On a very hot Thursday 25TH of July 2013. a group of devotees met in the Pula prison parking lot. The lecturer for the program for the first was Dharani Pati das, a brahmacari living in Zagreb temple who comes often to Pula to distribute books. Yasa Pati das an older devotee from Pula came with him also joining our preaching group for the first time. Then there was Misra Purandara das and me, Bhn. Lara.
Unlike our last visit were no problems at the entrance, they let us in a record period. In summer time inmates prefer to go outside on a daily walks or practice weightlifting instead of attending our program..Nevertheless our ever faith full librarian was there, so we had a Bhakti sanga program for him exclusively. Krishna is very fond of this person, and makes some arrangements for him alone. If he wasn’t there, we would definitely feel discouraged to continue with the program. Soon he is leaving Pula prison in a month, we hope that other souls will become interested so that the preaching can continue. Hopefully he join a devotee community ,what I like about our librarian inmate is that he never complains and never criticizes his prison colleagues. He says of course if you ask them they will say that they want to know God, but are too lazy to make an effort.
Prison preaching can be difficult as you never know what to expect -still we are trying to make regular visits hopefully someone will take up the chanting. Dharani Pati began with Bhajans and then spoke, about why do people look for God. He also read some quotes from Bhagavad-Gita about the soul being eternal and unborn, and about Paramatma being situated in everyone’s heart, also mentioning that this material world is similarly a prison house for the transcendental soul, an unnatural place where we can never be happy. What this world is lacking and the spiritual world is full of is – love.
Our librarian friend posed some questions about how he can practice the process once he leaves prison and continues to live with his family. Yasa Pati das gave the answer that this process is not about renunciation, instead it is about using everything we have in Krishna’s service. Just like people cook food, drive cars, own a house and have children, so do devotees but the difference is that we offer everything to Krishna. Whereas other people’s activities are motivated by their own sense enjoyment, a devotee’s activities are motivated by Krishna’s enjoyment, although externally they might appear the same.
For the next month our librarian said that he would attend, but we pray Krsna will again send some other souls like in the past.
Preaching means to please the spiritual master and the Lord. The results are up to Him. We can only try, perhaps a little harder next time.
Your servant Bnn.Lara