Osejik Prison, Croatia July 2014

Somewhere in the middle of the lecture Smita Krsna Maharaj called the inmate’s attention to the fact that they could contact us about spirituality and that we could visit them again if they would like that. I think that almost everyone present exclaimed unexpectedly and with joy that they would. Their caretaker, Mrs.  Danira, got up, stood in the middle, in front of Maharaj, facing us and, with great enthusiasm and  smile, confirmed that this would be desirable and nice.

We were sitting in a circle, as we had found the room arranged, Maharaj liked it very much. He repeated this several times during the allocation of the equipment at the very beginning and resolutely refused any other suggestion in the room which was small-to-medium size, with several tables and about twenty chairs.

I couldn’t really keep track of the situation with the inmates because I was facing Maharaj, and because I was focused on translating, which was my first public experience. I was able to see only one inmate, on Maharaj`s right side, next to Mrs. Danira, as he was devouring me with his eyes. I couldn`t pay much attention to this detail, but it seemed that he was hardly blinking at all, his eyes wide open, engrossed in the translation. At the end of the lecture, he asked Maharaj a couple of questions about reincarnation, a word he didn`t know, but it was obvious that he was fascinated while listening. So he asked questions to get a confirmation of its validity, since he could have misunderstood what he had heard. When he got the confirmation that he had understood it correctly, he was confused as to how this was possible. Anyway, as we would say, “bull’s eye“, a completely new insight for him.

At the end, when we offered them books, everybody almost immediately rushed to get them, but when they saw there wasn`t enough for everybody they distributed books fairly, so that every cell of two could get at least one copy. The atmosphere at the end was very nice and relaxed, to everyone`s great satisfaction, we parted with warm greetings and invitations from them to come again.

Bhakta Neven

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