Tags: Ahimsa, Cow protection, ISKCON, Milk, Violence
That’s great news for this world which is plagued with cruelty and unnecessary violence on innocent animals. Hope others take a clue from this and follow the same.
Dear Guru Maharaja, PAMHO! AGTSP! Thank you for braving to introduce vegan policy in Budapest. I have been in the KC movement for almost 10 years, chanting 16 rounds for 8, that is, over 5 million Maha Mantras or 80 million Names, but hardly more than a handful of them was any better than nama aparada. Recently I have become quite bitter about the low quality of my chanting, the lack of progress, seeking the cause. I am, or rather, have been, a big consumer of milk products, an aficionado of cheeses, yoghurt etc. Ever since joining ISKCON, I have had a half-conscious malaise about milk and milk products. Just like the genteel neighbors of the country Jews in Hungary in 1944, who could sooth their conscience that their neighbors are taken away to work for the victory of the holy war on Communism, I could say that the cows my dairy is coming from have not been killed yet. Still, I was supporting a murderous business model which is anything but compatible with KC. Although you did not require your disciples to quit dairy consumption from ‘commercial’ sources, I decided to take the step. I sincerely hope that, even if my chanting will need my sincere efforts to improve, a great obstacle will be removed. Your grateful servant, Madhupati dasa
I’m glad to hear it; the dairy industry is every bit as violent as the meat industry, and the “dairy farms” are nothing but slaughterhouses….how we, as devotees, can ignorantly support that industry is beyond questionable, it’s shameful….good move, Maharaja :)
Maharaja, this is big news. If the temple is able to make this commitment, it will no doubt lead to big changes in the devotees’ relationship with cows and to a shift in consciousness. Since the ’90s, I’ve used milk and milk products from devotees’ cows to the extent I’ve been able. And using factory milk products has been a source of discomfort. Right now I’m buying milk from my Godbrother Adi Karta, and I was shocked to find that he had a surplus. That is to say, in Alachua, a community with hundreds of devotee families, he has been unable to sell all the milk he gets in a week. I hope that will change. I believe that your setting such an example will go some distance toward effecting such a change here and in other devotee communities.
Dear Guru Maharaj, please accept my humble obeisances! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! Thank you a lot for making real practical steps in that direction. I believe it is one more brave step to the standards that Srila Prabhupada wanted us to follow. I am personally do not take any milk products from the shops for at least 6 month and I do not feel any problems with it. Apart from been mixed with blood, that milk is not the milk that the scriptures speak about. After all the technological processes that was applied to it that “milk” becomes a very different product and can not give at all the same benefits for the mind and body that the original Milk gives. It is rather poisonous.
Hare Krsna. I believe this solution being proposed will solve some problems although it will obviously create logistical problems.And to this end we must all support Cow protection and milk production and Bullock energy. But as i see it the “problem” is a creation of the Iskcon footprint in establishing the Community consciousness rather than the Institutional consciousness. When Iskcon establishes projects we need to start including Cow protection alongside Deity worship on an equal parity.If we have Deities we have devotees therefore we must have Cow protection as a matter of course.What is the point in installing Deities and all the requirements thereto and Not establishing Cow protection.Surely by now in iskcon we must realise Cow protection and Deity worship go hand in hand.This is what i call Community consciousness.We have supported the Institutional consciousness for too long in iskcon to the detriment of Community consciousness which would naturally include Cow protection.Its not possible to exist in this world as Community without Cow protection as Vaisnavas.But the Institution can exist without Cow protection as we have shown. As far as the violence is concerned in farming and Food,Flowers and Vegetables and Fruit are concerned we can not avoid Violence.Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 3 Chapter 29 Text 15 explains this very clearly.Eating Vegetables is Violence,Vegans are committing Violence,we cant get away from the violent aspect of Food production and consumption.There is a whole range of products that are implicated in violence when it comes to food production,medecine and transportation.All we can hope to achieve is minimum violence or violence that is ordered by the Lord as in Arjuna’s case at the Battle of Kuruksetra. We are not striving to be Jains-non-violent at every step of our lives but engage in Devotional Service as explained by Lord Kapiladeva in this Canto3,because violence is unavoidable so we can just minimise violence so it is not extravagant violence . Cow protection is not just a violence avoidance activity but a component part of an all inclusive Community dynamic life style that we in iskcon have yet to demonstrate.Community is at the heart of our existence with our dependence on Cow protection in an economic environment.We have to demonstrate what dependence on Cow protection means in a practical way otherwise what is the point of Cow protection. your servant who loves the Cows,Dusyanta dasa.
Dear Sivarama Maharaja,
Thank you for taking this stand. ISKCON cannot honestly justify the use of commercial dairy products. The fact is: commercial milk is not the same as the “milk” that is glorified in the Vedas. Indeed, it cannot even be considered “milk” in the strictest use of the word. Milk in its purest form, flows naturally and happily from a mother. It is quite factually, “liquid love.” On the contrary, commercial milk is forcibly extracted from very unhappy and diseased cows.
