I take shelter of the saṅgam, the place where Radhakuṇḍ and Śyāmakuṇḍ meet. It is Shri Radha-Mādhav’s dearmost playground, which is charmingly surrounded by kadamb trees, champak vines, excellent aśoka trees, mango trees, nāga-keśar trees, bakul (maulsari) trees, clove vines and mādhavī vines.
nīpaiś campaka pālibhir nava varāśokai rasālotkaraiḥ
punnāgair bakulair labaṅga-latikā vāsantikābhir vṛtaiḥ
hṛdyaṁ tat priya kuṇḍayos taṭa milan madhya-pradeśaṁ paraṁ
rādhā mādhavayoḥ priya sthalam idaṁ kelyas tad evāśraye
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: After praising Sri Govardhan, Raghunath Das Goswami now praises Sri Radhakuṇḍ – the most lovely crownjewel of Vraja, which is situated at the base of Sri Govardhan and which is his exclusive sanctuary – beginning with the saṅgam, the place where Sri Radhakuṇḍa and Śyāmakuṇḍa meet.
After Sri Krishna killed the bull demon Ariṣṭāsur, he struck the ground with his left heel and created Śyāmakuṇḍ on the pretext of purifying himself. Then he called all the holy waters of the world to come and enter it.
When he challenged Sri Radharani in this way by making a kuṇḍ that contained all the holy waters, she, seeing a large hole on the western side of Śyāmakuṇḍ that Ariṣṭāsur had made at the time of death by kicking it with his hooves, began to make Sri Radhakuṇḍ there by digging out the soil with her girlfriends.
In this verse, Raghunath Das Goswami praises the saṅgam, the place where Sri Radhakuṇḍ and Śyāmakuṇḍ meet. This saṅgam place is extremely charming due to being surrounded and covered by different trees and vines. The mere sight of this place fills the minds of the playful Pair, Śrī-Sri Radha-Mādhav, with a strong desire for romance.
In Sri Vrindavan Mahimāmṛtam (4.102-107) Śrīla Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī describes the wealth of natural beauty that surrounds Sri Radhakuṇḍ and Śyāmakuṇḍ:
praphulla divya mallikā labaṅga jāti yūthikā kadamba campakāvalī sthalāravinda vīthibhiḥ;
śirīṣa kunda ketakī kusumbha kiṁśukādibhir manojña mādhavī latādyananta puṣpa vallibhiḥ
priyaṅgu nāga keśarair aśoka karṇikārakaiḥ sphuṭātimukta saptalā suvarṇa yūthikādibhiḥ;
vicitra bheda jhiṇṭikā sugandha bandhujīvakair hayāri kubjakādibhiḥ praphullitair vicitritam
vicitra pallavodgamair vicitra puṣpa sambhṛtair vicitra patra mañjarīr vicitra guccha jālakaiḥ;
vicitra saurabhodayair vicitra sīdhu varṣibhir vicitra rocir ujjvalaiḥ paraiś ca śākhibhir vṛtam
“All around the two kuṇḍs are blooming divine jasmine vines, clove vines, jātis, yūthikās, kadamb trees, rows of champak trees, land lotuses, śirīṣ, kund, ketakī, kusumbha and kiṁśuka flowers, innumerable flowervines like the mādhavī latās, priyaṅgu, nāga keśara, aśoka, and karṇikār trees, blooming mādhavī vines, fresh jasmines, golden yūthikās and so, different kinds of jhiṇṭikās, fragrant bandhuk flowers, hayāri, kubjak and other trees. The woods around the kuṇḍ are decorated with wonderfully effulgent trees that bear wonderful budding sprouts, an abundance of wonderful flowers, wonderful leaves and buds and wonderful garlands that are spreading a wonderful fragrance and are creating a wonderful shower of honey.”
