Radha Madanmohan Temple
The deity of Madanmohan is considered the heart and soul of Sanatana Goswami, one of the six principle followers of Lord Chaitanya. Initially, Sanatana Goswami worshiped Madanmohan near a beautiful hill called ‘Dvadasa aditya teel’, just above the river Yamuna. The following passage from Radhanath Swami’s lecture describes how the temple for Madanmohan was made:
“Srila Sanatana Goswami was worshipping Sri Madanmohana in a very simple way. He had no home, no residence; he would sleep under a tree. He practically never slept, ate very little, and was always immersed in hearing and chanting the names and glories of the Lord. Sometimes he would beg and get a little bit of wheat flour. He would take some Yamuna water, mix it with wheat flour, roll it into small balls, and then he would cook those small balls on a fire of coals. This is what he would offer to Madanmohana. So one day Madanmohana spoke to him and inquired, “Can you not even offer me a little salt with this ‘baati’?” Sanatana Goswami in great love, replied, “I am an old man. And I am very poor. I am offering you the best things that I can.”
It is explained that, at that time, a large boat carrying salt was on its way to Agra and somehow that boat got stuck in the river Yamuna. The owner of the boat was a very, very wealthy merchant of the name Krishnadas Kapur. He came out of the boat in great anxiety. His fortune, his treasure of wealth was very much at risk. He was in the middle of a forest. At that time there was no temple there. Vrindavan was just a dense forest. There were lions, tigers, and the six Goswamis.
At that time, Sri Madan Gopal took the form of a small cowherd boy, and came down to the river Yamuna. The child asked him, “Do you need help? There is great saintly person on the top of the hill. He can help you. You should go and see him.” Krishnadas Kapur climbed up the hill and surrendered at the lotus feet of Sanatana Goswami. There are four types of people that approach Krishna – the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and one who is searching for the knowledge of the Absolute. Krishnadas Kapur was in too much distress, his entire life’s earning was on a boat, and it was stuck in middle of the jungle – very serious situation.
Sanatana Goswami taught him the principle of pure devotional service, and taught him how to love Madanmohana with his heart. He became a devotee. That is the power of association of a Vaishnava. However, Sanatana Goswami never accepted that he could do anything for anyone. He understood that the only shelter is Madanmohana. This is the mood of a preacher. A real preacher does not think that he can help on his own. He simply tries to connect a person to Lord Krishna and previous acharyas, knowing that they can deliver anyone. Sanatana Goswami offered the head of Krishnadas Kapur at the lotus feet of Madanmohana. Krishnadas Kapur became a pure Vaishnava. He began to pray to Madanmohana and offer whatever he had – and amongst it was some salt. As he was praying, a gush of water came and wonderfully released his boat from the rocks, stones, and mud of Yamuna. Due to Srila Sanatana Goswami’s great compassion and exemplary behavior, Krishnadas Kapur had developed complete faith in him. And by the grace of Sanatana, Krishnadas Kapur developed great faith in the lotus feet of Sri Madanmohana.
Later, Krishnadas Kapur went to Agra and made great fortune by selling his wares and salt. On his way back, he asked Sanatana Goswami, “How can I serve you?” Sanatana Goswami replied, “I require nothing. I am quite happy sleeping under these trees. But Madanmohana shouldn’t be living in such poverty. Kindly build Him a temple.” Thus the first major temple of Vrindavan was constructed under the direction of Sanatana Goswami. To this day, almost five hundred years later, that temple is the very symbol of Vrindavan. And this beautiful landmark of Vraja bhumi is available for the entire world to behold, by the grace of Srila Prabhupada.”