Vedic References on Cow protection from Folio

Vedic References on Cow protection from Folio

kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam paricaryātmakaṁ karma śūdrasyāpi svabhāva-jam Bhagavad Gita (18.44) Farming, cow protection and business are the natural work for the vaiśyas, and for the śūdras there is labor and service to others. Lord Kṛṣṇa as Govinda is more inclined to the brāhmaṇas and the cows, indicating thereby that human prosperity depends more on these two items, namely brahminical culture and cow protection. Lord Kṛṣṇa is never satisfied where these are lacking. (Teachings of Queen Kunti Ch. 4) The vaiśyas, the members of the mercantile communities, are especially advised to protect the cows. Cow protection means increasing the milk productions, namely curd and butter. (Srila Prabhupada in Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.26 Purport) A society devoid of cow protection and brahminical culture is not under the direct protection of the Lord, just as the prisoners in the jails are not under the protection of the king but under the protection of a severe agent of the king. Without cow protection and cultivation of the brahminical qualities in human society, at least for a section of the members of society, no human civilization can prosper at any length. (Srila Prabhupada in Srimad Bhagavatam 1.14.34 Purport) Thus as soon as Mahārāja Parīkṣhit saw that a lower-class man in the dress of a king was hurting the legs of a cow and a bull, at once he arrested and punished him. The king cannot tolerate insults to the most important animal, the cow, nor can he tolerate disrespect for the most important man, the brāhmaṇa. Human civilization means to advance the cause of brahminical culture, and to maintain it, cow protection is essential. There is a miracle in milk, for it contains all the necessary vitamins to sustain human physiological conditions for higher achievements. (Srila Prabhupada in Srimad Bhagavatam 1.16.4 Purport) Where wealth and strength are not engaged in the advancement of brahminical culture, God consciousness and cow protection, the state and home are surely doomed by Providence. If we want peace and prosperity in the world, we should take lessons from this verse; every state and every home must endeavour to advance the cause of brahminical culture for self-purification, God consciousness for self-realization and cow protection for getting sufficient milk and the best food to continue a perfect civilization. (Srila Prabhupada in Srimad Bhagavatam 1.19.3 Purport) The miserable conditions of this material world can be corrected by a sufficient supply of milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, molasses, food grains, ornaments, bedding, sitting places and so on. This is human civilization. Ample food grains can be produced through agricultural enterprises, and profuse supplies of milk, yogurt and ghee can be arranged through cow protection. (Srila Prabhupada in Srimad Bhagavatam 5.16.25 Purport) If one is trained to honor and worship the cows and brāhmaṇas, he is actually civilized. The worship of the Supreme Lord is recommended, and the Lord is very fond of the cows and brāhmaṇas (namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca). In other words, a civilization in which there is no respect for the cows and brāhmaṇas is condemned. One cannot become spiritually advanced without acquiring the brahminical qualifications and giving protection to cows. Cow protection insures sufficient food prepared with milk, which is needed for an advanced civilization. One should not pollute civilization by eating the flesh of cows. A civilization must do something progressive, and then it is an Āryan civilization. Instead of killing the cow to eat flesh, civilized men must prepare various milk products that will enhance the condition of society. If one follows the brahminical culture, he will become competent in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (Srila Prabhupada in Srimad Bhagavatam 6.18.52 Purport) Agriculture and cow protection are the way to become sinless and thus be attracted to devotional service. Those who are sinful cannot be attracted by devotional service. (Srila Prabhupada in Srimad Bhagavatam 8.6.12 Purport) We are advocating cow protection and encouraging people to drink more milk and eat palatable preparations made of milk, but the demons, just to protest such proposals, are claiming that they are advanced in scientific knowledge, as described here by the words svādhyāya-śruta-sampannāḥ. They say that according to their scientific way, they have discovered that milk is dangerous and that the beef obtained by killing cows is very nutritious. (Srila Prabhupada in Srimad Bhagavatam 8.7.3 Purport) In the matter of protecting the cows, the meat-eaters will protest, but in answer to them we may say that since Kṛṣṇa gives stress to cow protection, those who are inclined to eat meat may eat the flesh of unimportant animals like hogs, dogs, goats and sheep, but they should not touch the life of the cows, for this is destructive to the Spiritual advancement of human...

