Vrindavan, 2016.05.21 (VT): Today celebrations took place at the Radha Raman temple where all the prominent Goswami sevayats of Thakur Radha Raman Lal and hundreds of devotees gathered to perform His abhishek. The temple was festooned with balloons and flowers and sankirtan rang through the compound.
Here is the story of Radha Raman’s appearance, taken from the Radha Raman temple website:
After Sri Chaitanya 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 darshan 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 Shalagram 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 Shalagram Shilas sitting there. Thinking this must be the Lord’s mercy, he kept all of them and returned to Vrindavan.
Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami used to worship all the twelve Shalagram Shilas. Wherever he went, he would bring them with him in a piece of cloth tied at the corner. One day a wealthy man (Seth) came to Vrindavan and offered Gopala Bhatta a variety of clothing and ornaments for his Shalagrams. Being very impressed with the Goswami 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 Shalagrams, 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 Goswami was absorbed in remembering how the half-man, half-lion form of the Supreme Lord had manifested from the pillar in Hiranyakashipu’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 arati to his 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 Shalagrams in order to render the puja for them, and saw among them a Deity of Krishna playing the flute. There were now only 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, Gopala Bhatta 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 each year on that day. On that day, the sevayats of the Lord offer 500 liters of milk for His pleasure and many other sweets and different things. The Radha Raman temple has the highest standard of Deity worship in all of Braj.
When Rupa and Sanatana Goswami 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 bathed Him with their tears. This Deity whom the Goswamis named, “Sri Radha Raman Deva” made His appearance on the full moon day of Vaisakha in the year 1542. Except for Vrindadevi in the Govindaji temple, Sri Radha-Ramanaji is the only one of the original Deities of Vrindavan who never left to go to escape the ravages of the Muslim emperors. Sri Sri Radha Raman-ji is still being worshiped in Vrindavana near Nidhuvan Kunj in the compound of the temple.
The Deity is called Radha Raman although physically there is no apparent murti 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.
See photo gallery of today’s abhishek: