ISKCON Prison Ministry - Lord Caitanya picks up the most fallen
by Shyama Priya devi dasi
Posted April 6, 2003

Lord Caitanya came to save the most fallen in every town and village. Prisons are like villages and their populations are growing. Prisons are generally accepted as places where the most fallen reside, but there are many sincere man and women who are reaching out and asking us for help in learning more about Krsna consciousness. Through the mercy of Lord Caitanya, they are being connected to the sankirtana movement.

A letter from an ex-inmate shows how the ministry has helped.
Dear ISKCON Prison Ministry:

Hare Krishna! Please accept my sincere obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I first came in contact with the ISKCON Prison Ministries in 1994. I originally sent a letter to he ISKCON World Review looking for someone to write to me, I have been associated with ISKCON for many years prior to my incarceration, however never serious enough for formal initiation.

I was referred to Candrasekhara at ISKCON Prison Ministry. Much to my surprise and relief I received what was to become my first of many letters from Candra. I found ISKCON preachers to be merciful and kind, they always took the time to write me, respond to my questions and calm me during my dark moments, which we all have during incarceration. If one has not been there, then on can never understand the loss of freedom.

I know ISKCON Prison Ministry was writing to many inmates, but somehow I felt they were only writing to me and took the time to do this. Now that I a free and I am writing to inmates, I see the burden, the time it takes to write one letter, let alone the hundreds of letter they write. I remember thinking, why don't my friends write me, after all, "I take the time" to write to them, well now that I am free and I am writing I see how much time it really takes, so that reflection makes me appreciate the good work ISKCON Prison Ministry is doing.

After sometime, I arranged for Candra to visit the prison as my paid minister. It was the most amazing thing for me to see a devotee glide across the compound coming for a visit, it was almost angelic for me. The Chaplain gave me full facility; I had a complete set of Srimad Bhagavatam, videotapes, audiotapes and even incense and kartals! During his visit, we would burn incense, chant and have a nice class, for those few moments I was in India.

Prabhupada's ISKCON Prison Ministry helped me emotionally, spiritually and to this day we are friends, we speak on the phone once a week and we will be friends for ever.

All of you who are fortunate enough to receive letters and books from ISKCON Prison Ministry should know that a seed has been planted for eternity, someday you will see that Krishna is God and through his servant, you heart has been touched, as mine was that day I met Candra and the whole crew at ISKCON Prison Ministry. I wish all of you the best and remember it's only time.
JK Dasa, Plantation, Florida

We want to thank all of you who are helping by sending donations of stamps, books and laxmi. We are solely dependent on donations from everyone. through this mood of cooperation we are able to reach many souls.

There are many ways to help. We need books, neckbeads, japa beads, japa bags, class and music tapes, subscriptions to Back To Godhead magazine, stamps and laxmi (money) donations. If you are interested in writing an inmate, we also need persons to be Krsna Conscious penpals.

There are unlimited ways to preach and fulfill Lord Caitanya's desire to spread the holy name, Hari Nama. So, please look in to your heart and find a way to help the fallen souls, especially is you've ever experienced incarceration yourself, you know what it is like. However we always say, we are all PRISONERS in this material world and there is only one way out-Hari Nama! All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All glories to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

Please contact: ISKCON Prison Ministry:
Shyama Priya, 4455 Quince St. #A, San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 501-4602, email mamashyama@aol.com
Or Candrasekhara dasa PO Box 2693, Toledo, OH 43606, (419) 508-2291