Friday, May 20, 2011
Radhanath Swami and a grieving cow
Wasn’t that strange?’ A cow racing alongside our speeding car at dangerously close proximity!
This happened as we traveled towards the Himalayan pilgrimage of Badrinath. Fifty-odd devotees had gone ahead by bus, and way behind were the four of us riding in a white Ambassador with Radhanath Swami.
Close to Agra, stretching out on either side of the road was a village with fields, little shops and thatched houses. Our vehicle was the lone occupant of that muddy highway as far as the eyes could strain, until a cow appeared from the nearby fields. Strangely, this humblest of animals seemed to hold a lofty ambition—of racing ahead our speeding automobile. Our chauffer panicked, for even a gentle sidewise brush of the car could prove a fatal blow on her gentle body. He raced faster until her four legs were no match to his four wheels. Relieved, all in the car sighed in unison—except for Radhanath Swami. For him, relief was still afar, and he wouldn’t find it until he knew why that cow behaved abnormally. Was she in distress? Could he be of any help to her?
Upon Radhanath Swami’s request, we stopped to inquire from the locals. One man related the cow’s sad tale: sometime back a white Ambassador had knocked down her little calf, and ever since the cow behaved in this strange way whenever a white Ambassador passed by.
Tears filled Radhanath Swami’s eyes, as he visibly fought a battle to hold them from an outpour. Words fail me—how he shared the distress of that cow! Kneeling down, pressing his cheek against her cheek, rubbing his hands against her soft neck. They shared their feelings through an unknown language, the language of love. And time stood still to watch them converse.
After a while, we all knew we had to leave. We boarded our car and sped ahead, as the cow looked on until we disappeared from her sight. Today, she had finally won the race. A white Ambassador had finally stopped to console her.