Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I made my first visit to Sri Mayapur Dham in 2009 during Radhastami. Mayapur is the headquarters for our ISKCON Society and is home to the most beautiful Deities in the world- Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava and the Astasakhi’s, Sri Panchatattva, and Sri Narasimhadeva. Among my many adventures and life changing experiences in the Dham, a resident devotee gave me the wonderful opportunity of giving me a tour of the pujari rooms before I left Mayapur to continue my pilgrimage in India. While I ooh’ed and ahh’ed over the up close and personal view of the Deities outfits and the Deity jewelry- totally amazed by the love and patience it takes to make and organize all of Krishna’s things, the devotee told me that its hard to find good beads for jewelry-making in India and because beads are so heavy, many people wont bring much from their country. I asked her what happens with the old jewelry and she replied that its either sold as mahaprasad or just broken down and reused in another set of jewelry. Over the years, the Deities in Mayapur has become very close to me, I felt sad that they struggled to have nice beads for making jewelry.

Feeling a little bold, I asked if there was any service I could do from abroad. She immediately replied, “please, bring back some beads, anything that you can bring would be so helpful. Whenever devotees bring jewelry to Jananivas Prabhu, our head pujari, he is so appreciative and moved when devotees offer this personal service.” I agreed that I would do my best and with that I left the Dham to catch my train to the next holy place in India.

Since then, I have been meditating on how to best execute that service. Here is where your assistance is needed. I want to bring lots of beads to Mayapur Dham, my dream is to bring several luggage’s packed full of beads- I’ll take care of the extra baggage costs. I need devotees to make donations so that we can achieve this goal. I know many of you have Mayapur Dham and Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava close to your hearts. For example, if you donate just $30 you can buy about 1,000 beads- which brings us closer to the thousands of beads needed for Their Lordships- but any amount, no matter how much or how little will be accepted. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to present Jananivas Prabhu with so much jewelry-making beads and then show him the long list of donors that made it all possible?!

The deadline for this rare service opportunity ends October 1st so please take advantage of this opportunity. I am ONLY bringing beads and items for the Deities in Mayapur, meaning that I will not carry items for godsiblings, family, BFF’s etc.

One way you can donate is by going to this site and type in my email address :

all the beads they need are listed there, you can pick out what you want to donate to and it gets sent to me to take to Mayapur.

If you are interested or have any questions please email me and I will do my best to serve you.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you very much for your time.
Always your servant,
*prema-rupa devi dasi


I have received a number of requests about how I make Deity turbans so Im finally making a tutorial about it. Im not a professional, I never got any real training, but I do watch what others do and have received a few tips from my husband, who used to be a pujari in Chicago. So opinions and experiences may vary.

I think turban bases are important because it not only provides structure and stability to your turban but you have a lesser chance of pricking the Lord’s head with your pins and mukuts. Also, it gives you the ability to make your turban away from the altar, you can make the turban ahead of time or even entrust the responsibility with someone else while you do the Deity dressing. I definitely recommend making a turban base.

The fabric I like to use for the base is the home décor type because its thicker and stronger than other types of fabric. Just fold the fabric a few times and sew it horizontally to hold the fabric in place.


Before you go ripping up your couches or tearing your curtains, you can also use cotton fabric and line it with unrolled cotton balls.


After lining it, fold the fabric over and sew horizontal lines to hold the cotton and fabric in place. Feel free to make more layers until your desired thickness.


Oh, and don’t forget to measure your Deity’s head. We’re going to pretend this kalash is the size of your Deity’s head. Actually, when I used to make turbans for the Deities at our ISKCON center in Orlando, Their heads were the exact same size as a kalash, so while one pujari was dressing the Deities, I would be in the pujari room, each base on a kalash, wrapping turbans.


So just fold one side over the other side


And make sure the front makes an upside-down V shape, like this ^


You’ll probably have to start sewing by hand at this point. Sew the front of the base.

Now you fold the top like you wrap a gift. First stitch from the front of the turban to the back.


Fold the front and the back pieces of fabric, the front over the back. And stitch along the edges. Feel free to go over your stitches or stitch all over the place as many times as you want, you want it to stay strong!


