Gho Matha Samrakshanam
                  Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara
                         Bava Sankara Desikame Saranam!

     Protect Gho Matha, the world will be much more peaceful...

        Gho Samrakshanam
           (Save Cows)
Protect Gho Maatha, the entire universe will be much more peaceful...

Save Cow

Pujya Sri HH Kanchi Maha Periyava's message on Gho Matha Samrakshanam (Significance of Cow Protection) from Deivathin Kural Volume 7 & 3 (Voice of Divine) has been listed below:

                                                                                 1. The Cow as Mother

The cow belongs to the species which cannot speak. Yet, it cries out from the depth of its being ‘Amma’. The cow that cries out ‘Amma’ is for us like the mother. What is the outstanding quality of the mother? She gives us milk. When we were children, our mother gave us milk and protected us. The cow also gave us milk even at that stage and protected us. Mother giving the milk ended with our childhood. But even after we have become old, the cow continues to give us milk and all the other sathvik products that comes from it namely, curd, buttermilk, ghee. Even in our advanced age, when we can take only little of all other food, the cow’s milk serves as the life giving food. If our mother gives milk only for a short period of our life, the cow gives milk throughout our life. That is why we associate the cow with the greatest of relationships namely mother, and we call it ‘Gho Matha’.

Everyone knows that the word ‘Gho’ (Sanskrit) means the cow. The word ‘cow’ is also 
derived from ‘Gho’. From time immemorial, the cow has been considered mother and great love has been shown to her. Even if we look at a cow which is a picture of love and peace we will get the feeling of seeing our mother. The mother who gives birth to the child is called ‘Janaka Matha’. Gho Matha is among other mothers like ‘Bhu Matha’ and ‘Sri Matha’.

2. Gho Matha and Bhu Matha

Just as the real mother and Gho Matha give milk, the earth produces grains, metals, etc. and more than anything else, gives water. That is why the earth is called Bhu Matha. Our ancestors perceived motherhood in cow and the earth which appears inert and called them Gho Matha and Bhu Matha. It also happened that Bhu Matha herself took the form of Gho Matha.

It was the time when Dwapara Yuga was about to end and just before Kali was to begin. When the cruelties inflicted by asuras became too much, Bhu Matha could not bear it. At such a time, Bhu Matha along with Brahma went to Maha Vishnu and prayed to Him and as a result Maha Vishnu took avathar as Krishna. The puranas say that Bhu Matha took the form of Gho Matha and went to Vishnu because she thought it would be possible to move the heart of Maha Vishnu and make him come down for protection only if she went to him not as his wife, Bhu Matha, but in the form of Gho Matha who enjoyed greater love and sympathy. In accordance with that the Lord came as ‘Gopala’ and moved closely with cows.

‘Gho’ also means the earth. Krishna was a ‘Purna Avatharam’. Bhagawan has also taken avathars by showing only one of his aspects. According to Bhagavatham, Bhagawan had twenty four avathars.

Of these, other than the ten avathars (Dasavatharam) which all of us know, the remaining fourteen are avathars of one or the other of the aspects (amsa). One such ‘amsa avathar’ was Brudhu Chakravarthi. He was the one who had organized the state, towns etc. In Bhagavatham, it is said that he saw Bhu Matha in the form of Gho Matha and made everyone receive from her the wealth that each wanted making use of his Swadharma as the calf.

I have said this to show what great love Bhagawan had for the form of cow. Similarly, the cows
also had great love for Bhagawan. When Bhagawan as Venugopala was keeping his left foot in the vertical position, a cow would be licking the lotus like bottom of that foot. This could be seen in paintings.

                                                                            3. Sri Matha and Gho Matha

Just as there are Gho Matha, Bhu Matha, and Janaka Matha there is also Sri Matha who is a mother. The Parasakthi who is the very life of all the other three mothers as well as all the sentient and insentient things in the world is Srimatha. It is by the milk of grace that flows from her that the Janaka Matha and Gho Matha are able to give milk. It is by that grace too that Bhu Matha gives the wealth of water and grains.

In Lalitha Sahasranamam, Gho Matha has been mentioned as a name for Sri Matha. The very first name in Sahasranamam is Sri Matha. In the ‘Namavali’ (the row of names), the names Gurumurthih and Gunanidhih occur. In the Sthala purana of Therazhundur (Thanjavur district, Tamilnadu), it is said that Ambal, the Sri Matha had actually come there as Gho Matha. There is also a story which combines in it five or six Sthala puranas according to which Ambal’s brother Maha Vishnu later came there as Gopalakrishna, protected her when she was in the form of a cow and gave her in marriage to Parameswara, the Pasupathi.

                                                                                   4. Glory of the Cow

The cow which gives the most nutritious milk and other things gives greater benefits in spiritual terms (in Vaidhikam). Divinity, spirituality etc are all Vaidhikam – what has come to us from the Vedas. What can be perceived by the senses and proved scientifically is earthly, secular (lowkikam). But that which is not so but does good to the soul is Vaidhikam. The glory of the cow is seen in both.

