• Vishnu

Radha Ramana Temple

Overview


The self manifested deity came out of the Saligram Shila, and is over 500 years old heritage temple where standards of worship are highest in Vrindavan. Radha Raman Temple was established by Gopal Bhatta Goswami. He is one of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan who followed the principles of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu strictly. This beautiful Deity is self-manifested from a saligram sila and has a mystic smile on his face.

Sri Radha Raman's Appearance Place is in the Radha-Raman Temple, next to the samadhi of Gopala Bhatta. Gopala Bhatta Goswami erected this temple. This event is celebrated every year by bathing the deity with milk and various other items. Gopala Bhatta Gosvami's other shalagram-shilas are also worshiped in the temple. The samadhi of Gopala Bhatta is located next to Raman's appearance place in Radha-Raman Temple.


About The Temple


Radha Ramana Temple

Sri Radha Raman Mandir or Sri Radha Raman Temple, is an early modern period Hindu sanctuary in Vrindavan, India committed to Lord Krishna as Radha Ramana. It was built at the solicitation of Gopala Bhatta Goswami at around 1542 AD. This sanctuary is among the seven sanctuaries of Thakur of Vrindavan including Sri Radhavallabh ji, Shri Bankey Bihari Ji, Shri Govind Dev ji and three others. The sanctuary is stunningly made and a standout amongst the most venerated sanctuaries in Vrindavan, particularly by the adherents of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. It houses the first shaligram god of Krishna close by Radharani. The self-showed divinity out of the Saligram Shila, more than 500 years of age legacy sanctuary where norms of worship are most noteworthy in Vrindavan.

Radha Raman Temple was built up by Gopal Bhatta Goswami. He is one of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan who took after the standards of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu entirely. This lovely Deity is self-showed from a saligram sila and has a spiritualist grin all over. Sri Radha Ramans appearance place is in the Radha-Raman Temple, alongside the samadhi of Gopala Bhatta. It is said that there are markings of plates on the deity’s back and feet. The Deity of Radha-Raman is around 30cm (1 foot) tall. Gopal Bhatta Goswamis other saligram-shilas are additionally worshiped on the sacrificial table here. Radha-Ramanji is one of only a handful couple of unique deities of the Goswamis still in Vrindavan. There is no Deity of Radha in this sanctuary. The name of Radharani is worshiped in this sanctuary, on the grounds that as indicated by sacred writings the name and the individual are considered non-distinctive. There is a brilliant plate alongside Krishna, which has the name of Radharani engraved into it.


About The Deity


Radha Ramana Temple

A Deity of Radharani is not worshiped in this sanctuary in light of the fact that the Deity of Radha-Raman is self-showed and there was no Deity of Radharani self-showed. The present sanctuary was inherent 1826 at the expense of 80 thousand rupees by Shah Behari Lallji from Lucknow, the granddad of Shah Kundan Lall and Shah Fundan Lall, who fabricated the Shahji Temple. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhus kaupina (material) and asana (seat), which Gopal Bhatta Goswami brought from Jagannath Puri, are likewise in this sanctuary. The asana is dark wood and is around 31cm (12) by 25cm (10). They are brought out to be seen by people in general for six days a year. They can be seen on Gaura Purnima, the appearance day of Radha Raman, the real day and day after the vanishing of Gopal Bhatta Goswami, Janmasthami and Nandotsava (the day after Janmasthami). There is a day by day abhiseka of the asana with Yamuna water. There is no rot of the asana or any breaks, even following 450 years.

For the raja bhoga offering, Radha Ramans pujaris first offer the greater part of the bhoga (nourishment) to Radha-Raman and the shalagrama shilas, and after that they make a second offering to Srimati Radharani, and afterward a third offering for Gopal Bhatta Goswami. There are not three unique plates, but rather the same plate is offered in the request above. The flames for cooking in the sanctuary kitchen have been blazing consistently for more than 440 years, since the Deity was introduced. This is so no remote components, for example, matches, are utilized for ignition purposes. Prior to the present sanctuary was worked, there was another sanctuary at the same place that is currently the kitchen and prasadam territory for the present sanctuary.

