Sri Govinda Dev Ji, Beloved Deities of srila Rupa Gosvami
Sri Govinda Dev Ji was originally installed nearly 5,000 years ago by Lord Krishna’s great-grandson. Govindaji is one of the four presiding Deities of Vraja-mandala (greater Vrindavana). Govindaji is a name of Krishna that means “one who gives pleasure to the senses, cows, and land.” This temple is located right next to the City Palace within the innermost walls of the old city.
Govindaji was originally worshiped by Srila Rupa Gosvami and installed at the Radha Govindaji Temple in Vrindavana. Govindaji was later brought to the city of Amber, near Jaipur, by Maharaja Jai Singh II to protect the Deity from destruction at the hands of the Muslim emperor Aurangzeb. Jai Singh’s grandfather had originally constructed the Govindaji Temple in Vrindavana. Govindaji was moved to the present temple in Jaipur about 1728.
Maharaja Jai Singh created his “City of Victory”, the city of Jaipur, as a dedication to Lord Govindaji. The temple is in a garden of the palace complex, and when the temple doors were opened, Maharaja Jai Singh in the past could see his beloved Deity from the royal quarters. On the altar are full-sized Deities of Govindaji, a beautiful black marble Deity, and Srimati Radharani.
Appearance of Sri Govinda Dev Ji
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krishna in the ecstatic mood of Srimati Radharani, appeared in this world to reveal the love of Vrindavana to anyone who would accept it from Him or His descendants. He came to Vrindavana, and there He had a grand and wonderful reunion with His eternal abode. But because His mother asked that He stay in Jagannatha Puri, Lord Caitanya requested Sri Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami’s to excavate and re-establish the lost places of pilgrimage where Lord Sri Krishna had His lila.
After Srila Rupa Gosvami re-established all of the important places where Lord Krishna performed His holy lila, he was still feeling anxiety because of one point. In the scriptures, it is said that Sri Govinda dev was installed in the Deity form in the holy land of Vrindavana. Srila Rupa Gosvami looked throughout all of Vrindavana very extensively and studied many books, desperately looking for the Govinda deity knowing that it was Lord Caitanya’s desire to install Govinda dev. But he could not find the Deity of Govinda dev anywhere.
He even searched through the houses of the Vrajavasis, but he could not find Sri Govinda. So his heart was feeling great sorrow. Such an incredible quality! We do not even do a thousand things, but we become proud. He did thousands of things and endeavoured with all his life and soul, but he was unable to fulfil just one particular instruction, and that made him miserable.
One day he sat on the bank of the holy river Yamuna under a tree, and a very charming Vrajavasi boy approached him. This boy was beautiful, calm and quiet, and he asked Rupa Gosvami why he was looking so sad. Srila Rupa Gosvamis heart was extremely attracted to this Vrajavasi. He was very much enchanted by the boys demeanour, by his characteristics, and by his incredible beauty He developed complete trust in this little child, and poured out his heart. Rupa Gosvami explained, “I cannot fathom the whereabouts of Govinda dev.” The boy smiled and said, “Do not be sad. Let your anxiety go away, because I know where Govinda dev is residing. Nearby, there is a hill called Gomati hill. In this holy place, a Surabhi cow comes and every afternoon willingly lets her milk down. Sri Govinda dev keeps Himself hiding under the ground of this holy spot. Come, I will show you.”
Then the all-attractive Vrajavasi boy personally led Srila Rupa Gosvami to that holy location, and then he suddenly disappeared. When the child disappeared, Rupa Gosvami could understand within his heart of hearts, “The boy was Govinda dev Himself. Krishna appeared to me, but I am so ignorant, so fallen, that I did not recognize my Lord. When He came before me, I did not offer Him any respect, nor did I perform any worship.” Srila Rupa Gosvami fell to the ground unconscious in ecstatic love.
After a long time he came to his external consciousness, and his eyes filled with tears as he cried with great feelings of ecstatic emotion. Then he recalled the desire of the Lord. He told the Vrajavasis that Sri Govinda dev is under the ground in this place. Very soon, a whole crowd of these devotees gathered and then they began to dig. Suddenly a divine voice spoke from the sky; it was Lord Balarama.
