(Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara—click to enlarge)
A Dedication to Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara!
By Rudrani devi dasi
It was over 40 years ago in Jaipur India that a set of Radha Krishna 12 inch marble murtis stood undressed in the shop window of the Panday brothers. Apparently those deities were ordered by someone else and they were never picked up!
The Panday marble shop was famous for carving many of the early ISKCON Radha Krishna deities around the world.
Girijadhava das spontaneously purchased those same Radha Krishna deities that were standing in that window back in March of 1980. The deities arrived with 7 outfits made in Vrndavana. Feeling so fortunate I began to study all the procedures of bathing and mantras.
A marble altar was established and I began to worship them at home at our preaching center in Waterloo Canada. At that time I had Vishnu das in Toronto paint them because the original paint was poorly done.
We named them Radha Shyamasundara after my favourite deities in ISKCON Vrndavana. To my knowledge they were actually the second Radha Shyamasundara ISKCON deities at that time.
We moved to the US and lived at the Potomac Washington temple. The head Pujari had a fire yagna and installed my deities at the temple. At that time the temple needed a set of small Radha Krishna deities for the altar. After being on the altar for a few months I was too hesitant and attached to give them up to the temple there. Back in 1980 it was very rare and unheard of that someone would have their own installed Radha Krishna deities. We then moved to ISKCON Philadelphia and Radha Shyamasundara were worshipped on the altar as well.
Radha Shyamasundara have travelled and graced several ISKCON altars over the years such as: Gita Nagari Farm, New Vrndavana, Miami, Toronto and Vancouver and Hawaii preaching centre. This facilitated me to have time to preach and allowed Radha Shyamasundara to give their merciful glance upon the devotees! Many outfits were sewn for them to match the presiding deities on all those altars!
I would bathe and dress them twice a day and being on the altar they received all the offerings and arotiks.
Radha Shyamasundara's gold leafed altar was stolen in 2005 when I was enroute to B.C.
In October 2005 Vishnu das again reunited with Radha Shyamasundara and repainted them at Vancouver ISKCON.
It was 25 years since he had last painted them in Toronto as I had only touched them up a little over the years.
In 2017 Radha Shyamasundara received their permanent ornate carved altar from India. Vishnu das and myself feel truly blessed and are inspired to continue the worship of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara for the rest of our lives!
Click here to see a photo of Radha Shyamasundara on the right beside Radha Gopinath ISKCON Toronto in the mid 80's.