First published in the printed magazine Vrindavan Today, edition of February/March 2020.

A Siddhapīṭha is a holy place of perfection or siddhi. Usually people know Yogapīṭha – the holy place where Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa meet – such as the Yogapīṭha at the Rādhā-Govinda temple in Vṛndāvana. But despite its unique significance, most people know little about Imlitalā Siddhapīṭha. Normally, Siddhapīṭha refers to a place where sādhakas attain perfection, but in Imlitalā, it refers to a place where Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself attained a most sublime perfection!

Tamarind tree in Imlitala. PC: Radhamadhav Das

“Imli” means “tamarind tree” and “tala” means “at the base of”. Because Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu performed many amazing līlās under this imli tree, this holy place has come to be known as “Imlitalā.” Imlitalā is counted among Vṛndāvana’s Prācīna-devālayas or most prominent ancient places of worship.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu arrived in Vṛndāvana on the day of Rāsa pūrṇimā in Kārtika 1515. He daily sat in solitude under this tamarind tree, gazing at the Yamunā and enjoying the divine beauty of Vṛndāvana. He also performed harināma and spread the message of devotion to Śrī Hari to qualified people at this holy place. Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī has described this pastime as follows:

prāte vṛndāvane kailā ‘cīra-ghāṭe’ snāna
teṅtulī-talāte āsi’ karilā viśrāma
kṛṣṇa-līlā-kālera sei vṛkṣa purātana
tāra tale piṅḍi-bāndhā parama-cikkaṇa
nikaṭe yamunā vahe śītala samīra
vṛndāvana-śobhā dekhe yamunāra nīra
teṅtula-tale vasi’ kare nāma-saṅkīrtana
madhyāhna kari’ āsi’ kare ‘akrūre’ bhojana
vṛndāvane āsi’ prabhu vasiyā ekānta
nāma-saṅkīrtana kare madhyāhna-paryanta

“The next morning, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Vṛndāvana and took His bath at Cīra-ghāṭa. He then went to Imlitalā (Teṅtulītalā), where He took rest. The tamarind tree was very old, having been there since the time of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. Beneath the tree was a dazzling sitting platform. Since the river Yamunā flowed near Imlitalā, a very cool breeze blew there. While there, the Lord saw the sublime beauty of Vṛndāvana and the pristine water of the Yamunā. Before returning to Akrūra-tīrtha to take lunch at noon, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to sit beneath the ancient tamarind tree and engage in nāma-saṅkīrtana. Whenever Mahāprabhu would come to Vṛndāvana, He would sit here in solitude until noon.”

– Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.18.75-80.

Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Dev-Gosvāmī Mahārāja composed a beautiful Sanskrit poem on Imlitalā:

prema-dhāma-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram

“When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was sitting in solitude under the imli tree and seeing the dancing waves of the Yamunā, He remembered His water-sporting pastimes with the gopīs during His previous Avatāra as Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Embracing the sweetness of Rādhikā’s love in the core of His heart, He entered into rādhikātma-bhāva or empathic union with Her. He thus fulfilled His three internal desires and His heart was completely captured by Rādhārāṇī. Imlitalā is the place of origin of gaura-tattva, for it was here where in Dvāpara-yuga, Śyāmasundara became fully absorbed in the devotional mood of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and became Gaurasundara. I offer my obeisance to that Lord Gaurasundara, who eternally resides in Imlitalā, and who is the abode of prema.”

– Śrī-Śrī Premadhāma-Deva-Stotram, Verse 42.

Over 5000 years ago in Dvāpara-yuga, in Imlitalā, Śrīmati Rādhārāṇī’s supreme victory was celebrated with Her coronation as Vṛndāvaneśvari, the Queen of Vṛndāvana. In Vṛndāvana, the mood of worship is very sweet, because Rādhārāṇī becomes the Supreme Goddess and Kṛṣṇa accepts a role subordinate to Her.

