My name is Devahuti dasi. I joined Srila Prabhupada’s movement in 1977 in New Vrindavan, WV. I have 2 grown children, 1 of whom is initiated by Swami BV Tripurari. Most of my life I served as a cook and pujari in Philadelphia and Baltimore. It was in Baltimore, 2001, when I met Swami at a heart-moving, life-changing experience which has kept me connected ever since. Four years ago, I moved Prabhupada Village in NC and January of this year, I came to reside at Ananda Ashram. Having lived in several ashrams and temple communities throughout my life where I felt a lot of external pressure to meet standards and expectations, I never thought I could live in an ashram situation again, but, in spite of my fear, I felt inspired to come and to assist those who are serving in this project which is so dear to Swami Tripurari’s heart. As soon as I arrived, I felt at home and all of my fears of being judged and subtly pressured evaporated. I was at ease and encouraged by the spontaneity with which services are offered and spiritual practices are engaged in.
All of Swami’s projects are an external manifestation of his love for his gurus and his lords – the space made sacred. Saragrahi, tucked away in the foothills of Western North Carolina, is a pocket, a haven, a gupta vrindavan away from the maddening crowd. Whatever I think of as Vrindavan it is all here – the cows abundant with milk, pasturing grounds, the Yamuna, Govardhan, Krishna-Balarama, supportive loving relationships with a common goal. Gaura-Radha-Madhava’s beauty is mysterious and captivating and Krishna-Balarama’s mischievious faces bring a smile to my heart as I get a sense of divine cleverness going on here in order to keep us all mentally on our toes.
I am enlivened by this project because it has a feeling of new beginnings and fresh starts and endless possibilities for creative loving service assisting Swami. Being with those who are deeply committed to guru seva and have a thirst for hearing and progressing on the path is very uplifting and it has strengthened my practice. Overall I feel moved by the eagerness here to share what is being given and experienced in order to facilitate others.
My hope for Saragrahi is that it continues to be built on love and trust, that there is balance and honesty with self and others, and that as the dhama expands externally, it expands internally as well. My hope for myself being here is that I can assist Swami in his mission and become a real saragrahi devotee.