Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Joyous Occasion

Let us see what is going on in the pasture!

Thanks for the heart rending but wonderful inspiring write up about Vraja. Here we can see how cows really have wonderful emotions.

I also had the good fortune to have a similar experience. The difference was that the occasion was of joy.

Once I had been to a farm of my devotee friend HG Dayanidhi pr. We reached there early morning. He has few cows that were disowned by their owners and were left at a veterinary hospital. The owners got them admitted and never came back to get them.

So, he got some of the cows as the hospital authorities were or could not take proper care.

Now the cows were happy as they had enough to eat and a place to graze.

We reached the farm early morning and were doing our prescribed duties. We could also see that the pregnant cow would give birth today. So, that cow was not sent for grazing on the day. At around 10am the cow gave birth to a nice calf. As the calf lay on the ground, and the cow was licking the calf, one cow who was grazing with the herd around 200 meters away, came close to the shed and saw that a baby had been born. She started jumping and dancing in happiness seeing the new baby just as we humans celebrate. Then while jumping she circumambulated the cow and calf and ran off to graze after being shooed away from the newborn calf by us.

We thought it was over. No, within few minutes the whole herd came jumping and galloping to the shed and after seeing the cow and calf were all right, performed a group dance for few minutes. The herd (only a few cows) was just jumping around the cow and calf and we could see sheer joy on their faces.

All of us were just as joyful seeing the cow dance. This dance was like devotees dancing at climax of Kirtana.

After some time they had to be shooed away and all went to graze happily after having seen and welcomed the new one.

I hope this helps all to develop their love for Sri Krsna's most dear animal and human's friend.

Your Servant
Madan Gopal Das
ISCOWP Website
Life With the Cows and Land

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Remembering Vraja the Famous Ox

Picture: Hauling wood, Vraja on right "leaning into the yoke"

All glories to Srila Prabhupad. Thank you so much for that glorious story about the departure of the great Ox Vraja. I too am sitting in a mall for Christmas but by hearing this pastime. I was immediately transferred to the woods of Gita Nagari bringing in wood with Balabadra and the oxen. All glories to the oxen!

Gour Hari das

Dear Chaya, Lakshmi, and Balabhadra,

Please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I just wanted to express my most sincere condolences on the passing away of Vraja. He is now in the spiritual world with Srila Prabhupada, Radha and Krsna.

With love,
Karuna Purna dd

Dear Balabhadra, Chayadevi, & Laksmi,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

We were so sad to hear of the passing away of Vraja. What a glorious servant of Krsna. We will sadly miss him. We think of you often and look forward to our next visit. Hare Krishna.

Your humble servants,
Srutadeva das and Deanna Rose

Dear Balabhadra, Chayadevi, and Lakshmi,

I thought you would enjoy seeing this from a friend of mine. She had come over to my house to see the oxen and also had brought her grandchildren to see them while they were at the Govinda’s restaurant. Her grandchildren still speak of the experience.

Urvasi Devi dasi

Thank you for sharing this with me. I am very sad to learn of Vraja's passing. He served his time well on earth as he opened many people to a deeper perspective of these gentle beings. Thank you for bringing them to Ojai.

ISCOWP Website
Life With the Cows and Land

Friday, November 03, 2006

Remembering Vraja the Famous Ox

washcapital ~1
Balabhadra, Vraja and Gita in front of the capitol building in Washington DC 92'

Hare Krishna,

I'm very sorry/happy to hear the sad/wonderful news of Vraja's glorious passing.
Thanks for all you hard work caring for Krishna's cows.

Hare Krishna
ysaf, Vidyananda dasa

I also posted a remembrance on my blog.

View From a New Vrindaban Ridge

Vraja was a long term resident of New Vrindaban. Read the story of his passing and remembrances of him at Life With The Land and the Cows.

