Radha Damodara Temple
Established by Srila Jiva Goswami in 1542 in the holy dham of Vrndavan, the Deities of Sri Sri Radha Damodar were given to Srila Jiva Goswami by his guru, Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhupada and have been worshipped here since then. The bhajan kutir and samadhi of Srila Rupa Goswami as well as the samadhis of Srila Jiva Goswami, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami, Bhugarbha Goswami and the bhajan kutir of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are present here also on the temple premises.
This is the Temple of Sri Sri Radha Damodara. It was founded by Srila Jiva Goswami. In the courtyard you will find the Samadhi Mandiras of Srila Jiva Goswami, Srila Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami, Srila Bhaktipramoda Puri Goswami and many more. In the second courtyard you can see two buildings. The first is the Bhajan kutir of Srila Rupa Goswami and the second is his Samadhi Mandir. Also, in two rooms of this temple lived the world famous Gaudiya Vaishnava, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in the early 1960´s.
Sri Sri Radha Damodar Temple History
Presiding Deities are Sri Radha Damodar, worshipped by Srila Jiva Goswami, Sri Radha Vrndavan Chandra, worshipped by Srila Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Goswami, Sri Radha Madhava, worshipped by Srila Jayadeva Goswami, Sri Radha Chalacikan, worshipped by Srila Bhugarbha Goswami, and Govardhan Sila, worshipped by Srila Sanatana Goswami.
In 1516, a year after Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrndavana-dhama, Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Sanatana Goswami arrived there upon the order of the Lord to uncover the various lila-sthanas (pastime places) of Sri Krsna. They frequently traversed the entire land of Vraja and lived austerely, immersed in loving sentiments for the Divine Couple.
During this time there was not a Temple in Vrndavana, only dense forests, so the Goswamis would live under the trees, under a thorn bush or in a vacant crocodile-hole. They remained for short periods to perform bhajana in Ter Kadamba, Varsana, Radha-kunda and the Radha Damodar temple area.
Some years later, they were joined by their young nephew Sri Jiva, who took diksa from Srila Rupa Goswami and performed service at his lotus feet.
According to Sri Radha-Krsna Goswami’s Sadhana-dipika, Sri Rupa was expert in drawing and preparing Deities. So it was that in 1542 he obtained a piece of black marble from the Vindya Mountains and in the sacred month of Damodar (Karttika), he personally carved, installed and offered a Deity of Lord Damodar to his intimate disciple Srila Jiva Goswami.
Srila Jiva Goswami officially purchased land at Seva-kunja for thirty rupees in order to worship his beloved Lord. After the disappearance of Rupa and Sanatana, Jiva Goswami became the head of the Gaudiya sampradaya and the Radha Damodar Temple became famous as a seat of learning due to its vast library of rare books and manuscripts of the Goswamis.
Some devotees are under the impression that the Deities of Radhadamodar in the Radhadamodar Temple in Vrndavan are not the original Deities of Srila Jiva Goswami. Some think that the original Deities now reside in Jaipur. However, this is not a fact.
In 1670, when the Muslim fanatic Aurangazeb invaded Sri Vrndavana, he planned to destroy many temples and deface the Deities there. For this reason the principle Deities of Vraja were moved to the safe confines of the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan under the auspices of the Rajput kings. Most of the Deities remained there, such as Govindadeva, Gopinatha and Madana-mohana.
The Radhadamodar Deities however returned to Vrndavana and have been worshipped there ever since. The Deities that replaced the originals in the temples of Govinda, Gopinatha and Madana-mohana are known as pratibhu-murtis which were installed and worshipped as substitute Deities by the Goswamis of those temples. All pratibhu-murtis are smaller in size than the original Deities installed by the acaryas, but it is worth noting that the Deity of Damodarji in Jaipur is smaller than the Deity in Vrndavana, thus further confirming that the original Deity of Sri Damodarji is in Vrndavana, whereas the pratibhu-murti is being worshipped in Jaipur today.
Before Sri Jiva’s disappearance in 1596, he left his Deities and library in the care of his successor Sri Krishna Dasa, the head pujari. The present sevaites are directly coming in line from his descendants.
Web site: http://www.radhadamodarmandir.com/