Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Remembering Gita

Balabhadra teaching with Gita (on the left) and Vraja, and Gita and Vraja hard at work

For the last 18 years we have been blessed by the association of Vraja and Gita, our team of Brown Swiss Oxen. From the time we saved them from the slaughterhouse when they were 2 1/2 months of age until last fall when Vraja passed away at the age of 17, and this winter when Gita passed away at the age of 18, our time together has been full of lessons.

Vraja and Gita were twins and they each had completely different personalities. Vraja was the boss and head of the herd and Gita was the gentle soul and gentleman. From the age of 4 months, they traveled across the USA to many festivals and fairs to show the American public the beauty of full-grown oxen and to spread the glories of “OX POWER.”

I was their teamster, hauling wood together and plowing the fields besides traveling with them to many Rathayatras and festivals. They were both honest workers. Sometimes someone else would try to be Vraja and Gita’s teamster. Vraja would often test them by acting up but Gita would just watch the charade and wait for the teamster to get Vraja under control, which often involved my help. Those were Gita’s main characteristics, patience and tolerance.

When we saw a pair of horns above the corn, we knew it was you Gita. Even though we had chased you out of the corn field you would find your way back, eating and trampling all the corn under your feet. Your one fault was loving sweet corn too much!

What remains most memorable about you Gita was your uncanny ability to sense the suffering of both cows and people. You gave comfort by staying close often until the end of a life, listening patiently to any outpouring of anguish, and showing your understanding by licking and nudging the sufferer. Who were you in that bovine body that you possessed such empathy?

You have touched the hearts of many people worldwide over the years. Great souls VRAJA and GITA..................thank you for sharing your lives with us. You will always be in our hearts.
Submitted by Balabhadra

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