Prabhupada in Radha Damodara temple
His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the foremost preacher of Krsna Consciousness in the world, first came to live in Radha Damodar Temple in 1959 after accepting the sannyasa order of life. The sevaite of the temple, Sri Gaurachanda Goswami, approached Srila Prabhupada and invited him to come and live there since it was the eternal home of Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Jiva Goswami.
Srila Prabhupada took two rooms, one that acted as a kitchen, the other as a study where he would write.
In the early morning at Radha Damodar Temple, Srila Prabhupada would write and chant japa. He would then circumambulate the samadhis of Jiva Goswami and Rupa Goswami. At 10:00 he would go and take darsana of the other temples of Vrndavana, purchase vegetables and return by 11:00 to cook. Using a kerosene burner and a three-tiered cooker, he would prepare rice, dahl, potatoes, chapattis and subji. He would eat once a day and take some hot milk at night. In the afternoon he would rest for 15 minutes and resume his writing after honoring Radha Damodar Raj bhoga prasadam.
From his kitchen he would gaze out of the small window into the courtyard where Rupa Goswami's samadhi mandir is situated. He later said that he received great inspiration from Rupa Goswami and that his plans for spreading Krsna Consciouness were formulated during his years at the Radha Damodar Temple.
In the six years that Prabhupad stayed at the Radha Damodar Temple he wrote his first two books Easy Journey to Other Planets, In search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, the first two volumes of Srimad Bhagavatam, wrote various articles for Back to Godhead and Bhagavat-darsan and organized a successful Janmastami mahotsava at Radha Damodar Temple which was attended by the U.P. Governor Biswanath Das. After returning to Vrndavana with his first foreign disciples in 1967, he again took up residence in his old rooms at the Radha Damodar Temple and from that time on, his disciples maintained his rooms there.
In 1972 during the holy month of Karttika, he delivered a series of lectures on Rupa Goswami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu at the Radha-Damodar Temple. He spoke in the courtyard near to Rupa Goswami's samadhi and bhajan-kutir. Sripada B.G. Narasingha Maharaja: I remember Prabhupad called a meeting in 1977 with a few of his sannyasis. Then he told us, ‘Generally the worship in the spiritual master's bhajan-kutir doesn't start until after his departure. But I want to initiate the system of worship now, so I know that it is going on.' So after that meeting from that time on, these rooms at Radha Damodar became known as ‘Prabhupadas' bhajan-kutir'.
He instructed his disciples that they should keep a photograph of him in his room and offer it the prasadam of Sri Sri Radha Damodar. The sannyasis would stay in the rooms for one to three months and then rotate. Just like during his presence — he was always calling his top preachers to come and serve him and them sending them out. But it never happened. The sannyasis were supposed to go shopping, buy everything, cook the offering for him, and basically live there just like he did, the position is more than just being a caretaker, but that person is like his personal cook.“
He would often have long philosophical discussion with Sri Gauracand Goswami on the writings of Sri Rupa and Sri Jiva Goswamis. He stressed the importance of his rooms at Radha Damodar temple, not simply because they were his rooms. In one letter he wrote:
”This corner at the Radha Damodar temple is just like the hub of the wheel of the spiritual world — it is the center.“
Sripada B.G. Narasingha Maharaja explains this statement:
”He said that the Radha Damodar temple is in the center of the spiritual world because of the activities that went on there among the followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and because of the intimacy of the association and what was revealed there to the devotees and what they experienced there. The intensity of the divine rapture would make it the center no matter where it was. But it also happened to be Vrndavana.“
Thus, he referred to his rooms at Radha Damodar Temple as his ‘eternal residence,' the place where he began his plans to spread the Krsna Consciousness movement.