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Sri Sri Radha Damodar Temple History

Radha Damodar Mandir Full Scape Photograph

Brief History of Sri Sri Radha Damodar Mandir

Sri Sri Radha Damodar Mandir is an ancient temple established by Madhav Gaudiya Sampradaya. It was established by Srila Jiva Goswami in the year 1542 C.E. The deities here were served by Srila Jiva Goswami. Sri Radha Damodar deities were manifested by Srila Rupa Goswami, who gave them to his dear disciple and nephew-Jiva Goswami for service and worship. Later due to the terror of the muslim king Aurengzeb, Sri Radha Damodar were sifted to Jaipur for sometime and when the social conditions became favorable were brought back to Sri Dham Vrindavan in the year 1739 C.E. These deities have been served here since then. In Jaipur however a counterpart (pratibhu) of the deity was installed.

Some devotees are under the impression that the Deities of Radhadamodar in the Radhadamodar Temple in Vrndavan are not the original Deities of Srila Jiva Goswami. Some think that the original Deities now reside in Jaipur. However, this is not a fact.

In 1670, when the Muslim fanatic Aurangazeb invaded Sri Vrndavana, he planned to destroy many temples and deface the Deities there. For this reason the principle Deities of Vraja were moved to the safe confines of the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan under the auspices of the Rajput kings. Most of the Deities remained there, such as Govindadeva, Gopinatha and Madana-mohana.

The Radhadamodar Deities however returned to Vrndavana and have been worshipped there ever since. The Deities that replaced the originals in the temples of Govinda, Gopinatha and Madana-mohana are known as pratibhu-murtis which were installed and worshipped as substitute Deities by the Goswamis of those temples. All pratibhu-murtis are smaller in size than the original Deities installed by the acaryas, but it is worth noting that the Deity of Damodarji in Jaipur is smaller than the Deity in Vrndavana, thus further confirming that the original Deity of Sri Damodarji is in Vrndavana, whereas the pratibhu-murti is being worshipped in Jaipur today.

Before Sri Jiva’s disappearance in 1596, he left his Deities and library in the care of his successor Sri Krishna Dasa, the head pujari. The present sevaites are directly coming in line from his descendants.

Presently along with the Sri Radha Damodar Ji Maharaj there are other deities also being served - namely

Sri Radha Vrindavanchandra (www.radhadamodarmandir.com)

Sri Radha Vrindavanchandra Ji

The worshipable deities of the author of Sri Chitanya Caritamrita, Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami.

These deities were served by Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj at Radha Vrindavan Chandra Ji Temple situated between the Radha Damodar temple and seva kunj. They were not being served properly there so for proper service they were brought to Sri Radha Damodar Temple.

 

Sri Radhamadhav Ji (www.radhadamodarmandir.com)

Sri Radha Madhav Ji

The worshippable deities of Srila Jayadev Goswami - the author of Sri Gita Govindam.

The deities were served by Srila Jaidev Goswami when he was in Bengal. These deities were brought to this temple approximately ninety-nine  years ago.

 

Sri Radha Chhailchiken (www.radhadamodarmandir.com)

 Sri Radha Chailachikan Ji

The worshippable deities of Srila Bhugarbha Goswami who came to Vrindavan even before the six goswamis.

These deities were served by Srila Bhugarbha Goswami who came to Vrindavan even before the six Goswami. He was instructed by Mahaprabhu himself to go & live in Sri Dham Vrindavan.

Srila Bhugarbha Goswami got Sri Sri Radha Chailchikan Jew in Vrindavan. These deities are one of those which never moved out of Vrindavan. Even during the attack of Aurrengzeb they were in Vrindavan. The service to these deities was done at Chailchikan Kunj right in front of Sri Radha Damodar. Around years back in order to serve them properly these deities were brought to Sri Radha Damodar Temple.

 

shree Giriraj Charan Shila

The Giriraj Charan Sila

given by Sri Krishna himself to Srila Sanatan Goswami.

In all four sampradayas there is a special place for Govardhan & Yamuna especially Madhav Gaudiya Sampradaya who consider Govardhan to be Krishna himself and that is why they never step on it.

Sripad Sanatan Goswami used to live in Vrindavan near Sri Radha Madanmohan temple. Everyday he would go to Goverdhan hill from Vrindavan for Parikrama. When he got old even then this routinge was carried and continue with Parikrama seeing this Lord himself appeared before him and told him that he is happy with his devotion and asked goswamipad to stay at Vrindavan and serve Radha Krishna. Srila Sanatan Goswami said that without coming to the Govardhan Hill he feels pain and grief. Then Krishna gave him a Govardhan Sila with His Foot Print, Flute, Stick & cows foot print on that and told goswamipad that by doing four Parikaramas of this Govardhan Sila with four signs you will get the complete benefit of Govardhan Parikrama.

Srila Sanatan Goswamipad brought this Sila to Vrindavan and started to serve it. After Srila Sanatan Goswami, Srila Jiva Goswamipad Received this Sila who placed it at Sri Radha Damodar Temple. This Sila has been served in this temple since then, many devotees come to this temple to do Parikrama everyday with desires that are fulfilled. During Kartik the day after Diwali Giriraj Sila is brought  out from the main alter (Garbh Graha) for Darshan. This day is celebrated as Annakut Mahotsav and who ever takes prasadam  on this day gets Sri Radha Damodars and Giri Govardhan's blessings. Thakuji here is offered bhog five times a day and Arati is done seven times a day.

