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 Two: 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.
Please browse through the rest of this gallery to preview each chapter in Part 2.