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    Shri Madhu Pandit

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    sri-madhu2.jpgThere is no mention of Shri Madhu Pandit in Chaitanya Charitamrta. Only it is mentioned in Bhakti Ratnakara that Shri Gopinathji manifested Himself before Him. [Bhakti Ratnakara, 2.473]

    "Oh Shrinivas! What more can I say? The Lord reveals Himself to His pure devotee, who then preaches His glories to the world. Who can describe their incomprehensible activities by which the Lord becomes subservient to their love? Thus did Shri Vrajendra Kumar reveal himself to Paramananda Bhattacarya and Shri Madhu Pandit, who is the abode of many wonderful qualities."

    "Thus has Shri Gopinathji, Who is an ocean of mercy, and Who sports on the enchantingly beautiful banks of Vamsivat, become manifested by the grace of Shri Madhu Pandit." [sadhana Dipikayam]

    Thus Shri Madhu Pandit became the servant of Shri Gopinath, Whose bodily luster steals away the minds of everyone. Hundreds and thousands of people came running to see Him, famed as He is as sweetness personified. When the soothing sweetness and coolness of His charming form entered their hearts through their eyes, they found that the burning fire of material existence which had previously been burning there, was now extinguished. Paramananda Bhattacarya and Madhu Pandita were disciples of Gadadhara Pandita, one of the most intimate devotees of Lord Caitanya. Madhu Pandita would read Shrimad Bhagavatam every day.

    The Deity of Gopinatha was discovered at Vamsivata by Paramananda Bhattacarya, who entrusted the Deity’s worship to Madhu Pandita. On the altar in this temple are Deities of Gopinatha, Shrimati Radharani and Her sister, Ananga Manjari. Madhu Pandita arranged to have this temple built.

    Vajranabha, the great-grandson of Krishna, originally installed Gopinathji in Vrindavana. When the Muslims raided Vrindavana in 1670, the original Gopinatha Deity was taken to Jaipur. The Gopinatha Deity in Jaipur is said to exactly resemble Lord Krishna, from the shoulders down to the waist.

    There is a story about this temple that Shrimati Jahnava Devi, the wife of Nityananda, came to Vrindavana, and she came to the evening aratis at the Radha Gopinatha Temple. Suddenly, Gopinatha jumped off the altar and took Jahnava Devi onto the altar and closed the curtains. When the assembled Vaishnavas opened the curtain, Jahnava Devi was gone and Gopinatha was standing on the altar.

    Later the deity of Ananga Manjari, the younger sister of Radharani was installed on the altar here. Jahnava Devi is Ananga Manjari in Krishna’s pastimes. Normally Radharani is to the left of Shri Krishna. In this temple Radharani is to the right of Krishna, and Ananga Manjari is placed on the left. Deities of Lalita and Visakha are also on the altar, along with a Deity of Lord Caitanya.

    Shri Rayasila Shekhavata, who was given a large amount of land by Akbar for defeating the Afghans, built the original Gopinatha temple. It is believed that this temple may have been built before the Govindaji and Madana-Mohan temples. This temple was broken and defiled by Aurangzeb’s soldiers. Shri Nanda Kumar Bose of Bengal constructed a new temple for Gopinatha.

    "Shri Shrila Gopinatha, who originated the transcendental mellow of the rasa dance, stands on the shore in Vamsivata and attracts the attention of the cowherd damsels with the sound of His celebrated flute. May They all confer upon us Their benediction". (Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 1.17).

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