Three of us planned a visit to a prison in Varaždin but our plans were not Krishna’s. The devotee who was elected to give a lecture said the day before that he won’t be able to come. The other simply didn’t show up later I found out he had forgotten to come. I surprised the guard entering the prison alone, hoping that my forenoon preparation for the lecture for the inmates will do the job.
Lepoglava, again. Already feeling at home, hereJ Too used to being in the bigger prison of material world, therefore not overly agitated by the atmosphere of the smaller prison (because of knowing that we will soon be out, of course. Out of both of them!).
Actually this prison preaching is really rewarding: one hears first class philosophy in very conducive atmosphere. This, 5th time in Lepoglava, 7 inmates showed up and during the talk Candramauli swami was giving all their attention was on his words, fully and completely. He was explaining about smaller and bigger prison and our need to find a way out of the real prison, material world. They drank every word, as well as the 4 of us: Ayodya deva who at the begining sang the bhajans, Dharmavatsalah, who organized everything, Kisor Krishna who played the drum and myself, the translator.
Srila Prabhupada’s Appearance Day
Two of us went to eleventh Pula Prison program : Nadiya Nimai das and Malati
Mala dasi . We waited outside in front of the prison gate because the guard didn’t have permission to let us inside the prison although we sent all required documents three weeks ago.
After half hour we finally entered. Five inmates came who come regularly to the programs.
We started with bhajan for 15 minutes .Then Malati Mala read from Bhagavad Gita verses starting with Bg 15.8.We talked for some time about the topics: Leaving the body, Yamaraja, about food and good and bad karma.
It is Srila Prabhupada’s Appearance Day, a great day to do service for Srila Prabhupada.I was alone at Lepoglava, the devotees could not accompany me.
Even though I arrived 15 minutes before the beginning of the program, I waited a long time for the guard to come to take me to where the program was to be held. Like last time, the guard could not find the key to a door. The program was delayed another 20 minutes
Seven anxious inmates were waiting for me and showed no approval for my being late. The guard left, insisting I was not allowed more than one hour.
Two of the inmates got up very shortly and excused themselves, saying that they had a doctor’s appointment. I invited them for the next program and said “Hare Krishna”. One of the inmates quickly responded: Hare Krishna! Continue reading
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.
BACK TO LEPOGLAVA
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.
The program, this was, lead by Mohan Prabhu and Raghunatha Prabhu.
We started with singing the Maha mantra, then Mohan Prabhu introduced Vedic philosophy to the inmates, he began by explaining how to live properly in Kali yuga and explaining the proper understanding of our conditioned position in his world – as prisoners . Some inmates appeared really interested and eager to hear about Vedic wisdom.
Present: Ayodhya Deva and Dharma-vatsalah
The program was attended by 14 inmates
We waited about10 minutes at the jail entrance, as a new prisoner was being admitted. Our entering the jail, in other words,the control, went very smoothly. It was only our second visit, yet they knew we were the Hare Krishnas. It appeared that was the reason that the doors were opened for us.
“Speed up Raghunatha! Overtake him! There is no police on this part of the road! Hurry up! We are late!“ In spite of Mohan’s pushing during the ride to Glina, we still arrived late in the jail. Candramauli Swami and Dasaratha were already waiting for us. However, better late then never proved true. We were welcomed by the security and quickly ushered in the big classroom with five inmates. One of them greeted us with „I know you!“ We thought he must have seen the harinama party somewhere. But it was much more than that.
Devotees: H.H. Smita Krsna Swami, Vrsabha das, Mahatma das, Ayodhya Deva das and Dharma-vatsalah das
The program was attended by 12 inmates
We visited Lepoglava Jail for the second time. H.H. Smita Krsna Swami, who was traveling in Croatia at the time, agreed to accompany us and give the lecture.
Unlike last time, all our names were on the list and there was no problem getting cleared. It seemed to me that the guards preformed a more detailed check this time. They were looking at the books, browsing through the pages, but unfortunately did not let us to take them in, even though we informed them that the previous time we were allowed to do so. We agreed with the guards that we would make a list of the inmates interested in certain books and deliver it.