Gopal Bhatta Goswamis Samadhi is to one side, after you enter the main door from the road into the sanctuary compound. In the wake of entering the sanctuary compound you turn left and walk fifty meters (150 ft). He passed away at 85 years old, in 1596, precisely 100 years after the presence of Lord Chaitanya. His vanishing day is commended in the month of Shravana (July-Aug) on the Shukla Panchami (fifth) day. There are likewise littler samadhis here of the past sevaits (clerics) of Radha-Raman. There is normal worship at this samadhi. Day by day bhajans and kirtanas are droned and the Srimad Bhagavatam is presented. Twice every day a full plate of Radha-Ramans maha-prasada is advertised. They likewise offer him crisp drinking water. In a different kitchen, five bhoga (sustenance) offerings are arranged and offered to Gopal Bhatta Goswami. After the offerings, five aratis are performed. After the last arati of the day, Radha Ramans pujari give Radha-Ramans maha bloom festoons to Gopal Bhatta Goswami. In the zone of the present Radha-Raman Temple, there used to be a lake associated with the Yamuna River.


Legend And Stories

The Six Goswamis

Radha Ramana Temple

It was the six Goswamis who established this sacred city of Vrindavana as well as immovably settled the teachings of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu through their different compositions. They clarified the convention and rationality of Sri Chaitanya for the advantage of the entire world. The two siblings Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis were requested by Lord Chaitanya in the year 1516 to go and live in Vrindavana and inquiry out all the lost blessed spots associated with Lord Sri Krishna's supernatural hobbies.

He likewise requested them to order books on the considerable investigation of bhakti-yoga, the procedure of reverential administration to God. In their consecrated mission, Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis were capably helped by Raghunatha dasa, Raghunatha Bhatta, Gopala Bhatta and Jiva who through and through shaped the acclaimed supernatural gathering, the six Goswamis of Vrindavana.

Despite the fact that both Rupa and Sanatana were essential clergymen in the legislature of Bengal, by the perfect motivation of Lord Chaitanya, they totally denied commonplace family life so as to completely serve the mission of Lord Chaitanya. When they first came to Vrindavana, it was only an extensive timberland, and during the evening they would rest under the trees. They dressed just in straightforward kaupins (loincloths), and subsisted on woodland roots and dry chapatis got by asking aid (madhukari). The six Goswamis barely rested over two hours a day and invested the majority of their energy in contemplation and composing books on the study of bhakti-yoga. Some of their unique works, composed on material leaves, have been saved and can be seen at the Vrindavana Research Institute. The acclaim of the six Goswamis spread so far and wide that even Emperor Akbar chose to visit Vrindavana in the year 1570.

Jiva Goswami drove him blindfolded into the holy kunja of Nidhuvana. So incredible was the Emperor's profound experience there, that to remember the occasion, he conceded authorization to develop four thousand sanctuaries committed to Lord Krishna. The sanctuaries were Govindaji, Gopinatha, Madana-mohana and Jugal-kisore. The Emperor likewise gave assets to set up a library for the conservation of the Goswami's books at Radha-Damodara sanctuary. This library used to be in the space to one side of the holy place is still known as grantha ghar (book house). Akbar even gave five star sandstone, ordinarily saved for the Emperor's castles and fortresses; such was his gratefulness for the six Goswamis. Tragically, one hundred years after the fact, these same sanctuaries were defiled by the warriors of Emperor Aurangzeb, the Muslim devotee, in the year 1670.

History of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was conceived in Mayapur in the town of Nadia soon after dusk on the night of the 23rd Phalguna 1407 Sakabda, offering an explanation to the eighteenth of February, 1486, of the Christian time. The moon was overshadowed at the season of His introduction to the world, and the general population of Nadia were then drawn in, as was normal on such events, in washing in the Ganga with uproarious cheers of Haribol! His dad, Jagannatha Mishra, a brahmana of the Vedic request, and His mom, Sachidevi, a model decent lady, both plummeted from brahmana families initially dwelling in Sylhet.

Mahaprabhu was an excellent tyke, and the women of the town came to see Him with presents. His mom's dad, Pandit Nilambara Chakravarti, a prestigious crystal gazer, prognosticated that the youngster would be an awesome personage in time; and he, thusly, gave Him the name Vishvambhara. The women of the area called Him Gaurahari by virtue of His brilliant appearance, and His mom called Him Nimai because of the nimba tree close which He was conceived. Excellent as He seemed to be, everybody wanted to see Him consistently.

