“It is explained by Vishwanath Chakravarthi Thakur that Radha and Krishna everyday between about 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon, in their eternal lila, they meet at Sri Radha Kund and Shyama Kund. And it is considered to be the holiest of all holy places throughout the universe. Rupa Goswami explains that Mathura is more holy even than Vaikuntha, because it is in Mathura that the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, the source of even Narayan, was born. And more holy than Mathura is Vrindavan, because in Vrindavan Krishna performs his raslila with his most intimate associates, the Gopis. More holy even than Vrindavan is Govardhan. Govardhan was lifted by the little finger of Lord Sri Krishna, and it was at Govardhan that his most wonderful pastimes took place with both the Gopas and the Gopis. But more holy even than Govardhan is Sri Radha Kund and Shyama Kund. Govardhan hill is compared to the form of a peacock, and Radha Kund and Shyama Kund are the two eyes of that peacock. It is there that the most confidential pastimes of Radha and Krishna take place.” – Radhanath Swami
Radhanath Swami elaborates on the appearance of Sri Radha Kund and Sri Shyama Kund in the Spiritual World.
“Radha Kund and Shyama Kund are eternally existing in the spiritual world, and they are the expressions of supreme love of Radha and Krishna for one another. And in the spiritual world even they are the most favorite bathing places of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.” – Radhanath Swami
In the spiritual world of Goloka – it is explained in the Adi Purana – one day Srimati Radharani and Lord Sri Krishna were sitting together on a beautiful bejeweled throne. In the spiritual world, everything – all words, all actions, all thoughts – are pure reciprocations of love for the pleasure of the beloved. So Radha and Krishna were sitting together, and immersed in experiencing the love of Srimati Radharani, Lord Sri Krishna became completely ecstatic.
Now, what is that love of Srimati Radharani? Srimati Radharani is the Haladini Shakti of the Absolute Truth or Krishna. That means she is the perfect representation, manifestation of his pleasure giving potency. Not only representation, but actually she is his very pleasure giving potency. This means that Krishna is the supreme object of love and she is the supreme lover. All the nectar of Krishna’s enjoyment is coming from her because Krishna is Bhakta Vatsal. He is only pleased by reciprocations of devotion and she is the source of all devotion.
“Whatever devotion is in any of the residents of the spiritual world, whatever devotion is innate within the heart of every living being is part and parcel of the supreme complete devotion of Srimati Radharani.” – Radhanath Swami
So it is described in Hari Purana how Krishna became so much immersed by her love that he immersed himself in the thought of her to such an extent that he took her form and he also took her emotions and went running in to the forest crying out for Krishna. Krishna was in the mood and form of Srimati Radharani crying out for Krishna. When Srimati Radharani saw this, she became so absorbed in seeing Krishna’s love that she became so immersed that she assumed the form of Krishna and started crying out the names of Srimati Radharani. So the Gopis, they were wondering what to do in this situation. They were both crying and crying in separation from each other. So the Gopis tried in every possible way to bring Srimati Radhika to her normal position. But all of their efforts were futile. So they went in to the forest searching for Krishna. There they saw Krishna in the form of Srimati Radharani. And they tried to somehow or other get his attention, but he was weeping and crying. Then they explained to him, “Actually, your beloved is drowning in such an ocean of separation from you. How can you be here like this?” So he was wondering, “How will I find her?” So they taught Krishna a mantra glorifying Srimati Radharani. He chanted that mantra and Sri Radha appeared to him in the form of Krishna, while he was in the form of Sri Radha.
As they were sitting together looking at one another, they both began to weep and cry. And Krishna told Srimati Radharani, “I am your eternal servant. Because I left you, I caused you so much pain of separation and you cried and you filled the lake with your tears. And in separation from you, I cried and I filled a lake with my tears. The lake that you filled is called Radha Kund and the lake that I filled will be called Shyama Kund.”
So Radha Kund and Shyama Kund are eternally existing in the spiritual world, and they are the expressions of supreme love of Radha and Krishna for one another. And in the spiritual world even they are the most favorite bathing places of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.
Radhanath Swami describes the appearance of Sri Radha Kund and Sri Shyama Kund in Bhauma Vrindavan.
After Krishna killed the demon Arista, he went to meet the Gopis near the Govardhan Hill. Srimati Radharani and Gopis, they said to Krishna, “We can no longer associate with you.”
“Why are you saying like this?”
“Because you have committed the great sin of killing a male cow. You are Govinda, Gopal. Gopal means ‘one who protects cows.’ You killed a cow. Bull is a manifestation that represents true religion. Therefore, due to this sin we will no longer be touched by you. If you want to purify yourself of this sin you must go to take bath in all the holy places throughout the entire universe.”
Lord Krishna, wanting to please his beloved devotees, he said, “There is no reason for me to go anywhere. I will bring all the holy places to Vrindavan.”
