for Dharma Forest on March 21, 2009
American Buddhist Monk Rev. Heng Sure took his morning walks to the ISKCON Mayapur Goshalla while visiting for the interfaith conference late last year.
At the ISKCON center in Mayapur they treat cows kindly. It’s true for most of India, to be sure, but the Krishna Devotees have created an Old Cows Home that really does it right. I took walks there in the mornings while in India for the URI Global Assembly. The story goes like this: in West Bengal, if a cow gets old and stops giving milk, it’s hard on the farmer’s pocketbook to keep feeding her/him/it. But in India people rarely kill cows so what to do? The Krishna center at Mayapur decided to invite the farmers to donate their old, milkless cows to the Mayapur Goshala, or “Cow Home.”
The cows came, the devotees gave each cow its own name, its own stall (with name painted overhead) and sang the names of God to the cows all day long. Guess what happened? The cows started to give milk again. So much milk that it provided for all the yoghurt, ghee, and milk needs for the entire community, with surplus to sell.
When I walked in to take a look one early morning I was surrounded at once by the positive vibrations of 220 very large mammals, with their calves, hefty creatures who had absolutely no fear of me, because humans never eat them! The cows expected me to love them and were ready to love me back. What a positive, vibrant energy surrounds the Mayapur Cows Home!
One swami said, “Watch!” Then called out, “Laxmi! Laxmi!” and a large Brahma cow, feediing in its stall raised its head up, stepped out and came trotting over to us. The cow butted the Swami with the top of its head and then stretched its neck up like a cat, to invite a neck rub and a petting session. These were the REAL contented cows, not like the Carnation ads on TV.