Childhood

When He was five years old, He was admitted to a pathashala where He picked up Bengali in a very short time.Most of His contemporary biographers have mentioned certain anecdotes regarding Chaitanya which are simple records of His early miracles. It is said that when He was an infant in His mother's arms He wept continually, and when the neighboring ladies cried Haribol! He used to stop crying. Thus there was a continuation of the utterance of Haribol in the house, foreseeing the future mission of the hero.

It is said that once, a brahmana on pilgrimage became a guest in His house, cooked food and read grace with meditation upon Krishna . In the meantime Nimai came and ate up the cooked rice. The brahmana, astonished at the boy's act, cooked again at the request of Jagannatha Mishra. The boy again ate up the cooked rice while the brahmana was offering the rice to Krishna with meditation. The brahmana was persuaded to cook for a third time. This time all the inmates of the house had fallen asleep, and the boy showed Himself as Krishna to the traveler and blessed him. The brahmana was then lost in ecstasy at the appearance of the object of his worship. It has also been stated that two thieves kidnapped the boy from His house with a view to steal His jewels and gave Him sweetmeats on the way. The boy exercised His illusory energy and deceived the thieves back towards His own house. The thieves, for fear of detection, left the boy there and fled. These anecdotes relate to His age up to the fifth year.

In His eighth year, He was admitted into school close by the village of Mayapur. In two years He became well read in Sanskrit grammar and rhetoric. His readings after that were of the nature of self-study in His house, where He had found all-important books belonging to His father, who was a pandit himself.

When He was ten years old, Chaitanya became a passable scholar in grammar and rhetoric. It was after this that His elder brother Vishavarupa left his house and accepted the ashrama (status) of a sannyasi (ascetic). Chaitanya, though a very young boy, consoled His parents, saying that He would serve them with a view to please God. Just after that, His father left this world.

Youth

It was at the age of 14 or 15 that Mahaprabhu was married to Lakshmi Devi, the daughter of Vallabhacharya, also of Nadia. He was at this age considered one of the best scholars of Nadia, the renowned seat of nyaya philosophy and Sanskrit learning. The learned scholars were all afraid of confronting Him in literary discussions. Being a married man, He went to Eastern Bengal on the banks of the Padma for acquiring wealth. There He displayed His learning and obtained a good sum of money. It was at this time that He preached Vaishnavism at intervals.

During His residence in East Bengal, His wife Lakshmi Devi left this world after a poisonous snakebite. On returning home, He found His mother in a mourning state. He consoled her with a lecture on the uncertainty of human affairs. It was at His mother's request that He married Vishnupriya.

Mission

It was at the age of 16 or 17 that He traveled to Gaya with a host to sing the holy name of Hari in the streets and bazaars. This created a sensation and roused different feelings in different quarters. The bhaktas were highly pleased. The smartha brahmanas became jealous of Nimai Pandita's success and complained to Chand Kazi against the character of Chaitanya as un-Hindu. The Kazi came and broke a mridanga and declared that unless Nimai Pandita ceased to make noise about His queer religion, he would be obliged to enforce Islam on Him and His followers.

When this was brought to Mahaprabhu's notice, He ordered the townspeople to appear in the evening, each with a torch in his hand. On His arrival at the Kazi's house, He held a long conversation with him and in the end communicated into his heart, His Vaishnava influence by touching his body. The Kazi then wept and admitted that he had felt a keen spiritual influence which had cleared up his doubts and produced in him a religious sentiment which gave him the highest ecstasy. The Kazi then joined the sankirtana party. The world was astonished at the spiritual power of the great Lord, and hundreds and hundreds of heretics converted and joined the banner of Vishvambhara. It was after this that some of the jealous and low-minded brahmanas of Kulia picked a quarrel with Mahaprabhu and collected a party to oppose Him. Nimai Pandita was naturally a soft-hearted person, though strong in His principles. He declared that party feelings and sectarianism were the two great enemies of progress and that as long as He should continue to be an inhabitant of Nadia belonging to a certain family, His mission would not meet with complete success.

