Friday, April 8, 2011


Rio de Janeiro - A gunman roamed the halls of an elementary school in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday and killed 12 children, lining them up against a wall and shooting them in the head at point-blank range as he shouted, “I’m going to kill you all!”.  Other 18 students were injured and taken to hospitals.  It was the worst school shooting in Brazil - and would have been deadlier if the gunman had not been shot in the legs by a police officer, who said the man then fell down some stairs and shot himself in the head.  The dead included 10 girls and two boys, plus the gunman. Those killed were between the ages of 12 and 15. One of the boys died at a hospital about 12 hours after the shooting.  The gunman was identified as 23-year-old Wellington Oliveira, who had once attended the Tasso da Silveira school in a working-class neighborhood in western Rio.
The shooter left a rambling and mostly incoherent letter at the scene indicating he wanted to kill himself.  The letter also explained in detail how Oliveira wanted his corpse to be cared for - bathed and wrapped in a white sheet that he left in a bag in the first room where he said he would start shooting. The letter also states that the gunman should not be touched by anyone who is “impure” unless they wear gloves.  “If possible I want to be buried next to my mother. A follower of God must visit my grave at least once. He must pray before my grave and ask God to forgive me for what I have done,” read the letter.  Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, attending an event in the capital, Brasilia, lamented the deaths of “defenseless children.”

A 23-year-old gunman killed 12 children and wounded 18 others before turning the gun on himself Thursday at a school on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.  The massacre, the first incident of this type in Brazil, has rocked a country whose cities are plagued by high crime levels and where murders are very common.  Individuals with personal grudges or mental illness cause violence on innocent people; every mind which is disturbed by desires and hatreds can find peace and love through hearing a guru speak the nectarean pastimes of Sri Krishna.

Our mundane feelings of attraction and aversion for material objects light the fire of envy, egoism, and hatred so much so that it seems they have the ability to destroy this world. If even a drop of pure affection arises in our hearts for the incarnation of Mahaprabhu’s magnanimity, then no place will remain for these animal propensities like hatred, jealousy, or violence to others. ... How can any attachment or hatred for material objects find a place in the heart where attachment to the guru, the eternal associate of Srimati Radharani, has awakened? In such a heart, there is constant awareness of the absolute necessity of attaining the supreme goal of life, loving service to Śrī Krishna.  This alone is the ultimate purpose of life for every single living entity.

Śrīla Bhakti Promode Puri Mahārāja :
“The True Spirit of Separation”

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