Braja Vallabhi Dasi
Vrindavan, 2017.11.12 (VT): Yesterday an Australian devotee named Braja Vallabhi dasi, aka. Shruti Sheth, left her body in a tragic traffic accident. She was only 23 years old.
The incident occurred between Chhatikara to Radhakund. The auto-rickshaw Braja Vallabhi was riding in was hit by a car going the wrong way down the road. The car was trying to overtake a bus at the time.
Braja Vallabhi was visiting Braj on pilgrimage, and was on the way to Govardhan to attend a spiritual seminar at the time of the accident. Her Guru Indradyumna Swami wrote, “She was a wonderfully talented devotee with an effervescent smile, who most recently helped tremendously in organizing our month long Karitka parikrama. We will miss her dearly. Please everyone say a prayer for her, as well as for her parents, Sakhi Rai das, Vraja Laksmi dasi and her sister Kaishori Sindhu dasi who must now all bear her separation.”
Quoting Skand Purana, Hari Parsada Das prayed that the words of the scriptures may become true for her:
सर्पदष्टाः पशुहताः पावकांबुविनाशिताः।।
लब्धाऽपमृत्यवो ये च माथुरे मम लोकगाः
labdhāpamṛtyavo ye ca
māthure mama loka-gāḥ
“Anyone in Braj who is bitten by a snake, or otherwise killed by animals, fire, water or any other unnatural cause, becomes a resident of my eternal Abode.” (Skanda-purāṇam, Mārgaśīrṣa-māhātmya, Chapter 17, Verse 50)
Lately the local news has been filled with traffic accidents, affecting both residents and pilgrims. The burning of rice stalks after harvest has created a large amount of smoke, but this is only partially to blame.
Vasonti resident Omvati says, “This road is becoming more dangerous every day. It’s not just the smoke. Accidents happen all the time because people drive like mad. Many drink alcohol and drive. There are plenty of police cars along the road now, but nothing has changed.”
Harekrishna Das of Radhakund says, “The police here are totally corrupt. If any crime happens to you, they ignore you unless you sue them in court. They take bribes and let drunk drivers go free.”