HISTORY RADHA GOVINDA TEMPLE
Deities Radha Govinda Jaipur
Srila Rupa Gosvami originally estblished this temple under the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; being ordered to excavate all the lost holy places of Vrindavan. Five thousand years earlier, Lord Krishna's grandson, Vajranaba, installed a number of important Deities in Vrindavana; Govindaji was one of these Deities. Rupa Gosvami searched all over Vrindavan to locate the Yogapith, the resting place of the original Deity of Govindaji, but after months of searching, the Deity could not be found.
Feeling disappointed, Rupa Gosvami came and sat by the bank of the Yamuna river and shedding tears, he began to call out the name of Lord Caitanya--"Ha Caitanya, Ha Caitanya" (oh, Caitanya). Suddenly, Lord Krishna, appeared in the guise of a beautiful brijbasi boy. He informed Rupa Gosvami that there was a cow that came every day to a nearby hillock, and the cow emptied its milk into a hole on the hilltop. He asked Rupa to accompany him to the place to see what might be contained in the hole. Rupa Gosvami followed the boy and upon reaching the spot, the boy disappeared.
Looking within the milk drenched hole, Rupa Gosvami immediately fell unconscious in a wave of ecstatic emotions. When he recovered, he summoned the local people who then excavated the hole and found
the beautiful Deity of Lord Govinda. The loud cries of "Hey Govinda, He Krishna" suddenly reverberated throughout the sky.
The construction of the temple of Radha Govinda began under the guidance of Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami and his disciples headed by Raja Man Singh of Jaipur sometime after 1570. It was the most impressive edifice that Hindu art had ever produced in the whole of Northern India. This temple was originally seven stories tall with a marble altar, silver and gold. A sculptured lotus flower weighing several tons decorates the main hall. At the meeting Rupa Goswami, Man Singh of Jaipur, a general in Emperor Akbar's army, built this magnificent temple. Aurangzeb and his army later destroyed part of the temple. When some stories were suddenly the ground began to shake violently and Aurangzeb's men panicked and ran for their lives, never to return.
Srila Raghunata Das Goswami
Less than one hundred years later, Emperor Aurangzeb, the Muslim zealot, was standing on the ramparts of his fort at Agra, and noticed a bright light burning in the far distance. Upon being informed that this was a large ghee lamp kept atop the Radha Govinda temple in Vrindavan, he became furious that a Hindu shrine was taller than any Muslim building and immediately ordered its destruction. By the time the soldiers of Aurangzeb arrived, Lord Govindadeva and all the important Deities of Vrindavana had been moved to safer places. The solidiers of Aurangzeb dismantled the top floors of the Govindaji temple and desecrated the sanctum sanctorum as well as mutilated all the stone carvings within the temple.
Because the soldiers of Aurangzeb desecrated the main temple, it is believed that worship cannot continue in that temple. Therefore this temple was established behind the original Govindaji temple and it contains the pratibhu Deities of Radha Govinda. The original Deities of Govinda were brought to Jaipur. The pratibhu Deities are considered to be the same as the originals.
Devotes Sri Radha Govinda
The idyllic city of Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh is one of the most important pilgrim centers for the Hindus. Supposedly Lord Krishna spent the best moments of his life with his gopis and Radha here. A number of temples, big and small, elaborate and non descript abounds the city. It is located 90 kilometers from Delhi and only 15 kilometers from Mathura. During Janmashthami, and Holi the city is seen at its best and attracts a large number of tourists. Generally Mathura and Vrindavan are covered together. While in Vrindavan you can avail the different Dharamshalas and guest houses that offer you good accommodation at a reasonable rate. If you are going on a temple expedition in the city doesn't miss out on Govind Dev Temple, Vrindavan which is considered to be one of the finest specimens of temples in North India.
Main entrance of the temple
This temple was originally seven stories high, with an altar of marble, silver and gold. A sculptured lotus flower weighing several tons decorates the main hall. On meeting Rupa Goswami, Man Singh from Jaipur, a general in Emperor Akbar's army, built this magnificent temple. Aurangzeb and his army later destroyed part of the temple. When few stories remained, all of a sudden the ground began to shake violently and Aurangzeb's men were terrified and ran for their lives, never to return.
The Deities on the altar in this temple are Govindaji in the middle, to His left is Lord Caitanya, and to His right is Lord Nityananda. Below are small Radha and Krishna Deities. Below Them are Lord Jagannath and a Govardhana-shila.
Less than 100 years later Emperor Aurangzeb ordered the temple’s destruction. Before his soldiers arrived the deities of Radha and Govinda were moved. They now reside in the grand Govindaji temple in Jaipur.
Radha Govinda Temple in Jaipur
Before its destruction the temple stood seven stories high. Just two stories remain. Still, the Radha Govinda Temple remains a towering monument to Lord Govinda and a place where one can feel a connection to the great saints of the past and the history of Krishna devotion in Vrindavan.