Valtura Prison Camp
The next day, October 11, we went to a prison in Valtura a town nearby Pula. This place was the open-type where mostly offenders with traffic accidents were held. There were no walls,guards or bars, just a few houses in a farm-like environment.
We were welcomed by one of the officials who arranged the event.He was very interested into India and was impressed with the fact that everyone in the group had visited India.
The program is completely voluntary and consequently not one inmate attended the program although a few did gaze in curiously as we were having Kirtan. Mostly they were outside, just chatting or in their rooms watching TV. Our host was apolegizing saying he’s also not surprised because they are always uninterested for anything that is happenening there. He said: they say they have their own religion and don’t need another one.
Maharaj still held the program and we sang bhajans and had a lecture for our small group. Maharaja then said “Since we are all prisoners of the material world, you can sit down in their places.” The lecture was interesting, about the many planets in the material world and how they all get destroyed at the end of Lord Brahma’s life.
The material worlds takes up only one quarter of the entire existence, where spiritual world takes three quarters. What binds us to the material world are our material desires,so we should give them up so that we can go back home to the spiritual world. Maharaja said only very few persons take interest in practicing some kind of spiritual life, and even those who do it is for some material benefits. It is very rare that a person really wants to give up all material desires and go home,back to Godhead. He also quoted Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati the spiritual master of Srila Prabhupada who said that “our business is to preach even if no one comes then preach to the four walls”.
As we were leaving we passed by a group of inmates sitting in front of the entrance. They noticed us and some said “Hare Krsna”.
In conclusion : With prison preaching you never know what to expect.