Don’t feel bad if your base is kinda ugly, its just a base and it gets covered over anyway. Making a cloth base is great for big Deities and Jagannath, Baladev, Subhadra Deities (you wouldn’t make it for Subhadra of course).

If you have smaller Deities like I do, another base you can try is with a Styrofoam ball. I like to use Styrofoam because it hold the pins really well. The only downside is that you have to replace it every so often as it tends to get broken-up with use.


Just cut off the bottom, scrape out the insides to fit the head, and the outsides into the shape of a base.

I hope this tutorial was helpful! If you have any questions, leave me a comment, find me on facebook, email me, etc. In my next tutorial, I’ll show you how to wrap a basic turban.

Sri-Sri Radha Shyamasundar on Janamastmi Day

“O Queen of Vrndavana, O Radharani, Your complexion is like molten gold, Your doe-like eyes are captivatingly restless, a million full and brilliant moons wane before Your lustrous countenance, and a blue sari, having stolen the hue of a fresh rain-laden cloud, has enwrapped Your exquisite form. O Radha, You are the crest-jewel of all the dallying damsels of Vrndavana, fragrant and pristine like a budding jasmine flower. Your sublime form is adorned with priceless jewelry, and you are the best of all the charming and intelligent gopis. You are decorated with all wonderful excellences and surrounded by eight dedicated and beloved cowherd girls known as the asta-sakhis.

“The ambrosia of Your beautiful lips, red as the bimba fruit, is life-giving syrup to Krsna. O Radha, I am rolling on the banks of the Yamuna, my poor heart filled with anticipation, praying to You with all humility. I am guilty of being an offender, a rascal, a useless wretch–yet I beg You to kindly engage me in even the smallest service to Your lotus feet. O most merciful Lady, it will not become You to ignore this most distressed soul, for Your heart is always overflowing with compassion and love.”
-Srila Rupa Goswami Sri Prarthana-Paddhati

I don’t know what I was thinking. We went to Vrindavan during Janamastmi but didn’t book a hotel room. Its not that I didn’t try, I sent emails to book a room in the guesthouse or at least have someone suggest a hotel for us to try contacting but I never got a response. I thought that maybe I had lucked out like I did in Kolkata. I had emailed them, they didn’t email back but had a room booked for us anyway. No such luck. I remembered that a common belief among devotees is that if you get the mercy of Radharani, the Queen of Vrindavan, then you will have the privilege of staying in Vrindavan for more than three days. We weren’t even there one day, barely an hour and it seemed hopeless.

After some time my family, composed of my husband, father-in-law, Mom, Dad and my younger sister, lugged our bags to a hotel that said that they could only take us for one night as someone had the two rooms for the next day. Not even one day. Radharani wouldn’t let us stay for one day. My husband, sister an I walked around Vrindavan for an hour going from hotel to hotel asking if they could possibly give us two rooms for a week, or even one room for a couple days but we got turned down everywhere we went. People from all over India booked months in advance and it was painful seeing them just walk right past us, ask about their room and then disappear into the hotel. I felt bad for my sister. It was her third day in India and she was wandering around the dirty streets of Vrindavan in the heat and no sign of relief.

My younger sister is very pretty and what some might consider high maintenance, unlike me- a walking mess- she makes sure to be well-dressed and made-up before leaving the house. In our family she was always the one that stayed out of trouble, and I remember her always being very thoughtful of others. After all, she could have stayed with my parents instead of wander through the streets with us. Eventually she went back to the hotel and my husband and I search for an hour more. I considered taking my family to Agra and putting them up in a hotel there and I would stay in Vrindavan, even if I had to sleep in the streets. Even if I would have to sleep in the mucky gutters that line the roadside, I wouldn’t skip out on this adventure. We stopped at the Krishna-Balaram temple,
“Prema-Rupa, I need you to stay here while I continue looking.”
“No! I want to stay with you, why are you leaving me here?”
“Im going with my friend to keep looking and I need you to stay here and pray to Radharani.”
I sighed, “Are you sure?”
“Positive, I’ll be right back.”

