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Drawing of the image of Radha Ramana, believed to be a combined form of Radha-Krishna

Radha Ramana (Sanskrit: राधारमण, romanizedrādhāramaṇa) is one of the combined forms of the Hindu deities Radha and Krishna, besides their Banke Bihari and Radha-Vallabha forms.

One of the ancient temples of Vrindavan, Radha Ramana Temple is dedicated to this form of the deities. According to the Gaudiya tradition, this form of the divine couple Radha Krishna was manifested by Gopala Bhatta Goswami in 16th century.[1][2]

Etymology

Radha Ramana is an epithet of Krishna,[3] translating as the lover (ramana) of Radha.[4]

Literature

The appearance of the Radha Ramana is described by Gopala Bhatta Goswami biographer Narahari in a mere four verses (Bhakti Ratnakara 4.315-19).[5] Narahari Chakravarti puzzles over Krishnadasa's near-silence over Gopala Bhatta, concluding that Gopala Bhatta requested his junior, Krishnadasa Kaviraja to be omitted from the book out of humility (1.222-3). Unlike other biographies of Chaitanya, Chaitanya Charitamrita describes Chaitanya's south India tour, including his visit to Srirangam and residing with the temple priest Venkata Bhatta (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.9.82- 165)[6]

Temples

Main article: Radha Raman Temple

Radha Ramana Temple, Vrindavan

The Radha Ramana Temple, Vrindavan

The quaint historic temple of Radha Ramana has recently celebrated its 500th anniversary. It has a steady flow of local worshippers as well as pilgrims from around the world. It is notable for housing the image that is the oldest remaining in Vrindavan for the longest continuous period, as Radha Ramana remained in Vrindavan during the iconoclastic raids by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb during the seventeenth century, when other images were removed to be hidden in safer places outside the city.[4] Performances of classical Indian devotional music are offered in Radha Ramana temple nightly.[3]

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Junagadh

In the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Junagadh, the primary deities of the temple, Radha Krishna are worshipped as Radha Ramana. The temple belongs to the Swaminarayan Sampradaya. It was built under the guidance of Swaminarayan.

History

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Ranga Kshetra in 1511 and stayed at Venkata's home. Venkata Bhatta had two brothers, Tirumalla Bhatta and Prabodhananda Sarasvati. They all belonged to the Sri Vaishnava tradition and Prabodhananda Sarasvati was a tridandi sannyasi[clarification needed] of that order. Vyenkata Bhatta had a son named Gopala, who was then just a child.

Gopala Bhatta was a son of a priest of Srirangam.[4] Venkata and his two brothers, Gopala's uncles Trimalla and Prabodhananda Sarasvati "were converted from their Sri Vaishnava faith in Lakshmi-Narayana as supreme to one in Radha Krishna" as Svayam Bhagavan.[7] The dialogue of this conversion is recorded in the Chaitanya Charitamrita biography by Krishnadasa Kaviraja.

In the second volume of the Chaitanya Charitamrita a presentation is given,[8] with a reference to the particular verse of the tenth canto of the Bhagavata Purana as to the reason why Lakshmi, also known as Sri, (thus the name of Sri Sampradaya) is burning with desire and still not capable of entering to the realm of Vrindavana.[9]

Prabodhananda Sarasvati is regarded to have accepted the supremacy of Radha-worship from Chaitanya.[10]

Being pleased with Gopala Bhatta Goswami's sincere service and devotion, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu initiated him, and ordered him to move to Vrindavana after the death of his parents and perform bhajan and write. He instructed him to serve his mother and father and always engage in chanting Krishna's glories.

At the age of thirty Gopala Bhatta Gosvami came to Vrindavana.

After Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's disappearance Gopala Bhatta Gosvami felt intense separation from Krishna. To relieve his devotee, Krishna is believed to have instructed Gopala Bhatta in a dream: "If you want my darshan (visit) 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 shaligramas enter his pot. He dropped the silas back into the river, but the silas re-entered his pot when he refilled it.

