In The Woods

By Romharsan das ( from March 16th, 1975 issue of Brijabasi Spirit )

The funniest thing happened this week since we saw Bhima (the ox) step on a ‘Bee hive an take off running. It was at the bottom of the pasture at Prabhupada’s Pal­ace pulling up logs with Kalanidhe Das who is my apprentice, with a team, of oxen. When I looked up and saw, going across the top of the field, Yudisthir and his oxen with his dear wife Kalalavati and Haladar their son being pulled behind in an ox cart. “Yudisthir”, I said, “what are you doing? Going for a Sunday ride?” His reply was just fol­lowing the orders of Kirtanananda Maharaj. He told me to take my wife for a ride on a bumpy road. In case some of you don’t know his wife is two weeks over due. So he con­tinued to circumambulate Prabhupada’s Palace four times. Of course there is no road around Srila Prabhupada’s Palace, just field, ruts and bumps. So out side that everything is pretty normal. I spent 5 days clearing the Palace land and one day we got rained out. Bhavishat got Bhima back working again. His leg is healed up pretty good now. When I put Kala­nidhe with a team of oxen this week he complained that I was working him to hard. The oxen were ok though I explained, to him that service to the spiritual master is not always easy but that is where the advancement lies. We must be willing to sacrifice everything for his pleasure even if it means working hard. He is the representative of God.

That’s a Funny Looking Horse!

How do you start a story about the first I time you get on the back of a young ox? I guess from when I first asked Gargarishi Prabhu to come out and help me situate? Suka, our 2 1/2 yr. old brown-swiss ox next to the fence post pile over by the horse barn next to the woods. I brought Suka out and lined him up next to the fence post pile. Then Gargarishi steadied him by holding his nose ring. Then I carefully and very slowly climb­ed on his back. At this point I have to tell you that when I take Suka over to water every day he always burst out and leaps in­to the air and runs a few steps. This was running through my mind. At any moment I ex­pected him to leap into the air and take off running. But instead he began to walk back­wards. First a step or two, then three or four and a few more. So Gargarishi grabbed his tail like any common cow and picked it up high into the air. By this time my mind was jumping, “O Govinda”, and I knew he was going to take off any second. But he just calmly walked forward. After about 15 minutes Suka was doing better than I was. All the folks at Madaban came out and greeted us with smiles and cheers. This Sunday I plan to make the first bare back ox ride from Madaban to Bahulaban and back after the feast. When I asked my wife if she wanted her own ox to ride so she could come with me she said she would love to. This was a lot more fun than last week when I rode a car to New York and saw the statue of liberty for the first time. Staying home here in New Vrindaban and training up Krsna’s oxen to work for Him is really much nicer.

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