I sat amongst a group of devotees in front of Sri-Sri Radha-Syamasundars altar, lively kirtan was being sung while we waited for the altar doors to open. I prayed to Radharani while chanting on my japa beads. Certainly She must know Im here, She wouldn’t neglet me, would She? Since my husband gave me Sri-Sri Radha Madanmohan in 2004, She has always been the one I turn to, the one I felt understood me best, the one I could depend on. I came all the way here just for Her. The altar doors open, the chanting exploded and people pushed their way to the front with their offerings of money, garlands and vegetables, eager to receive a little mercy. I slowly made my way to the front, my eyes focused on Her, oblivious to my surrounding. “Give me a sign,” I prayed, “a flower to fall, anything at all. I want to know you are listening.” I pleaded to Her my case. How I loved Her and wanted to serve Her. I told Her that having a hotel is not important to me, for Her, I could sleep in the streets but its my family’s first time here.


I told Her that I was willing to give up fancy saris for simple cotton ones if we could stay. That’s a big deal, I love sari’s. Im attached to every single one of them, even the rattiest dirtiest sari I hang on to until its completely shredded to pieces.


I begged and pleaded and bargained with no reply, “even if the pujari gave me a maha-flower, I’ll take that to mean something.” I held my hand out with the other devotees while the pujari handed out the flowers and tossed them into the crowd. My hand turned up empty. Slowly, people started to meander away. I pleaded with Visakha-Sakhi to convince Radharani to give me a little mercy, just a little. Radharani would listen to Visakha, right? They’re BFF’s She’s got to listen.


Then I got angry, “Okay Radharani, that’s how You want to be? Fine. I give you my attention, my love. I always make sure You get everything first. You get the fanciest dressing, my husband fusses at me about how long You take to get dressed and I always take up for You. I spent hundreds of dollars on You year after year, trying to give You the nicest, the best and I come to Your home and this is my treatment? Maybe I wont come back, is that what you want? Fine, be like that.”


Brokenhearted. I continued to silently pray, fingering my beads, still hoping for that sign. It had been four hours from when my husband left until he came back. He shook his head solemnly and we walked back to our hotel room without saying a word. We knew what this meant for us.

We got back to the hotel, my family was in their room, and my father-in-law was asleep on his bed. “This devotee is very well-known here in Vrindavan, he thought that if he came with me he could pull a few strings and get us a room, we walked by foot everywhere for four hours but everyone turned us down.” We lay in bed, my head on my husbands shoulder. I imagined my good-hearted husband walking around in the hot hot sun, “I know you prayed very hard for us, but maybe this is Krishna’s desire. My friend said that if he hears anything he will call me. But he doubts he’ll hear anything” We stared at the phone expectantly, the only sound was the whirring of the fan above us. We waited and waited but no one ever called. Maybe I didn’t pray hard enough, maybe I wasn’t sincere enough. Maybe God doesn’t care about what we want, about our desires, even if it is to serve Him. “Here is what I think we should do,” I whispered, “I think you should take our family to Agra and find a hotel for them there. They can stay there for the rest of the week….and I’ll stay here.”
“And what will you do here?”
“I just have to stay. Even if I have nowhere to stay, I just need to be here. I am determined to be here.” I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. The thought of my family and I not getting the mercy of Radharani was unbearable. I prayed one more time, I begged Her to not neglect me. I wanted the mercy so badly. Hot tears poured down my face as my husband tried to console me.

And then the phone rang.

Sri-Sri Radha Syamasundar in Alachua on Gaura Purnima day

Hungry. That is the only word I can use to describe how I felt standing in front of Sri-Sri Radha Shyamasundar in Alachua on Gaura Purnima. My eyes were hungry for the form of Krishna. Radha-Shyamasundar are always impeccably dressed, everything is perfect about Them but on Gaura Purnima, they were especially breathtaking. Standing in front of Them, I wished that my eyesight was perfect- no- I wished it was more than perfect so that I can relish every part of Radha-Shyamasundar with my eyes. The altar reminded me of Janamastmi in Vrindavan, full of foliage and flowers, it was simply amazing. And Their outfits were so beautiful with shiny sequined colors that faded from one to another. What is amazing about the Lord is that a dress is just a dress and a necklace is just a necklace, but when Krishna wears it, it becomes transformed, it bewilders my mind! His beauty makes ordinary things more beautiful. It’s the complete opposite of how people dress! Amazing. Simply amazing.

