Saturday, July 11, 2009

Big Shyam Passes Away

Govardhan presided over Big Shyam from the hay loft

Big Shyam 2 weeks before passing away

Big Shyam a year ago on pasture

Big Shyam a year ago

Big Shyam passed away Wednesday night July 1, 2009 at approximately 10:15 PM. Balabhadra and I went to visit him at 8:30 PM and spent about a half an hour with him. We felt the end was near, but we were feeling that for some time. We left as we saw the Brahmans coming into the barn. We knew he would have companionship as they always sat near him to keep him company. Balabhadra went back about 10:15 and found he had passed away.

It was approximately 2 weeks since he could not walk. During that entire time he had Govardhan Sila looking over him from the hay loft above him and Srila Prabhupada chanting continuously from a CD player. Chaitanya Bhagavat would sometimes place Govardhan Sila on his head and give him water in a squirt bottle from several holy rivers in India. Big Shyam would take the squirt bottle in his mouth and with his teeth squeeze the bottle to get the water.

The babies (Brahmans) would sit right next to him for hours at a time, sometimes licking him and he licking them in return. Soon after the babies came to the farm, Big Shyam was put in with them so he would not have to traverse the hilly terrain and he could have companionship. They all became fast friends.

Big Shyam had developed a hip and back leg problem in the fall of 2008. We discovered him limping and then brought him into the geriatric barn. The vet said he would either heal or get worse and there was nothing more he could do. Up until 2 weeks before his passing he was able to walk somewhat, even pasturing on the private pasture connected to the geriatric barn. We had been giving him various homeopathy medicines that seemed to help and aspirin. He was lucky that he had the Brahmans as companions, which helped him accept his limited physical abilities. He was 14 years old and one of the older members of the herd.

Big Shyam was known for his huge size, (1 ton and 6 feet tall) and affectionate nature. He was like a huge teddy bear. Never was he pushy or aggressive, except when it was time for his grain, even though he could easily get away with it due to his size. A friend to all, Big Shyam will be missed.

He was adopted by Kirtana-rasa d., Beth, Clair Chaitanya, Nathan Kesava, and Oliver Rupa

Submitted by Chayadevi

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