He explained to the Vrajavasis exactly where to dig and gave his profuse blessings upon them to reveal Govinda dev to the world. With great care and attention they dug, and finally from the earth they discovered the transcendental form of Sri Govinda dev, who was more beautiful than millions and millions of Kandarpas or Cupids. When Govinda dev was discovered everyone looked upon Him with great love, and they all began to chant Sri Govinda dev ki jai!”
The Vrajavasis made a small temple for Govinda dev and offered everything to Him, and thus Rupa Gosvamis desire was fulfilled. When Rupa Gosvami first began the puja of Govinda dev, demigods like Brahma disguised themselves as human beings and came to the earth to make their offerings to Sri Govinda. Rupa Gosvami was so happy that he immediately wrote a letter to Lord Sri Caitanya in Jagannatha Puri to explain that he has found Sri Govinda Dev Ji.
Sri Govinda Dev Ji, beloved Deities of Srila Rupa Gosvami
Appearance of Srimati Vrindadevi
On another night, Srila Rupa Gosvami had a dream. In this dream, Vrindadevi, an expansion of Srimati Radharani and the transcendental coordinator of all of the wonderful arrangements for the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, appeared to Rupa Gosvami. She told him the place where her Deity was hidden underground at Brahma kunda. Rupa Gosvami understood that Lord Caitanya was instructing him to excavate that place and find the Deity.
He approached the Vrajavasis, and on the banks of Brahma kunda, the Deity of Vrindadevi, whose beauty was undesirable, was revealed. Srila Rupa Gosvami installed the Deity of Vrindadevi in the same temple as Govinda dev. He was very satisfied. Then he sent a letter to Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, explaining how Govinda Dev had revealed Himself to him.
Kashishwar Pandita’s Gaura Govinda Deity
Kashishwar Pandita was a disciple of Srila Ishwara Puri, the spiritual master of Lord Caitanya. Kashishwar Pandita, along with Govinda, was the personal servant of Srila Ishwara Puri. As lshwara Puri was leaving the world, he ordered Govinda and Kashishwar to render personal service to Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. After Lord Caitanya returned from His south Indian tour, the two of them arrived.
They fell at the lotus feet of the Lord and informed Him that they were meant to be His servants. But Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu felt very ashamed, because they were His god-brothers and personal servants of His own spiritual master. How could he receive service from them? Therefore, He enquired from Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, who replied, “The order of the spiritual master is all-powerful and it must be carried out, above and beyond other forms of social etiquettes. They have been ordered by their Guru Maharaja to serve You.”
So Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted them as His personal servants. Kashishwar Pandita was very strong in his physical condition, and when Lord Caitanya would dance ecstatically, he would personally hold the crowds back to facilitate the Lord to beautifully dance in ecstatic love. As the Lord would walk through the crowds, he would also arrange a pathway by which the Lord would not be disturbed. He was also in charge of the distribution of prasadam by the arrangement of Lord Caitanya.
One day in Gambhira Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was talking to His devotees. He said, “I have not heard from Rupa or Sanatana for a long time; I wonder why?”And right when He said that, a messenger who had walked all the way from Vrindavana came in and said, “O Lord! I have a message from Rupa Gosvami.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard in this letter Rupa Gosvami sharing his joy that Govinda dev had once again manifested to deliver the material world with His all-attractive mercy. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very happy. He was overwhelmed with ecstasy. He could not control His love when He heard this news. Then He took Kashishwar Pandita to a private place and instructed him to go to Vrindavana and assist in the worship of Lord Govinda.
Kashishwar began to lament. How could he live without the personal association of Sri Gaurasundar? He lamented piteously. Gauranga Mahaprabhu, understanding his heart, gave Him a beautiful Deity of Himself of the name Gaura Govinda. This was a Deity of Lord Krishna in which Lord Sri Caitanya had personally manifested. Lord Caitanya told Kashishwar how to worship this Deity: Whenever you worship this Deity, you will see Me and you will feel My presence. Whenever you offer Him food, you will see Him eating. You should worship Him in great love. Then Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced Kashishwar Pandita and sent him to Vrindavana.
