The Divine Couple Sri Premika Varadan (Krishna) and Sri Madhuri Sakhi (Radha Devi) arrived from Kumbakonam, within a few months of Sri Swamiji moving to Premika Bhavanam. Though today the Divine couple sit on the throne of Bhagavata Bhavanam in our Madhurapuri Ashram, Premika Bhavanam in Jafferkhanpet, Chennai was their Abode and place for their divine sport for several years. Bhajans, Divya namasankirtan, purappadu (procession), discourses, Ashtapadi bhajans, Radha Madhav vivah began to happen all through the year.
Shifting to our Madhurapuri ashram in the early part of this century, the Divine Couple sit in a swing inside a beautifully carved wooden mandap. Devotees, from tiny villages to big cities in India and abroad, have increased geometrically over the years. Bhaktas are categorised into artha (those who are distressed and seek solace), arthArti (devotees with desires who seek fulfilment), and jignyAsu (seekers of the Truth) and jnani (those who have Realized God). All of them come here to the presence of this Divine Couple.
How many are the Lilas that they play here!
Once Sri Swamiji had invited an odhuvar – a person who sings songs such as the Thevaram (hymns on Lord Siva by His prime devotees known as Nayanmars). Premika Varadan went and sat beside Sri Swamiji. Sri Swamiji said to him, “I am listening to Thevaram. What are you doing here?” At once the little divine boy retorted, “What! Do you think I don’t listen to Thevaram? I like to listen to Thevaram!” and sat through the entire chanting!
Another evening when Sri Swamiji returned to the Ashram after a short trip to the city (Chennai) he saw a beautiful little boy at the Ashram gate. The boy ran into the ashram as Sri Swamiji’s car entered the gate. Wondering who this extraordinarily beautiful child could be Sri Swamiji entered Bhagavata Bhavanam only to find that it was our Premika Varadan. He was clapping His hands and jumping with joy. When Sri Swamiji asked, “What makes you so happy?”, He said, “I am going to get cheedai and murukku today!” Sri Swamiji with a questioning face asked, “Today is not Janmashtami (the day of Krishna’s birth). Who do you think is going to give you these savories?”
Premika Varadan pointed out to the little feet drawn on the floor – from the entrance of Bhagavata Bhavanam to the sanctum sanctorum – and said, “Don’t you see these little feet drawn? These are drawn only on Janmashtami, my birthday. So today is My janmashtami! I am going to get lots of cheedai and murukku.” Actually what had happened was that, that morning before leaving for Chennai Sri Swamiji had asked one of the resident lady devotees to draw the little feet as was usually drawn on Janmashtami. However, no explanation could satisfy the divine little One! Sri Swamiji had to have all these dishes prepared and offered it to the mischievous, adamant Lord!
Once, at the repeated request of the cowherd who takes care of the Ashram goshala (cow shelter), Sri Swamiji had given away a bull to him from the goshala, after getting the assurance that he would take good care of it. But that evening Sri Swamiji found Premika Varadan with a long face. On pleading with Him to reveal the reason for this, the Lord said to Sri Swamiji, “That bull belongs to Me. How could you give it away without my knowledge? Get him back at once.” Sri Swamiji had no alternative than to get the bull back from that cowherd.
Several are the lilas that this Divine Couple play at Madhurapuri ashram.
All Vaishnava ekadasis, Vasantotsavam, Rama Navami, Guru Poornima, Brahmotsavam during Janmashtami, Radhashtami, Navaratri, Sri Swamiji’s Thiru Nakshtram and Adhyayana utsav are celebrated here.
Bhagavata Bhavanam is open to the public from 7 am to 11 am and from 4 pm to 7 pm.