Croatia: Lepoglava, 17th of July 2013


Two months after my first visit, by Dharmavatsalah grace, I was allowed to Lepoglava again. Strange, while people are mostly looking forward to getting out of that prison, I’m anxious to get in! The atmosphere in the building situated in the immediate neighborhood of the old Catholic church and monastery is really special. Such are the guards as well, very friendly and human. Inmates show great interest in our message and make us feel useful and most welcome.

During the ride to the prison on the hot summer day, Mahatma was enlightening us about the conspiracy theory facts and the influence this propaganda has on the people in general and devotees in particular, and therefore he liked the title of today’s lecture: Hidden knowledge. Dharmavatsalah was very confident at the entrance and managed to get in with his bag full of books and papers and japa beads hanging around his neck. Up in the classroom, inmates were waiting for us with bright faces and welcome smiles. Some of them are regularly in touch with Mahasimha by snail mail and obviously feel grateful for that.

After the bhajan, I tried to present the need for accepting Vedic authority due to the defects of us conditioned souls which bar us from success in the independent search for knowledge. Everybody listened carefully and many nodded with approval. “If you hadn’t made a mistake, you would not have been here now,“ I told them explaining one of the 4 defects. They could relate to that, but what really stuck (stayed?) with them was the story about the teacher who, waiting for the right student, rejected one who was after just having the knowledge (because he would misuse it), another one who wanted to help others (he wasn’t aware that he can’t help even himself) and finally accepted the one who came to be thought how to live his life.

During the long Q&A session, Andrea’s question showed he would like to read Vedas by himself and while replying I mentioned that he belongs to the same category as the first student from the story. Another one expressed his desire to learn some techniques how to help people to cure themselves. An elderly inmate immediately recognized this as the situation of the second rejected student, which made us all laugh. The same, witty one asked a tricky question about the sequence of cause and effect and I resorted to the old technique, first mentioning that according to Vedas women are considered less intelligent and then gave an explanation. Satisfied, he opened up, admitting it was just a challenge and confiding that he likes Bhagavad-gita but can’t stand Srila Prabhupada’s commentaries… Someone asked why we chant Hare Krishna if everything is present in ‘om’ and got to know that we are following Lord Caitanya’s instructions. In such a nice exchange time passed quickly and guards had to warn us that it’s time to leave. Distributing quickly books to the eager hands, since there was no more time for bhajans, Dharmavatsalah decided to make up for that next time he comes.

Promising to our “old“ devotee Marko to arrange for his japa beads, we left satisfied. Back in the car while discussing different possible comments to the Challenger’s dislike for Prabhupada’s commentaries, we remained immersed in KC during the whole ride, feeling that distinct joy of being instrumental in Krishna’s plan of reaching to some of the most desperate souls in this Kali-yuga scene.

Vinata dd

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