of Radha Kunda Appearance
of Radha Kunda in the Material World
Lord Chaitanya Rediscovers Radha and Syama Kundas
Raghunatha dasa Goswami Excavates Radha and Syama Kundas
Bathing at the Kundas Goswami
Temples at Radha Kunda
Ma Janava's Sitting Place Raghunatha
dasa Goswami's Samadhi
Krishna dasa Kaviraja's Bhajan Kutira
Panca Pandava Ghat
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur's Bhajan Kutira
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Sitting Place
Giriraja Maharaja Mandir and Caran Cinha
Raghunatha Dasa Goswami Excavates Radha Kunda
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sent many of His important followers to
transcendental land of Vrindavana in order to excavate the lost holy sites of
Lord Krishna’s pastimes, establish deity worship and write books on devotional
service. Prominent amongst them were the six Goswamis namely, the two brothers
Rupa and Sanatana, besides Gopala Bhatta, Raghunatha Bhatta, Jiva and Raghunatha
Having spent eight long years serving Lord Chaitanya at
Puri, Raghunatha dasa Goswami arrived in Vrindavana just after the Lord’s disappearance, which
occurred in the year 1534. Feeling intense separation from Lord Chaitanya,
Raghunatha dasa had decided to end his life by throwing himself down from the
top of Govardhana Hill. But first he desired to have darsana
of both Rupa and Sanatana Goswami’s in Vrindavana. Seeing Raghunatha’s
sorrowful condition, Rupa and Sanatana consoled him and accepting him as their
third brother, requested him to spend the rest of his life performing bhajana
Rupa and Sanatana had reasoned that since Lord
Chaitanya had personally
given His own Govardhana-sila to Raghunatha, along with His own set of gunja-mala, sacred to Radharani, this was surely a sign that the
Lord desired Raghunatha to live near Govardhana Hill and worship Radha-kunda.
The Goswamis decided to appoint Raghunatha as the custodian of Radha-kunda and
acarya for all those who wish to reside on her sacred banks.
Following the advice of Rupa and Sanatana, Raghunatha went to live near
the sacred lakes and regularly circumambulated Govardhana Hill. Some years later
while performing his bhajana on the
banks of Radha-kunda, the idea of enlarging the kundas
and building steps around them entered Raghunatha’s mind. At that time the
two sacred kundas were just muddy
pools of water about twelve feet in diameter in the middle of two paddy fields,
devotees wishing to take a holy dip had to wade through ankle deep mud to get
there. Raghunatha visualized that in the future, thousands of pilgrims would
flock to Radha-kunda to take a holy bath, and therefore to enlarge the kundas
seemed a good idea. Raghunatha then considered how much money would be
required for excavation of the kundas,
but then suddenly condemned himself for allowing such a lusty thought to enter
his mind and distract his bhajana.
With increased determination he again absorbed himself in meditation on the
lotus feet of Radha and Krishna.
That very same day over one thousand miles away at Badrikasrama in the
Himalayas, a wealthy merchant of the name Samarpan (some say that Samarpan was a
King), was on his way to give a large donation to the Deity of Lord
Badri-Narayana. That night in a dream, Lord Badri-Narayana came before the
merchant and ordered him to give the donation to a devotee living at Radha-kunda
in Vrindavana, of the name Raghunatha dasa Goswami, to be used as he so desires.
Early the next morning the merchant awoke in an ecstatic mood having had darsana
of Lord Badri-Narayana in his dream, and started immediately for Vrindavana.
On reaching the holy land of Vrindavana, the merchant Samarpan soon located
Raghunatha dasa who was sitting on the banks of Radha-kunda absorbed in his bhajana.
After offering his respects, Samarpan handed the large donation of money to
Raghunatha dasa, who at first flatly refused to accept it, but after hearing the
merchants story, astonished at the ways of the Lord, relented and accepted the
donation with humble gratitude.
