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From Murderer to Vaisnava

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From a Russian Article

In 1990, in Russia, during the criminal investigation of Andrey Sudarikov, the police was about to close the case due to the lack of evidence of the committed crime.

However, a Bhagavad-Gita As It Is came into the hands of Andrey. Having avidly read the blessed Holy Scripture, Andrey became spiritually reborn and he confessed, to the stunned investigator, the crime he had committed, thereby signing off on a death sentence for himself.

Later on, his penalty was changed to life imprisonment as a form of experiment by the authorities. However, Andrey was able to find spiritual liberation. He gave up all his evil habits and started to lead an ascetic lifestyle, strictly following the spiritual vows of the Hare Krishnas.
Andrey studies theological Vaishnava courses of the Bhakti Shastri by correspondence and preaches non-violence to his cellmates and other prisoners. In the early 2000s, he received spiritual initiation and now signs his letters with a new name - Prabhu Das.
In 2002, by the grace of the devotees from Vologod, Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai deities came to stay in his cell. This event was covered in one Russian news portal:
“The altar with Krishna saints of Chaitanya and Nityananda, who lived in Bengal more than five hundred years ago, was installed in the cell of the prisoner, Andrei Sudarikov, who is serving a life sentence at the OE 256 \ 5 facility in the Vologod region.
According to the press service of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) within the Russian Federation, this event was carried out by the activists of ISKCON during their visit to the correctional institution. In addition, the activists of the Oasis-108 Hare Krishna charitable mission, distributed exotic Indian sweets to all the prisoners and donated white oil paint to the colony authorities for their upcoming anniversary of the institution.

With the permission of the prison authorities, an altar of Krishna was erected in the cell of the prisoner Andrey Sudarikov. Twelve years ago, while under an investigation, Sudarikov turned to the Vaishnava religion and voluntarily confessed the crimes he committed. After receiving a life sentence, he devoted himself entirely to religious practice and even enrolled in correspondence theological Vaishnava courses.

The ceremony of the altar installation of Chaitanya and Nityananda was held amidst the sounds of ancient hymns and mantras performed by Oasis-108 volunteers.”
Below is a 15 minutes YouTube video: an excerpt of the movie called Thieve’s World which was filmed by Finnish and Russian journalists about the life of Andrey Sudarikov (with English subtitles):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBaGLVpJAi4

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NOTE:
This article is just a part of IPM NEWS, our bi-monthly electronic newsletter. To read whole issues, please go to: http://www.iskconprisonministry.org/
If you wish to receive it in your mailbox, simply email me at iskconprisonministry@gmail.com with "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line.
More excerpts of inmate letters and also their artwork are available on our website at: www.iskconprisonministry.org

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ISKCON Prison Ministry
PO Box 2676
Alachua, FL 32616
IskconPrisonMinistry@gmail.com
www.IskconPrisonMinistry.org