Rup Goswami's Bhajan Kuti

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Rup Goswami's Bhajan Kuti / रूप गोस्वामी की भजनकुटी

Adjacent to Ter-kadamb, to the west, is the bhajan-kuti of Shri Rup Goswami. He often performed bhajan here at this secluded place, remembering Krishna's sweet pastimes. He also composed many of his treasured books here. Whenever the sentiments of deep separation from Radhika, who is comprised of mahabhava, manifested in his heart, werses of separation would emanate from his mouth. At that time, all the leaves of the kadamb tree here would dry up in the fire of separation, and fall to the ground. And when the meeting of the Divine Couple manifested in his heart, he recited verses of Their meeting, and the kadamb tree would sprout new leaves.

Story

Once, Shri Sanatan Goswami came here to meet with Shri Rup Goswami. They began to talk about Krishna's ambrosial pastimes and became so absorbed in the narrations about Him that they forgot about the time. In the afternoon, when their absorption abated somewhat, Shri Rup Goswami thought, "It is time to honour prasad, but I have nothing to offer Shri Sanatan Goswami." This caused him some concern. Just then, a beautiful girl in ordinary dress came there and said to Rup Goswami, "Baba, My mother has sent rice, milk and sugar with Me. Quickly make sweet-rice and eat." Saying this, the girl left, only to return a short while later. "Baba," She said, "because you are talking, you have no time to cook. I will cook for you." She collected some dry cow-dung patties that were nearby and produced a fire simply by Her breathing. In little time, She presented Rup Goswami with very sweet and fragrant sweet-rice and said, "Baba, offer this to Thakurji and quickly take some yourself. I must go, or else My mother will chastise Me for being late." And the beautiful girl departed. Shri Rup Goswami offered the sweet-rice to Krishna and placed it before Sanatan Goswami. Upon eating the sweet-rice, transcendental visions of Radha and Krishna manifested in the hearts of the two brothers. They began to lament, calling out, "O Radha, O Radha!" Sanatan Goswami said, "I have never tasted such sweet-rice. Rup, did you desire something to eat? That kishori was none other than Krishna's dearest Radhika. In the future, please do not trouble Her like this." Shri Rup Goswami began to lament, understanding his fault. When he took a little rest, Radhika appeared in his dream and pacified him with sweet words.

Nand-bag

Contents

Nearby, south of Shri Rup Goswami's bhajan-kuti is Nand-bag, Nand Maharaja's garden. This garden was full of lush green trees and creepers laden with many varieties of fruits and flowers. One of Nand Maharaja's cowsheds, where Krishna and Balram milked the cows and also practised wrestling with the sakhas was also here. Radhika used to come along this path together with Her girlfriends on Her way from Javat to Nand-bhavan.

Story

Once, Radhika and Her sakhis were coming to Nand-bhavan to cook. Some distance from this place, they saw Krishna and the cowherd boys milking the cows. Lalita Sakhi said, "We should take the other path. Braj's crown jewel of debauchees is looking towards us with greedy eyes while He milks the cows and He will certainly tease us in one way or another." But Radhika insisted. "What can that debauchee do to us?" She said. "We should fearlessly take this path." She and Her friends proceeded to walk in Krishna's direction. As Radhika came close, Krishna aimed a current of milk at Her face and drenched it. Waves of pleasure surged within the sakhis and sakhis, and they all began to laugh. With knitted eyebrows Radhika glared at Krishna and continued on Her way. As She walked, somehow Her pearl necklace broke and the pearls fell to the earth, scattering here and there, so She sat down to collect them. The sakhis understood Radhika's heart, and knew that on the pretext of picking up the pearls, She was actually beholding Her beloved for some time more. Remembrance of this pastime is like an ocean, and Shri Rup Goswami has placed many such oceans in the pot of his Ujjval-Nilamani and other books. In other words, in his books he has described these vast pastimes in a few words.

Ashisheshwar Mahadev

A short distance to the east of Nand-bag is Ashisheshwar Mahadev and Ashisheshwar-kund. Parjanya Maharaja used to bathe here and worship Ashisheshwar Mahadev, who fulfils all desires. Ashisheshwar Mahadev easily becomes pleased even by a little worship and bestows blessings by which all of one's desires may be fulfilled. Some Brajvasis also say that it was by the blessings of Ashisheshwar Mahadev that Parjanya Maharaja had five sons endowed with all good qualities and had such a highly qualified grandson as Shri Krishna.