                                                5. Cow’s milk: Wholesome food, improves Sathva Guna

In practical terms, it is only cow’s milk which is a wholesome food. Usually, such a nutritious food will not be easily digested. But cow’s milk can be easily digested even by a small child and also by old people. It is also a food for the sick and the very weak.

Looking at it in terms of Vaidhikam, cow’s milk has the quality to improve sathva guna. This need not be accepted merely on the basis of faith. This will be clear if we look at sadhus who take only milk for their food and or so sathvik in nature.

Before the name Gho Matha for Ambal, the name Gurumurthih and Gunanidhih occur. The power of food is among those which helps a person to evolve into a Gurumurthih, Gunanidhih. Milk is such a pure food.

There is something funny in this. Usually, the food that we get from the animal kingdom will
affect sathva guna and increase rajasa and thamasa gunas. Sathvam – sathvikam means the mind being clear and being peaceful and at the same time remaining alert and not feeling tired or sleepy. Rajasa or rajasam is being affected by desire, anger etc and being in an agitated state. Thamasam means having no enthusiasm for anything, feeling exhausted and sleepy and dull. In such a dull stage, noble attitude will not develop but desire and anger will keep coming up. Sathva alone is pure. Cow’s milk though coming from an animal and is almost like its blood should normally affect the development of sathva guna and it also looks like being opposed to ahimsa food. But our sasthras have allowed cow’s milk as food for the sanyasi whose greatest dharma is ahimsa and who must have sathvik guna till the mind and guna are destroyed. If the cow has something which creates such purity, should it not be greatly divine?

                                                                                         6. Universal love

The food of a sanyasi has two aspects. One is that it should improve sathvik quality and the other is that it should have been obtained without causing any harm to any other being. Cow’s milk satisfies both these requirements. In God’s creation, it has been created as the dwelling place of universal love. That is why among the mammals, it is only the cow, which produces more milk than what is needed for its calf and gives the excess to us. If a calf sucks the entire milk that the cow has, it will upset it health. What is clear from this is that it is the intention of the Lord that although the cow gives out milk only when its calf is near, it should also be mother to human beings and gives them milk. It is that love of a mother which has given the cow the high status not given to any other animal. The status is so high as to be considered divine.

The Cow is God. Although she is an animal, she is Gho Matha who gives milk like a mother and is the form of Sri Matha. As Kamadenu, she is the divine mother who gives all that is desired. Kamadenu manifested from the Ocean of Milk (Kshirabdhi). It was Sri Matha who came as Gomatha. This is how Muka prays to Kamakshi in his Panchasathi – ‘May you be our Kamadenu’.

"Kamadhuga Bhava Kamale Kamakale Kamakoti Kamakshi" (Mooka Pancha Sathee, Aarya Sadhakam, Slokam 49)

காமதுகா பவ கமலே காமகலே காமலகாடி காமாக்ஷி( ‘மூக பஞ்சசதீ’, ஆர்யா
சதகம், ச்லோ.49)

                                                                       7. Even the Cow’s Dung Is Pure

What appears to be opposite come together in the cow? I have said that its milk which is like its blood instead of spoiling the mind purifies it. What gives energy to the body also gives purity to the mind. More than all these, its dung which is actually its excreta also purifies. It purifies both the body and the mind. Usually, any excreta is dirty, foul smelling and capable of spreading disease. But the cow’s excreta is capable of removing all other dirt and killing disease causing bacteria. It has no foul smell. In fact, it has a kind of healthy smell.

There are several proofs to show how holy the cow dung is considered. There are Sadhus who
strictly follow the rule that the sanyasi should not have any connection with fire. They will not take any food that is cooked on fire. But a section of sanyasis follow the custom of taking food cooked entirely by using cow dung cakes. It is because of the cow’s divinity, its dung too enjoys such greatness.

                                                                             8. The Example of Bhopal

Those considered educated used to say that it is only people who believe in sasthras are, out of blind faith, thinking that the cow dung purifies. But now the purifying quality of cow dung has been accepted scientifically. The scientists of atheistic Russia have conducted experiments and found out that the smoke emitted by the burning cow dung cake acts as a disinfectant and anti-pollutant.

Recently we saw something wonderful reported in the papers. (This was said in 1984). In the catastrophic gas leakage accident that occurred in Bhopal, people in the entire town were affected in various ways and many people died. The news report says that in a particular home which was full of smoke generated by the performance of Agnihothram, no harm was caused.