Waiting for the abhisek to start I sat in the back of the temple room and mindlessly fingered my beads. Its bad, I know. I looked at Radharani and wondered why some devotees turn down the opportunity to serve Them. So beautiful and such an intimate service. I wondered how some devotees have the privilege to perform devotional service but neglect others the privilege to serve Them too. Certainly we should be greedy for Krishna, but we should never be stingy.

I don’t get people. Especially devotees.

Gaura Purnima marks a new year for us devotees. This year I would like to blog more. Last year was pretty rough for me, I was going through some things not worth talking about so bloging was last on my mind. But I did finally have the good fortune of going to India and I would like to talk about some of my experiences. Mostly so that I don’t forget, but also because I want to remember the amazing time I had. I remember worrying that I wouldn’t like India, I know so many very wonderful devotees who went to India and hated it but the minute I got there I loved it. I even loved the things that I didn’t like. I cant wait to go back.

Radharani is so so beautiful. I just love Her

Our home Deities, Sri-Sri Radha Madanmohan on Gaura Purnima Day

…but my Deities are gorgeous. Here, I shall bombard you with pictures now.





My Radha Madanamohan are so merciful. I am so fallen and lowly, but still They take so much mercy on me. What did I do to deserve someone as sweet as Them? I’ve seen a lot of Deities in my lifetime, but somehow not like Them. They reciprocate like I have never seen before with anyone. Why are They so kind? Why are They so different from the others? My Madanamohan is a prankster, He likes to play lots of tricks. And Radharani is sooo beautiful, but She gets very jealous when I turn my attention away from Their service. Which is good because it keeps me on track. How did I get so much Mercy…

The sting of not being able to serve Sri-Sri Nitai Gauranataraj anymore is still there. It hurt really badly last Wednesday when I didnt go, but not as badly as Sunday when I saw Them. I love all the little things I used to do for Them. I miss serving Them more than anyone could possibly imagine. But because of me, offense was committed- and I cannot forgive myself. Somehow around Them I cannot help myself, I forget myself. Maybe its Their long, lotus eyes. Their curly locks of black hair. The sweet little smile on Their red lips. I am a fool for that smile. To see Their dancing bodies I could wake up every day for mangala-arati. But serving Them made me neglect everything else, my home, my husband, even eating and sleeping- and it shouldnt be that way. At least, not yet.

Wow, this turned into a depressing post super fast. Ok, think of something else…

INDIA! My husband and I are making a trip to India in August! We are so excited! This will be my first trip ever to India. My husband is so nervous, he doesnt know if I will like it or not but I so know I will. I’ll be there for two months (beginning of August to the end of September). And we’ll be there for these festivals: Jhulan Yatra (which reminds me- must start make green outfit for Deities), Lord Balaram’s Appearance Day, Krishna Janamastami, Srila Prabhupada’s Appearance Day, Radhastami (another outfit for the Deities), Guru Maharaj’s Vyasa Puja, Vamana Dvadasi and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Appearance Day. There are definitely more holy days but I dont remember them all now. Im so excited! Please pray that my husband and I make it and can absorb as much Mercy as we possibly can!! I was thinking that video blogging is an order for this trip. My problem is that I get so busy just enjoying the atmosphere I forget to take pictures or video. But I’ll do my best. Will keep you all posted as the trip gets closer.

Want to know something? I love designing and creating Deity outfits. But my only downfall is the follow through. I get bored with  project and I dont finish it and move on to something else without finishing the first project. But its in my mind! I havent forgotten about my yellow Deity dress with silver designs. Its a work in progress that I will post in a few days.

Things have been hectic. Stuff going on in the temple and I am in a helpless position. I got to hang out a little with my Guru Maharja while he was here, he looked really tired.