Jalvihar Kund

This pond lies to the west of Ashisheshvar-kund. Krishna and the sakhas played ( jal-vihar karna) in Jalvihar-kund.

Jogiya Sthal

This is very charming place, surrounded by trees and creepers, lies north-east of Krishna-kund. Mahadev worships Krishna here, and therefore this place is also known as Mahadev's sitting-place (baithak).

Story

Once, Mahadev, desiring to have Krishna's darshan, was wandering throughout Braj like a madman, but his repeated attempts bore no success. Sometimes, Krishna would be sleeping when he arrived and sometimes He would be sucking the breast of His mother. Also, Mother Yashoda did not want to show her baby Krishna to this strange yogi, whose hair was matted, who was adorned with a necklace of serpents, and who was riding a bull and carrying a trident in his hand. She thought that he might give her son the "evil eye". Finally, a defeated Shankar sat down at this very spot firm in his decision not to leave until his desire was fulfilled. He started to beg by invoking the name of God, loudly calling out, "Alakh niranjan, alakh niranjan!" and playing on his damaru drum. Inside Nand-bhavan baby Krishna also started to bawl just as loudly as Shankar was calling out and playing his drum. The drum playing did not stop; nor did Krishna's crying. Finally, the clever elderly gopis advised Yashoda, "This must be the work of that yogi. He certainly knows some mantras, so why not call him to pacify the child?" They went to the yogi and said, "O yogi, come, Nandarani Yashomati is calling you to Nand-bhavan," Hearing this, Shankarji became so happy and made his way to Nand-bhavan, where he took some mustard seeds and salt in his hands, touched the head of baby Krishna and blessed Him. When touched by the hands of Shankar, Nand-lala immediately stopped crying and began to make sounds of joy. Seeing the yogi's wonderful act, Nandarani (Yashoda) became very pleased with him and gave him her pearl necklace in charity, saying, "Yogi, you should stay here at Nand-bhavan and, whenever my lala cries, you should pacify Him by your darshan." Surdas has described this pastime in the following poem, which is steeped in transcendental emotion.[1]

Krishna Kund

This very beautiful pond within a dense grove of kadamb trees is situated near Nandishwar Hill to the east. Shri Krishna used to enjoy water-sports here with His friends. On the northern bank of this pond is the path He took to go cow grazing. Krishna also used to bring His thirsty cows here to drink water. Chhit Swami has described this cow grazing pastime in a very heart-touching way.[2]

"The cows are in front of, behind and on either side of Govinda, who likes to sit in their midst. He runs with the cows, takes rest with them, and smears the dust of their hooves over His body. He so much relishes the company of the cows in Braj that He even forgets Vaikuntha. To protect the cows He lifted Govardhan with His own hand. The Lord of Chhit Swami, Giridhari Vitthalesa, assumes the form of a cowherd boy and appears in the dynasty of gopas."
When Uddhav arrived in Nand Gaon, he spent the entire night consoling Nand and Yashoda at Nand-bhavan. In the early hours before dawn, he came to this pond, bathed, and sat down on the southern bank to recite his morning mantras. At that time, he saw the gopis who were hiding in the kadamb grove nearby and, after completing his mantras, went there to meet them.

Chhachh Kund (Jhagda Ki Kund)

A short distance to the north-west of Krishna-kund is the place where Krishna and the sakhas used to beg the gopis for buttermilk (chhachh). The gopis would offer them this buttermilk with love. Sometimes, the boys used to fight and quarrel among themselves, saying, "Let me have some first! Let me have some first!" Because this childhood pastime took place here, the name of this pond became Chhachh-kund, or Jhagada-ki-kund.

Surya Kund

This pond lies to the south of Krishna-kund, on the right-hand side of the highway. Here, Surya narayan, the Sungod, became restless after having darshan of Shri Krishna's exquisite threefold-bending form and forgot to move for some time.

Lalita Kund

To the east of Surya-kund, within the lush, green forest, lies a very attractive pond. This is Lalitaji's bathing-place. Sometimes, Lalita, employed some cunning to bring Radhika here to meet with Krishna. This pond is situated east of Nandgaon.

