By Ritudvipa Gaurachandra dasa, Uttar Pradesh Padayatra leader

April 10, 2021, was a sad day for all of us. Having been unwell for almost five days our ox, Haribol, left his body at Sasni, a town in southwest Uttar Pradesh. Haribol was named by our spiritual master, Lokanath Maharaja, and whenever we called him, indirectly we were telling others to utter the name of Lord Hari. He was a very silent and cooperative ox and never attacked anybody.

Our UP padayatra began in September 2019 and Haribol walked with us since then, serving in padayatra for one year and eight months. And from the start he was ready to serve. When tied behind Their Lordships’ chariot, he always tried to come in front of Them as if eager to take Their darshan.

Haribol accompanied the padayatris to the Vrindavana Kumbha in March, a nice opportunity for all of us to stay in the dhama. Daily we would go for sankirtan on the parikrama marga and all around the Kumbha fair, Haribol ever ready to come in front and get attached to the chariot. A shade was made for all the oxen at the gate of our ISKCON pandal so when people would visit, they first had darshan of our oxen. Their big horns attracted everybody’s attention and some would take selfies with the oxen.

It was the good fortune of our Haribol that he had dhama vasa one month before his departure from this material world. Lokanath Maharaja always says, “These oxen are very special; they are serving Their Lordships. This is their last birth.” Sometimes in a human body people waste their lives chasing sense gratification, but hats off to these padayatra oxen: they have perfected their life in animal bodies. Haribol must have gone back to Godhead!

As he was gasping, we all performed sankirtan and while hearing that he left his body. We then continued the sankirtan till the final rites were completed. From the bottom of our hearts, we all thank Haribol for services rendered in padayatra.

Haribol, ki jai.

Source: https://www.padayatra.com/four-legged-padayatri-haribol-leaves-his-body/

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