Vrindavan, 2011.09.14 (VT): Atul Krishna Goswami of the Sneha Bihari mandir announced on Sunday that after long preparations, the Shri Bhagwat Mission Trust has finally launched its new religious cable television channel, Adhyatma.
In his statement to the press, Atul Krishna said, “Spirituality is as much a part of the globalization drive today as science and economy. India is the sacred land of spiritual treasure, the karma bhoomi. Probably this is the only patch on earth that abounds with such spiritual richness, so much so that spirituality has become a part of the Indian identity worldwide.
“Even though India is a secular country, we believe that spirituality aims at the coexistence of all faiths and religions in harmony. Moreover, our culture is etched on scientific parameters as stipulated by our shastras and puranas beginning from the Vedic age.”
The channel will feature Bhagavata speakers and saints from the Braj area, including Karshni Guru Sharanananda Maharaj, Krishna Chandra Shastri, Pundarik Goswami, and Sadhvi Ritambhara, as well as other noted Hindi-language religious speakers of all sects from around India.
Atul Krishnaji also announced that the Sneha Bihari temple will be publishing several albums over the next few weeks, including a souvenir book from the recent Kumbha Mela in Vrindavan, which he said he hoped to see come out before the end of the month. Another book will contain an up-to-date account of Vrindavan’s foremost living sants and Bhagavata speakers, and a third book is currently being planned that will contain the lives and stories of the historical saints and teachers from all the Vaishnava schools who built Vrindavan and gave it its special character.
The Sneha Bihari temple is the home and base of operations of an important branch of the family that serves Banke Bihari Deva in the line of Swami Haridas. The founder of this branch, Snehil Lal Goswami, was 10th in line from Swami Haridas’ brother Jagannath, their patriarch.
Snehi Lal Goswami was the sevaiyat of Banke Bihari with specific responsibility for his evening dress. One day, as he was changing the deity, Snehilal had the sudden inspiration to ask Banke Bihari to take birth in his family.
After he prayed in this way, Banke Bihari appeared to him in a dream and said, “I am very pleased with your mood of love and your service. In your goshala, you have a black cow. Go and look where it is spontaneously spilling milk and dig in the ground there.”
The next morning, Goswamiji did so and found Krishna’s beautiful murti. In order to fulfill the meaning of his own name and to maintain the glory of his lord Banke Bihariji, he named the deity Radha Sneha Bihariji. He then built a small temple for the deity right there in the goshala.
Snehi Lal Goswami was succeeded by his nephew, Giridhar Lal Goswami. Giridhar Lal was a great scholar of the Bhagavatam, and all his descendants have similarly followed in his footsteps and been preachers of the Bhagavatam. His grandson Mula Bihari Goswami built up a large following all over India and had thousands of disciples. He was eager to build up Sneha Bihariji’s temple, which by then was quite run down, but entered the nitya nikunj in May of 1981 at the early age of 47 and so was unable to realize his hopes for the temple.
His eldest son, Mridul Krishna Goswami, has continued in the tradition of Bhagavata speakers and has made a big impact not only in India, but has traveled widely around the world. In his career he has given more than 700 Bhagavata saptahas to great acclaim. His son Gaurav Krishna Goswami has followed in his footsteps and has similarly achieved immense popularity in India and abroad.
The Bhagwat Sewa Trust has been publishing a monthly magazine in Hindi, Mridul Chintan, since 2003, and is currently building a devotionally centered community called Mridul Vrindavan Ashram in the Jaipur suburb of Vilochi.
As a result of their successes, at a cost of nearly Rs 6 crores ($1.5 million) they were able to rebuild the Sneha Bihari temple combining the best features of traditional Vrindavan and modern architecture. Numerous major programs are held in the temple every year, including a major dhrupad festival that takes place on the appearance days of Shrimati Radharani and Swami Haridas.
Assisted by his two brothers, Atul Krishna and Vipul Krishna, Mridul Krishna Goswami has built the household name into a veritable empire, with the launching of the channel simply the latest in a long list of successes.
“But the foundation of it all is a faith in the path of Swami Haridas, Banke Bihari and the Srimad Bhagavatam, and a selfless spirit of generosity in spreading the joy of devotion to Radha and Krishna,” says Atul Krishnaji.
The channel’s details are as follows: FREQUENCY INTELSAT-10, D/L FREQ=3752 mhz, SR-9300 ksps, FE-3/4, DVBS -2, SK,MPEG-4.