Vrindavan, 2017.05.14 (VT) Almost 5,000 years ago, Shri Krishna performed the Raas Lila with Shri Radha and the gopis. In the midst of that festival of bliss, he disappeared and took Radha away alone. But even in that secret exchange of love, Krishna disappeared yet again, leaving Radha weeping in separation.
And then, 475 years ago, in the exact same spot where Krishna disappeared from Radha’s sight, he returned in the form of Radharaman.
May 10th was the 475th anniversary of the day when Shri Radharaman Lal appeared to the great rasik saint Shri Gopal Bhatt Goswami, a disciple of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The answer to his intense loving prayers, Radharaman self-manifested from a Damodar shaligram shila, which Gopal Bhatt worshipped.
The three ancient deities of Vrindavan – Govind, Gopinath and Madanmohan – were made by Krishna’s grandson Vajranabh. Govind Dev’s beautiful, rounded lotus face is known as the perfect representation of Shri Krishna’s face. Gopinath’s wide and handsome chest is just like Shri Krishna’s chest, and Madanmohan’s soft and graceful feet are just like His lotus feet.
But Radharamanji has the lotus face of Govind, the chest of Gopinath and the lotus feet of Madanmohan. In other words he is the exact Form of Shri Krishna. Devotees consider their darshan of Shri Krishna complete if they see Govind, Gopinath and Madanmohan in one day. But when devotees receive darshan of Radharamanji, they feel completely soothed and satsified.
The festival of Radharamanji’s 475th Appearance Day was celebrated as if it were the 500th, with many special events that lasted throughout the week, including a 24-hour kirtan, a shobha yatra (procession), and a live lila performance on the ancient Raas Mandal in front of the temple gate.
The main event, however was a grand maha-abhishek which lasted from about 8am till the early afternoon. The temple was filled beyond capacity, with the crowd spilling out both doors. Devotees braved the extreme heat just to catch a glimpse of their Beloved.
After the abhishek the highly-prized charanamrit was distributed to the devotees. Many gathered charanamrit in bottles to take home to their loved ones. Small strips of the precious cloth that Radharamanji wore during abhishek were also distributed amongst the eager devotees.