It was Ajitendra prabhu, Yashopati prabhu and me (bhn. Lara) . As it was a sunny day, not surprisingly, only 5 inmates came. Three regulars and 2 new inmates. We chanted for some 15 minutes, and then Ajitendra prabhu read a verse from the Bhagavad-gita 2.13:
dehino ‘smin yathā dehe
kaumāraḿ yauvanaḿ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
Translation: „As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.“
Ajitendra talked about the cover picture of the book where Krishna is guiding the horses of Arjuna’s chariot. He said that in India this holy book is as famous as the Bible is in the West. To complement the verse, he told a story from Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 5, about Maharaja Bharat. He was a king in a former life, a deer in next a holy person in present life whereas he acted as a crazy person wanting to be left undisturbed so as not to be distracted from reaching the purpose of life, to be liberated from material bondage.
Finally he asked the inmate audience if they have any questions or comments. One new person said that he held the Bhagavad-gita in his hands a long time ago, and that he was attracted by the picture. We told him that he can borrow it from the prison library, and he promised to read it so that he can come up with some questions for the next time. The elder person in the group said that he had already learned everything we are saying, but still he thinks that our way of life renounces too much of life’s pleasures. He sees that for us it’s authentic, but he still wants so many things: “good food, travelling, company of women, having fun in the casino”. Ajitendra told him that we all have desires, but if we include the chanting of the Hare Krishnna Maha Mantra into our lives we will witness that the desires will decrease as we get the knowledge and understanding about who we are. And if we dedicate our lives to trying to understand our true identity as spirit souls we would become free from material desires and achieve liberation just as Bharat maharaj did.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada’s compassion on the fallen souls of Kali Yuga.