Standing In The Shadows
“Let me therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who has become the son of Vasudeva, the pleasure of Devaki, the boy of Nanda and the other cowherd men of Vrndavana, and the enlivener of the cows and the senses.”
Srimad Bhagvatam 1.8.21
From this photo you can tell I am in the shade on a sunny day. I am alive, standing next to a tree that bears the scars of having been a post in a fenceline.
You can't tell my name, my age, or the days of my birth and death. You won't know who my mother and father are, nor who or how many are my brothers and sisters. You can't tell if I lived most of my life on concrete or on dirt. My scars, if I have any, are unseen by you, and their origin will be unknown. I may have seen great sadhus, or abusers; have been herded by someone who cared, or someone who didn't.
Do you know any of my kind? Have you ever had dung on your shoes from coming to feed them? Known the names of any of my herd or other herds? Are we a concept or memory for you? Have you drank the milk of my sisters or of some other herd? Do you know where that herd is, and how those mothers will die?
Will you again drink milk, partake of products made of milk? Will that milk be a commodity subsidized by the blood flowing in a slaughterhouse? Or will it be made an opulence, by subsidizing with your time or money, so one of us might have the association of devotees?