Radha Kund and Shyama Kund

Radha Kunda Shyam KundaRadha Kund and Shyama Kund, the two most spiritually surcharged Kunds (ponds), are located in a village called Arita about 3 miles north-east of Govardhan and fourteen miles from Mathura and Vrindavan.

Radhanath Swami emphasizes the spiritual significance of these ponds, “Radha Kund is the holiest place in all of Brahma’s creation. Radha Kund and Shyama Kund represent the eyes of Govardhan, which is in the shape of a peacock. This is the place where Radha and Krishna performed their most intimate and most sweet pastimes.”

Here is a brief description of the appearance of Radha Kunda and Shyam Kunda as spoken by Radhanath Swami:

One of the demons by the name Arishta, sent by the evil Kamsa to kill Krishna and Balarama, assumed the form of a bull and attacked Krishna. But he was easily overpowered and was instead killed by the Lord. This pastime took place in the afternoon when Krishna and His cowherd friends were herding the cattle.

That night when Krishna went to meet His beloved Srimati Radharani, She jokingly forbade Him to touch Her and said, “Today, You have killed a bull, which belongs to the cow family. You have therefore committed the sin of killing a cow. Please do not touch My pure body.”

Krishna smilingly replied that the bull was in fact a very dangerous demon and so by killing it He incurred no sin. But Radharani refused to accept this explanation and Her sakhis also supported Her.

Krishna then asked how He could atone for the sin. In reply, Radharani said that the only way to atone the sin is to take bath in every holy place in the world. To fulfill Her desire Krishna created a large kunda by striking the ground with His heel. He then summoned all the holy places from all over the planet. When they appeared Krishna asked their personified forms to enter in to the Kunda in the form of water, which they promptly did. Within moments the kunda was filled with the most pure and sacred water. Krishna then bathed in it and approached Radharani, having atoned for the sin of killing a bull. He bragged about how His kunda was the most beautiful and how great He was in creating such a kunda. Hearing Her beloved boast in such a manner, Radharani along with Her sakhis decided to create an even more exquisite kunda adjacent to the one created by Krishna, by digging the place with their bracelets. When not a drop of water manifested in the kunda, Krishna said that they could take water from His kunda. Radharani refused and She along with Her sakhis decided to fill Her kunda by carrying water from Manasi-ganga in clay water pots. Sri Krishna signalled to the holy places that they should insist that Radharani and Her sakhis fill up their kunda with water from His. The holy places personified prayed to Radharani and Her sakhis and pleased them by glorifying them in many ways. She then mercifully gave them the permission to enter Her kunda, and immediately a current of water flowed from Krishna-kunda to Radha-kunda.

After Radha-kunda was filled with holy waters of the entire planet, Lord Krishna told Srimati Radharani that Her kund would be the most famous place in the world and that He would daily bathe in Her kunda. Lord Krishna declared that Radha-kunda is as dear to Him as Srimati Radharani Herself and anyone who bathes in it will get Her love. Radha kunda is the personified love of Srimati Radharani.

These two kundas manifested at midnight on krishnashtami (the eighth day of the dark moon) in the month of Kartika; therefore, thousands of people bathe here at midnight on this day, which is known as Bahulashtami.

Since these are the places where Radha and Krishna performed their most intimate and sweet pastimes, Srila Prabhupada, Radhanath Swami’s beloved guru, and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Srila Prabhupad’s beloved guru, told that we should not approach Radha Kund in a familiar or light manner. Otherwise it would not help us to advance in our spiritual life. We should approach these pastimes with great reverence and should not treat them as something ordinary or talk about it lightly. We should consider these pastimes to be way above our heads and should aspire to be the servants of the servants of those who have realized the glories of Sri Radha Kunda.

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