When we are talking about Shreenathji Temple History, it must start with Shri Govardhan. In Golok Dham, they decorate Shri Govardhan Mountain with gems. Shri Thakurji performs rituals with Govardhanathji, Shri Swaminiji, and Braj devotees in the Kandara of Giriraj. It is a daily play. There, Acharya ji always serves Mahaprabhu Shri Vallabhadhish Shri Thakurji.
The Conversation Between Shri Thakurji & Shri Mahaprabhuji
Once Shri Thakurji allowed Shri Vallabhacharya Mahaprabhu to appear on Earth. This was for the salvation of their Bhaktas. Shri Thakurji Shriswaminiji assured to appear in Shri Braj himself. They appeared along with Braj devotees’ youths and Leela-Samangri. According to this assurance, Shri Govardhanath appeared on Giriraj Govardhan during Vikram Samvat in 1466 AD. The Lord appeared at the time of sunrise on Shravan Krishna Teej Sunday, 1409.
The Lord appeared in the same form in which Lord Shri Krishna accepted the worship of Brajvasis to honor Indra. The Annakoot was healthy and untouched. The appearance of the entire form of Shri Govardhannathji did not happen at once. First, the left arm appeared, then the Mukharvinda, and later the whole form appeared.
Appearance Of the Vama Bhuja
First of all, a Brajvasi went to Govardhan Parvat to find his lost cow, and he saw the raised left arm of Shri Govardhannathji. This was on the day of Shravan Shukla Panchami or Nagpanchami of Vikram Samvat 1466. He called other Brajvasis and made them see the raised left arm or the Vama Bhuja.
Then an old Brajvasi said that Lord Krishna had protected Brajvasis, Braj’s cows, and Braj from the anger of Indra by lifting Giriraj Govardhan on the finger of his left hand. Hence, the people of Braj worshiped his left arm. This is the same left arm of Lord Krishna.
The Vama Bhuja is now standing in the Kandara of Shri Govardhanji. The bhaktas knew that no one should try to extract the God by digging the Govardhanji. They understood that the Lord will take his time to appear on his own. After this, for about 69 years, the people of Braj used to worship this VamaBhuja. They offered milk and food to the deity’s left arm. Moreover, every year on the day of Nagpanchami, a fair was held here.
The Prakatya Of Mukharvinda & Vallabhacharya Ji
It started with a cow from the dynasty of Nandray Ji. Sandhu Pandey from Aanyor village near Govardhan Parvat owned this cow. The cow’s name was Dhumar. She used to reach where the left arm of Shri Govardhannathji appeared every three hours.
The cow used to pour milk in the hole and came back to Sadu Pandey. He suspected that the cow stopped giving milk in the evenings now. So, one day he decided to follow the cow to know the situation. He saw that the cow stood at a place on the Govardhan Parvan and milk started flowing from its udders.
This scene surprised Saddu Pandey. Going closer to the cow, he saw Shri Govardhannathji’s Mukharvind. On the same day, Shri Vallabhacharya appeared in Champaranya, Chhattisgarh. The day was Vaishakh Krishna 11 Samvat 1535.
Shri Govardhannathji himself said to Saddu Pandey that – ‘My name is Devdaman and my other names are Indradaman and Nagdaman.’ From that day the people of Braj started to know Shri Govardhan Nathji by the name of Devdaman. Sadu Pandey’s wife Bhavani and daughter Naro used to go to Devdaman daily to get the milk of Dhumar cow cured.
Read More About: Shreenathji Prakatya – Shreenathji Temple History
Shreenathji Temple History – Sampurna Swaroop Prakatya
VS 1549 (AD 1593) on Fagun Shukla Ekadashi, Thursday, Shri Govardhannathji ordered Mahaprabhu Shri Vallabhacharyaji in Jharkhand. He told that our manifestation had happened in Govardhan’s cave. First, the left arm appeared, and then Mukharvind. Now we desire to manifest the full form.
