After having such a strong recommendation from the top governmental institutions from Scotland, we approached the Prison. Historically, to my knowledge no spiritual leader had ever visited any Scottish prison before. So, it was a tough challenge for us also to make this happen and give the whole visit a very high profile. As we marched ahead with the spirit of grace and gratitude bestowed on us by our beloved Gurudev, it seemed we were unstoppable and can accomplish anything we want being with him.
We had a meeting and everything sounded technically so difficult for them to organise this event at the Prison. But something, which we were quiet surprised with was that although they had genuine problems with the timings, the date, number of prisoners and the security of the guests and prisoners, one thing which was constant among the prison officials that they definitely wanted Guruji to come to the prison and address them and the inmates. Eventually, we found ways to cross every hurdle or find a solution to it. And the event started taking shape.
One issue which caught us by surprise – In Scotland, the prison authorities by law cannot make it mandatory for the inmates to come and listen to any such talks or participate in any activities against their will. So there was significant amount of marketing required to make them aware of the event inside the prison while introducing Guruji to them. I started suggesting that maybe; we can make some flyers specifically for the prison with a little about Guruji’s life and work, etc and do some advertisements. As we were discussing, one of the senior Prison official said “His Holiness is quiet an advertisement by himself. Why do we need anything else. Just put some posters with his picture and I am sure his charisma will draw the inmates to him automatically”!!!! Can you imagine this…I thought… These should have been our words!! Even before meeting Guruji there were Guru Fans everywhere. The prisoners felt liberated just by the mere presence of the master. We have recordings of many prisoners who shared wonderful experiences after the visit of Guruji. Even a few of them composed a poem of Guruji and sent it to us a week after Guruji’s visit.
Tears rolled out as we read it…. Here it is:
You felt for us people, whom others often avoid,
The prisoner, the addict, the never employed,
You felt for our lonely hearts that are conscious of sin,
We long to be pure but often fear to begin.
Spirituality and Rehabilitation, that was your theme.
You awakened our hearts, and showed us the dream,
As these are the things we often do seek,
When we are in trouble feeling low and weak.
So thank you for the visit and the time we did share.
Its good to know there are people who Care.
The prison event was very well attended with mind blowing questions and answers. The media gave excellent coverage for the whole visit. Lots of full page articles with excellent story lines and captions.