Report of the Program in Lepoglava Jail June 6th 2013

Devotees: H.H. Smita Krsna Swami, Vrsabha das, Mahatma das, Ayodhya Deva das and Dharma-vatsalah das

The program was attended by 12 inmates

We visited Lepoglava Jail for the second time. H.H. Smita Krsna Swami, who was traveling in Croatia at the time, agreed to accompany us and give the lecture.

Unlike last time, all our names were on the list and there was no problem getting cleared. It seemed to me that the guards preformed a more detailed check this time. They were looking at the books, browsing through the pages, but unfortunately did not let us to take them in, even though we informed them that the previous time we were allowed to do so. We agreed with the guards that we would make a list of the inmates interested in certain books and deliver it.

Previously I found out from a female devotee that her friends worked in this jail. I wanted to meet them and was able to do so before the program. I found out that this person is in charge of the inmates and he was the person Mahasimha Prabhu is in contact regarding the programs.

Shortly after going through control, we went in. This time we were accompanied by only one guard who stayed with us the entire time. Unlike the first time, I wasn’t so nervous, and we had sufficient amount of time to prepare before the program began. We entered the room where the program was to be held, and were welcomed with the smiling faces of a few inmates, a very nice and pleasant welcome. I remembered a few of them from our first program. I greeted them and asked if they had received our letters, which brought wider smiles to their faces. They were happy.

Vrsabha Prabhu led a short 10-minutes bhajan, after which H.H. Smita Krsna Swami gave a lecture entitled “Is there life after death?” Maharaja said that life after death is a fact. He spoke about the sources of knowledge and our books, especially the Bhagavad Gita, and about the law of action and reaction. He mentioned that Krishna had told Arjuna that all the planets, from the lowest to the highest, are the places of birth and death. Maharaja emphasized that we can do good or bad things, but success means to stop that cycle of birth and death. Krishna said, “Those who think of Me will come to Me.”

Maharaja spoke about Krishna how He is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss, which we are also because we are His parts. By associating with Krishna and His devotees the spiritual qualities awaken in us. At the end, he offered everyone to join in singing the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, It doesn’t matter whether we believe in it or not. It will have its effect just like the right medicine..

They were very attentive during the lecture and then asked some interesting questions.

– How old is Vedic wisdom?

– Previously there was a smaller number of people on Earth, and now there are so many more!

– Krishna said, God said, Allah said, in the past, but what do They say now?

– Do you believe in Satan, a devil?

– Why was it necessary for Krishna to incarnate on Earth?

The program lasted one hour, Maharaja had to leave for another program so we cut the program time. It was Maharaja’s first jail program, also Ayodha Deva Prabhu’s who said that during the program he was thinking how it was not for him, but that changed considerably when he heard the inmates’ questions. He expressed how he instantly felt the need to answer their questions. He was thrilled with the program. A inmate told us at the first program that he regularly visited our temple in Pula. He was happy, it was clearly visible. Visible also was the inmates’ need to listen about topics essential for all of us. At the end a few inmates approached me, I made a list of books they wanted. Among other books, two of the inmates wanted Bhagavad Gita.

A couple of days later I sent the books and the Bhajan CDs through a man I got to know in jail, the friend of our devotee. He said that he would do it. Both last time and this time I was in awe of the lectures of H.H. Candramauli Swami and now H.H. Smita Krsna Swami, but also with the inmates’ attention and interest.

We ended with the mutual desire to meet again at the first opportunity.

All glories to Patita Pavana Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Rama

Your servant Dharma-vatsalah das

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