Unalloyed love for God means love that is not tinged by desire for material benefit, for mere philosophical understanding, nor for fruitive results. Unalloyed love is to know, “God is great, I am His part and parcel, and therefore He is my supreme lovable object.”… If one reaches this point—God is my only beloved, Krishna is the only lovable object—then one’s life is perfect. And when one tastes that transcendental relationship with Krishna, then one feels real happiness.
—From The Science of Self-Realization by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
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.
In Part One: 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.
Please browse through the rest of this gallery to preview each chapter in Part 1.