With an objective of making lasting changes in inmates' behavior by igniting the love for God in their hearts, devotees from ISKCON Chandigarh visited the Central Jail of Chandigarh and Model Jail Ambala (Haryana).
Run for twenty years by the late Syamapriya Dasi, then relaunched in 2009 by current director Bhakti-lata Dasi, the U.S. branch of ISKCON Prison Ministry has been working hard to give hope to the most desperate.
10th May was the day of joy for the Hindu prisoners at Chittagong’s prison-house.
The material world is like a jail; here we eternal joyful souls are sentenced to life in temporary miserable bodies. What matters most in a prison is not how miserable it is, but how accessible the way out of it is.
Kirtan band Krishna Sambandha were invited to hold a Krishna conscious outreach program for inmates at the San Miguel women’s prison in Santiago, Chile on January 19th. The band plays concerts regularly all over Chile at prestigious theaters, cultural events and massive yoga retreats with audiences of 5,000 to 7,000 people. They also hold programs in hospitals, nursing homes, children’s homes, and of course prisons.
Prison inmates, who have hit rock bottom in their pursuit of material happiness and have plenty of time to think about their choices and the real purpose of life, are one of the most receptive and enthusiastic audiences to Krishna consciousness. Since relaunching in 2009 under director and full-time volunteer Bhakti-lata Dasi, the U.S. branch of ISKCON Prison Ministry has been reaching more and more of this audience throughout the country’s correctional system.
Vishvamitra Das (Vladimir Kritsky) joined the Krishna Consciousness movement in 1979. In the beginning of the 80's he was arrested for his faith and has spent six years in prison.
Bhakta Tim, a former inmate, was recently released from the Federal Correctional Institution in Rochester, Minnesota -- but not before planting over thirty Tulasis and establishing worship of the sacred plant there.
"Here in my cell (what a fitting analogy for all the cages and traps I prepared for myself), I take you, Srila Prabhupada, as my father and my family, and as my “boss”, and as my friend, and as my authority."
With its high walls, gates, and rituals, the Bhopal central jail looks forbidding, almost medieval. However, inside is a world of routine and order. The inmates have earned the distinction not for being tough, but for being calm. In the prison’s main hall, some 150 men are led in the deep breathing yoga exercises.
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Kharghar visited Taloja prisoners and explained the science of Krishna consciousness recently. The programme was organized to offer relief to all the inmates of the Taloja prison in the form of spiritual knowledge.
Does prison work? Is it tough on crime and its causes? Figures show that 60% of prisoners re-offend within two years of release. Prison, of course, is an excellent place to meet criminals and learn new tricks. The Vedas point out how our consciousness is quickly shaped by our association, which in prisons is hardly of the best kind.