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Radha Kunda tilak – Bonafide or not?

Friday, 19 November 2010 / Published in Articles / 7,434 views

By Varun Gogna

Dear devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisance. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Over the past few years I have seen that some devotees within our society have an issue with the use of Radha Kunda tilak as opposed to Gopi Chandhan. These individuals carelessly criticize the devotees who use Radha Kunda tilak and unfortunately categorize them in the “DEVIATION” group. Some of the criticism’s include statements like, “They are just imitating Radha Kunda Babaji’s, Srila Prabhupada never encouraged being a Babaji!”, “They are deviating from Srila Prabhupadas standards by using this tilak, do not associate with them!”, “It is just dirt, we shouldn’t wear that”, and I’m sorry to say so but I have even heard of someone saying “That is Demoniac tilak!” (due to the color being dark).

After hearing such outrageous statements, I was impelled to write this paper. I felt the need to show Aindra Prabhu this paper before taking the matter any further as he is my Siksha Guru and I wanted his approval. Being very happy after reading it, he very mercifully gave his blessing to me saying, “All the power to you!” With Aindra Prabhu’s merciful guidance and encouragement only was I able to write anything substantial in this regard.

Following is the evidence which I have collected to firmly establish the authenticity of using this tilak in relation to Srila Prabhupada’s and our Gaudiya Vaisnava’s teachings.

The first piece of evidence which I would like to provide is a transcript of a morning walk with Srila Prabhupada:
Acyutananda: They also wear the Radha-kunda mati, tilaka.
Prabhupada: There is no harm, but they should understand what is Radha-kunda and how to deal with Radha-kunda. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami showed how to live in Radha-kunda………

As you can see from this conversation it is an indisputable fact that Srila Prabhupada has no agenda with someone wearing Radha Kunda tilak. He is saying as long as one understands Radha Kunda there is no harm.

One may then argue that it is a bold statement to claim that one has understood Radha Kunda.
I would also agree with this point. But there is a possibility that one can understand Radha Kunda to the best of their capacity through the mercy of the previous Acarya’s and Srila Prabhupada. Srila Rupa Goswami has clearly outlined in his book Sri Upadesamrta which Srila Prabhupada mercifully translated for us, the divine exaltedness of Sri Radha Kunda. The previous Acarya’s have also explained in many other books the supreme excellence of Radha kunda, which if taken shelter of, will give one some understanding and appreciation for this Lila sthana. By also hearing the glories of Ragunath Das Goswami at Radhkunda and understanding his deep level of sadhana which he performed on a daily basis will elevate ones consciousness. If a mood of appreciation and loving attraction is cultivated in the individual for Sri Radha Kunda through the mercy of the Acarya’s teachings then there is no doubt that one has the right to apply this tilaka as part of his sadhana bhakti.

My second piece of evidence which I would like to provide are pictures of devotees wearing Radha Kunda tilak standing alongside Srila Prabhupada (I have highlighted the areas which show the Radha Kunda tilak)

On seeing these pictures, it is clear and safe to say that wearing Radha Kunda tilak is sanctioned by his Divine Grace.

According to some, wearing Radha Kunda tilak relates one to the Radha Kunda babas. And as we all know, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura as well as Srila Prabhupada heavily condemned the Sahajiya Radha Kunda babas. So if wearing Radha Kunda tilak was to relate one with the babaji’s, Srila Prabhupada definitely would have put a stop to his disciples from using this tilaka.
Still one may argue that the devotees in these pictures probably didn’t have any major role in the society, which in turn wouldn’t attract the attention of Srila Prabhupada, as he had bigger and more important things to worry about. However as we can see from the following pictures not only did the “ordinary” devotees wear Radha Kunda Tilak but one of Srila Prabhupadas most intimate Sannayas disciple, His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami also did.

There is no way that Tamal Krishna Goswami would have been allowed to wear this tilak if Srila Prabhupada did not sanction it. Tamal Krishna Goswami being one of the main Sannayasi’s at that time and GBC member wouldn’t have been allowed by Srila Prabhupada to wear this tilak if it was considered as a deviation and was not in relation with the standards of our society. I don’t feel I have to elaborate more on the meanings of these pictures especially the last one as they clearly speak for themselves.

My third piece of evidence which I would like to provide is a quote from the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 18.14:

Kundera mrittika lana tilaka karila bhattacarya-dvara mrittika sange kari’ laila

“Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then marked his body with tilaka made from the mud of Radha-kunda, and with the help of Balabhadra Bhattacarya, He collected some of the mud and took it with him.”

