Letter From New Vrindaban Prison Ministeries


RD1 BOX 319


Dear Brijabasis and New Vrindaban well wishers,

Hare Krsna. For the last two years the New Vrindaban Prison Ministry has been cultivating Bhaktas throughout the Federal and State prison systems. Learning about us by word of mouth, from the Chaplain’s religious outreach program list, or by the referral of a relative or friend ….inmates are prompted to write. Initially we send them the latest issue of our Back to Godhead Magazine, and two books; Perfect Questions Perfect Answers and the Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita. We ask them to write back with their impressions and then gradually cultivate them to participate in study courses for the Gita, Sri Isopanishad, and Nectar of Instruction.. Presently we are administering study courses for 12 separate texts as well as introductory, intermediate and advanced study courses in the Bhagavad Gita. When this prison preaching program was first given to me by Lokavarnotama, I had no idea of its potential for growth. Originally we started with 250 bhakta inmates, and today there are over 1500.

In the 60’s there was a small group of Muslims who began distributing their literature to prisoners. This (Islamic) religious system as introduced by Elijah Muhammed was carried on without the cooperation of the prisons themselves. At that time, the American prison system heavily emphasized the Christian doctrine only. (Even to this day there are alcoves of thought that would have any other religion aside from Christianity banned from the prisons.) Despite this fanatical bend of the fundamental Christians, by the force of its distribution of literature alone, 1000’s upon 1000’s took up the Islamic belief and the group became widely accepted. Presently, every penal institution allows full facility to all those following the Islamic faith. Krsna Consciousness seems to be spreading in a similar way. Islam restricted inmates from sinful practices such as intoxication and illicit sex; because of this mode of goodness approach the philosophy had appeal. Who can measure the potential for growth of Krsna Consciousness in our prisons, it is above goodness. It is pure goodness, suddha sattva! Purity is the force. Srila Prabhupada’s books are in 100’s of prison libraries and every day new men approach us to inquire about the sublime science of bhakti yoga.

Many are coming forward to help in this preaching endeavor and a call is being given to any and all who would like to help in this wonderfully rewarding preaching work, either financially, by the contribution of books, or by donating their own personal time. We are inaugurating an ‘Adopt an Inmate’ program. A devotee volunteers to take one inmate and become his spiritual mentor and transcendental pen pal. Any that are interested to help in any capacity may email us at Muktakesa@gmail.com.

We are very thankful to Svavas prabhu, who, on behalf of the LA temple donated $2000 in BBT book vouchers, to Lokavarnotama who pays for all of the postage needed in the Ministry, to Sankirtan Yajna dasa for his generous donation of 10 cases of Bhagavad Gitas with a promise to match it again this Christmas, to Murari Gupta and the devotees from Gita Nagari who have donated many cases of Bhakti Tirtha’s Spiritual warrior and several complete sets of HG Bhakti Tirtha’s publications for prison libraries, to Amol Bhakta for his donation of several cases of his own publications and to others who have asked not to be mentioned.

As bramacharies, Loka and I were riding with Radhanatha (Maharaja) and he slowly had us memorize a ‘very important’ sloka:

atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah

(Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhu 1.2.234)

[“Therefore material senses cannot appreciate Krsna’s holy name, form, qualities and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krsna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord’s holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krsna really is” (Madhya 17.137).]

I have only come to understand the real meaning of this sloka. If one is engaged in preaching the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu he becomes eligible to hear, see, feel, and taste Krsna. Unless one is saturated by working to spread the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, that is, to bring every conditioned soul out of his suffering condition and reunite them with his worshipful Lord, Sri Krsna, the name, form, pastimes, qualities…all facets of Krsna are unknown. All ‘jeero’ (zero) as Srila Prabhupada would say. To discriminate that this person is a fit candidate and this person is not is speculation. The storehouse has been broken open by the mercy of Nityananda Rama and our responsibility is to distribute the fruits.

Your servant,
Mukta kesa dasa

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