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EXCERPT OF LETTER from Bhakta Krishna Kirtan

We have a new bhakta. His name is Thomas Biers and he is the MOST sincere new bhakta I've come across since I've been practicing Kṛṣṇa consciousness (2009). He is very genuine and his bhakti was spontaneously awakened in his heart at the sound of the maha mantra. Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada sent me a great one. I've known him for years. He became disenchanted with the Buddhists because of his belief in a creator and Kṛṣṇa consciousness resonated with him like nothing else!

Things have been just amazing lately. We had an extra unused mrdanga, in the chapel as well as an extra pair of kartals. I convinced the chaplain to donate these to the rec department, so now I can check them out and have harinam on the yard!!! Already, inmates who would have NEVER have heard the maha mantra have benefited by Bhakta Tom and myself doing kirtan on the yard. And we sing LOUD!!

Inmates have come up to watch and ask what it is we're singing and we've had such a good opportunity to spread the holy name. Tom and I do this on Saturday and Sunday evenings and on holy days. It's SO great, singing kirtan outside; something we weren't able to do at the chapel. To sing the Lord's name to the birds and the tree, to experience Krishna in the wind and the sunshine, to sing TO him, for him, there's no greater ecstasy.
I'm learning how to be a very good mrdanga player. I learned the mrdanga pranam and say it before playing this holy instrument and I instruct the rec employees how to care for it so that when it’s not in use, it is respected and put in a good place.

Also, one of the nine processes, atma-nivedanam, has been working its way through my heart. Being that "soul surrendered unto the Lord" is particularly liberating. I notice when I remind myself that Krsna's got my back...what in the heck should I be worried about? When I realized a deity like Lord Nrsimhadeva is always there...I like to say in my mind
Jaya Nrsimha, ugram viram maha visnum jvalantam sarvato mukham nrisimham bhisanam bhadram mrityourmrityam namamyaham Sri Nrisimha jaya jaya Nrsimha…
…u know? What do I need to be concerned about? That doesn't give me a license to be stupid, but it lets me know if I screw up somewhere, or if I get too wrapped up in maya, Krsna is always there in one of His many forms to bring me the comfort and assurance that I may need at that given time. Really, no other path can provide this. We are SO blessed to have this. Jaya Prabhupada!!

We fasted until sunset on Lord Rama’s day and had the entire chapel all to ourselves from six to eight. We chanted a round of japa together then we had a lesson about Lord Rama. We sang kirtan (I did the Prema dhvani prayers for the first time after kirtan!!) and then watched the first part of an old Bollywood Ramayana. It was pretty awesome.

Oh also, the case is being filed by the attorney this week in Federal court to get our holy days recognized in the BOP [Bureau of Prisons] and thus require them to provide us with vegetarian fast replacement meals. It will be listed as Chase vs. BOP, Eastern district, Virginia. They have twenty-one days to respond. Please have this news published in the newsletter as all prison bhaktas need to hear about this case so they can get what THE LAW will now require their chaplaincy and prison to provide. I will let you know more as the case progresses. Hopefully, the BOP will concede once they see they have no way of winning this, but if it goes to court, I know that Lord Nrsimhadeva will be co-counsel to Mr. Harsh Voruganti and have quite the effect in the court room. I so look forward to this.

Gaura-premanande hari haribol!!!!

Bhakta Krishna Kirtan
Petersburg, Virginia

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PO Box 2676
Alachua, FL 32616