The cows are here! The cows are here!
The excitement continued all day Wednesday, 28 October 2009 after Bhagban Dev, Swami Sukhmit and the new ashram cows arrived here at SRSG after a grueling fifteen hour long journey from Rajasthan.
Sadly, the denizens of our newly built luxury Gaushala (cow shed) were not as excited to see us as we were to see them; reluctant, to say the least. It took long hours to get them to leave the truck and almost as long to convince them to walk from the truck to their new home! Eventually however it was done, and except for two rogue cows who are still at large all were properly welcomed, blessed and given prasad by our beloved Swami Veda.
The reverence with which the Ashramites welcomed the arrival of the cows was as if a reverence for “Mother.” The cow is a symbol of the divine mother, representing life and the sustenance of life. Lord Krishna is associated with cows, as two of his names reflect: “Govinda” (finder of cows) and “Gopala” (protector of cows). In Krishna’s aspect as a child, he is often depicted crawling on his hands and knees or dancing, often with butter in his hands. As a mischievous child he was called Makhan Chor (butter thief).
Of course, the cows will fulfill a very practical purpose of providing milk for Swamiji and the ashram. In India, other “products” of the cow are used extensively. Cow dung is known for its disinfectant and insect repellent qualities and is used to line the floors and walls of mud homes. It is also one of the major fuel sources for households in the villages and rural areas of India. The therapeutic use of cow urine and its use in curing diseases have been highly regarded in India since historic times.
Is it any wonder then, that many consider the arrival of the cows as filling a missing element at SRSG; one that was necessary to make our Ashram complete.