Kartik Braj Darshan with Vrindavan Today (Day 24): Badi Surma Kunj

The Badi Surma Kunj in Vrindavan is the abode of Shri Radhanayananand, Shri Radha-Govind, and Narsingh Bhagwan.

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Vrindavan, 2020-11-20 (VT): Situated just behind Nidhivan in Pattharpura is the ‘Sadhana Sthali’ of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s disciples Raghunath Bhatta Goswami and Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, known as Badi Surma Kunj. It was here that Shri Krishnadas Kaviraj  Goswami composed the Chaitanya Caritamrita in 1612. It is still preserved in the kunj’s ‘granth bhandar’ along with other rare manuscripts and hand-written texts.

The Badi Surma Kunj in Vrindavan is the abode of Shri Radha-Govind, Shri Radhanayananand, and Narsingh Bhagwan.

Mahant Premdas Shastri who looks after the temple says that the kunj was once a sprawling, verdant grove. There used to be 365 branches of Surma Kunj all over India; 52 in Braj alone. Only about 4-5 of the latter are left now. Being the main seat, this one is called the ‘Badi’ Surma Kunj.

Thakur Radhanayananand ji was served by Shri Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami’s disciple Mukund Das. Born in 1583 in a rich family in Multan, Mukund Das came to Vrindavan at the age of 16 and immersed himself in sadhana-bhakti under Kaviraj Goswmi ji.

His longing for a darshan of Bihari-Biharini ju became so intense that giving up food and water, he vowed to subsist on Braj Raj alone until the ‘yugal’ manifested to him. Months went by; Mukund Das lost his eyesight crying day and night for a glimpse of Shyama-Shyam. One day as he lay limp uttering ‘Radha Radha’ at Radha Kund, Mukund Das was blessed with the fulfilment of his heart’s desire that was the only thing making him cling to life.

When Shri Radha Krishna appeared before him, realising Their presence Mukund Das at once regained his health and sat up to praise Them. Because he was still not able to see, the ocean of mercy Shri Radha applied a divine ‘surma’ (collyrium) in his eyes bringing them back to life. She also gave him the charming ‘yugal vigraha’ of Shri Radhanayananand before leaving. Mukund Das got the temple built in the year 1620. His Samadhi is also located here.  

Roop Kavishwar Goswami, a disciple of Shri Mukund Das, was a great scholar and saadhak. Pleased by his commitment to bhajan sadhana, the king of Jaipur declared him ‘sur purush’ and honoured him with the title of ‘surma’. During his reign, when the Islamic fanatic Aurangzeb terrorised the sadhus of Surma Kunj, Roop Kavishwar Goswami used his divine powers to stop the marauding army from desecrating the temple. There are many such incidents relating to Surma Kunj. The acharyas of this shakha sacrificed everything including their lives for protecting the culture of Braj. 

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