Renounced Order

Mahaprabhu then resolved to be a citizen of the world by cutting His connection with His family, caste and creed, and with this resolution He embraced the position of a sannyasi at Katwa, under the guidance of Keshava Bharati of that town, on the 24th year of His age. His mother and wife wept bitterly for His separation. He left His little world for the unlimited spiritual world of Krishna with man in general.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu predicted that the holy name of the Lord would spread to every village and town all over the world. He propagated the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra.

Lord Chaitanya's Mission

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed His disciples to write books on the Science of Krishna, a task which those who follow Him have continued to carry out down to the present day. The elaborations and expositions on the philosophy taught by Lord Chaitanya are in fact most voluminous, exacting and consistent due to the system of disciplic succession. Although Lord Chaitanya was widely renowned as a scholar in His youth, He left only eight verses, called Sikshastaka. These eight verses clearly reveal His mission and precepts.

History of Vrindavan

Introduction

When the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna descends to earth for performing His transcendental pastimes, He brings with Him His own eternal abode known as Goloka Vrindavana, along with His most intimate associates, friends, servants, and various other transcendental paraphenalia. Just like a King who goes to another country takes with him his personal friends, family members, ministers and secretaries, as part of his royal retinue.

The Lord's trancendental abode which is also known as the dhama, is non-different from the Lord's eternal abode in the spiritual world, in fact it is an exact replica. By mundane material vision the dhama may appear like any other place on earth, but to the pure devotees and perfect yogis, the dhama is a completely spiritual abode saturated with its own transcendentally surcharged atmosphere.

The Discovery of Vrindavana by Lord Chaitanya

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the most munificent incarnation of God, was known as the Golden Avatar, because His bodily complexion was like molten gold. He was the direct incarnation of Lord Sri Krishna and appeared on earth at the holy place known as Navadvipa West Bengal only 500 years ago in the year 1486. The purpose of His divine appearance on earth was to reveal to the world, the yuga-dharma, or the religion for this age. He also rediscovered the most sacred places of Vrindavana which had been lost in time. The religious process that Lord Chaitanya revealed to the world is known as the sankirtana yajna or the congregational chanting of the Lord's holy names:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare.

This is the easiest and most sublime process for God realization and even a child can follow it. In this dark age of Kali-yuga, intelligent men of the world can get true knowledge about God simply by performance of this sankirtana-yajna (sacrifice). It was in the year 1515 that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana, with purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Lord Sri Krishna's transcendent pastimes. Lord Chaitanya wandered through the different sacred forests of Vrindavana in a spiritual trance of divine love, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, and sometimes dancing in ecstasy constantly chanting the holy names of Krishna. By His divine spiritual power, He was able locate all the important places of Lord Krishna's pastimes in and around Vrindavana.

When Lord Chaitanya first arrived in Vraja, He stayed at brahmana's house in Mathura. He would walk around Vrindavana every day visiting the sacred places connected with Lord Krishna's pastimes. Later, Lord Chaitanya moved His residence to Akrura Ghata and would daily visit Imlitala, where He sat looking at the river Yamuna while chanting Hare Krishna on His japa beads constantly shedding tears in an ecstatic mood of divine worship. After a few months, Lord Chaitanya left for Jagannatha Puri and directed two of His dearmost followers, Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis to proceed immediately to Vrindavana, not only to excavate the places of Lord Krishna's pastimes but also to write books on the science of bhakti yoga, in order to establish the teachings of Lord Chaitanya for the benefit of all future generations.

The Sacred River Yamuna

The beautiful Yamuna, India's most sacred river flows through the transcendental land of Vrindavana. A bath in this river is said to be one hundred times more purifying than a bath in the Ganges. The reason being that even though the Ganges was once touched by the feet Lord Vishnu, it was the Yamuna where Lord Krishna Himself played and swam with His cowherd boyfriends. He also sported in its waters with the beautiful gopi damsels of Vraja.

Starting from high up in the Himalayan mountains at Yamunotri, the river Yamuna slowly makes its way to the plains of India until it reaches Sri Vrindavana dhama.

