Vrindavan Temples Established by the Six Goswamis
Radha-Madana-Mohana Temple in Vrndavana
Oct 24, CANADA (SUN) "Those who have gone to Vrndavana, they have seen the temple of Radha-Madana-mohana. That was established by Sanatana Gosvami, the first disciple of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sanatana Gosvami established this Madana-mohana temple, and Rupa Gosvami established that Govindaji's temple, and the Jiva Gosvami established Radha-Damodara temple. Gopal Bhatta Gosvami established Radha-Ramana temple. In this way, in Vrndavana there are seven temples authorizedly established by the Gaudiya-sampradaya, Caitanya Mahaprabhu's sampradaya.
Later on, many big, big kings and zamindars, landlords, they also established many temples, big, big temples. And altogether, there are five thousand temples in a small city like Vrndavana, and thousands of men go to see the Deities in every temple almost every day, and especially during the four months Sravana, Bhadra, Asvina, Karttika: July, in July, August, September, October. So Vrndavana is always crowded by many pilgrims, and anyone who goes there, immediately he feels spiritual consciousness, especially nowadays."
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Caitanya-caritamrta, 03-04-75, Dallas
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.
Radha Madana-Mohana Temple
Advaita Acharya discovered the original Deity of Madana Mohan (Krishna) at the base of an old vat tree, when he visited Vrindavan. He entrusted the worship of Madana Mohan to his disciple, Purusottama Chaube, who then gave the Deity to Sanatana Goswami. The Radha Madana-Mohana Temple was the first temple to be built in Vrindavan, and the temple site was a forest at the time it was established by Sri Sanatana Gosvami. Madana Mohana is worshiped along with Srimati Radharani and Lalita.
The Radha Madana-Mohana temple was built in 1580 A.D.. The temple is 60 ft. high, and sits on a 50 ft. high hill next to the Yamuna. One day, a ship loaded with cargo went aground in the Yamuna. Sanatana Gosvami advised the ship's owner to pray to Madana Mohan for help. The ship came free, and the owner, Ram Das Kapoor, dedicated his profits to build the temple.
On one side of the temple is the bhajan kutir (meditation place) of Sanatana Goswami. There is also a sweet water well that Sanatana Goswami used. Nearby is the samadhi of Sanatana Goswami, on one side of which are the puspa-samadhis of Candrasekhara Acharya and Tapana Misra, two of Lord Caitanya’s associates. Behind Sanatana Goswami’s samadhi is a grantha samadhi, which contains some of the original manuscripts of the Goswamis.
The original Madana Mohan Deity was moved from Vrindavan to Jaipur in 1670 A.D., when soldiers of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb attacked Vrindavan. That Deity is now in Karoli, which is southeast of Jaipur, in Rajasthan. In Vrindaban, there is a new Madana Mohan temple at the bottom of the hill, where the replacement Madana Mohan Deity is now being worshiped.
Radha Damodara Temple
The Radha Damodara Temple is one of the most important in Vrindavan. Founded by Jiva Gosvami, the Deities worshipped here are Radha-Damodara, along with the Radha-Vrindavan Candra Deities worshipped by Krsna dasa Kaviraja, the Radha-Madhava Deities of Jayadev Gosvami, and the Radha-Chalacikana Deities of Bhugarbha Gosvami.
The original Deity was hand carved by Rupa Gosvami and given as a gift to his beloved disciple, Jiva Gosvami, who later built the temple. The original Deities were all moved to Jaipur when Vrindavan came under attack, and the Deity now being worshipped here is the pratibhu-murti (replica), which is considered non-different from the original Deity.
The temple was built by Maharaja Man Singh of Amber (Jaipur), on a site that was in the middle of Seva-kunja and was the bhajana place of Rupa Gosvami. There is a Govardhan Shila in this temple that was worshiped by Sanatana Goswami. The Shila was given to Sanatana Goswami by Lord Krsna Himself. It has Lord Krsna's footprint on it, along with imprints of His walking stick, flute, and the hoof-print of a calf.
Nearby are the samadhis of Jiva Goswami, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami, Rupa Goswami and the puspa-samadhi of Bhaktisiddhanta Goswami. The bhajan kutirs of Rupa Goswami is also here. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada lived here for six years from 1959 to 1965. He translated and wrote commentaries on the first three volumes of the Bhagavatam here.
