ISKCON Prison Ministry's blog

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS

THE BAD NEWS
You may remember that last November all Florida state prisons transitioned to an electronic mail delivery format. Unfortunately, more and more states will follow suit. As of last July, the state of Texas has already made the transition.

With this new system, inmates, apart from a few exceptions, are no longer allowed to receive books, magazines, or newsletters. All paper correspondence letters are scanned and emailed to the different institutions. From there the mail is read, approved, and sent electronically to the individual inmates, on their tablets.

AN ARMY OF ONE —FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT

Inmate Bhakta David B., from Connecticut, has taken it upon himself to fight for the imprisoned bhaktas’ rights to practice their Kṛṣṇa consciousness. After exhausting all the in-house prison recourses, he has brought his claims to court. It is a long process, especially since he doesn’t have any help. In his own words:

READING SOMETHING GENUINE AND TRUTHFUL.

Hare Krishna! My journey is now coming to a close and I will be released soon (Andrus was released in 2022). I want to formally thank you and everyone involved in your prison ministry program. You have provided a means for incarcerated souls to break free from the bondage of self [false self; false ego]. What started out as an inquiry into life after death led me to a new sense of freedom, one made possible through the service of great atmas, like yourselves [IsPM volunteers].

Reaching out to women’s prisons!

Two weeks ago I finally worked on a project I wanted to tackle for the last three years.
Because there are far more men’s prisons than women’s prisons, for the last thirty-five years or so, the majority of books have been sent to men’s prisons and, consequently, most inmates who write us are male. I have been desiring to give more women the gift of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Having a skeleton crew, I never found the time or help necessary for this major undertaking. But recently I felt that this project couldn’t be delayed anymore, even if it meant that something else has to be

More Of Bhakta Louis’ Realizations

Hare Krishna! I offer my respectful obeisance unto the lotus feet of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder acārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, who delivered the light of the Bhāgavata to the whole world through his books and teachings. By his mercy I’ve been saved from the darkest ignorance by my intellect, knowledge, and understanding of the most confidential knowledge of the science of the spirit-soul, and of Bhakti-Yoga.

“I only see the neck of the bird.”

There is a story in the Mahabharata, about Dronacarya testing the young Kauravas’ and Pandavas’ skill at archery. An artificial bird was placed in a tree and, as each of his students came forward, one by one, Drona asked,
“Do you see the bird at the top of the tree?
“Yes, I do.” each replied.
“Do you see anything else?”
“Yes, I see the tree, myself, my brothers and the me.”
Drona was not pleased and ordered, “Stand aside! You are not fit to strike the target.” Only Arjuna pleased him by replying,
“I only see the neck of the bird.”

EVERYONE IS LOOKING FOR KRSNA

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When I got the Covid19 I felt physically terrible with severe joint pains, chest pain and uncontrollable shivering. Yet, I was so at peace, and not only did I manage to chant my twenty rounds every day but even during the worst I spent all my waking time chanting the maha mantra, grateful for such suffering and the focus it gives to what matters and all the mercy Krsna so kindly bestowed.

I was thinking back to the “old” me years ago and how much I have progressed. Observing others around me, I see that both staff and inmates alike really struggle with just being in the moment and

I WANT KRSNA MORE

I WANT KRSNA MORE

By Louis D. —inmate in Florida

The following are excerpts from a compilation of many letters written by Louis, over a few months.

The importance of ISKCON Prison ministry —a firsthand account of how it changed my life

Back in 2007, an inmate devotee [who wants to remain anonymous] slipped a Back to Godhead magazine underneath my cell door. That started my journey in Krishna consciousness. Saying ISKCON Prison Ministry (IPM) changed my life would be an understatement. IPM has transformed me, providing an understanding of life, Truth, and bliss I never thought possible.

LIBERATED PRISONER

I grew up in a small county in Southern Tennessee, near Memphis called Atoka. In our home there were pretty much no rules. Since I can remember my mother was very ill; she had congestive heart failure and I remember the day the doctor told her that she had kidney failure and would need to start dialysis. I remember it being really rough on her. She took a lot of prescription pills, Xanax, pain pills and smoked weed daily. I remember sneaking into her purse and stealing pain pills and Xanax by the time I was fourteen or so.

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