Kiran Bedi

Written by Dipanshu Mansingka from Hyderabad, India

While serving course in 1996 at Tihar, I came across an inmate in his late sixties. He was extradited from Canada to India. In 1960′s he was the laser scientist in India. He had sugar, BP and other health issues for which he had to take lot of medicines in the past. In 1994 afterfirst Vipassana course started in Tihar, he attended the course inside jail and started practicing it regularly. He used to meditate from 2 am to 6 am in the night when there was silence inside jail. He was in a cell. Due to regular practice his mental tensions minimized which drastically reduced the medicine dose he had to take.

Kiran Bedi recently visited our office in Pune as part of women’s week celebration. This is what she said in her talk

I could recall below intro about her. She is not only known as crane Bedi but also as Karuna Bedi 1. Mr. S. N. Goenka Teacher of Vipassana call her Karuna Bedi. 2. When Vipassana course use to happen inside Delhi Police Training college. While she comes towards the meditation hall, she used to request driver to stop the engine of her car much before reaching the hall. While going back she used to push the vehicle from back along with other staff until it went away from meditation hall and then start the engine. 3. Her walk steps are so long and fast, that at times other have to run while she walks. 4. PTC staff used to say she is the only Principal / Joint commissioner who comes daily and gets enough money from higher authorities and get new facilities. At PTC there are about 10 halls with video conferencing, teacher can teach from one hall to all the students, and person asking question from anywhere can be seen to all. It was her effort. 5. She used to bring her small lunch box for lunch and never had food freely available at PTC, while having food she used to have lunch on meeting and politely give all the orders, work to be done to the sub ordinates. 6. Staff used to say, even after transfer, she was the only officer which used to get due respect from the people. 7. In 1994 she arranged a camp for 1000 inmates in Tihar in the month of April. On the night of first day it ran heavily and the tent for 1000 people to sat was broken. The determination by her and other staff was strong that next day students were divided in groups and teachers continued the course in barracks for second day. The other inmates dried the cushion, put the tent back for the first discourse by Goenkaji for 7.30 pm. 8. To know more on Vipassana in Prisons one can search in google for “Doing Time Doing Vipassana” video or at


About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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