RagatmikaMataji: Hare Krsna. My husband and I were in Alachua with our 5-year oldson… Although we were living in a community of devotees, the
Western influence was so strong, we decided that we should go to Mayapur before we lose the courage, and our son gets spoiled… We bought a ticket to Mayapur, even though we had not been to India for over 20 years at that time. Wewere fortunate to get some service at the MIHET, by the grace of Janmastami Prabhu.
Eventually, we arrived in July 2005 and have been here ever since.
CCD: What is the most attractive aspect of Mayapur for you?
RagatmikaMataji: There’s a couple of things… The festive atmosphere in the temple, daily; the number of devotees; And the quality of the Deity worship. There are Festivalsso often. Credit goes to H.G. Jananivas Prabhu and H.G. PankajanghriPrabhu.
Another major attraction for me is the availability of preaching opportunities. SrilaPrabhupada said: “One day you won’t have to leave Mayapur to preach.” I go regularly to book-stalls to take books to distribute, around the courtyard, and insidethe Samadhi. I don’t know Bengali, but still I manage. In a big Bengali family, there’salways somebody who can speak English. A big family means that they can all chip in!
I just think that it’s important to greet these guests, and serve Srila Prabhupada by greeting these guests. They are not ordinary souls… Anybody who walks intothis Mayapur Campus is special to Lord Caitanya.
There’s a higher taste in book distribution. By giving somebody Srila Prabhupada’s books, we can help change theirlives. Just by touching a book they benefit. It is also a very quick method of attracting Krsna’s mercy.
Yet another thing is to assist in developing an international community. That’s where my husband and I play a part also. We are fortunate to be engaged in serving the Vaisnavas here through our responsibility at the MCS office. My hope for advancement is in serving the Vaisnavas.
CCD: How can we encourage more people to come to Mayapur?
RagatmikaMataji: If anybody has visited even once, they don’t need encouragement because practically everybody who visits wants to return and stay longer!
My Godsister Jagatirini once said: “Krsna’s mercy comes to us in a special way in each of the three Dhams. Jagannath Puri – MahaPrasad, Vrndavana – The dust of Vraja, Mayapur –Holy Name.” Coming to Mayapur gives a boost in one’s chanting. It is incredibly easy to increase one’s quality and quantity of chanting while in Mayapur.The attraction to Mayapur is just automatic.
I would encourage people coming here wishing to reside, that they should bring with them the willingness to serve. It’s not a spiritual resort. They should identify a service where they can find like-minded devotees, thus not get “lost in the crowd.” The Mayapur Community Sevaks (MCS) can assist one by offering some suggestions of how one’s talents can be engaged.
CCD: What do you find the most challenging part of living in Mayapur?
RagatmikaMataji: Maybe the climate. But I think, regarding the heat, I know that Ideserve the fires of hell. This heat is a small price to pay for the privilege of living in Mayapur. In the course of my service at the MCS, I am trying to avoid Vaisnava aparadha.
CCD: Thank you very much. Hare Krsna!
RagatmikaMataji: Thank you. Hare Krsna.
CONCLUDING WORDS from Caitanya Carana dasa: It is clear for me to see, after thisinterview, that of all the glories of Sridham Mayapur, the devotees are the most glorious!