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Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada
As the surrendered maidservants of Sri Radha, we have to constantly live on the banks of Radha Kund. In the Narayan conception
there is no existence of father and mother. Narayan is unborn. But when that unborn Lord appears as the son of Devaki and Vasudev in Mathura, he performs the pastime of taking birth. The Lord of Vaikuntha
is unborn. But since that unborn Lord, due to his inconceivable potency, manifested his pastime of taking birth, his position as the Supreme Lord becomes more glorious. Therefore Mathura is superior
to Vaikuntha.
Lord Krishna appears in the pure mind of a practitioner. That pure mind is also Mathura. Many people consider Mathura a mythical place, a place described in fairy tales. Doing so denies Krishna’s inconceivable
potency. By his inconceivable potency, Mathura appears along with Krishna in this material world.
Vrindavan, where Krishna enjoyed the räsa-lélä, is superior to Mathura, where Krishna took birth. Caitanya-caritämåta (ädi 1.17) states:
çréman räsa-rasärambhi vaàçévaöa-taöa-sthitaù
karñan veëu-svanair gopér gopé-näthaù çriye ‘stu naù
Sri Srila Gopinath, who originated the transcendental
mellow of the räsa dance, stands on the shore in Vamshivat and attracts the attention of the cowherd damsels with the sound of his celebrated flute. May they all confer upon us their benedictions.
From his birth in Mathura, Krishna enjoys his pastimes as an immature boy. In the räsa-lélä arena he is a mature boy.
Once, Krishna was enjoying räsa-lélä pastimes with his different types of gopé friends. When Sri Radha arrived and saw that the special characteristics of her service could not be exhibited in a räsa-lélä that included
so many types of gopés, she left the arena and went to Govardhan. Chandravali also arrived there. When Sri Radha saw Sri Krishna sitting inside a cave at Govardhan with Chandravali, she became very upset. After tactfully deceiving Chandravali’s messenger Saibya, Radha’s gopé friends, Tulasi, Dhanishtha, and others sent Chandravali
to Sakhisthali. That is why Srila Das Goswami Prabhupada, who was a staunch follower of Sri Rupa, offered his obeisances to Sakhisthali from a distance. After deceiving
Chandravali, Sri Radha’s followers brought Shyamasundar to Radha Kund.
Sri Govardhan, where Sri Radha-Krishna’s
most confidential amorous pastimes take place, is superior to Vrindavan. In his prayer to Sri Govardhan, Srila Raghunätha Das Goswami wrote (Stavävali, Govardhanäçraya-
daçakam 6):
yasyäà mädhava-näviko rasavatém ädhäya rädhäà-tare
madhye caïcala-keli-päta-valanät träsaiù stuvatyäs tataù
sväbhéñöhaà paëam ädadhe vahati sä yasmin mano-jähnavé
kastaà tan nava-dampati-pratibhuvaà govardhanaà näçrayet
Who will not take shelter of Govardhan Hill, the abode of the youthful couple, where Madhava became a boatman and took sweetly beautiful Radha on his boat to the middle of Manasi Ganga? Then, when Radha became frightened by the turbulent waves stirred by a great storm, she prayed to Krishna to calm the water. After which Madhava took his desired fee from her.
Radha Kund is superior to Govardhan because it is flooded fully with the nectarean
love of Sri Krishna. Sri Rupa-manjari, who understood Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s confidential intention, instructed that service
to Radha Kund, the highest object ofSri Gaurahari’s internal mood, is the ultimate
goal of all service. Sri Radha Kund is totally incomprehensible and unattainable for followers of the Nimbarka Sampradaya, by the followers of any sampradäya under Chandravali’s guidance, and by the so-called followers of mädhurya-rasa who are devoid of devotion to Gaura. Therefore Srila
Das Goswami wrote in his prayer to Sri Radha Kund (Stavävalé, Rädhä-kuëòäñöakam, text 2):
vraja-bhuvi mura-çatroù preyasénäà nikämair
asulabham api türëaà prema-kalpa-drumaà tam
janayati hådi bhümau snätur uccair priyaà yat
tad ati-surabhi rädhä-kuëòam eväçrayo me
May very dear and fragrant Radha Kund, which, for one who bathes in it, immediately creates in the land of the heart a desire tree of pure love rare even among the gopé beloveds of Krishna in Vraja, be my shelter.
In his tenth verse in Upädeçämåta,, Sri Rupa Goswami has ascertained who among the devotees is the best:
karmibhyaù parito hareù priyatayä vyaktià yayur jïäninas
tebhyo jïäna-vimukta-bhakti-paramäù premaika-niñöhäs tataù
tebhyas täù paçu-päla-paëkaja-dåças täbhyo ‘pi sä rädhikä
presthä tadvad iyaà tadéya-sarasé täm näçrayet kaù kåté
In the çästra it is said that of all types of fruitive workers, he who is advanced in knowledge of the higher values of life is favored by the Supreme Lord Hari. Out of many such jïänés, persons who are advanced in knowledge, one who is practically
liberated by virtue of his knowledge may take to devotional service. He is superior to the others. However, one who has actually attained prema, pure love of Krishna, is superior to him. The gopés are exalted above all the advanced devotees because they are always totally dependent
upon Sri Krishna, the transcendental cowherd
boy. Among the gopés, Srimati Radharani is the most dear to Krishna. Her kuëòa, lake, is as profoundly dear to Lord Krishna as this most beloved of the gopés. Who, then, will not reside at Radha Kund, and in a spiritual body surcharged with ecstatic devotional feelings, apräkåta-bhäva, render loving service to the divine couple Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, who perform their añöa-käliya-lélä, their eternal eight-fold daily pastimes? Indeed, those who execute devotional service on the banks of Radha Kund are the most fortunate people in the universe.
Only the most fortunate pure-hearted souls live in the most sanctified place, Sri Radha Kund, and worship Krishna twenty-four hoursof Goloka, the most confidential place in the spiritual sky, and the only shelter for devotees on the platform of mädhurya-rasa. Planets like Bhu, Bhuvah, and Svah are meant for ambitious
householders. Above them are planets like Mahar, Jana, Tapa, and Satya, which are meant for the celibates. Upakurvaëa-brahmacärés live in Maharlok, naiñöhika-brahmacärés attain Janalok, vänaprasthas attain Tapalok, and sannyäsés
enjoy in Satyalok. The Bhagavad-gétä (8.16) confirms:
ä-brahma-bhuvanäl lokäù punar ävartino ‘rjuna
mäm upetya tu kaunteya punar janma na vidyate
From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to my abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.
The ecstatic spiritual abode of Vaikuntha
is rarely attained even by liberated souls. The Lord’s devotees who are free from material desire at once attain that abode after leaving their material bodies. Mathura is superior to Vaikuntha; Vrindavan,
the abode of the räsa-lélä, is superior to Mathura; Govardhan is superior to Vrindavan;
and Radha Kund is the best of all. ·

Amrta Vani. A collection of statements from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Saraswati Thakur. Originally compiled in Bengali by Sri Bhakti Bhagavat Mayukha Maharaja. Translated into English by Bhumipati Das. Touchstone Media. Mumbai. 2004.
— Raghunath Das Goswami. Çré Stavävalé. Bengali translation by Sri Ananta Das Pandit. Radha Kund. 1990. Bengali.

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