if you promise to never leave Vrindavan and come here regularly to worship me. Abhimanyu jumped up and Jatila jumped up and said we promise we promise we will never take Radha Rani out of Vrindavan. So be it. They decided to cancel their plans to move to Mathura. That is one of the many beautiful pastimes of Gauri Kund.
Pastimes of Doka Dauji
We also passed on the right side on Govardhan Hill is temple of Doka dauji. It is hard to see the deity because only goats and Brijwasis climb the hill and cows also. That is the place that Lord Balarama is seeing the Basant Rasa Leela of Radha and Krishna. If you remember last year we visited Chandra sarovar. Chandra sarovar is a place enclosed by Rasa Sthali. That is where Radha and Krishna and the topmost of the gopis would meet during the spring season to perform their rasa leela in this most divine environment of Sri Govardhana hill. It is explained that Sri Balaramji got on top of the mountain because he would not personally come in the presence of Krishna and gopis when they were enjoying their leelas together. When were at that Gval-pokhara. It is explained by our Acharyas Vishwanath Chakravarthy Thakur, Jiv Goswami, Sridhar Swami that Krishna and Balaram had two different sets of Gopis. So Balaramji wanted to witness the beautiful rasa dance. So he climbed on top of Govardhan hill and was watching all the way at rasa sthali and the Chandrasarovar and when he saw Krishna reciprocating love with his top most devotees the Vraj Gopis, Balaramji became completely immersed. He became so totally immersed in Krishna and he was kind of crouching in a way in rapt attention completely motionless and his absorption his body became black. Same complexion of Shyam Sundar. So Doka Dauji is what Balaramji is in a beautiful blackish form looking very intensively towards Chandra sarovar where he is eternally witnessing Krishna’s leela.
Pastimes of Apsara Kund and Navala Kund
We have come to very very holy place. On this side is Apsara Kund and here is Navala Kund. Krishna resides on the banks of Apsara Kund in 24 of his principle incarnations. And when Krishna would play with his Gopas and herd the cows in this area sometimes here at Apsara Kund Krishna actually revealed various incarnation of his to the cowherd boys. And sometimes even in the spring season he would reveal his various incarnations to the gopis of the Vrindavan. During the puja of coronation of Krishna as Govinda- the Supreme worshipable Lord of the creation of the demigods the principle aspsaras came and they performed abhishekam of Krishna here at Apsara Kund.
But our Acharyas worship this place mostly because a very very confidential and deep story took place here. When Radha and Krishna and the Gopis were exchanging spiritual love at the Rasa Sthali they came here and here due their love their bodies melted. Radha Rani and the gopis spiritual bodies melted in ecstasy to fill Apsara Kund and Krishna body melted in spiritual ecstasy to fill the Navala Kund. Now this may seem like a fantastic story. But on the spiritual realm, please understand in the world of prem everything is possible. The most wonderful things that the mind can ever conceive are small things for the supreme personality of Godhead. In Krishna’s love for Radha and Gopis how much it please their hearts to see his body literally melt in ecstasy and fill a Kund so that can bathe. Reciprocating Shri Radha and Gopis just to please Krishna by their love for him their bodies melted in ecstasy of their love for Krishna to create a Kund where Krishna could take bath. And so merciful they are those kundas are still here today so that we and who are we as lowly, most fallen person with little faith and little devotion.
Qualifications to see Vrindavan Dham
But by the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, Lord Nityananda and the great Acharyas of their line and our beloved Prabhupad we could come here and actually understand in truth the significance of these places and pray for faith and bathe our consciousness in hearing the narration. Bathe our hearts in prayer that our hearts may also melt. Our hearts may also…Narotamma Thakur prays in this way, when will my heart melt in ecstasy when I chant the name of Gauranga. When will tears fall from my eyes and my limbs tremble and my hair stand on end when I chant the name Hari Hari, Hari Hari. And when will I give up all desire to enjoy the selfish pleasures of this world “bisaya chairya kabe suddha habe mana
kabe hama herabo sir-brndabana” It is only than when I am free of these egoistic attachments to enjoy this world only then can I see Vrindavan. Seeing Vrindavan is not a cheap thing. If we had an addiction to any activities or desires which are not Krishna’s will Vrindavan is not revealed to us. So Narotamma Das Thakur is teaching us how to pray, “when will that day be Krishna, when will that day be when I become so sincere when I can relinquish all these selfish desires that are strangling me. When will I be free from these wounds these thorns horrible leaves that are choking my devotional creep. Only then will I see Vrindavan. So let us chant the holy names to purify ourselves from these desires will that great longing that by serving the great souls and serving even the small souls and chanting the names of the Lord with sincerity our hearts will melt and when our hearts melt and become like soft butter than Krishna will steal our hearts and when we come to Naval Kund and Apsara Kund and we have realization of how these two small lakes are the eternally the ambrosia nectar of Radha and Krishna and Gopis bodies melted in ecstasy of love for each other with tears of gratitude and all humility we will fall at the dust of this place.
