Chakra Discussions

Ananda-Lila Goes Back to Godhead

by Yasomatinandana das

Posted February 16, 2008

On behalf of Jamalarjuna and Subhangi and our entire family, I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all devotees who kindly offered prayers for Lila's recovery and condolences now that she has passed from our vision. Her untimely passing has naturally left all of us heartbroken, but the sheer number and diversity of people who have offered their support has given us strength.

Subhangi prabhu asked through the popular press that people pray for Lila no matter what their religion. A Muslim man told me that he and his family were praying for Lila, and Christian people have also said the same. This tragedy has cut across all sectarian boundaries, because anyone who got to know Lila could not help but love her. I had recently spent several days with Lila in Mayapur and Calcutta, and I will treasure those memories forever. Whoever she came in contact with immediately recognized that she was a special soul, and it was amazing how everyone we met together always asked about her whenever I met them again.

Devotees have asked me to somehow explain the terrible events of the past few days, and it has been difficult to do so. It seems inconceivable that such a thing could happen to someone so sweet and loving, especially in the holy Dhama of Vrindaban where the Lord eternally resides. Is Krishna not meant to protect His devotees, especially in Vrindaban? Why did Krishna -- who once lifted Govardhana Hill to prevent the inhabitants of Vrindaban from perishing due to the wrath of Indra and who killed Aghasura when he swallowed the cowherd boys of Vrindaban -- not also appear to protect Ananda-lila, who was such a pure soul? These questions are hard to answer.

We can never understand why Lila was taken from us, how this could happen in the holy Dhama, nor what part the Lord plays in such events. We have the aphorism rake krsna mare ke, mare krsna rake ke. If Krishna wants to take someone, no one can save them; and if Krishna wants to save someone, no one can take them. But how can we possibly understand the plan of the Lord in these circumstances, which are made all the more poignant because they involve a young woman who appeared to have a promising Krishna-conscious life ahead of her?

One thing I do know is that there were no deaths for the cowherd men and women and children at the hands of the demons who came into Vrindaban to threaten the devotees when Krishna was present on earth. From this perspective we can understand that someone reasons ill who thinks that Lila has "died". Lila is now living in the same Vrindaban in the spiritual world where there are no demons to harrass her.