Story

Once, Krishna warned Radhika to be cautious of Devrishi Narad. "Devrishi is a sage whose nature is very complicated," He said. "Sometimes he causes disputes between father and son, mother and father, or husband and wife. It is best to always be cautious of him." But Radhika did not take particular heed of Krishna's words. And so it happened that one day Lalita picked beli, chameli and other flowers from the forest and began to string a beautiful garland for Krishna. After completing it, she discarded it and began to string a new garland. She repeated this action many times. Narad was hiding behind some trees, watching this intriguing scene. He approached Lalita and asked her about her unusual behaviour. Lalita said, "Every time I complete the garland, I feel that it is either too short or too long for Krishna. This is why I keep starting again." The mischievous Narad suggested, "Krishna is playing nearby. Why don't you make Him sit beside you and string your garland by measuring it against Him?" Lalita agreed and called for Krishna. She strung a beautiful garland for Him that was just the right size, and placed it around His neck. They then waited for Radhaji, who had earlier asked Lalita to make the garland, telling her that She would be there soon. However, Radhaji was delayed by the sakhis who were busy decorating Her. Previously, Shri Krishna had promised Narad to give him darshan of Him swinging with Lalita, and now Narad reminded Krishna of His promise and repeatedly requested Him to sit with Lalita on a nearby swing. They both sat down and swung back and forth as they waited for Radhika. In the meantime, Devarishi went to Radhika, singing, "All glories to Lalita-Krishna, all glories to Lalita-Krishna!" Radhika respectfully greeted Devarishi Narad and inquired, "Devarishi, today you are very happily singing the glories of Lalita and Krishna. It seems that you have some astonishing news. What is it?" Narad smiled. "Aah, what a beautiful scene," he said. "Krishna, wearing a beautiful garland of forest flowers, is swinging with Lalita. If You do not believe me, then go there and see for Yourself." Radhika did not believe him, but still, She went there. "How could He possibly be swinging with Lalita in My absence?" She thought, but from afar, She could see Krishna and Lalita on the swing. She angrily returned to Her kunja and sat down, deeply immersed in a sulky mood, or mana. Having waited a long time for Radhaji, Krishna finally went to look for Her. He told Her about Narad’s activities and how it came to pass that He was swinging with Lalita, and thus somehow pacified Her mana. He took Her to the swing, and Lalita and Vishakha pushed Them back and forth. This sweet pastime took place here. Narad-kund and the place where Lalita and Krishna swung lie near this pond.

Uddhav Kyari (Vishakha Kunja)

Uddhav-kyari, which is also known as Kadamb-kyari, is situated a short distance from Lalita-kund to the south-east. Actually, this is the kunja of Vishakha, and Vishakha-kund lies nearby. In this secluded and beautiful place surrounded by kadamb trees, Vishakha used to arrange meetings between Radha and Krishna. Sometimes, Krishna also used to perform the rasa dance here with Radhaji and Her friends. There is a platform here reminding us of that pastime. Radha and Krishna also enjoyed many kinds of water-sports in the clear and fragrant water of Vishakha-kund. After Shri Krishna's departure to Mathura, all of Braj drowned in an ocean of separation from Him. What to speak of the gopas and gopis, even the birds and animals gave up eating and drinking, feeling distressed in separation from Krishna. Krishna's beloved gopis followed Akrur's chariot to this point and then fell to the ground unconscious. They never returned home again. Grievously afflicted by separation from Krishna, Radhaji stayed in this dense forest in seclusion. In the hope of Krishna's return, She counted each passing day, remaining on the verge of death. At that time, Krishna's messenger Uddhav came here to console the gopis but, upon seeing Radhika's state of separation, he paid his respects to Her from afar, unable to say anything. Acutely afflicted by separation, Radhika saw a bumblebee and thought it to be Krishna's messenger. In the state of divyonmada, She started manifesting chitrajalp, prajalp and other moods of transcendental madness. Sometimes She chastised the bee, and sometimes She complained to it. Sometimes She gave the bee instructions, sometimes respects and sometimes She inquired from it about the well-being of Her beloved. Uddhav was amazed to see and hear all this. He had come as a teacher to give instructions, but instead he became a student. To console the gopis, he relayed some of Krishna's messages to them, but this only intensified their pain of separation. They said, "Udho man na bhayo das bis, ek huto so gayo syam sanga, ko aradhe isa – Uddhav, we do not each have ten or twenty hearts. We had only one, which has now gone away along with Syama. With which heart shall we now worship God?" They also said,

"Udho joga kahan rakhen yahan rom rom shyam hai – Uddhav, how can we perform yoga when Syama already pervades every particle in our bodies?"