This verse clearly shows the authenticity of using Radha Kunda tilak as enunciated by Lord Krishna himself in his incarnation as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. How can one criticize a practice which Mahaprabhu himself also followed? We being followers of Lord Caitanaya can also follow in his footsteps and use Radha Kunda tilaka. If one is wearing this tilak due to some loving sentiment for Sri Radha Kunda and feels a sense of upliftment in ones devotional life, then applying this tilaka should be encouraged. The whole purpose in life is to become a suddha bhakta and attain Krishna Prema. Whatever helps one attain this goal in conjunction with the teachings of our disciplic succession one should do without delay.

One then may argue that we cannot imitate Mahaprabhu’s manifesting his 6 armed form to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya or many of his other extraordinary lilas which he performed. So how can we imitate his wearing Radha Kunda tilak?

My response would be that Sri Krishna personally came in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu to teach us conditioned souls how to perform devotional practices by his own example which he set forth. There is no doubt that we cannot imitate his manifesting a 6 armed form or any other transcendental activity which he performed. But what we can do is follow in his footsteps the practices which are achievable by us and that is in the realm of Sadhana Bhakti such as, Harinama Sankirtan, chanting japa, worshipping the deity, hearing Srimad Bhagavatam, applying Radha Kunda tilak, etc. These practices should be taken up for definite and effective progress on the path of Krishna prema.

Still one may argue, “Radha Kunda tilak is a babaji tilak! We are not babaji’s!”

Well to label Radha Kunda tilak as babaji tilak is absurd as this statement in itself is labeling Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as a babaji (which he is not), because of his applying this tilaka. Therefore one should think first and use their words wisely before criticizing. Just because the babajis happen to also use this tilak it does not give them sole proprietorship over the use of this tilaka. Rather it is a tilaka which is most welcomed by all sects branching off the Caitanya tree. So by applying this tilaka does not mean one is stamping oneself as a Radha Kunda baba. This is a big misconception amongst devotees.

My fourth piece of evidence which I would like to provide is a quotation found in the Pancharatra Pradipa published by the GBC in 1993:

Pancaratra pradipa – GBC Press

Material for Tilaka

………The Padma Purana quotes Yamaraja as saying that gopi-candana and earth from the base of a tulasi plant are the best materials for making tilaka. If neither of these is available, says the Padma Purana, one may use the earth from the top of a mountain, the bank of a river, a pond, the foot of a bilva tree, the seashore, an ant hill, or especially holy places of pilgrimage such as Sri Rangam, Venkata-giri, Kurma-ksetra, Varaha-ksetra, Narasimha-tirtha, Dvaraka, or Prayaga. Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, one may also use mud from Radha-kunda in Vrndavana to make tilaka.

So as we can see from here, if the GBC is the authority for setting down the law then it’s a 100% bonafied act to wear Radha Kunda tilaka in our Iskcon society. Also if the Padma Purana states that one can apply as tilak the mud from a holy place of pilgrimage, then mud from any part of Vraja Bhumi being the topmost of all holy places is acceptable for use as tilak.

My fifth and last point which I would like to add is that there are many Guru’s and sannayasi’s within our society who allow the use of Radha kunda tilak also. There are many names of which I could list here but choose not to as I have not asked permission for using their name in this regard, but rest assured there are many.

The evidence given in this paper clearly show that the use of this tilak is undoubtedly a bonafide practice substantiated by Guru, Sadhu, and Sastra, which I hope has helped to clear any misconceptions on this topic.

I would like to end this paper with the concluding verse’s from Srila Rupa Goswami’s, Sri Upadesamrta which glorify and bring into the purview of our understanding, the Supreme excellence of Sri Radha Kunda:
Verse 9
The holy place known as Mathura is spiritually superior toVaikuntha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathura-Puri is the transcendental forest of Vrndavan because of Krsna’s rasa-lila pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vrndavan is Govardhan Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Sri Krsna and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the superexcellent Sri Radha-kunda stands supreme, for it is overflooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Sri Krsna. Where, then, is that intelligent Person who is unwilling to serve this divine Radha-kunda, which is situated at the foot of Govardhan Hill?

