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The following article appeared in the Sunday Times, a South African newspaper on November 3, 2002.
Lovisha murder accused tells of 'hearing voices'
A TEENAGER accused of raping and murdering Durban schoolgirl Lovisha Persad is suffering from hallucinations and nightmares, according to a district surgeon's report.
The 16-year-old Grade 10 pupil of Dr A D Lazarus Secondary School, who appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court on Friday, told a district surgeon that he hears voices saying, "I am coming for you. I want to poke you many times."
First, I was not angry, just disgusted that you have such a cold-hearted reaction to disaster. And yet devotees are softhearted and this is supposed to be a site for devotees.
So your mention of anger is not only missing the point of my article, but is irrelevant to me as well. Sorry to disappoint you, but I was not angry.
But even if I was angry, that is my concern not yours. Your concern should be to assess a criticism for accuracy, dispassionately. Remember that the critic, if accurate, is your best friend.
I Only Objected
Hare Krishna, All glories to Srila Prabhupada, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, and Sri Sri Radha Madhava. Pranams to all Vaishnava devotees.
First of all, I would point out to Niscala Devi Dasi that the girl in question was not the niece of the prabhu who wrote the article.
Second, I have repeatedly mentioned in all my postings that the incident is indeed very tragic. I only mentioned that it would be better if the language could be more refined. I have received support for this. I need not make it clearer.
What Sort of
Reading CHAKRA recently, I wondered if it was a website for devotees, which of course implies humanity, or something else. A devotee writes in with news of the shocking death of his niece, but rather than reach out with condolences, sympathy, and support, several readers instead lodged complaints about him, for giving them a description which was "gruesome" "disturbing" and "sensational" All this indicates total narcissism, or absorption in oneself, in how this person is making me feel, rather than concern for the personal challenge and torment that another soul must be experiencing.
Harinam is the Answer
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Chaitanya's Sankirtan Movement
Reading about Lovisha certainly did trigger some horror, etc., and as we know, this horror upon animals goes on as a normal daily affair meant for sale in the supermarkets. So therefore, we can understand that this brutality will be reflected in human society due to the laws of karma.
First of all I’m glad for the devotees that wrote in to Chakra, and sent emails to me, or those I talked with on the phone who appreciated my article, called "Why I’m Determined to Spread Spiritual Knowledge." And I’m also sorry that some felt it was too graphic. But the first thing I want to do is ask Rahul what he was talking about when he says in his first letter: "The statement that because of this incident I want to preach more and that this incident is worse than the US attacks is completely Absurd." And then in your second letter you continue with: "To consider that the Americans had suffered less than the girl mentioned would not be correct."
You bet it wouldn’t be correct, which is why I want to know where you are getting this. Where in my article did I say that?
To consider that the Americans had suffered less than the girl mentioned would not be correct. Who knows many of the people in the towers might have suffered greatly in trying to rescue their lives. I think we should not undermine certain incidents. I had just mentioned that the language could be more refined. In fact I have received much mail saying that the content might disturb the African devotees and other people in general very much.
I am in full agreement with the position of Sri Rahul Siotia regarding the needlessly graphic descriptions in Sri Nandanandana dasa's news article dated 10th October 2002.
I understand the writer's rationale for attempting to bring us face to face with the stark ugliness of this material world. I have no ill feelings towards Sri Nandanandana dasa or his work, for which I have the highest respect.
Nevertheless, I think it is important that a certain culture be observed on forums such as these, which are dedicated to Vaishnavas and Vedic culture.
Thank you very much for publishing Sri Nandanandana Prabhu’s moving and heartfelt article regarding the heinous murder of Lovisha and Sri Nandanandana Prabhu’s subsequent realizations about the necessity of disseminating spiritual knowledge. I found the article to be well written, appropriate, and — albeit in a stark and sobering way — inspiring.
I forwarded the story along to a non-devotee friend who was also incredibly moved and impressed with the level of compassion and intelligence present in the article. She is only beginning to learn about ISKCON, and she shared her appreciation at how genuine, caring, and "real" the devotee-writer seemed to be.
So I was understandably dismayed to read a virulently negative response from CHAKRA reader Rahul Siotia.
Let’s Try Our Best
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Although it was hard for me to read of Lovisha’s fate, I found Sri Nandanandana dasa’s article, “Determined to Spread Knowledge” very inspiring. Srila Prabhupada was so compassionate and merciful to have given us the gift of Krsna consciousness but we must accept this gift by taking responsibility for it. We must do everything possible to center our lives around Krsna and to share Krsna consciousness with others. We must all take it as our personal mission and pray to Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai to help us make this world a more-loving place or at least a less-hating place.
Why Publish This?
The message posted by Stephen Knapp on Chakra regarding the rape and murder of a girl is highly objectionable. In a spiritual forum like Chakra, such brutal stories should not be published. The moderator should edit the story or ask the sender to do so. Sensational stories such as these can disturb the devotee community.
that started the debate:
When you see the people of the world who are troubled or confused by the violence, the political upheavals, the poverty, or the lack of unity on this planet, it's natural to want to do something about it. And for me, that something is to try and spread deep spiritual knowledge, especially the universal truths which are provided by the Vedic culture. But this need for doing something has never come home to sit with me as much as it has recently with an incident that took place in South Africa. It has disturbed as well as motivated me even more than the violence that brought down the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, a year ago.
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