Yamuna Devi A Life of Unalloyed Devotion

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YAMUNA DEVI A LIFE OF UNALLOYED DEVOTION

A 2 volume biography and memoir of Yamuna Devi, 1080 Pages in 2 Volumes, 2014. 

  • Authors: Dinatarini Devi, Kar Delaney   
  • Binding : HardBound, 2 Volume Set 
  • Pages: 1080
  • FREE SHIPPING WITHIN INDIA

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YAMUNA DEVI A LIFE OF UNALLOYED DEVOTION
A 2 volume biography and memoir of Yamuna Devi, 1080 Pages in 2 Volumes, 2014.

A two-volume illustrated memoir of Yamuna devi—one of the first pioneers to help establish the Hare Krishna movement in the western world—whose singing, cookbooks, artistry, and compassion continue to inspire new generations of Krishna devotees. Yamuna devi was one of the first pioneers to help establish the Hare Krishna movement in the western world. She met her guru, Srila Prabhupada, in New York City in 1966, and from then on became one of the movement's most visible and influential members. Her passion for excellence pervaded every project she became involved with, from recording a best-selling Hare Krishna album with George Harrison of the Beatles, personally cooking for Srila Prabhupada during his first tour of India with Western disciples, publishing two award-winning cookbooks, or building ashrams for devotional practice in Oregon and British Columbia.

An expert calligrapher, artisan, chef, and public speaker, her legacy continues to inspire new generations of Krishna devotees all over the world. This two volume illustrated memoir and biography unfolds the inspiring internal and external spiritual odyssey of Yamuna’s devotional life, recalled in her memories, talks, journals and writings, as well as through the remembrances of the author, Dinatarini devi—her godsister and companion of 37 years—and other associates and friends. It is richly supplemented with many rare photos, Yamuna’s calligraphic works, illustrations and art.

A new two-volume work will give readers an in-depth, personal look at the journey of one of the most beloved devotees in ISKCON – Yamuna Devi, an ISKCON pioneer and one of the first disciples of Srila Prabhupada. Yamuna passed away on December 20th 2011 at 69, and “Yamuna Devi: A Life of Unalloyed Devotion” is itself a loving offering of devotion from some of the many devotees who were deeply impacted by her. This is evident in the high quality of the glossy-paged hardback set and its design by Raghu Consbruck, which conveys Yamuna’s personal style and artistic sense. The lettering of her name on the covers, for example, is lifted from her own calligraphied poem to Lord Krishna; while the back covers of the books feature her stained-glass style artwork. Although many on the large team behind the book, such as researcher Kartamasa Das, delivered it as a heartfelt service to Yamuna, no one is the book more personal to than author Dinatarini Devi, Yamuna’s companion in devotional life for 37 years. “Virtually days after she passed we began the process of research for this book,” she says. “It was a cathartic experience for me. It was a good way for me to channel my grief at her passing, and to deal with the change in my life.”

Interestingly, “A Life of Unalloyed Devotion” started out as a memoir by Yamuna herself, after many godbrothers and godsisters had asked her to write about her extraordinary life. But while she tried at intermittent periods thoughout her life, her intrinsic humility left her feeling unqualified to write about her experiences with Srila Prabhupada, and led to her to put the work off or even write herself out of her own biography. “She would give credit to everyone else but herself for things she in fact played a central role in,” Dinatarini says. “It was just very hard for her to put herself in a position of prominence. And anyone who knew Yamuna knew this about her.” Before she passed away, Yamuna asked Dinatarini several times to complete her memoir for her. The result, at 1,080 pages, is an exhaustive and touchingly personal tapestry of Yamuna’s entire life, woven from Yamuna’s own written words, Dinatarini’s narrative, and recently recovered interviews from the Prabhupada-Lilamrita sessions conducted in the 1980s. The two volumes—Preparing an Offering of Love, which focuses on Yamuna’s earlier life; and Offering the Gift of Bhakti to Others, which covers her later years—bring more insight and depth into the stories that made Yamuna famous.

They detail how she learned to cook from Srila Prabhupada; how she and her friends established the second-ever temple in ISKCON in San Francisco; how she and two other couples started the Hare Krishna Movement in England; and how she recorded the song “Govindam” with George Harrison. And of course we hear about how she traveled with Prabhupada in India; and how her epic cookbook Lord Krishna’s Cuisine was named International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook of the Year. But there are also gems we’re less familiar with. We hear about Yamuna’s early life, such as her simple childhood in Montana and Oregon, and her interests in ballet and calligraphy. We see a copy of Yamuna’s initiation certificate which she designed herself on Prabhupada request. And we see a handwritten 1968 letter from Srila Prabhupada to Yamuna and her then husband Guru Das: “Dear Guru das and Yamuna devi,” it reads. “Be good boy and girl and always chant the HARE KRISHNA mantra and you will be so pleased with the result. Yamuna you are little better than Janaki but don’t get puffed up and be good to those a little less fortunate.” The twist? Prabhupada was dictating the letter to Yamuna’s sister Janaki, whose handwriting it’s in, showing his humor and affectionate teasing relationship with her. “Seeing some of the wonderfully human and almost childlike interactions that he had with his devotees, both men and women, is invaluable,” says Dinatarini.

