Madhavendra Puri, the grand spiritual master of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, introduced love of God, and was himself fully consumed by divine love for Krishna. On one night, around 600 ago, when Madhavendra Puri began the restoration of old and destroyed temples in Vrindavan, Sri Gopal came in his dream. Sri Gopal told him, “O Madhavendra Puri, I reside inside this bush. Please take me out of this bush immediately! Also, because it is very hot now, kindly get me some sandalwood from Jagannath Puri and apply it on me!”
Madhavendra Puri started his yatra by foot (from Vrindavan to Jagannath Puri), to get chandan. After months of travel, Madhavendra Puri finally reached his destination and began to frantically locate sandalwood. That night, Sri Gopal appeared in his dream again!
“O Madhavedra Puri, please take the sandalwood, make it a paste with camphor and apply it everyday to the deity of Gopinath who resides in the beautiful village of Remuna. There is no difference between my body and the deity of Gopinath!”
In this way, Madhavendra Puri, accompanied by the privileged servants of Gopinath, lovingly applied sandalwood paste on the body of the Lord, to make him feel cool during the hottest 21 days of the year, starting from Akshaya Tritya.
Fun fact: The original Sri Gopal deity, excavated and worshipped by Madhavendra Puri, is now in Nathdwara, Rajasthan and worshipped as Sri Nathji!
Written by – Anusha Arora
Anusha graduated from Symbiosis Law School, Pune and currently works as a Senior Legal Counsel with PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals). She enjoys reading Prabhupada Lilamrita, and watching memories of Prabhupada.
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