But in this, it will not be correct to give the entire credit to the cow dung only. Although the dung is a good anti-pollutant which can counter poison, greater importance here is only to the Agnihothram performed with manthras and using the cow dung cake. More than the power of the dung, it is the manthra which must have nullified the effect of the poisonous gas. But when a manthra is not recited as a japa, but is connected with the performance of yajna, the materials used in the yajna according to sasthras add to the power of the manthras and give full benefit. Looked at this way, it would mean that the cow dung also had a share in countering the effect of the poisonous gas.

The power of purification which the dung has when used in yajnas also protects the manthras and increases their potency. It is laid down that only the cow dung is to be used as a purifying agent in yajnas and not any other material.

                                                                                      9. Panchagavyam

What is more important about the cow dung is that more than being an external purifying agent, it acts as an internal purifying agent in the Vaidhic way. Sasthras have laid down that the cow dung is to be added to the panchagavyam which is to be taken for internal purification.

What is Panchagavyam? Gavyam’ is what is connected with the cow (go). Three of these are milk and milk products namely, curd and ghee. The remaining two – it is here the opposites come – are the cow’s urine and its dung. These fived mixed together make the panchagavyam. ‘Kshiram, dadhi, thatha sajyam, muthram, gomayam evacha’, it is said. When punyahavachanam is performed to remove the ritual impurity caused by any reason, panchagavyam is given and it should be taken in. The use of panchagavyam is not merely to remove the external ritual impurity, but to remove the internal impurity and previous sins. This is not a simple matter. The sinful acts are the cause of our birth and suffering. If these are destroyed, is it not a big thing? If the cow gives the five things required for this, it there anyone more helpful than the cow. Sasthras say that when taking the panchagavyam, one has to say, ‘just as fire reduces wood to ashes, may this panchagavyam which I take reduce to ashes the sins that have spread from the skin to the bones’.

"Yath thvak asthi gatham papam dhehe thishtathi mamake
Prasanam panchagavyasya dhahathvagnirivendhan"

‘Indhanam’ means fire
wood. The meaning of ‘dhahadh agnih eva indhanam’ is ‘just as fire burns out the wood, let this panchagavyam burn the sins’. Four great qualities of milk, curd, buttermilk, butter and ghee are: they are tasty, nutritious, not only serve as food but act as medicine and are useful for Vaidhic purposes and remove the sins and save the athma.

                                                    10. In medical treatment and musical instruments

Just as in Punyahavachanam, it is said that Panchagavyam cures diseases from the skin to the bone. In Vaidya Sasthra also, it has been so stated and we see that as a medicine, it has a goof effect. It is to be noted that the allopathic system also supports what is said in Ayurvedha, namely, the milk helps in curing the skin disease of leprosy and that it contains calcium which strengthens the bone. In the Ayurvedhic system, many medicines are to be taken along with milk. Curd, buttermilk, butter and ghee also have curative properties.The cow is useful even in music also. Leather instruments like mrudangam, drums, etc. are made of leather.

                                                      11. Cruelty to the cow is like killing the mother

What is said above namely the use of leather in musical instruments means leather taken from cows which die a natural death. Killing of cows (go hathi) is a great sin not to be thought of even in dreams. Not killing but even small cruelty caused to a cow is sin. We have seen that ‘go’ is mother. Therefore, killing of the cow is like killing the mother, a sin for which there is no remedy (prayaschiththam). I started speaking about the cow only to highlight this point.

If we enjoy the milk from the cow as long as it gives milk and then send it away for slaughter once it stops yielding milk, it is like killing the mother who has become old and cannot do any work. The meat of a cow is the same as the meat of a mother.

Since music is divine, it is necessary to play musical instruments in temples. But, for that purpose, if a cow is to be killed, the Lord will never forgive such acts. It is only the skin of a cow which dies a natural death that can be used for making musical instruments.

It is the same in respect of ‘gorochan’ which is in the cow’s stomach. It is true that it is offered as incense during pooja. It is also used in medicine. But the cow should not be harmed just for getting the gorochan. The skin or gorochan should be taken only from a cow that dies a natural death.   

                                                                 12. The Cow’s horn is something Special

Since the cow is holy, even the Gho Rochana that is taken from inside its body becomes fit for being offered to the Lord in pooja. Many people know that in the sannidhi where Nataraja dances, Nandikeswara plays the mrudangam. But there is something more special than that. Abhishekam (holy bath) being performed to Eshwara through the horn of a cow has been said to be something special. It is said to be great punya if milk abhishekam is performed to Sivalinga through the hole of a Gho Sringam (horn) for the duration of reciting Rudram – Chamakam once. Is it not appropriate that abhishekam is performed through Gho Sringam to one who is seated on the bull?

If the cow gives milk, it is the bull that is useful in ploughing and raising crops. Thus it is the cattle that render great help to the humans. We have to show gratitude and devotion to them in a big way. We have to think that even a little harm caused to them is an offence committed against God.

Apart from abhishekam done through the horn, all the five materials used in Panchagavyam are
used for the abhishekam of the Lord.

