Appearance of Srimati Radharani
Govindaji had appeared alone, without the Deity of Srimati Radharani. So how did the deity of Sri Radha come to this temple? Radhanath swami explains:
“The son of Maharaj Pratap Rudra, Purushottam Jana, who lived in Sri Jagannatha Puri Dham, very much wanted that Govinda Dev and Madanmohana be worshiped with Srimati Radharani. So he sent two beautiful deities of Sri Radhika to Vrindavan with many devotees. But both the deites were installed with Madanmohan. One of them as Srimati Radha Rani and the other as Srimati Lalita Sakhi.
When Purushottam Jana heard this news, he was very very joyful, but he also wanted to send the Deity of Radharani for Govinda Dev. However, despite many attempts, for a long period he could not acquire such a Deity. So he was feeling very sad. Then one night while he was sleeping, Sri Radharani appeared to him in a dream and said, “In the Jagannath temple, the Deity of Lakshmi that is being worshipped as the consort of Jagannath, is actually Myself, but nobody knows this. You should take that Deity and send it to Vrindavan to be worshipped with Govinda Dev.” Upon hearing this, Purushottam Jana in great rush ran to the Jagannath temple and there he saw the beautiful Deity of Lakshmi Devi who revealed Herself as Sri Radharani.
There is a wonderful story of this Deity. It is explained that long before this incident, Srimati Radharani came from Vrindavan to Utkala or Orissa, in a village named Radhanagar. There was a brahmana, who was a very pure devotee from South India. His name was Brihad Bhanu. He worshipped this form of Srimati Radharani. His love was so pure that he served Sri Radharani as his own daughter, but million times over. No one can comprehend the extent of his devotion. Even a second that went by without the vision of Sri Radharani, was unbearably painful for him. In this way, he spent his life in pure unalloyed devotion. Then he became older and after some years, left his body and returned to Goloka Vrindavan.
The king of Orissa of that time, upon hearing this story went from Jagannath Puri to Radhanagar, to see this blessed Deity of Sri Radharani. While he was there, he was wondering what to do with the Deity. There was no one to worship her. Then Sri Radharani appeared to him in a dream and said, “You should take Me to the Jagannatha temple and worship Me there.” Therefore, She was brought to the Jagannath temple. But as the years went by, people began to think that She was Lakshmi Devi – the Goddess of Fortune, and they began to worship Her as such. To reciprocate with that devotion, Srimati Radharani manifested the form of the Supreme Goddess of Fortune – Lakshmi Thakurani.
Purushottam Jana upon hearing this order, made a wonderful arrangement to very carefully send her to Vrindavan with an entourage of devotees .The word spread throughout all of Orissa that Radharani was going to Vrindavan. When She arrived in Vrindavan, all of the Vrajavasis and the Goswamis were jubilant, so joyful, and they installed Her on the left side of Sri Govinda Dev. There was a wonderful, wonderful grand ceremony of the installation of Srimati Radharani and Sri Govinda Dev.”