A new devotee children’s book, ‘Nimai’s Adventures’ based on the childhood pastimes of Lord Caitanya, written by Mandakini Devi Dasi is set to be released in March 2022.
The 200-page book with more than 70 beautifully illustrated pictures is based upon the scriptures, Chaitanya Bhagavat and Chaitanya Charitamrita. It is written in a narrative style revolving around the protagonist who is a ‘traveler’ mouse landing in Navadwip. On his journey, he meets many ‘devotee dhamvasi’ animals, who tell him various childhood pastimes of Nimai that had taken place in Navadwip.
The author of the book, Mandakini Devi Dasi, who is currently finishing the final year of her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Language, shares her journey in Krishna Consciousness and what exactly intrigued her to write in the children’s genre.
Born and raised in the United Kingdom till the age of twelve, Mandakini Devi Dasi moved to Sridhaam Mayapur in 2013. Since her childhood, she has been engaged in Krishna Consciousness activities under the guidance of her parents and elder brother. She says her own experiences have laid the foundation of the writing of this book.
”Growing up as a ‘devotee’ child, there are many challenges and advantages that you face. I personally experienced finding it challenging to balance my education as well as my Krishna Consciousness. I also experienced sometimes wishing there was more for children to read that would entertain my curiosity as well as keep me engaged. I, therefore, wanted to create something unique that could serve the purpose of both and hopefully help even a few children in the journey in Krishna Consciousness.”
She considers children and youth as the most crucial aspect of ISKCON and how important it is to nurture and sustain them. She explains,” A particular interest I have always had was how to engage children and youth in Krishna Consciousness, and make their experience fun and engaging. Since I am studying English, I thought writing a devotional book for children was a method to utilize my studies in something devotional. As a child, I loved reading devotional kids’ books; however, when it came to reading for school, I would have to switch to novels to improve my reading and writing skills. My main aim was to create a book that incorporated an educational aspect that assisted children in their vocabulary development and creative writing skills and enhanced their spiritual knowledge in a fun way. My family, husband, and friends were also very encouraging which motivated me further.”
Mandakini Devi Dasi further adds,” My Gurumaharaj, His Holiness Subhag Swami Maharaj, was my biggest inspiration, and I wanted to offer something as his disciple to him that would please him.”
Nimai’s Adventures covers the majority of Nimai’s childhood pastimes so that children can become well educated and familiar with the life of Lord Chaitanya!
Writing is an integral part of Mandakini’s life and she intends to write more. She says,” I write as a hobby and for educational purposes regularly. However, this is actually the first book that I have written for public release! I aim to write more sequel books to the Nimai Adventures series and more books that will assist devotee children’s English language and speech skills in a Krishna Conscious way in the near future.”
In addition to this, Mandakini Devi Dasi endeavors for more such service in the future,” After I finish university, I aim to contribute more to youth and children’s development in ISKCON. Along with a few other youths, I am currently involved in running a Mayapur youth development group, where we try to engage youth in preaching, devotional and recreational activities. I want to expand this eventually and share our experiences and techniques with other temples across the world whose youth may require these services. We want to be of some assistance to them.”
May 15, 2022
Sunanda Das, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium