By Dusyanta dasa (UK)
After checking how many devotees read the last article on Cow protection it seemed quite popular with some positive remarks and comments.The overwhelming momentum in Iskcon today is building towards the actual proper establishment of cow protection.The past idea that we just have some Cows hanging around with some red handprints on their sides and some garlands around their necks and costing a whole lot of money to keep is passing us by now.
To recognise Cow protection we understand from Srila Prabhupada that we have to base our economy on Cows and land.This is what Cow protection is.Anything else is not Cow protection but constitutes something else,rather like having expensive pets and big ones too.Its not a problem but hardly the real deal and has no potency for preaching as there is no example of the alternative to animal slaughter,alternative economy and the neo vegetarian vegan,which stands absolutely no chance of existing by itself.
We have to recognise what Cow protection is by definition so we know we have it and when we dont have it.As far as i am aware as a farmer all my life,through reading Srila Prabhupadas books and being part of Iskcon for nearly three decades,Cow protection is based on Economy within a Symbiotic relationship in a Community styled dynamic.So to me there are some component parts that make up the whole scenario of Cow protection.There are many reasons why Cow protection has not worked in the past,largely due to some component parts not being in place and just dysfunctioning.In the definition of Cow protection all the component parts have to be in place for it to work as it should.
As far as i can see its really been the human failing that has prevented Cow protection from working in the past and still does.Which boils down to you and me.If we looked upon Cow protection on a par with Deity worship we would not be far from understanding the real value of it.Considering the very important role that Cow protection is within our understanding of Community and then Society it must make us all wonder why we havent taken the proper steps to integrate Cow protection properly into Iskcon.
Firstly we have to start with understanding the real need to establish proper community dynamics for the humans.Unless the humans have a network of community based lifestyles that inter-depend and relate to each other in an economic development way then community just becomes physical proximity of householders.Community has to be properly defined,depicted and worked through so there is a dependant workforce to establish Cow protection within an econmic lifestyle.
We could probably write a book on what is Community,how to recognise it and how to recognise when we have not got it.There are many dynamics of community that are missing from Iskcon life and many devotees may not even know what community is because they may have never experienced community.Like Sadhana,Community is defined and daily established,worked at.To establish Cow protection the hardest component to work out is the human aspect.Cows are no problem at all,they just contribute their part without any fuss,truly the mode of goodness.Us humans are the problematic part being fairly whimsical,lower modes.
But once proper Community dynamics are established then we can introduce the Cows and land.The economy must be based on these two parts.Symbiosis is the relevant dependant part for the economy to start turning its wheels.Without Symbiosis we dont really have the dependancy on Cows and so the economy deviates to normal western/eastern values.
The idea of cow protection is to show the example of economic development for community and thus society to base its lifestyle on in a symbiotic relationship with cows and other animals without slaughtering them.All of our human requirements are met through this,including our energy requirements.But we have to be prepared to shift our concepts and comforts and technilogical requirments to a more agrarian,organic and sustainable way of life.
As far as our Spiritual life is concerned,the lifestyle on its own takes us to the mode of goodness and because our exploitative tendancies are diminished we automatically slip into Spiritual life chanting the Holy Name and following the four regulative principles more naturally.The pressure of life is lifted and the stress that pushes us into our bad habits dissipates and our Spiritual life becomes more relevant.Community is the goal of our Spiritual life as we reach the stages of Mystic Communal living with Their Lordships right in the centre of our life and the animals life.We see how it all is connected through Krishna and experience it through our work and our ashram and so we have a balance in our life.And lastly we have the example and preaching phenomena that can only attract others, even the most stalwart meat eaters.So they can see for themselves that exploitation,bad habits and sinful life can be a thing of the past for themselves and their children and thats how and why Cow protection is the most powerful preaching tool we can practically show the world.For them seeing is believing and then how many of Srila Prabhupadas Books will get distributed.
Cow protection is the beginning of the end of so many problems within Iskcon and without Iskcon.It is the secret weapon that we have to unleash upon the world.Veganism is a total waste of time and teaches nothing,we all know where animal slaughter takes us and the recent problems with our economy shows how fragile it can be.Do we have a choice but to establish proper Cow protection and start fulfilling the other 50% of Srila Prabhupadas mission???Isnt this the only way forward for us and wont this also unite the feuding Vaisnavas?Arent we all really on the same side,prabhus ????????
Srila Prabhupada ki jai.