Verse 10
In the sastra it is said that of all types of fruitive workers, he who is advanced in knowledge of the higher values of life is favored by the Supreme Lord Hari. Out of many such people who are advanced in knowledge [jñānīs], one who is practically liberated by virtue of his knowledge may take to devotional service. He is superior to the others. However, one who has actually attained prema, pure love of Krsna, is superior to him. The gopīs are exalted above all the advanced devotees because they are always totally dependent upon Sri Krsna, the transcendental cowherd boy. Among the gopīs, Srimati Rādhārāṇī is the most dear to Krsna. Her kunda[lake] is as profoundly dear to Lord Krsna, as this most beloved of the gopīs. Who, then, will not reside at Radha-kunda and, in a spiritual body surcharged with ecstatic devotional feelings [aprākṛtabhāva], render loving service to the divine couple Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, who perform Their aṣṭakālīya-lila, Their eternal eightfold daily pastimes. Indeed, those who execute devotional service on the banks of Radha-kunda are the most fortunate people in the universe.

Verse 11
Of the many objects of favored delight and of all the lovable damsels of Vrajabhūmi, Srimati Rādhārāṇī is certainly the most treasured object of Krsna’s love. And, in every respect, Her divine kunda is described by great sages as similarly dear to Him. Undoubtedly Radha-kunda is very rarely attained even by the great devotees; therefore it is even more difficult for ordinary devotees to attain. If one simply bathes once within those holy waters, one’s pure love of Krsna is fully aroused.

Thank you very much,
Your servant
Varun

15 comments

  1. 0
    Nityananda Ram Das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hare Krishna Dear Varun Prabhu,
    PAMHO! AGTSP!

    Thank you very much for this wonderful paper to clear the prevailing misconception among us!

    Your fallen servant,
    Nityananda Ram das
    New Delhi

  2. 0
    anantaramdas says:

    Thank you prabhuji. Perhaps you can take your article a step further and discuss the problems in ISKCON about bathing in Radha Kunda.

  3. 0
    DamanaKrishna9 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Srila Prabhupada definitely asked devotees to wear tilak and wear sikhas. This seems not so be so much of habit. In the name of protecting siddhanta serious aparadhas can be done by neophyte devotees. It was very sad to read such statements.Thank you Varun for bringing up this topic, although luckily I never had heard such statements myself. My Krishna help to those souls.

  4. 0

    as for Radha Kunda tilak it is divine just as Radha kunda, the very color of Shyma kunda and Radha kunda Tilka is Shyam color like Krsna so when one sees a vaisnava wearing it we are reminded of the beautiful Shymasundara, then when a vaisnava has beautiful sandalwood prasadam from Radha Krsnas lotusfeet, that are golden , we can remember Radha…to me it looks beautiful to see such a vaisnava that reminds us of Radha Krsna and sacred Radha Kunda

  5. 0

    Here is some of the glories of Gopi chandan from Garga Samhita,spoken by Garga Muni:

    (From Garga Samhita, Canto Six, Chapter Fifteen )

    Text 15 yasya sravana-matrena
    karma-bandhat pramucyate
    gopinam yatra vaso ‘bhut
    tena gopi-bhuvah smrtah

    Simply by hearing about Gopi-bhumi, which is so named because the gopis resided there, one become free from the bondage of karma.

    Text 16
    gopy-angaraga-sambhutam
    gopi-chandanam uttamam
    gopi-chandana-liptango
    ganga-snana-phalam labhet

    In Gopi-bhumi gopi-chandana was manifested from the gopis’ cosmetics. A person who marks his limbs with gopi-chandana tilaka attains the result of bathing in the
    Ganga.

    Text 17
    maha-nadinam snanasya
    punyam tasya dine dine
    ngopi-chandana-mudrabhir
    mudrito yah sada bhavet

    A person who daily wears gopi-chandana tilaka attains the pious result of daily bathing in all sacred rivers.

    Text 18
    asvamedha-sahasrani
    rajasuya-satani ca
    sarvani tirtha-danani
    vratani ca tathaiva ca
    krtani tena nityam vai
    sa krtartho na samsayah

    A person who daily wears gopi-chandana tilaka attains the result of performing a thousand asvamedha-yajnas and a hundred rajasuya-yajnas. He attains the reusult of giving charity and following vows at all holy places. He attains the goal of life. Of this there is no doubt.