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The Plastic Calf

The Plastic Calf

“Its just hopeless”, sighed the vet, “her digestive system is just not restarting”. For a long time now Radha, a 5 year old Gir Cow at the Govardhan Eco Village Goshala was not keeping well. She would hardly eat and her stomach would always be bloated. Radha arrived here at GEV some 6 months back. Her previous home was a little-known cow barn in the state of Gujarat in India. When she arrived here many thought she was pregnant. But right since her arrival at GEV she was not like the other cows. She always kept to herself and unlike others she was not very enthusiastic while grazing on the vast grasslands. Even while some of her chirpier friends would sometime playfully fight with her, she would always remain calm. We all thought its just the change in environment and she just needs to get adjusted to her new home and in a few weeks time she will be like the other cows. As time past she did show some improvement but her appetite has not improved. And for the past one month her condition was worse. So we invited the local veterinary officer to inspect her. After a careful observation the vet told us his diagnosis, which came as an dismal shock to us. He said, “the cause of the cow’s anorexia, or loss of appetite, is due to huge quantity of plastic stuck in her digestive system”. “Plastic!”, exclaimed one of our Goshala attendants. The word plastic never caused so much terror in our hearts. “But there is absolutely no chance of any plastic mixing in their food”, argued the Goshala in-charge. Then the doctor inquired, “when she arrived at GEV, how was her stomach?” Then it struck to us that she was not pregnant but was carrying a painful load of plastic in her abdomen. Perhaps the previous owner carelessly left her to graze anywhere and everywhere and the innocent creature might have been feeding on plastic. The doctor suggested that we do an immediate rumenotomy operation. The surgery involves making a incision on the stomach of the cow, big enough for his hand to get in. Then the vet will 3 manually pull out the plastic stuck in the stomach. A date was set and the operation began smoothly. It was amazing to see Radha totally unfazed as the vet was literally pulling things out of her stomach. When the operation “plastic” began, the vet started pulling out shreds of plastic. After about an hour of pulling, the vet said its only 20% done! Wonder how many years the poor creature was feeding on plastic. As the plastic had accumulated for over years in her stomach, it had converted into a huge lump. So pulling it out was a big challenge. But the vet was very confident and he did manage to pull all of it out. It was an astounding 30 kgs of plastic, a steel spoon and coin that was stuck in her stomach all these months. Radha looked happy and relieved as she delivered the “plastic calf”. Though the plastic was out, her digestive system which was still a cause of concern. All the years of plastic contamination has practically ruined her system, so things are still not out of danger. In India, a land where the cows are revered and worshiped, unfortunately today the number of such cases have risen sharply. Plastic has become literally ubiquitous, thanks to the convenience and the economic advantages it offers. But like all modern conveniences, plastic also comes at a price. Unlike the natural alternatives, plastic is not biodegradable. It takes literally centuries for it to 4 breakdown and there is no alternative of disposing it other than burning it or dumping in a landfill. But that also poses many serious environmental repercussions. Owing to all these factors, plastic is banned in many parts of the world. Even in India there is a ban on the use of plastic in many places but in spite of repeated warnings both the authorities and the citizens have conveniently disregarded this injunction. Many people dumps large quantities of plastic indiscriminately in open areas, road sides, grasslands and parks. Often much of domestic organic waste like fruit and vegetable scraps, leftovers etc., are disposed off in plastic covers. And the poor creatures feed on them along with the plastic cover. Even Radha was a victim of such insensitive plastic use. About a decade ago in India there was a spree of mysterious death of many stray animals. Authorities initially thought it was some mysterious disease. But later the cause was found to be excessive consumption...

