Tuesday, August 17, 2010


BOGOTA (AP) - The crash landing of a Boeing 737 in the Caribbean is being called a “miracle” by the region’s governor. The jetliner broke into three parts on the runway, but remarkably all but one person survived the crash of an aircraft known for its improved design and relatively clean safety record. Officials in Colombia called it a “miracle” that the plane crash on a Colombian island early Monday morning resulted in just one death. Even as authorities work to determine what caused the Boeing 737 to go down, deft piloting is being pointed to as a key factor in saving the lives of the 130 other people aboard, including at least five American citizens. “The pilot’s professionalism prevented the plane from going off the runway,” Gen. Orlando Paez of Colombia’s national police told Caracol Radio. Officials are investigating whether the plane, which belonged to Colombian carrier Aires and was on its way from the capital, Bogotá, had been hit by lightning as it neared San Andres, a Caribbean resort island off the east coast of Nicaragua.

Colombian national police, in a statement, said the plane broke into three parts as it landed. There were at least 121 passengers aboard, including four children, plus six crew members. The sole death could have been caused by a heart attack, a doctor treating the patients has said. The damage could have been far worse, according to Robert Sanchez, director of the hospital Amor de Patria, which was treating many of the injured. “It’s incredible. For the dimension [of the accident], there should be more,” he told the Associated Press. The incident called to mind the US Airways flight that landed in the Hudson River in 2009, dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson.” Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was credited then with saving the lives of all 150 passengers when the plane made an emergency landing on the river. Another example is the 1989 crash in Honolulu that killed nine people, of 355 aboard.

The jetliner was hit by lightning as it approached the landing area of the airport and it broke into three pieces as it slid onto the runway. Despite the serious accident only one person died. This is being called a “miracle” by some people, and others speak about good or bad luck. However, the real Good Luck is to meet a self-realized soul and by his instruction gets rid of the nescience of material existence.

The finite self or Jiva-atma in the stage of God-forgetfulness is incapable of generating Bhakti in itself by its unaided individual effort. ... Just as the sacred river Ganga issues from the mouth of the cow shaped cave in the snow-clad Himalayas and descends on the plain and flows uninterrupted into the sea, sanctifying all the lands through which she passes, so is it with this Bhakti-Rasa of the Nectar of Devotion and Devotional Love of the Supreme Lord that emanates from the Lord’s Swarupa-Sakti and revealing itself through an uninterrupted Chain of Spiritual Preceptors or Guru, appears at last in the heart of a self-forgetful and God-forgetful mortal who has the good fortune by accident to come in contact with one of these saints while floating in the current of time, just like a piece of straw accidentally stuck to the shore while being carried adrift in the fast stream of a river.

Śrīla Hridaya Bon (Vana) Mahārāja :
“Sri Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhuh”
Commentary in Second Wave: Sadhana-Bhakti, Text 2.
Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library

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