Compiled by Yashoda Nandana dasa
HISTORY OF THE MADANA-MOHANA TEMPLE
Sri Advaita Vata – Place where Sri Advaita Prabhu discovered Madan Mohana
Sanatana Gosvami established this temple. It is one of the first temples built in Vrindavan. The Deity of Madana-Mohan was originally known as Madana Gopala. Madan Mohan Temple on the riverside is the oldest structure in Vrindavan.
Advaita Acarya discovered the original Deity of Madana-Mohan at the base of an old vata tree, when he visited Vrindavana. He found this Deity at Advaita Vata, which is the place where he did his bhajana. This place is just below the hill on which the Madana-Mohan temple is located. He entrusted the worship of Madana-Mohan to his disciple, Purusottama Chaube, who then gave the Deity to Sanatana Gosvami. Worshiped along with Madana-Mohan are Radharani and Lalita, who were sent to Vrindavana by Purusottama Jena, the son of Maharaja Prataparudra.
This 20m (60 ft) high temple was opened in 1580 on Aditya Tila, a 16m (50 ft) hill next to the Yamuna. Ram Das Kapoor of Multan (Punjab) paid to build the temple. One day a ship he owned, loaded with salt, went aground in the Yamuna. He was advised by Sanatana Gosvami to pray to Madana-Mohan for help. The ship came free and the owner of the ship made a big profit, which he used to build this temple. Ram Das Kapoor built another temple dedicated to Madana-Mohan in his hometown and installed a replica of Madana-Mohan. This Deity is still being worshiped. His entire family was initiated as Vaishnavas and they were followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Krishna Dasa took care of worshiping Madana-Mohan after Sanatana Gosvami left his body. This temple is considered a historical site and is under the care of the Indian government.
This is the oldest temple in Vrindavan. The temple is closely associated with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is considered the incarnation of the Supreme Lord Krishna in the iron age of Kaliyuga and spreading the congregational chanting of the holy names.
Deity Moves to Jaipur
The original Madana-Mohan Deity was moved from Vrindavana to Jaipur, when the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, had his soldiers attack Vrindavana in 1670. The original Deity of Madana-Mohan is said to exactly resemble Krishna from the waist down.
That Deity is now in Karoli, which is southeast of Jaipur in Rajasthan. The Deity was moved from Jaipur to Karoli, at the request of a Jaipur Princess, who had married a prince from Karoli. Raja Gopala Sinha (who reigned from 1725-1759) built a temple for Madana-Mohan in Karoli, after receiving the Deity from his brother in law, the king of Jaipur.
Each day “Anga Kadi” is offered to Madana-Mohan. Sanatana Gosvami would go to Mathura for begging. He used to get wheat flour and horse gram. He would mix the flour with water and make small balls, which he cooked. These balls were then offered to Madana-Mohan. Even now this food is offered to Madana-Mohan.
Prayer by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraj
“Glory to the all-merciful Radha and Madana-Mohan! I am lame and ill advised, yet They are my directors and Their lotus feet are everything to me.” (Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 1.15)
When in 1670 the Muslim emperor Aurangzeb sent men to destroy the temples of Vrindavana, this temple was desecrated. Therefore it is considered that installed Deities are not supposed to be worshiped in this temple any more. Therefore the New Madana-Mohan temple was established at the bottom of the hill.
Story of the Deity
Sanatana Gosvami would go daily to Mathura to beg each day one chapati from each house that he went to. Sanatana Gosvami had a dream in which Madana-Mohan told him that He was living in the house of a brahmana in Mathura and that he should come there to beg. The next day Sanatana went to the house of the brahmana and he saw Madana-Mohan playing with the brahmana’s children. The brahmana treated Madana-Mohan like one of his children. When Sanatana saw this, he chastised the brahmana and told him about the rules and regulation of how to serve the Deity.
New Madana-Mohan Temple
Madana-Mohan then appeared to Sanatana Gosvami in a dream and told him that He was happy to live in the house of the brahmana as one of his children, but now that he had introduced so many rules and regulations he was not happy. Madana-Mohan also appeared to the brahmana and told him, you have so many sons, why don’t you give me to Sanatana Gosvami. The next day Sanatana went to see the brahmana and begged his forgiveness for chastising him. The brahmana then offered Madana-Mohan to Sanatana Gosvami. Sanatana said he could not take Him, because he could not offer Him proper food offerings. Madana-Mohan told him that He would take whatever He was offered.
One day Sanatana was offering the usual dry chapatis to Madana-Mohan, and Madana-Mohan asked Sanatana for some salt. Sanatana replied, “Now you want salt and tomorrow You will want sweets. I have so much writing to do, please just accept these chapatis.”
There is a new Madana-Mohan Temple, built by Sri Nanda Kumar Bose of Bengal in the early nineteenth century, at the bottom of the hill, where the Deity of Madana-Mohan is now being worshiped. Worship was moved to this new temple because the Muslims contaminated the old temple. This temple contains the pratibhu-murtis of the original Deities. It is considered that there is no difference in potency between the original Deity