“I don’t think people realize just how gentle, considerate, and intelligent these huge beasts are. They need our protection and our love and in return, they will give their very life, their total dedication in service to us. Can anyone say that about a tractor? Does a tractor soften our hearts or teach us lessons of life? Can a tractor show us the interconnectedness of all living creatures on the deepest spiritual and emotional level? From these great animals we can learn all there is to know about relationships and our own false ego and hang ups that keep us from surrendering fully to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and being in harmony with all that is around us.”

One day I was working in our garage when this pickup truck came flying out the lane from Balabhadra’s and stopped in a cloud of dust.

“Do you know who lives at that farm?” the guy asked me.

“Yes”, I replied, and he said”I just spent the last hour in a tree with my friend. A big bull chased us and we had to climb it to escape. He finally moved away a little and I was able to get down and make a run for the fence, but my friend is still up in the tree!”

I looked at him for a while, then asked, “Were you carrying a 5 gallon plastic bucket?”

His jaw dropped and he looked at me in surprise. “How did you know that?” he asked.

The reason I knew was that I had had similar experiences, and had guessed he had been carrying tools in a bucket. I forget why he was out in Balabhadra’s pasture, but it was some legitimate thing, working on a phone line or something, and he needed small hand tools.

While I was still healthy and doing Farmer’s Markets, and Balabhadra was still getting established, we used to clean out his barn in exchange for keeping the manure. I would back down into the barn and Tulasi and I would load 5 gallon buckets with the black gold. Having it in buckets made unloading and applying to the garden easier.

Vraja would come into the barn and be a real annoyance. He would get in the way. He would poke his horns in the buckets of manure and then toss his head. I tried to keep chasing him away but he was very persistent. I actually scheduled runs to the barn at the times I knew he would be out on the pasture where he couldn’t see us. It wasn’t that he was mean, but the chance he would step on your foot inadvertently or swing his head to chase flies and catch you with one of his long horns was a consideration. Mainly though, was being in the way.

Turns out it wasn’t that he necessarily liked hanging out with us; some curiosity was there, but mostly it was the buckets. Balabhadra fed him grain out of one, so he was conditioned to expect some goodies whenever he saw one and would crowd in so he didn’t miss anything. Hence, seeing someone in the pasture with a bucket, he naturally followed them and his enthusiasm for an expected treat had been misinterpreted as aggression. I still laugh visualizing those guys up a tree with Vraja waiting patiently below.
Madhava Gosh

In his own way, Vraja was a great preacher of Krsna consciousness and has now left his limiting material body to continue his devotional service in another sphere. It's sad to see him go, but wonderful to contemplate his life.
Your servant,
Hare Krsna dasi

Haribol dear god-sister Chaya devi,
Jaya Srila Prabhupada!
I've been meaning to email you for some time now, and Vraja's passing was the impetus to finally contact you.

Vraja was a special soul and dearly beloved by the other cows and devotees, so I wanted to offer my respects to this soul in a cow's body.

You know I love the cows, and in my small way, I try to help them by using my artistic abilities. Have you seen my website?

I remember you and your dear husband from Seattle. It's been years!
Hope all is well.

Jaya Srila Prabhupada! All glories to Lord Damodhara, all glories to all the devotees and all glories to all the beautiful cows!

Your god-sister,
Saradiya dasi

Dear Chayadevi Prabhu,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my humble obeisances. I am so sad to hear about Vraja. I'm sure all the prabhus there must be feeling a great loss. If my adoption came through before he passed, then I am happy to know he was remembering me from so long ago. It is for certain, that Vraja networked with me when I first saw him in D.C. in '92, even though I was not fully aware of it then. That is the power of Krishna's cows. Now we have come full circle and we will continue to grow in understanding even more as the years go by, by grace of guru and Gouranga.

Tears are running down my face. I don't know what to say.
Krishna gives and takes away. Blessed be His Name.
Your humble servant, Vaninatha dasa brahmachary 10/30/06
ISCOWP Website
Life With the Cows and Land

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Remembering Vraja

Shelda & Vraja
Shelda giving homemade peanut butter cookies to Vraja

My love to everyone,

Please just know that my heart and love as always is with all of you in this very stressful time, but also know that Vraj is home now and happy and young again, and able to move pain free and enjoy his life with Krishna. He had such a wonderful life and home with all of you. The work that he and Gita did over the years and the lives that they touched has been many, and he will always be in many hearts all over the world. Loved and treasured by so many humans, he knew that all his herd mates loved and respected him and wished him well and a speedy transition to the waiting arms of Krishna.

