This morning at 5:30 am, I got a call from our worker/friend at the Vedic Ranch - the river has flooded!
The Zebu Indian cows and goats, he said, were trapped in 4 ft. river waters, and the water was below freezing.
I quickly got an extra set of clothes together, and drove 20 minutes to the location. It was not even daybreak yet, and what I could see of what used to be land, had become an expansive river.
I immediately dipped into the moving river, to find that the freezing waters were too freezing, and I thought to myself, that either I will die trying to save the sacred cows and other animals, or they will just have to follow their fate.
That idea lasted maybe 15 minutes, when I jumped back in, the water way over my rubber boots. I headed towards the different groups of cows, some of them almost being under water. One by one, I put a leash on their harnesses and lead them to higher ground. One cow, Ahi, was so cold or frozen, that she could no longer walk, and so I had to float her back to safety holding onto her horns. These cows, miniature Zubus, are only about 43 inches high.
It took maybe three hours to complete the task. I couldn't feel my feet or toes, and when I finally got myself back to land, I was shaking, and my legs and feet were very red. (Now that I am back wear I live, my feet are a bit swollen; not complaining - happy to serve Lord Krishna's holy cows, and worth dying for, in my humble opinion).
One of the cows and one of the bulls, Ahi and Bhima, had gotten so cold, they could not stand up, and simply lay down shaking for hours. Some people from the ECO farm started to come to help, and they covered them the best they could. But it seemed that this was going to be their last day.
Then our helpers got Ahi to sit up, but she keep shaking. The bull was not responding at all, and he shook like anything.
As the sun finally came visible and the air started to warm up, after maybe three hours of their rescue, Bhima, stopped shaking and was breathing slowly, eyes red and spacey.
A Korean lady for ECO came and held out her hands, and prayed for them. We finally got Ahi to stand. But the bull got worse. I was chanting to him, and told him I would be right back, as I had to give the other cows something to eat. When I came back after 20 minutes, he was missing from the blankets that were on him! He was standing nearby, although visibly weak.
After a 12 hour rescue day, the zebu herd seemed to be fair to good health. I will see in the morning if they are still alright.
The river destroyed a lot of our sanctuary property, broke and swept away cow panels, and destroyed part of a two months food supply.
So we are humbly asking anyone out there, who can identify with our cow protection program, to kindly send in some donations. We are a non-profit organization (Sedona Center Of Vedic Culture), and can gladly send you a tax exempt receipt if you provide us with your email.
We may end up paying several thousand dollars or more, to relocate the cows also. If anyone knows of a suitable place with pasture we could rent somewhere in the Verde Valley, please contact us.
It could have been much worse. Unfortunately, all our Nigerian Dwarf goats died. They didn't stand a chance in the high moving currents.
Thank you for your time in hearing all this.
Namaste. Your servant, Dasarath Das
Note: I could not take any pictures of my struggle and the great expanse of the river water. I took a few photos pictured here, AFTER the river had receded in the afternoon, leaving some muddy lakes and some lifeless bodies here and there.
Padam padam yad vipadam na tesam: meaning, from the Bhagavad Purana - "In this material world, there is danger at every step."
- Doran Hunter
- N. Trabona
- Bill Funt
- Nimueh Rephael