Formally, this river use to encircle Vrindavana, but now only touches this holy town on two sides leaving many of the ancient ghatas high and dry. Pilgrims still flock to these most sacred ghatas and touch their heads to the sand, which is accepted to have the same effect as actually bathing in the holy river. The traditional bathing place of most pilgrims is at Kesi ghata, where Lord Krishna bathed after killing the Kesi demon. The Yamuna has been flowing here at Kesi ghata since ancient times. One who takes bath in the river Yamuna is freed from all past sins and contamination of this material world. That person will also gradually become a pure devotee and achieve liberation by returning to the spiritual world to personally associate with Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Statements about Vrindavana

It is understood that Mathura City is the transcendental abode of Lord Krishna. It is not an ordinary material city, for it is eternally connected with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vrindavana is within the jurisdiction of Mathura and still continues to exist. Because Mathura and Vrindavana are intimately connected with Krishna eternally, it is said that Lord Krishna never leaves Vrindavana. At present the place known as Vrindavana in the district of Mathura, continues its position as a transcendental place and certainly anyone who goes there becomes transcendentally purified.

"We must understand the transcendental importance of Mathura, Vrindavana and Navadvipa dhamas. Anyone who executes devotional service in these places certainly goes back home, back to Godhead after giving up his body."

Whenever the Supreme Personality appears, He appears in Mathura because of His intimate connection with this place. Therefore, although Mathura and Vrindavana are situated on this planet earth, they are transcendental abodes of the Lord." (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.1.28 purport)

"The ideal place to execute Krishna consciousness is Braja-bhumi, or Vrindavana, where the people are naturally inclined to worship Krishna and Krishna is naturally inclined to love them." (Chaitanya Caritamrita, Madhya-lila 4.95).


Festivals

Rama Navami

The day of the appearance of Lord Ramachandra, also called Brahmotsava, in the month of Chaitra (March/April).

Chandan Yatra

The idols are covered completely with chandan (sandalwood paste) which provides relief from the scorching summer heat in the month of Jyestha (May/June). Chandan Yatra continues with the small deities for 21 days.

Jhulan Yatra

Swing festival at the beginning of the rainy season in Shravan (July/August). The small deities are brought out into the temple courtyard on a beautiful gold-plated, solid teakwood swing. Around the swing is Phool Bungalow (flower house) for the Lord's pleasure.

Balaram Purnima

The day of the appearance of Balaramji, Krishna's elder brother, celebrated at the end of Shravan.

Sri Krishna Janmashtami

The day of the appearance of Sri Krishna celebrated in the month of Bhadra (August/September). From early morning until after midnight lakhs of pilgrims take darshan of Sri Krishna. Before midnight there is Maha Abhishek of Sri Krishna on the altar and then a fabulous bhoga offering and aratika take place at midnight.

Radhashtami

The day of the appearance of Shrimati Radharani held fifteen days after Sri Krishna Janmashtami. The day is celebrated by a half-day fast, abhishek and wonderful feast.

Kartika

The month of Kartika, also known as Damodara (October / November), attracts the most devotee visitors from around the world. For the entire month, devotees offer lamps to the Deities in the evening and chant the glories of the Lord's special Kartika childhood pastimes. Highlights of the month are Diwali, Govardhan Puja. Vraja Mandala parikrama tours the twelve forests of Vrindavan during the month of Kartika.

Nityananda Trayodasi

The day of the appearance of Sri Nityananda Prabhu in Magh (February/March).

Vasant Pancami

First day of spring in Magh (January/February). On this day the Deities are dressed in yellow outfits complemented by beautiful flower decorations. This is also the beginning of Holi in Vraja, which continues till Gaura Purnima. Holi celebrations of throwing colored powders proceed from one village to another, ending in Vrindavan on Gaura Purnima.

Gaura Purnima

The day of the appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Phalguna (February/March). On this auspicious day, there is fasting until moonrise, abhishek and a beautiful new outfit offered to the Lord. This day also marks the last day of the famous Holi celebrations in Vrindavan.


