Kartik Braj Darshan with Vrindavan Today (Day 29): Shri Radha-Anand Vallabh
Even though Shri Radha-Anand Vallabh’s indulgent nature ensured that she was always in debt, Anandi Bai loved and longed to fulfil the whimsical demands of her son (Anand Vallabh) and daughter-in-law (Shri Radha).
2021-11-14 (Vrindavan Today News): Situated within the enclosure of Radhavallabh Ghera is the over 100-year-old temple of Shri Radha Anand Vallabh, the beloved deities of Anandi Bai who was one of the exalted women saints of Vrindavan. She served the deities of Shri Radha-Anand Vallabh as her daughter-in-law and son in pure ‘vatsalya bhava’, or mood of paternal affection.
Born to Kashmiri Brahmin parents in Amritsar in the Kartik Maas of 1855, Anandi Bai was attached to the worship of Shri Radha-Krishna since childhood. On growing up, the person she was supposed to marry died before the marriage could take place. Taking it as an indication from the divine, young Anandi Bai decided to dedicate herself to the service of Anand Vallabh for life. Although she took diksha from Acharya Vanshidharji Maharaj of the Ramanuja Sampradaya, she was always immersed in the mood of Vrindavan.
After her parents died, she eventually moved to Dham. In 1906 she bought a property in Radha Vallabh Ghera and established her Anand Vallabh in a temple there. Such was her love for the deities that They would come alive; talking to her, demanding attention, food, clothes and more.
In this regard, an incident about Shri Radha throwing tantrums for a costly sari is particularly well remembered. The demand was eventually fulfilled with the help of one Baba Kishoridas who bought the sari for Anandi Bai. Once Anand Vallabh, who wouldn’t eat a meal without His favourite ‘suji halwa’, reached Haridwar complaining about the pujari’s not serving Him the sweet for three consecutive days in Anandi Bai’s absence.
Despite the fact that Shri Radha-Anand Vallabh’s indulgent nature ensured that she was always in debt, Anandi Bai loved and longed to fulfil the whimsical demands of her son and daughter-in-law. Even today, sangeet sevas, phool banglas, nauka vihar, sanjhi and other festivals are regularly and grandly organised in the temple for the pleasure of her ‘spoilt’ deities.