Once, during the performance of Rāsalīlā, Rādhārāṇī was not given Her deserved special attention by Kṛṣṇa. She thus became sulky, left the Rāsa dance and crossed the Yamunā with Her sakhis. In a secluded spot, She sat down and wept. Absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa, Her empathy with Him reached such an intensity that Her entire body turned blue like Kṛṣṇa. Thus before Kṛṣṇa entered Rādhā’s mood and turned golden, Rādhikā entered into empathy with Him and assumed His dark blue effulgence. Tears cascaded from Her eyes and soon formed a beautiful lake, wich was named Māna sarovar – the lake formed of Rādhā’s tears of māna or sulkiness.

Meanwhile, Kṛṣṇa didn’t feel the usual bliss and realized that His most beloved Rādhārāṇī is missing from the Rāsalīlā. He quickly left the Rāsa dance and began desperately looking for Her everywhere. Unable to find Her, He remembered how She was once crowned the Queen of Vṛndāvana under the tamarind tree in Imlitalā. He thus took shelter of that tree and started crying out, “Rādheee! Rādheee! Please save my life by giving me your darśana!

Rādhārāṇī’s holy name is non-different from Her mood and golden colour. Thus, while chanting Rādhā’s name, Kṛṣṇa soon became immersed into Her mood of service and also attained Her golden effulgence, assuming the golden form of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu! Imlitalā is the holy place where Mahāprabhu’s beautiful form manifested for the very first time. Being immersed in empathy with Rādhārāṇī, Kṛṣṇa got a taste of the glory of Her unparallelled love for Him, of His own sweetness that only She can relish fully and of Her unsurpassed ecstacy when She serves Him. He had thus gotten a taste of fulfilling His three internal desires mentioned by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī (Caitanya-caritāmṛta 1.1.6.).

These would later be fulfilled in Purī (dvādaśa vatsara śeṣa rahilā nīlācale (…) āsvādiyā pūrṇa kaila āpana vāñchita – Caitanya-caritāmṛta 1.13.39-43). But even just getting a taste of their fulfillment, Kṛṣṇa entered into a deep state of samādhi and attained a unique siddhi or perfection. This is why Imlitalā is called Siddhapīṭha – holy place of perfection. It is from this seed form of empathic samādhi that Kṛṣṇa’s gaura-līlā exploded infinitely and showered its fruits of gaura-prema on one and all.

On the other side of the Yamunā, Rādhārāṇī suddenly felt deep bliss arising in Her heart due to being immersed in empathic union with Kṛṣṇa. Realizing that He is tasting a very special kind of ecstacy, She was attracted to Imlitalā with Her sakhis and was amazed to find Kṛṣṇa embraced with Her golden effulgence and immersed into a samādhi of empathic union with Her. Usually Kṛṣṇa faints merely by hearing the tinkling sound of Her anklets. But now He was not showing the slightest reaction, altough Rādhārāṇī was standing right in front of Him – such intense was His empathic absorption! One of Her sakhis thus told Rādhārāṇī to snatch back Her mood of devotion from Kṛṣṇa. When She did just that, Gaura-Kṛṣṇa came back to external consciousness, having lost the treasure of rādhā-bhāva. The covering golden effulgence faded and gave way to His blackish colour. The two had a most blissful meeting and were expressing how They are looking forward to continue this Gaura-Kṛṣṇa pastime during Their gaura-līlā in Kali-yuga.

Then, when Kali-yuga arrived, Nityānanda Prabhu came to Imlitalā. He foresaw Mahāprabhu’s arrival and prepared His āsana here. When Mahāprabhu came to Vraja, He spent most of His time on this āsana under this imli tree, chanting Kṛṣṇa-nāma in seclusion. While chanting Kṛṣṇa’s names, due to the seeing the uddīpakas or stimulants of vraja-līlā in Vṛndāvana, for a short time He again turned blackish like Kṛṣṇa and lost the treasure of rādhā-bhāva. To make sure He won’t lose rādhā-bhāva again, He decided to return to Purī, although He had only spent a few months in Vṛndāvana. This is the confidential reason why Mahāprabhu performed His concluding pastime in Purī.