                                                                         13. Abhishekam with Ghee

We know only the abhishekam done with milk. We have not heard much about abhishekam with ghee. In Trichur (Kerala), the abhishekham is done with ghee only. The Lingam there will be covered with ghee like snow in the Himalayas. It does not become bad even after a long gap of time. Not only that, the older it is, the more it is useful for medicinal purposes. The Vaids in Kerala administer as medicine the old ghee itself as ‘Purathana krutham’.

Apart from milk, curd and ghee, doing abhishekam with the cow’s urine or dung is not in practice. But it is considered special to do abhishekam with Panchagavyam.

                                                                                           14. Vibhuthi

Parameswara who is fond of abhishekam is also fond of vibhuthi. What the Lord wears is the ash of the burnt corpse. But the vibhuthi that we make, apply to him, do abhishekam also and we wear – where from does it come? It is by burning balls of the cow dung that it is made. There is nothing more sacred than vibhuthi. In the Basmajapalopanishad, Paramweswara himself explains in detail how vibhuthi is to be made and says that it removes all sins and gives moksha. The cow’s dung has got such pure Sakthi. Vaishnavas too wear with manthra the ash that gets generated in homas. In that, the ash of samid will be mixed with that of cow dung.

There are two ways of purification: One is to take bath and another is to apply vibhuthi over the body. We perform abhishekam to the Lord with vibhuthi. It is basically abhishekam with cow dung.

                                                              15. The Dust rising from the Cow’s hoof

Just as the cow dung is sacred, the dust rising from its hoof is also sacred. Usually, dust from the feet is considered something lowly. But we accept the same with bhakthi from divine personages. The dust from the cow’s feet is also sacred. When the cows return as a herd after grazing they raise a cloud of dust. If we stand at a place where such dust falls on our body, it is said to be a bath which is holier than a bath in holy water. Normally, we take bath to remove the dirt on our body. But here, dust itself becomes holy bath! Young Krishna had immersed himself in such dust. His body being covered all the time with dust enhanced his appearance. Acharya himself has sung: ‘Saswath Gokura Nirdhudhoththadha dhuli dhusara sowbhagyam’. (Govindashtakam). The evening time when the cows return home as a herd raising dust is considered special and is described as ‘Godhuli lagnam’.

                                                                16. No Yajna without Mother Cow

Abhishekam is part of devotional worship. Agamas and Puranas are the authority for the same. More than all that, the basic authority for our religion are the Vedhas. Without the support of the Vedhas, Agamas, and Puranas cannot have a status of being the authority.

If it is thought that Vedhas are meant only for our country, there cannot be a greater mistake. Vedhas are recited only in our country and only if Vedha karmas are performed here in Bharath (which is karmabhumi), they are fruitful. But the fruit is not only for this country. We do Vaidhika karmas here keeping in mind the good of the entire world. Just as the blood flows from the heart to all parts of the body, the Vaidhika anushtanas we observe here bestow welfare on the whole world. In other words, the world will be there only if the Vedhas are there. The welfare of the world depends on the yajnas and other Vaidhika karmas done here. There need be no doubt about it. Yajnas give life to the whole world. Two things are very necessary for the same. One is the person who performs the yajnam (yajamanan) and the other is the cow that gives the important materials to be used in the yajna.

The important ‘ahuthi’ offered in yajna is the cow’s ghee. All the things that are offered in yajnam have the common name ‘havis’. But ‘havis’ particularly means the cow’s ghee. Even the other things are offered only after cleaning them with ghee. In agnihothram and other yajnas, cow’s milk is offered in the homam. Curd is also used in the homa. If ghee, milk and curd become homa themselves in the fire, it is the cow dung cake that keeps the fire glowing. Therefore, if there is no cow, there will be no yajna.

                                                      17. Protecting the Cow is protecting the World

Vedhas are the back bone for the welfare of the world. Yajna is the backbone of the Vedhas. The kartha who performs the yajna and the cow which yields the important materials for the yajna are the backbone of the yajna. Therefore it means that the cow is there for the welfare of the world.

That is why it is said ‘Gho Rakshanam is Bhu Rakshanam’. It is for this reason that when prayer is offered for the welfare of the world, the cow and the kartha (who performs yajna) are first mentioned separately and then prayer is said for the welfare of the world.

Gho brahmanebyo subamasthu nithyam
Lokah samasthah sukino bhavanthu"

The reason why the cow and the Brahmin have been mentioned separately when there are so many animals and there are so many jathis is that the two are most useful in yajnas which are performed for the welfare of the world. This was not said out of any feeling of partiality. These lines are from the first of the ‘Mangala slokas’ recited at the conclusion of Ramayana Parayanam. Since the sloka comes at the end of the recitation of Ramayana which is the story of Ramachandramurthi who ruled his kingdom in accordance with Vedhas, performing Asvamedha yajna etc, first it is said that the king should rule justly and then the welfare of the cow, the Brahmin and the world has been mentioned.

