Recently we heard that one of the senior sadhus of this area who stays at the ashram in Chakratirtha had fell and hit his head, so we went to see how he was. He is now between 102 and 103 years old and due to his age has difficulty walking down steps.

After another sadhu, Vishwanath Baba, entered samadhi this year, he shifted to a room next to the temple to be able to watch over the temple and the visitors to the ashram. Unfortunately that room has some very badly made steps going into a bathroom that even young people would have trouble climbing, what to speak of someone who is over 100 years old. It was on these steps that he fell while coming out of the bathroom, and landed head first on the floor below.

He was taken to a nearby hospital where the doctors took an xray of his chest, since he had swelling and pain there. The doctors said luckily nothing appears to be broken.

In the meantime we arranged a mason to try to improve the steps coming out of the bathroom. We added wider, thinner steps which would be easier for him to walk on, and provided a hand railing for him to hold as he walks up and down the steps. Additionally we added a small hand railing and thinner steps outside his front door, as he finds taller steps to be hard to traverse.

He stays mostly alone there in the forest, other than some visiting devotees who come now and then, and there is no one to help him day to day. As his age increases he has trouble to walk and balance, but refuses to leave the ashram where his guru had placed him, despite the difficulties.

New Storage Shed to Protect the Ashram Cows’ Rice Straw During the Rainy Season

Our storage area for the cows’ straw was in bad shape. Up till now we had used tarpaulins to protect the straw from the rain, but they only last 6 months and end up in tatters from the combination of sun, wind and rain. We decided it was time to make a more permanent shed for the goshala’s straw storage.

After completing the shed, we worked out an agreement with a local farmer to purchase the rice straw from his 2 acre field once he had harvested the rice. Altogether we brought around 8 loads of straw using a mini lorry, which should be enough straw for the next six months.

One side of the shed has an old water cistern which we no longer use. So we plan to raise the wall on the cistern and create a storage room for the sacks of cow feed, which will let us store a lot of feed during the rainy season without it getting damp or moldy.

There is still another quantity of rice straw we plan to collect in a few days from the ashram of a local sadhu, Dayalu Baba, which together should be enough for the cows to eat all year.

Trimming the Horn of Vamana the Bull

Recently we trimmed the horn of Vamana the bull because it had grown inward and was pressing on his brow. Three years ago I had trimmed both sides for the same reason. The right one grew outward and didn’t need to be retrimmed, but the left one curled back towards his eye so had to be cut.

It took three of us to hold him so it could be sawed off with a loose hacksaw blade. It doesn’t cause them any pain, but he doesn’t like to be held, which made it hard. The blade broke twice because he wouldn’t stay still even with us holding his head as hard as we could. I didn’t take a video of it yesterday, but here is an older video from 2021 when we first had to trim his horns.

He is the first bull in our goshala, and is now 14 years old, which is pretty old for a cow. Now that the horn is trimmed, he shouldn’t face any problems from it for a few more years.

Treating 6 Street Puppies for Parvo Disease

By the grace of Bhagavan, this child in the body of a puppy was able to leave in the most auspicious circumstances. After being treated for parvo disease for around 15 days, today we noticed she was too weak to swallow water when we tried to feed her by syringe. We brought charanamrita and placed it in her mouth, and brought tulasi prasadam from Lord Jagannatha which we put on her head, and immediately she left her body with no pain or suffering.

In the bigger picture of things they won, even though in the smaller picture we lost the battle with the disease. This is the best ending they could have ever hoped for in the material world.

Out of six puppies who were affected by the disease, only one managed to recover and survive, but all of them had good endings, surrounded by love, their mothers, and the chanting of Krishna’s name.

The one who survived after approaching so close to death is now jumping and rolling and playing with her mother. She will also have a wonderful life, with many opportunities to come to the temple and eat Krishna prasadam. All of them were fortunate to come in contact with Lord Krishna in various forms.

Treating a Bull Calf with a Skin Disease

Here is a new baby bull calf that has started visiting our ashram recently. He had a severe skin problem as well as a badly damaged hoof. We began feeding him every day, and started to apply some ayurvedic oils to his skin (Kushtha Rakshasa Taila) to clear up the lesions and wounds.

One of our facebook friends who is an ayurvedic doctor has recommended for us to apply Kustha Rakshasa Taila which we have been doing. It contains sulfur, copper bhasma and mercury, in purified forms, which are very effective for skin diseases, mange, etc. He has also sent us a medicinal oil which he has made himself from various potent ayurvedic herbs, which we are extremely grateful for. The calf has been improving steadily. Quickly he began to grow new hair and the scabs have mostly gone away. Here are some recent pictures to compare to how he was two months ago when he first showed up at our ashram.

Now this bull calf has even started bringing his mother to eat with him every day. As you can see in the photo he has completely healed from the disease and is also becoming strong and healthy.

Shambhu the Bull, 2 Years After Treatment

Exactly 2 years ago we were treating Shambhu the bull for his stabbing wound. What type of terrible people would stab a beautiful bull like this? At the time I didn’t know him before this and had never seen him. It’s amazing how the animals just show up at our ashram when they are sick or injured.

Ever since then he has come every single day, 4 or 5 times a day, to eat, without fail. He has the special pass that any time he comes he has to be fed instantly (other street cows and bulls only get fed morning and evening). Now he often chooses to sleep here in the night as well.

As you can see in the second photo, eating 5 times a day turns you into a small mountain.

