Vrindavan, June 23rd 2015: With the beginning of the Purushottam month or Adhik maas the temples of Vrindavan began organizing different religious events. The devotees engaged themselves in the devotional practices during this month. A large number of traditional religious festivals of the whole year are being celebrated in this holy month.
At the Surma Kunja, the presiding deities of Thakur Shri Radha Nayananda are being decorated with scented flowers. The holy texts of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita and Shrimad Bhagwatam are read out daily in front of the deities. The holy name of the Lord is being chanted non-stop in this temple for the whole month. Special feasts are being organized in which the prasadam is distributed among hundreds of saints, devotees and Vaishnavas. The glories of Thakur Shri Nayananda are told to the devotees who visit this temple for the first time.
Although less known, the temple of Shri Radha Nayananda is one of the oldest temples of Vrindavan. Pt. Prem Das Shashtri, the mahant of the Surma Kunj elaborated the history of Surma Kunj.
Nearly five hundred years ago the Supreme Personality of love Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was exploring the hidden Vrindavan which was turned into forest. After that his followers the six Goswamis and other saints who admire the transcendental beauty of Shri Radha Krishna arrived here and began building series of temples and ashrams.
Suma Kunj has a dignified place amongst the most of the ancient temples and kunjas of Shri Dham Vrindavan. In ancient times, this place was a cluster of shrubs with leaves and creepers. Gaudiya Vaishnava acharyas, namely Shripad Raghunath Bhatt Goswami and Shripad Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami performed bhajan in this place which was once secluded.
Around four hundred years ago, Shripad Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami composed Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, the unique gem of devotional literature. Later on his disciple Shripad Mukunda Das Goswami constructed a temple here and established the deity worship.
The samadhis of Shripad Mukunda Das Goswami and Shripad Roop Kavishwar Goswami are also present in the Surma Kunja. The temple campus also has the bhajan kutir of Shri Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami. This place is prominent in Gaudiya Vaishnava Community.
According to the history of this temple, Shri Radha Govind ji invited Shri Mukund Das Goswami to Vrindavan , after giving darshan in the dream. He was born in a royal family of Multan in 1640. Getting his order in the dream; he came to Vrindavan relinquishing his family life. After reaching here he took initiation from Shri Krishna Das Goswami and remained absorbed in intensive bhajan.
Shri Mukunda Das ji took a vow to have darshan of Shri Radha Govinda ji. He left food and water and only took the dust of Vraja and engaged himself in severe sadhana. He lost his power of vision. Seeing his probability of death the most merciful Shrimati Radha Rani’s heart melted and she told Shyam Sundar, “O beloved, would you not bestow your mercy on Mukund? Did you call him from Multan just to kill him like this? Then Govindaji with His sweet smile said, “O Kishori ji, how can I shower my mercy on him, without your order?” “Now let us go and give him darshan. On hearing these sweet words from Shri Radha Govind, he received transcendental power; he got up and sat down. But he could not see anything as he had lost his vision. Then Kishoriji out of mercy applied collyrium (Surma) on his eyes and provided him with transcendental vision. Then the deities of the Divine Couple were given to Mukunda Das by themselves.
The deity of Shri Nayanananda ji manifested from Radha Rani’s heart and was presented to Shri Mukunda Das Goswami by herself. Similarly, the deity of Shrimati Radha Rani manifested from Krishna heart, and the Lord himself gave it to Mukunda Goswami.
Shri Radha Nayanananda ji manifested in the year 1620 of Basant Panchami Day. These deities are still worshipped in Surma Kumj. As Radha Rani applied collyrium on his eyes, the Vrajwasis called him Baba with collyrium. Since then the temple was wellknow as Surma Kunj.
After him in 1664 A.D., Shri Roop Kavishwar Goswami assumed deity worship who was the main disciple of Shri Mukund Das Goswami.” Shri Roop Kavishwar Goswami was a great scholar. The emperor of Jaipur was enamored at his unique brilliance and uncommon renunciation, asceticism and faith in devotion. So he was offered the title “soorma” declaring him a warrior of the Vraja Bhakti. For this reason “Surma Kunj” became more famous as “Soorma Kunj” later on.
In 1670, when Aurangzeb attacked Vrindavan, his army after destroying the temple of Yugal Kishore was causing damages to Govind Dev Temple. Frightened by the attack, the saints of Vrindavan were running away. That time Shri Roop kavishwar Goswmai encouraged to the saints and Vrajavasis not leave Vrindavan and stopped the army from destroying the temples by his divine power.
The acharya and devotees of this Kunj have dedicated their lives for the sake of intense asceticism, strong devotion and protecting the Vraja Bhakti culture. At the time of attacks from the apostates (in 1757 by Ahmed Shah Abdali) the saints and devotees conquered the invaders.
Some valuable manuscripts are safe in the library of the Surma Kunj. Amongst them in the original manuscripts of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, composed by Shri Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami is also kept in this ashram.
In the 17th century, the competent preceptors and saints of Surma Kunj flourished the pious devotion not only in Vraja but also in distant places like Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam and Tripura. There were about 300 temples and ashrams established all over India.
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