Swasthi prajabyah paripalayantham
Nyayyena margena mahim mahisahGho brahmanebyo subhamasthu nithyamLokah samasthah sukino bhavanthu"

Rama and Krishna are the two eyes of this country. When praying to Krishna Paramathma for the
welfare of the world, before mentioning the good of the world, the welfare of the cow and Brahmin are mentioned.

"Namo brahmanya devaya gho brahmana hithaya cha
Jagadh hithaya Krishnaya govindaya namo Namah"

h the two are the pillars of yajnas, the cow has been given the first place and then the Brahmin – ‘Gho Brahmana’.

The Brahmins are called ‘Bhudevas’, they are the devas who are not in devaloka but are in bhuloka.
Those Brahmins who have dedicated themselves to the Vedhas and are doing yajnas and other anushtanas for the welfare of the world are referred to like this, not the present day Brahmins who have given up the swadharma. The cow is mentioned before such true Brahmins who are bhudevas. It is said of someone that he not only spoiled himself but spoiled the holy temple tank. Similarly since the Brahmin has given up the swadharma of Vedha rakshanam and therefore yajnas and homas have declined, the virtuous function of the cow (of giving its ghee, dung etc) has been affected.

The cow which protects the
yajnas by giving the important materials needed for the same has the power to protect the efficacy of the manthras by its mere presence. That is why it is said that doing japa inside a cow shed yields crores of times the benefit that normally accrues. There is no place as pure as a ‘koshtam’, the cattle shed. All the holy waters are within it. In our temples there are sannidhis for different deities and there is a holy tank. But the cow is the temple in which all the deities and all the holy waters are there.

                                                                               18. Cow has Divine Powers

The cow which protects the yajnas by giving the important materials needed for the same has the power to protect the efficacy of the manthras by its mere presence. That is why it is said that doing japa inside a cow shed yields crores of times the benefit that normally accrues. There is no place as pure as a ‘koshtam’, the cattle shed

                                                                      19. All Gods are Inside a Cow

All the holy waters are within it. In our temples there are sannidhis for different deities and there is a holy tank. But the cow is the temple in which all the deities and all the holy waters are there.

                                                                       20. Gho Matha and Lakshmi

On the one side Gho Matha is called Lakshmi. On the other, she is said to be one of the abodes of Lakshmi. Lakshmi’s abodes are five: The seemantha (central parting of the hair on the head) of a sumangali, the interior of a fully blossomed lotus flower, the forehead of the elephant, the rear part of the bilva leaf and the hind part of the cow.

We have already seen that opposites come together in a cow. Similarly Lakshmi does not reside in the face of the cow, but in the rear part. While we may decorate the cow by applying sandal paste, kumkum etc on the face and putting garland around its neck, when it comes to worship we have to decorate the hind part and do archana. There is nothing lowly about the cow. Everything about it is great.

From the fact that in the dharma pitas like our Sri Madam early in the morning ‘Go Puja’ is done, the high status enjoyed by the cow can be understood. Although the elephant is much bigger than the cow, the puja for the elephant (Gajapuja) is done only after the Go Puja.

                                                                21. A bunch of grass for the Cow

Only some people can do puja to the cow treating it as divine. But there is a duty that is to be performed by everyone – giving fodder to the cow. Every day we have to give at least a handful of grass to the cow. Sasthras refer to this as ‘Gho Grasam’. ‘Grasam’ means a mouthful of food. It is from ‘Gho grasam’ that the English word ‘grass’ has been derived. In his Thirumandhiram, Thirumular has mentioned the duty of giving ‘Gho Grasam’ in between the duty of offering a leaf (bilva) to Eshwara and giving alms.

                                                                              22. Unpardonable Crime

Whether during the period the cow yields milk or when it stops yielding milk, if we do not give sufficient food to the cow, it is a great blemish on us. All of us are criminals in this respect. Our negligence here is unpardonable.

If we keep side by side our cow and the cow of other countries where it is not being given a status of divinity, we will feel ashamed. People of other countries, though they do not treat the cow as divine and though they may be eating its meat, they feed it well and keep it healthy. But we give it minimum food just to get milk from it. We cannot escape by saying that in other countries, the cows are fattened just for that meat. Whatever may be the reason so long as the cow is alive, they feed it well. 

Without taking measures to feed the cow well and protect it, there is no use of our shouting that cow slaughter should be prevented by law. Those who support cow slaughter point to the lean and emaciated cows that we keep and say that instead of keeping them like this, it is better to kill them as a relief to them. We are unable to counter this argument.

                                                              23. The Duty of the State and the People

By what is said above it should not be concluded that a legal ban on cow slaughter is now required. A law banning cow slaughter has to be passed as soon as possible but instead of the matter ending with that, there is the duty of the people.

