By Deena Bandhu dasa
Yesterday, our Prison Preaching team went for their regular program in the Bharatpur Jail, just 40 km. from Vrindavan in Rajasthan. They were very wonderfully surprised when they reached the jail, the prisoners were having Srimad Bhagavatam class. On their own, around 50 prisoners who are practicing Krishna Consciousness have set aside time daily for Bhagavad-Gita class and Srimad Bhagavatam class. Many of this group are chanting 32 rounds and others
16 rounds and following the four regulative principles.
They usually have class just before starting work in the jail factory where they are learning various skills so they can support themselves without crime after serving their terms. So yesterday’s program was held in the jail factory.
As soon as they saw our party arrive, they offered dandavats to all the Vaisnavas. They immediately joined our devotees in and ecstatic kirtan which lasted more than half an hour. Then Jankinath das, our Prison Preaching incharge, gave class on Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 2, Verse 15, which was the verse they were studying that day.
The Jailor, Mr. Ashok Gaur came with the Chief Inspector of Jail Police and distributed Bhagavad-Gitas at a very nominal rate as some of our donors have subsidized our distribution of Gitas to the prisoners. Many were taking 3, 4 or more books. I asked Jankinath why and he replied that their relatives who come for visits at the visiting time have come to know that they are doing bhajan and are asking about it and requesting literature. So our preaching is going beyond the walls of the jail and the prisoners are doing book distribution. I was thinking how please Srila Prabhupada must be.
Then Mr. Gaur spoke very nicely encouraging all the inmates. Many of the jailors have told us that since we started our programs in the jail, there are much less fights and problems and they are very happy to give us facility for doing our programs. He announced that our next program will be held in the Prison Cultural Hall and not in the Jail. Inspired by the enthusiasm of the prisoners, he also distributed japa malas to many of them. Everyone was filled with wonderful feelings of transcendental bliss.
In one of the pictures we’re sending, you can see Gopal, a convicted murderer, who is heading up the prisoners who practice Krishna Consciousness in the Jail. He personally gotten 15 inmates to chant 16 or more rounds!
Finally we would like to thank Shri Pradeep Dhoot (Joint Managing Director of Videocon) and Shri Naveen Mandhana (Vice-President of Directors of Videocon) for donating a very nice vehicle for our Prison Preaching along with a generous donation.
Picture 1: Jankinath giving class.
Picture 2: Prisoners in ecstatic Kirtan
Picture 3: Mr. Gaur distributing 3 Gitas to an inmate
Picture 4: Gopal
In service of Srimati Vrinda Devi, Deena Bandhu dasa