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

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