Every place on this earth has its meaning and legend when explored opens new theories and experiences.Shri Hith Harivansh Mahaprabhu the founder of Shri Radhavallabh Sampradaya gave birth to the lineage of worshipping the path of ‘Prema Bhakti’ which leads to the world of Nikunj. 'Nikunj’ the holy world where Shri Radha Krishna reside along with Sakhis in Vrindavan near the banks of river Yamuna.
Sri Hith Harivansh Mahaprabhu, being the incarnation of the Holy Flute (Vanshi Avatar) relished tasting the spiritual nectar in the intimate service of the Lotus like beautiful soft holy feet of Sri Radha and Sri Krishna in the ecstatic love as a cherished acquaintance of the divine couple. One could taste the sanctity of Bhakti-Rasa by untainted devotion, dedication and loving intimate service to Sri Radha Krishna -'Sri RadhaVallabh' so long as an individual misinterprets his true self with his gross body and his subtle body-mind, intelligence, ego-there is absolutely no possibility of entering into the depth of the spiritual transparency of Sri Radhavallabh. The conception of Sri Radha is completely misconceived by most of the people, and it was Sri Hith Harivansh Mahaprabhu who showed the path.
It is not easy to understand his (Hith Harivansh Mahaprabhu's) method of devotion; For whom the blessed feet of Sri Radha were the highest object of worship; a most staunch-soul devotee who made himself the page in waiting of the divine couple Shri Radha Krishna in their believer of love who gloried in the enjoyment of the remnants of all that was offered at their Shrine; a servant who never pleaded obligation or dispensation; a votary of incomparable zeal. Account him blessed who follows in the path of Sri Vyasa's great son, the Goswami Sri Harivansh. According to Shri Goswami Hith Harivansh Mahaprabhu to reach to the soul of bhakti one has to learn to serve Lord Radha Krishna with love and devotion. Stronger the belief your imagination can recognize the heights of the world of Shri Radha Krishna.Sewa is the pure and great medium to recognize the path of Prema Bhakti .Sewa can be performed by physical means ,mental and donation means. Physical means comprise of devoting your every action to lord Radha Krishna, Mental comprises of imagining and meditate the name and lilas of Sri Radha Krishna and donation means not only includes charity but also bow down your emotions in the feet of Shri Radha Krishna. He adored Radha first and after her Krishna. A most strange fashion, that none could even faintly comprehend save by His favor. He obliterated all distinction between obligation and dispensation; his beloved was in his heart; he lived only as her servant, singing the praises of the divinity night and day. All the faithful know his many edifying and holy actions; why tell and repeat them, since they are famous already. Radha gave him the gracious command ‘publicize my worship among my faithful people, a path for pathless, of high renown, tell them about delights of my celestial abode’. Harivanshji resided god in his eyes and revealed it to every desirous, dedicated person who supported the cause of female Divinity. Night and day imbibing the honeyed draught of sweet song and cherishing it in his soul, with no thought but for Radha and Krishna. The soul is enraptured at the sound more than at that of any other name.
Chief shrine of Radhavallabh sect, old Radhavallabh Temple at Vrindavan, though now abandoned but protected monument is in itself a handsome building and its spatial architectural interest is the last example of the early Eclectic style.
Old Radhavallabh Temple (Now known as ‘Hith Mandir’)in Vrindavan was constructed by Sundardas Bhatnagar, a disciple of Sri Vanachandraji, son of Hith Harivansh Mahaprabhu, founder of the Radhavallabh sect. Wilson noted an inscription over the gateway of this temple, now no longer exists, that it was in 1585, when this temple was constructed. Abdul Rahim Khankhana, the chief head at Akbar's court, in whose employment Sundardas Bhatnagar of Deoband was, not only got Royal permission to use red sandstone for the construction of temple, which was till then used only for construction of imperial buildings, royal palaces and forts, but also got monetary grant for this temple from Akbar. Descendants of Sunderdas Bhatnagar at Deoband still have these documents with them. It is said that Raja Mansingh first decided to construct this temple. But on hearing a legend that whosoever constructs this temple will die within a year, he backed out. The Legend did came true Sundardas died within a year, soon after the construction of the temple was complete using his personal treasure as well as the financial help from Abdul Rahim Khankhana and Akbar the great.
Tradition and royal family:
Traditions and legacy make the Radhavallabh temple the most oldest heritage of vrindavan.The founder Shri Harivansh Mahaprabhu is believed to be the messenger of Lord Radhavallabh. He is the person who preached the meaning of devotion to common man and guided them how one can achieve blessings of Shri Radhavallabh. The family of Shri Harivansh has been gifted to pay their duties in honor of Shri Radhavallabh. Now after generations the members represent themselves as Goswamis in public. The eldest male of the family is honored as the 'Adhikari' and this title will be possessed by the Yuvraj.
Every priest or goswami follow their traditions. Every morning they awaken lord, offer bhog, perform Abhisheka, Aartis and follow the rules of 'Ashtyam Sewa'. They keep an account of the cleanliness of the temple, comforts of lord and distribution of parsadam, as every worker works under their instructions. After completing their work they preach people and tell stories to explain the greatness of Shri Radhavallabhji.
Membership of Radhavallabh cult:
The day we our born, God blesses every kid with his love. Similarly the day we step the doorstep of Radhavallabh temple, it's an indication that today God has showered us with his love (our birth is of worth). Formally the priest has the authority to make the devotee a member of this cult. The priest is now your 'Guru'(teacher) and we the 'Shishya' (student).The main norm in the temple is to achieve Lord Radhavallabh's blessing through bhakti rather than fasting and abstaining oneself.With strong belief in God,one should not lose faith in hard times, as a guru is always there to guide his children to the path of truth.
One's role: One can offer devotion by participating with people doing sewas like; making garlands, cutting vegetables etc. Some love to charity thus they can buy vegetables, fruits, cereals or any raw material for the bhog. One can buy cloth and offer it for the dress worn by god. Sometimes our wishes posses importance in our life, when our wishes are achieved, one has an option to organize the festival of 'Manoratha' in honor of Lord Radhavallabh. Thus this magic is never ending and words seem few to describe the beauty of duties every heart wishes to offer god; the only way to enjoy is to come and visit this miracle of earth.
The walls having a thickness of 10 feet and are pierced in two stages, the upper stage is a regular Triforium to which access was obtained by an internal staircase. This triforium is a reproduction of Mohammedan's designs, while the work, both upper and below, it is purely Hindu Architecture. In fact this temple is the last temple in the neighborhood in which a naive was built at all. In the modern style, it is so completely obsolete, that its distinctive name is even forgotten by some architects. This temple is characterized by its architectural accent on harmony of lines and balanced massing. It reflects constructional unity more than richness of ornamentation. If in any art it were possible to revive the dead, or if it were in human nature ever to return absolutely upon the past, this style of Radhavallabh temple would seem to be the perfect example.