Prison House of Material Life

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

Though this material world itself is also a prison, we find so many souls entangled by material modes, committing grave sins and landing in prisons even within this world. But by the causeless mercy of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, there are many devotees who are distributing the gift of bhakti even to the inmates of the prison. Prison preaching has released so many suffering souls not just from the jail, but also from the material entanglements and turned them into great devotees who later became very wonderful preachers also. 

Few days ago we came a nice article about the marvellous transformation in the life of a prison inmate in Tamil Nadu. The inmate was a prostitute, a bar dancer, who was into drinking a1c0h01 and smoking etc. Somehow once when she was sent to prison, she had the opportunity to attend two or three classes on Krishna consciousness and by mercy of Lord and devotees, she could get a Bhagavad-Gita as well. When she was released after sometime, she resumed her profession. But interestingly Bhagavad Gita was always with her, even in the bar, with cigarette in one hand and sipping a1c0h01 using another hand, she started reading it in her spare times. Bhagavad-Gita is very very holy and it is not appropriate to handle it with cigar or a1c0h01 in bars. But she did it out of ignorance and Krishna mercifully appreciated her eagerness to read. This shows the causeless mercy of Lord and we should not take it for granted. 

Many of us have got Srila Prabhupada's books, but we keep it "As it Is" in the book shelves, without studying. But the nice thing in this Mataji was that although she was doing all sorts of obnoxious things, she didn't keep the Bhagavad Gita - "As It Is". She started reading it continuously. Just as she was completing reading the 18th Chapter, the police raided the bar, but fortunately by Krishna's grace she escaped. Then the bar was closed. But somehow still she could not realise what Krishna was wanting her to do. So she went to another bar and continued her profession. Since she had tasted Srila Prabhupada's book, somehow the urge to read more was there. So she contacted devotees and asked for more books. This time by divine arrangement she received Srimad Bhagavatam set from devotees. So now in the new bar, in her spare times, she started to read Bhagavatam. Interestingly this bar was also raided again and Krishna this time ensured that she was imprisoned and back in jail, she could again attend more classes on Krishna consciousness. Now she realised what Krishna really wanted from her. So there was such a wonderful transformation in her - she began to take up devotional service very seriously - started chanting 16 rounds in the brahma-muhurtha, wearing tilak, cooking and eating prasadam, fasting on Ekadasis, having a small altar in her cell with guru parampara. Since she had lot of free time in jail - she read the whole Bhagavatam and also many of Srila Prabhupada's books and started preaching others.

Now by the causeless mercy of Vaishnavas, Srila Prabhupada, Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Krishna - she is free from prison, prostitution and also all other bad habits like smoking and drinking. Her family also reunited and Krishna had arranged for her to get a good husband as well. That mataji says that Krishna consciousness has brought about a dramatic change in her life. She is realizing that since she accepted Krishna, her life has come together, and that otherwise her life would have been ruined. She is very grateful to the devotees who have helped her to get out of her past miserable situation of prostitution and prison. She says that it was only they who have prevented her from leading a hellish life.

yat-pāda-saṁśrayāḥ sūta munayaḥ praśamāyanāḥ
sadyaḥ punanty upaspṛṣṭāḥ svardhuny-āpo ’nusevayā

O Suta, those great sages who have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord can at once sanctify those who come in touch with them, whereas the waters of the Ganges can sanctify only after prolonged use.

Few years ago when we were in London, one of the devotees mentioned how by finding Srimad Bhagavatam 6th Canto on a table in a pub, one drunkard started reading and later became a great devotee and preacher of Krishna consciousness. All glories to brhad mrdanga Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and the innumerable books of Srila Prabhupada - for they are entering even hellish place like pubs and prisons and saving suffering souls. May we also take inspiration from these devotees to realise the value of great treasure Srila Prabhupada has left us and study his books seriously always.

Hare Krishna.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Sudarshana devi dasi.