  6. 0
    pustakrishna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Regarding the issue of Radha-kunda Tilak or Gopi-candana Tilak, I never heard Srila Prabhupad object to the use of Radha-kund TIlak. But, I never saw him wear it personally. The main issue is that one not become a sahajiya one way or the other. Really, we need to remain fixed on service mentality, and not self-centric mentality. If one thinks that they are better and new improved version of self by using Radha-kunda Tilak, that is superficial and not at all helpful. When one wears Tilaka and they chant the names of the Lord with each application, they are recognizing that the body belongs to Krishna for His service. The senses belong to Krishna for His service. In my opinion, that is the critical mentality. To think that one is better by using Radha-kund Tilak, that is sahajiya, that “perhaps I have become more favored or dear to Srimati Radharani by using the earth from Her kunda”. Simply beware of sahajiya mentality!
    Regarding bathing in Radha-kuna, when we first went there in 1971, not knowing anything of the etiquette, we would bathe in Radha-kund, then Shyama-kunda, then back and forth. We really did not know any better, and it was innocent. But, I believe the etiquette is that one take the water and place it upon one’s head. It is the style of Gaudiya-vaishnavism as I have come to understand it. That is, one worships the conception but does not superficially think that I have entered into it simply by the physical act of bathing in the most holy Radha Kunda, which as we know from Srila Rupa Goswami’s Upadeshamrita, is the most sacred of places.

    Pusta Krishna das

  7. 0
    Varun Gogna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hare Krishna,

    PAMHO AGTSP

    Thank you for your comment Pusta Krishna Prabhu.

    I would just like to say that this article has in no way indicated that by wearing Radha Kunda tilak one is proclaiming to be in a better spiritual standing or more favoured by Srimati Radharani. Rather this article was written for the sole purpose of clearing up a few misconceptions on the use of this tilak.

    I understand your point about not cultivating that sahajiya mentality and fully appreciate it. However again I would like to reiterate that we are not saying that by wearing Radha Kunda tilak one is better than others. To consider Gopi Chandan as being inferior to Radha Kunda tilak is wrong and should be corrected if people are cultivating that view point. We can clearly see from the Garga samhita which has been posted above, how highly regarded Gopi Chandan is. Aindra Prabhu himself would hold Gopi chandan in as much high regard as he would Radha kunda tilak, which is why he would apply a mixture of both Gopi chandan and Radha Kunda tilak. He would say, “Both tilakas have their own spiritual advantages for the sadhaka so why not apply them both and get both advantages simultaneously?”

    You said:
    “If one thinks that they are better and new improved version of self by using Radha-kunda Tilak, that is superficial and not at all helpful.”

    To the degree that one has not understood the real essence and meaning behind applying Radha kunda tilak, but uses it to falsely place themselves on a pedestal, to that degree it is superficial and not helpful. However to the degree that it is applied with the upmost humble and respectful mood, with a clear understanding of the exalted position of Sri Radha Kunda, to that degree it is not superficial and is VERY helpful.

    As long as the use of this tilaka is done with the right consciousness then we have nothing to be wary of. However, if for instance some devotees are wearing Radha kunda tilak to exploit it for their own self-aggrandizement, then they must be aware of the consequential offences which will be committed at the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani. If they are simply using it to pose as an advanced devotee or to falsely claim they have a close relationship with Srimati Radharani, then there is no doubt they are cultivating a sahajiya mentality. This mentality we should all be fully aware of and avoid.

    continued…

  8. 0
    Varun Gogna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    continued…

    We should be applying either the sacred Gopi chandan tilak or Radha Kunda tilak with the mentality that our body is an instrument surrendered to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha Krishna, meant for engaging in their divine devotional service. By chanting the 12 names of the lord during the application of the tilak, we are requesting Krishna for the protection of each part of our body so we can successfully carry out our devotional service’s without any hindrance.

    Once again I would just like to thank you and the other Vaisnava’s who have placed their comments up.

    Your servant
    Varun

  9. 0

    Srila Prabhupadas purport to Nectar of instruction vers 11 is very clear, to be abel to take
    bath in Radha Kunda is a great fortune.We should take it as great mercy of Radha and Krsna if we are abel to respectfully bath in Radha Kunda, Shyama kunda ,some consider themselves
    very fallen and prefere to sprinkle on their heads there is no harm in neither according to ones devotional mood.This vers explains that even those of us that are engaged in Vaidhi bhakti can bathe there respectully also .Not only should we take bath there but offer prayers of our acaryas to these sacred lakes.Actually there is nothing wrong bathing in Shymakunda and Radha Kunda going back and forth, this is done by many Gaudiya vaisnavas.It is understood in Vraja by bathing in Radha Kunda one also pleases Krsna ,and by bathing in Shyama kunda one also gets the mercy of Radha,Personally I like to take bath in wellwater before entering these sacred lakes as not to enter these lakes impurely.Srila Raghunath das Goswami has advised one daily sprinkle 10 drops of Shyma kunda and Radha kunda water on ones head.Gopichandan is the main tilaka of our sampradaya, and worn by our acaryas mainly, Shyamkunda and Radha kunda Tilak if mainly for when one visits these sacred kundas.Or if one is a babji chanting 1 or 2 or 3 lahks mahamantra daily.Just wearing that tilaka alone is not enough, are we actually entering the mood of these places also by lots of chanting and remembering Radha Krsnas pastimes there, that is the question