It is to feed the cow well and provide for them sheds which are hygienic. For a long time now, many people have been pressing for a law to ban cow slaughter and have been even agitating for it. But they have not taken any specials steps to ensure what needs to be done by the people to protect the cow. In this matter, I myself have not done my duty well. It is only to point out our duty, I have said that what the other side says is not without justification.

On the whole, a law passed by the government is necessary. I want to emphasize that to the same extent, people should treat the cows well till they die a natural death.

On one hand, we are religionists who worship the cow as a deity. On the other hand, we are making available for slaughter cows which have stopped yielding milk or we starve them. This hypocrisy is a great blemish on us. Till such time we do not protect the cows well until its natural death, we are unfit to call ourselves Hindus.

                                                                            24. Easy ways to feed a Cow

It is not necessary that all of us should do some great sacrifice or make great efforts to feed the cows well and ensure that they do not starve. It is true that any amount of sacrifice or effort on our part for the sake of the cow is deserving. If some or even many people set out to do it, it is to be appreciated. But if attention is paid to a small matter by all people, several cows will get a good feed. If we make arrangements to give as feed to the cows all the vegetable waste we generate in our homes daily, a number of cows will get fed. We cut vegetables daily at home. In hotels and hostels, this is done on a large scale. Instead of throwing away the vegetable waste, it should be collected in a special covered container. There should be volunteers who will collect them from door to door.

This idea should not be dismissed thinking that nothing much will become available by this way. Considering the amount of waste that gets generated daily in every home and more particularly in hotels and hostels, each day’s collection will be very substantial. We need not be concerned with the cows that are cared for well in rich homes and in farms. Our aim is to protect those cows which starve and are in danger of being dispatched to the slaughter house.

If this task is undertaken and carried out with care, we can see for ourselves that a large number of cows can be fed. We can also be the recipients of the grace of Lord Krishna.

Like the peeled off skins of vegetables, the water that is obtained when filtering cooked rice can also be given to the cows. But in most homes, rice is being cooked in cookers. Where rice is still being cooked in the conventional manner, this service can be rendered.

Even the water with which rice is washed before being kept for cooking becomes food for the cow.
Wherever possible, a small plot can be allotted in the backyard of houses to grow greens that cows specially like.

We should think that we are offering food to Bhagawan Vasudeva and protect the cows by any of these means. Once we develop that feeling, we will not feel the strain in doing anything to help the cow.

                                                                              25. Protective Shelters

Finally, what needs to be done by all people coming together us to ensure that not a single cow goes to the slaughter house and till their natural death they are given food and are sheltered in hygienic sheds. For this purpose, shelters should be specially arranged for the cows which have stopped yielding milk. If individuals are not willing to keep them anymore and want to dispatch them to slaughter houses, they should be purchased from them and kept in such shelters.

Several owners of cows may be really poor and will be living a hard life. They cannot be expected to give them away free. But just because money has to be paid for such cows, not a single cow should be allowed to go to the slaughter house. It may be thought; “To purchase such cows from the owners will mean a lot of money. Apart from that it will be a demanding task to take care of the old cows’. But when we feel the importance of this service, money and labour do not count for much.

                                                                     26. Society in the service of the Cow

I believe that if awareness is created among our vast population about the need for this service, the requisite finance and the required volunteers will become available. It is enough if a few people get together at different places and start making efforts with perseverance. What should be noted in this is that there should not be a complete dichotomy between those who give money and those who volunteer to do physical service. The one who contributes money should also render some physical service and the one who volunteers to do physical service should also contribute some money. Only then, there will be a total involvement of all people.

Apart from this, in the society too, instead of there being two separate groups of people – those who contribute money and those who render physical service – all people will come together as one family and as children of Gho Matha.

My wish is that in addition to we Hindus coming together as a family in the service of the cow, we
have to carry this message with love to people of other religions also, involve them so that the entire society comes together as a family for doing the service. Religious affinity may take different forms for different people but since compassion to animals is common to all, all religionists in our country should come together on this basis. That is my wish.

                                                       27. Nurturing the Cow is Punya, Neglecting is Sin

To nurture the cow and protect it is Punniya which will give all benefits. To neglect it is a great sin which will invite curse and there is proof for this. There is proof for both in the life of Dilipan who was a king of the Solar dynasty. When he went to Devalokam, he returned without going round Kamadenu. For this mistake, he got a curse that he will not have progeny.

There is always a remedy for a curse. The calf of that Kamadenu, Nandini was with Vasishta, the Kulaguru of the Solar dynasty. On being told by Vasishta, Dilipan took Nandini for grazing, gave it a bath and rendered other forms of service. He did all this along with his wife Sudakshina. The curse was remedied. He got a child who was to become Raghu and the Solar dynasty itself was to take his name as Raghuvamsam.