Arti / Pooja / seva


Some of the pujas performed in Mathura are,

  • Ganesh Puja
  • Brahma Puja
  • Vishnu Puja
  • Shiva Puja
  • Hanuman Puja
  • Durga Puja
  • Bhairon Puja
  • Lakshmi Puja
  • Chandra Puja
  • Surya Puja
  • Budh Puja
  • Brihaspati Puja
  • Shukra Puja
  • Shani Puja
  • Rahu Puja
  • Ketu Puja
  • Navgraha Puja
Havans / Jaaps for Various purposes

  • Maha Ganpati
  • Havan Mahamirtunjay Havan
  • Ayusha Havan
  • Navgrah Puja
  • Dhannuantara Puja
  • Kaal SerpYog Puja
  • Vishnu Sahasranama Puja
  • Maha Lakshmi Havan
  • Navgrah Abhishekam
  • Rudra Abhishekam
  • Lakshmi Narayan Puja
  • Katainy Mata Puja
  • Aikanatya Suktam Jap
  • Purusha Sukta Puja
  • Janamdin(Birthday) Puja
  • Nakshathtra Puja
  • Ayusha Homam
  • Sarasawati Puja
Special Pujas for Dosh Nirvana

  • Chandra Dosh Nivaran Puja
  • Mangal Dosh Nivaran Puja
  • Shani Dosh Nivaran Puja
  • Kal Sarp Dosh Nivaran Puja
  • Pitra Dosh Nivaran Puja
  • Vaastu Dosh Nivaran Puja
  • Chandal Dosh Nivaran Puja

Temple Timings
During Summer

  • Mangala Arati - 04:00 am
  • Darshan - 08:00 am thru' 12:30 pm
  • Evening Darshan - 06:00 pm - 08:00 pm (18:00 - 20:00 hrs)
During Winter

  • Mangala Arati - 05:30 am
  • Darshan - 08:00am - 12:30 pm
  • Evening - 06:00pm - 08:00pm (18:00 - 20:00 hrs)

Other Offerings to Radharaman during Seva


Maharaj ji’s seva is envisioned to create and offer for Krishna’s enjoyment the best that the arts of Vrindavan can provide, for the inducement and enhancement of bliss (ananda). The temple itself, then, is during this period a continuously changing work of art. Each day, decorations in the courtyard, and especially on the platform before the sanctum, are elaborated. Cloth curtains and garlands are hung, and cut-out wooden figures of the women attendants of the divine couple - the shakthis, whose worship provides a model for all devotees are fastened around the balcony. The bright colors of the courtyard are enhanced during two of the gratis during the day, when stylized red and yellow flags on six-foot silver poles are brought out, as well as silver-plated maces and axes, that devotees hold as they line up in two rows to form an aisle in front of the deity. The elements of royal display (and especially Indian film images of royal display) are striking.

On the platform in front of the sanctum, which is normally undecorated except on festival days and then chiefly with curtains and garlands - a succession of frame facades (bangalas) are constructed each day and assembled during the afternoon siesta time when the temple is closed. In the summer, the bangalas are breathtaking filigrees of flowers strung on threads that are interlaced to make lattice walls two and three stories high.In winter, they are made with elaborate designs of dried fruits and nuts or colored paper appliques in patterns of increasing complexity day by day. The curtains are generally plain cloth but may be embroidered or appliqued never printed. In the niches of the bangalas stand small figures of the attending sakhis.

Toward the end of Maharaj jl’s seva in the summer of 1997, some of the baigalas were, for the first time, constructed to represent specific scenes. The “stolen clothesh were draped in the branches, and the gopis were in a “pond” at the deities’ feet. Another bangala depicted the beautiful summer pavilion at Kusum Sarovar, near Mount Govardhana. The patterns on the “wallsh were made entirely of small white flower buds sewn onto a pale green background. Normally kirtanas are sung before mahgala arati in the early morning, and there is temple singing in the evening before sandhya arati. The gathered devotees often sing spontaneously, especially after arati; and often a flute is played as Krishna is put to bed. The music is played or sung with love and devotion, but with limited resources. Again, Maharaj ji elaborated on the possibilities for musical celebration in what seemed to be every possible way.

