Vrindavan 2016.07.02 (VT): Imli Tala literally means underneath the tamarind tree. As the name goes, this place is where Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to meditate under the tamarind tree, 500 years back. The place represents the intense love in separation of Radha and Krishna. Imli Tala has an old tamarind tree present there since Dwapar Yuga. But the tree died way back in early 19th century and now only a branch of the original tree grows here.
As per the religious legends, while performing the Sharad Purnima (full moon night) rasa dance with Lord Krishna and other gopis, Sri Radha Rani left the dance and disappeared from there. Lord Krishna, not finding Radha Ji was filled with an intense feeling of separation. Knowing of Imli Tala as the favourite spot of Radha Rani, Lord Krishna in that ecstatic mood of separation sat under the Imli tree chanting her name. He was so much absorbed in her thoughts that his body assumed the Gaur Varna (golden body colour) of Sri Radha Rani. Soon she appeared to his pleasure and Lord Krishna resumed his original body colour. That’s when Lord Krishna foretold Shri Radha Rani about his next incarnation as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in which he will be having golden body colour, and a feeling of separation, motivating others to chant the holy names.
Lord Shri Krishna appeared in the age of Kali, as Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, just 500 years ago, with the complexion and the mood of ecstatic love of Shri Radharani. When Lord Chaitanya visited Vrindavan, He would come to Imli Tala everyday and for hours and hours with his japa-mala and used to get deeply absorb in chanting the holy names, sitting under the tamarind tree. In the mood of Shri Radharani, he would become so deeply immersed in the ocean of separation from Shyamasundara that Lord Chaitanya’s golden form would be transformed into the complexion of a dark. This is the most potent place where Krishna Himself chanted Shrimati Radharani’s holy names and Mahaprabhu chanted Krishna’s holy names in the mood of intense longing and separation.
Today a very nice deity of Lord Chaitanya is installed under this tree. The deities of Sri Gaura Nitai and Sri Radha Gopinath ji are worshipped in the main temple sanctorum on separate altars. The walls of the temple are adorned with beautiful paintings from the life of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The temple is maintained and served by the followers of Gaudiya Math.
There is legend behind the importance of the tamarind tree that, once when Sri Radharani was passing through the way where this tamarind tree is located, one of the ripe tamarinds fell over her Lotus feet and washed away the vermillion (alta) that was decorating her feet. In a fit of anger she cursed the Tamarind tree and since then, no tamarind ripens in the complete 84 Kos area of Brajmandal.
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