By Anu Aniruddha
Krishna was named according to different Leelas‚ÄĚ he performed in Vrindavan. When he killed demons like Kesi, Madhu and Ari he was named Kesisudan, Madhusudan and Ari sudan. When Mata Yashoda tied him to UKHAL, he was called Damodar.
Krishna was also named ‚ÄúGopal‚ÄĚ because of his service to the cows. Krishna would take the cows in the forests and would even milk cows while staying in Braj. He treated cows with utmost care. When he would play flute cows would stop eating and start crying. As Krishna went to Mathura cows would not even eat, they were deeply saddened by krishna‚Äôs absence.
In the entire tenure of Krishna, you can not ignore the presence and importance of cows. During the attacks of demons in Braj Mata Yashoda would apply Gomutra, Goraj on Krishna, thinking that it will save Krishna from all demons. Mata Yashoda took Krishna to cow and prayed cow for Krishna‚Äôs well-being, when she saw Krishna being attacked by the demon Putana. Krishna‚Äôs parents knew that protecting cow alone can bring health, wealth and prosperity. Mata Yashoda told us that cow protects us from ill-will and negative energies.
Kansa-the king of Mathura sent Akrur to Vrindavan to bring Krishna & Balram to Mathura. Akrur was gifted a cow by Krishna during that meeting. Krishna would gift cows to bramhins, saints when he was in Dwarka. Moreover in Dwarka Krishna created deities of cows and would often offer his ‚ÄúPranams‚ÄĚ to them.
At the end of his Avatar Krishna told his keen Uddhava that cow‚Äôs pooja(worship) is equal to my pooja (worship). While going to Golok Vrindavan 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 ‚ÄúPanchagavya‚ÄĚ then it pleasesKrishna the most. Panchagavya means all the things that a cow yields namely curd, milk, ghee, gomutra and gober. Panchagavya is used in all dharmik vidhi including sacrifices (Yagya).
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 pleasesKrishna. One who is serious in his devotional life, one who wantsKrishna and his love can not ignore the importance of a cow
Even after knowing Krishna‚Äôs life, we overlook the importance Krishna gave to the cows.
The King of heaven: Indra wanted to kill the people of Vrindavan, when he came t0 know that they have stopped worshipping him. It is regarded as the First sinful act of person blessed with transcendental qualities-‚ÄúDev aparadh‚ÄĚ.The merciful Krishna instead of giving any curse or personal punishment to King Indra took the effort of lifting the Goverdhan for seven consecutive days. Despite the fact that Krishna and his men were troubled, Krishna forgives Indra as he donated Surbhi cow to Krishna. This shows us How Krishna was in the awe of cows. Krishna always taught about importance of cows through his actions. His love for cows is also seen from his two names ‚ÄúGopala- the protector of the cows and Govinda- ‚Äúone who brings satisfaction to the cows‚ÄĚ.
In the 11th (11.11.43) Canto of Shrimat Bhagwatam Krishna told his beloved cousin Udhava that he can be worshiped by offering cow grass and other suitable grains. Worshiping cow is equal to worshiping Krishna. Bhagwat Geeta tells us about the importance of being in‚ÄĚSatva guna‚ÄĚ, 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, ‚ÄúOne can demolish all his sinful acts by simply offering respect to the cows‚ÄĚ. If we maintain and serve a cow in a nice manner then we can not only catch Krishna‚Äôs 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 said‚ÄĚ Cow is the source of progress and prosperity. In many ways it is superior to one‚Äôs mother‚ÄĚ.