This is a very important story because by the power of the love of Kashishwar, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, for the first time, came to the western provinces of India in the Deity form. Kashishwar travelled to Vrindavana and placed the Deity of Gaura Govinda on the right side of Sri Govinda dev. He dedicated the rest of his life to serve these two Deities. Not far away from the Govinda dev temple are 64 samadhis of great Gaudiya, Vaishnava saints, and amongst them, one of the primary samadhis is that of Kashishwar Pandita – the personal associate of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and servant of Rupa Gosvami and Radha Govinda.
Building the Temple of Sri Govinda Dev Ji
Lord Caitanya instructed Raghunath Bhatta Gosvami to go to Vrindavana and to live as one of the Gosvamis. In the spirit of the servant of the servant, Raghunath Bhatta Gosvami assisted Rupa Gosvami in his service to Radha Govinda dev. He had made for Him a beautiful flute and earrings shaped like sharks. He was an excellent cook and would cook for Govinda Dev and sing Srimad-Bhagavatam for the Gosvamis.
After some time, Raja Man Singh, who was a disciple of Srila Raghunath Bhatta Gosvami and also a general in the army of king Akbar, built the most beautiful temple in all of North India – the Govinda Dev Mandir. The Govinda Dev Mandir is the most spectacular work of devotional art that the eyes can behold. There Radha Govinda Dev were worshipped with great love by all of the residents of Vrindavana. It became the principal temple in all of Vrindavana.
Appearance of Srimati Radharani
Sri Madan Mohan and Sri Govindaji appeared alone, without the Deities of Srimati Radharani. The son of Maharaja Prataparudra, Purushottam Jana, who lived in Sri Jagannatha Puri dhama, very much wanted that Govinda dev and Madan Mohan be worshiped with Srimati Radharani. So he sent two beautiful Deities of Sri Radhika to Vrindavana with many devotees. But both of the Deities were installed with Madan Mohan – one of them as Srimati Radharani 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 time 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 Jagannatha temple, the Deity of Lakshmi that is being worshipped as the consort of Jagannatha is actually Myself, but nobody knows this. You should take that Deity and send it to Vrindavana to be worshipped with Govinda dev. Upon hearing this, Purushottam Jana, in a great rush, ran to Chakravera, the Jagannatha 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 Vrindavana to Utkala or Orissa, to a village named Radhanagar. There was a brahmana there, 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 just like his own daughter, but a 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 Vrindavana.
The king of Orissa of that time, upon hearing this story, went from Jagannatha 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 Jagannatha 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 Srimati Radharani’s order to bring Her to Vrindavana, made a wonderful arrangement to very carefully send Her there with an entourage of devotees. The word spread throughout all of Orissa that Radharani was going to Vrindavana. When She arrived in Vrindavana, all of the Vrajavasis and the Gosvamis were jubilant, so joyful, They installed Her on the left side of Sri Govinda Dev. There was a wonderful, grand ceremony of the installation of Srimati Radharani and Sri Govinda dev.
Present Home of Sri Sri Radha Govinda
After some generations, the great-grandson of Akbar, Aurangzeb, a very demoniac person, was ruling India. One day, from his capital near Agra, he saw what appeared to be a star in the sky that was shining brighter than all others. A minister told him that the star was in fact a ghee lamp on top of the seven-storeyed temple of Sri Govinda dev, which had a flame that burnt 24 hours a day. Aurangzeb was so envious upon hearing that a Hindu temple could have such grandeur that he sent his armies to dismantle the temple. That very day, Jai Singh II was visiting the royal court at Agra.