Raghunatha dasa immediately called for Jiva
Goswami from Vrindavana and
asked him to purchase the two paddy fields where Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda
were situated. On his arrival at Radha-kunda, Jiva Goswami immediately purchased
the two paddy fields in the name of Raghunatha dasa Goswami. This event occurred
in the year 1545. Work then started on the excavation of Radha-kunda under the
personal supervision of both Raghunatha and Jiva. During the digging, Raghunatha
dasa discovered the beautiful Deities of Radha and Krishna buried in the mud.
Raghunatha handled the Deities over to a local brahmana to worship and a temple
was constructed on the western bank of Radha-kunda. These were the first Deities
to be installed at Radha-kunda. This temple became known as the Purana (which
means old) Radha-Krishna Mandira.
Further excavation revealed the original kunda
known as Kancana-kunda created by Srimati Radharani and the gopis. The Bengali word kancana, or kankon in Hindi, means bangle,
which was used by Srimati Radharani to dig Radha-kunda. Around this original kunda
Raghunatha dasa had many steps built on all four sides. Some years later in
1591, the king of Jaipur, Raja Mansingh, after completing the construction of
the Govindaji Mandira in Vrindavana, came to Radha-kunda and constructed more
steps above the one’s built by Raghunatha dasa. Raja Mansingh also built a
canal linking Syama-kunda with Lalita-kunda for maintaining the water level of
the kundas. Much later in the year 1817, a wealthy landlord from
Calcutta, Lal Babu, who later entered the renounced order, constructed even more
stone steps around the kundas. When
Radha-kunda is periodically emptied for cleaning, Kancana-kunda created by
Radharani and the gopis can be clearly
seen, as well as the steps constructed by Raghunatha dasa Goswami.
As recently as 1941 when Radha-kunda was completely emptied for cleaning,
natural springs could be seen bubbling water from beneath the ground. It is said
that these springs are in fact the holy places called by Krishna to fill the kundas.
These holy places have now taken the form of natural springs in order to
continue their service to Srimati Radharani. Devotees also saw some springs
emitting a thick milky white substance which is believed to be Ksira-sagara, the
milk ocean, who also appeared here by the order of Krishna and helped fill the kundas. It is said that one devotee collected some of this milky
substance in a bottle, and by the next day it had turned to yogurt. On some days
one can clearly see milky white patches within the sacred waters of Radha-kunda.
Some devotees say that on rare occasions the waters of Radha-kunda appear almost
completely white, due to large volumes of milk being released by the springs
After completing the excavation of Radha-kunda, Raghunatha
turned his attention to Syama-kunda with the idea of making it in the same
square shape as Radha-kunda. This could not be done unless a number of trees
were cut down and it was decided to start the work the very next day. That night
in a dream the five Pandavas headed by king Yudhisthira, came before Raghunatha
and requested that he not allow the trees near Syama-kunda to be cut down.
Yudhisthira explained that he and the other Pandavas were living in those trees
and performing bhajana on the banks of Syama-kunda. The next morning before work
began, Raghunatha instructed the workers that no trees should be cut down and
only the vacant area should be used to dig the kunda. This accounts for the unusual triangular shape of Syama-kunda.
During the excavation of Syama-kunda, the original kunda
created by Krishna’s right heel was discovered. Encircling this original kunda
were seen the stone steps built almost five thousand years earlier by King
Vajranabha known as Vajra-kunda.
After the excavation work was completed in the year 1554. Raghunatha
dasa Goswami continued to perform his bhajana
on the banks of the sacred kundas right
up until his disappearance in the year 1583. Raghunatha dasa personally set the
highest example of renunciation expected for all those who wish to reside at
On the Vijaya-dasami day in the
year 1576, Raghunatha dasa Goswami handed over charge of Radha-kunda to Jiva Goswami, who became the next mahanta. Krishna
dasa Brahmacari, a disciple of Jiva Goswami became the next mahanta
after the disappearance of Jiva in 1608. The line of
mahantas of Radha-kunda is
still continuing even up to present day. The original land deed and letter of
appointment given to Jiva by Raghunatha dasa Goswami is still existing.