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Cows In Grave Danger

Cows In Grave Danger

Cows are sacred no more in India. I was shocked to learn yesterday from a god-sister, Jahnavi devi dasi, that India has become the world’s 3rd biggest beef exporter. As recently as 2002, India banned export of beef. By the year 2004, India ranked 6th in world beef exports. Now, in 2009, India ranks 3rd! And the Hindus are keeping quiet. So much for the guardians of Hindu Dharma. If there is an upset during a cricket match, there will be riot, but cows, the emblem of Hindu religion and integral component of economic prosperity and brahminical culture, can be butchered, and nobody minds. Cow slaughter does not stir the Hindus to action or even to speak up in protest. India is the land of Dharma and spirituality, the repository of the ancient Sanskrit scriptures (Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Vedanta Sutra, Bhagavad-gita, Mahabharata, Ramayana) and the seat of the world’s most ancient civilizations. Vedic civilization, intricately wrought from the principles of varnashrama dharma (also known as daivi-varnashrama), honored and preserved brahminical culture throughout millennia under the rule of great, saintly monarchs up until some 5,000 years ago, which marked the onset of the age of quarrel and dissension, Kali-yuga. At that time, shortly after the terrible Mahabharata war, the emperor Parikshit Maharaja was ruling Bharata Varsha, and while touring the kingdom, he came across someone tormenting a bull and cow. This incident is narrated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 16, Text 4 (translation and purports by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, ISKCON Founder-Acharya): TEXT 4 Once, when Maharaja Parikshit was on his way to conquer the world, he saw the master of Kali-yuga, who was lower than a shudra, disguised as a king and hurting the legs of a cow and bull. The King at once caught hold of him to deal sufficient punishment. PURPORT The purpose of a king’s going out to conquer the world is not for self-aggrandizement. Maharaja Parikshit went out to conquer the world after his ascendance to the throne, but this was not for the purpose of aggression on other states. He was the Emperor of the world, and all small states were already under his regime. His purpose in going out was to see how things were going on in terms of the godly state. The king, being the representative of the Lord, has to execute the will of the Lord duly. There is no question of self-aggrandizement. Thus as soon as Maharaja Parikshit saw that a lower-class man in the dress of a king was hurting the legs of a cow and a bull, at once he arrested and punished him. The king cannot tolerate insults to the most important animal, the cow, nor can he tolerate disrespect for the most important man, the brahmana. Human civilization means to advance the cause of brahminical culture, and to maintain it, cow protection is essential. There is a miracle in milk, for it contains all the necessary vitamins to sustain human physiological conditions for higher achievements. Brahminical culture can advance only when man is educated to develop the quality of goodness, and for this there is a prime necessity of food prepared with milk, fruits and grains. Maharaja Parikshit was astonished to see that a black shudra, dressed like a ruler, was mistreating a cow, the most important animal in human society. The age of Kali means mismanagement and quarrel. And the root cause of all mismanagement and quarrel is that worthless men with the modes of lower-class men, who have no higher ambition in life, come to the helm of the state management. Such men at the post of a king are sure to first hurt the cow and the brahminical culture, thereby pushing all society towards hell. Maharaja Parikshit, trained as he was, got the scent of this root cause of all quarrel in the world. Thus he wanted to stop it in the very beginning. Present-day government encourages slaughter for commerce in domestic and international markets, without regard for the karmic results and not caring for any spiritual principles. India’s leaders are no different from other world leaders in this respect. They are not concerned with God or religion except as a tool to manipulate the citizens for their own purposes. Thus brahminical culture is practically no more; the corrupted caste system is the last vestige of varnashram-dharma, and it too is dying out. SB Canto 1, Chapter 16, TEXT 18 The personality of religious principles, Dharma, was wandering about in the form of a bull. And he met the personality of earth in the form of a cow who appeared to grieve like...

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Happy Cows With quotes from A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Happy Cows With quotes from A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

The Sanatanist worships cows on religious principles and respects brahmanas [topmost class, the “heads” of society responsible for maintaining religious principles]. The cow’s milk is required for the sacrificial fire, and by performing sacrifices the householder can be happy. The cow’s calf not only is beautiful to look at, but also gives satisfaction to the cow, and so she delivers as much milk as possible. But in the Kali-yuga, the calves are separated from the cows as early as possible for purposes which may not be mentioned in these pages of Srimad-Bhagavatam. The cow stands with tears in her eyes, the shudra milkman draws milk from the cow artificially, and when there is no milk the cow is sent to be slaughtered. These greatly sinful acts are responsible for all the troubles in present society. People do not know what they are doing in the name of economic...