Lately I’ve been thinking about moving to Alachua. I know I was super against ever moving there before. But, I dunno, when my husband and I were there on Sunday, he looked totally happy. And, maybe I’ll be happy too. I dont know many people. Correction- I know lots of people, none of them know me. I might be lonely, but its a feeling I’ve had my whole life. Maybe while Im there I’ll actually get seva to do instead of getting pushed aside all the time. Maybe people will see that I am “Prema-Rupa Devi Dasi” and not “Wife of Jagannath Das”, that I am an individual, not to be categorized into a group of “how a good woman must behave”.

*sigh* here’s to chasing the perfect life.

Did you read Part 1 and the Intro? Dont skip ahead, read it now.

For this section I’m providing some “must”s. I will add on to it as I think of it and I will provide I link so you dont have to keep checking back. I will fix some of the crappy phone photos in time.

  • joannMy favorite place to go is Jo-Ann fabrics. Everything is reasonably priced and there is so much variety! My second runner up is Michael’s. Michaels is great for beads and yarn and ribbon but unfortunately no fabric! So I usually head to Jo-Ann’s for my fabric. Whatever little knick-knacks I cant find there, I head to Michaels
  • kdk_0038

Be flexible and be creative! You wont always find exactly what you want and thats okay. For example, I couldnt find my leaf sequins. So instead of throwing a hissy-fit I decided to go with some little oval rhinestones, which I think look even better than the sequins. Originally, I wanted to make sequin flowers, but then I found some rhinestone flowers and they were so perfect! So even if everything doesnt go exactly to plan, its okay. Dont freak out

  • Please dont shop online unless the website is well known and reliable, you are not on a time crunch and whatever you buy is returnable. Because sometimes it looks cute in the picture, and when you get it 5 weeks later, you dont remember what you saw in those 12 yards of swirly green and pink batik fabric.
  • Get more than you need. Its always good to get a little more than you need. Why? you’re going to mess up. I mess up all the time. And having to go all the way back to the store is time consuming and you could run the risk of your fabric being out of season by the time you get there. Usually I get between 1-2 yards depending on the outfit. I know that I could make a whole outfit with about 1/2 yard but again, play it safe. Same is true for trim, except it doesnt really have seasons, but it can run out, so do buy more than you may need. I buy about 4-5 yards.
  • kdk_0031Sewing machine- invest in one and learn how to use it. A sewing machine is a time saver. It doesnt have to be anything expensive, mine cost close to $300. If you cant afford one, thats okay. But it will take you much much longer to sew your outfit. I went for years without one and now I suffer with serious backache.
  • kdk_0034Fabric scissors- A true dressmaker has a pair of fabric scissors that they use ONLY for fabric. I stress this because if you use these scissors for anything else, they will wear down and you will be sad. Save yourself the emotional torture. Save your fabric scissors FOR FABRIC ONLY. I have a fancy pair here that cost me around $50 (more or less, I cant remember) and they last a very very long time compared to other scissors.
  • kdk_0036

Fray check- this is a godsend. You put this at the end of your fabric so it doesnt fray and it’s wonderful. You may or may not need this but I love it and I always make sure to keep a couple bottles. Oh, and no, this is not supposed to replace sewing in the ends of your outfits, you will still sew it in, but your outfit will look nicer for longer if you make sure to drizzle some of this stuff on the ends. Oh and the $6.30 that they show on there is for two bottles, not just one.

  • kdk_00331Fabric glue- aka “liquid stitch” a new addition to my “must have”s. This is for the rhinestones. If there is no way for you to sew it on, use a little fabric glue and its on there pretty tightly, this glue is much better than other glue because its thicker, other glues fail because they dont stick well with porous material. Please dont replace sewing in your trim with gluing it in.That is not what this is for and you will regret it later.
  • kdk_0035
  • Something cool to look at when you are shopping for fabric- check out the sari/brocade fabric. Its GORGEOUS! If you want a fancy look without exhorting too much effort then look no further! Do try to get it on sale or clearance though since it runs about $10.00/yard. Ouch.
  • before you make your dress, do measure your Deites and make a scrap outfit. This way, you dont have to run to your Deites every five seconds to make sure its long/short/small/big enough for Them.

Thats all I can think of….for now…

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