Radha Ramana Temple
The Radha-Ramana Temple was established by Gopal Bhatta Goswami. The seva puja of Radha-Ramana was established after the Deity self-manifested from one of Gopal Bhatta Goswami’s shalagram-shilas on the full moon day of Vaisakha (April/May) in 1542 A.D. This event is celebrated every year in May, when an abisheka (bathing) ceremony is performed for the Deity. Radha-ramana means "one who gives pleasure to Radha". There is no Deity of Radharani in this temple, but a crown is kept next to Krsna signifying Her presence
Gopal Bhatta Goswami’s other shalagram-shilas are also worshiped on the altar. The appearance place of the Sri Radha-Raman Deity is next to the temple. Radha-Raman is one of the few original Deities of the Goswamis still residing in Vrindavan.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s kaupina (cloth) and asana (seat), which Gopal Bhatta Goswami brought from Jagannath Puri, are also in this temple. They are brought out to be seen by the public three or four times a year. Gopala Bhatta Goswami’s samadhi is nearby. The temple's cooking fires have been burning continuously in the kitchen for over 435 years, since the Deity was installed.
The original Govindaji Deity was found about 450 years ago by Sri Rupa Goswami. In 1590 A.D., the Govindaji temple was built by Maharaja Man Singh from Jaipur, taking several thousand men five years to build.
The Govindaji Deity was removed from this temple when the Muslim emperor Aurangzeb had his army attack Vrindavan, destroying part of the temple. The original Deity is now residing in Jaipur, in a temple right outside the King of Jaipur’s palace. Since the Govindaji temple was partially destroyed by Muslims, it is considered that worship cannot be done in the temple. Consequently, another temple was established behind the original temple, where worship is performed to the Deities that were installed after the original Govindaji was removed to Jaipur.
Under one of the niches at the west end of the nave of Govindaji temple is a tablet with a Sanskrit inscription recording the fact the temple was built in Samvat 1647 (1590 A.D.), under the direction of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis.
There are two small temples on two sides of the Jagmohan, the main audience hall. Inside the small temple on the south side, down 12 steps is a cave in which the Deity of Govinda was found. Rupa Goswami used to meditate here. An eight-armed Deity of Yogamaya sitting on a lion is also there, along with a stone slab with Krsna's footprint. Vrinda Devi, who is now in the town of Kamavan, used to be in the northern part of the temple.
Sri Sanatana and Rupa Gosvami were instructed by Caitanya Mahaprabhu to re-discover the holy places of Krsna's pastimes in Braja, and to establish worship there of His Sri vigraha (Deity form). It was known that Lord Krsna's grandson, Vajranabha, had installed a number of Deities in Braja, among them Hari Deva, Madana Mohana Deva, Gopinath Deva and Sri Govinda Deva. Sri Rupa had tried unsuccessfully to locate these Deities, and was absorbed in thinking of of them. One day, while he was meditation upon this task, a beautiful cowherd boy came along and asked why he looked so sad. When he described that he was sad because he had been unable to property carry out Mahaprabhu's instructions, the cowherd boy said, "Swamin! Please come with me. I know where what you are looking for is." The boy led him to Gomatila and explained that, "Everyday a cow comes on top of this hill and pours down her milk here. There is a good chance you will find what you are looking for inside." The boy then disappeared, and Sri Rupa was left feel ecstatic symptoms as he gazed at the Mahayoga Pith (Gomatila).
The next morning he returned to wait, and an exquisitely beautiful Surabhi cow came and poured her milk down on top of the hill. Sri Rupa took this as proof that Sri Govinda Deva must be within the earth there, and he quickly organized a digging party. After removing a small amount of earth, the all enchanting form of Sri Govinda appeared. Amid jubilant shouts, tears flowed from Sri Rupa's eyes, and he offered his obeisances, prayers and hymns. The other Gosvamis, along with an ocean of joyful people, began to arrive. Even Lord Brahma and the other demigods assumed mortal appearances, and mixed in with the people to gaze upon the body of Sri Govinda. Sri Rupa Gosvami immediately sent word to Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri of this auspicious event. Mahaprabhu sent Kasisvar Pandit from Puri to assist in worshiping the Deity. The villagers and local brahmanas, meanwhile, performed abhiseka of the Deity and began to prepare offerings of bhoga from the milk, yogurt, rice, flour and vegetables which the villagers were bringing.
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