Vrindavan, Care for Cows Newsletter: Due to skyrocketing property prices in the Sundrakh Road area, where several new highrise projects are underway, Kurma Rupa’s highly successful Care for Cows project has been forced to move. Somewhat of a blessing in disguise, the cows currently in the goshala have been moved to the FFLV facility in Kiki Nagla and a new place in Belvan.
Rupa Raghunath of Vrindavan Food for Life offered to host the milking herd (numbering twenty-two cows and as many calves) in their Kiki Nagla complex, which includes a school, hospital, paper recycling unit and organic vegetable gardens. The modifications of the one-acre area were kindly donated by Jayant & Alka Mashru (U.K.) in loving memory of their Mother Ruxmani Ben Mashru.
As cows do not like change, it was an ordeal to get them to move here. After a lot of confusion and bellowing they all settled into their new home which is better than the last one and is only two kilometers further down the Sundrakh Road.
After the trauma of moving which lasted three hours, we let the cows and calves spend the whole afternoon together and it turned out to be like a milk-drinking contest. The barnyard became full of auspicious omens as the calves nursed from their respective mothers.
The milk of these cows nourishes the Deities of the Sri Sri Krsna-Balaram Mandir and 150 infants in the nursery of the Sandipani Muni School. But to celebrate the successful move, the calves got to indulge to their full satisfaction.
New Belvan Facility
In preparation of moving more cows to Belvan, CFC has built a brick wall enclosing a two-acre area expanding the barnyard considerably. Within the next two weeks, they plan to move about eighty more cows there and are also considering developing another three acres nearby.
Belvan has only one road and very few cars come there. The atmosphere is rural and the Yamuna River is only three to five hundred meters from the goshalla, yet it has never flooded. The new wall will offer greater security and assure that the residents do not sneak out into the farmers’ fields while they are planted.
In the next phase CFC will develop a feeding area within this compound for the calves and weaker residents so they do not have to compete so much to feed. We will also make feeders and another water tank for the invalid residents.
From a lecture by Sri Rajendra Das ji Maharaj published in Kalyan magazine, Gita Press, Gorakhapur. Translated by Satyadeva Singh
Bhagat Patel was a simple, humble, truthful and illiterate gomata sevak who lived in Jatipura on Govardhana Hill. Sri Vittalnathji Maharaj (son of Mahaprabhu Vallbhacarya) gave him diksha and awarded him the position of serving cows in the goshalla of Sri Nathaji.
During one rainy season there was continuous downpouring for several days and nights. It was very difficult for Bhagat as he couldn’t take the cows out for grazing in the forest. They had to stay in the goshalla and consequently it became filled with their dung and urine. But never mind, Bhagat Patel spent those days cleaning up after the cows.
At that time Sri Nathji was staying in His temple on Govardhana Hill in Jatipura and all the servants there were fortunate to daily honor His prasadam. Bhagat was told by Gosai ji Maharaj that he should take his prasadam in the temple. Bhagat’s fellow cowherdmen would go to the temple right after completing their duties while Bhagat stayed behind taking special care of the cows.
Often, when he arrived late for his meal, nothing would be left and he would return to the cowshed hungry. But nevernind, Bhagat Patel reasoned that if the cows were happy with him, then so must be Sri Nathji, the Protector of the Cows. One day after returning to the cowshed hungry, Thakur Sri Nathaji Himself appeared there with his sayan bhog (delicious foodstuffs) and personally offered them to Bhagat Patel.
it became the daily duty of Sri Nathaji to bring His remnants to His loving servant and Bhagat honored them lovingly. One day, after serving His remnants to Bhagat Patel, Thakurji left His pots in the goshalla. The Pujaris were alarmed that some of the golden pots of Thakurji were missing and began to search them out. Finally they were discovered in the goshalla. near Bhagat Patel’s place.
Gosai Sri Vittalnath ji Maharaj requested Bhagat to explain what had happened and he was told how Sri Nathaji Sri Nathji had been personally bringing His remnants to Bhagat Patel since he was often too late for taking his meal with the others. Gosai Sri Vittalnath ji Maharaj smiled and said he would arrange for one of the cowherd men to bring Bhagat’s meals so Thakurji would not be inconvenienced.
The next day Sri Nathaji told Bhagat Patel to accompany Him while He took the cows out to pasture. Bhagat happily agreed and followed Him daily to the forest to graze the cows. Before returning from the forest Sri Nathji would make sure Bhagat Patel ate some of the delicious food sent by Mother Yashoda. So upon his return he was not hungry and did not honor the foodstuffs brought from the temple.
It was reported to Sri Vittalnathji Maharaj that Bhagat Patel was not touching the food being sent from the temple. Gosai Sri Vittalnathji Maharaj called Bhagat Patel and asked him why he was not honoring the prasadam brought to him from the temple. Bhagat replied that Sri Nathaji had invited him to accompany Him to the forest to graze the cows and since many gopis bring an abundant variety of delicious foodstuffs for Sri Nathaji, he and the others cowherds get more than their share of the Lord’s remnants. So when Bhagat Patel returns from cow herding each day, he feels no hunger and thus does not honor the prasadam brought from the temple.
Sri Vittalnathji Maharaj was astonished and raptured by how Sri Nathaji had become so happy to bless Bhagat Patel. By diligently executing his humble service to the cows Bhagat Patel achieved the great fortune of witnessing and participating in the Cowherding Pastimes of the Supreme Lord Sri Nathji!
Many more beautiful pictures can be found in the Care for Cows Newsletter
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