  10. 0

    Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to Nectar of instruction vers 11:
    “Srila Rupa Goswami recommends that even if one can not live permanently on the banks of Radha Kunda ,he should at least take a bath in the lake as many times as possible”

  11. 0

    continued from Garga Samhita

    Text 19
    ganga-mrd-dvi-gunam punyam
    citrakuta-rajah smrtam
    tasmad dasa-gunam punyam
    rajah pancavati-bhavam

    Twice as sacred as the mud of the Ganga is the dust of Chitrakuta. Ten times more sacred than that is the dust of Panchavati-tirtha.

    Text 20
    tasmac chata-gunam punyam
    gopi-chandanakam rajah
    gopi-chandanakam viddhi
    vrndavana-rajah-samam

    A hundred times more sacred is the dust of gopi-chandana. Please know that gopi-chandana is equal to the dust of Vrindavana.

    Text 21
    gopi-chandana-liptangam
    yadi papa-satair yutam
    tam netum na yamah sakto
    yama-dutah kutah punah

    Even if in the past he has committed hundreds of sins, if a person wears gopi-chandana tilaka, then Yamaraja cannot take him away. How, then, can Yamaraja’s messengers touch him?

    Text 22
    nityam karoti yah papi
    gopi-chandana-dharanam
    sa prayati harer dhama
    golokam prakrteh param

    A sinner who daily wears gopi-chandana tilaka goes to Lord Krishna supreme abode, Goloka, which is beyond the world of matter.

    Text 23
    sindhu-desasya rajabhud
    dirghabahur iti srutah
    anyaya-varti dustatma
    vesya-sanga-ratah sada

    In Sindhu-desa there was a king named Dirghabahu. He was cruel and sinful and he was addicted to visiting prostitutes.

    Text 24
    tena vai bharate varse
    brahma-hatya-satam krtam
    dasa garbhavati-hatyah
    krtas tena duratmana

    While he was on the earth this cruel sinner murdered a hundred brahmanas and ten pregnant women.

    Text 25
    mrigayayam tu banaughaih
    kapila-go-vadhah krtah
    saindhavam hayam aruhya
    mrgayarthi gato ‘bhavat

    One day he mounted a sindhu horse and went hunting. With a flood of arrows he accidentally killed with a brown cow in that hunt.

    Text 26
    ekada rajya-lobhena
    mantri kruddho maha-khalam
    jaghanaranya-dese tam
    tiksna-dharena casina

    One day, greedy to get his kingdom, with a sharp sword his angry minister killed him in the forest.

    Text 27
    bhu-tale patitam mrtyu-
    gatam viksya yamanugah
    baddhva yama-purim ninyur
    harsayantah parasparam

    Seeing him fallen to the ground and dead, the Yamadutas came, bound him, and, joking as they went, took him to the city of Yamaraja.

    Text 28
    sammukhe ‘vasthitam viksya
    papinam yama-rad bali
    citraguptam praha turnam
    ka yogya yanatasya vai

    Seeing this sinner brought before him, powerful Yamaraja said to his scribe Chitragupta, “What is the proper punishment for him?”

  12. 0

    Text 29
    sri-chitragupta uvaca catur-asiti-laksesu
    narakesu nipatyatam
    nihsandeham maha-raja
    yavac candra-divakarau

    Sri Chitragupta said: O great king, he should be thrown into eight million four hundred thousand hells for as long as the sun and the moon shine in the sky.

    Text 30
    anena bharate varse
    ksanam na su-krtam krtam
    dasa-garbhavati-ghatah
    kapila-go-vadhah krtah

    On the earth he did not perform a single pious deed. He killed ten pregnant women. He killed a brown cow.