In adopting this new policy, however, I would like to point out that you should not be endorsing veganism. A devotee is not a vegetarian nor a vegan, but rather a prasadarian. By definition, this means that devotees only consume the most pure food — food that has been mercifully accepted by the Lord. And as Krishna clearly states, He will only accept pure food that has been offered with love. With all the horrors that surround the commercial dairy industry, it is a tough case trying to prove that commercial dairy is in any way pure, when it comes from diseased cows filled with fear, sadness, pain, and anger, and forcibly sucked out by machines operated by men filled with selfishness and lust.
I suggest that in introducing this new policy you also clearly state that the devotees are not conforming to a vegan diet, but in fact emphatically endorsing a “Prasadarian” or “Krishna-dairian” diet. To consume commercial dairy is in direct opposition to the ideals of a peaceful society — a society based on respect for all living beings, especially our mother, the dairy cow. As long as ISKCON buys milk in the market place, the drive to establish such a peaceful and ideal society will fail to ignite.
Your example and the efforts of the Vaisnava community in Hungary are exactly what ISKCON needs.
Hare Krishna Maharaja, pamho, agtSP. This is a very positive move. For many years looking after the cows we have always felt that in general devotees miss the point of go-raksa. It does not mean simply keeping cows but it means not causing harm to cows directly or indirectly. Although we can offer so many nice foodstuffs to Krishna, often there is over indulgence leading to matricide as dairy means murder in materialistic society. I have the greatest respect for this decision. As you know we have always served cow protection, but we take mainly non-dairy milk as our cows were too old to produce. This is a very positive move. ys
Hare krsna. I would like to take this opportunity in supporting Priyavrata prabhus idea concerning veganism. We protect Cows for many different reasons,one being the anti-violence aspect of Cow protection versus the Commercially produced milk as outlined clearly by Priya vrata prabhu,which i am sure all devotees agree with. This is one aspect of Cow protection,which Ananda maya devi focused on.But this is not the main point of Cow protection,although an important by product. The main point of Cow protection is symbiotic economic Community dependency so that Cow protection is an integrated component of Devotees lifestyle.The “not causing Cows harm” aspect is already included in Cow protection.We dont have to endeavour seperately to “cause no harm to Cows”. But we do have to endeavour seriously to establish the Symbiotic relationship in Cow protection.Otherwise we just have Cow protection sanctuaries where Cows just hang out passing stool and wearing old Maha garlands.The hippy mentality to Cow protection. Cows are just as much connected/committed to Community as the Humans are but the Humans are the ones with the responsibility to make it work,the Cows already contribute as much as they can.We have to get away from Mobile Phones,Computers,Supermarkets,Petro/Chemical Industry,Capitalism etc etc and depend on Cows and Land for our subsistence,then all our problems will be solved. your servant Dusyanta dasa.Wales.
All commercially sold milk is putrid – tamas taste. Even if you boil it and boil it and add the appropriate ingredients you can’t really disguise the taste. I tasted the milk at the temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. I thought I had never tasted milk before. It was beautiful. Real sattvic taste. I saw a Nepalese boy walking next day with a cow around the temple grounds and could a normal, happy natural relationship. No emotions of the fear, neglect and abuse which would be manifest in the taste of non-devotees shop-store-purchased ‘milk’
It is really true that milk from protected cows is so much better for offering to Krishna than any commercial, even organic, milk. We really need to start taking this seriously, by starting as many cow protection centers as possible. This simple living and high thinking as inculcated by Srila Prabhupada is the real panacea for all the ills of Kali Yuga. Jaya Sivarama Swami!!!
I’m hearing about devotees living on or near farm communities where cows are being cared for, and which produce nice milk products for offering to Lord Krsna. I’m hearing these devotees voicin strong opposition to the consumption of store bought milk. This milk is poisonous, tamasic etc etc. I have one question. Who is caring for those cows which are not fortunate enough to be living on a Hare Krsna farm? is it the cows fault that their demonic owners treat them so badly? Are we simply turning our backs on them because we have decided that their milk is not fit to offer to Krsna? I see a disaster unfolding. Srila Prabhupada recommended the positive step of establishing our own farms where cows are cared for. We haven’t done so well on this point. I question whether devotees adopting veganism, as it sounds like many are doing, will only lead them further away from the Vedic path which is so heavily linked to the cow and it’s products. I am not convinced that ceasing to buy store milk is the correct approach to this complicated problem.
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! That’s great news. However, you mentioned soy products as an alternative and I would humbly like to point out the many health risks connected with the consumption of soy, such as breast cancer, growth problems in children, demineralization of the body, pancreatic disorders, thyroid cancer etc: http://www.riversidechiropractic.com/unhealthy%20soy.htm. If you google “soy unhealthy” you will find many informative articles and videos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs00XaNN2_s. Your servant, Madhavi d.d. (BCS)
Hare Krishna, This is so inspiring. It is an issue that troubles me a lot. I have not been able to understand the preaching of Krishna Conscoiusness in relation to this issue. I very much hope this is the beginning of true practice for the rest of centers around the world! My humble obeisances to you Maharaj. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.