(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 15 January 2015, Soho Temple, England, Srimad Bhagavatam 10.77.33-37)
I was reading a verse where it says, “Not by any means nor by any weapon, can one take away the possessions of a devotee.” That was interesting because I do watch over my electronics and do not leave them lying around because things sort of move in different directions. But, the possessions of a devotee cannot be taken away by any means because the true possession of a devotee is Krsna and devotional service; and devotional service cannot be taken away! Devotional service is always there. It is something we can always do, a little service to Krsna and no one can take that away!
In South Africa, where I regularly visit, every year they celebrate a very large Ratha Yatra. Every year for the Ratha Yatra, the deputy mayor of Durban attends and he gives a speech and the speech is the same every year. He talks about the apartheid days where he was part of the forbidden political party and all the leaders of that party were jailed, so this man was also in jail. He was put into solitary confinement and he was allowed to have one book. He asked for a Bhagavad-gita, and he was given a Bhagavad-gita As It Is and for three years, he was locked up in jail with Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita.
You can understand that there was nothing else to read – no newspaper, no internet, nothing else to read – but Prabhupada’s Gita! That jail sentence, in one way, was a blessing because it changed his life… I mean, three years with just Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita. He can never forget it and therefore, every year he has to come to Ratha Yatra and tell that story. Although we have heard it a hundred times, it does not matter, every time the story has power… three years with just Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita! What an amazing blessing he got! In that way, we can never take away the possessions of a devotee; it is not possible because no matter what we do, devotional service remains.