The Divine Reappearance of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava
Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava move from West Bengal to Odisha
The worship of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava (hereafter: Rādhā-Mādhava) goes back to the time of Śri Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s (A.D. 1486 – A.D. 1534) physical presence on this planet. At that time, Krishnananda Dutta, an initiated disciple of Nityānanda Prabhu and wealthy land-owner residing in Andul (West Bengal), worshipped Rādhā-Mādhava in his home. After renouncing his family life, Krishnananda Dutta moved together with Rādhā-Mādhava to Jagannātha Purī (Odisha). His lifestyle there was simple and pious. He would daily worship Rādhā-Mādhava, chant 300,000 names of the Lord and observe a vow of silence.
In due course of time, Krishnananda Dutta met the king of Aul (city in Odisha) in Jagannātha Purī. Impressed by his divine character the king requested Krishnananda Dutta to move to Chhoti (formerly Choti Mangalpur), a village belonging to his kingdom. Krishnananda Dutta accepted the king’s request and moved with Rādhā-Mādhava to Chhoti. There he continued his simple and pious lifestyle.
Nine generations later: Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Rādhā-Mādhava
After Krishnananda Dutta’s physical departure the worship of Rādhā-Mādhava was performed by his descendants. Nine generations later, being one of Krishnananda dutta’s descendants, this worship was handed over to Kedarnath Dutta. In Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava societies Kedarnath Dutta is better known as Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura.
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was a great saint whose contribution to the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava society at large is unparalleled. He wrote more than one hundred books, both original works and commentaries, in English, Sanskrit, and Bengali. His numerous devotional songs, immersed in divine love born of full surrender, reveal his deep love for Lord Śri Krishna.
One of these songs is ‘Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava’. This world-famous song is favoured in all Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava societies. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura composed this song with his family deities Rādhā-Mādhava in mind. Thus, these Rādhā-Mādhava deities are the direct embodiment of this particular song.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī and Rādhā-Mādhava
After the physical departure of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in 1914, the worship of Rādhā-Mādhava was handed over to his biological son Bimala Prasad Dutta, who is better known as Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī was a lifelong celibate and preacher of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava philosophy.
During his visits to Chhoti he would not enter into his father’s house, but would stay in the adjacent Dasahara Mandap. As he considered Chhoti to be his native place and his hereditary property, and as he was leading the life of a Vaishnava sannyasi, he considered all his property to be dedicated to the service of Rādhā-Mādhava, and thus it was not meant for him to enjoy.