Gopala Bhatta Gosvami found twelve shaligramas. It is believed once a wealthy man came to Vrindavana and offered Gopala Bhatta a variety of clothing and ornaments for his shaligramas in charity. However, Gopala Bhatta couldn't use these for his round-shaped shaligramas, so he advised the donor to give the deity's decorations to someone else. It is believed that donor refused to take them back and Gopala Bhatta kept the cloths and ornaments with his shaligramas.

On the purnima (full moon) day of in the evening after offering to his shaligramas, 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 shaligramas in order to render the puja for them, and saw amongst them an image of Krishna playing a flute. The "Damodara shila" had manifested as the beautiful three-fold bending form of tri-bhangananda-krishna. In this way Radha Ramana emerged in a perfectly shaped deity form from a sacred fossilized shaligrama stone.[4] Devotees consider this image to be alive and that he grants a chosen family the privilege of assisting him in his daily schedule.[4] In this way "the Lord has granted his wish and the stone was turned into a deity murti of Sri Krishna".[11] As a narrative account of actualized Krishna-bhakti, Radharamana's appearance story highlights the divine-human relationship of love as the ontologically central category of ultimate reality.[12]

Iconography

The deity Radha Ramana is typically adorned with the following accessories: feather, crown, yellow dress, and shining vaijayanti-mala (garland) on his chest. He is regarded to wear ornaments in his ears and a shining tilaka on his forehead.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ Anand, D. (1992). Krishna: The Living God of Braj. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 978-81-7017-280-2.
  2. ^ "Radha Raman Vrindavan | District Mathura, Government of Uttar Pradesh | India". Retrieved 2023-06-21.
  3. ^ a b Anand, D. (1992). Krishna: The Living God of Braj. Abhinav Publications. p. 103. ISBN 978-81-7017-280-2.
  4. ^ a b c d e Hawley, John C. (1992). At Play with Krishna: Pilgrimage Dramas From Brindavan. Motilal Banarsidass Pub. pp. 4–5. ISBN 81-208-0945-9.
  5. ^ Valpey, Kenneth Russell (2006). Attending Kṛṣṇa's image: Caitanya Vaiṣṇava mūrti-sevā as devotional truth. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-38394-3.p.45
  6. ^ Valpey, Kenneth Russell (2006). Attending Kṛṣṇa's image: Caitanya Vaiṣṇava mūrti-sevā as devotional truth. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-38394-3.p.175
  7. ^ Brzezinski, J.K. (1992). "Prabodhananda, Hita Harivamsa and the" Radharasasudhanidhi". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 55 (3): 472–497. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00003669. JSTOR 620194."identify Radha as the supreme Laksmi.."
  8. ^ Madhya 9.113-114 Archived 2011-05-25 at the Wayback Machine: "Just to associate with Kṛṣṇa, Lakṣmī Archived 2008-05-16 at the Wayback Machine abandoned all transcendental happiness in Vaikuṇṭha Archived 2008-05-04 at the Wayback Machine and for a long time accepted vows and regulative principles and performed unlimited austerities."
  9. ^ "SB 10.16.36". Archived from the original on 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
  10. ^ Brzezinski, J.K. (1992). "Prabodhananda Sarasvati: From Benares to Braj". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 55 (1): 52–75. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00002640. JSTOR 620476.
  11. ^ D. Anand (1992). Krishna: The Living God of Braj. Abhinav Pubns. p. 162. ISBN 81-7017-280-2.
  12. ^ Valpey, Kenneth Russell (2006). Attending Kṛṣṇa's image: Caitanya Vaiṣṇava mūrti-sevā as devotional truth. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-38394-3.p.53
  13. ^ Valpey, Kenneth Russell (2006). Attending Kṛṣṇa's image: Caitanya Vaiṣṇava mūrti-sevā as devotional truth. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-38394-3.p.60


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