In the end, Uddhav desired to take birth in Braj in the form of a small shrub, creeper or blade of grass so that he could be blessed with the dust of the gopis' feet. He worshipped their foot-dust as follows.[3]
"If I become a shrub, creeper or medicinal herb here in Vrindavan, it will be my great fortune. I shall then be able to serve the dust of these gopis' feet, and will be blessed by bathing in that foot-dust. These gopis are the most fortunate of all. They have given up those things that are extremely difficult to renounce – their relatives, religious principles prescribed in the Vedas, and acceptable social conduct. Having become so completely absorbed in Krishna, they have obtained His supreme prem and become as worshipful as He is." [4]
"I bow down to the dust of the feet of the gopis residing in Nand Baba's Braj. Oh, whatever these gopis have sung about Krishna's pastimes is purifying the whole world and will continue to do so."
This pastime place is filled with the ras of topmost meeting and at the same time, it is filled with the rasa of the highest degree of separation. The life of a sadhaka becomes successful by taking darshan of and touching this place.

Purnamasi's Cave

To the south-east of Vishakha-kunja, or Kadamb-kyari, and about one mile from Nand-gaon is the pond and cottage of Purnamasi. At the time of Krishna's pastimes, she lived at this secluded place away from the village as an old ascetic wearing saffron cloth. Nand and the other Brajvasis had great respect for her and took her blessings before undertaking any important activity. Before coming to Braj, Purnamasi lived in Avantipuri with her husband and her son, Sandipani Muni. Madhumangal and Nandimukhi are Sandipani Muni's son and daughter. Purnamasi came to Nandgaon before Krishna's birth with her grandson Madhumangal and grand-daughter Nandimukhi. Every morning, she came to Nand-bhavan to see Krishna and bless Him. In Krishna's manifest pastimes she is Narad’s disciple. She is the personification of Shri Krishna's collective pastime-potency, which belongs to the svarupa-Sakti, and she nourishes all of the Divine Couple Shri Radha-Krishna's pastimes.

Nandimukhi's Place of Residence

Near Purnamasi's cave is the place of residence of Nandimukhi, the granddaughter of Purnamasi, who also supports and nourishes Krishna's pastimes in various ways.

Domanvan and Runaki Jhunaki Kund

Adjacent to Purnamasi's cave is Domanvan, which is also the location of Runaki-Jhunaki-kund. The word domana means "by two minds". Radha's mind and Krishna's mind met here, and therefore this place is known as Domana. The kunja of the two sakhis Runaki and Jhunaki lies here. These two sakhis used to arrange Radha and Krishna's meeting here by using various tricks. With great happiness, they would sit Them on the swing and swing Them. One devotee has described this pastime in his poem full of prem:

it son ai kumri kishori ut son nandkishor
do mil van krida karat bolat panchhi mor

"Kumari Kishori came from one direction and Nand-kishor from the other. They are playing together in the forest, accompanied by the calls of the peacocks."

References

  1. chal re jogi nand-bhavan mein yasumati tohi bulave, latkat-latkat shankar avai man mein mod badhave
    nandabhavan mein ayo jogi rai non kar lino , bar pher lalake upar hath sis par dino
    vitha bhai ab dur badan ki kilak uthe nandalala, khust bhai nandaju ki rani dini motiyan mala
    rahure jogi nandabhavan mein braj ko baso kijai, jab-jab mero lala rovai tab-tab darshan dijai
    turn to jogi param manohar tum ko ved bakhane, (shiv bole) budho baba nam hamaro sursyam mohi janen
  2. agen gay pachen gay it gay ut gay, govind ko gayanhon men basvo ko bhavai
    gayan ke sang dhaven gayan men sacupaven, gayan ki khur raj angson lagaven
    gayan son vraj chayau vaikunth hu bisrayau, gayan ke het kar lai uthave
    chhit swami giridhari vitthles vapudhari, gvariya ko bhes dharen gayan men ave
  3. asam aho charan-renu-jusam aham syam ,vrindavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam
    ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-pathanca hitva , bhejur mukunda-padavim srutibhir vimrgyam ---Shrimad-Bhagavata (10.47.61)
  4. vande nand-Braj-strinam, pada-renum abhiksnasah
    yasam hari-kathodgitam, punati bhuvana-trayam ---Shrimad-Bhagavata(10.47.63)
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