I have visited Vrindavan many times but it was only my last visit which gave me time or I should better say opportunity to be blessed to visit the temple of shree radharamanji and I was elated to see him for the very first time. It was an experience more than just divine. Radharaman ji is one of the most loved form of lord krishna. “Radha-Ramana” means “one who gives pleasure to Radha”, and Radha Ramana is one of the few original deities still left in Vrindavan. It is one of the seven most important and oldest temples of vrindavan built by the six goswamis who were the disciples of sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The distinctive feature of radhamanji is that it is the self manifested form of lord who presented himself in his tribhanga mudra(tri-bent form or threefold form) to one of the goswamis-gopala bhatta goswami.
The story behind the temple and the appearance or sri radharaman ji is very interesting. Gopala bhatt goswami, after the disappearance of sri chaitanya mahaprabhu, started feeling lonely and sad. Some say he went to Nepal because he saw sri krishna in his dreams asking him to go to Nepal if he wanted his darshan whereas some stories suggest that it was a normal trip.
In Nepal, one morning when he was bathing in the river kali-gandakini, he dipped his kamandal-a pot, in the river to fill water and was surprised to see 12 shaligrams in his pot. He thought it to be a mere co-incidence and he dropped the shilas back into the river but was surprised to see them enter his kamandal again. He again emptied the kamandal in the river and started filling the water. When he saw his kamandal filled by the shilas once again, he was very shocked and realized that they are not normal stones and kept them in his bag and came back to vrinadavan.
Considering them as a blessing of lord, he started worshipping the shaligrams. But gopal bhatta goswami had always wished to serve lord in the form in which he could decorate him with beautiful garments and ornaments. He wished to make the deity sit on a swing and wanted to see him in a form in which he could see lord’s features. He wished to see lord’s hands, legs, his lotus eyes and other extraordinarily beautiful features.
In addition to this, one day a wealthy man visited vrindavan and offered gopala bhatta goswami some fine ornaments and beautiful garments for the deity but gopala bhatta goswami could not use them with the shaligrams and said no to the man but he was adamant and refused to take the offerings back. At last, gopala bhatta goswami accepted and kept the offerings with the shaligrams and covered them. Lord krishna is known for his mercy and love for his devotees and he proved it once again.
Next day when gopala bhatta goswami uncovered the shilas, he was stunned to see the deity of sri radharaman ji among the shaligrams. His beauty was matchless, his features more beautiful than anything known to the world, small but magnificently magnetic in appearance radharamanji was now in the world. Now there were only eleven shaligrams and lord himself had manifested himself from one of the shaligrams. Gopala bhatta’s happiness knew no bounds now. He was in extreme ecstatic state. He started worshipping his lord in the form he had always wished for.
And this is how our radharamanji came himself to his devotee to bless him as well as us with his enchanting presence. This is the story of sri radharaman ji. There are other very interesting features of this highly revered temple of lord krishna in vrindavan. This Deity whom the Goswamis named, “Sri Radha-raman Deva” made his appearance on the full moon day of Vaisakha(april-may) in the year 1542.
This day is celebrated every year since then with great zest and euphoria. This day, the temple goswamis offer 500 litres of milk to lord and make him bath in the milk for lord’s pleasure and offer many other sweets and different things liked by lord. Another mysterious leela of lord is that the fires for cooking in the temple kitchen have been burning continuously for over 474 years, since the deity was installed. No foreign elements, such as matches, has thus been used for ignition purposes.
There is also one very interesting fact about this beautiful temple of sri radharaman ji and that is that the deity of sri radharaman ji never left vrindavan since his appearance like other deities due to fear of attacks from Aurangzeb. The reason behind is that when Aurangzeb’s soldiers came to vrindavan near radharaman ji’s temple, they thought it to be a residential building and not a temple and hence did not attack it.
Whatever the reason was, I think it was the will of sri radharaman ji as he did not want to leave the place where he appeared for his beloved devotee gopala bhatta goswami. Also the finely carved features of radharaman ji were the reason some people suggested that it has been carved and not self manifested. But later, some learned scholars said that it is impossible for humans to carve so delicately on the stone(that is shaligram) which the deity of radharaman ji is made up of. It is indeed the miracle or leela of lord known for his leela and love for devotees.
One can see in the temple or in the picture of sri radharamanji, that to the left of him (right in the picture here) is a place for Srimati Radhika or Radharani-divine consort of sri krishna. In this way the goswamis/pujaris worship sri Radha ji and sri Raman ji together. Gopala bhatta goswami’s other shaligram-shilas are also worshipped in the temple.
The appearance place of sri radharaman ji can be seen inside the temple’s vicinity.
The samadhi of gopala bhatta goswami is located next to radharaman ji’s appearance place in the temple.
This year radharaman ji will be completeing 474 years and it will be the time of great energy and enthusiasm.
All the forms of lord are beautiful and extremely lovable but radharaman ji’s cute and beautiful appearance cannot be matched. One cannot take eyes off him easily. He is extremely charming. I hope all the devotees who have yet not visited radharaman ji, will soon be blessed to see his divine form in vrindavan; and all those who have been blessed to see him like me-visit whenever you can. Jai shree radharamanji!