Western Vaishnavas are nothing new whatsoever. Here you can see some of the first female disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura.
Vishnuprya Dasi on the left and Vinodvani Dasi, whose name was Daisy Cecilia Bowtel, continued in bhajan her whole life.
Miss Daisy Cocilia Bowtwel, a young lady of a rich honourable family, was attracted among many others to the philosophy of Gaudiyas and surrendered from heart and soul to the Lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. She was initiated through Sripad Tirtha Maharaj in the Month of February, 1937. She was graced by the name Vinod Vani Dasi.
There are stacks of her hand written correspondence with Bhakti Pradipa Tirtha going back to 1930s. She had lots of books too, and the Srimad Bhagavatam she read in English from the edition of JM Sanyal, a 1906 six volume English Chaitanya Charitamrta and Bhakti Pradipa’s own translation of the Gita, which he said he was inspired to right while sitting on the banks of the Thames. She had a nice long garden where she would chant japa and meditate on Vrindavan, as advised, and used give Hari nama to some local Bengali immigrants.
Vinod Vani Dasi donated her residential house for the worship of Sri Gaur Radha Govinda Jiu and Sri Basudev Vigraha and simultaneously to Gaudiya Mission Society, U.K. She breathed her last in the year 1981, keeping back all her money and properties in the name of Gaudiya Mission. Her heart’s wishes were fulfilled, Sri Vasudev Gaudiya Math was established at her house at 27- Crunhurst Road, London N.W.2. Sri Kamalaksha Das Bramhachari was the Saint who, by the order of the authority of the mission, reached London in the year 1982 and took the charge of the math.
Jan 23, 2022
Anandini Tikunov (8th-grade student)
Jan 22, 2022
Sunanda Das, tovp.org