Radharamanji of Vrindavan-self manifested form of lord

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.

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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!

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By-Shekhar Srivastava

Vindhyachal-dwelling place of Maa Vindhyavasini

The sun was glinting gold in the afternoon when I landed a narrow alley where one of the most revered temples of the world dedicated to Maa Durga-temple of Maa Vindhyavasini-is located. Numerous small shops with coconuts, vermillion, chunari, and other sacraments which are offered in the temple traditionally caught my attention as soon as I set foot in the main alley leading to the temple. It was an experience different altogether.


The moment I entered the vicinity of the main temple, I saw a long queue waiting to get inside the garbhagriha-sanctum sanctorum of the temple. After few minutes, crossing the threshold of the first chamber- on the left side was a wall black in color where I could see buzzing flies and realized that that was a chamber made for animal sacrifice. Crossing the second chamber, which was the sanctum sanctorum, I saw or I should better say, was bestowed with fortunate and blessed opportunity to behold the beautiful deity of Maa Vindhyavasini full of maternal affection and love.


Idol of maa Vindhyavasini is of black stone and can be seen highly adorned with gold and silver jewellery as well as embellished garments. Though pilgrims are allowed to worship the deity for just few seconds, it seemed to me an experience of lifetime and after only few seconds I was out of the garbhagriha and was in the temple complex where many chambers with many deities can be seen.

After experiencing this blessed occurrence, I embarked on my way to visit other two temples located on the nearby hillocks to complete the Trikona Parikrama.

Temple of Maa Vindhyavasini is one of the Shakteepeeths dedicated to Maa Adishakti. Located in the Vindhyachal mountain range, it is one of the most revered as well as one of the most visited Shakteepeeths of Maa Durga. But there is not only one temple in this range and there are two other venerated temples on nearby hillocks in the vicinity-temples of Maa Ashtabhuja and Maa Kaali in Kaalikhoh (cave of Maa Kaali). Circumambulation of these three deferential temples is called Trikona Parikrama– worshipping of three sacred points situated in a triangular angle. It is also said that these three temples are in an angle similar to that of Shreeyantra. Also, it is the only Shakteepeeth on the banks of the Ganges.


So my next point was the hillock on which Kaalikhoh temple is situated. Few kilometers away from the temple of maa Vindhyavasini was a hillock on which I was told the Kaalikhoh temple was located. It was quite dreary place unlike the one had just visited. Ascending many steps, I entered a cave inside which an idol of Maa Kaali was installed and only one priest was there for the worship at the moment. After few minutes I left the cave after worshipping the deity of maa Kaali in her fierce yet affectionate motherly form.



But then I saw some more steps leading to the extreme top of the hillock and I could not stop myself from exploring it and within a minute I was there. It gave me an extremely beautiful look of the Vindhya mountain range and the valleys from this point and also, a small Shivling with mysterious yet profound beauty and serenity.




I was in the domain of the temple of Maa Ashtabhuja after some time and was again experiencing the jostling yet composed pilgrims. The cave below the ground was the sanctum sanctorum here where I had to bend double to reach the deity and came out in the same way.





The deity here was also black in color and was beautiful to look at in an affectionate motherly form. There is another cave beneath the ground nearby the cave of Maa Ashtabhuja.



I again had to bent double and almost crawled to the innermost bent where idol of Paataalvasini Maa Kaali was installed. From the bent there I crawled my way back to the plain ground and I realized that my circumambulation aka Trikona Parikrama was complete.

This journey was complete but the experience I had here was lifetime and it had to be cherished forever.



From the great mountains and hills of Vindhyachal range to the milky water of the Ganges from the hilltop, from the appeasing sound of bells to the divine fragrance of flowers and incense, everything here was serene enough to mollify the tension and problems we come across in our day-to-day lives. I would ask anyone who has faith in god or love for nature to visit this place once in life as this one day jaunt is not only soothing and relaxing but it will also make all your sorrows wither away when you will visit this dwelling place of Maa Vindhyavasini.

Pictures courtesy- Except few pictures of deities(from Google), all pictures were clicked by me and some of them are originally posted on my Facebook page Shekhar’s photography-www.facebook.com/Shekharsphotography001/

Land of Braj-land of lord

Serenity, divinity, gods own abode…that’s what the holy Vrindavan dham is all about.  Though I don’t get words to describe what I feel like when I enter the town of Vrindavan, numerous feelings and thoughts strike my mind…a sense of calmness, feeling of being disconnected with the materialistic world and a divine ecstasy. Have a look at the beautiful abode of god named vrindavan with me…..

Actually the whole braj mandal which covers vrindavan Mathura barsana, nandgaon, gokul, mahavan as its chief divine places is great in its look. I started my jaunt with the heart of brajvrindavan!

Madan Mohan temple which is at the walking distance from the most famous-banke bihari temple, is the most primitive temple in vrindavan. Like many other places, photography of the deities was forbidden-hence the building of the temple.



It is located on a hillock which is indeed a vantage point to look at the pilgrims from the temple premises.

Next was of course the Banke Bihari temple-the most crowded and revered temple of the town where I was jostled to an extent that I neither had an opportunity to click the picture of Thakurji, nor was it allowed.  Nevertheless, I was appeased when I left the temple vicinity both because I had got a pious glimpse-an auspicious sight of thakurji and was free from the jostling crowd. I would be betraying myself if I say I didn’t fall for the famous pedes-sweet made with khoya and sugar-of the narrow alley in which Banke Bihari temple is located.



The quality time I spent relaxing while boating was the best experience I had had in the town. The sun-looking like an orange ball-was sinking in the west glinting gold and the green water of Yamuna looked more serene than anything I have witnessed with the aarti on the banks I could see and hear on Keshi Ghat.




Next day, I headed towards Nandgaon-a town, some 50 kilometers away from vrindavan. Located on a hilltop, the main temple of Nandgaon is a beautiful one made of white stone. In striking contrast with the temple walls and floor, the deities are of black marble.  It was a very different experience and feels as if the world has stopped here as the lifestyle of people here is very simple and pristine in look.

Gokul, a small village with a temple at the location where it is said the home of lord Krishna was located is a beautiful and very tranquil place with the playground at the entrance of the temple which is believed to be the playground of lord Krishna and Balram in the Dwapar Yug some 5,500 years ago. Many idols depicting various scenes or incidents of shree Krishna’s life in different small chambers were lively as well as vivid to beautify the real incidents happened on this land.




Barsana- how is it possible for anyone to visit braj and not visit the hamlet of the most beloved consort of lord Krishna- shree Radha. Only few kilometers away from Nandgaon, Barsana as well is located on a hilltop which is a vantage point to see the whole village.


After Barsana, I headed towards vrindavan again as my day trip was over and the sun was started to sink beneath the horizon and the chill yet soothing air was making me relaxed after the daylong tottering from one location to another. I was happy and above everything else was satisfied after having a day full of visiting places which were not only religious but also full of positivity and the special feature which was the locations’ speciality to take me back in time of lord Krishna where I could literally see him with Balram, his parents, his friends, his beloved brijwasis and….his most beloved divine consort-shree Radharani.

Pictures courtesy- Except last two, all the pictures were clicked by me and some are originally posted on my Facebook page Shekhar’s photography-www.facebook.com/Shekharsphotography001/