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vraja-bhuvi mura-śatroḥ preyasīnāṁ nikāmair asulabham api tūrṇaṁ prema-kalpa-drumaṁ tam janayati hṛdi bhūmau snātur uccair priyaṁ yat tad ati-surabhi rādhā-kuṇḍam evāśrayo me This very fragrant, dear and beautiful Radha Kund, which instantly makes the desire tree of prema (love of God) sprout in the heart soil of anyone who bathes in it, something that is very difficult for even Krishna’s beloveds in Vrajabhumi to attain — this Radha Kund is my only shelter! (Radhakuṇḍāṣṭakam, Verse 2) Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā by Radha Kund Mahant Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj: In this verse Shrila Raghunath Das Goswami explains more confidential truths about Shri Radha Kund, saying it is “the desire tree of prema grows in anyone who bathes there.” One may ask here: “How can that supreme goal which is only attained after a long time of devotional practice be suddenly attained just by bathing in Radha Kund?” The answer is that Radha Kund’s glories are said to be equal to Radharani’s glories. That love which is normally only attained after a long time of practice (sādhya vastu sādhana vinā keho nāhi pāy , “no one can attain the goal without practicing,” CC 2.8.196) is attained simply by seeing Shrimati Radharani, even without performing any sādhanā. This is the special feature of Radharani that even Svayaṁ Bhagavān Shri Vrajendra-nandana (Krishna) does not have! Shrimat Sanatan Goswami has written in his Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta: sā rādhikā bhagavatī kvacid īkṣyate cet premā tad anubhavam ṛcchati mūrtimān saḥ Anyone who somehow sees the supreme Goddess Radhika will experience prema in its real form. (2.5.233) Therefore it is no wonder that a single bath in Radha Kund causes the tree of prema to sprout in the field of one’s heart. One may now ask: “But I see thousands of men and women taking bath in Radha Kund every year! Why don’t I see at least one of them getting prema at once then? How can I establish my faith in these statements of the great self-realized souls?” To this the answer of the Mahājanas will be: Wherever the scriptures and the saints proclaim such miraculous and inconceivable results, it must be understood to refer to offenseless practitioners. Only an offenseless soul who bathes in Radha Kund will attain love of God, otherwise this would actually be visible in anyone who bathes there. Such offenseless persons are very rare and the fruits of such a benediction are not visible to our eyes so soon. Still, there is no reason to doubt these glorifications, for even an offensive person who bathes in Radha Kund can get rid of his offensive attitude and attain this supreme goal by patiently bathing in Radha Kund again and again. This is the realized conclusion of the scriptures and the great saints. Someone may also think: “The whole of Vraja-maṇḍala has the power to give love of God to its pilgrims, for the Padma Purāna states dinam ekaṁ nivāsena harau bhaktir prajāyate: Simply by staying in the Mathura district for one day one will attain devotion to Lord Hari. What then is so special about bathing in Radha Kund? The answer to this is: Love for Krishna is greater than love for any other form of God, because Krishna is the Original Personality of Godhead. The pure and intimate love of the rāgātmikā-vrajavāsīs is far greater than the reverential devotion to Lord Hari found in the inhabitants of Dwaraka and Mathura. On top of that, as the text says, the prema-kalpa-druma (desire tree of love) attained by bathing in Radha Kund is not only unattainable by aiśvarya devotees or by those who worship Krishna in the mood of a servant, friend, or parent, but it is even hard to attain by Krishna’s own madhura-bhāvamayī girlfriends. It is well known that the amorous mood is superior to the rasas of the fraternal and servitude moods. dāsya sakhya, vātsalya, āra śṛṅgāra; cāri bhāvera caturvidha bhaktai ādhāra nija nija bhāva sabe śreṣṭha kori māne; nija bhāve kore kṛṣṇa sukha āsvādane taṭastha hoiyā mone vicāra yadi kori; saba rasa hoite śṛṅgāra adhika mādhurī “There are four kinds of feelings devotees can have for the Lord: servitude, fraternal love, parental love and amorous love. Everyone considers his own feeling to be the best and most fulfilling and through these feelings he makes Krishna relish happiness according to the quantity and quality of his love. But if a rasika considers things from a neutral point of view, considering the superiority and inferiority of the different ingredients of relish, such as vibhāvas, anubhāvas, sāttvika bhāvas and vyabhicāri-bhāvas, then we will see that the amorous love has the sweetest taste and is the most astonishing.” (Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Ādi 4) The crown jewel of all the madhura-rasa-nāyikās, the gopīs, is Vrishabhanu’s princess Shri Radharani. Her astonishing mādana-rasa gives the greatest and indeed complete relish to Krishna and she has mercifully infused this sweet rasa in her surrendered girlfriends and handmaidens too. Therefore in the kingdom of ecstatic love the relish of the sakhis and mañjarīs reigns supreme. Still, the maidservants taste even more rasa than the sakhis. It is their prema which is hard to attain even for Krishna’s beloveds (the sakhis and other nayikas), but which is sown in the heart of someone who faithfully and offenselessly bathes in Shri Radha Kund! Shripada Raghunath says: “May my dear most and most desired Shri Radha Kund be my shelter!” nitya snāna kore yihoṅ śrī rādhākuṇḍete; kṛṣṇa prema kalpa-vṛkṣa tāra hṛdayete prādurbhūta hoy śīghra kuṇḍera prabhāve; vraje vraja-rāmādera-o yāhā to durlabhe yei rādhākuṇḍa hoy atiśaya priya; sei sarovara mora ekānta āśraya The wish-yielding tree of love for Krishna swiftly grows in the heart of anyone who always bathes in Shri Radha Kund. Such is the prowess of the kuṇḍa! That dear most Radha Kund which is hard to attain even by the Vraja-gopīs, is my only shelter!