Hare Krishna!

I tell you a story about my time in prison.

There are many stories First one of a person who's criminal list is bigger than the chapters of the Gita but he had a very good question. The question was;"How to end samsara?"

For a person who not know anything of the whole vedic/hindu filosophy I found it remarkable! I started to talk to him. I remember the many times written that; if you join the company of a devotee you.. and if you join the company of a bad person you... but hey, who am I to discriminate? I am NOT Krishna! Why this lessons are be told in lectures in the first place? Be kind to one another, even a demon ends up in demonhood because of it's merits and demerits/ karmic succesions. Even if the person, soul was a saint in a pervious life and now a demon in this new embodied life, so who are we to judge? If the person asks about Krishna even if a demon or convicted, be kind and talke about Krishna! All that matters! Not what the one might have be in foraka done in criminal way to end up in prison. Than you miss the point of Krishna conciousness.

I said;"Well I can explain it you very simply or very complex, let's tell you the simple way; chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rame Rama Rama Hare Hare!" The man looked at me a bit disturband, but also in the eye's a little happy. Than I told him about the further meaning of samsara. To be honest I firstly ought he was joking about me or Krishna testing me for a reason. It was a good conversation over the weeks I saw him. So never be shocked or afraid to explain even the most dark or depressed ones about Krishna. Certainly if he or she asks about this topic, be warm and welcome!

The other thing was, there was a hindu chaplin Raja Mystory I know odd name... he found out I was very much into Krishna conciousness and brought me the Gita (sadly not the one of ISKCON, but any Gita is a Gita if you read the origional sankrit text, the purports are the differences and have to taken carefully.) In the libary of the prison were 4 parts of the Srimad Bhagavatam of ISKCON, wich the librarian happy to give me unlimited time to read. I happily built a altar out of some spare sheets and the books in a suitable position. Japa beats I had in no time too as prasadam brought in by the chaplin every day instead of prison food. On Janmastami and other holy days special feast! JAYA! I happilyshared the prasadam to other inmates who weere amazed by the vegetarian dishes. I even got the oppertunity to talk and give handwritten copies of texts of Gita and Bhagavatam to ones who were intrested! I even had lights/candles and incence sticks! So I did my daily programs morning and evening. I had a songbook, japa and tulasi chain. Also the Nrshima kavaca book, with other Nrshima mantra's.

The other fun thing to do in prison was; harinam! What? Yes! I started day one directly on the yard. During excersize when al prisoners had to be in open air, the square was filled with all sorts of people. In prison every criminal is anxiuos and a bit humble or afraid. So I started walking slowly in big cricles softly chanting, mumbling the Maha Mantra. Soon some others out of curiousity joined in and some made fun of me but lateron became serious. Like in normal outside harinam you experience. The wardens were kinda intrested. Not punish me but found me very "special" Some wardens were anxious other inmates would kill me. Yes the wing I was were filled with very very bad people. Even copkillers and rape murder etc. convicted ones. Point of the matter was; I did not judge any of them or treath them special. And that is the most important thing to survive and preach I assume.In Canto 10 of Bhagavatam or Krishna book, we all read that the greatest of demons are deliverd by Krishna Himself so what I want to say is; who am I to tell a convicted he or she is a bad person and not fit to reach Krishna?

Another story is; I met someone who claimed to played ukilile with George Harrison and ...Srila Prabhupada! I am aware even the best of people could made up things. But his stories were the same and very detailed so why question him. It was nice he knew the Gita and such. 

The moral of all of this is; even in real prison you find Krishna and His arrangements makes shure you can continue your seva no matter what. As long you are serious, He is serious too! It's all a big joke He plays with us all. So whenever in lectures the matter comes; The Earth is a prison house. I kinda smile or grinn. Because not much devotees I geuss can claim to have served in a real prisonhouse. 

 I won't encourage any devotee to end up in prison, just want to let you all know, it's not the end of the world if you know Krishna and Krishna never forget you if you are serious in try to reach Him.. That's all. The hardest part is when you walk out of prison. To rehabilitate. That's why I write about my experiences to let you all know that there is no black and white story about be convicted or haveing a criminal record. It was just a silly joke Krishna pulled on me to see if I am sincire to get into Krishna conciousness. 

I hope you all find it intresting how things in life can end up in places you would never get into, I hope.

Chant Hare Krishna!

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  • E-Counselor

     Hare Krsna Prabhuji,


    I am aware of prison preahing in that part of the world. 

    Pls continue chanting and believing in Krsna.


    Your servant,

    Radha Rasamayi DD

    • Hare Krishna!

      There is no discrimination between the material prison and spiritual saying the world is a prison.

      Inside a prison it is more organized than outside. Inside people in general are very aware of God, not neccerily the name Krishna, but God as in the last one who can help them.

      So it was good and easy to preach and do harinam there and share prasadam. For a soul who is intrested in Krishna(the word devotee I often find a bit posh)there is no circumstances or sad condition to be in. Yes it is hard in the material world, people condem you and the criminal record is a thing the non Krishna intrested are always stressing out. But the blessed thing is, if you stay focused on the thing matters most, there is no need to be axious. The soul has nothing to do with the matter, aswell the prison conditions. It is just burning karma one side, and help preaching Krishna conciousness on the other side.


      Hare Krishna!

  • Hmm,

    Did you become devotee first or criminal first? are both were continuing at the same time???

    or you got enlightenment in prison?

    just curious. Sorry if I am offensive in anyway. have a geniune doubt.

    If you were a devotee surely you wouldn't be landing in prison at the first place.
    If you got enlightenment to practice harinama in jail? who was ur harinama initiator?

    Who led you to Krishna consciousness? and who made you chant in prision.

    somone must have told you to do hare krishna mahamantra is it in prison or outside?

    hare krishna

    • Haribol,

      As a kid I did noticed Lord Jagannatha and was already in touch with Iskcon way before jail.

      Point is; as I understood from the scriptures, a soul nor matter wich body it is trapped in will meet with merits and demerits. And once in contact with Krishna and try to reconnect with Krishna, He will help you whenever and where ever your soul may be trapped in this material nature. 

      I for one took my time and effort in jail to read, chant, do harinam and Q&A there amoung inmates who were intrested. Even the Hindu Chaplin who brought in prasadam every day, I often shared with ones who were willing to taste the flavour of salvation. As a kid I once was at a libary and read some books of purana and the Bhagavatam. Krishna is never far waway in life. You just have to ignore the illusions He made for us to let the soul within have the freedom to do what the body liekes according to the 3 modes of nature.Wich ends often in missory and detachment of Lord Krishna.

      A devotee can always be whereever Krishna wants him to be in, even prison. That's the difference between devotee and non devotee. A non devotee will enter a prison not aware of Krishna whilst a devotee will continue devotional service no matter what. There are no circumstances for Bhakti Yoga! Even in hell you can chant. Yes devotional service (ekadasi etc)and such will wipe out karmic reactions even thousands of lifetimes ago, but only Krishna knows what's your karmic balance. Even the murder of a brahmana can wipes clean with certain ekadashi, visit holy place or mantra. But if you have many bad deeds you always have to pay a little bit of it. 

      I for one see it both sides prison; negative; the material world condems you and sees you as outcast, but think of this; some now in jail had have prasadam, had have the maha mantra, had have seen Prabhupada's books and so on! Isn't that what Krishna wants? Not condem creatures, but let them be awaken and let the soul within go back to godhead?

      Hare Krishna!

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