    Text 31
    tatha vana-mriganam ca
    krtva hatyah sahasrasah
    tasmad ayam maha-papi
    devata-dvija-nindakah

    He killed thousands of deer in the forest. He offended the demigods and the brahmanas. He is a great sinner.

    Texts 32 and 33
    sri-narada uvaca
    tada yamajnaya duta
    nitva tam papa-rupinam
    sahasra-yojanayame
    tapta-taile maha-khale sphurad aty-ucchalat-phene
    kumbhipake nyapatayan
    pralayagni-samo vahnih
    sadyah sitalatam gatah

    Sri Narada said: Then, by Yamaraja’s order, the Yamadutas took that sinner and threw him into a terrible, eight-thousand mile wide cauldron of bubbling boiling oil in the hell of Kumbhipaka. The moment that sinner came to it, the boiling oil, which was as hot as the great fires at the time of cosmic devastation, suddenly became cool.

    Text 34
    vaideha tan-nipatanat
    prahlada-ksepanad yatha
    tadaiva citram acakhyur
    yama-duta mahatmane

    O king of Videha, as Prahlada was unhurt in the same situation, that sinner was not hurt by the boiling oil. Then the Yamadutas described that great wonder to noble-hearted Yamaraja.

    Text 35 anena su-krtam bhumau
    ksanavan na krtam kvacit
    citraguptena satatam
    dharma-rajo vyacintayat

    Yamaraja and Chitragupta carefully reviewed the sinner’s case and concluded that while he was on the earth the sinner had not for a moment performed even a single pious deed.

    Text 36
    sabhayam agatam vyasam
    sampujya vidhivan nrpa
    natva papraccha dharmatma
    dharma-rajo maha-matih

    Then Vyasadeva arrived in that assembly. Bowing down before Him, and carefully worshiping Him, saintly and noble-hearted Yamaraja asked Vyasadeva the following question.

  13. 0

    Text 37
    sri-yama uvaca anena papina purvam
    na krtam su-krtam kvacit
    sphurad-agny-ucchalat-phene
    kumbhipake maha-khale asya ksepanato vahnih
    sadyah sitalatam gatah
    iti sandehatas cetah
    khidyate me na samsayah

    Sri Yamaraja said: When a certain sinner, who had never performed even a single pious deed, was thrown into the terrible boiling oil of Kumbhipaka, the oil suddenly became cool. Because of this my mind is now tortured with doubts.

    Text 39
    sri-vyasa uvaca suksma gatir maha-raja
    vidita papa-punyayoh
    tatha brahma-gatih prajnaih
    sarva-sastra-vidam varaih

    Sri Vyasadeva said: O great king, the intelligent sages, who have studied all the scriptures, know that the ways of piety, sin, and spiritual progress are very subtle and difficult to understand.

    Text 40 daiva-yogad asya punyam
    praptam vai svayam arthavat
    yena punyena suddho ‘sau
    tac chrnu tvam maha-mate

    Somehow or other, by destiny, this sinner did perform a pious deed, and by that deed he became purified. O noble-hearted one, please hear the story of this.

    Text 41
    kasyapi hastato yatra
    patita dvaraka-mrdah
    tatraivayam mrtah papi
    suddho ‘bhut tat-prabhavatah

    That sinner died in a place where from someone’s hand some gopi-chandana from Dvaraka had accidentally fallen. Dying in gopi-chandana, that sinner became purified.

    Text 42
    gopi-chandana-liptango
    naro narayano bhavet
    etasya darsanat sadyo
    brahma-hatya pramucyate

    A person who wears gopi-chandana tilaka attains a spiritual form like that of Lord Narayana. Simply by seeing him one becomes free of the sin of killing a brahmana.

    Texts 43 and 44
    sri-narada uvaca iti srutva dharma-rajas
    tam aniya visesatah
    vimane kama-ge sthapya
    vaikuntham prakrteh param presayam asa sahasa
    gopi-chandana-kirti-vit
    evam te kathitam rajan
    gopi-chandanakam yasah

    Sri Narada said: Hearing this, Yamaraja, who understands the glories of gopi-chandana, took the sinner, placed him a an airplane that goes anywhere one wishes, and sent him to Vaikuntha, which is above the worlds of matter. O king, thus I have described to you the glories of gopi-chandana.

    Text 45
    gopi-chandana-mahatmyam
    yah srnoti narottamah
    sa yati paramam dhama
    sri-krishnasya mahatmanah

    One who hears this account of gopi-chandana’s glories becomes exalted. He goes to the supreme abode of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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