Sevakuñja is accepted as the heart of Vṛndāvana because here Kṛṣṇa attains the treasure of His heart – the service of Rādhārāṇī’s lotus feet. However, nobody can serve without the proper mood of service – especially not Kṛṣṇa, who is used to being ādi-puruṣaṁ, the supreme enjoyer. He has to first attain seva-bhāva, the mood of service. And for that He first comes to Imlitalā before He enters Sevakuñja. In the same mood, according to local tradition, pilgrims first have darśana of Imlitalā before entering Sevakuñja.

Some say that relishing the Imlitalā pastimes was the internal reason for Mahāprabhu’s coming to Vṛndāvana. Under the very same imli tree, Srila Sanātana Gosvāmī worshiped his beautiful Gaura-Nityānanda Deities, which now grace the left altar in the Imlitalā temple. In the centre of the altar there is the Mahāprabhu Deity who was personally installed by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda and lead all of his early Vraja-maṇḍala parikramās. Imlitalā was so dear to Śrīla Prabhupāda that he once said: “I am living eternally at Imlitalā!”

There is a little known book in Bengali called Imlitalā Mahātmya written by the Founder Ācārya of the Śrī Gauḍīya Saṅgha and Sevait of Imlitalā, Śrīla Bhakti Saraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja. We are happy to announce that it has now been translated into English and that it will soon be published. Also, a book called Yoga of Empathy by Radhamadhav Das is in the making and will dwelve deeper into the topic of empathic union. Both publications will be announced here on


  • Caitanya-caritāmṛta
  • Bhakti-ratnākara
  • Imlitalā Mahātmya by Śrīla Bhakti Saraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja
  • Accounts of senior Vaiṣṇavas

Related Resources

Guided Darshans of Imlitalā and Sevakunja
Gaudiya Sangha in Delhi

How to Get There

Imlitalā lies between the Madan-Mohan temple and Keshi Ghat on the banks of the Yamunā. It belongs to Sevakunja. You can walk there or take a bicycle or E-rikshaw. Cars are not recommended because they disturb the peace of the pilgrims.

Welcome to Navinkrsna Prabhu’s site on Nectar Pot. All his nectar is shared here. The permalink to share for this site is

Sri Navinkrsna Prabhu is the Godbrother of  Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj and the beloved disciple of Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Goswami Maharaj, who was the disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada and the Founder-Acarya of the Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math. Navinkrsna Prabhu had the priceless association of various disciples of Srila Prabhupada and has been performing intense bhajan in Vrindavan for over 50 years. He served as the temple president in the Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math Vrindavan and in the Vinodvani Gaudiya Math and has been training many senior devotees and sannyasis from various missions who are now preaching wide and far.

Navinkrsna Prabhu is well-known for his very sweet and deeply researched and realized Hari-katha that nourishes all devotees hankering for vraja-prema in the line of Rupa and Raghunath. Overflowing with affection for all junior devotees, he has captured the heart of many who are blessed with his pure association and siksa.

Despite his advanced age of 81 years, Navinkrsna Prabhu still goes on his daily parikrama, caters to Thakurji’s garden and is cooking very delicious offerings for the Lord. In the devotional assemblies across Vrindavan he is often honored as the Sabha Pati, the head of the assembly.

Now he is showering the devotees with the mercy of special Hari-kathas on Govindalilamrita and Bhagavatam, detailing the daily asta-kaliya-lila-smaranam during Kartik with the help of the yam-kirtans composed by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura for this purpose. On the special occasions of remembrance of various Vaisnavas he is giving unique insights into the glories of pure devotees he has personally met.

