Interview with Ranaka das


Ranaka Chaitanya Mangala New Vrindaban ISKCON ECO-Vrindaban Service Appreciation

Where is your hometown? 

I was born in Norfolk, VA where my father was in the Navy.  After his discharge from the duty, we relocated to my family’s home town in NW Iowa when I was 2 weeks old.  I lived in my family’s farm near Paullina IA until I graduated from High School at the age of 17 & moved to Denver CO in 1972, and then in the mountains near Evergreen until 1977.

What initially attracted you to Krishna Consciousness? 

I was  interested in Eastern Philosophy and had been going to lectures by different swamis, I became friends with a devotee who directed me to the Denver Temple.

When did you first meet devotees? 

I became friends with a devotee who had left the temple, he was living down the road from my place in the Evergreen, Co area in 1976. I visited and met the devotees at the Denver temple around December of 1976.

When & where did you first join ISKCON? 

I joined New Vrindaban in February 1977.

When & where did you get initiated? 

I was initiated in New Vrindaban in August 1977.

When & where did you get married? 

I got married with Elena, at the Wheeling Court House in August of 2000, and had a reception afterward at the Palace Restaurant, with many devotees in attendance.

When/where did you first hear about New Vrindaban? 

I heard from the devotees at the Denver Temple.

When did you move to New Vrindaban? 

I moved to New Vrindaban in Feb 1977.

What is your favorite part of New Vrindaban? 

Radha Vrindaban Chandra!

What were your main services in each decade, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, current? 

I was taking care of the cows and agriculture, from beginning to present.

What was your favorite service? 

It’s all been good.

Anything specific you’d like to mention about your family? (spouses, children, siblings, parents, etc.) 

My eldest son Kyle (Rama) is a high school math teacher, lives & teaches in SLO CA. He is married to Dara and has a one year old son named Riley.

My second son David (Raktak) has a vegan restaurant business, he also lives & works in SLO CA. He is married to Sarah and they have a 1.5 year old son named Arjuna and a newborn daughter named Amrita.

My third son Bryce (Ramesh) graduated from Wesleyan College in Middletown CT last year and is now enrolled in a tech school in Seattle WA, where he is seeking employment after graduation.

My fourth son Joshua Rama is 13, and is finishing his last year at Gopal’s Garden. He will move onto High School next year.

Any advice to newer and future residents?

Chant Krishna’s name and depend on Him in all circumstances, you will never be the loser.


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