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The Importance of the Cow in Vedic Culture By Subramanian Swami

The Importance of the Cow in Vedic Culture By Subramanian Swami

Our West-influenced intellectuals sneer at the mention of the cow. The same intellectuals first sneered at yoga. Now it is a fashion to do pranayama at cocktail parties. The arguments in the West for cow slaughter are no more uncontested. They also sneered at our sanyasis as `godmen’. Now they flock to ashrams with their white friends ever since the Beatles. Who knows, they may soon have a cow in their backyards. India has 150 million cows, each of them giving an average of less than 200 litres of milk per year. If they could be fed and looked after, they can give 11,000 litres, as Israeli cows do. That would provide milk for the whole world. The milk we produce today is the cheapest in the world. With enhanced production we could become the world’s largest exporter of milk and it could be India’s biggest foreign exchange earner. For those of us who are desi by pedigree and conviction, I place some facts about the cow in the perspective of modern Hindutva. The cow was elevated to divinity in the Rig Veda. In Book VI, Hymn XXVIII attributed to Rishi Bhardwaja extols the virtue of the cow. In Atharva Veda (Book X, Hymn X), the cow is formally designated as Vishnu, and `all that the Sun surveys’. Indian society has addressed the cow as gomata. The Churning of the Sea episode brings to light the story of the creation of the cow. Five divine Kamadhenus (wish cows), viz. Nanda, Subhadra, Surabhi, Sushila, Bahula emerged in the churning. Thousands of names in our country are cow-related: Gauhati, Gorakhpur, Goa, Godhra, Gondiya, Godavari, Goverdhan, Gautam, Gomukh, Gokarna, Goyal, Gochar etc. They signify reverence for the cow, and our abiding faith that the cow is Annapurna. In 2003, the National Commission on Cattle under Justice G. M. Lodha submitted its recommendations to the NDA government. The report called for stringent laws to protect the cow and its progeny in the interest of the rural economy, a constitutional requirement under Directive Principles of State Policy. Article 48 of the Constitution says: `The State shall endeavour to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle’. During the First War of Independence in 1857, when Bahadur Shah `Zafar’ was installed as emperor by the Hindus in Delhi for a brief period, his Hindu prime minister, on the emperor’s proclamation, made cow killing a capital offence. In Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s kingdom, the only crime that invited capital punishment was cow slaughter. The cow, according to the Vedas, provides four products for human use: (i) Godudha (cow milk): As per Ayurveda, cow milk has fat, carbohydrates, minerals and Vitamin B, and even a capacity for body resistance to radiation and for regenerating brain cells. (ii) Goghruta (ghee): The best ghee, it is, as per Ayurveda useful in many disorders. In yajna, it improves the air’s oxygen level. (iii) Gomutra (urine): Eight types of urine are used for medicinal purpose nowadays, among which cow urine is held to be the best. The Americans are busy patenting it. It has anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. It has immune-modulator properties, which makes it useful for immune deficiency diseases. In the classics there are many references to cow urine as a drug of choice. Even the Parsis follow this practice. Lastly, (iv), Gomaya (dung) is considered as valuable as Gomutra and used to purify the environment, as it has radium and checks radiation effects. Ancient Hindu wisdom on the medicinal properties of cow urine is borne out by two patents granted in the US for cow urine distillate (Patent numbers 6410059 and 6896907). Even China has granted the distillate a patent as a DNA protector. A global patent has been granted for cow urine, neem and garlic as a pest repellent and for fungicidal and growth promoting properties for different crops (WHO 2004/ 087618A1). A US patent has been granted for strains from Sahiwal cow milk for plant growth promoter phytopathogenic fungi controlling activity, abiotic stress tolerating capability, phosphaticsolubilisation capability, etc. And CSIR has filed for a US patent for amritpani, a mixture of cow dung, cow urine and jiggery, for soil health improvement properties. These claims were initially made in the Charaka Samhita, Sushrut, Vaghbhati and Nighantu, Ratnakar, etc. They prove the utility of cow dung and urine for sustainable agriculture as well as for disease prevention. The arguments in the West for cow slaughter are no more uncontested. There are better sources of protein...

