Service in the Holy Dham


“Srila Prabhupada said that devotional service rendered in a Holy Dham like New Vrindaban is 1,000 times more potent than devotional service rendered anywhere else,” said Shanka dasa, New Vrindaban’s Kitchen Manager and Head Cook since 2001.  “So I try to engage as many guests as possible in the kitchen chopping vegetables, making bread, and other services.”

Shanka received initiation from Srila Prabhupada in 1973 and later served Srila Prabhupada personally in Mumbai.  “Every day, I used to make a flower garland and give it to him for Guru Puja,” remembers Shanka.  One day, after being chastised by his spiritual master for a mistake, Shanka felt so disheartened that he did not give Srila Prabhupada a flower garland that day.  Instead, he asked another devotee to give the garland to Srila Prabhupada.  Noticing Shanka’s absence, Srila Prabhupada immediately asked, “Where’s my flower boy?”  The next day, Shanka happily resumed his service.

Thirty years later, even though his service has changed, Shanka is still happy to be serving Srila Prabhupada.  “I get pleasure from seeing that all the guests get Krishna prasad,” he explained.  “Some of the guests tell me that they come back every year because the prasad is so good.”

Shanka invites everyone to render service in the Holy Dham.   During your next visit to New Vrindaban, please take advantage of the opportunity to spend a few minutes or a few hours in the kitchen with Shanka.

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