sometime in 2012
I had heard about Radha Ramanji temple many a times before and also seen His beautiful poster in the home of HG Radheshyam Prabhuji. There was a big curiosity in my heart to take His darshan.
Usually whenever I go to Vrindavan, my only home is Krishna Balram temple. I have been to Bankebihari temple a couple of times and took darshan of the beautiful Lord there but the whole rush of people and pushing & shoving doesn’t inspire me to go there regularly. So I am always happily situated within the ISKCON temple premises. In fact I have not been to any other temple in Vrindavan till that time in 2012.
This particular time, while I was in Vrindavan, I requested HG Vrajamohan Prabhuji to take me to Radha Ramanji temple and he kindly obliged.
We reached the temple in the evening. The outside surroundings were comparatively quieter than the normal hustle and bustle of Vrindavan.
Prabhuji told me how this particular Deity manifested on its own from the Shaligram Shila of one of the six Goswami, Gopal Bhatt Goswami. By a sheer coincidence, today is His appearance day.
Sri Gopal Bhatt Goswami ji Ki Jai !
There were monkeys all around us , I had to remove my glasses, we entered the temple premises and first paid obeisances at his samadhi from outside the room.
Then we entered the temple compound. The darshan was closed and it was very quiet, there was hardly any devotee inside. I sat down and the only thought which came to my mind was to chant. I sat in the compound and chanted and chanted. They were one of my best chanting rounds ever as I chanted only for the pleasure of Sri Radha Raman. After some time one devotee started dancing in Indian classical style in the temple compound, no music, no beats, she was busy dancing for the Lord. Then I heard a very soft kirtan being done in another corner of the compound in local dialect. It was a transcendental atmosphere.
After 40-45 minutes there was a sudden commotion, ringing of bells, and I knew that darshan have opened and Sri Radha Ramanji is ready to meet the devotees. I opened my eyes and looked around, the compound was full of devotees. As I got up and raised my head to see my Lord, my first reaction was that the He is so small, somehow I had imagined the Deity as life-sized but He was very small and so so very beautiful and with a very mystical smile on his sweet face. As I inched closer I was completely lost in is His sheer beauty. I saw one devotee using a binocular to see the Deity, Prabhu ji told me that if we were observe Him closely we can even see His teeth and devotees try to see His teeth using binoculars !
After initial jostling the crowd thinned out and I could stand comfortably and drink the nectar of Sri Radha Ramanji’s beauty with my eyes. After a short pooja, I saw the priest brought many small earthen pots. I found that it was Maha Prasadam . We took two pots and came out after paying our obeisances. I had to remove my glasses again. As stood in a corner, honouring the delicious prasadam, a monkey came like a flash and tried to pull the bags in my hand. I could not see very well without my glasses but I held on to everything in my hands. The monkey took some prasadam, not the whole bowl, gave his mercy in the form of a deep scratch at the back of my cellphone cover and then went away as fast as he came. I took it as a mercy by one of the `Dham wasi’. We then walked back with the one of the most beautiful forms of the Lord etched deep inside my heart.
As I write I am telling myself to have darshan of Sri Radha Ramanji when I visit Vrindavan Dham next time, I promise myself that I would.
We can read more about the pastimes of Gopal Bhatt Goswami and the manifestation of Radha Ramanji in a detail at http://www.iskcondesiretree.net/page/sri-sri-radha-raman-temple.
Sri Radha Raman Hari Bol. Sri Radha Raman Hari Bol !