Croatia: Glina Prison, 7th June 2013

“Speed up Raghunatha! Overtake him! There is no police on this part of the road! Hurry up! We are late!“ In spite of Mohan’s pushing during the ride to Glina, we still arrived late in the jail. Candramauli Swami and Dasaratha were already waiting for us. However, better late then never proved true. We were welcomed by the security and quickly ushered in the big classroom with five inmates. One of them greeted us with „I know you!“ We thought he must have seen the harinama party somewhere. But it was much more than that.

Škeco (the nickname of the inmate) patiently waited almost till the end of the lecture when he couldn’t contain himself any longer. He just wanted to tell us his story and Maharaja let him speak. It turned out that he met Mohan and the harinama team several years ago in an awkward situation somewhere between Šibenik and Vodice.The devotees’ van had broken down in the middle of the road and they were helplessly waiting for Krishna’s mercy. It came in form of Škeco and his small car by which he towed the big van to his mechanic acquaintance who in turn repaired the van for a convenient price. Škeco likes devotees very much, praising them in front of his friends at the petrol station and at the end he received Srila Prabhupada’s books and prasadam.

Later life brought him where he is now but it seems he is going to be helping devotees even from the inside.In inquiring about the small number of the inmates present at the program we found out that the inmates got to know about the program only an hour before we arrived. Škeco therefore volunteered to help us in future by better informing the inmates and motivating them to expose themselves to our association which he valued so much.

The small attendance was compensated by their great inquisitiveness. One of them asked about tilak markings and when Mohan nicely explained it all, he innocently asked him, „Then why do you not have it?“ Maharaja thought it was a good question and Mohan had to practice humility. They inquired also about women, their role in the movement, marriage and even adultery amongst the members of our communities.They seem satisfied with Maharaja’s answers

In answering their questions, singing bhajanas and prompting them to repeat Maha mantra, an hour and a half passed as one moment. Even a guard joined in the conversation on philosophy. The inquisitiveness of the inmates extended to the interest for reading and the five of them eagerly took 20 books and invited us to come again soon. Deeply satisfied and grateful for such an opportunity for spreading Krishna’s mercy we drove back happily planning more prison adventures.

Mahasimha Dasa

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