Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Holy Shridham Radhakhunda

The Bishnupriya Manipuris are lucky enough to have a community temple, named Radha Madhavjiu, in Radhakunda. It was founded in 1843 by a saint Pundarikaksha Sharma from Khalapar, Patherkandi, Karimganj, Assam by the power of divine grace.

By Rebati Mohan Sinha, Mumbai

The immortal love of Radharani and Sri Krishna is the highest form of love, which is worshipped by all Krishna devotees (bhakts) across the globe. The divine love teaches selfless and unconditional pure form of love to the devotees who sing devotional hymns in its praise. This very love of Radharani and Sri Krishna is still alive in Shridham Radhakunda, one of the holy places of highly spiritual significance in India as it is said to have been blessed by Sri Krishna and her consort Radharani.

There is an interesting story related to the existence of Shridham Radhakund. The story unravels the deep love of Sri Krishna for Radharani. It says that on one occasion, Sri Krishna killed a bull demon. When Radharani came to know that Krishna killed a bull, she refused to associate herself with him unless He purified himself from the sin of bull killing by bathing in all holy rivers of the universe. Sri Krishna pleaded her that since the bull was a demon in disguise, hence no purification is necessary, but Radharani insisted. At this, to convince her, Sri Krishna asked her, would she be pleased if He called all the sacred rivers of the Teeno lok there? Radha nodded in agreement. Then Sri Krishna struck his right heel on the ground and created a large crater (vajrakund). He invoked all the sacred rivers that appeared in personified forms soon and offered their obeisance to Him. They identified themselves as Sri Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, Sindhu, Yamuna and Brahmaputra. They offered prayer to become waters to fill up the Shyamkunda and disappeared into it.

As soon as the Shyamkunda filled with the waters of sacred rivers, Sri Krishna took bath and relieved himself from the sin of killing the bull, to persuade Radha. But then He started teasing her and her sakhies (friends), saying He would be praised by all the people of Nandgao but what will happen to them? Radharani got annoyed at this. She broke a bangle and started digging a pond with it on the footprints of the demon in the west of Shyamkunda, along with her sakhies. They made a big pond but there was no water. Sri Krishna asked her to take water from the Shyamkunda; but she refused to take, saying that the water was polluted as He took bath in it. She then about to bring water from Manasi Ganga located near the foot hill of Govardhan. Witnessing the quarrel between Radharani and Sri Krishna, all the sacred rivers personified themselves once again and appeared in Shyamkunda and requested Sri Krishna to allow them to fill the Radhakunda. Krishna told them to ask Radharani, whether she would allow them to do so. Ultimately, she had to agree and ordered her chief sakhi, Lalita to do the needful. All the sacred rivers broke opened the walls of Shyamkunda and rushed to Radhakunda. Once it was filled, Sri Krishna jumped into it and started swimming till it was midnight. He assured that whoever takes bath in Radha kunda, would be given the seeds of love that He had for Radha. Seeing this, Radharani along with her sakhies, got into the Shyamakhunda and started playing with the water and telling the same thing ‘whoever takes bath in Shyamkunda also, would have the seeds of love kept for Shyam’.

Thousands of devotees, desiring of love for Radha Krishna, visit this holy place and experience it by bathing first in Radhakunda then in Shyamkunda and again in Radhakunda. This is the only place of pilgrimage where auspicious bath is taken at midnight.

The Bishnupriya Manipuris are lucky enough to have a community temple, named Radha Madhavjiu, in Radhakunda. It was founded in 1843 by a saint Pundarikaksha Sharma from Khalapar, Patherkandi, Karimganj, Assam by the power of divine grace. But he could not run it alone so long. He went back to his native land and approached villagers to support him running the Seva Puja of the temple at Radhakunda. Still today, every household of Bishnupriya Manipuri community gives subscription annually to run the administration of Radha Madhavjiu, situated near the east bank of Shyamkunda, facing east, unlike the other temples that face the path of parikrama .The entrance to the premises of the temple is from back yard. Presently a Yatri Nivas (guest house) is being built, adjacent to the temple.

In the near future the pilgrims can stay comfortably.

How to reach Radhakunda

Radhakunda is 150 km from Delhi, 22 km from Vrindavan, 26 km from Mathura Rly station and 58 km from Agra Fort. Buses are available from Delhi, Mathura and Agra to Govardhan. But there is no bus service to Radhakunda. To reach there only auto rickshaws and Tanga are available.

Srilo Prabhupada,the founder of ISKCON, once said about Srimati Radharani ‘… All glories to Radharani. She is so dear to Krishna. Every one is trying to love Krishna, and Krishna is trying to love Radha.’ Just imagine how great Radharani is. Krishna’s prem is so valuable; but Krishna is after Radharani. She is so great; we have to offer her our respect. All devotees in Vrindavan worship Radharani. Pure devotees pray to Radharani. Whenever any devotee wishes another, he says…JOI RADHE and the other devotee reciprocates in the same voice, JOI RADHE. I hope, people will adore much more than the earlier after reading the article.

Related articles:

Oath taking ceremony at Radhakund, Mathura - Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Construction of Yatri Nivas at Radha Kund in mess - Sunday, 31 August 2008

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