Faith of Lota of Baba
We are just at the sector of Govardhan named punchari which is Sri Giriraj’s peacock tail. We are about to come to the temple of Punchari ka Lota ka baba which always a favourite place for the devotees of Radha Gopinath very special deity. There is cowherd boy named Lota and Akrura had Krishna and Balaram on chariot to take them to Mathura, Lota ran out to Krishna and said where are you going? I have prepared Prasad for you and Krishna said I am going to Mathura and he said no no I have already prepared Prasad for you please come and take that Prasad. And Krishna said I am going to Mathura. Lota Baba said and when will you return? Krishna said I will return the day after tomorrow. Lota baba said than I will not eat and I will not drink and I will not sleep and I will just sit in that one place with that food waiting for you to return. Lota baba has been waiting for a long time. He waited and waited and waited and waited. He had faith in Krishna’s promise and he still does. He has not taken a drop of water or eaten any food himself. And if you look at the deity his quite…what is the word…he is quite healthy looking. He looks very well fed. He looks quite..ah.. fatty deity. How is that possible? Because of his faith. He is sitting in such deep intense separation from Krishna but he has faith. Krishna told me that will return and he will return. And he is waiting. Such determination. Lota baba is aslo the colour of hanumanji who is also the embodiment of determination. Hanumanji saw Sita putting some of this sindoor that what ladies call it sindoor yes? Hanumanji asked why you doing like that? And Sita said because Ram likes it. So Hanuman he just made buckets of this and covered his entire body with it. If this is what Ram likes. In every temple for hundreds of thousands of temples all over India Hanuman is waiting for Ram in this way. Whatever is the pleasure of Ram. Hanuman’s determination in this service of the Lord is glorious. So Shri Rupa Goswami …it is very auspicious to hear the bull but it’s very inauspicious to be in its path (laugh) in Vrindavan bulls always has the right of way. Punchari ka Lota baba, thousands of years waiting because Krishna promised. He is nourished by his faith. And therefore he is always strong. Krishna told us in Gita
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te
pratijāne priyo ‘si me
He has promised us all “Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail.” To execute Krishna Consciousness we must follow in the footsteps of Punchari ka Lota baba. We must have patience and enthusiasm and in order to have such patience and enthusiasm no matter how many years no matter how many life times it takes we know that we will attain perfection if we just serve guru and Gauranga sincerely. There must be faith. We should pray when we stand before Punchari ka Lota baba, certainly you will smile when we see him for he is very happy, we should pray so that he will bless us with faith, with patience and with determination.
Pastimes of Raghav Pandit
We will also be visiting the cave of Raghava Pandit – The manikandli cave. Raghava Pandit lived here at the time of Raghunath das Goswami who was very very dear friend of Shri Raghunath das Goswami. He would live in that cave and perform his bhajan with such intense devotional service and whenever the devotees would come from various places who are the followers of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Raghava Pandit would be sent, would be asked by Raghunath Das Goswami to give them the whole parikrama of twelve forest of Vrindavan. Most famous in Bhakti Ratnakar there was a whole chapter of Raghav Pandit giving tour of Shri Vrajmandal to Narotamma Das Thakur and Srinivas Acharya. In much of the sacred information that gaudiya Vaishnavas have that we speak during these Parikramas is the words of Raghava Pandit, Narotamma Das Thakur and Srinivas Acharya. According to (some scripture could not understand) Raghava Pandit was champak lata sakhi. One of the eight sakhis in Krishna Leela and in that same cave in the nitya leela of Shri Radha and Krishna champaklata would make beautiful arrangements for Radha and Krishna to meet and have pastimes of transcendental love. Thank you very much. Now we will continue our Parikrama of Shri Giriraj. Jai Jai Shri Radheeeee Shyam. And if we have devotees who can gather some water from Apsara Kund and Navala Kund and sprinkle it upon the heads of the assembled Vaishnavas.