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Rate Todayís Wisdom Message ~ Turning a Prison into a paradise ~ Swami Muktananda
Getting Rid of What You Havenít Got
Turning a Prison into a paradise
One morning Wesley Zineski dropped in to see Baba Muktananda where he was staying in Piedmont, California. Zineski had an urgent desire to establish contact between Muktananda and the inmates of San Quentin State Prison, just across the bay from San Francisco.
Zineski was a quiet, middle-aged man who owned a coin-operated laundry in San Francisco. In his spare time he worked as a voluntary teacher at the school of religion run by the prison for its inmates.
He had hoped that Muktananda would be able to visit the prison school. But at the time San Quentin was in more violent turmoil than usual, and the acting warden had put out an order banning all visitors.
ďI didnít want the men there to be deprived of Babaís messageíĒ said Zineski. So, when he visited Baba, he brought along a taper recorder. This is the message he was given Ö
There was a very great saint in Karnataka, the part of India I come from, who was an avadhoot (A traditional Asian Indian term for one who has "shaken off" or "passed beyond" all worldly attachments and cares, including all motives of detachment). A false charge was brought against him, and he was thrown in prison. The authorities didnít realize that the man was innocent. He was imprisoned for six months, and during that period he transformed all the prisoners. He used to conduct great chants and sessions of meditation. Then the jailer realized that the charge against him was a false one and recommended in his report to the judge that the saint be released. They offered to release him, but he refused. He said, ďI will go only after my sentence in complete, because here I have a wonderful opportunity to work with people, and here I enjoy solitude. It is not a prison to me. It is like a Himalayan cave where I can work on myself and work on others.Ē
There are so many people sitting around me in my ashram, and as long as they are here they are in a kind of jail, because I insist they must not move or talk unnecessarily. They must read from their changing books. If we want to pursue our sadhana effectively, we have to follow a very strict discipline, the kind of discipline they insist on in a jail. We must get up early; we must go to sleep early.
Now, by Godís grace, you so-called prisoners have a wonderful opportunity to devote yourselves to spiritual growth. All your time can be spent on spiritual growth. You should not consider the place where you are to be a prison. You should consider it a place where you can grow spiritually.
My dear prisoners, why donít you change your point of view? Instead of considering yourselves prisoners you should consider yourselves yogis who have chosen to be in a solitary place for the purpose of spiritual growth. Now you are living a disciplined life. You are away from all kinds of worldly involvements, and you can live your life in detachment and devotion. All of you should get together and chant Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, and then this prison will turn into a paradise, and people outside the prison will want to come and live in your paradise. It I can find time, I will come and visit you.
You should remember that it is not easy to be born in human form. Human form is very special, it is very high, it is very noble, and you should be reflecting on why you have been born in human form and what the purpose of your life is. Our scriptures say that one should suffer the consequences of his past actins cheerfully. You are where you are because of certain actions of yours, and you should bear their consequences cheerfully, by devoting your time to chanting the divine name and meditating and remembering the Lord. Then, when you come out of the prison, people will realize that you have come out of a paradise.
I welcome all the prisoners with love, I love all of you.
My Eternal Love, Sarveswara
Love, Faith & Trust ... The Foundation of Everything.
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