Our Experiences In Tiruvannamalai

Our Experiences In Tiruvannamalai
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There are about 400 pages of information on Girivalam on this website.
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FEEDING THE COWS IN TIRUVANNAMALAI - Part III by Devraj


This feeding of animals started a long time ago. I used to take some bread and give to the dogs on the Girivalam path and in Ramana Ashramam. I used to feed only a few dogs but nothing like I am doing now.

It started with a cow initiating me with it's look. There used to be a black cow tied to a stump near my apartment but on the main road. There was nothing special about this cow. I used to see it every day. It meant nothing to me.

One day it looked at me. There was a small shop selling bananas and other fruits.  I bought a few bananas and gave it to the cow and went about my routine like going to the ashram, library and then on Girivalam.  Next day I came and the cow looked at me again. So I bought a few bananas and fed them to the cow.  It became a routine every day.

A little further up the road, just to the side of the road I saw a few cows tethered to a stump.  I bought more bananas and started to feed them, a total of ten or more cows.  Then, I saw so many stray cows on the road. And started to feed them also.  Also on the roadside there used to be a cart and a bull.  I would feed the bull every day.  So I made it a point to have a bagful of bananas to feed any cow that I came across.

I knew nothing about the cows.  Not all of them like to be fed.  I got attacked a few times but fortunately no injuries.  There was a brown cow near my apartment.  Every day it would take bananas and  then one day it tried to gore me.  I became more careful and made sure they are all tied and could not reach me. As for the stray cows, I would try to feed them from side so that they have to turn to attack and I have time to escape.

A lady nearby used to take her buffalos and calves for grazing and I used to feed them as well. One day I saw them coming and stood there and put my hand in my bag for a banana Before I realised what was happening the biggest of the cows was staring at me in my face. The next thing I know it's head hit me and I was staring at the sky lying on the ground. Before it could stamp on my face or chest, the lady drove it away. Another day a cow was lying down.  I tapped it gently on the hump and offered bread to it's mouth. In a flash it sprang and attacked me.  I barely managed to escape unhurt   I learnt a lot about cows, it took a lot time.  Even now there is a cow it accepts bread and tomatoes and then tries to gore me.  I make sure it is tied and cannot reach me

There are some cows and calves, so gentle and cute, it is a pleasure to see them every day.  I talk to them, pet them on the side and hump and kiss them on the face.  Every one of them is different.  They talk with their eyes. With the ears, with the tails and with their heads and whole body.

Any cow I see I remember my mother.  After my mother stopped breast feeding me, it is the cows milk that sustained me till I grew teeth and was able to eat solid food.  It comes to mind can we survive without cow's milk and all the products made out of milk.  I learnt much about their life from birth to death.

At the rate of 6 to 8 litres a day, a cow gives thousands of litres of milk during it's life time and gives a calf every two years. And for all that, once it stops giving milk, it is sold to a slaughter house. For me, everything that is good and GODLY is represented in a cow

I started feeding them bananas decades ago.  After I came into contact with the lady at Goshala, Mrs. Sadhana Rao, and she told me bananas are ripened using chemicals.  She said remove the skin or do not feed them bananas. So now I feed them only whole wheat bread and tomatoes.  I was told cows should not be fed too much cooked foods.  So I feed 4 slices of bread and 5 to 6 tomatoes.

There are a few persons with carts and bulls. When they see me they stop. I feed the bulls and also give the owners a few rupees for tea.

 Devraj

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