After a 3 month break we were finally back in action. There were 3 of us: Ajitendra Prabhu, Yashopati Prabhu and myself. Everything was “as before“. The guards let us in, we then had to wait for some officer to open the building door. In the designated room there were already 5 inmates waiting for us all sitting in one corner.
Every inmate was new except one. I recognized him because the first time he came he said he is not interested in our philosophy but just wants to get away from his roommate.
Even before we started to sing they began asking us lots of questions, about our restrictions, beliefs, food. Ajitendra Prabhu answered their questions and then spoke about his motives for being a Krishna consciousness devotee, and his lifestyle which is based on following Krishna’s instructions given in the Bhagavad-Gita. Mostly what they want is a chance to talk to someone from “the outside”. They didn’t seem interested in Indian philosophy but wanted to know who we are, how do we live and why we come to the prison to preach. One inmate said that the reason he came is because he recently read a book about a rich lawyer who sold his Ferrari and went to India where he learned how to be truly happy in life. We often see that a crisis makes a person want to change, to find answers and to seek help from God.
We sang bhajans for about half an hour. Ajitendra Prabhu noticed the room had nice acoustics, fortunately the singing could be heard nicely.
They listened seriously. I always get the impression that they respond to singing with sadness.Perhaps!
One of them commented that he thought we all live tents, and then go out and just sing, dance and smile all day. Then Yashopati Prabhu answered that mostly our community members have jobs and maintain their families, although they still follow the regulative principles and chant. Only some live in temples as monks, and often after some time they marry and support a family. Most of us lead normal lives dealing with everyday problems while applying ourselves to implement Vedic knowledge as presented in the Bhagavad-Gita. The important difference is that we accept Krishna as being the Supreme Controller of events, and our position of being a servant dependent on His mercy.
They asked if we will regularly have programs once a month as before? We said yes, if the prison administration allows. I took the liberty to ask about that time we came but no one showed up. They answered it was probably because the administration forgot to put posters with a signup list on the wall consequently the information didn’t get out. We mentioned, we will arrange the programs as long as they keep coming.
Jaya Srila Prabhupada