The first program started with a Russian song “Tender Golden Wind”. By that time the hall was filled already: there were the “leaders” sitting in the first rows and then followed the rows with ordinary prisoners. Administrative personnel were walking along the hall on the left and right (2-3 people were keeping order). So, after the first song, as usual, silence settled in the hall and only eyes glittering like sparks were seen in the dark, eyes filled with tears… An amazing scene! Then we usely sang Indian music and between the songs we told them about Sahaja Yoga. At some point asked everybody to follow the protocol but not everybody did it!
They all, of course, looked at the “first” rows and the reaction of the “authorities” and other “leaders”. If they approved, many sincerely tried to awaken their Kundalini!.. Once there was a very interesting situation: there were “authorities” sitting in the first rows who expressed with their look that “they did not mind”. Then, all the prisoners made the process of realization. Very quickly, it could be seen on their face that a stone had been removed from their hearts…
When the program ended some guys came up to us and invited us for meeting their friends. We looked at each other and agreed! How surprised we were when we turned out in some room where there were no guards at all, only the prisoners and not the ordinary ones but the “leaders”… We were given the best seats. We were treated as dear guests. And many questions followed ; but first we were asked what places we had visited; being “experienced prisoners” we answered: “We have been to colonies number 3, 6, 19, etc.”; the guys exchanged glances, some of them nodded imperceptibly and by their looks we understood that we were their people.
The idea of the questions was to learn more about Sahaja Yoga and, finally, we heard the request: “Give us Self-realization!”
Once after the program the prisoners held a half an hour concert for us: they sang songs, we talked about Sahaja Yoga… It was felt that Kundalini had awakened very well…
In one colony in the City of Novokujbishevsk Russia, we became so dear to the administration that we were asked to bring video talks of Shri Mataji to the colony. And we did bring the talks. They promised to show them on the colony TV for the prisoners… We were there twice and both the times after the program they came up to us, took booklets, asked questions.
And simply talked to us sincerely and asked where they could come when they were at liberty! They really did come… though not many of them.
In Togliatti, the programs started in 1995. Our music group, five-seven musicians, and another three yogis (who conducted the programs, told the audience about Sahaja Yoga.
Of course, the reaction was not as open as at liberty. All the prisoners looked at each other and if the local “leader” (“authority”) started going through the protocol (put his hand on his heart, etc.) the others also did the same thing, as the local “leader” had approved of it. We sang both Russian and Indian songs. Indian songs were interesting for them and Russian songs touched their hearts.
Usually after the program, the administration did not forbid us to communicate to the prisoners and after the “official” part, during some more 30-40 minutes, we talked about Sahaja Yoga to the ones who had come up to us.
Somewhere the prisoners arranged some kind of “tea drinking” treating us to tea made in prison ( 100g of tea for 1 litre of water). It was impossible to drink it but we tried to be respectful.
We also visited high security colonies and adolescent colonies in the City of Zhigulevsk ; woman’s colonies ; colonies for the people with AIDS ; and once we even were in the colony of very high security, visiting the barracks where there were prisoners who had tuberculosis.
Of course, the impressions were not so pleasant concerning this one. In this colony even the yard where the prisoners walk and the territories between the barracks were separated with iron bars. The doors were locked behind us and we were left completely alone among the prisoners who were condemned to prison for the most severe crimes. There was not a single guard in the hall, only the bars around !
I remember that when we found ourselves beyond the borders of the colony, “at liberty”, we had a feeling that we had visited hell! And I had never been so glad to feel fresh air as that day.
Anyway, we came back with joy to that colony after the program in some other prison.
Published by sahaja Yoga meditation in jails