When he heard that Aurangzeb was going to destroy the temple of Govindaji, the temple his grandfather had built for Rupa Gosvami, he became overwhelmed with disgust and anger. Immediately Jai Singh set out for Vrindavana with a plan to save Govindaji. He knew he would be unable to save the temple, but at least he could rescue the Deity. On arriving in Vrindavana, Jai Singh warned the people, who then fled the town. Jai Singh next carefully removed Govindaji from the splendour of His temple and, in great haste to avoid Aurangzeb’s advancing army, transported Govindaji to his well-fortified capital in the desert hills of Rajasthan.
When Aurangzeb and his army reached the Govindaji temple, he was furious to find that the Deity was gone and the townspeople had been alerted. Still, with hundreds of war elephants and thousands of men, he began to bring down the mammoth Govindaji temple, story by story, until only four stores remained. All of a sudden, the ground of Vrindavana began to shake violently. Aurangzeb’s men were terrified and ran for their lives, never to return. Although Aurangzeb wanted to kill Jai Singh for disrupting his plans, he was now old and faced more pressing problems within his empire. He soon died.
Meanwhile, Jai Singh also arranged the principal Deities of the Gosvamis of Vraja to be brought to Jaipur for protection. So Govinda dev, Madan Mohan, Radha Damodara, Radha Vinod, Radha Vrindavanchandra, Radha Gopinath, Radha Madhava, and several other Deities came to Jaipur. Jai Singh and his forefathers were all great devotees of the Deities of Vrindavana. They were all very serious and dedicated Vaishnavas and were very, very close to and surrendered to the teachings and mercy of the six Gosvamis and their followers.
Radha Govinda dev, Radha Madan Mohan, Radha Damodar, Radha Gopinath and Radha Vinod all came to this great city. Then Raja Jai Singh built big, big walls around the city and the city became known as Jaipur – The City of Victory. Right in the grounds of his palace, in the most prominent place, the king installed Govinda dev. Govinda dev was personally the kings Lord and master. He arranged the whole kingdom to be centred around the Deity of Sri Govindaji. From his room, the king could see the beautiful darshan of Radha Govinda. Since that time Govinda dev has been in Jaipur, and is being worshiped by the descendants of the original disciples of Srila Rupa Gosvami.
Present Home of Srimati Vrindadevi
It is explained that just after Govindaji appeared to Rupa Gosvami, he had a dream where Vrindadevi explained to him that she was under the ground on the banks of Brahma kunda. The Vrindadevi Deity was also installed in the Govinda dev temple. So while these Deities of Vrindavana were on caravan, secretly being brought to Jaipur, on the way they stopped for one night in Kamyavan. The next day when they were to proceed ahead, the cart on which Vrindadevi was resting would not move. She revealed to her pujari, “Govinda dev is the Lord of the entire universe, but my abode is Vrindavana and I cannot leave it.” So to this very day the original Deity of Sri Vrindadevi resides in Sri Kamyavan.
Entrance to Sri Govinda Dev Ji Temple in Jaipur
Massive courtyard of Sri Govinda Dev Ji Temple
Palace of Maharaja Jai Singh II in front of Sri Govinda Dev Ji Temple. Jai Singh was great Vaishnava devotee of Sri Govinda Dev Ji.
Sri Govinda Dev Ji Temple in Vrindavana
Raja Man Singh, who was a disciple of Srila Raghunath Bhatta Gosvami and also a general in the army of king Akbar, built the most beautiful temple in all of north India – the Govinda Dev Mandir. The Govinda Dev Mandir is the most spectacular work of devotional art that the eyes can behold. There Radha Govinda Dev were worshipped with great love by all of the residents of Vrindavana. It became the principal temple in all of Vrindavana.
Sri Govinda Dev Ji Temple Darshan Timings
Monday To Sunday
04:30 AM to 05:15 AM
08:45 AM to 09:15 AM
09:45 AM to 10:30 AM
11:00 AM to 11:30 AM
05:00 PM to 05:30 PM
05:45 PM to 07:00 PM
08:00 PM to 08:15 PM
Sri Govinda Dev Ji Temple Address
Sri Govinda Dev Ji Temple, Jalebi Chowk, Jai Niwas Garden, Jaipur, Rajasthan – 302002.
Also Read Temples in Jaipur City
Also Read Tourist places in Jaipur City