When baby Krishna was brought down from Putana’s chest, the tail of a cow was circled around Him. He was thoroughly washed with cow urine and then smeared with the dust raised by the movements of the cows. Then different names of the Lord were applied with cow dung on twelve different parts of His body, beginning with the forehead, as done in applying tilaka. In this way, the child was given protection.

When the Lord grew up he started moving around house. He would not like to play with toys but He would go to the goshala (cow shed). He would go to area where the cows and calves were moving around. The Lord would be very happy to cover His body with go raja (dust from lotus feet of cows). Mother Yashoda would go to pick up the Lord in anxiety fearing that a cow or calf might step on small Krsna.

Nanda Maharaj had special padmagandha cows. These cows would emit a wonderful lotus like fragrance. Even such fragrance would come from their milk, curd and butter milk. Even their dung and urine had a special fragrance like lotus. By the mixture of cow dung and urine of these cows a mixture was created and it was called Vraj kardam. The Lord would go and sit in this mixture. Krsna would take palmfuls of this mixture and put it on Balaram’s body. This is called Pankabhishek lila by saints. Seeing this mother Yashoda would call out and say, “Oh son it appears that you have taken an incarnation of a boar in Your last life.” The Lord would reply, “Oh! Mother you are saying that with anger but it is true that I took the form of boar.”

Then Lord grew up a little and walking he would go near the calves. The calves would come near the Lord and smell Him. Getting the divine fragrance from the Lord the calves would jump up in ecstasy and start dancing. As the calves would stand again Lord Krsna would go slowly and catch their tail. Just by the divine touch of the Lord the calves would be joyful and start running around the place with full energy. The Lord would keep hanging on to the tails of the calves and also enjoy the pastime.

Sri Bilva Mangal Thakur in his book Krsna Karnamrita says as follows – Oh Lord! You joyfully move around in mud of Vrindavan made up of cow urine, dung and dust from cows feet, but You feel hesitant to go to the yajna sthali of brahmanas. Hearing the mooing of the cows You answer them in the language of calves which You understand but when the great Brahma prays to You, Oh lord You keep quiet and stand without replying. But when calves make sound You quickly run towards them and embrace them. Oh! Lord I have understood that You don’t regard any other principle but only the love of cows. You are satisfied with only those who have love of cows in their heart.

Our goshala – objectives
Srila Prabhupada, the founder acharya of ISKCON, encouraged everyone to protect and serve cows till they naturally leave their bodies. To make it sustainable and economically viable, it is essential to make proper use of various gifts received from mother cow – especially the usage of cow urine and cow dung.

In our Goshala, we manufacture various eco-friendly products from pancha-gavya (5 items derived from mother cow). We also produce organic fertilizer for our farm situated just next to the Goshala.
We buy cow dung and cow urine from the farmers. They get additional income and can thus sustain their cows and their land in most natural way.

Many wonder why the Vedic and Vaishnava cultures especially stress protection of the cow. The philosophical reason is simple: The cow is considered one of our mothers, as she gives us her milk and thus nutures our health and well being. Just as no civilized person would injure or kill their mother, the Vedas teach that to take milk from the cow and then kill her is the same as killing one’s mother. Similarly, the bull is considered like the father because the bull traditionally helps in the tilling of the fields, and thus is to be respected.

In ISKCON farms no cow, bull or calf is slaughtered. We look at innovative ways to work with the bull and engage their God-given strength in the service of others, under humane and loving conditions. Regardless of milk production, cows and bulls also produce dung and urine which is valuable as fertilizer, compost, some medicines, cleaning products and biogas fuel. In the ISKCON farms they are sheltered in barns (goshala), wherein they are fed with healthy stapple and are taken care of.

We believe protecting cows is a most important component of protecting the earth. According to the ancient Vedic texts the cow is the representative of Mother Earth. And, when the cow and the bull are mistreated, Mother Earth withdraws her bounty.

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