India, the Punyabhoomi is home to great saints, myths, traditions, and culture. It is abundantly rich in holy and spiritual places whose practices rem...
The Gokulam Gaushala
The cow has been a subject of discussion for a long time. It was considered to be a form of wealth. The wealth of a person was measured based on the number of cows under his care. There are several stories from the past connected with the cow. Rama's ancestor, Dilipa had been blessed with progeny due to the care that he bestowed upon a divine cow. Western scholars are nowadays confirming that the hugging of a cow reduces stress. The Indian cow or the Bharatiya cow is very special. Its waste and products are extremely beneficial. The cow gives us much more than milk. Cow-care has been part of our cultural heritage.
“I spend three hours with these cows everyday. It helps me to forget my issues and become happy. Cows are friendly beings. If there is one place on earth where equality is practiced, it is the gaushala. Everyone is equal in front of the cow. There is no young or old, rich or poor, educated or uneducated here. All that is required here is the love for the cow and the intention to serve the holy animal,” stated A. G. Venkatesh, Trustee Shri Govardhan Seva Trust , the entity which maintains the Gokulam Gaushala.
Gokulam Gaushala is the home to 105 lovely cows, calves and also a big bull. The facility has a nice shed, fans, compartments and vessels for providing food to the cows. Some equipment is in place for the purpose of processing food for the cows. There is a Gopooja everyday here. The place is kept really clean. There are six full time employees and a number of volunteers like Nagarajan and Suresh Yadav who visit the place in order to serve the cows. The caretakers are quite busy. They display a lot of contentment on their faces. Devotees often visit the anthill/snake pit nearby in order to offer prayers. Trays of dung patties welcome the visitors. Dung patties are used to cremate bodies. It helps us conserve nature. Institutions like IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) have studied the calorific value of the dung patties and have supported the view.
“The cow is the home for all the devatas. It gives us positive energy. Depression is warded away if one takes care of the cow. Gomutra (Cow's urine) and milk are used in Panchagavya. The products like gomutra cure cancer. Gomutra is anti-viral and anti-bacterial as well. Cow dung cakes can be used as fuel. We use to mop our door step areas with dung paste and this helps us stay away from germs that causes infections. It clears the clogs within the drip irrigation system. The use of cow dung and urine in the place of fertilizers and pesticides for farming helps us to get poison-free food. Gomutra has anti-radiation powers. I can go on and on while talking about the benefits. It is best realised through experience,” smiled A. G. Venkatesh while carrying a calf and playing with it.
Kings used take a census of the cows held within their territory. The ancient Indian, Saraswathi Civilisation was city-based, agrarian and pastoral, all rolled into one. The Holy Cow, Kamadhenu came out the milk ocean during Amrita Mandanam (Churning of the milk ocean by the devas and the asuras). All the divine being are ever resident in the cow. The mother gives milk for a few years but the cow gives milk all its life. Therefore, is known as the Gomatha, the Universal Mother. Inhalation of the odour of gomutra is said to increase fertility. It is also an antidote. It is said that repeated spraying of Gomutra keeps negative vibrations and spirits from the premises. The anti-radiation powers of Gomutra are well known and Jeevamritam made from it is used for gardening and farming.
It is very sacred to circumambulate the cow while it is delivering a calf. The benefit of circumambulating the world is gained if one offers prayers and does so.
Godhaana (Donating cows) is supposed to be important in the life of a Hindu. A person was supposed to donate five cows during the life time. Nandagopa, the ruler of Gokulam and father of Krishna had a million cows and he gave away 100,000 while celebrating the birth of Krishna. A bath in Gomutra was supposed help one get rid of Balarishtam. Godhaana helps the soul to cross the Vaitarani River. This river is located between the earth and the infernal Naraka, the realm of Yama, Hindu God of death. The good souls tend to see it filled with nectar like water while the sinful see it with blood and pus. Sinful souls are supposed to cross the river after their death. This river falls on the path leading to the gate of Lord Yama. The river appears in several scriptures like the ‘Garuda Purana,’ ‘Matsya Purana,’ ‘Vamana Purana’ and ‘Padma Purana.’ It is the ‘Padma Purana’ which reveals the etymology of Vaitarani in 'Vaitarani Mahatmya,' where Vai means Truly and Tarini means Saving. It is equivalent to the Styx River in Greek mythology and is associated with Vaitarani Vrata, observed on the eleventh day of the dark phase of the moon i.e., Krishna Paksha of Marghashirsha in the Hindu calendar, wherein a cow is donated after worshipping. It is supposed to help one cross the dreaded river. Descendants of the deceased do Godhaana in order to help their ancestors cross over and reach a good realm without any kind of suffering.
“We are continuously praying for the wellbeing of our people during Covid times. A number of people do Gopradakshinam of 11 cows, 11 times a day for 11 days in order to resolve issues. Please visit the Gaushala and enjoy ultimate peace. This is the most peaceful place on earth. You will feel calm and will enjoy every moment of your time with the cows. I become content because of my visits to the Gaushala for three hours everyday,” stated A. G. Venkatesh, the Gorakhshakh.
Gokulam Gaushala has only Indian breeds and the Gaushala does not sell milk. They do not ask for money and donations are voluntary. Financial targets are never fixed. They have a number of Indian breeds which include - Kangeyam, Gir, Ongole, Kankarage, Vichoor, Shahiwal, Raati, Malnad Gidda, Kasargode and Tarparkar.
Then how does Gokulam Gaushala manage?
People donate voluntarily. Donations are welcome. They send the cow for Gopoojas. These poojas are conducted during the time of house warming. Plus, people adopt a cow and give whatever they can. The Gaushala has two important costs - food and labour. This needs to be covered. The Govardhan Seva Trust is managed by a Board of Trustees and they are A. G. Sundararajan, A. S. Jayalakshmi, A. G. Venkatesh, Krishna Bhat, Shivakumar and Mukund.
Volunteers and donors are welcome to contact; A. G. Venkatesh - 94430 63136.
Donations can be sent to:
Union Bank of India, Gandhipuram, Coimbatore - 641 012
Account Number - 441402011009919
IFS Code - UBIN0544141.
The iconic natural farmer, Subash Palekar has stated that the Bharatiya Cow offers much more than milk. He has said that it is a symbol of our culture and civilisation. A. G. Venkatesh of Gokulam Gaushala states as follows, “The cow is a unifying force. Everyone is equal while serving the cow. Each one can worship the cow in their own sweet way. Goraksha helps us to ward away the evil influence of other cultures. Gosamrakshana will help us be positive and our mind will attain purity as a consequence of the same. Join us, and let us maintain our immortal tradition.”
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