At the outer entrance to Radharaman Ghera were placed a drummer and a player of the sahnai (a reed instrument similar to an oboe). On a small platform just outside the temple, next to the door, another sahnai player and nagada (drum) player were stationed during the daytime darshans.When the reading of the Bhagavata was finished, at about 9:30 in the morning, singing began in the portico facing the deity’s sanctum - dhrupada and samaja kirtana temple singing for about an hour.12 One of the two chief singers was the master teacher of the dhrupada school at Jaisingh Ghera, the other is a professional in the sense that he makes his living from music, but he is a traditional musician whose singing is part of his own devotional practice. These two were sometimes joined by talented devotees of Maharaj ji, who vied for a chance to sing or play.

Maharaj ji, though usually behind the curtain on the deity’s platform during the singing, was always aware of what was going on, and when a raga inappropriate for the time of day was sung, he came out in front of the curtain and admonished the singer to select an appropriate one.After the musicians finished, kirtanas were sung in the central courtyard, before the deity. The energy of their chanting and the fervor of their devotion seemed to fill the temple to bursting until the arati at midday.The temple is closed in the afternoon, until shortly before the first evening worship. Then there was another musical offering in the evening, followed by another kirtana until Krishna’s bedtime.

During sandhya arati, a still more intense sound was created. Added to this was the piercing sound of two great semicircular horns blown by devotees at the back of the temple. A big drum with a shrill, rattling sound was enthusiastically beaten on one of the porticos, and a gong pounded with all his strength by a small boy on the portico opposite it. One could not imagine what further could be offered to the ears of Radharaman ji. Damodar Lal Shastri singing bhajans for the pleasure of Radharamanji. To offerings of sight and sound, there was added food. Cooking the deity’s meals is normally the duty of four Goswamis at a time, two in the kitchen and two to serve the deity. For Maharaj ji’s seva, they are assisted by a professional cook - a devotee who has taken diksha from Maharaj ji - who can prepare the fried food offered to Radharaman, and by other Goswamis who prepare the boiled rice and other boiled food.

Only initiates who have touched the feet of Radharaman can prepare the unfried food. All Radharaman’s food is cooked on a fire that has been kept burning since the time of Gopala Bhatta in a ten-foot-long fire pit in the old temple behind the present one, and this fire is also used to light the flames that are offered in arati and the coals that are placed in a brazier in front of his throne on the coldest mornings and evenings.

Once the food is offered to the deity, it is distributed in the way customary to this temple: one portion is given to each of the Goswamis who serve in the kitchen that day; one portion to the accountant-storekeeper, one to the keeper of Gopala Bhatta’s shrine; in this case, baskets of food are given or carried to various devotees and others Maharaj ji wishes to honor. The night before it is his turn, a temple servant goes to his house to inform him, and he must go to mangala arati the next morning if he wishes to receive his portion that evening. Prasada for the throng of devotees takes two forms: tulasi leaves that have been offered in great handfuls to the deity during arati, and sugar, flour, and ghi in various forms - mostly halva and laddus that are dropped by the Goswamis standing on the platform before the deity into the beseeching hands of milling devotees after the mid-morning and mid-evening aratis.

For the morning of the fourth day of the seva in 1994, Maharaj ji arranged a special event, a breakfast of 156 kinds of food to be prepared for Radharaman; never before had this been done, he said. During the night before, a very elaborate bangala was prepared by the bangala makers, who stayed up all night, but it was hidden by white cloths draped over it at mangala arati. During the morning, a curtain was drawn across the front of the platform, and all morning long baskets of food were brought in and arranged on the platform behind the curtain. There were no further darsanas during the morning; in fact, no one could approach or touch the platform while Radharaman enjoyed his breakfast - it had 96 become space as sacred as the inner sanctum. In the afternoon, the baskets were removed from the platform and arranged in the three porticos around the courtyard. Three large paintings depicting the sakhls (attendants) preparing food and serving Krishna and his friends had been commissioned from the same artist who did the painting of the black bee at Bhramara Ghat.

The food was divided by type: fruits and nuts were piled on the south portico, sweets on the east facing the sanctum, and “salty” dishes, mostly fried, on the north. Small signs with appropriate texts describing Krishna’s food were propped up among the baskets.

Shrivatsa’s wife, Sandhya, helped by some of the devotees, organized this major operation

In addition to the lighted tapers offered during arati, and the small wicks offered by women in the morning and throughout the day, each day during Maharaj ji’s sev? about fifty small ghee lamps were lighted each evening on the front of the platform before the deity by the devotees who had had a puja performed for them that day.