The book also openly talks about Yamuna’s challenges while working in a major managerial role in ISKCON Vrindavan, India, at a time in ISKCON’s history when women endured much mistreatment. Feeling denigrated simply due to her gender, Yamuna left the Krishna Balarama temple project in 1974 to start a women’s ashram in Oregon with her godsister Dinatarini. Upon doing so, she met with criticism from male leaders who said she could never make advancement in spiritual life as she had “left ISKCON” and the association of devotees. Yamuna wrote to Prabhupada to tell him that she had not left Krishna consciousness or her dedication to him, and to express her fear that she didn’t have his blessings anymore. In 1975, Prabhupada met Yamuna in LA, and with tears in his eyes, told her that he had missed her very much at the opening of the Krishna Balarama temple. The two laughed and joked like old friends, and then responding to her letter, Prabhupada told Yamuna that “ISKCON is where you are chanting the Holy Names of Krishna,” and that “Assocation can be two or two hundred. But you must be compatible. If you are two and you are compatible you can go back to Godhead. But if you are two hundred and not compatible” -- here he opened his eyes wide – “Then no one will make any advancement.” 

Yamuna devi personified “unalloyed love.” From the onset of her commitment to the process of Krishna Consciousness, she was unwavering in her determination to know Krishna as the only “lovable object.” Those who had the fortune of her association during her lifetime witnessed her uninhibited joy in all aspects of Krishna Consciousness, her natural humility, all-embracing compassion, disinterest in personal honor and distinction, and earnest desire to encourage others as Srila Prabhupada had encouraged her. This illustrated memoir and biography unfolds the inspiring internal and external spiritual odyssey of Yamuna’s devotional life, recalled in her memories, talks, journals and writings, as well as through the remembrances of the author, Dinatarini devi, her Godsister and companion of 37 years, and other associates and friends. It is richly supplemented with many rare photos, Yamuna’s calligraphic works, illustrations and art

The Book Set Contains two Hardbound volumes(parts) :
Part 1 Preparing an Offering of Love: Yamuna meets her spiritual preceptor, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, at her sister’s wedding in 1965 and begins her first tentative steps in bhakti. In San Francisco she and a group of friends establish a vibrant temple and celebrate Rathayatra. Yamuna is initiated, married and begins cooking for Srila Prabhupada. She, her husband and two other couples then travel to London and ignite the fire of sankirtan in England. She records with George Harrison at Apple Studios and helps establish a temple in London. Her Guru’s promise to take her to India is fulfilled in 1970, when she travels with the World Sankirtan Party throughout India. Despite hardships and obstacles along the path, the seed of Yamuna’s bhakti grows and matures into a life of unalloyed devotion.
Part 2 Offering the Gift of Bhakti to Others: Yamuna faces challenges and austerities while serving in Vrindavan. In 1974, she leaves the Krishna-Balarama Temple project and moves to Oregon with her Godsister, Dinatarini, to begin a women’s ashram. Her beloved Deities, named Sri Sri Radha-Banabehari by Srila Prabhupada, are installed there. In the ensuing years, Yamuna and Dinatarini move extensively, each move bringing its own challenges and inspirations. In 1984, Yamuna’s epic cookbook, Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, is released to unprecedented praise. In 1998, Yamuna and Dinatarini, seeking a simpler life, move Saranagati Village to live off-the-grid in a self-built Vastu designed home. Here, Yamuna lovingly shares kirtan, classes, deity seva, and devotional inspiration. Health issues later force Yamuna to move to Florida, where she continues to inspire others in bhakti until her passing.

Special Features:
     Comes in an Attractive Boxed Calligraphic Case
     Exquisitively Crafted Pages with Filigree and Artistic Border Designs
     Over 900 Rare Images
     Ideal Gift Item


Authors: Dinatarini Devi, Kar Delaney
Publisher: Unalloyed Incorporated, 2014
ISBN(s): 0991435028, 9780991435029, 0991435001, 9780991435005
Format: Hard Cover, 2 Volume Set, 9.25” x 7.25”
Pages: Volume 1, 568 Pages. Volume 2, 512 Pages
Photos Over 900
Weight: 3.5 kgs   

Reviews

Grade 
09/01/2018

Yamuna Devi A Life of Unalloyed Devotion

A wonderful so beautiful book very classy rich and one of a kind book. A valuable collection. on my KRSNA Merchandise.

Vicky G.B (Singapore)

  • 3 out of 3 people found this review useful.

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Yamuna Devi A Life of Unalloyed Devotion

Yamuna Devi A Life of Unalloyed Devotion

YAMUNA DEVI A LIFE OF UNALLOYED DEVOTION

A 2 volume biography and memoir of Yamuna Devi, 1080 Pages in 2 Volumes, 2014. 

  • Authors: Dinatarini Devi, Kar Delaney   
  • Binding : HardBound, 2 Volume Set 
  • Pages: 1080
  • FREE SHIPPING WITHIN INDIA