Chakra Living

Mother Cow Under Attack

by Taradevi dasi

Posted April 24, 2004

When I showed Mommy the photos of the Mother Cow website on the internet (http://www.mothercow.org) we were both so impressed and happy to see that in India, where the cows roam the streets and can be seen eating from the rubbish pits on almost every corner, especially here in Kolkata, that at least someone in India was making an attempt to give us a better example and take care of the cows and bulls to the very best of their ability. We thought that this was a very noble project and although we are personally unable to help the Mother Cow project financially or otherwise we felt that we are with them in spirit.

Today I read an article "What's Wrong With This Picture" by Hare Krsna dasi and I wondered why she is attacking Mother Cow? Was it because Mother Cow is not yet perfect according to all that one can do to protect cows and bulls or was it because Mother Cow is not an ISKCON cow protection program and despite Mother Cow's limited resources has come from nowhere to show all of us an inspiring example? Or at least attempts to do so.

Mummy and I have been to Mayapur many times and we have seen all the goshalas (both Gaudiya Math and ISKCON) and although all of them are protecting cows and some of them protecting bulls also, The fact is that none of them are even near perfect, especially when it comes to cleanliness and being mosquito proof (a unique feature of the Mother Cow project).

We do not think that it is fair to say that the Mother Cow project is better than others but we do think that it is fair to say that the people at Mother Cow are doing their best. They are certainly taking the right step towards setting a better example to the public of what it means for Vaishnavas to protect cows.

We have corresponded with Nanda Kishore das at Mother Cow and asked him what his program was for bulls and ox. He replied that it was a developing program and that at present they had two bulls, one that they planned to keep as a bull and the other as an ox.

We asked Nanda Kishore das what he did with the bulls that were born at the goshala over the past few years and he explained that it was dangerous to give or sell them to the village people because they could not be trusted even if they promised to protect the animals. Nanda Kishore das said that when the ox are old or if the villager falls on hard times that they will sell the animal and that means slaughter sooner or later.

Nanda Kishore das said that his goshala had an arrangement with a much larger goshala in Mysore which is financed by the Jain community and that when a bull is born in his goshala that after six months or one year that the bull is transferred to the Jain goshala where it is guaranteed that the bull will be protected for life.

Nanda Kishore das said, "When we can afford to purchase more land and expand our facilities that at that time we will be able to keep all of Krishna's bulls that are born in the goshala."

We asked a few other questions about the Mother Cow project and we were very satisfied with the answers that we received. We felt that Nanda Kishore das had a very practical solution to the bull problem that many goshalas face and that he was in fact engaging the Jain community in protecting Krishna's bulls.

Hare Krsna dasi has requested the devotees to read the GBC resolutions on cow protection and then write articles finding fault with the Mother Cow goshala. What is the use of such an agenda that simply attacks the service of another Vaishnava? If you think Mother Cow isn't perfect then why not write Nanda Kishore das or Kanva das and suggest how Mother Cow could be improved.

What seems to be at the root of Hare Krsna dasi's complaint with Mother Cow is that Kanva das has slighted the way that ISKCON treats its devotees as not even being up to the standard of cow treatment at the Mother Cow goshala. That is a separate issue and certainly one that I know nothing about, but as for the Mother Cow project I think that Kanva das got it right, its first class and Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada would be very satisfied with it.

Mother Cow has not attacked anyone, but as always in Kali Yuga Mother Cow is under attack.

Taradevi Dasi
(tarachoudry@yahoo.com)