Sri Sri Radha-Damodar

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BY: SUN STAFF - 19.4 2021

Srila Prabhupada always had an intimate relationship with Radha-Damodara. For years he lived at the Radha-Damodara Mandir in Vrindavan, where he had written his Srimad Bhagavatam purports under Their shelter. Prabhupada told us that he lives eternally at Radha-Damodara temple and has requested that we continually venerate his rooms there.

Radha-Damodara were also the beloved Deities of Srila Rupa Goswami and Sila Jiva Goswami. These two eminent Acharyas were dedicated to spreading the mission of Lord Chaitanya worldwide. Srila Prabhupada had regularly prayed for the mercy of these Acharyas whose life and soul were Radha-Damodara.

When Prabhupada suffered a heart attack on his maiden voyage to America he wrote the following in his diary: "I feel better today, but I am feeling separation from Sri Vrindavan and my Lords, Sri Govinda, Gopinath, Radha-Damodara". By leaving the Radha-Damodara temple in Vrindavan he brought Lord Chaitanya's sankirtan mission to the world and sparked a spiritual revolution through the chanting of Hare Krishna.

In the early days of the Hare Krishna movement in America, Sri Sri Radha-Damodara were the first Deities that most people ever saw. This was because Radha Damodara did not remain confined to a temple building. Instead, since Their temple happened to be a bus, They were constantly on the move. There are historical precedents for this.

Radha Damodara lived on the road for over six years on a bus converted into a traveling temple. Rather than wait for people to come to see Them, They were Deities who went out to engage sincere souls in Lord Chaitanya's sankirtan movement. This was unprecedented in the history of Gaudiya Vaishnavism - indeed, in all history.

It was no ordinary circumstance that Radha Damodara lived in a traveling temple. Srila Prabhupada had given a special sanction that these Radha Krishna Deities could be worshiped like this. They were thus unique because no other large Radha-Krishna Deities lived on a bus for years on end. Rather it was a singular event because they spearheaded the spreading of the Holy Name as prophesied by Lord Chaitanya:
 

prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama, sarvatra pracara hoibe mora nama

"In every town and village around the world My name will be sung."

The ups and downs of life on the road were not only experienced by the devotees, but Radha Damodara compassionately encountered these hardships as well, just as the Lord in the heart witnesses the trials and tribulations of every living being. In keeping with Their prankish mood and displaying their sense of humor, Radha Damodara descended in Their Sri Murti forms to join the fun and help us accomplish Their goal. It is stated that Lord Chaitanya is the combined form of Radha and Krishna. In this way Lord Chaitanya by His inconceivable potency came to fulfill His own prophecy.

In the same way, the unlimitedly beautiful and merciful Radha-Damodar Deities also travel all over world with His Grace Sriman Sankarshan das Adhikari and his wife, Srimati Vishnupriya devi dasi.