Sunday, November 23, 2008

Training Oxen in Belarus

Recently I traveled to Belarus which is located next to Poland and Russia. I met with some very sincere devotees of Lord Krsna and spent 1 week with them and the cows they are looking after. The cows all looked healthy and happy. There were many little bull calves who needed to be trained for working purposes. Every morning I would spend at least 1 hour with Ananda devi dasi who has spent 10 years growing up with these cows and calves. I showed her the basics of training oxen and the importance of loving exchanges with the animals. She was 14 years old at the time and just a few days ago has turned 15. She is a remarkable young lady and is very sensitive to the cows and calves. When I left the farm I had asked her to train all of the baby bulls, who have just become oxen. If I remember correctly, that would be 12 to 17 animals to be trained through the winter months. The following is a recent letter I have recieved from her. I have not changed the lanquage in the letter. She speaks Russian and is learning English. She was very happy to practice her English with me when I was at the farm. Enclose please find some photos of Ananda and her ox pupils.

"Mitra stay."

"Simha Op!"

"Rupa Op!"

Prabhavati dd. (Mother of Ananda) gives Rupa a present after training.

Hare Krsna! Dear Maharaja, please accept my humble obeisences.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

When you came for us at the second time, I was training 6 bulls: Darshan, Mitra, Chandra, Rupa, Kirtan, Jay. After the Sanyas cerimony they had one week holidays, they had little swelling for two weeks. Than I continued to train them and began to train Vrata, (he was shy but friendly). At the begining he behaved as Mitra at the first time, little wildely. But than Vrata showed himself as very-very clever pupil (he was born on Pandava ekadashi 14.06.08). Now his level of knowledge is the same, as other's 6 baby oxen (the commands OP, WOOL, STAY, FOOT, HA, JEE). Chandra wants me to train him. Often he comes near to me, when I put on the holter on somebody's head. Every day I can train 2 or 3 oxen. While I was training 7 baby oxen, I tried to make relationship with the wildest baby ox Yukta. Short time ago he allowed me to put on the holter, and I started to train him. Once when I put on the holter on Madhu his brother Simha (the father of all calfs, he was licking your hands) watched attentively at me. I decided to train him too. When he was just born, I planned to make ox team: Madhu and Simha, they were only wite bulls in our herd at that time. A few days ago I began to train Simha.

Your pupil Ananda dd.

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