Besides his allotted times for seva every two years, Maharaj ji is often invited to perform the elaborate ceremonies connected with abhisheka, the ritual bathing of Radharaman twice a year, on the day of his appearance and on the day of Krishna’s birth, Janmashtaml. Maharaj ji himself collects and prepares the various herbs and mixtures that are involved. While the liquids are being poured, Maharaj ji is saying the appropriate mantras and frequently instructs younger priests on the proper procedures.

Radharaman is not the only temple in which Maharaj ji and his family are closely involved. Just down the street from Radharaman is a small temple, Gokulananda, for which Maharaj ji and his family accepted responsibility in 1974, when the family caring for it died out.13 A priest tends the deities (there are five in the sanctum) except on special occasions, when one of the Goswamis does the puja.

In addition, the priest of Gokulananda walks to Jaisingh Ghera every morning and evening carrying a brass tray with items for arati and a cane under his arm to chase monkeys. He does puja at the family’s shrine where Mata ji used to do much of the seva and, since the appearance of the black bee, at the shrine on Bhramara Ghat. (Seva at the family’s shrine during the rest of the day is done by the family.) The priest at Gokulananda is also an excellent cook, who prepares a large feast for Krishna on Annakuta, the day after Deepavali (Diwali) in the fall; all the neighbors come to sit in the temple’s courtyard and enjoy the prasada.

Also in Jaipur is the great temple of Govindadeva, whose temple in Vrindavan, before the deity’s departure, had been the center of the town. Maharaj ji has a close relationship with the Goswamis who serve Govindadeva, and in 1995 he was in charge of organizing a great celebration there.


Accessibility

Airport

Airports at Delhi are closest to Vrindavan. Taxis from there bring travellers to Vrindavan.

Railways

Taj Express from Nizamuddin railway station in Delhi starts at 7 am and reaches Mathura railway station at about 9 am. Vrindavan is 15 km from here. There are more trains too. Mathura railway station is a junction with trains coming in from all directions in India.

Road

Vrindavan is about 125 km on NH2 from Delhi to Agra. Buses, taxis and cars make it 2 hours or less from Delhi to Vrindavan (at times traffic jam while exiting Delhi causes delay).


Temple Address


Sri Radha Raman Sewa Charitable Trust,
Chamunda Colony, Rajpur Bangar,
Vrindavan, 281121.

Significance

Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-

  • Fame
  • Freedom from diseases
  • Wealth
  • Courage
  • Relief from adverse effects from bad planetary aspects
  • Relief from bondage
Shlokas

Achutham Keyshavam Rama Narayanam Krishna Damodaram Vasudevam Harim Shridharam Madhavam Gopika Vallabham Janaki Nayakam Ramachandram Bhajey

Meaning -Oh Lord who cannot be perished, who also has names like Keshava, Rama, Damodara, Narayana, Sridhara, Madhava, Krishna, Ramachandra the beloved of Janaki, let me say your name regularly.

Vasudeva Sutham Devam Kamsa Chanoora Mardhanam Devaki Paramanandham Krishnam Vande Jagathgurum

Meaning -I bow to you O Krishna, the ultimate guru, Devaki and Vasudeva's son, and the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanur.

Adharam Madhuram Vadanam Madhuram Nayanam Madhuram Hasitam Madhuram Hridayam Madhuram Gamanam Madhuram Mathuraa Dhipate Rakhilam Madhuram

Meaning -Meaning - Sweet are Your lips, sweet is Your face, sweet are Your eyes, sweet is Your smile, sweet is Your heart, sweet is Your gait, O Lord of Mathura, everything about You is sweet.

Alokya Mathur Mukha Madarena Sthanyam Pibantham Saraseeruhaksham Sachinmayam Devam Anantha Roopam Balam Mukundam Manasa Smarami

Meaning -I think of this Balamukundan as the one who looks lovingly at his mother's face while taking milk from her, who has eyes similar to the red lotus, who is the embodiment of truth and intelligence and other forms.

Timings

04:00 am to 12:30 pm and 06:00 pm to 08:00 pm

Weather in Vrindavan
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