Please give my love to Chaitanya also as I know that he is going through a very difficult time with this. He had developed such a wonderful relationship with Vraj and loved him very much. You could see when the two of them were together that Vraj loved him as well and appreciated what he was doing for him.

I know that this is going to be such a loss for Balabhadra and my heart goes out to him. I realize that it is a void that can never be filled, but I know that in his heart he will always be alive and with him every second till they are reunited again.

I know that it is going to be difficult for everyone because he was family and so many years together will never be forgotten but treasured in rich and happy memories.

I didn't know him very long, but loved him very much just the same. I went to the barn a couple of times when he was lying down, and he let me give him a massage. I never did that unless he let me know that it was ok to give him a good rub. He would turn his massive head around and those big eyes would say "Ah thank you, that felt so good." Then he would let you know when that was enough and he just wanted to rest. I am so glad that I got to give him his peanut butter cookies because you could see the smile in his eyes when he got them. Of course, I never did get them made big enough for him, but he liked them just the same.

Please stay in touch and know that I am always here for everyone and I treasure your friendship and want to be able to help anytime that I can and in any small way that I can.

ISCOWP Website
Life With the Cows and Land

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tribute to Vraja

My dear longtime friend Chayadevi and all others with the ISCOWP farm,

I am so deeply saddened about the passing away of grandfather Vraja. What a wonderful being he was! Such a wise and kindhearted soul. I’m glad that I was able to spend time with him just two years ago.

I will never forget when Vraja and Gita stopped by my house for a few days for some R & R between the Los Angeles and San Francisco Ratha Yatras. They were just young kids then and just as cute as can be. You had saved them from within one day I believe, of being sold. I loved giving them my front yard as their home. How they caused quite a commotion when sighted by the cars that drove by! Many people came over to pet them, and they learned about your wonderful program of cow protection, a vegetarian diet, and how the oxen love to use their tremendous strength to work. That year I went to both Ratha Yatras and I could just see that they enjoyed being in the parades and getting so much attention and admiration from the crowds.

Vraja & Gita in Urvasi's backyard
Vraja (right) and Gita on Urvasi's lawn

I also remember the previous year when you brought the fully-grown oxen Burfy and Lee (short for Lilananda) for an R & R stay. One evening after dark I was out sitting and talking with them and giving them big hugs and affection as they laid in my front yard, both of them over 1,000 pounds each. With Balabhadra’s encouragement, I laid on one of their sides. To this day I can still feel his warmth, and the sounds of his deep inhale and exhale with the up and down movement of his chest as he laid there in complete trust and contentment.

Burfy and Lee, Urvasi on right
Urvasi dd on right with Burfy and Lee, Beatrice Wood, and Balabhadra d

I don’t think people realize just how gentle, considerate, and intelligent these huge beasts are. They need our protection and our love and in return, they will give their very life, their total dedication in service to us. Can anyone say that about a tractor? Does a tractor soften our hearts or teach us lessons of life? Can a tractor show us the interconnectedness of all living creatures on the deepest spiritual and emotional level? From these great animals we can learn all there is to know about relationships and our own false ego and hang ups that keep us from surrendering fully to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and being in harmony with all that is around us.

Prabhujis, all glories to your most important service to the people of planet Earth, and Earth itself. You have dedicated your lives so fully to bringing this to the attention of the masses. I wish for you all facility for your expanding service. I know that your hearts are heavy with the loss of Vraja and it will take time for both you and the animals to grieve his loss. My love and prayers go out to you.

Your friend and servant in the service of Srila Prabhupada,

Urvasi Devi dasi
ISCOWP Website
Life With the Cows and Land