You should come to Braj soon and reveal the type of our Seva. Hearing this command, Mahaprabhu Shri Vallabhacharya changed the direction of his journey. He reached Anyor village, near Govardhan in Braj, where he sat on a platform in front of Shri Saddu Pandey’s house. Impressed by the supernatural power of Shri Acharyaji Mahaprabhu, Saddu Pandey, and his family became servants of Aapshree.
Saddu Pandey told Aapashree the whole story of Shrinathji’s appearance. Shri Mahaprabhuji expressed his determination to visit Govardhan early in the morning. He wished for the darshan of Shrinathji.
The next morning,, Shri Mahaprabhuji with his servants and Brajvasis went to Shri Girirajji for the darshan of Shrinathji.
First of all, they bowed down to Haridaswarya Girirajji. They consider him to be a form of God. After taking permission from him, started climbing Girirajji slowly.
Saddu Pandey noticed from a distance the place of Shrinathji’s appearance. Then the tears of joy flowed from Mahaprabhuji’s eyes. It seemed to him that the heat of separation from God, which had been there for years, was now going away.
The speed of his climb up the mountain increased. They saw Lord Shrinathji with a peacock crown. Pitambardhari is coming forward from the front. Then Shrimad Vallabhacharya reached the Lord by running near him. Shri Vallabhacharya got his everything on earth today.
Shri Thakurji and Shri Acharyaji both got tied in each other’s embrace. The residents of Braj were also blessed after seeing this supernatural tableau.
Acharyaji was overjoyed to see and embrace Shri Mahaprabhu Shrinathji. That’s when Shrinathji ordered – “Shri Vallabh should establish our temple here and make us come to it and start our type of service”.
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Formation Of The Temple
Shri Mahaprabhu immediately made a small grass-thatch temple. Thakurji Shri Govardhanathji sat in it. They decorated Shri Thakurji with a peacock-like crown and Gunjamala. Shriji Bawa had ordered Ramdas Chauhan to serve Shrinathji.
Assured him that don’t worry, Shrinathji himself will tell him the type of service. With Shri Mahaprabhuji’s permission, Purnamalla Khatri made a huge temple of Shrinathji.
In Vikram Samvat 1576, Vaishakh Shukla Teej Akshay Tritiya, Shrinathji came to the new temple, and Patotsav took place. Madhvendra Puri and some Bengali Brahmins were the in charge of the responsibility of Seva of Shrinathji.
Kubhandas started serving music, and Krishnadas was the head officer. Later, Gusainji made a new arrangement by removing Bengali Brahmins from the service. This is continuing to date.
Shrinathji came to Shrinathdwara from Braj in V.S. 1728. The exact date of Shirji’s arrival is Falgun Krishna Saptami, February 20, 1672 E.
Read About: Shreeji’s Arrival At Nathdwara
On Saturday, Shrinathji came to the Nij Mandir. Devotees celebrated Shriji’s arrival with a patotsav. The name of Sihad village became famous as “Srinathdwara.” Till now Shrinathji is known by the name of Brajvasi Devdaman.
Shreenathji Temple History – The Name “Shri Nathji”
Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharyaji gave Shriji another name, ‘Gopalji’ on the day. He arranged the Seva by doing the first decoration for Shri. For this reason, the present Jatipura village situated at the foothills of Govardhan is called Gopalpur.
When Prabhucharan Shrivitthalnathji removed the Bengali priests, Aapashree named Lord Shri “Goverdhannathji.” At the time of Mala-Tilak Rakshak, Shri Gokulnathji, and passionate devotees started calling Aapshree by the short but emotional name of ‘Shri Nathji’.
The name “Shri” was not new. The mention of the names Devadaman and Shrinathji of Shri Govardhannath is in the Giriraj section of the Garg Samhita: “Shrinathan Devdamanam Vadishyanti Sajjanah” (7/30/31).
Thus, the epithet “Srinathji” is also very ancient. The words ‘Shri’ are Lakshmivachak and Radhaparak. Radhaji is the blissful, blissful power of God, and the word “Nath” is self-proclaimed. Passionate devotees fondly call Shrinathji “Shriji” or “Shriji Baba.”