“The bull began to proceeded towards Krsna in anger. Digging the earth with his hooves, he lifted his tail, and it appeared that clouds were hovering about the tail. His eyes were reddish and moving in anger. Pointing his horns at Krsna, he began to charge Him, just like the thunderbolt of Indra. But Krsna immediately caught his horns and tossed him away, just as a gigantic elephant repels a small inimical elephant. Although the demon appeared to be very tired and although he was perspiring, he took courage and got up. Again he charged Krsna with great force and anger. While rushing towards Krsna, he breathed very heavily. Krsna again caught his horns and immediately threw him on the ground, breaking his horns. Krsna then began to kick his body, just as one squeezes a wet cloth on the ground. Being thus kicked by Krsna, he rolled over and began to move his legs violently. Bleeding and passing stool and urine, his eyes starting from their sockets, he passed to the kingdom of death.”
Thus the great demon Arishtasur was killed by Shyamsundar, the most attractive prince of Vraja, and the demise of this ferocious demon became the reason for the appearance of, the most holy of all places in the entire universe, Shri Radhakund. Dearer than his very own life, Krishna relishes innumerable transcendental loving pastimes on the shore and in the cool refreshing waters of this lake, which is the manifestation of Shrimati Radhika’s heart. After the killing of the demon, when Shri Krishna went to the Gopis, desirous of relishing transcendental mellows, the Gopis headed by Vrishabhanunandindi Shrimati Radhika, bluntly stopped Krishna from touching them, rebuking him for killing a bull, which is considered sinful according to the injunctions of the scriptures. Regardless of whatever Krishna would say to justify his killing of the demon, the Gopis adamantly stuck to their argument and retorted all his approaches by saying that he was impure and should not sully the pure Gopis. Thereupon, Krishna, taking the advice of the Gopis and in order to atone for the sin of killing a bull, summoned all the holy places of pilgrimage from the entire universe to come and enter the big crater that he created by striking his heel on the ground. Taking bath in this beautiful Kund, which was now full with the pristine waters of all the Teerthas, Krishna exclaimed that now he was absolved of all sin but by siding with a demon, the Gopis had become impure and should also take a dip in the holy Shyam kunda, to rectify their fault of siding with a demon. The Gopis however refused to enter Shyam Kund, stating that it had become contaminated due to washing away Vrajendranandan’s sins. Therefore, they would make their own new, even more magnificent kund with their bracelets and fill it with the water of Manasi ganga. After great endeavor, the gopis succeeded in making a big crater by digging the ground with their bracelets, and they began to bring pots full of Manasi ganga water and pour it into the empty lake. Despite thousands of Gopis being engaged in the task of bringing water from Manasi ganga, taking tremendous amount of time and effort, yet the lake did not fill up. Seeing this Shri Krishna requested the Gopis to take water from his Shyam kund, but due to their stubborn determination the Gopis refused to do so. Despite Shyam’s numerous requests, the Gopis, turning a deaf ear towards all that he was saying, just continued to bring Manasi ganga water. Seeing this Damodar told all the Teertha personified personalities to go and implore Shrimati Radha to give them an opportunity to serve her by entering her Kund. Desirous to serve Govindamohini, they all beseeched her to kindly allow them to serve her by filling her Kund with their sweet waters. Being merciful upon them, Shrimati permitted them to enter her Kund, which they did by breaking the ground between Shyam kunda and Radhakund and thus flowing throught the gap entered Radhakund and joined the two beautiful lakes.
Thus Radha kund and Shyam kund made their divine appearance, where the youthful couple of Vrindavan enjoy transcendental amorous pastimes everyday during Madhyan lila, the mid day pastimes. Kalanidhi Shyam and Kalavati Radha enjoy water sports in the refreshing waters of Shri Radhakund, among fragrant fresh lotus flowers of a variety of colors, along with all their Gopi friends, to the fullest of their hearts content. Thereafter they enjoy various board games, swing pastimes or various other kinds of entertaining games in the surrounding kunjas and forest grooves. After their delightful sports, Radha Shyamsundar rest in one of the kunjas at the banks of Radhakund, where the Gopis and Manjaris render various services to them. Shri Radhakund is surrounded on all eight directions by eight kunjas of differing beautiful flowers and jewels and belong to the eight prominent Gopi friends of Shrimati Radhika. In the center of Radhakund, is a beautiful kunja shaped as a lotus flower which belongs to Ananga manjari, the younger sister of Radharani, and is connected to the bank by a beautiful bridge from Lalita devi’s Lalita anandada kunja in the northern side of Radhakund. Similarly, Shyam kund is also surrounded by eight kunjas which belong to the eight main sakhas of Krishna, but they have handed over the kunjas to the sakhis of Shrimati Radhika. In this way, everyday from 10:34 a.m. to 3:22 p.m., Radhakund becomes the place where Radha Shyam experience limitless nectarean mellows with their sakhis. Due to this, it is undoubtedly considered to be the highest of all places in the entire universe. As stated in Upadeshamrita by Shrila Rupa goswami:
vaikuṇṭhāj janito varā madhu-purī tatrāpi rāsotsavād
vṛndāraṇyam udāra-pāṇi-ramaṇāt tatrāpi govardhanaḥ
rādhā-kuṇḍam ihāpi gokula-pateḥ premāmṛtāplāvanāt
kuryād asya virājato giri-taṭe sevāṁ vivekī na kaḥ
The holy place known as Mathurā is spiritually superior to Vaikuntha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathurā–Purī is the transcendental forest of Vrindāvana because of Krishna’s rāsa–līlā pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vrindāvana is Govardhana Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Śrī Krishna and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the superexcellent Śrī Rādhā–kunda stands supreme, for it is overflooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Śrī Krishna. Where, then, is that intelligent Person who is unwilling to serve this divine Rādhā–kunda, which is situated at the foot of GovardhanaHill?
After the lord brought his pastimes to an end in this world and went back to Golok Vrindavan, Radhakund and Shyam kund also became unknown to the people. Thereafter, when Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavan, he rediscovered Radhakund and Shyam kund which had at that time become known as Gauri khet and Kali khet, the glories being unknown to the general people. Thereafter, Shrila Raghunath das goswami performed his bhajan at the banks of Radhakund, where many glorious pastimes took place. One such pastime is when Shrila Raghunath das goswami was getting Radhakund and Shyamkund renovated, Radha kund appeared as a beautiful square but Shyamkund, being the lake of the crooked Tribhangi Shyam, was shaped in a rather unusual way. In an attempt to make it also well shaped, a few trees had to be cut down, but before that could be done, Das goswami had a dream in which the Pandavas came and told him that they were present there in the form of the trees serving Radha Shyamsundar and requesting him not to cut those trees. Therefore Shyamkund remained crooked and is the same till today. There are many more wonderful pastimes related to Radhakund described in the various books of the Goswamis.
On the auspicious day of Bahulashtami, when Radhakund and Shyamkund made their appearance in this world, we pray to Radhakund to bestow a drop of mercy upon all of us so that in some lifetime we may be able to join Radha Krishna’s pastimes at Radhakund and render various services for the pleasure of the divine couple.
vraja bhavi mura satroh preyasinam nikamair
asulabham api turnam prema kalpa drumam tam
janayati hrdi bhumau snatur uccair priyam yat
tad ati surabhi radhakundam evasrayo me
May very dear and fragrant Radhakunda, which for one who bathes in it immediately creates in the land of the heart a desire tree of pure love rare even among the gopi beloveds of Lord Krsna in Vraja, be my shelter.