20 October, 2020

This Naga sadhu-turned-sant's calling in life—'adopt' abandoned cows

This Naga sadhu-turned-sant's calling in life—'adopt' abandoned cows
An unlikely duo of a sant and a housewife has been doing for the temple city of Bhubaneshwar what the civic authorities have failed to do for years—'adopt' cows that are abandoned after they've outlived their usefulness. The goshala of Ramdas Baba, a nonagenarian Naga sadhu-turned-sant, and Tarangini Ma, a 65-year-old housewife who donated her property to support Baba's cause, does not believe in 'ridding' the city of these stray animals. Instead, love for the animals is their calling in life—providing food, shelter and medicines are only manifestations of this devotion.

No one is sure about the Baba's exact age or his antecedents. He himself does not remember anything about his hometown or his family—he speaks Hindi and claims to be from Ayodhya originally. The only thing he still remembers is leaving his home when only 12 to join the Naga sadhus. Since then he has been with them in the Himalayas, coming down once a year to visit different pilgrimages with his guru.

It was on one such trip to Puri during the rath yatra that he had a 'vision'. Says the Baba: "I...


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