There was a great Master, Ramana Maharshi — a Perfect Master, In his DARSHANS — because he was a silent man, would speak rarely and very few words — each morning when he would sit for the darshan for one hour and people would come to sit with him, a cow would also come. The cow was so regular that no other disciple was so regular — the cow was just like Teertha! Regular…. It might rain, it might be summer, it might be winter — whatsoever! — the cow might be ill, or healthy, whatsoever, but the cow was bound to come at the exact time.
She would come and stand in the verandah and look inside through the window, her head inside the window, and remain there for one hour, sometimes with open eyes and sometimes with closed eyes. And sometimes tears flowing… it has become a miracle!
One day the cow was very ill and could not come — so Ramana had to go! He had never gone to visit any other disciple, but for that poor cow he had to go. And all the disciples said, “What are you doing, Bhagwan?” And he said, “But I have to go. She was so regular. And I know she wants to come — the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
And when he went, she was just sitting in the direction of his room looking at the window from far away. She could not get up, she was dying. And when Ramana reached, she closed her eyes and tears started flowing. She died. That cow was the first animal in the whole history of humanity or of consciousness that was given a farewell as is given to an enlightened person. Ramana was present there.
Somebody asked Ramana, “Is this cow going to be born as a man?”
Ramana said, “No. She will not need to be born as a man — she has passed beyond that. She is not going to be born at all. She has attained enlightenment.”
Yes, it is possible. What to say about man? Even animals, if they are receptive… and cows ARE very receptive. That’s why in the East they have become sacred. It is not for no reason at all — they ARE very receptive, open. They can grow in consciousness. NO other animal can take this jump that the cow can take.
It was for no other reason than this that they became an essential part of all the ashrams in the East in the old days.
They created a certain atmosphere — of purity, innocence.