Monthly Archives: March 2009

Reformation of prison Inmates

As a part of Social Welfare activities and keeping in mind, the compassion of Swami Vivekananda towards the inmates of the prisson,two monks of Ramakrishna Math, Ulsoor, visited the inmates of Central prison in Bangalore on the occasion of Ugadi (New Year).

On this occasion, a musical Programme “Jago Bharat” (Patriotic Songs conducted by Samskar Bharati, Bangalore) and a Lecture by a Monk was held. Also Saris were distributed to 200 women.

Aashrama is planning for Monthly Satsanga with Jail inmates.

Photos of the Event can be seen here.

Videos:  Reformation of Prison Inmates

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
Here are the two excerpts from “The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda”. Please go through them to understand Swamiji’s view

Excerpt 1:
20th August, 1893.

Yesterday Mrs. Johnson, the lady superintendent of the women’s prison, was here. They don’t call it prison but reformatory here. It is the grandest thing I have seen in America. How the inmates are benevolently treated, how they are reformed and sent back as useful members of society; how grand, how beautiful, You must see to believe! And, oh, how my heart ached to think of what we think of the poor, the low, in India. They have no chance, no escape, no way to climb up. The poor, the low, the sinner in India have no friends, no help — they cannot rise, try however they may. They sink lower and lower every day, they feel the blows showered upon them by a cruel society, and they do not know whence the blow comes. They have forgotten that they too are men. And the result is slavery. Thoughtful people within the last few years have seen it, but unfortunately laid it at the door of the Hindu religion, and to them, the only way of bettering is by crushing this grandest religion of the world. Hear me, my friend, I have discovered the secret through the grace of the Lord. Religion is not in fault. On the other hand, your religion teaches you that every being is only your own self multiplied. But it was the want of practical application, the want of sympathy — the want of heart. The Lord once more came to you as Buddha and taught you how to feel, how to sympathise with the poor, the miserable, the sinner, but you heard Him not. Your priests invented the horrible story that the Lord was here for deluding demons with false doctrines! True indeed, but we are the demons, not those that believed. And just as the Jews denied the Lord Jesus and are since that day wandering over the world as homeless beggars, tyrannised over by everybody, so you are bond-slaves to any nation that thinks it worth while to rule over you. Ah, tyrants! you do not know that the obverse is tyranny, and the reverse slavery. The slave and the tyrant are synonymous.

Excerpt 2:
Delivered in Memphis on January 17, 1894:

“For four months I have been in America. In Massachusetts I visited a reformatory prison. The jailor at that prison never knows for what crimes the prisoners are incarcerated. The mantle of charity is thrown around them. In another city there were three newspapers, edited by very learned men, trying to prove that severe punishment was a necessity, while one other paper contended that mercy was better than punishment. The editor of one paper proved by statistics that only fifty per cent of criminals who received severe punishment returned to honest lives, while ninety per cent of those who received light punishment returned to useful pursuits in life.

Invitation for Rural Educational Service

Dear Devotee/ Friend,
As a part of our Educational Service Activities in the Rural Areas, every year our Ashrama is distributing Notebooks, Stationeries and other study materials for school children who are studying in the Government Primary and High Schools.
In the financial year 2008-09 our Ashrama distributed uniforms, Notebooks and other study materials for 7233 students in 81 villages.
In the coming academic year also we are planning to continue the service and to extend the benefit for 10,000 students in the 100 remote villages.
The estimated expenditure for this service activity is about 15 lakhs.
We are cordially inviting you to participate in this noble service by donating generously. Also you can help us in mobilizing the funds through your friends and relatives for this noble service to the underprivileged children.
With best wishes,
Yours in the Service of the Lord
Swami Veetabhayananda