HERE'S A Krsna conscious project you might like to support or get involved in.
ISKCON Prison Ministries (IPM).
New Ramana Reti, Alachua, Florida
Candrasekhara Dasa, director; Mankumari Devi Dasi, secretary; Bhaktilata Devi Dasi, Montreal; Haridhvani Devi Dasi, Los Angeles; Amala Bhakta Dasa, Los Angeles; Syamapriya Devi Dasi, San Diego; Nidra Devi Dasi, Denver; Sarva-drk Dasa, Denver; and several inmates who have been trained in Krsna consciousness and are now teaching others.
To bring Krsna consciousness to prisons around the world, to provide opportunities for inmates to practice Krsna consciousness, and to guide inmates in their spiritual life.
In 1962 Srila Prabhupada wrote as one of the goals in the prospectus for his League of Devotees (the precursor to ISKCON): "To take charge of moral upliftment by spiritual process even for the criminals and prisoners of state, and to accept all kinds of help and facilities from the police and government concerned."
ISKCON Prison Ministries continues the work of ISKCON devotees who have been helping inmates for at least fifteen years. Devotees worldwide are writing to inmates and visiting prisons. IPM is trying to expand and coordinate this work in North America and beyond.
The Ministries' preachers counsel and inspire inmates trying to become Krsna conscious. IPM has been successful in getting Srila Prabhupada's books to inmates who want them. The Ministries' programs in prisons feature chanting, sharing prasadam,and studying and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books. Some inmates quickly become vegetarian and understand that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As inmates refer other inmates to Krsna consciousness, the work expands.
To place Srila Prabhupada's books in prison libraries worldwide, to start The Freedom Journal, a newspaper for inmates, to provide inmates a correspondence course on Krsna consciousness, and to find devotees in each state in the U. S. to place books in prison libraries in their state.
Shortage of devotees willing to start prison programs in countries around the world.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
• Write to prisoners. IPM has a list of inmates who would like a Krsna conscious pen pal.
• Give books (new softbounds are best) or money for books.
• Give money for postage.
• Give a computer, an electric typewriter, or a portable electronic typewriter.
• Start a prison program in your state.
• If you live outside the U. S., you can help get books to prisoners in your country. Contact the Ministries to find out how.
To help in any way, to send a tax-deductible donation, or for more information, please contact:
ISKCON Prison Ministries
P. O. Box 819
Alachua, FL 32615
Letters From Inmates
(to Candrasekhara Dasa)
Hare Krsna. I received the books you sent. Thanks for the help. I've read The Science of Self-Realization and Bhagavad-gita As It Is. These books are the best thing that has happened in my material life and have helped me in so many ways in understanding my true self and my relationship with Krsna. So many things have come to my understanding from this great literature. My life has become different in so many ways. It's hard for me to believe that I changed in so many ways. All glories to Krsna!
North Carolina State Prison
Sanford, North Carolina
I've been reading my Gita a lot lately. I love it! It's like reading the best novel of my life. I just can't put it down!
I don't engage in meat-eating, illicit sex, gambling, and intoxication, not anymore. I chant Hare Krsna several times a day. I also read and pray daily. I'll be sure to ask you any questions I may have because I want to know all there is to know about Krsna consciousness. I've just begun to learn, and already I'm fascinated!
Ely State Prison
I've been practicing my chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. It seems that once you start chanting Hare Krsna it stays in your mind like a tune that captivates your mind. It seems that good things have started to flow out from Krsna since I have started chanting and also since I have become a vegetarian and offer my food up as a sacrifice to Krsna. The police no longer antagonize me with their crude comments. I have made a little altar. I feel somewhat better and slightly more energetic since I have quit eating meat, fish, and eggs. I had no problems obtaining a vegetarian diet. I'm surprised. Usually anything like that requires two miles worth of red tape. I feel that Krsna is pointing me in the right direction for getting out of prison.
Lima Correctional Institution