Present: Ayodhya Deva and Dharma-vatsalah
The program was attended by 14 inmates
We waited about10 minutes at the jail entrance, as a new prisoner was being admitted. Our entering the jail, in other words,the control, went very smoothly. It was only our second visit, yet they knew we were the Hare Krishnas. It appeared that was the reason that the doors were opened for us.
We came to the same room we held our first program. There were a few inmates waiting for us, and more joined later,14 in all. I noticed three of them from the first program. As was the case at our first program, the inmates attended voluntarily. They were informed previously about the program. The guards then left us to conduct the program, not even watching from the other side of the glass partition.
I gave the introduction after Ayodhya Deva Prabhu led a short bhajan playing on the harmonium. A few of the men giggled a little, but soon they calmed down. I had prepared a presentation under the title “Who am I?” I started with the story about the scene before the battle of Kurukshetra and Arjuna’s weakness, and how he had approached Krishna asking for the solution to his problems. Later, I talked about us being spirit souls, parts of Krishna, full of knowledge and bliss… I spoke about the spiritual and material energies, about the gross and subtle bodies, about material elements and the senses for acquiring knowledge. They liked the exercise of pointing to the different parts of the body to indicate we are different than our body.
During the lecture, they were eager and started to ask questions and also at the end. Some of the questions were:
How did the battle of Kurukshetra end?
In which language do you sing?
How did you convert to this religion?
Every religion thinks it is the best one…
Do we have to give up our possessions in order to advance spiritually?
We distributed leaflets with the Maha Mantra and explanation, and ended the program with a short bhajan. There was some “commotion” but it settled down quickly. Many of them carefully listened, especially the three Gypsies who attended the first program and another who was provoking with intelligent questions, during the lecture.
We gave our addresses, the address of our Office in Rijeka, and one took the book “Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers”. The inmates expressed a desire that we come again.
Ayodhya Deva Prabhu said he came to the program from work and how he was not enthusiastic about it, but that it all changed in the moment when the inmates started asking questions.
The program inspired me to read Srila Prabhupada books and be better equipped in the future to answer their questions.
Gaur Premanande Hari Bol!