What is the background of Radha Govinda Asram?
Till the year 1994 Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj heard about Sri Rupa Goswami’s Upadesamrita from Srila Guru Maharaja Sri Gour Govinda Goswami Maharaja. Guru Maharaja mentioned about Upadesamrita Sloka’s in his class. Feeling inspired in his heart, Swami ji collected the book of Srila Prabhupada Upadesamrita Nectar of instruction and read it. While he read, he came a cross a verse:
vaikunthaj janito vara madhu-puri tatrapi rasotsavad
vrndaranyam udara-pani-ramanat tatrapi govardhanah
radha-kundam ihapi gokula-pateh premamrtaplavanat
kuryad asya virajato giri-tate sevam viveki na kah
Due to Sri Krsna having taken birth there, the abode of Mathura is superior even to Vaikuntha, the realm of spiritual opulence. Superior to Mathura is the forest of Vrndavana because there the festival of the rasa dance took place. Superior to Vrndavana forest is Govardhana Hill because Sri Krsna raised it with His lotus hand and performed many pastimes there with His devotees. Yet superior even to Govardhana Hill is Sri Radha-kunda because it immerses one in the nectar of Sri Krsna’s divine love. What intelligent person would not desire to render service to this magnificent pond, which shines at the base of Govardhana Hill?
In this sloka,Srila Rupa Goswami Pada established Sri Radha-kunda as the topmost place of Bhajana in the whole universe. Reading this he thought: “If ever the opportunity comes to me to reside in Vraja-mandala I desire to stay in Vrindavanaat Sri Radha-kunda”.
The years went by and in 1996 his Guru Maharaja, Srila Gour Govinda Goswami Maharaja, entered nitya lila.The connection between a sincere disciple and his guru never breaks, and in this way, by Srila Gour Govinda Goswami Maharaja´s mercy he was guided to the feet of Srila Narayana Goswami Maharaja in Mathura. In 1998 he took full shelter of him and received the second initiation ‘Diksa’.
As the years went by his desire to reside at Sri Radha-kunda was never diminished, but even increased. He knew that without the order, without the permission of Sri Guru one should not reside in Vraja-mandala or at Sri Radha-kunda.It is essential to reveal one´s heart to Sri Guru and so he took the opportunity, during Srila Narayana Goswami Maharaja´s visit in Bhubaneshwar, to express his hankering:“O Gurudeva, I want to reside at Radha-kunda”.
Being an intimate devotee, a dear Vraja Vasi and very near and dear to Srimati Radharani, he told to him not to go to Radha-kunda by his own endeavour. In this way he confirmed his understanding, and at the same time he gave him his blessing by saying: “Radharani will make the arrangement; Radharani will call you and will make all the arrangements. She will give you a place and at that time you should go to Radha-kunda and reside there. Don’t try by your own, by the ascending process, by aroha vada.”
Again many years passed and he had to wait patiently. Every year he took part in Vraja-mandala Parikrama, and at that time, whenever it was possible, he was going to Sri Radha-kunda. Sitting at the bank of Sri Radha-kunda, he recited so many prayers to Radharani, especially the Sri Radha krpa-kataksa-stava-raja as Srila Gurudeva taught us, as well as other bhajanas of our acarya’s like Radha-kunda tata and Cintamani-maya. There are so many profound kirtans in our line, which Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj recited, and he offered his heartfelt prayers to Sri Radha-kunda. Then, at the end of Vraja-mandala Parikrama, following the instruction of Srila Gurudeva,he left and went back to Bhubaneshwar. In this way he was waiting and waiting.
After 2009 the center in Bhubaneswar was not running properly, and he had to face so many difficulties in maintaining this big Ashram. In 2010, when Srila Gurudeva entered nitya lila, the separation has been unbearable. It became almost impossible to maintain the Ashram and it was like a burden. Most of time he was alone. Activities were reduced to minimum. He thought if he was staying anyway alone why not staying at Sri Radha-kunda? But Srila Gurudeva had told him to wait.
Eventually Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj came to Vrndavana and stayed there continuously over six months. On many occasions he visited Sri Radha-kunda, to again express his yearning, and he prayed that Srila Gurudevas blessings may come true, and that Srimati Radharani will call him and will make all arrangements.
Then by the help of a Vaisnava, he found this land and asked the owner of the land if they want to sell it to him. By the help of some devotees he was able to buy this land. In 2012, by the mercy of Srila Gurudeva, he was able to move to Sri Radha-kunda and constructed an asram.
Like Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu discovered Radha-kuṇḍa and Syama-kuṇḍa, which were two reservoirs of water in two paddy fields, similarly, this BhajanKutir is manifested by Sri Gurudeva’s mercy and desire only.
Despite all obstacles he had to face, and although he had to wait, hope and pray so long, until the proper time occurred, finally Swami Bhakti Vedanta Muni Maharaj became enabled in building this Bhajana Kutira. And the dear deity’s Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Jiu, which were installed for him by Srila Gurudeva in 2006, were brought here. They are happily residing here and receiving services. Because the deity’s are Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Jiu, this ‘Bhajana Kutir’ is actually Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Kunj.
This is the background how Radha Govinda Asram manifested.