Video recordings on YouTube are listed in this playlist:

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Audio recordings are being uploaded here:

Navinkrsna Prabhu is staying in Sri Vinodvani Gaudiya Math:

By Radhamadhava Das, first published on

Everyday, ISKCON devotees around the world sing the song, “Jaya Radha-Madhava” before the Srimad Bhagavatam class. It is also sung in most Gaudiya Math temples — generally during the time of the Raj-bhog-arati. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Prabhupada was especially fond of this song, which expresses the sweet mood of worship of Vrindavan. Yet how many people know about the Radha-Madhava Deities for whom Srila BhaktivinodeThakur wrote this wonderful song?

For the last 14 years Sri Sri Radha-Madhava, the original family deities of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur have been residing for the month of Kartika on the altar of Radha-Syamasundara in the Vrindavan ISKCON Krishna-Balaram temple. Present there again this year; hundreds of eager devotees are daily crowding up near the altar to offer flower-garlands and to be able to get a closer darshan of Their Lordships.

Mukunda Datta, Guru Kripa Das and wife, and Radha Madhava Das joyously carry Radha Madhava into the Krishna Balaram Mandir in VrindavanMukunda Datta, Guru Kripa Das and wife, and Radha Madhava Das joyously carry Radha Madhava into the Krishna Balaram Mandir in Vrindavan.

During the rest of the year, Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava reside near Choti, a beautiful village in rural Orissa, where They used to be served in the house of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad and their family members. Five hundred years ago, Sri Krishnananda Datta, a disciple of Lord Nityananda who chanted three lakhs of Harinam daily,was worshipping Them, and then Their seva was passed down in family tradition.In his autobiography, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur wrote, “In Choti Mangalpur we have six or seven thached houses. Thakur Radha-Madhava and Jagannatha were worshiped in one of these houses.”

Bhaktivinode Thakur’s home in Choti Orissa

As described elaborately in the Back to Godhead magazine (May/June 2001), Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava were believed lost by the locals. But after twenty years of painstaking research, They were rediscovered in 2000 by Dr. Fakir Mohan Das, a Vaishnava research scholar and retired professor of Utkal University. Their land in Choti is still registered in the name of Bimal Prasad Dutta (the legal name of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad). Unknown to many devotees, Choti is the native land of two of our great predecessor acaryas, Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada. At present, the service of Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava is maintained by a trust headed by H. H. Indradyumna Maharaj.

Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava will be giving darshan in the Krishna-Balaram temple until Rasa Purnima on the sixth of November

For more information see:

A paper presented at the International Seminar on Thakur Bhaktivinode and Post-Caitanya Vaishnavism on the occasion of his 175th Birth and 100th Disappearance Anniversary held at Gaudiya Mission, Kolkata, on 16-17th September 2013.

The Seminar was preceded by the inauguration of the Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Museum by Sri Pranabh Mukherjee, President of India.


The search for harmony has always been one of the biggest quests of humanity. Thakur Bhaktivinode is renowned for his expertise in establishing how the teachings of Lord Caitanya enable the unfolding of the highest levels of universal harmony.

In a time in which most people had forgotten the true Caitanyaite principles, he successfully reintroduced them and presented them in a modern context. This paper concentrates on his presentation of acintya-bhedabheda-darshana as the philosophical backbone of universal harmony. It also explains how sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the Lord’s names, is a very efficient practice to realize universal harmony.

Click here to download the paper “Universal Harmony – Ṭhākur Bhaktivinode’s Contribution to Post-Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism”.

By Radhamadhav Das, PhD

Presented at the International Conference on Values Embedded in Indian Philosophy at Benares Hindu University on 10-12th January 2013, organized by the Department of Philosophy and Religion, Faculty of Arts, Benares Hindu University and the Council of Research in Value and Philosophy, Washington DC.

Contains elaborate diagram.

Click here to download the paper “Indian Value System According to Caitanya-Vaiṣṇavism.”

Click here to separately download the diagram.