Posted February 4, 2008
Seventeen year-old Lila lived most of her life in Vrindavan, where her life revolved around Radha-Syamasundar. Even as a toddler, she used to run into the temple and dance in front of the Deities. Her mother Subhangi describes her daughter as a "home-body" and a "natural devotee", who enjoyed going to the temple, chanting and parikrama. Subhangi switches between talking about her daughter in present and past tense, knowing that although her daughter is technically still alive, her doctors have described her as "brain-dead", due to the three bullets that are lodged in her brain.
"Lila is a very good girl. People used to tell us that she's the Hindu girl in your family", continues Subhangi. She talks fondly about Lila's strong attachment to Vrindavan and that didn't want to live anywhere else. Her parents once suggested that she go back to Australia for a year to finish high school. Lila agreed, but after only a week, she was too homesick and begged to be allowed to return to her beloved Vrindavan. So her parents relented. After all, she was staying with her older brothers and her parents felt she was safe.
Unfortunately, everything changed a few days ago when a stalker, who was obsessed with Lila, made his way into their house and shot her before turning the gun on himself. Devotees rushed there when they heard the shots and Lila was taken to the hospital. At the time this article is being written, Lila is still alive, back in Vrindavan and on life support. She has 3 bullets lodged in her brain and has been declared brain-dead by her doctors and is expected to leave her body at any time.
In spite of all her pain, Subhangi wants people to know that she is not letting this horrible event change her opinion of Vrindavan. "Law and order need to be improved here", she acknowledges, "but there are also wonderful people in Vrindavan and I want them to know that I still love them and l love Vrindavan."
Subhangi has two wishes. "I don't want Lila to take another birth. Please ask all devotees to pray that she goes back to Godhead. Please ask Krsna that since He has to take her, He take her back to Godhead. Please grant us that boon."
Her second wish is to all devotees who met or knew her daughter: "Please write down your memories of Lila, so we can gather them and always remember her."
Editors' notes: If you send your memories of Lila to firstname.lastname@example.org,
we will forward them to Subhangi. Please also let us know if we may share
them with Chakra's readers.
There have been some inaccuracies reported in the media, including Lila's age (she is 17) and her relationship with her shooter. Understandably, this has brought additional pain to her family and they want to make sure the truth gets out: The shooter was a stalker, with whom Lila had only minimal contact and never a relationship.