I worship and praise the most brilliant Praskandana Tīrtha, the great holy water that became manifest from the drops of sweat that trickled from Govinda’s body as he was being served from all directions by the intense heat offered by the twelve suns, and that is filled with spotless water that is greatly scented and made lovely by the perfumes that came from Govinda’s tender and extremely beautiful auspicious limbs.
govindasya śarīrato nipatitair yat tīrtham uccair abhūt
gandhair hāri suvāri sudyuti bhaje praskandanaṁ vandanaiḥ
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse, Praskandana Tīrtha, which lies very close to Dwadashaditya Tirtha, is being praised. Along with removing the poison from Kaliya’s lake during his pastime of subduing the Kaliya snake, Līlā Puruṣottama (the Most Playful Personality) Sri Krishna also revealed two enchanting lakes nearby.
Narottam Das says, sarva-tīrtha govinda-caraṇa (Prema-bhakti-candrikā 17): “All holy places appear in connection with Sri Govinda’s lotus feet or with his pastimes.” The water of these holy places destroys all sins and afflictions of those who bathe there and at the same time the remembrance of the divine pastimes that took place there destroys the seeds of all the material desires that have been within the heart since time immemorial, and awakens the experience of the sweetness of these pastimes.
When Sri Govinda, who is always engaged in sweet, human-like pastimes, came out of the water of the Kaliya-hrada he shivered of cold, and to remove that cold the twelve Ādityas (suns) became manifest. After the hot rays of the twelve suns removed the cold from Govinda’s very tender and beautiful limbs, drops of perspiration began to appear on it. It was as if countless pearl-drops were trickling from a sapphire doll. These many beads of sweat trickled from Krishna’s limbs and formed a great stream that merged with the Yamuna and became known as Praskandana Tīrtha.
In Bhakti-ratnākara it is written:
sei gharma jala sūrya kanyāya mililo;ei hetu praskandana nāma tīrtha hoilo
dekho praskandana kṣetra snāne pāpa yāya;prāṇa tyāga hoilei viṣṇuloka pāya
Ah Śrīnivāsa! Because of the heat of the sun the cold went away and sweat appeared on Krishna’s body. This sweat again met with the daughter of the Sun (Yamuna), and hence this place is called Praskandana Tīrtha. See, by bathing in Praskandana Kṣetra all sins are destroyed and one who leaves his body here attains Vishnuloka.
In the Ādi-Varāha Purāṇa Sri Varāha-deva tells Dharaṇī Devi:
kṣetraṁ praskandanaṁ nāma sarva-pāpa-haraṁ śubham
tasmin snātas tu manujaḥ sarva-pāpaiḥ pramucyate
athātra hi muñcan prāṇān mama lokaṁ sa gacchati
O Vasundhare! I will tell you about another holy place, listen! There is an auspicious spot named Praskandana which destroys all sins. A person who bathes there is freed from all sins and a person who leaves the body there will certainly attain my abode!
Raghunath Das Goswami says: “The water of Praskandana Tirtha has become very clear and fragrant due to being filled with perfumes from Sri Krishna’s most fragrant and auspicious limbs. An odor of lotus mixed with camphor emanates from the eight lotus flowers of Sri Krishna’s body – his two eyes, two hands, two feet, navel and face.
He who attracts the Vraja-gopīs with the waves of his bodily fragrance, which defeats that of musk, extends a fragrance of lotus mixed with camphor on the eight lotus flowers of his body. (Govinda-līlāmṛtam 8.6)
During his Gambhira pastimes Sriman Mahaprabhu, whose heart was filled with the love of Sri Radha, spoke the following ecstatic words while revealing the sweetness of Sri Krishna’s bodily fragrance:
tāhā jini kṛṣṇa aṅga gandha
vyāpe caudde bhuvane, kore sarva ākarṣaṇe,
nārī-gaṇera āṅkhi kore andha
The fragrance of Krishna’s body defeats that of a blue lotus flower anointed with musk. This fragrance pervades all the fourteen worlds and attracts everyone, blinding the eyes of the girls! (CC Antya 19.92)
nārīra nāsāya poiśe, sarva kāla tāhā boise,
kṛṣṇa pāśe dhari loiyā yāy
O sakhi! Krishna’s fragrance maddens the world! It enters the women’s nostrils and always remains sitting there, holding them and taking them to Krishna! (CC Antya 19.93)
ei aṣṭa-padma kṛṣṇa aṅge
karpūra lipta kamala,tāra yaiche parimala,
sei gandha aṣṭa padma saṅge
There are eight lotus flowers on Krishna’s body – his eyes, his navel, his face, his hands and his feet – and these eight lotus flowers smell of lotus anointed with camphor. (CC Antya 19.94)
Raghunath Das Goswami says: “I worship this most brilliant Praskandana Tīrtha by praising it.”
sañjāta ye gharma bindu caya.
tāhe tīrtha āvirbhūta,aṅga gandhe surabhita,
manohara dyuti śālī hoy.
The severe heat caused by the service of the twelve suns caused many sweatdrops to appear on Sri Govinda’s body and that perspiration created an enchanting and effulgent holy pond that was scented with that bodily fragrance.”
praskandana tīrtha yāra nāma
āśraya vandanā kori,tāra taṭe vāsa kori,
pūrṇa hobe mora manaskāma
That sacred water always trembles and is known as Praskandana Tīrtha. I take shelter of this place, praise it and live on its bank so that all my desires will be fulfilled.”
Commentary of Sri Radha Kund Mahant, Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj is named Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā (a drop of the nectar of Stavāvalī), and was published in Gaurābda 503 (1989 A.D.) from Sri Krishna chaitanya Shastra Mandir, Vrajananda Ghera, PO Radhakunda (district Mathura), U.P., India.
Devotional songs in Bengali that follow each commentary were composed by Dr. Haripada Sheel.
© Translated by Advaita dāsa in 1994
More of Ananta Das Pandit’s writings in English translation can be found at Tarun Govinda’s blog, Amrita Tarangini.