About the founder – Swami Haridas
Swami Haridas was a highly advanced devotee.
Hence, he spent most of his hours in divine contemplation of the eternal couple in the groves of Nidhivan.
He saw his cherished deity Sri Bankey Bihari as his own child.
The lineage of Swami Haridas (Guru of the royal musician Tansen) traces back to Garchacharya (the royal preceptor who conducted the naming ceremony of the two Lords, Krishna-Balaram)
Moreover, Haridasji is known to be the direct incarnation of Lalita Sakhi, the principal friend of Shrimati Radharani.
Appearance of Bankey Bihari Deity
There are two tales of his appearance.
1) Once, at the request of his disciples, Swami Haridas with a heart full of emotions sang the bhajan, “Mai ri sahaj jori pragat bhai.” Pleased by his devotion, Sri Radha Krishna revealed their form to the assembled devotees.
2) In the thickets of Nidhivan, Swami Haridas often went into meditative trance. As a result, his disciples were eager to see his Kunja. Hence, they sought his permission and entered the Kunja, but to their dismay, strong currents of light blinded them.
Finally, Swami Haridas came to their rescue.
The divine couple then revealed their charming form and captivated the hearts of all.
]Their bewitching beauty left the spectators mystified.
With unblinking rapture, they continued to gaze their wondrous form.
Finally, at Swamiji’s behest, the eternal couple left behind a charming black-hued idol of Bankey Bihariji.
The very same idol stands in its full glory in the temple sanctum.
At a distance of 160 km from the capital of India, New Delhi, lies the holy town of Mathura. 15 kms from Mathura, in the land of Vrindavan is the temple of Bankey Bihari.
Bankey Bihari temple stands in Goda Vihar, Raman Reti, Vrindavan, 281121, India.
It is at a 2 minute walking distance from the Radha Vallabha temple.
Interestingly, people consider Bankey Bihari temple and Radha Vallabha temple to be the two eyes of Vrindavan.
One is incomplete without the other.
About the temple
Initially, Bihari ji roamed in the groves of Nidhivan without a temple.
Later, the king of Bharatpura donated his orchard for construction purpose.
In 1862 AD, the goswamis gathered all the resources for the temple reconstruction.
The temple design is a marvelous spectacle of Rajasthani architecture.
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