Journey to Spiritual Places with Radhanath Swami

Radha Damodar Temple

Sri Jiva Goswami was one of the Six Goswamis of Vrindavan led by Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana, who happened to be his  uncles. In the following words Radhanath Swami describes how the deity of Sri Radha Damodar was given to Jiva Goswami:

“Rupa Goswami loved Jiva Goswami so dearly. With his own hands, Rupa Goswami carved a Deity   and named that Deity   Radha Damodar. In the year 1542, Rupa Goswami personally installed that Deity   and worshiped him. Then he entrusted the care of Sri Radha Damodar to Jiva Goswami. Sri Jiva Goswami worshiped Radha Damodar with such deep love and attachment. The Bhakti Ratnakar explains a few incidences of the nature of Jiva Goswami’s love.  Lord Damodar was so pleased with Jiva Goswami’s devotion that He would speak to Jiva Goswami! He would say, “Please give Me bhoga, I am hungry.”  We just understand the time of offering of the bhoga by the clock, knowing that Krishna’s expecting it. But for Jiva Goswami, because of his love, Damodar would actually call him when it was coming close to the time offering. I guess there were not any clocks in those days. The devotees would understand quite precisely when offering is to be made. But Damodar would say, “I am hungry Jiva, I am hungry, please feed Me bhoga.” And, Jiva Goswami would personally prepare the bhoga, and offer with his own hands with love and devotion. By Damodar’s mercy, Jiva Goswami with his own eyes would see Damodar eating the bhoga.

One time, Jiva Goswami heard a flute playing, and then Damodar called out and said, “Jiva! Come, I am playing the flute for you.”  And, Jiva Goswami came to the altar and there he saw Damodar dancing! The Deity   of Damodar was dancing!!  His three-fold bending form, playing upon His flute, beautiful sweet music for the pleasure of His devotee. Jiva Goswami saw the beautiful form of Damodar, whose eyes were like lotus petals, His head was decorated with a peacock feather, a garland of beautiful forest flowers was around His neck, and lovely ornaments decorated His body. He was dancing and singing, playing sweet, sweet melodies on His flute for His devotee. Jiva Goswami fell unconscious in ecstasy, and when he came back to consciousness, he could only weep, cry in ecstatic love. These were some of the pastimes that Sri Jiva Goswami performed with Sri Damodar, who is worshiped here.

It is believed that Emperor Akbar, once, when he came to Vrindavan-Dham, had the darshan of Jiva Goswami and the darshan of Jiva Goswami transformed his heart.  He was given such a vision of appreciation of Vrindavan, that under Jiva Goswami’s instruction, he as well as many of his generals and ministers became very active in developing Vrindavan as a very great holy   place.  They helped in the construction of Radha Govindaji Mandir, Radha Damodar mandir, Jugalkishor Mandir, and Radha Gopinath Mandir.”