ISKCON News is proud to announce a new and inspiring interview series, a new look into the world of living the Bhakti Yoga life. In this interview series, we talk to the devotees of New Vrindaban, West Virginia to ask them how they feel living fully immersed in devotional life.
Today we introduce you to Divyangi devi dasi, a well-known New York Harinam book distributor who is now a New Vrindaban resident.
Where do you hail from originally?
Divyangi Devi Dasi: I am originally from Minsk, Belarus.
How long have you lived at New Vrindaban?
I’ve permanently moved here in September 2021.
Oh so fairly new, what is it like living at New Vrindaban?
In my experience, every day something amazing happens here in New Vrindaban, inwardly and outwardly. Living here is transformative, I always learn so many new things about myself and my relationships with devotees. I feel like for me personally, it is a good place to work on my boundaries and recognition of my bodily and mental limits. At the same time, this place uncovers many talents and it’s easy to get involved and enjoy something I’ve never done before.
What are some of your favorite things about staying at New Vrindaban?
There’s always something going on here, in the temple, or in devotees’ houses or outside. It’s kind of like in my childhood, wherever you go there’s adventure everywhere.
I like living in nature and have an opportunity to just take a walk to the forest when I feel like I need it. I also like that it’s quite remote and it feels nice to be able to come back to a peaceful place after Book Distribution in town, for example.
I also like how encouraging devotees are to start new initiatives and engage others in them.
Do you think living in New Vrindaban helps your bhakti?
It definitely helps my spiritual growth. This growth is not always pleasant and comfortable, but encountering all sorts of situations here, helps me to become more responsible and serious in my spiritual practice and my relationship with devotees.
What service do you do there? What are some of your favorite services?
I am a pujari, and love it so much!
It’s quite common to organize book/prasadam distribution events, which I enjoy so much too. Recently I started helping with social media. And I absolutely love gardening services; although it’s hard to find time to do everything here when this opportunity actually comes, I appreciate it a lot!
Are you involved in any special projects or initiatives there?
I would say so. Every devotional festival in the temple is a special project here, as a pujari I am involved in all of them. Also, I have started helping with social media projects.
Do you feel you learning any particular skills there?
I would say I’m constantly learning about Deity Seva and the art of relationships with devotees.
Thanks so much for sitting down and talking to us today, Is there anything else you would like to add?
I feel and see how New Vrindaban is a Holy Dham, which is sometimes is not easy to deal with, it brings up the highest joy, as well as the deepest anarthas in me. Like other temples is a very good place for purification, as we say, but it works better for a devotee who looks for such purification. And I do. Absolutely wonderful place to visit and see what your experience will be like!
Stay tuned for more Interviews with the residents of New Vrindaban every month exclusively on ISKCON News. To book a stay at New Vrindaban visit newvrindaban.com/lodge
May 15, 2022
Sunanda Das, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium