Rupa Goswami Samadhi Gardens & Radha Damodar Temple
Video Slide Presentation
Approximately 400 years ago Sri Rupa Goswami, the leader of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sampradaya, departed from this world at Sri Vrindavana Dhama. After the disappearance of Rupa Goswami his samadhi was constructed at Sri Sri Radha Damodara temple under the direction of Sri Jiva Goswami. The samadhi structure was a simple yet very beautiful work of Rajasthani and Bengali architecture. From then until now the samadhi of Rupa Goswami " has been a continuous spiritual inspiration for hundreds and thousands of the followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Over the centuries the severe hot summers and damp cold winters of Vrindavana have taken their toll on the structural integrity of the samadhi. Partial renovations have been carried out regularly through the generations to preserve this most sacred shrine of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas but the time has now come for a complete restoration of the samadhi culminating in a structure that will last for at least the next 2000 years.
The present samadhi structure consists of 24 inch thick walls made of small stone bricks and clay mortar clad on either side with two inch thick sandstone panels. However, the sandstone panels have separated from the inner core of brick and mortar [much of which has turned to powder] and are now in danger of falling off and breaking.
During renovations that took place in the 20th century the stonewalls of the samadhi were painted with enamel paint. The thick coat of enamel has inhibited the natural breathing process of the stone and brick core and has led to the development of air pockets in the walls thus significantly weakening the structural integrity of the samadhi.
In addition to the weakening walls of the samadhi the foundation has also sunk approximately 15 inches. This is partially due to the sinking of the samadhi into the soft earth but is mostly due to the rising area around the samadhi. The rising area around the samadhi is due to a gradual build up of layer after layer of brick, mud and cement.
After examining the structure of the samadhi and consulting with a group of traditional temple builders and engineers from Jaipur, the senior sevaite-goswami of the Radha Damodara temple Sri Nirmal Chandra Goswami and Swami B.G. Narasingha [resident sannyasi and principle financier of the project] have decided to rebuild the samadhi of Rupa Goswami from the ground up. The new structure will consist of 18 inch thick brick and mortar walls clad on either side with 5 inch thick sandstone and a carved stone roof. The stone being selected for the construction is the same sandstone as was used in constructing the Radha Raman temple and many other buildings in Vrindavana. This sandstone is beige in color and has a very good integrity that will withstand the elements and dramatic climatic changes in Vrindavana.
The inside of the samadhi, where a raised marble dais marks the resting place of the transcendental body of Sri Rupa Goswami, will remain the same. The new samadhi will maintain the exact shape, style and dimensions of the original.
Phase two of the project will be the complete restoration of the bhajan-kutir of Rupa Goswami in the same identical fashion as the new samadhi.
Phase three of the project will be the building of a 1,800 square foot Kirtan Hall between the samadhi and the bhajan-kutir. The kirtan hall will also be constructed in sandstone and in the same style as the samadhi and bhajan-kutir.
Phase four of the project will be the complete monkey proofing of the courtyard area around the samadhi and the development of a small kund and lush gardens. [Last year a bore well was dug in a northwest corner of the courtyard which yielded sweet water —thus enabling the development of a healthy garden once the monkeys have been excluded.]
Phase five of the project will be the development of the Rupanuga-para-vidyapitha as envisioned by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This facility will consist of 10 devotee guestrooms, a Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library and a study hall.
Phase one of the project has already begun and we are expecting completion within six months. We invite you to return to this website and stay tuned to the developments as they unfold. Pictures of the stone carving will soon be available and information on how you can take part in this once in a lifetime service opportunity.