(Mandir – Shri Radhagolokavihari Bhagavan, Shri Golok Dham Ashram, New Delhi, India)
His Divine Grace, ‘Dharmaratna’ Swami Shri Gopal Sharan Devacharya Ji Maharaj recieved the inspiration for this wonderful complex from the Lord with a view to blessing the devotees with an earthly manifestation of the eternal Nitya Dham Shri Goloka-Vrindavana of Thakur Shri Shri Radha Krsna (known at this Ashram as Sri Sri Radha Golokavihari Ji).
The various facilities at the Ashram include the following:-
Mandir Shri Radha Golokavihari Ji Bhagavan
(Thakur Shri Shri Radha Golokavihari Ji Bhagavan with Lalita and Vishakha Sakhis)
Here in the Sanctum Sanctorum, the Lord is manifest in His eternal glory, accompanied by the Asta Sakhis – Lalita, Vishakha, Rangadevi, Sudevi, Indulekha, Chitralekha, Tungavidya and Champaklata – the epitome of devotion. This is the eternal form of the Lord which Bhagavan Nimbarka revealed as the Scripturally endorsed form of God. Sri Sri Radha Krsna jointly is the original, purest and ultimate Supreme Personality of God. Nimbarkas teachings were given to him by his own Guru, Sri Sri Narada Muni, the foremost propagator of Devotion. True to the teachings of the Sampradaya, Sri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj has enthroned the Lord, seated together, served by the 8 Main Sakhis who each represent the pinnacle of devotion. In this recent picture, a closeup of the Lord has included only Lalita and Vishakha Sakhis…. rest assured the remaining Sakhis are there!
Auxillary Mandir of Shri Sharaneshvari Mata (Shri Durga Mata/ Yogamaya Devi)
Shri Sharaneshwari Vaishnavi Durga Devi
As per the teachings of the 17th Jagadguru Nimbarkacharya, Swami Shri Keshava Kashmiri Bhattacharya Maharaj (13th Century CE), the outer energy of the Lord is Durga Devi, who appeared in the Leela of Shri Radha Krsna as his older sister Shri Yogamaya Devi. She represents the Mula Prakriti or material nature in which we are all immersed. She is also the energy behind the Sacred Mula Mantra of this Sampradaya. While normal Smarta Hindus worship her for the sake of material benefits, Nimbarka Sampradaya teaches that we must offer her and the other exalted Vaisnava Deities worship using the Prasadam of Shri Radha Krsna, so that she may bless us with increased devotion to the feet of Shri Shri Radha Krsna.
Auxiliary Mandir – Shri Hanuman Ji and Shri Nimbarkacharya Bhagavan
Shri Nimbarka Bhagavan and Shri Amaranidhi Hanuman Ji Maharaj
Shri Nimbarka Bhagavan is the 8th Century incarnation of the Sudarshana Chakra of Bhagavan Shri Krsna. He is the propagator of Svabhavika Dvaitadvaita Siddhanta Philosophy – the principle of natural unity in diversity. The Sudarshana Chakra is none other than a manifestation of Aniruddha Vyuha, which is none other than an emanation of Shri Krsna Himself, which further exemplifies the unity in diversity principle. He is also the incarnation of Rangadevi Sakhi, who is an emanation of Shrimati Radha Rani. The two are present in the body of Sri Nimbarka. When he taught the philosophy of the scriptures as it is, he proved to all that the only worshippable Lord is Sri Sri Radha Krsna – the first time the Lord was worshipped as this unified dual principle. Centuries before Sri Ramanujacarya, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Vallabhacharya, Bhagavan Shri Nimbarkacharya taught that the root of salvation lies in the perfect devotion to the Lotus feet of the Lord Sri Sri Radha Krsna. Being the founding personality of our Sampradaya, Sri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj has installed Sri Nimbarkacharya in order that our intelligence is awakened by the light of the Sudarshana Chakra to the devotion of the Lord as the highest path (as elucidated by the Lord Himself in the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita).
Shri Hanuman Ji Maharaj is the leader of Vaisnava devotees, being the partial incarnation of Lord Shiva. He exemplifies devotion in Daasya Bhaava – the feelings of servitude as shown in the Ramayana by his service to Lord Sri Ramacandra. He is also the patron protector of the Vaisnavas – riding on the chariot of Sri Arjuna and Bhagavan Sri Krsna during the battle of the Mahabharata to protect the vehicle from the neuclear missiles, and also scaring off the Islamic fundamentalists led by Mahmud Ghazni as they attacked Shridham Vrindavana in the middle ages. As per the instructions of the Sampradaya, Sri Hanuman Ji is offered remnants of the offerings to the Lord Almighty, as he is the representative of all the Vaisnavas – and a benediction is saught: May he bless us with unflinching devotion to the Lotus feet of the Supreme.
