I joined ISKCON in 1995 in Serbia. I was 21 years old and just came back from my adventurous journey to India, which stirred up my interest in Eastern philosophy and religion. I was attending our local temple for about a year and then got married to our temple president Ivesvara Dasa. We moved out to live separately from the temple and made our home a Nama-hatta center in another town where we held regular Sunday feast programs. We welcomed many devotees, preachers, and sanyasis, we organized a lot of public preaching programs, we held our first public Ratha-yatra in Serbia, we opened a Govinda’s restaurant at one point, but had to close it soon because of the “emergency” political situation of NATO bombing our country.
I got initiation from HH Jayapataka Swami in 2000. Soon we started to travel to India every year. Eventually, we started to spend more time in India than in Serbia and moved to Mayapur Dham in 2005. There we were engaged in many services: traveling with Nama-hatta devotees and helping them preach in Bengali villages, cooking for community devotees, and finally cooking as personal cooks and kitchen coordinators of HH Jayapataka Swami. We attended many Navadvip-Mandal parikramas, and safari pilgrimages through the holy places of India, which I wrote down and published as my diary book “Safari, a spiritual adventure in the sacred land”. After HH Jayapataka Swami got the stroke, we started to travel with him as his cooks for about 3 years, because he was having a rigorous diet that needed to be strictly monitored. On 2010. we got our first child and came back to Serbia where we settled down again.
My husband, Ivesvara Dasa, joined the movement in 1984 in Serbia, that time Yugoslavia. He joined the temple serving as a cook, and very soon as a full-time sankirtan devotee. He got initiation from Harikesh Swami in 1987. Being one of the best sankirtan devotees in Europe, he soon became the sankirtan leader in Serbia. He was participating in book distribution in the schools, which was a unique way of book distribution, not practiced in any other part of Europe. After doing an intense book distribution service for about 15 years (the whole day on the street and full-time cooking in the temple on weekends), he was not able to do it physically anymore and he started to travel as a Nama-hatta preacher for some years. When we got married we continued Nama-hatta preaching together, as I have explained above. In 2002 he got reinitiation from HH Jayapataka Swami.
My husband is one of the most capable and determined people I know, the best cook I`ve ever met, an enthusiastic preacher and naturally hard worker, sincerely devoted to Srila Prabhupada`s mission and instructions. I am very grateful for his lifelong guidance and for the many important lessons I have learned from him.