Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami and The Appearance of Sri Radha-Raman

After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's disappearance Gopala Bhatta Gosvami felt intence separation from the Lord. To relieve his devotee, the Lord instructed Gopala Bhatta in a dream :"If you want my darsan then make a trip to Nepal".

In Nepal, Gopala Bhatta bathed in the famous Kali-Gandaki River. Upon dipping his waterpot in the river, he was surprised to see several Shaligrama Shilas enter his pot. He dropped the shilas back into the river, but the shilas re-entered his pot when he refilled it.

After emptying and refilling his waterpot for the third time, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami found twelve Shaligrama shilas sitting there. Thinking this must be the Lords mercy, he kept all the shilas and returned to Vrndavana.
Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami used to worship twelve Shaligram silas. Wherever he would go he would bring them with him in a piece of cloth tied at the corner. One day a wealthy man (Seth) came to Vrndavana and offered Gopala Bhatta a variety of clothing and ornaments for his Shaligrams. Being very impressed with the Gosvami he wanted his darshan and to render some service which he presented in the form of some valuable cloths and ornaments. However, Gopala Bhatta couldn't use these for his round-shaped Shaligrams, so he advised the donor to give the Deity decorations to someone else, but the Seth insisted. Gopala Bhatta kept the cloths and ornaments with his shilas. While Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was absorbed in remembering how the half-man, half-lion form of the Supreme Lord had manifested from the pillar in Hiranyakasipu's palace, he prayed in transcendental lamentation to the Lord: "Oh my Lord, you are very merciful and always fulfill the desires of your devotees. I wish to serve you in your form, having arms and legs and blissful smiling face, with lotus eyes.... If I had a Deity then I would be able to decorate Him so nicely with these clothes and ornaments."

In the evening after offering some bhoga and arotika to his Shalagram shilas, Gopala Bhatta put them to rest, covering them with a wicker basket. Late in the night, Gopala Bhatta took a little rest and then, in the early morning went to take bath in the Yamuna river. Returning from his bath, he uncovered the Shalagramas in order to render the puja for Them, and saw amongst Them a Deity of Krishna playing the flute. There were now eleven shilas and this Deity. The "Damodara shila", had manifested as the beautiful three-fold bending form of tri-bhangananda-krishna. Floating in the ocean of ecstasy, he fell to the ground in order to offer his dandavats and then recited various prayers and hymns. This wonderful event of the appearance day of RadhaRaman happened on the day after Sri Nrisimha Chaturdasi, and is celebrated on that day accordingly. That day they offer 500 liters of milk for the Lord's pleasure and many other sweets and different things. The RadhaRaman temple has the highest standard of Deity worship in all of Vraj.

When Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis as well as many other devotees received news of this miraculous event they came running to see the Lord. Gazing on the Lord's transcendental form, which bewildered all the living entities of the many various planets, they all bathed Him with their tears. This Deity whom the Gosvamis named, "Sri Radha-raman Deva" made His appearance on the full moon day of Vaisakha in the year 1542. Except for Vrindadevi, Sri Radha-Ramanaji is the only one of the original Deities of Vrindavana who never left to go to Jaipur. Sri Sri Radha-raman-ji is still being worshipped in Vrindavana near Nidhuban kunj in the compound of the temple.

The Deity is called Radha-raman although physically there is no apparent Deity of Radha there. As one can see from the picture at the top of this page, that to the right of the picture (to Ramanji's left) is a place setting for Srimati Radhika. In this way the pujaris worship Sri Radha and Ramanji together.

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