Only by the combination of brahmanas and the cows, is the performance of sacrifice for the pleasure of Visnu complete.

Many wonder why the Vedic and Vaishnava cultures especially stress protection of the cow. The philosophical reason is simple: The cow is considered one of our mothers, as she gives us her milk and thus nutures our health and well being. Just as no civilized person would injure or kill their mother, the Vedas teach that to take milk from the cow and then kill her is the same as killing one’s mother. Similarly, the bull is considered like the father because the bull traditionally helps in the tilling of the fields, and thus is to be respected.

Importance of cow and her protection
The term “cows” is used herein to mean cows, calves, oxen, and bulls. Cows are domestic animals, not wild animals. They are dependent on the care of humans.

Quotes from the scriptures
In scriptures it is said, namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca jagad-dhitaya krsnaya govindaya namo namah, “My Lord, You are the well-wisher of the Cows and the brahmanas, and You are the well-wisher of the entire human society and world.”
— Vishnu Purana 1.19.65

Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the prime protector of brahminical culture and the Cow. Without knowing and respecting these pleasing personalities, one cannot realize the science of God, and without this knowledge, any welfare activities or humanitarian propaganda cannot be successful.
— Srimad Bhagavatam 4.21.38(Purport)

Krishna says in Srimad Bhagavatam, “I can be worshiped within the Cows by offerings of grass and other suitable grains and paraphernalia for the pleasure and health of the Cows, and one may worship Me within the Vaishnavas by offering loving friendship to them and honoring them in all respects.”
— Srimad Bhagavatam 11.11.43

Lord Krishna’s Example
To teach by example, the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna and Lord Balaram show us when They descend into this world, how important is to protect, love and serve Cows and Bulls. Krishna is known as Gopala (protector of the Cows) or Govinda (one who gives pleasure to the Cows). Lord Balaram represents plowing the land for agriculture and therefore always carries a plow in His hand, whereas Krishna tends Cows and therefore carries a flute in His hand. Thus the two brothers represent krisi-raksha (protecting Bulls by engaging them in farming) and go-raksha (protecting the Cows).
— Srimad Bhagavatam 10.5.20(Purport)

“Offering respect to the Cows will help the devotee to diminish the reactions to his past sinful activities”
— Skanda Purana

The importance of protecting Cows is therefore stressed by Krishna in Bhagavad-gita (krisi-go-raksha-vanijyam vaisya-karma svabhavajam
— Bhagavad Gita 18.44

Srila Prabhupada writes: The human society should recognize the importance of the cow and the bull and thus give all protection to these important animals.

From Krsna Book, Volume 1, Chapter 5
“Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture, the aim of life cannot be fulfilled.
— Srimad Bhagavatam 8.24.5(Purport)

The term “cows” is used herein to mean cows, calves, oxen, and bulls. Cows are domestic animals, not wild animals. They are dependent on the care of humans.

We take utmost care and recommend:
1. Any property (land and cows) belonging to the Deity should be protected by environmentally sound conservation practices designed with the long term fertility and preservation of the soil in mind.
2. Construction of convenient watering places like ponds and tanks and easily accessible shade is appreciated by the cows.

Protect Cows means safe guarded our Civilization
In the Vedic tradition, cows are worshipped as mothers. According to the scriptures, there are seven mothers: atma-mata (one’s own mother) guroh patni (the wife of one’s teacher) brahmani (the wife of a brahmana) raja-patnika (the wife of the king) dhenu (the cow) dhatri (the nurse) and prithvi (the Earth) are all considered mothers. Just as a child feeds on the breast milk of the mother, human society takes milk from the cow. The bull is also considered the father of human society because just as the father earns to feed the children, the bull tills the earth to produce food grains. So, to kill cows means to end the human civilization.

Pancha Gavya
In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is said:
gavah panca pavitrani: the cows deliver five products and all of them are pure and uncontaminated. The five products received from the cow are milk, ghee, yogurt, cow dung and urine. These five products, called pancha-gavya, are required in all ritualistic ceremonies performed according to the Vedic instructions.
Cow’s milk is considered the most miraculous food which helps in developing the finer tissues of the brain that helps in understanding the higher purposes of life. It helps one understand the intricacies of transcendental knowledge. Milk can be transformed into yogurt, curd, butter, ghee and by combining the milk and milk products with grains; hundreds of palatable dishes can be prepared. The ghee or clarified butter is used not only for preparing delicacies but also for the sacrificial performances. A patient who is suffering from a disorder of the bowels due to overindulgence in milk products is cured by another milk product, namely curds. Even the urine and stool of cows have medicinal value. Cow dung contains all antiseptic properties and is considered a purifying agent. Cow dung can also be dried and used as fuel. The cow urine and dung are used even for bathing the deities.

It is also significant that Vasudeva inquired about the welfare of Nanda Maharaja’s animals. The animals, and especially the cows, were protected exactly in the manner of one’s children. Vasudeva was a ksatriya, and Nanda Maharaja was a vaisya. It is the duty of the ksatriya to give protection to the citizens of mankind, and it is the duty of the vaisya to give protection to the cows. The cows are as important as the citizens. Just as the human citizens should be given all kinds of protection, so the cows also should be given full protection

The duty of every leader:
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 concidered 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.

In Sri Gopala Gaushala’s no cow, bull or calf is slaughtered. We look at innovative ways to work with the bull and engage their God-given strength in the service of others, under humane and loving conditions. Regardless of milk production, cows and bulls also produce dung and urine which is valuable as fertilizer, compost, some medicines, cleaning products and biogas fuel. In the HKM farms they are sheltered in barns (gaushala), wherein they are fed with healthy stapple and are taken care of.
We believe protecting cows is a most important component of protecting the earth. According to the ancient Vedic texts the cow is the representative of Mother Earth. And, when the cow and the bull are mistreated, Mother Earth withdraws her bounty.
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“Of all kinds of gifts, the gift of cows is applauded as the highest. Cows are the foremost of all things. Themselves sacred, they are the best of cleansers and sanctifiers. People should cherish cows for obtaining prosperity and even peace. Cows are said to represent the highest energy both in this world and the world that is above. There is nothing that is more sacred or sanctifying than cows.”

(From the Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva)

Please contribute generously towards the care taking of Lord Krishna’s cows and be blessed!

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