Goshala : A Valuable Shelter
‘Go’ (pronounced ‘gau’) means cow, and ‘shala’ means shelter. Until recent times every village in India had a goshala. Even today every villager who can afford it, keeps at least one cow. Some have related the high suicide rates among Indian farmers to the fact that cows are no longer kept by them. Protection of Cows is the single-most important principle towards saving the whole world from both moral and spiritual degradation. Simply by protection of Cows all the wonderful benefits of religiosity and piety will be automatically achieved without any separate endeavor. This is because Cows are as beloved to the Supreme Personality of God.
Our Responsibility: Human society must, therefore, maintain these two animals carefully. But, unfortunately, both are being slaughtered in large numbers, in India itself it is 60,000 per day and in U.S. on weekends it is 1,59,500 according to recent statistics. These greatly sinful acts are responsible for so many troubles in present society. To kill cows means to end human civilization. People do not know what harm they are doing in the name of economic development. They do not realize that only by seeing that bulls and cows are happy in all respects, human society can be happy. This is a FACT by the LAWS OF NATURE.
Once when the great King, Maharaj Parikshit was traveling, he saw a cruel man hurting the legs of a cow and a bull. The King at once caught hold of him to punish him suitably, since in Vedic culture it was soncidered a great offence to kill or even hurt a cow or bull. As the ideal head of the state, King Parikshit was aware of the importance of protecting cows.
Preservation and propagation: A bull’s and cow’s family history is first studied before mating begins to ensure good pedigree. Near delivery time pregnancies are closely monitored.
Feeding: Cows are fed thrice a day. Fixed meals of fresh and dry fodder, gram husk, and mineral supplements are served to them in their sheds. They are let out mid-morning for grazing.
Milking: Cows are milked twice a day: at dawn and dusk. This is also the time when the young get a drink from their mothers. Milk is distributed in the ashram.
Electricity(Go Green): Production of biogas (methane) from cow dung for meeting energy needs.
Guided tours for visitors: Visitors are provided information regarding the different breeds of Indian cows and their material and spiritual benefit to society. Visitors with extra time may offer a helping hand by grooming cows and cleaning sheds.
Seva or selfless service: Jaina dharma believe the Indian cow, houses the entire panorama of gods and goddesses. Cow seva (caring for the cows) is considered one of the highest forms of seva. Brushing cows is one of the seva activities open to visitors.
Go daan (Donate a Cow): This is considered the highest form of daan in the Indian tradition. Money and cheque contributions are accepted. For further details email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other activities in Art of Living Goshala: Bathing cows, cleaning sheds and open enclosures, inspecting cows for injuries and ailments, and attending to the medical needs of the cows.