Krsnanandini dasi is a true warrior! Although she has recently gone into the stage of hospice care at home after a painful battle with cancer, her service spirit remains undaunted. She will be the guest presenter at yet another webinar – this time, sharing her homeschooling experience, which has never before been documented, for Vaishnava Academy, ISKCON Chicago’s homeschool cooperative.
Her homeschooling experience is unique. Who else can boast of having successfully homeschooled ten children? Some devotees wonder how to homeschool a single child; others feel challenged by managing the needs of differently aged-learners under one roof. Krsnanandini dasi brings a voice of calm amidst this continuum. Not only did she homeschool her children in an atmosphere infused with Krishna consciousness, but she also prepared them for a lifetime of devotion and gave them the tools to achieve success in their careers. Some of her children are now initiated devotees, and represent the entire range of professions – from PhDs to engineers to health care professionals to police officers! Their characters are a true testament to her loving capacity as a mother.
Her son, Syama Vallabha das, who is initiated by Giriraj Swami and pursuing his Bachelors in Cyber Security, remembers, “My mother not only taught us what we needed to learn in this material world like math, science, reading, and writing, but she also taught us the most important thing – how to develop our spiritual life. At home, she would perpetually play a lecture of Srila Prabhupada or a kirtan. Due to this habit she inculcated in me, I still ensure that I hear Srila Prabhupada’s voice every day. She taught me to read the Srimad Bhagavatam or the Bhagavad Gita as if Srila Prabhupada is narrating it to me. While doing just about anything, she would sing (we are) ‘cooking for Krishna’, ‘cleaning for Krishna’, or ‘shopping for Krishna’. At that time, I did not understand, but now, as an adult, I realize that she was teaching us how to practically do everything for Krishna. Part of our daily curriculum was to learn a verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam or the Bhagavad Gita. Because of this, I learned several important verses that I will never forget. Even if she was not my biological mother I would appreciate her for being an amazing mother, teacher, friend, guide, and loving person.”
Krsnanandini dasi managed to be such an exemplary mother for ten children while at the same time, also provide life-giving services within the community of ISKCON and beyond. She is a Certified Family Life Educator with degrees in education and sociology, the president of the ISKCON Grihastha Vision Team, and the co-director of the Dasi-Ziyad Family Institute (www.dzfi.org), which she founded in 1996 along with her husband, Tariq Saleem Ziyad, an orthodox Muslim. Through this institute, the couple has designed and implemented several curricula relating to marriage, family, and youth. They provide pre-martial counseling and work with families during their marriage, teaching hundreds of people how to build healthy relationship skills, based on a solid spiritual foundation.
Krsnanandini dasi was brought to Krsna consciousness by her mother as a young teenager along with her other siblings. Her mother was a simple woman and a devout Christian who deeply resonated with the bhakti principles given by Srila Prabhupada in his writings. But when she came to the local temple along with her children, ready to join the community there, she faced bigotry and racism. She was treated as a troublemaker and was turned away.She didn’t know where to go, but somehow Krishna gave her the intuition to drive all the way to Dallas, Texas. When they arrived there, they discovered, to their surprise that Srila Prabhupada was to visit there the next day. On that auspicious Radhashtami day of September 12, 1972, Srila Prabhupada, out of his great compassion, gave initiation to her, along with her husband, her two sons, and her daughter, Krsnanandini dasi.
In the true spirit of brahmanism, Krsnanandini dasi will be sharing her wisdom and experience at a webinar on Saturday, June 20th from 11 am to 1 pm US Central Time. Whether you are homeschooling or not, whether you have children or not, don’t miss this precious opportunity to have her association in her numbered days. She is widely known to be an inspiring speaker, hearing from whom has done wonders to the audiences’ faith. There will be many jewels to mine from this webinar where she will be sharing the wisdom she has gathered from one of her primary services to her beloved spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada – bringing up children with love and devotion. Register at www.iskconchicago.com/vacademy.
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