(Translated by Cheslav prabhu)
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Date: 08 January 2018
*It is by far easier to remember Krishna’s pastimes in the village surrounded by cows than in a city. *
*Yamuna Prana Das: * Dear Guru Maharaja! It is a pleasure to again talk to you about cows. In my opinion, only special and advanced souls in ISKCON realize the value and importance of cow protection. What is your message for the devotees?
*HH Bhakti Swarupa Caitanya Swami*: This topic is immense and we can talk about it for hours. and for the duration of one’s life. About how village life and nature in the country is truly beautiful. It is by far easier to remember Krishna’s pastimes in the village surrounded by cows somewhere on pastures or in a forest than in a city with asphalt and concrete and when you read about Krishna’s Lilas and if you have never been to the countryside, in the village. Or never been born there or personally have never seen cows in real life. (In one European schoolchild were asked to depict a cow, and they pictured them in violet because they have seen cows in chocolate commercials. Swiss chocolate bar).
So if only in this way. If you have a relationship with nature through some window or a computer monitor, then how can you connect Krishna’s pastimes with reality? But older generations who used to till the land, who used to grow food, for them this natural life in the countryside – it is part of their existence and their experience. I consider myself lucky because of all my summer holidays when I was a schoolboy I used to spend with my grandma in a village. I remember taking the cow to grazing. We simply bathed in the milk. There were plenty of milk products. And now when I visit the holy name monastery and when brahmacari give me plenty of fresh milk to drink, I immediately recollect those moments from my childhood. It is so sweet and so natural.
*Yamuna Prana Das*: unfortunately most children have no such opportunity. Many devotees are inspired by the Krishna consciousness philosophy but without understanding that Krishna is always with his cows. Even now when children are coming to our goshala, they have never seen real cows before… How can city devotees be involved in this? ….
*HH Bhakti Swarupa Caitanya Swami*: I know that practically all devotees around the world start such goshala projects, farming projects. From the point of view cow care and protection, supplying city temples with ahimsa products. Being householders, they have to care for the people around so that they are peaceful, not hungry, satisfied, definitely, these projects are meant for householders where cow seva and cow care is in itself service to Krishna.
*Yamuna Prana Das:* now we have some devotees who are already inspired to get involved especially in connection with Sivarama Swami Maharaja visiting Kiev and they say that we want to get ahimsa milk.do you think it is a new level in devotees’ awareness? A new phase in taking responsibility and practical application of Krishna consciousness ?, not just chanting and reading books.. But in practice trying to introduce this lifestyle because Krishna is always with cows and why we must see cows only in books or on TV? Cows must enter our lives. We must drink fresh/ new milk. Milk is said to be called liquid religion.
*HH Bhakti Swarupa Caitanya Swami*: yes, Shrila Prabhupada says that he who does not drink milk; he cannot develop subtle brain tissue. . Then it is practically not possible for one to understand deep philosophical topics or spiritual subjects. That is why devotees all over the world are gradually performing peaceful global revolution. And we are witnessing how vegetarianism is becoming more and more popular and certain sattvic initiatives globally are becoming more welcome by the general public. Naturally, it is Shrila Prabhupada’s books, it is all this culture that is promoted by the varnasrama dharma. Children must get a proper education through brahmacari life in the vaisnava tradition. Then they live a grihastha life in the vaisnava tradition and when they reach their old age, they must share their experience and inspire the youth. From generation to generation. Then the whole society will eventually revert to the spirituality.
*Yamuna Prana Das:* I have talked with some devotees who are serious about cow service and they have delivered to certain ideas with which I have agreed that it is not that we are protecting the cows but rather the cows are protecting us..what can we do without milk, without dung that sustains us. and the cow is said to be in sattva guna and by coming in touch with the cow we can properly progressing. How can you comment on this?
*HH Bhakti Swarupa Caitanya Swami*: cows and brahmanical culture are most compatible phenomena so that if one has seen the cow or has been near to the cow or has been residing with the devotees who care about cows can immediately feel different gunas. The sattva guna is prevailing because cows are the embodiment of peacefulness and goodness, mother’s love. Yes. Just being near to the cow inspires one to think of divinity, devotional service, chanting the holy name naturally. On the other hand in the city we can see how devotees are complaining about having difficulty chanting 16 rounds, etc. just go to the village, serve the cows, then you will see how your 16 rounds will give you pleasure and happiness.
*Yamuna Prana Das: * recently Bhakti Raghava Swami Maharaja has told me that when the cows look at you, we have already received the good and benediction.
*HH Bhakti Swarupa Caitanya Swami*: yes, it is true.
*Yamuna Prana Das: * and you know why? It is said that Krishna is the sun and the moon. So the right eye of the cow represents the sun and the left eye represents the moon. So means that we get Krishna’s darsan by having the cow to look at us.
*HH Bhakti Swarupa Caitanya Swami*: yes, any part of the cow represents benediction from the whole world. And her eyes as well.
*Yamuna Prana Das: * thank you, guru maharaja for supporting us. In the near future, your cow will become a mother. And we are inviting you to drink new milk from your personal cow. Because every Brahmana has to have a cow. We will be taking care of her so that you remember us and we get benedictions from you.
*HH Bhakti Swarupa Caitanya Swami*: I am praying for such projects to develop and for this culture to spread more and more. I heard that in Hungary on the farm project by Sivarama swami Maharaja cows are giving milk for many years without their having calves. They feel love and give milk out of love and they are serving the Deities in this way. And serving the devotees. I was there attending the ceremony of opening a new goshala like a real hotel! So I am wishing you to continue developing and inspiring devotees so that in many places there were farms with devotees where they could help city temples to render service having ahimsa milk.
*Yamuna Prana Das: * Hare Krishna! Thank you very much!
*HH Bhakti Swarupa Caitanya Swami*: Hare Krishna!