Nand Gaon, 2014.09.30 (VT, with input from various sources including Navneesh Sharma): Yet another miracle was witnessed by thousands of Brajwasis in Braj yesterday. The deities of Radha and Shri Radharaman Bihari Lal, also known as Sanket Bihari Lal, of Sanket Van Dham near Nand Gaon, which were stolen 13 months ago on Dec 9, 2013, were recovered by the Mathura police yesterday near Deeg village of Braj.
The police nabbed the person in whose possession the stolen ancient deities were found, but his accomplices are still at large. The 500-year-old Radha Krishna deities were apparently stolen to be smuggled abroad.
It has been a long time since the police had said anything about the stolen deities and devotees had lost any hope of recovering them. Some had been talking about establishing new ones to take their place. When the news spread that the police had recovered the deities, the villagers began to celebrate.
The whole of Vraja is stunned on the reappearance of Radha Raman Sanket Bihari. The historical trend is that stolen deities are usually never found. The vicious trend was broken in this case. The Senior Superintendent of Police Manzil Saini and Congress leader Narendra Singh declared an Rs. 11,000 reward for each member of the police team that solved the case.
Even so, the police could not find one of Radha Ramanji’s eyes and Radharani’s anklet.
The history of the deities
Radha and Krishna met in Sanket for the first time. The deities were installed five hundred years back during the bhakti period. Todarmal from Akbar’s court built the temple in Sanket. The deities are made of 70 kilos of ashtadhatu ( a rare alloy of eight valuable metals), which is valued at several millions of rupees. The precious deities were stolen in on the night of December 7 last year. The devotees and villagers at shock after they heard the deities were stolen.
Sevait Trilok Chand Goswami lodged a complaint with the police regarding the missing of the deities. Several teams of the police were constituted to recover the deities. A series of panchayats meetings were held, which vehemently demanded that the deities be recovered and the culprits nabbed. Some of the devotees who were regular visitors to the temple left off eating food after the robbery.
The role of the SSP
After taking charge as the Senior Superintendent of Police of Mathura, Ms. Manzil Saini constituted a new team of police personnel from the Barsana police station to nab the culprits involved in stealing. The team was led by SP (rural) Shagun Gautam and Atul Kumar Shrivastava Circle Officer of Chhata.
The police caught a person near the nullah on the Chhata Road. His accomplices fled away. On interrogation he revealed that his name was Bhagwan Singh S/O Babu, village Aajnoukh, Barsana. The police recovered both the deities of Radha and Krishna from him.
The suspect who fled was Layak Singh S/o Parmal Singh Jadaun, resident of village Sone, thana Deeg, Bharatpur. Bhagwan Singh admitted that the ones absconding were the ones who had stolen the deities. He had been given Rs. 30,000 for hiding them in his custody.
The SSP said that the first priority had been to recover the deities. She said, “We are finding who were involved in the crime and what their purpose was in stealing the deities. Legal action will be taken under the Indian Penal Code against those who had committed the crime.”
“We suspect that other people from the local area had a hand in the affair,” she added.
The sevaits had to go through trouble
Although the sevaits were pained to find the deities were missing, but it didn’t relieve them to face long interrogation by police. The police suspected the sevait Goswamis initially. Sevait Trilok Chand Goswami said that Vishnu, Kanhaiya Lal, Krishna Jeevan, Radha Ballabh, Prem Chand, Prahlad, Dan Bihari, Janki Goswami were called in the police station for the interrogation.
The police station turned into a temple
Due to legal problems, the deities could not be handed over to the temple sevaits immediately. The magistrate will hear the case on Wednesday, after which they will be returned to the temple. The deities were placed in a separate room in the police station of Barsana. The police had sealed the deities in a transparent cloth. They will be presented before the magistrate as a recovered item and handed over to the sevaits only after the court order is given. CO Atul Kumar Shrivastava said, “The deities have been temporarily placed in a room of the police station, with due regard, where some rituals can be performed until they time the deities are finally handed over to the sevaits.”
Pran pratishtha will be performed again
Trilok Chand Goswami, the sevait of the temple said that a grand ‘pran pratishtha ceremony’ will be organized after the deities are handed over to us. “We are anxiously waiting for the legal formalities are over and welcome Radha Raman back in their temple,” said Goswami.
The return of Radha Maan Bihari
Unfortunately, the problem of robbery has affected many of the temples of Braj, from which many of the deities made of valuable metals have been stolen, along with their paraphernalia. This has been a far too frequent occurrence. What is even more alarming is the historical trend that once stolen, the deities are usually never found again. This vicious trend was broken recently.
A few years back the deities of Shri Radha Maan Bihari Lal were stolen from Maan Mandir. Devotees in the temple in particular and Brajwasis in general were greatly saddened by the incident. They suggested and requested Shri Ramesh Baba Maharaj to replace them with new deities. However, Shri Baba Maharaj firmly and faithfully declared that they would come back, they had to come back. Thirteen days later, they did come back on from the Bangladesh border. All of Braj was stunned by their unprecedented reappearance . The senior Brajwasis declared the Radha Maan Bihari Lal as Jagrut”(Shri Radha Krishna awaken like living being in form of deities).
When Shri Radha Raman Bihari Lal of Sanket Van were stolen, the entire Braj was, once again, immersed in the ocean of sorrow. The temple devotees promptly approached Shri Baba Ji Maharaj with the firm belief that, just like Radha Maan Bihari Lal, Shri Radha Raman Bihari Lal would also come back.
Shri Baba Maharaj visited the temple and started Akanda Bhagawan Naam Sankeertan. Some other Brajwasis joined them to protest against the local administration by observing fast.
People had almost forgot about the deities since a long time had passed since authorities had given any news of the investigation. However, their absence always bothered Shri Baba Maharaj secretly.
Miraculously, the day before yesterday, filled with deep pain, Shri Baba Maharaj did not sleep for a second. He called upon Shri Radhakant ji and told him “Shri Radha Raman Ji need to come back, go make arrangements. If they don’t come back, we will establish other deities.”
The very next day the original Shri Radha Raman Bihari Lal came back. Brajwasis are very happy and celebrating their arrival. Brajwasis firmly believe that Raman Bihari Ji came back because of the love Shri Baba Maharaj.
Bol Raman Bihari Lal Ki Jai…