Not so long ago, my husband and I visited Varanasi. It was his first time, while I had been there once.
The energy there is so special – even he felt it, not interested in spirituality. He didn’t even want to leave.
It is a place where many Hindus come to die because it is considered the most spiritual place in India.
Almost every centimeter of this city has some kind of spiritual history. For example, I stayed 100 meters from the samadhi of Sri Lahira Mahasaya, the man who conquered the world, and learned to dematerialize. Only one picture of him was taken, and that was taken with his permission – all his other pictures turned out to be blank!
Needless to say, we stayed in Varanasi as long as possible, basking in the spiritual rays of the city.
We usually went to eat at one local cafe, a place owned by a religious man who took great care to keep his cafe clean. One problem with Varanasi is that it’s dirty, with people selling food uncovered on the streets, and cows, stray dogs, and exhaust fumes from cars and motorcycles everywhere. My husband even had a stomach ache at the end of our stay from eating too much street food.
I knew how dangerous it was, having gotten sick in several Indian cities in my past travels, so I stayed at places that were very clean compared to the rest of the coffee shops in Varanasi.
The owner of said cafe cooked delicious home-cooked meals and I resonated with his energy, so I really took my time eating there.
One day I came for my usual meal, and while I was waiting for my order, a huge black cow was walking slowly towards his cafe, in a very narrow lane that is very common in Varanasi.
I saw great anguish in her eyes. She seemed to be looking for help. I soon noticed that she was also limping.
I asked the owner what happened to the cow.
He said that people took the meat from her leg at night and just left her covered in blood. He had already put medicine on her wound, hoping it would heal.
I could not believe it. I thought cows were not harmed in spiritual places in India, especially in Varanasi, the most spiritual place of all.
It seems that in many places in India it is illegal to kill cows, they are just mutilated to get some meat.
I was shocked. My appetite is gone. I took my food and gave it to that cow. I wanted to pet her, but she instinctively moved her head away, full of fear. It took talking to this cow to convince her that I was not a threat.
The owner put more medicine, because the blood was still flowing a little.
The cow could not stay in that narrow lane. People became impatient with the cow, trying to drive it away because it was causing nearby shopkeepers to lose business as passers-by were displeased by the presence of the bleeding cow.
As I looked away from her, a nearby business owner took the opportunity to shoo her away with a stick and she began limping slowly down the alley while the other shop owners tried to speed her up by hitting her on the body with sticks and whatever they had. at hand.
I could not believe the cruelty of people. The only person was the owner of the cafe. He thanked me for giving my fodder to the cow.
I went to the hotel to figure out what had just happened. I was still in shock. My husband asked why I looked confused. I told the whole story. Tears started rolling down my face and they wouldn’t stop. I was very saddened by what happened to the cow, but perhaps more saddened by the callousness of human behavior.
In the evening I went there to eat. The cow returned. She knew where they were waiting for her. She recognized me – I could see it. I went to stroke her head and she lowered her head, enjoying the love.
He asked the owner what cows like. He said they really like bread, so I bought her four loaves if I remember the number. She gnawed them so happily.
As soon as she finished eating, the owner put the medicine back. The cow looked so grateful. The bleeding stopped, and the lady of the cafe said that she would be fine now. I was relieved.
Since that day, I can no longer eat beef. Cows are such beautiful, harmless, emotional creatures. They are big, but their hearts are bigger. And while it is likely that cows in India are sacred for the material values they provide (milk, curd, poor people use cow dung to build houses and heat their houses), the cow is much more than that.
I saw how intelligent and gentle that cow is. I even told my mom that I had a new friend – that’s how I felt about this incredible creature.
I have prayed a lot for the healing of this beautiful animal, so I hope she is okay now. Loving these creatures is much easier than people.
I understand that there is a lot of poverty in India. I rode a cycle rickshaw through the streets of Varanasi and saw naked children sleeping on the streets. But it’s better to just kill an animal for meat (a quick kill causes them almost no pain) than to cut meat out of animals and leave them to bleed.
I know vegans won’t like this conclusion, but even plants feel pain and are conscious. We live in a universe where life preys on life, and I understand that hungry people don’t really care about anything other than filling their bellies.
This is such a huge problem that one article cannot solve it. But what I feel can solve this problem is to open the heart of humanity. Then there would be no poverty, such problems as animal mutilation would disappear.