Dham Seva and Radha Gopinath Mandir
Posted August 16, 2011
Nestled in a wooded hilltop overlooking the Palace of Gold and encircled by the New Vrindaban community is a project inspired and developed by H.H. Varsana Swami. A conservancy under the care of Dham Seva, this beautiful location is home to many varieties of beautiful trees such as apple, sugar maple, walnut, chestnut, pear, persimmon and sitaphal. It is also frequented by all kinds of natural wildlife.
The centerpiece of the property is a beautiful lake known as Radha Kunda. To the south of Radha Kunda a newly constructed octagonal gazebo is home to the Six Goswamis of Vrindaban. The presiding Deity of Radha Gopinath, accompanied by Vrinda Devi and the Asta Sakhis, watches over the land.
In an attempt to glorify the Lord and please Srila Prabhupada, Varsana Swami and the Dham Seva team have initiated the process of design and development for a new temple. Situated directly in line with Radha Kunda, the new temple will be 16 feet deep by 16 feet wide (24 sq.m.) and approximately 27 feet (8.25 m) tall. The temple will house the current presiding deities and will be called Radha Gopinath Mandir.
Expanding the New Vrindavan experience
There is a consistent thread in the fabric of New Vrindavan's landscape, which originates at Srila Prabhupada's Palace and extends to Radha Kunda and beyond, to Madhuvan, where Srila Prahbupada was pleased to see his vision of village life unfolding. That theme is Lord Nityananda's mercy, which Srila Prabhupada embodied, warranting the title "Nityananda avesh" (infused with the energy of Lord Nityananda).
Lord Nityananda's personified mercy, Jahnava devi, had a special esoteric relationship with Radha Gopinath. In the late 16th century, when Jahnava devi visited Vrindavan, she would meditate deeply on the form of Radha Gopinath, who appeared to her as she was chanting, sitting on the bank of Radha Kunda, absorbed in the loving mood and service of Ananga Manjari. One day she had the thought that the form of Radha was too small in proportion to Gopinath. That night Gopinath appeared to her in a dream and told her that Radha was indeed too short. Radha then appeared to Jahnava in the same dream, affirming the message.
On her return to Bengal, Jahnava ordered a new Deity of Radharani, who was then transported to Vrindaban. The smaller, original Radha was moved to Krsna's right side and assumed the function of Ananga Manjari. The larger deity took Her place.
Devotion to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga is embodied in the spiritual form of Jahnava devi, whose ontological form is Ananga Manjari in Krsna's pastimes. Her mercy is essential in the attainment of service to Lord Nityananda, who alone offers our qualification to access the shelter of Lord Chaitanya, and consequent entrance into the mellows of Vraja.
Srila Prabhupada has consistently expressed his desire for New Vrindaban. He emphasized two specific mandates. New Vrindaban was to be a replica of the land of Krsna's childhood pastimes — Vrindavan, India — and was also to demonstrate the practice of simple living and high thinking based on agrarian principles. Dham Seva was formed to promote an agricultural lifestyle integrated with holy places and replica temples, which imbibe the Vrindavan atmosphere.
The construction of Radha Gopinath Mandir will be the first effort towards this goal. Varsana Swami and Gaura Shakti das are requesting devotees to please come forward and offer assistance. Helping to develop and cultivate the holy dham is certainly a great privilege and honor and is a worthwhile cause for one's time, money and labor. Sincere thanks and appreciation are also given to those devotees who have already contributed to the Dham Seva project.
Please feel free to contact either Varsana Swami or Gaura Shakti das if you have any desire to assist in this wonderful project. They can be reached at the following addresses: Varsana Swami: Varsana_Swami -at- yahoo.com Gaura Shakti: gaura.acbsp -at- gmail.com, tel. 304-843-0122. More information can be obtained at www.dhamseva.com.
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