 

Sri Gaur Nitai

Sri Gaur Nitai

 Installed by Srila Gorachand Goswami.

 

Shree Jagannath Dev Ji

Shree Jagannath Dev Ji

Installed by Acharya Sri Nirmal Chandra Goswami

 

In this temple there are situated the samadhis of Srila Jiva Goswami, Srila Rupa Goswami, Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami and Bhugarbha Goswami. Apart from these samadhis the Bhajan Kutir of Srila Rupa Goswami is also here. Near the Samadhi of Srila Rupa Goswami is the place where Srila Jiva Goswami used to wash his feet. It is a well known fact that by having the dust of this place everyday even the incurable diseases are cured and we get the mercy of Sri Radha Damodar Ji Maharaj and the Goswami's. The Bhajan Kutir of the founder acharya of ISKCON - Srila B. V. Swami Srila Prabhupada is also situated here. It is here only that he translated Srimad Bhagvatam in English. He used to indulge in Bhagwad discussion with Acharya Gorachand Goswami. The Samadhi of the founder acharya of Gaudiya Maths all over India Srila Bhakti Sidhant Saraswati Thakur Prabhupaad is also situated here.

 

Shree Lalita Sakhi with Radha Rani

THE MANIFESTATION OF THE DEITY OF SRI SRI RADHA DAMODAR JI MAHARAJ

Sripad Jiva Goswami came to Vrindavan and got engaged in devotional practice under the valuable guidance of his Gurudev Sripad Rupa Goswami. One time his heart got over whelmed with the separation of Sri Radha Damodar and he started becoming weak day by day. He would always cry and was not able to concentrate on anything. He could not bear the pain of separation from Sri Radha Damodar. On seeing this Krishna did mercy on him. He appeared in the dream of Srila Rupa Goswami in the most amazing way and asked Srila Rupa Goswami to manifest a deity of him with his own hands. Sripad Rupa Goswami asked him how could he do that as he never even had in his life broken a small stone, how can he carve such a beautiful deity. But Krishna said that I want to come through your hands only so do it. And when you are done then give that deity to your dear disciple and my dear devotee Jiva Goswami. I want to be worshipped & served by him only as he is my dear devotee. Then Krishna explained to Rupa Goswami how he has to manifest deity.

It was evident by the dream to Srila Rupa Goswami that God manifest only to do mercy on his devotees and if God himself wants to come then who can stop him. He was sure that he is only a bridge that Krishna has chosen but that he would self manifest (swayambhu deity). With this thought he went to Yamuna for bath and there he got the most amazing and unique stone. He brought that and started to manifest the deity on it. The whole process was very wonderful as the whole time Srila Rupa Goswami was having to see Krishna. While manifesting face he was seeing Govind Dev Ji, while manifesting chest Sri Gopinath Ji & while manifesting foot Sri Madan Mohan Ji.

The manifestation of deity was finished on magh shukla dashmi in the year 1542 C.E. Srila Rupa Goswami gave the deity to Srila Jiva Goswami in the presence of all Goswami & other devotees for service.

The same day is celebrated as the appearance day of Sri Radha Damodar Ji Maharaj till present. Srila Sanatan Goswami, Raghunath Das Goswami & Gopal Bhatt Goswami said that while looking at Sri Damodar they are having the pleasure of seeing three Thakurs - Feet Madan Mohan's, Chest - Gopinath ji and face Sri Govind Dev Ji. Ever  since then the deities are being worshipped & served here.

THE MANIFESTATION OF SRI RADHA RANI & LALITA SAKHI

In Radha Damodar Mandir Mandir the deities of Sri Radha Rani and Lalita Sakhi are on the left and right of Damodar respectively. These deities have a beautiful history attached to their origin. The historical contest of this story is hand written by the ancestors of the present Acharya Sri Nirmal Chandra Goswami.

Once in Bengal a fisherman was trying to catch fish but instead of fish he got two deities. He gave these to the king then. The king had a dream the very same night that he should send these deities to Srila Jiva Goswami at Sri Dham Vrindavan

The king according to the instruction brought the deities and gave them to Srila Jiva Goswami. Srila Jiva Goswami was extremely happy on getting the two deities but he was unable to identify who is who. At night when he slept Sri Radha Rani came in his dream & told him the identities. Hence forth Srila Jiva Goswami placed Sri Radha Rani on left and Lalita Sakhi on right side of Damodar and started to serve them.

 

Shree Niramal Chandra Goswami

Srila Jiva Goswmi was a virakta vaishanava so in order to keep the service to Thakur he initiated Sri Vilash Das and Sri Krishna Das Goswami Maharaj whose family is still serving Thakur Sri Sri Radha Damodar jew. The present Sevayat Acharya of the temple is Sri Nirmal Chandra Goswami ji Maharaj.

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Lord Krishna stated "Four parikrama of Sri Radhadamodar Mandir, Vrindavan gives the complete benefit of Sri Govardhan Parikrama".

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