Australian devotee Sharne Ann Teudt was killed in a road accident in Vrindavan on Monday. Devotees are shocked and saddened by the loss.
Nine months ago, devotees from Vrindavan’s Street Cow Seva team met Sharne in Mayapur. They were impressed with her wonderful service and full dedication to mother cow. In October, Sharne joined the Street Cow Seva team where she learned how to treat bulls and cows with homeopathic medicine under Dr. Sri Kumar. She put her heart and soul into serving the cows who live on Vrindavan’s streets.
Vrindavan’s Street Cow Seva made a statement: “A dear member of our team, Sharne Teudt from Australia, on the auspicious day of ekadashi, left her body in holy Vrindavan Dham. We can’t explain how wonderful a soul she is, and how honored we were to have had her association.
“Her life was completely dedicated to loving Krishna’s cows. We are really missing her but trust that Radharani has accepted her in the eternal service of Krishna’s cows in Goloka. Thank you, Sharne. Your life and selfless service are an inspiration to all of us.”
Kalakantha Das, on behalf of the GBC Ministry for Cow Protection, wrote, “It is with great sadness that we were informed that yesterday Sharne Mataji left this world while in Sri Vrindavan Dham on a mission to serve. Her example was a real asset to our movement and her departure from this world is indeed a great loss for us. Like many Vaishnavas her services were unknown to many, but certainly very well known to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. I used to see her every time I visited the Goshala in Sri Mayapur. She was always very blissful, free from criticism, and free from [desires for] personal gain.[…] The GBC ministry for cow protection and agriculture offer our obeisances to her departure in the Holy Dham to the shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Krishna.”
Ms. Teudt was riding her “scooty” on the Sunrakh Road that connects Vrindavan to Kikinagla, the site of the Care for Cows gaushala. She was hit by a tractor loaded with bricks and died instantly. Speaking to Vrindavan today, a witness said that there seemed to be no suffering as the death was immediate. There was not so much as the smallest shout.
After her family was notified, devotees performed her last rites and her ashes were immersed in the sacred Yamuna River.
The driver and several workers who were riding the tractor fled from the scene. The vehicle has been impounded and a friend of hers has registered a police report.
As the number of accidents rise, devotees hope that the administration will arrange for tighter control of traffic in this pilgrimage town.
One can’t help but be reminded of the late Gopaler Ma, a renunciate saint who came to Vrindavan in the early 1900s and lived in the woods, worshiping Shri Krishna. At that time there were lions in the forest and one had to bang on a gong whilst doing parikrama to keep them at bay. After so many years of living in the wild, she was badly injured after being hit by a bus while doing parikrama.
“When I first came to Vrindavan there were many four-legged animals one had to be careful of.” Ma would say. “But now there are many two-legged ones.”
It is our sincere hope that incidents like this one will wake people up to the fact that Vrindavan is not designed for heavy traffic and something must be done.