The self manifested deity out of the Saligram Shila, over 500 years old heritage temple where standards of worship are highest in Vrindavan. Radha Raman Temple was established by Gopal Bhatta Goswami. He is one of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan who followed the principles of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu strictly. This beautiful Deity is self-manifested from a saligram sila and has a mystic smile on his face. Sri Radha Ramans Appearance Place is in the Radha-Raman Temple, next to the samadhi of Gopala Bhatta. It is said that there are markings of discs on the Deitys back and feet. The Deity of Radha-Raman is around 30cm (1 foot) tall. Gopal Bhatta Goswamis other saligram-shilas are also worshiped on the altar here. Radha-Ramanji is one of the few original Deities of the Goswamis still in Vrindavan. The standard of worship in this temple is very high. There is no Deity of Radha in this temple. The name of Radharani is worshiped in this temple, because according to scriptures the name and the person are considered non-different. There is a golden plate next to Krishna, which has the name of Radharani engraved into it.
A Deity of Radharani is not worshiped in this temple because the Deity of Radha-Raman is self-manifested and there was no Deity of Radharani self-manifested. The present temple was built in 1826 at the cost of 80 thousand rupees by Shah Behari Lallji from Lucknow, the grandfather of Shah Kundan Lall and Shah Fundan Lall, who built the Shahji Temple. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhus kaupina (cloth) and asana (seat), which Gopal Bhatta Goswami brought from Jagannath Puri, are also in this temple. The asana is black wood and is about 31cm (12) by 25cm (10). They are brought out to be seen by the public for six days a year. They can be seen on Gaura Purnima, the appearance day of Radha Raman, the actual day and day after the disappearance of Gopal Bhatta Goswami, Janmasthami and Nandotsava (the day after Janmasthami). There is a daily abhiseka of the asana with Yamuna water. There is no decay of the asana or any cracks, even after 450 years. For the raja bhoga offering, Radha Ramans pujaris first offer all of the bhoga (food) to Radha-Raman and the shalagrama shilas, and then they make a second offering to Srimati Radharani, and then a third offering for Gopal Bhatta Goswami. There are not three different plates, but the same plate is offered in the order above. The fires for cooking in the temple kitchen have been burning continuously for over 440 years, since the Deity was installed. This is so no foreign elements, such as matches, are used for ignition purposes. Before the present temple was built, there was another temple at the same place that is now the kitchen and prasadam area for the present temple.
Gopal Bhatta Goswamis Samadhi is to the left, after you enter the first gate from the street into the temple compound. After entering the temple compound you turn left and walk fifty metres (150 ft). He passed away at the age of 85, in 1596, exactly 100 years after the appearance of Lord Chaitanya. His disappearance day is celebrated in the month of Shravana (July-Aug) on the Shukla Panchami (5th) day. There are also smaller samadhis here of the previous sevaits (priests) of Radha-Raman. There is regular worship at this samadhi. Daily bhajans and kirtanas are chanted and the Srimad Bhagavatam is recited. Twice a day a full plate of Radha-Ramans maha-prasada is offered. They also offer him fresh drinking water. In a separate kitchen, five bhoga (food) offerings are prepared and offered to Gopal Bhatta Goswami. After the offerings, five aratis are performed. After the last arati of the day, Radha Ramans pujari give Radha-Ramans maha flower garlands to Gopal Bhatta Goswami. In the area of the present Radha-Raman Temple, there used to be a lake connected to the Yamuna River.
After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s disappearance Gopala Bhatta Gosvami felt intense separation from the Lord. To relieve his devotee, the Lord instructed Gopala Bhatta in a dream :”If you want my darsan then make a trip to Nepal”.
In Nepal, Gopala Bhatta bathed in the famous Kali-Gandaki River. Upon dipping his waterpot in the river, he was surprised to see several Shaligrama Shilas enter his pot. He dropped the shilas back into the river, but the shilas re-entered his pot when he refilled it.
After emptying and refilling his waterpot for the third time, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami found twelve Shaligrama shilas sitting there. Thinking this must be the Lords mercy, he kept all the shilas and returned to Vrndavana.
Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami used to worship twelve Shaligram silas. Wherever he would go he would bring them with him in a piece of cloth tied at the corner. One day a wealthy man (Seth) came to Vrndavana and offered Gopala Bhatta a variety of clothing and ornaments for his Shaligrams. Being very impressed with the Gosvami he wanted his darshan and to render some service which he presented in the form of some valuable cloths and ornaments. However, Gopala Bhatta couldn’t use these for his round-shaped Shaligrams, so he advised the donor to give the Deity decorations to someone else, but the Seth insisted. Gopala Bhatta kept the cloths and ornaments with his shilas. While Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was absorbed in remembering how the half-man, half-lion form of the Supreme Lord had manifested from the pillar in Hiranyakasipu’s palace, he prayed in transcendental lamentation to the Lord:
“Oh my Lord, you are very merciful and always fulfill the desires of your devotees. I wish to serve you in your form, having arms and legs and blissful smiling face, with lotus eyes…. If I had a Deity then I would be able to decorate Him so nicely with these clothes and ornaments.”
