Vrindavan 2016.07.02 (VT): Imli Tala literally means underneath the tamarind tree. As the name goes, this place is where Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to meditate under the tamarind tree, 500 years back. The place represents the intense love in separation of Radha and Krishna.
There was an old tamarind tree present at Imli Tala since Dwapar Yuga. But the original tree died way back in early 19th century and now only one of its branches still grows there.
As per the religious legends, while performing the Sharad Purnima (full moon night) rasa dance with Lord Krishna and other gopis, Sri Radha Rani left the dance and disappeared. Lord Krishna, not finding Radha Ji was filled with an intense feeling of separation. Knowing that Imli Tala was her favourite spot, Lord Krishna sat under the tamarind tree chanting her name in that ecstatic mood of separation.
He was so absorbed in thought of her that his body assumed the Gaur Varna (golden body colour) of Sri Radha Rani. Soon she appeared to his pleasure and he assumed his original body colour.
It was then that Lord Krishna foretold his next incarnation as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in which he would taken on her golden body hue, and a feeling of separation, motivating others to chant the holy names.
Lord Shri Krishna appeared in the age of Kali as Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, just 500 years ago, with the complexion and the mood of ecstatic love of Shri Radharani. When Lord Chaitanya visited Vrindavan, He would come to Imli Tala with his japa mala everyday and for hours and hours and get deeply absorb in chanting the holy names, sitting under the tamarind tree. In the mood of Shri Radharani, he would become so deeply immersed in the ocean of separation from Shyamasundara that Lord Chaitanya’s golden form would be transformed and he took on Krishna’s dark complexion.
This is the most potent place where Krishna himself chanted Shrimati Radharani’s holy names and Mahaprabhu chanted Krishna’s holy names in the mood of intense longing and separation.
Today a very nice deity of Lord Chaitanya is installed under this tree. The deities of Sri Gaura Nitai and Sri Radha Gopinath ji are worshipped in the main temple sanctum sanctorum on separate altars. The walls of the temple are adorned with beautiful paintings from the life of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The temple is maintained and served by the followers of Gaudiya Math.
There is a legend behind the importance of the tamarind tree that, once when Sri Radharani was passing by it, one of the ripe tamarinds fell on her lotus foot and washed away the vermillion (alta) that was decorating it. In a fit of anger she cursed the tamarind tree to not bear any fruit and since then, it is true that no tamarind ripens in the entire 84 Kos area of Brajmandal.
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