Yamuna Devi: A
Life of Unalloyed Devotion
by Dinatarine devi
2014 Unalloyed, Inc.
Review by Lori Erbs
The attractive boxed
calligraphic case housing this weighty two-volume biography feels like it might contain a stash of gold bars.
However Dinatarine devi's
elaborate 1000+ page chronicle of Yamuna devi's life is even more valuable than gold. From the charming account of her birth as Joan Campanella in a remote
Montana mining town to the poignant details of her saintly demise, this story of a rare devotee who unswervingly imbibed and promulgated ancient India's
revered bhakti yoga tradition amidst modern society is a compelling and life-changing read.
Indeed, the exquisitively crafted pages of this masterful work embellished with filigree and artistic border designs presents much more than insightful memoirs
from Yamuna devi's personal journals, recollections of friends and family, as well as an expert narrative of her sanctified journey, for this colorful composition
also captures a magical slice in time from America's cultural revolution when youthful seekers were searching for genuine spiritual gurus and philosophy. Initiated
on March 7, 1967 in San Francisco by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Yamuna not only grew up in the newly formed International
Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) but also catalyzed significant media and popular exposure for the fledgling Hare Krishna Movement through lead
recordings with George Harrison at Apple Studios, key meetings with international dignitaries such as Indira Gandhi and her award-winning vegetarian cookbooks.
Since Yamuna was a very dear disciple of
Swami Prabhupada, this book offers priceless vignettes of both herself and her
charismatic Guru, along with an enchanted
band of starry-eyed spiritual revolutionaries who inaugurated a worldwide explosion of love and devotion for the Supreme Lord Krishna. It also portrays the amazing
disparity between a woman of bold conviction who pioneered the infrastructure for Swami Prabhupada’s Bhakti Yoga sect amidst male-centric societies, both in India
and the West. Although Yamuna endured endless physical and mental austerities during her travels throughout India, her greatest triumph was to maintain full surrender
to her guru while simultaneously managing challenging projects amidst extreme social pressure from her male-bodied peers. What emerges is victory over seemingly
insurmountable odds, crowned by glorious forgiveness of and selfless love for the very ones who tried to sabotage her divine odyssey.
This excellent personal
history depicts the depth of Yamuna devi's soulful absorption in the loving mellows of devotion
juxtaposed against her adroit interactions amidst
contemporary society. Even though never ordained as an initiating guru herself, it is obvious that she was a beloved teacher and guide for countless persons of diverse
ages, genders and dispositions throughout the globe.
legacy lives on at:
Reviewed by Lori Erbs
The Temple Bhajan Band is a kaleidoscope of sound and personality that keeps changing yet remains true to character. Their newest CD is a fresh spring breeze
of hypnotizing and soothing mantra music. Listening to Mikano and Sura's enchanting and dynamic lead vocals on the first track, Vande Guroh, makes you feel like
falling in love with your guru all over again. On the next track, Krsnaya Vasudevaya, Mikano's crystalline voice is reminiscent of a temple priestess. Gopinath showcases
Sura's hauntingly deep lead vocals reverberating with intense feeling countervailed by Mikano's sweetly seeking soprano amidst an exotic spiritual symphony of sitar,
harmonium and mrdunga drum instrumentals. Govindam Adi Purusam is a classic hymn performed with grace and perfect harmony that appears like a musical rainbow,
sparkling with every nuance and prism of the audible spectrum. Vande Guroh is so good that it is hard to stop listening to this mesmerizing album.
To order this CD please visit: www.templebhajanband.com