As has been already explained Gokula is actually the same as Mahavan. There is no difference except in one’s preference of name. Here is the place where Krishna appeared in His unlimited, transcendental form as the baby son of Nanda Maharaja and Yashodamayi. This all occurred while simultaneously Krishna expanded and appeared in his four armed Vishnu form to Vasudeva and Devaki.
Factually speaking, Krishna in His original form was never in Kamsa’s dungeon in Mathura. Krishna was born as the son of Nada Maharaja and Mother Yashoda. This has all been confirmed by our previous acaryas. Vishvanatha Chakravarti, Rupa Goswami, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada all have verified this as being correct and true. So now let us fall upon the ground in the dust of this place and pray that in some future life, millions of years from now, we might have the ability to be able to correctly understand these pastimes and as well be able to properly execute loving devotional service in accordance with this understanding. Hare Krishna!
Let us all now give our most humble and sincere obeisances completely devoid of all pride and any sense of false prestige, for now we are standing on most hallowed and sacred ground. This is the place of the Gaudiya Vaisanavas most cherishable and worshippable object, the appearance place of our most beloved Queen of Vraja, Vrishabanunandini, Srimati Radharani.
King Vrishabanu and Queen Kirtida are the father and mother of Srimati Radhika. They moved here from Varsana with the hope that by being closer to the Yamuna they would be blest with a child. The name Vrishabanu has significance with the sun. Bhanu means sun, and what does the sun do? The sun shines its light and by its heat purifies everything. The sun also evaporates the water from the ocean and forms fresh rain clouds. The sun is thus considered an ocean of mercy. Just like when the moon rises if one is at sea it appears that it has risen out of the ocean, similarly in the ocean of Vrishabanu the moon of Srimati Radharani appeared.
Srimati Radharani’s name is not mentioned in any of the revealed scriptures. There is a specific reason for this. Both Srila Sukadeva Goswami, the son of Vyasadeva and Srila Sutadeva Goswami the disciple of Sukadeva Goswami, considered the audience to whom they were speaking and thought it best not to mention Srimati Radharani’s name. Although Srimati Radhika’s name is not directly mentioned it can be detected deductively by inferential reasoning and innuendos. Just like if one describes cheese, and butter and curds and yoghurt and cream but does not mention the source from which all these things come. Any intelligent person is able to realize that the source of all these items is milk. Similarly in the Srimad Bhagavatam all the symptoms of Srimati Radharani are described so it can be easily surmised by one who is knowledgeable of the scriptures that the source of all these symptoms is Srimati Radharani. It was not necessary to again write about Krishna’s pastimes in the Srimad Bhagavatam. There are so many Puranas that depict the Lord’s pastimes. Then what was the special reason for writing Srimad Bhagavatam? The specia reason was Srimad Bhagavatam had to introduce and describe the glories of the gopis and especially to establish Srimati Radharani’s supremely elevated position as the most beloved of Lord Krishna.
Srimati Radharani is the supreme enjoyable potency, the universal mother, the hladini shakti of Krishna, the embodiment of His highest internal potency, but she was born blind. She would not open Her eyes. She did not want to see this world. She wanted to open Her eyes and see only one face, Krishna’s. Narada Muni was well aware of the Supreme Lord’s appearance on this earth and he knew that the Supreme Lord’s pleasure giving potency the ananda shakti must appear also. As soon as Srimati Radhika appeared Narada Muni was able to ascertain that the ananda shakti of the Lord was present on the earth and he immediately went to the palace of King Vrishabanu. At first King Vrishabanu did not want to show him a blind daughter, but then he thought Narada Muni is a saintly sage maybe by his touch and by his blessings my daughter’s eyes will open, so he brought his daughter out for him to see. Narada Muni immediately offerred his full obesiances to the infant and after offerring many prayers and giving his blessings, Narada Muni departed.
Shortly after Nanda Baba, Yashodamayi and baby Krishna came to see the daughter of King Vrishabanu. At that time Sri Radha was resting in a cradle, while Yasoda Maiya and Kirtida were talking Krishna went strait up to radha’s cradle and helping himself with his hand pulled up and looked inside the cradle. Immediately Her lotus eyes fluttered open and the very first thing she saw in this material world was the blue blackish lotus face of Krishnacandra and a most wonderful smile came upon her lotus face. It has been described by Prabodhananda Saraswati that Srimati Radharani’s influence on Krishna was so great that as soon as He would see Her his flute would slip out of his hands and when His golden crown would fall from His head He would not even notice so intensely was He attracted to Her. Srimati Radharani can attract Krishna in so many ways by Her wonderful qualities that Krishna can not remain away from Her. That is why another name for Radha is Hare, because Hare means She steals the heart of Krishna by completely inundating Him with love. That is why within the greatest of mantras, the Mahamantra this name Hare is found. Krishna becomes so delighted and pleased when we chant Hare, Hare, because we are invoking His beloved and Srimati Radharani becomes so ecstatically joyful whenever we chant Krishna, Krishna because She sees that we the conditioned souls are remembering our father, the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna.
The Goswamis are all praying to be able to take shelter of Her lotus feet. Rupa Goswami writes, O Krishna, O Govinda, O Shyamsundar I beg you to please make me a maidservant of the maidservant of Srimati Radharani. This is the only request that I beg of you. This is why we only desire to be the maidservant, of the maidservant, of the maidservant of Vrsabhanunandini, Srimati Radharani, and be the servant of the servant of the servant of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Who is the most merciful, an ocean of kindness, whose heart is always melting with compassion.
So our ardent prayer is that we somehow or the other receive this mercy for She is the most merciful personality. Maybe not in this lifetime, maybe not in the next, or the next, or the next bu surely within a million lifetimes from now we will get this mercy. It is no doubt extremely difficult to become a servant of the servant of the servant of Lord Caitanya or the maidservant of the maidservant of the maidservant of Srimati Radharani. The qualifications must be astronomically high, but that is no reasor for us to step back. We should not be fearful, we should not be weakhearted, we should not be deterred from our desired aim. We shall pray at the lotus feet of all the Vaisnavas and gurudev that they give us the dust from their lotus feet and with their blessings and mercy we will assuredly be able to continue along the path. So we hope that the Vaisnavas will shower their mercy upon us, and this mercy that we desire is that they would connect us to a maidservant of a maidservant of a maidservant to the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani. This is the only mercy that we desire Jay Jay Sri Radhe! Jay Jay Sri Radhe!! Jay Jay Sri Radhe!!