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Comments Posted By Madhavagosh

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Why Cow Protection does not work in Iskcon

It is true, cow protection isn’t integrated into most ISKCON members lives. Cow protection programs are seen as some Williamsburgesque tourist attraction rather than the fundamental base of varna-ashram.

Milk isn’t seen as an opulence, it is viewed as a commodity and an entitlement so the cheap price of industrial milk trumps what the true cost of protecting cows really is. The devotees consume milk and milk products but aren’t willing to pay the full cost not only of the milk production but the lifetime care of a the cow and its calf.

“Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture, the aim of life cannot be fulfilled.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 8.24.5

» Posted By Madhavagosh On Oct 7, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

Krishna’s Cows

Here is a good article on this subject by Sivarama Swami.

Some excerpts:

Krsi goraksya vanijya. Krsi means ploughing or agriculture and goraksya, cow protection. These are the staples of society, this is what people live on. All living entities subsist on grains. So the ksatriyas may direct and instruct people, the brahmanas may perform their yajnas, but if they don’t eat then giving shelter or instruction is not going to work.

That eating is therefore the most essential aspect of life …

Srila Prabhupada said that this very common type of exchange was there but the responsibility of this goraksya, is it the duty of just some people? Some very very exclusive people? Is it the responsibility of all vaisyas, or is it for all grhastas or all devotees?

My proposition is that it is everyone’s responsibility. Just like everyone’s responsibility is chanting Hare Krishna, watering Tulasi devi, reading Bhagavatam. Similarly part of our common dharma is to protect cows…

Srila Prabhupada established cow protection for instance in New Vrindavan, Gita Nagari, or as we have done here in Hungary at New Vraja-dhama. These herds are not the sole responsibility or duty of the local devotees in those places, they are the responsibility of the devotees and congregation of the local country. It is their responsibility to contribute to the cow protection, to donate towards the maintenance of the cow, to come and do some cow seva…

Cow protection is everyone’s business, it is everyone’s responsibility. This is being written down as varnasrama dharma. If one does not contribute or participate directly in cow protection then he should know that he is neglecting his dharma, he is neglecting his dharma. In other words he is adharmic…

And that is what is going on the spiritual world. That is what is going on where we are going–at least where I want to go is where there is only gopas and gopis. The whole social identity is based on go, on cows. There are milkmaids and there are cowherd men. And if we are not willing to be milkmaids and cowherd men here in the material world, if this service is beyond us and we cannot forsee how we are going to dedicate our lives to working with the cows, then were are we going? Then you had better look for somewhere other than Braja. Then you had better go to Dwaraka or Vaikuntha, where that is not a compulsory, integral part of life…

» Posted By Madhavagosh On Jul 21, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

Please Google the concept of :”carbon offsets” where if one is generating carbon from one’s lifestyle, then by contributing to projects that mitigate carbon, one offsets. I.e. if one is using electricity generated from coal, which is very destructive in its extraction, burns dirty, and leaves massive piles of “gob” waste, and 60% of the electricity in the American electrical grid is from coal, then one way to offset it available in some areas of the country is to pay a little extra on your electrical bill and that money is used to capitalize wind mills to generate clean energy. That clean energy offsets your carbon footprint.

Now let us apply the principle to cow protection. The harsh reality is that cow protected milk is not readily available and may not be for the foreseeable future for the large majority of devotees. So buy the best possible milk available in the market, but offset the fact that the cow will be slaughtered by contributing to cow protection programs.

Then a cow is protected, and milk can be drawn, even if the cow that is protected isn’t the literal cow that gave the milk.

This program is immediately accessible to anyone, it requires no program to be established, it requires no approval from any authority, and it puts the responsibility for protecting cows on the individual. No using “the leadership” as an excuse for inaction.

The problem with ajnata-sukrti, the concept that the cow benefits unknowingly, isn’t that it isn’t good for the producing cow, but that it can breed complacency in the devotees. So yes, let the poor cow benefit, but don’t stop there, also contribute to protecting cows.

Hopefully we will see in the future the establishment of endowment funds for cows so more and more protected milk can be produced, but lacking that in the present, all devotees can still protect cows immediately.

“Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture, the aim of life cannot be fulfilled.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 8.24.5

» Posted By Madhavagosh On Jul 21, 2010 @ 11:56 am

This is something that was sent to me at one time, unfortunately I neglected to keep the author’s name. While it is English as second language and the tone is a bit offputting, perhaps, I agree with the underlying principle.

“What is the point of making the same excuse every time? “I know but you see…” This factory slaughtered cow milk for Krsna is valid only if we make an equal effort in the direction of getting milk from protected cows or else it is a farce and cheating.

“Every time every day you say “For Krsna, milk cow is killed, what can I do?” What can I do? — simple — Save a cow.

“No, I want to enjoy all milk fat (for Krsna).” Simple solution – spend half on milk that you do daily and an equal amount on cow protection. It is very logical that if we go on giving this excuse “for Krsna” we are going to be bound by karma and we see even vegetarians have heart etc problems.

“I am sure if every individual doesn’t take effort for cow protection then this milk “for Krsna” excuse is farce. Sri Krsna is not going to like it.”

» Posted By Madhavagosh On Jul 14, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

Why not store bought milk

Less expensive land is less expensive because it has poorer quality soils or is a greater distance from markets.

While buying milk from stores is not ideal, we have advocated that those who have no choice can offset it by donating to cow protection programs. If someone is buying cheap milk from the store that is subsidized to be cheap by the income from the slaughter of the cow when “nonproductive” and the excess calves, and makes no attempt to support cow protection, that is unacceptable. IMHO. Cow protection first, then take milk:

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gita, advises go-raksya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one’s life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectarean milk from their milk bags.”

SB 8.6.12

Protecting cows needs to be subsidized. Varna ashram is about a team mentality, not individual effort. For farm communities to be successful there will have to be relationships between them and the city devotees.

We seen over and over again that by the time individual devotees can afford to buy land and get out on it, they are no longer young and have family responsibilities so the great difficulty of earning a living from the land is too much.

Another problem I have had is growing vegetables for temple devotees and then they want to pay me wholesale prices, so I am having to compete with crops grown with chemical fertilizers, grown with illegal immigrant labor and shipped in from everyplace in the world that can squeeze the price a little lower.

“Prabhupada: Yes. Anyway, just inquire. These are our garden flowers.
Jayatirtha: Oh, very nice.
Prabhupada: This is also?
Bhagavan: Yes.
Prabhupada: Yes. Anything grown in the garden, that is hundred times
valuable than it is purchased from the market.”

Room Conversation With French Commander — August 3,
1976, New Mayapur (French farm)

So consumer devotees should be willing to pay producing devotees a bit of a premium.

» Posted By Madhavagosh On Jun 21, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

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