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Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī and Rādhā-Mādhava
After the physical departure of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in 1914, the worship of Rādhā-Mādhava came to his son Bimala Prasad Dutta, who is better known as Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī was a lifelong celibate and preacher of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava philosophy. During his visits to Chhoti he would not enter into his father’s house, but would stay in the adjacent Dasahara Mandap. As he considered Chhoti to be his native place and his hereditary property, and as he was leading the life of a Vaishnava sannyasi [monk], he considered all his property to be dedicated to the service of Rādhā-Mādhava, and thus it was not meant for him to enjoy.

The Ray family
After the physical departure of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī in 1937, Rādhā-Mādhava came in the hands of the Ray family. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s family and the Ray family agreed on a co-landlordship for Chhoti as established by the king of Aul. Thus, now the family became in charge of the worship of Rādhā-Mādhava. The Ray family, however, was not interested in worshipping the deities. They were more interested in possessing the land of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

In an attempt to accomplish this, the Ray family spread a self-made story saying that the Rādhā-Mādhava deities broke and were immersed in the nearby situated Birūpa river [according to Vedic custom, broken deities are to be immersed in flowing water]. In reality, however, the Ray family secretly buried Rādhā-Mādhava under the ground of a temple area in another village.

After having widely spread their self-made story, the Ray family took Rādhā-Mādhava from under the ground and gave Them, without anyone noticing, to a poor Brahmin family. Rādhā-Mādhava then resided in the house of that Brahmin family for about fifty years, unknown to the entire Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava society.

Dr. Fakir Mohan Dās and Rādhā-Mādhava
Dr. Fakir Mohan Dās, a Vaiṣṇava research scholar and one of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s spiritual descendants, began researching the disappearance of Rādhā-Mādhava from 1983. He also researched the Ray family’s self-made story and was not convinced by it. After many inquiries to villagers of Chhoti, Dr. Fakir Mohan Dās eventually met two persons who had seen Rādhā-Mādhava in the past. After hearing the self-made story they pointed out that the Rādhā deity is made of copper. As copper cannot break, the story of the Ray family was refuted.

In 1999, a super cyclone destroyed many villages in Odisha. Chhoti was severely affected by this natural calamity. Someone noticed from a distance the forms of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in one of the damaged houses. Dr. Fakir Mohan Dās was told about this finding and visited that particular house. After carefully examining the neglected deities he understood Them to be Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s Rādhā-Mādhava.

Upon Their divine reappearance, Dr. Fakir Mohan Dās personally and lovingly took care of Them from the year 1999 until his physical departure in 2016.

Watch this video in which Dr. Fakir Mohan Dās presents fundamental details about Rādhā-Mādhava and village Chhoti. Although Dr. Fakir Mohan Dās is physically not among us anymore, he is still considered to be the most authoritative personality on Rādhā-Mādhava and the village Chhoti.

Interested in more information about Chhoti?