He called all the holy places. Then with the heel of his left foot he made an imprint in the ground. It was a very big imprint and all these holy places – the Ganges, the Jamuna, the Saraswati, the Naramada, the Kaveri, the Bhogavati, all the oceans, the milk oceans – they all came before him. All the holy places, one by one with folded palms, introduced themselves to Krishna, ready to offer any service he desired. Krishna said, “You fill this foot print of mine with your holy waters.” So all at once they all became manifested as water and filled his kund. Then Krishna took his bath there and came out. He said, “Now I am completely purified. I have bathed in every holy place within the entire universe. But you Gopis, you have sided with a demon. Aristasura was a demon, and because you took his side therefore you are contaminated by a sin. And if you want to purify yourself from that sin you should bathe in my kund.”
The Gopi’s responded, “Your kund is infected by the sin of killing a cow. So we will not go in your kund. However, because we are associating with you, therefore we have been contaminated by part of conspiracy of killing a bull. Therefore, yes we should bathe.”
So what Srimati Radharani and Gopis did is they found part of the hoof print of Aristasura; Srimati Radharani took her bangle, and with her bangle she started digging into that hoof print. Then the other Gopis all started breaking their bracelets and they dug a big, big beautiful kund in the ground. Krishna said, “Now you have hole, but you have no water. If you say so I will tell my waters to fill your Kund.”
They said, “No no. We don’t want your waters.”
So they made a line of Gopis – hundreds and thousands of Gopis in a line – that went all the way to Manasa Ganga. And they were passing buckets of water from there to fill up the kund of Srimati Radharani. Krishna, unable to tolerate seeing the Gopis working in this way, he requested the holy places to approach Srimati Radharani. So all the holy places personified in one form. He came before Srimati Radharani with folded palms, offering beautiful prayers to her lotus feet. “You are the supreme-most worship-able of all personalities. Lord Hari is always subordinate to your love. Brahma, Shiva, Shukhdev and all the great gods, they are eager to become the servant of the servant of your servants. We beg you to please be kind upon us and grant us the benediction that we may serve you.” She said, “What benediction do you desire?” They said, “Please allow us to fill your kund with our waters.” So she said, “Yes, if that is your desire.” The water from Shyama Kund then crashed through the boundaries and entered in to Sri Radha Kund.
“After this beautiful episode Krishna told Srimati Radharani, ‘Your Kunda, Radha Kund, is filled with the ambrosial nectar of your love. Therefore Radha Kund is as dear to me as you, and anyone who takes their bath in Sri Radha kund will attain that same type of love and devotional service that you have for me.’” – Radhanath Swami
Radhanath Swami on the rediscovery of Radha Kunda by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
So by the Lord’s arrangement, after sometime Radha Kund and Shyama Kund became lost to the vision of ordinary people. At that time, the great grandson of Krishna Vajranabh, he was made the king of Mathura by Maharaj Parikshit. He established the various holy places of the lilas of Krishna and he excavated Radha Kund and Shyama Kund.
Thousands of years passed. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Radha and Krishna in one form to give the world pure Krishna consciousness through the Harinam Snakirtan Movement, it was a very important part of his mission to establish Vrindavan as the holy place where people from all over the world could come to cultivate Krishna consciousness. He travelled through the twelve forests of Vrindavan; he performed the parikrama of Govardhan. He was searching for Radha Kund and Shyama Kund. He came to a village called Aritagram, and he was in inquiring, but nobody knew. They had read about Shyama Kund and Radha Kund in Padma Purana and other great scriptures, but no one knew where it was.
“Lord Chaitanya was sitting under a Tamal tree. There he was meditating on his mission of revealing Radha Kund and Shyama Kund to the world. While sitting under that very, very sacred Tamal tree, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw two little ponds in a paddy field, and he could understand this was Sri Radha Kund and Sri Shyama Kund. The place where he sat is called Chaitanay Baitak or Mahaprabhu Bhaitak. That Tamal tree where it was existing – actually that Tamal tree was there up until a few years ago – that is one of the holiest places for all Gaudiya Vaishnavas to visit.” – Radhanath Swami
Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in great ecstatic love took his bath in Shyama Kund and Radha Kund. The ecstasies that he was manifesting are something that this world has never seen. The local villagers, when they saw this beautiful golden Sanyasi manifesting such symptoms of love, bathing in these two little ponds in the paddy field, they were struck with wonder. Seeing his love their hearts filled with love. They began conversing amongst themselves. “Lord Sri Krishna has personally descended again in to this world to come to Vrindavan in the form of this Sanyasi.”
Lord Chaitanya, after taking his bath he took the mud of Sri Radha Kund and applied tilak on twelve parts of his body. He began to offer beautiful prayers from the scriptures in glorification of Sri Radha Kund.
Radhanath Swami lectures at Radha Kunda