Devotees at New Talavana, ISKCON’s 1300 acre farm in Mississippi, mourned the loss of their veteran bull Bala late last year. But the evening of February 17, 2008 was a joyous one, as they welcomed a new life to replace him.
Little Shivani was born to the milk cow Chandravali, with a unique complication that only occurs in 5 per cent of all births: she emerged backwards.
“Normally cows deliver on their own, but this time Narayana Dasa, an ISKCON second generation devotee, had to rush to the rescue,” says New Talavan temple president Yogindra Dasa. “The cow was in distress and was having a difficult delivery. So he stepped up, even though it was such an unexpected emergency that we didn’t even have gloves to hand.”
Knowing that dangerous complications could increase the likelihood of the calf dying during birth, Narayana acted carefully. As the mother pushed with her contractions, he pulled the calf out step-by-step, praying to Krishna all the while. And with a final heave, Shivani emerged, safe and healthy.
You can watch the birth on YouTube here
. Warning: If you’ve eaten recently, ask a cow if you can borrow one of her four stomachs for backup first. You just might need it.