And then again:
rādhā-kṛṣṇa raha kathānuvadanād āścarya mādhuryavad
dhvānaiḥ śrī śuka sārikā-vyatikarair ānanda sarvasvadam
karṇākarṣi kuhūḥ kuhūr iti kalālāpair vṛtaṁ kokilair
nṛtyan matta mayūram anya vihagaiś cānanda kolāhalam
tan madhye nava mañju kuñja valayaṁ śobhā vibhūtyāsamā-
nordhvaṁ divya vicitra ratna latikādyānanda puṣpa śriyā
antastalpa varaṁ varopakaraṇair āḍhyaṁ samantād dadhad
rādhā-mādhava bhukta bhogyam akhilānandaika sāmrājya-bhūḥ
madhyaitādṛśa kuñja maṇḍalam aho kuṇḍaṁ mahā mohanaṁ
sāndrānanda mahā-rasāmṛta bharaiḥ svacchaiḥ sadā sambhṛtam
ratnābaddha catustaṭī vilasitaṁ sad ratna sopānavat
tīrthaṁ śrī taṭa sat kadambaka talacchāyā maṇī kuṭṭimam
“The kuñjas give great delight with their sweet and amazing male and female parrots that loudly repeat Sri Radha and Krishna’s intimate talks, and they are decorated with cuckoos that delight the ears with their sweet singing of kuhū kuhū, intoxicated peacocks that beautify the place with their dancing and various birds that make a great ecstatic tumult. These fresh groves have attained a peerless status with their treasure of beauty and the blissful flowers of the wonderful and divine jeweled vines and so forth. Here again are the greatest couches that are endowed with the most excellent ingredients for the enjoyment of Sri Radha and Mādhava. In this way nothing else can be perceived anywhere but the kingdom of transcendental bliss”.
“In the middle of these kuñjas is a charming pond, which is always filled with clear nectar-like water that crystallises the strong flavours of deep bliss. Its four banks are studded by jewels, the ghāṭs (steps down to the water) are beautified by super-excellent jeweled staircases and enchanting jeweled platforms that lie in the shade of the kadamb trees.”
In this way the saṅgam, the place where the two kuṇḍa meet, which is endowed with the most amazing natural beauty, is Sri Sri Radha-Mādhava’s dearmost playground, where Their wonderful sweet pastimes take place.
The two kuṇḍs are nondifferent from Sri Sri Radha-Śyām. This sweet meeting place of the two kuṇḍs awakens desires for amour in the hearts of the Youthful Pair and thus makes Them unsteady. Das Goswami says: “I take shelter of this most confidential playground of the Sri Yugal.”
This playground is transcendental and the reservoir of all compassion. The kuṇḍs will be merciful to anyone who is sincerely and earnestly surrendered and will bless such a soul by showing him the pastimes that are taking place there. This is the main purpose of surrender.
kadamba campaka-śreṇī, abhinava aśoka śreṇī,
bakulādi āmra nāgeśvara
labaṅga mādhavī dvārā, cāri dike āche gherā,
ye sthānera śobhā manohara
rādhākuṇḍa śyāmakuṇḍa, madhye ratna bhūmikhaṇḍa,
yethā nitya yugala vihāra
divya cintāmaṇi dhāma, saṅgama sthala yāra nāma,
āśraya kori vāsanā āmāra
“I yearn to take shelter of the divine cintāmaṇi (unique and wish-fulfilling) abode called the saṅgam, the jewelled grounds that connect Radhakuṇḍ and Śyāmkuṇḍ, where the Divine Pair always enjoys and which is beautifully surrounded by enchanting rows of kadamb, campak, aśoka, bakul, mango and nāgeśwar trees as well as clove and mādhavī vines.”
© Translated by Advaita dāsa in 1994
Source: Tarun Govinda Das, Flowing Nectar Stream blog.
(Lightly altered by the editor for Vrindavan Today)
© Art by Samik De
It was published in Gaurābda 503 (1989 A.D.) by Sri Krishna Chaitanya Shastra Mandir, Vrajananda Ghera, PO Radhakunda (district Mathura), U.P., India.
The devotional songs in Bengali that follow each commentary were composed by Dr. Haripada Sheel.
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