                                                                       28. Cow Protection in Olden Times

Although there is not use talking about it now, we cannot remain without doing so. Before the advent of British rule, in every place, in every village exclusive grazing plots have been allotted for cattle to graze. But the British government which did not know the importance of the welfare of the cows distributed those plots. From that time, the cows started losing their food. Similarly, there were tanks meant exclusively for cattle. These have disappeared now. In the government’s plans of Minor Irrigation Works, such tanks should be included.

I shall gi
ve evidence to show with how much love people cared for the cattle in the olden times. For beings to get redemption, 32 different kinds of dharma (charity) are mentioned. This is also said to be 64.

One of these is to erect vertical stones against which the cattle can rub themselves to get relief
from itching sensation. In a country where even such small things are considered as great dharma, we are making the cows skinny and bony and making way for killing them. It is a great slur on us.

                                                                                    29. National Wealth

When speaking about Cow protection we should not fail to express our gratitude to the ‘Nagarathar’ (a sect of rich merchants of Tamilnadu) and people of North India who maintain pinjarapoles for cow protection. In olden days, in order to ensure that the cows had enough to eat, grazing plots were properly maintained. With urbanization, it is all buildings and offices everywhere without garden or fields.

It is only now that the government has become aware that this kind of urban development deprives people of even oxygen and is therefore taking interest in ensuring vacant plots for play grounds etc. For the people living in towns, these are said to be their lungs. Along with these ‘lungs’, space should also be provided for grazing plots.

The cow should be considered national wealth. Even after it stops yielding milk, it is wealth because it gives dung till it dies. The dung is useful as manure. Nowadays, ‘Ghobar gas’ is also being produced from dung to be used as fuel.

But cow protection is not one which has to be considered in terms of economic viability. Since the cow has also divine and Vaidhika links, it has 
to be protected as we protect our mothers. We should put a stop to the practice of considering the cow as useful only as long as it yields milk.

                                                                      30. Milk not to be wasted on Coffee

Whatever the cow yields is used yajnas and activities related to worship of god. We take the milk, curd etc and improve our health, but unfortunately what is happening us that most of the milk is being used for coffee. Milk is like amruth, but we mix it with decoction which contains poisonous caffeine. Just as cow protection is necessary, people must pay attention to the protection of the soul also and free themselves from the habit of drinking coffee.

Instead of taking several times, a part of the milk used for coffee should be given to the temples for abhishekam and a part to poor children. When there are lakhs of children who do not know the taste of milk, people drinking coffee several times in a day is a crime against society.

Instead of coffee in the morning, we can take ‘kanji’ with butter milk. It is said ‘dhagram amrutham’. Dhagram is butter milk.

From one measure of milk, we can get three or four times buttermilk and therefore it is economical too. Milk will not suit some constitutions. Gomatha gives buttermilk from milk for such people. People who should not take fatty food can take buttermilk obtained after removing the butter.

                                                                                         31. Ghee Lamp

Since the performance of yajnas has come down in numbers, there is very little scope for spending ghee on this account. But since god-related activities like puja at home, in temples, in Sri Madam etc are still taking place, we can use ghee for lighting lamps. If we ourselves make cow’s ghee and give it to temples and Sri Madam, it is great punya. The glow of ghee lamps which is white will induce internal purity also. It is especially good if it is in the sannidhis in temples.

It is the duty of devotees to ensure that ghee lamps are lighted in temples at least on Fridays.
Whatever Gho Matha gives with great compassion must be put to use. Now, either we do not take from her what she gives or use it in improper ways and we are also negligent in protecting her.

Gita says ‘Parasparam bhavayanthah’. We and the cow should protect each other mutually. The
nourishment we get from the cow is much more than what we give her during the period she gives milk. The dharma of cow protection (Gho Rakshanam) which has taken deep root in our ancient culture should reflect in our action.

                                                                    32. Law to prohibit cow slaughter

In the matter of cow protection which as to be ensured by the joint efforts of the people and the government, what the government must do is to make a law prohibiting cow slaughter. It is tireless persuasion on the part of the people that will pave the way for such a law. There should be propaganda and publicity to persuade people of all sects to support the prevention of slaughter instead of stopping it out of fear for a law. Even those who have opposite views should be spoken to with love. It is important to know that the Moghul rulers Akbar and Shajehan and in very recent times Amir of Afghanistan realized the need for cow protection and made laws for that purpose. Therefore, it is my belief that if the issue is properly put forth, people of all sects will extend to us their support. The government also cannot avoid making the law on the plea that such a law cannot be made against the views of some sections of people and the lawful protection will become available.

To protect certain things without being destroyed, it is possible only through law. That is why the
government enacts laws. Legal protection has been given even for the preservation of wild animals. Sandalwood trees are similarly protected. Similarly, certain other trees which provide food to adivasis have been protected in certain States.

Whether it is seen from the practical point of view or from the point of view of Vaidhikam, there
is justification for not killing such a noble animal as the cow. The welfare of the cow will ensure the welfare of the country. If it is protected, sins will come down on their own. If it is subjected to cruelties, there will be trouble for the whole world. Gho Samrakshanam is Parama Punniyam; Parama Dharma.