Kapila Muni the Orphan Bull Calf

This young bull calf (whom we named Kapila Muni due to his golden hair) also started coming to our ashram recently. At first he was very thin, and seemed listless and depressed. Around the second or third day of him coming, one local man told us that this baby bull calf was an orphan whose mother recently died from a snake bite. He asked us to try to feed this calf when we see him because he has no mother and doesn’t get any milk.

Somehow he found our ashram and has been sleeping here almost every day. From the first day he came we have made sure to feed him extra so that he could become healthy and strong. He has also made a lot of cow friends, and human friends as well, and no longer looks sad or morose from having lost his mother.

May Lord Krishna bless and protect this child.

(The second picture shows him in the initial days when he was still skinny and malnourished.)

Baby Shambhu, 1 Year After Treatment

Another injured bull who showed up at our ashram last year was this one whom we named “Baby Shambhu”. Already the other larger bull was named Shambhu, and since this one was so small we gave him the name “Baby Shambhu” to differentiate him from Big Shambhu.

Here are two pictures I took of him the other day. Compare them to the prior picture when he first showed up at our ashram injured last year, nothing but skin and bones. This amazing transformation took place in less than one year.

The Miraculous Case of Bhima the Dog

One day when I went down to the street corner I came across this new dog (whom we later named Bhima), about halfway between a puppy and a grown dog, something like a teenager. His head had the worst puss infected wound covering a very large area. He was also boney and looked in terrible shape. He wasn’t from our street so the local dogs wouldn’t let him be.

In just a moments time the local dogs from our street pounced on him. One had his head and one had his lower body, and the two were pulling him, trying to tear him apart while his body was fully off the ground just being held up in their mouths. What a terrible sight, his body was just like a limp doll being pulled apart.

I rushed in and chased away the local dogs. After a few minutes of regaining his trust, I picked him up and carried him slowly back to our ashram to put him in the fenced garden enclosure. I couldn’t just leave him there to be attacked by the other dogs while he was so sick and couldn’t defend himself.

The wound on his head looked so bad, and was dripping puss, that I didn’t think we could do anything. Somehow we had to try something. I ground up amoxicillin tablets (estimating his weight as 10kg), mixed it in with some food, and he immediately ate it all.

On the first day the entire wound was just dripping with puss, and a huge portion of his skull was exposed. After a few days of antibiotics, the puss was gone, and the wound began to shrink. As that began to heal I came to realize he had a much more serious wound on his testicles. They had been completely torn open, and the wound had become infested with maggots eating a hole into him.

We took him to the government veterinary clinic, hoping to be able to operate on the wound, but they informed us we need to first treat the wound for the maggots, and only after they are clear can we do the operation.

After a week of cleaning the wound and treating it with naphthalene powder to remove the maggots it was finally time to take the injured dog for his operation at the government veterinary clinic. Due to circumstances, when it was time to start the operation we found out there were no assistants to help with the operation. At first my Muslim mason friend Butu (in the yellow shirt) had to step up and take part in the operation, which lasted more than an hour.

After about 20 minutes he signaled to me that there were complications and they needed another set of hands and I had no choice but to join in.

I am deathly afraid of blood and surgery of any type, and I have a hard time to see the suffering of animals when they are treated. I am not a manly kshatriya warrior. Here we were with no choice left but to help in the operation. It was my worst nightmare, but there was no other option.

My job was to hold the upper two legs and to keep the IV needle in his arm, while Butu’s job was to hold the lower two legs open so the doctor could cut and remove the injured testicles, which turned out to have a cancerous tumor the size of a golf ball (hence the “complication”).

I could only manage it for 5 minutes. I looked down and saw the whole area cut open and blood everywhere. As soon as the blood got on my hands my head started spinning and I got a vomiting sensation. I tried looking to the opposite wall, and tried closing my eyes, but the vomiting sensation was just increasing. The doctor saw it and after 5 minutes she told me to go sit down somewhere, which I gladly did. I went to the corner of the room, sat down and closed my eyes for a minute to come back to normal.

Meanwhile Butu was more of a brave warrior, and he lasted the entire operation, more than an hour, right in the cutting zone, getting splashed with the blood. Afterwards he was describing to me the different veins they cut and stitched, and I really didn’t need those details. Nor did I want to see the golf ball sized bloody tumor after, but I guess it was something they wanted to share with me.

To make the situation worse, four times during the operation the dog came awake and was screaming in pain because he was being cut open. He was given more anesthesia, which just lasted another 5 minutes before he would wake up again and again. It was sad to see him suffer.

In the end when he finally came through and woke up from the anesthesia, he was back to wagging his tail like nothing had happened. Its hard to comprehend how forgiving animals can be. We had just put him through terrible pain and trauma (which he wouldn’t understand to be for his benefit), but afterwards he completely forgave us and was wagging his tail as a happy friend.

Just see how the universe works in such a bizarre way. This dog had cancer in his testicles and there was no way anyone would know or do anything about it. But somehow he gets into a fight and has his testicles torn completely open leaving them unrepairable. In the normal course of things I would never consider removing an animal’s testicles, in fact I would be completely against it. But in this case the injury was so bad that we had no choice but to operate and remove them. And while doing the operation we find out they have a cancerous tumor that would have killed him if we had not removed them.

Following the surgery we kept him safely in a recovery room for 21 days, after which we removed the stitches, and he has completely healed and recovered. In just 34 days he went through a complete transformation, from boney and sick, to healthy and happy. It is amazing what a little kindness and care can do for animals who are suffering.

Darshana of Lord Jagannatha at Bhadrak

Darshana of Sri Panchamukha Hanuman at Our Temple in Chennai

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