Yogi Amandeep Tells How He Inherited

The Staff of a Cow Sage

 

In fall 2015, I guided seekers on Yatra in Punjab, India. Our journey took us to many sacred sites. We practiced ancient yogic techniques. We sat quietly and dissolved our minds and merged energy with sacred energies within shrines and temples.

One day we were invited to visit the Baba Jarnail Das Gaushala, a cow sanctuary that is located in Kapoorey, a small village outside of the town of Moga.

The sanctuary volunteers showed us great hospitality and warm welcome. Seekers in our yatra were encouraged to help volunteers tend to these gentle creatures.

Baba Jarnial Das gave us a tour.

This sanctuary is home to 10,000 cows. As guests, we could perceive the vast silence. These cows sensed our presence. Miraculously, their vacant gazes seemed to bless us with the awareness of sacred emptiness. Some cows walked by our side, some nodded, some chewed cud, many overlooked us. But within the cows’ sensitivity to our presence was an indescribable offering to us that easily elevated all our spirits.

While I observed the upliftment these creatures’ offered simply through their presence, Baba Jarnial Das told me stories about how he had risked his life to save these cows from the slaughter houses.

As he conducted the tour, he carried a stick and walked with the footsteps of a sage. I perceived an uncanny energy emanating from his walking stick, so I asked Baba Jarnail Das, “Why do you carry that stick? What is the significance of that stick, and what is its history?”

This graceful man took a deep breath and told me this story:

This is not any old stick. This is a master’s staff. This staff was made from a Walnut tree that grew in the center of Kashmir in a grove of sacred trees under which Baba Siri Chand sat to meditate. This staff has been passed on from cow sage to seeker for hundreds of years.

In the Udasi lineage, this particular staff is a totem, an auspicious and blessed object that is given to one who is chosen to take up the cause of protecting animals from slaughter, especially cows. When my turn came to take up this duty, a cow sage handed the stick to me and said, rescue these gentle beings.

Since then, this staff supports me in my riskiest attempts to save the lives of these cows. More than once, I have nearly lost my life in my attempts to rescue these cows. Everywhere I go, the staff is like a companion, like a lucky charm. This staff contains sacred energy: see, the wooden rod represents the energy of Shakti. The tip is made of silver, which represents the stillness of Shiva. This staff is the union of Shiva and Shakti, a symbol of expansion, creation, healing, and mastery.”

After saying all this, Baba Jarnail Das looked up at the sky for a moment that seemed like an eternity. He seemed to drift into a deeply exalting eureka moment. My heart filled with gratitude to witness his sudden joy.

Then he looked into my eyes and said, “Here!”

He placed the staff into my hands.

“This staff belongs to you now! Take it along with you when you travel.”

I never planned or expected to receive this profound gift. But now that I have been given the mantle, I am grateful.

I have inherited a responsibility. Baba Jarnail Das passed me the energetic baton, the master’s staff. Now, I am willing and able to answer this call.

I am called to walked the path of a defender of animal rights. Thus, my heart goes out to those 10,000 cows, and I am inspired to continue to expand this rescue mission. Every beat of my heart releases energy to take another bold step toward animal rescue.

Won’t you please walk with me?

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