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Importance of Worshipping a Holy Cow

Importance of Worshipping a Holy Cow

When Krishna taught a lesson to the king of heaven Indra by lifting Govardhan, Embarrassed Indra asked for an apology and gifted a cow to please Krishna. There Indra named him as  “Govinda”. Krishna was also named “Gopal” because of his service to the cows. Krishna would take the cows in the forests and would even milk cows while in Braj. He treated cows with utmost care. When he would play flute cows would stop eating and start crying. When Krishna went to Mathura cows would not even eat, they were deeply saddened by Krishna’s absence. In the entire tenure of Krishna, you can not ignore the presence and importance of cows. During the attacks of demons in Braj, Mother Yashoda would apply Gomutra, Goraj on Krishna, thinking that it will save Krishna from all demons. Mother Yashoda took Krishna to cow and prayed cow for Krishna’s well-being, when she saw Krishna being attacked by the demon Putana. Krishna’s parents knew that protecting cow alone can bring health, wealth and prosperity. Mother Yashoda told us that cow protects us from ill-will and negative energies. Kamsa-the king of Mathura sent Akrur to Vrindavana to bring Krishna & Balrama to Mathura. Akrur was gifted a cow by Krishna during that meeting. Krishna would gift cows to brahmins, saints when he was in Dwarka. Moreover in Dwarka Krishna created deities of cows and would often offer his “Pranams” to them. At the end of his Avatar Krishna told his kin Uddhava that cow’s pooja (worship) is equal to my pooja (worship). This thing is worth making note of. While going to Goloka Vrindavana Krishna remembered a great devotee Vidur and when Vidur came to know that the supreme godhead remembered him while ending his Avatar, he had tears in his eyes. At the same time Krishna spoke to Uddhava about cow. Krishna told Uddhava that whatever things I could do, whatever demons I could kill, was just because I served cows and I got this power by simply worshiping and serving a cow. He attributed credit of his deeds to cows. If we offer bath to Krishna with “Pancha-gavya” then it pleases Krishna the most. Pancha-gavya means all the things that a cow yields namely curd, milk, ghee, gomutra and gobar. Pancha-gavya is used in all dharmik vidhi including sacrifices (Yagya). Even after knowing Krishna’s life, we overlook the importance Krishna gave to the cows. There were two instances where Krishna has tried to convince us of how one can win Krishna by serving a cow. Krishna always taught about importance of cows through his actions. His love for cows is also seen from his two names “Gopala- the protector of the cows and Govinda- “one who brings satisfaction to the cows” In the 11th (11.11.43) Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, Krishna told his beloved cousin Uddhava that he can be worshiped by offering cow grass and other suitable grains. Worshiping cow is equal to worshiping Krishna. This tells us about how important it is for us to take care of an animal that even Krishna adored. A little scratch to cows pleases Krishna. One who is serious in his devotional life, one who wants Krishna and his love can not ignore the importance of a cow. Bhagavad Gita tells us about the importance of being in”Satva-guna”, Satva-guna brings us peace and happiness and worshiping cow increases our satva-guna. Drinking cow milk blesses us with Divine consciousness and Divine energy and fills our body with transcendental qualities (sattvikta).  The product manufactured from cow milk helps us purify our body and purify our thoughts which in-turn helps us to perform right actions. By feeding grains and by offering puja to the cows, one can receive extraordinary spiritual benefits. Serving and protecting cow pleases God and Demi-gods present in the cow and it takes us closer to the Supreme personality of God. According to Skanda Purana, “One can demolish all his sinful acts by simply offering respect to the cows”. If we maintain and serve a cow in a nice manner then we can not only catch Krishna’s attention and but we can please Krishna as well. Krishna is kind with those who save cows and protect them. He is delighted by any effort done to serve a cow and he never even forgets us if we benefit cow. As an animal cow is very lovable, simple and gentle, what we can do to serve her is we can buy grain for her, feed her every time we get an opportunity and we can donate the cow to an institution where they are treated with utmost care. Mahatma Gandhi once...

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