In the evening after offering some bhoga and arotika to his Shalagram shilas, Gopala Bhatta put them to rest, covering them with a wicker basket. Late in the night, Gopala Bhatta took a little rest and then, in the early morning went to take bath in the Yamuna river. Returning from his bath, he uncovered the Shalagramas in order to render the puja for Them, and saw amongst Them a Deity of Krishna playing the flute. There were now eleven shilas and this Deity. The “Damodara shila”, had manifested as the beautiful three-fold bending form of tri-bhangananda-krishna. Floating in the ocean of ecstasy, he fell to the ground in order to offer his dandavats and then recited various prayers and hymns. This wonderful event of the appearance day of Radha-raman happened on the day after Sri Nrisimha Chaturdasi, and is celebrated on that day accordingly. That day they offer 500 liters of milk for the Lord’s pleasure and many other sweets and different things. The Radha-raman temple has the highest standard of Deity worship in all of Vraj.
When Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis as well as many other devotees received news of this miraculous event they came running to see the Lord. Gazing on the Lord’s transcendental form, which bewildered all the living entities of the many various planets, they all bathed Him with their tears. This Deity whom the Gosvamis named, “Sri Radha-raman Deva” made His appearance on the full moon day of Vaisakha in the year 1542. Except for Vrindadevi, Sri Radha-Ramanaji is the only one of the original Deities of Vrindavana who never left to go to Jaipur. Sri Sri Radha-raman-ji is still being worshipped in Vrindavana near Nidhuban kunj in the compound of the temple.
The Deity is called Radha-raman although physically there is no apparent Deity of Radha there. As one can see from the picture at the top of this page, that to the right of the picture (to Ramanji’s left) is a place setting for Srimati Radhika. In this way the pujaris worship Sri Radha and Ramanji together.
Sri Radha-ramana Deva, unlike other Deities, has very intricate features, including fingernails and even teeth. On the back side of His body parts of the original Shalagram shila from which He manifested Himself can be seen.
Summer – Temple Timings
Mangala Arati – 4:00am
Darshan – 08:00am thru’ 12:30pm
Evening Darshan: – 6pm – 8pm (18:00 – 20:00 hrs)
Winter – Temple Timings
Mangala Arati – 05:30am
Darshan – 08:00am – 12:30pm
Evening – 6pm – 8pm (18:00 – 20:00 hrs)
The appearance day of Lord Ramachandra, also called Brahmotsava, in the month of Chaitra (March/April).
The Deities are covered completely with chandan (sandalwood paste) which provides relief from the scorching summer heat in the month of Jyestha (May/June). Chandan Yatra continues with the small Deities for 21 days.
Swing festival at the beginning of the rainy season in Shravan (July/August). The small Deities are brought out into the temple courtyard on a beautiful gold-plated, solid teakwood swing. Around the swing is Phool Bungalow (flower house) for the Lord’s pleasure.
Appearance day of Balaramji, Krishna’s elder brother, celebrated at the end of Shravan.
Sri Krishna Janmastami
Appearance day of Sri Krishna celebrated in the month of Bhadra (August/September). From early morning until after midnight lakhs of pilgrims take darshan of Sri Krishna. Before midnight there is Maha Abhishek of Sri Krishna on the altar and then a fabulous bhoga offering and aratika take place at midnight.
Appearance day of Shrimati Radharani held fifteen days after Sri Krishna Janmashtami. The day is celebrated by a half-day fast, abhishek and wonderful feast.
The month of Kartika, also known as Damodara (October / November), attracts the most devotee visitors from around the world. For the entire month, devotees offer lamps to the Deities in the evening and chant the glories of the Lord’s special Kartika childhood pastimes. Highlights of the month are Diwali, Govardhan Puja. Vraja Mandala parikrama tours the twelve forests of Vrindavan during the month of Kartika.
Appearance day of Sri Nityananda Prabhu in Magh (February/March).
First day of spring in Magh (January/February). On this day the Deities are dressed in yellow outfits complemented by beautiful flower decorations. This is also the beginning of Holi in Vraja, which continues till Gaura Purnima. Holi celebrations of throwing colored powders proceed from one village to another, ending in Vrindavan on Gaura Purnima.
Appearance day of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Phalguna (February/March). On this auspicious day, there is fasting until moonrise, abhishek and a beautiful new outfit offered to the Lord. This day also marks the last day of the famous Holi celebrations in Vrindavan.