- Shivalaya – Mandir of Shri Sharaneshvara Mahadeva
Shri Sharaneshvara Mahadeva – the King of all Vaisnava Deities
Shri Shiva Shankara Bhagavan is non-different to the Lord. He represents the emanation controlling the regulation of living entities, and also represents the principle of the Spritual Master – as it is from Lord Shiva’s lotus mouth that we hear the Ramayana and the Pancharatra scriptures for the first time. He is also the protector of Vrindavana and the only deity to gain entry into the eternal Rasa Lila as Gopishvara Mahadeva. By His grace, one can understand the more subtle principles of Vedanta and Devotional Philosophy. By His grace, a simpleton can become a great devotee – so we worship Lord Shiva in order that he bless us to become true devotees of the Lord. Sri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj has installed the Lord as Sharaneshvara – the Lord of all those who are called ”Sharana” (those who are initiated into Nimbarka Sampradaya are given a spiritual name with the appelation Sharana – one who seeks the shelter of the Lord). Sharaneshwara is therefore the Lord of all the Nimbarka Sampradaya’s disciples – and with His grace, we gain the correct knowledge which allows the proper execution of the devotional principles.
Yajnashala – Sacrificial Pavillion
The Yajnashala is constructed according to the dimensions laid out in the Yajurveda, and the Yajnashala’s Havan Kund is more than 6ft deep. Daily Homa’s are conducted with the Sacred Mula Gopala Mantra for the pleasure of the Divine Couple Shri Radha Krsna, who pervades the Vedas, and is thus pleased with Vedic Sacrifices. Only the best grains and ghee (made from the milk of the Ashrams own cows) are offered here to the accompaniment of Vedic Mantras by our Brahmacharis. On special occasions, the Yajnashala transforms into a scene from by-gone Vedic eras, with expert Vedic Vaisnava Brahmanas performing great Mahayajnas on a yearly basis. So far, the Ashram has held Sri Sudarsana Mahayajna, Sri Gopala Mahayajna, Sri Rudra Yajna, Sri Saraneshvari Mahayanja, Sri Shatachandi Mahayajna and Sri Krsna Mahayajna.
Shri Hari Gaushala – Home of the Lord’s Cows
Sri Sadgurudeva’s love for the respected Gau Mata is manifested in the Shri Hari Gaushala, in which more than 20 Cows and their offspring are cared for. Milk is only taken from the cows once their calfs have had their fill of their mothers milk, the rest is used by the Ashram for offering to Sri Sri Radhagolokavihari Ji Bhagavan. Buttermilk, Ghee, Yoghurt and hot Milk are all offered to the Lord daily – whether through Havan or through the sumptuous bhoga offerings. Sri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj comes daily to the Gaushala at 4am in order to have darshana of Gau Mata, and feed her ‘Gur’ – or jaggery (her favorite!). His personal observation is that just by caring for the cow; by feeding her, petting her, arranging for her care, we can all feel a little bit closer to the divine. At the very least, he assures us that our stresses can be forgotten in her presence – very, very true!
Swami Sri Govinda Dev Giri Ji (Sri Kishora Vyasa) with Brahmacharis and Devotees, March 18th 2008
Through the boundless grace of Sri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj, the provision for the education, boarding and lodging of over 20 Brahmacharis has been arranged, and the Brahmacharis are devoted to serving the Lord and his Ashram. On many occasions, great Saints of India bless the Brahmacharis through their lectures and books. Devotees who visit the Ashram are always warmly welcomed and attended to by the Brahmacharis (all of whom are Vaisnava Brahmanas) – even though their social status is very esteemed. This is because in the eyes of the Lord, we are all equal, and more importantly, we are all one family. Sri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj is most benevolent, as most Brahmacharis were in unfortunate circumstances before their admission into Sri Golok Dham. Sri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj ki Jay!
Shri Sant Nivas, Gurudeva’s Kutir and Bhakta Nivasa
Sri Sadgurudev Ji’s influence is not only present in India, but worldwide. Whenever devotees from out of Delhi and overseas visit the Ashram they are given a clean, comfortable room in the Bhakta Nivasa, comprising of three floors and more than 20 rooms. The Ashram is a monestary, and devotees are always willing to make sure that the rooms are left in the tidy manner they were found. The rooms have been kindly sponsored by many families, and the hope is that eventually, devotees will take up residence for parts of the year at the Ashram to facilitate their spiritual progress. Sri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj resides in the Kutir, where the office, audience hall and a rasoi are housed. Also, the Santa Nivas is found on the top floor, providing residence for visiting Swamis. Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj’s Bhajan Goopha is located in the basement where his personal deities are privately worshipped, and his own Sadhanas can be practised in tranquility. He finishes his Puja at around 10am, after which he recieves all visiting devotees in the audience hall.
Karyalaya – the office
the Ashrams Publication Editor, Sandeep Sharma, overseeing the Live Broadcast of Sri Devi Bhagavat Katha, held from the 9th – 18th March 2008.
In his bid to propagate the teachings of Sri Nimbarka Sampradaya, Sri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj has created a publications department, where 3 or more publications yearly are typed, edited and distributed. Books, Audio CDs, DVD’s and the Website are all managed from here. In this technological age, the vision of Sri Sadgurudev Ji Maharaj is that the message of Devotion to Sri Sri Radha Krsna as taught by the Vedanta propagated by Sri Nimbarka Bhagavan should reach every TV, computer and bookshelf across the globe.
Thus concludes our short tour of Golok Dham Ashram in New Delhi… for more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.