Shri RadhaVallabh organization was founded by His Divine Grace Goswami Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu. Shri vyas mishra, who was his father, was a Gaur Brahman of Devaband in Saharanpur region of Utter Pradesh. He was in service of the Mughul Emperor, Humayun.
As per Tarikh-I-Deoband (Syed Mehbub Rizvi, IImi-Marqaz, Deoband), Once when Shri Vyas Mishra was going with Mughal Emperor on his march from Agra, his better half Tara, gave birth to a child at the Royal Army Camp in Mathura. It was the eleventh day (Ekadashi) Monday of the Samvat 1530. Because the God had answered their prayers, they named their son Hari Vana, which means Hari’s issue.
The Emperor celebrated this event with magnificence, proclaiming the incarnation of holy flute of the Lord. Gulbadan Begum, sister of the Emperor, in “Humayaunnama”, a book written by her (which is kept in Gulistan Library at Tehran, capital of Iran) and Zauhar Aftabchi in his book “Tazkirat-ul-Wakiat” have depicted in detail that how for ten days there were abundant firecrackers, feasts, and celebrations. The Emperor, his Queen Mariam Makani, his sister Gulbadan Begum, and important courtiers like Beiram Khan, Tardi Beg, Yaqoob Beg, Dost Baba, Khoja Amber, and so forth had sent gifts and blessings to Pt. Vyas Mishra.
Gifts were distributed all around, from beggars to courtesans. One part of Royal procession was staying at Jamalpur Serai, which is on Agra-Delhi Road. Their celebrations, in the honor of Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu, were carried on a big scale for ten days. It was directed and overseen by Abdul Majeed, who was the Dewan of Mathura. All the expenses were incurred by the royalty. The emperor had ordered everyone to avoid alcohol and non vegetarian during the celebration.
To mark the occasion, the Emperor requested that in future, Royal Armies would camp at FARAH instead of Baad.
Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu passed his youth at Deoband. Once he was playing with his friends, and the ball fell in a well. Mahaprabhu went into the well to retrieve the ball and instead came out with a Shri Vigraha (Lord’s deity). This well still exists and Idol found was placed in his ancestral home, at Deoband broadly known as Shri Radha Navarangilalaji.
Once Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu was sleeping under a peepal tree, Shri Radha gave her Holy “darshan” to him the in dream. She also gave him a “Mantra” (Holy couplet). This tree still exists around the temple at Deoband.
When he had grown up, his Yagyapaveet (Sacred Thread) service was performed, and later he was hitched to Rukmini Ji. When he was 32, he had resolved to leave the worldly affairs and lead the life of an austere. He started his jouney on the road towards Vrindavan and then reached Charthawal, near Muzaffarnagar.
While sleeping at night, he experienced a vision in his dream, by Divine Shri Radha. The vision said that he will meet a Brahman who will have her icon. He was instructed to take this icon to Vrindavan and worship it, and also to marry the two daughters of the Brahmin. The same dream/vision was experienced by Atmadeva Brahman.
Next day, without much pomp and show, Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu ji was married to the daughters. He was also gifted the icon called Radha Vallabh.
History says, that the ancestor of Atmadeva Brahman, worshipped lord Shiva with utmost faith and devotion at Mount Kailasha. Lord Shiva was so pleased with the worship, that he granted him a wish. The ancestor, as his wish, asked for the most favorite thing of Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva opened his heart and produced an idol of Shri Radha Vallabh Ji Maharaj and also explained the way of worshipping it.
Harivansh Mahaprabhu carried this idol to Vrindavan and set this up “oonchi thaur” meaning high cliff, situated on the banks of river Yamuna.
The main shrine of Radha Vallabh sect is the old Radha Vallabh temple in Vrindavan. Though now deserted, this temple is beautiful looking and has glimpses of eclectic style. It was constructed by Sundardas Bhatnagar. He was an ardent follower of Shri Vanchandraji, son of Harivansh Mahaprabhu. According to an observation made by Wilson, by the inscriptions on the gateway of this temple, that its construction dates back to 1585. Sundardas Bhatgnagar along with Abdul Rahim Khankhana, a dewan in Akbar’s court, got royal money and permission to use red sandstone for building the temple. Before this, it was used only in the construction of royal buildings and forts. The documents backing this fact are still with the descendants of Sundardas ji.
It was Raja Mansingh who first decided to construct this temple, but on hearing the legend, that whoever will construct this temple will die within a year, he backed out. Sundardas ji, also died within a year of the completion of the temple.
The temple is a perfect mixture of Hindu and Islamic elements combined with medieval architecture. The walls are 10 feet thick and are divided in two parts. The upper part is a triforium, which can be accessed by an internal staircase. It is inspired by Mohammedan’s designs, while the work on the upper and lower part is totally inspired by Hindu architecture.
It is one of the last temples in the area to have a naïve. Now this concept is so old and outdated, that some architects aren’t even aware of this term.
The temple focuses more on the constructional unity rather than on the rich ornaments. If it was possible to bring the dead back, or to revive the old, the style of construction of Radha Vallabh temple would be an excellent example of architecture to reproduce.
On jumada 2, 972 i.e. 8th January, 1565, king Akbar made a grant to the temple, which is the earliest survival grant made to a Hindu temple. He granted 100 bighas of land to the Radha Vallabh temple. Also the custody of the offerings made my Akbar till date was given to Shri Harivansh Mahaprabhu, who at that time was present in Mathura. After Akbar, even the likes of Jahangir and Shahjahan carried this grant forward. The beneficiary was changed from the name of the person to the name of the temple.
Shri Radha: the main deity
Shri Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu worshipped the lotus feet of the divine couple of Shri Radha and Shri Krishna. He was considered an incarnation of the sacred flute (vanshi avtar). This selfless worship and devotion to the divine couple gave him all the spiritual knowledge that he possessed. The supreme God, Lord Krishna is the giver and receiver of all the love in the universe, whereas Shri Radha is the only one who can offer love, satisfaction and enjoyment to Lord Krishna.
For experiencing the true essence, the spiritual nectar, of Shri Radha Vallabh, one has to forget the ego, let go of the sex mindedness, and not derive a sense of identity from their mind, body or intelligence. Shri Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu has cleared the path, of all the misunderstandings, that leads to a complete understanding of Shri Shri Radha.
Not many people can understand the way, the method of devotion followed by Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu. For him, the main object of love was the feet of Shri Radha. His devotion came from the depth of his soul, and he became a part of the love of the divine couple. Whatever was offered in the temple became a source of enjoyment for Mahaprabhu. He was like a true servant, who never questioned or argued and was always full of enthusiasm.
Anyone who follows the path of Shri Vyasa’s child with utmost devotion is favored and blessed by Goswami Harivansh, who can truly understand this method of devotion.
Out of the thousand ways of devotion practiced by Shri Hit ji, one common point in all of them was worshipping Shri Radha first and then Lord Krishna. Everyone will see it as a strange and a weird ritual and not many people will support it. He destroyed all the notions because his dearest stayed in his heart. He was her worker, and sang songs in the praises of the divine Shri Radha, all day and night. All the followers and true devotees of Mahaprabhu know of his blessed activities and they don’t feel the need to repeat them all over again.
Shri Radha gave a generous order of explaining her love among the followers of Mahaprabhu. It is a way for pathless, of high fame. She asked to explain the enjoyment a follower feels when they are at one with her. He drank all this nectar, BHAKTI-RAS, with his eyes and also offered it to every other devotee who supported and understood the cause of female divinity.
Every minute of the day, no other thought except that of Radha and Krishna, no other sweet sound except that of their names, captures the soul of the Mahaprabhu.