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Friederike Irina Bruening: Part 3 – Gaushala: My Spiritual Home

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THE PEOPLE

Friederike Irina Bruening: Part 3 – Gaushala: My Spiritual Home

A few years after my arrival in Radha-Kund my parents also came to live in Delhi as my father had been offered an opportunity to work at the German embassy and he took it gladly with the idea in mind also to look out for his only child, the daughter who had absconded to India and started to live there for reasons nobody could understand. During these 5 years they went to Rishikesh also and my mother there took Mantra Diksha from a mahatma in Shivananda ashram, a disciple himself of the great Swami Shivananda whom a few years later I would ask to give me sannyas. She became a vegetarian and started to do meditation. There were no further questions as to why I was staying in India.

At this time no cows and calves were abandoned in the streets. That started about 15 to 20 years later. That was when I began to find calves in the street that were injured and/or too weak to stand up. There was one case in which a calf that had broken her hind leg and her bone had pierced her skin. Half of her body was covered with maggots and flies. She had been thrown at the wayside outside the village by an auto rickshaw like a dead thing. But she was still alive. I took her home – if I had not, the dogs would have come later and eaten her alive as it was already evening. That’s what dogs do, even today if they get a chance. This calf, I cleaned up and tried to heal and she looked upon me with so much love and adoration and trust that I will never forget it.

She was the first case of many. Though not all are grateful and loving their suffering is too great to ignore. When I had collected about 30 cows and the place in the village became too small I rented 1 Bhiga field outside the village and build some living quarters for me and the cows and calves with the money of my parents. It’s still the money of my parents that is the foundation of everything. The number of cows and calves grew. I learned from a veterinary about medical practice of cattle’s and in turn later taught the young men who were coming to work here.

In the beginning I did all the work myself. I rented more land. People came forward and helped to build halls and rooms for the sick ones. The numbers increased and I had to send those that grew up and healthy to another big gaushala in Varsana – Ramesh Babas Gaushala. I had sent more than 5000 cattle’s in the last 10 years. Now they take no more and we are greatly overcrowded with about 1800. Daily 5 to 15 cases come in. They are all taken care of medically and their suffering is relieved in any way humanly possible. I cannot refuse new cases even though there is no place because that would mean to abandon them to the dogs and crows. I hope some land will be given in future and donations might increase to the point that I do not have to spent my parents money down to the last paisa.

I would like to mention also that during all this 40 years I go to Gangotri in the Himalayas every year in the summer and from there walk up to Gomukh and beyond where I found a cave to spend time in solitude and spiritual pursuits. Before the start of the gaushala I would spend the 4/5 summer month there but now it is no longer possible to be absent for more than 1 month. Because of so many sick and injured ones 90 people are needed to take care of everything including an ambulance going around from morning to night collecting those in need of help.

At the end I would like to mention that I was given sannyas by Swami Chidananda Saraswati himself disciple of the great and world known Swami Shivananda and was given the name of Swami Krisnapremananda Saraswati. The ceremony included a fire ritual in which symbolically my body was cremated with all the appropriate rites so that when I actually shall die one day nothing needs to be done because everything already has been done. There are many years left to me. Until that day I wish to spend in relieving the suffering of living entities in this world and especially of the cows and calves as they somehow have touched my deepest heart and are Krishna eternal, close associates. I say to those dying ones: now you are going – I shall come later – then we shall go grazing in the forests with Krishna and there shall be Mahaanand.

(Note from Author: The article is written in partnership with Sudevi Dasi. All the information is what she had described. We at Terse Box are just mediator for her story to reach to you.)

This article is part of September, 2019 Magazine. Click on link to view the magazine.

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