According to Sasthras, Dharma Devatha is of the form of a bull (Rishabham) with four legs namely,
thapas, purity, compassion and sathyam. In Bhagavatham (1.17) it is said ‘Gho Matha’ is in association with that bull, that mother cow yields dharma as milk and because the Kali Purusha subjected the pair to cruelty, this age of Kali (Kaliyugam) is in a state of such deterioration’.

Therefore, for remedying the Kali dosham and dharma to come up, cow protection is an important
measure. Lord Krishna should bestow His grace so that we do not suffer from the blemish of failing in that duty.

In Mahabharatham, in the ‘Anusasanika Parva’ in which Bhishma gives Upadesa of several
dharmas to Yudhishtira, he speaks about cow protection and explains its greatness. Nahusha Maharaja was once under a compulsion to purchase Syavana Maharishi for a price. He was worried about what price he could give. He thought, ‘even if I give all the three worlds, that would not equal that great rishi’. At that juncture, a rishi who was born of a cow went to him and told him that if a cow was given as price, that would be adequate. The king also accepted the suggestion and said, ‘I have not found any wealth equal to a cow’ – ‘Gobisthulyam na paschyami dhanam kinchith’. He gave a cow as the price, purchased the rishi and then made him free.

There is no great Punniya than 'Gho Dhanam' (the gift of a cow). It is the greatest remedy for sins. The gift (dhanam) has to be made after making sure that the person who receives it is capable of protecting it.

One of the slokas which Syavana Maharishi says about the cow is:

"Nivishtam gokulam yathra swasam munchathi nirbhayam
Virajayathi tham desam papam chasyapakarshathi"

The meaning of the sloka is: “That country where cows have no fear of any cruelty being inflicted on them and live peacefully in gokula, all sins will go and will shine”.

May Lord Krishna b
estow His grace so that our Bharatha Desam becomes such a country and all of us develop the attitude and ability to make it such.

                                                        Deivathin Kural Volume 3 - Gho Samrakshanam

Every Hindu should at least give a handful of grass to one Mother Cow every day. People who have gardens should grow Agathi Keerai (Spinach). A lot of people did that too. Handful of grass to gho Matha is termed as 'Gho Grasam'. Probably this is how the english word got derived. Since all the agricultural lands are becoming houses and roads we should grow spinach in our own backyard to feed cows if we have 

There is a little bit of effort for the above said. But there is a way which  can be done very simply at
home. All the vegetable waste that gets cut goes for a waste. Instead of throwing it away volunteers should go and collect this from homes to feed Gho Matha. It has been done in many places as I have been saying this repeatedly. Even now it is happening in many places.

It is not a grea
t thing putting money in Hundi mechanically. At this rate of inflation we can put some money in Hundi which need to be done as well. More than doing this mechanical act of putting money in Hundi we should consider feeding Mother Cow which will gives us a lot of satisfaction when we see her eating it. This is the important aspect of this seva. More than money the Jeeva's has to talk to each other.

When Seva people assemble
to make this connection they should ensure relationship is established with the beneficiary (Mother Cow). Isn't one Eshwara has manifested into multiple Jeevas? By showing our love to all these Jeevas we can realize Eshwara and this needs to be done as a worship which is the essence of doing seva.

It is our Duty to protect all the non yielding cows and ensure they are not sent for slaughter. This
duty is equivalent to one's duty towards their own mother. In the creation of Bhagawan Mother Cow gives all her milk after giving to the calf which is equivalent to our Mother.

Even in Islamic countries like Afganisthan Cow Slaughter was banned in olden times. In our
country Britishers purposefully instigated this hatred in the name of religion.

Irrespective of which government, irrespective of which law is passed or not, it is our divine duty to ensure that Gho Matha does not go for slaughter. If this is done Gho Matha will be in peace. We should learn a lot from Gujarati's and Marwari's on Gho Samrakshanam. Since Gopalakrishnan was born in that region they have a lot of passion for doing Gho Samrakshanam.

In olden days we established 'Pasu Madams' in villages but lost interest over a period of time. But
see the North Indians who run Ghosalas, Pinjarapoles; see how affectionately they are taking care of the cows. 

A ban on cow slaughter can be passed. But if we do not make arrangements for feeding non
yielding cows how will they even survive? Gho Matha Samrakshanam is not only a Jeeva Karunya seva but also a big Lakshmi Puja as well.

                                                       Jaya Jaya Shankara Hara Hara Shankara!


To download an e-book copy of the above chapters please click here - English, Tamizh

The 18 Point Gho Samrakshanam Action Plan has also been provided at the end of the e-book.

                                                             Sri Maha Periyava & Gho Matha

1. Compassion Towards Cows
10. Sri Periyava & Gho Dhooli Mahima