JAIPUR: The country’s first cow department, which was set up a year ago, works on a negligible budget. But priest-turned-politician Otaram Devasi, Rajasthan’s minister in-charge of cow affairs, wants it to be the driving force behind reviving the “cow economy”, a long-cherished dream of the RSS. The strategy: launch various products and make people realize the financial benefits that can be derived from cows.
After rolling out a cow urine disinfectant in September, the department is now planning to launch a mosquito repellent made from cow urine and incense sticks made from cow dung. It is in touch with a group of ‘gaurakshak’ (cowsavers) in Haryana who are testing the products. “This mosquito repellent is also going to be an excellent product,” said Devasi. “With one litre, they’ll make 20 packs of 50 ml each. We expect that for each litre, a cow urine supplier will earn Rs 200.”
Cow dung cakes mixed with other ingredients and made suitable for use in ‘havans’ will also be introduced in the market soon.
Devasi feels reaping economic benefits from the cow is the only way to save the animal in the country. Utilizing the full potential of cow products would put a brake on the tendency to abandon the animal on roads.
“The cow’s importance is diminishing since it loses its economic value after it fails to produce milk,” the minister said. “But imagine if cow dung and urine fetch a minimum of Rs 300 a day. Then every household in villages will prefer to keep cows.”
Though Devasi’s plans are ambitious, his department is struggling for survival. In the 2015-16 budget, chief minister Vasundhara Raje had announced just over Rs 5 crore for the department. Half of this amount is being given to 17 districts for saving bovines from slaughter.
“There are lots of ideas,” said Devasi. “We want to set up a cow sanctuary in Bikaner. Then we want to modernize all registered ‘gaushalas’ (cow shelters) in the state.Money is an issue but we’re getting full support of the CM.”
Devasi belongs to the livestock-dependent Rabaris tribe. He is a revered figure in his community. Rabaris own more than 2.5 lakh cows. Within the community, cows are given as gifts in lieu of dowry.
Devasi refused to comment specifically on the recent Dadri lynching but said slaughtering cows was inhuman. “If a Hindu kills a cow, he cannot be a Hindu,” he said. “The cow belongs to the whole country, not to one community. There’re a number of Muslims who’ve devoted their lives to the protection of the cow. They take great care of it. We’ve many such cases in Rajasthan. ‘Gaupalaks’ (cow caretakers) don’t have any religion or caste. They’re just gaupalaks.”
Vedas and Vegetarian diet:
Atharva Veda says:
1. Anago hatya vai bheema kritye. Maa no gaamashvam purusham vadheeh.(Atharva Veda 10.1.29)
Abstract meaning: It is definitely a great sin to kill innocents. Do not kill our cows, horses and people.
2. Ya aamam maansamadanti paurusheyam cha ye kravih.
Garbhaan kaadanti kshavaastaanito naashayaamasi. Atharva Veda 8.6.23
Abstract Meaning: We ought to destroy those who eat cooked as well as uncooked meat, meat involving destruction of males and females, fetuses and eggs.
3. Breehimattam yavamattamatho maashamatho tilam
Esha vamm bhaago nihito ratnadheyaaya dantau maa hinsishtam pitaram maataram cha (Atharva Veda 6.140.2)
Abstract meaning: You eat rice, barley, gram and sesame. These cereals are specifically meant for you. Do not kill those who are capable of being fathers and mothers.
4. Aghnyaa yajamaanasya pashoonpahi. Yajur Veda 1.1
Abstract Meaning: O human! Animals are Aghnya – NOT TO BE KILLED. PROTECT THE ANIMALS.
5. PASHUNSTRAAYETHAAM. Yajur Veda 6.11
Abstract Meaning: Protect the animals.
6. Dwipaadava Chatushpaatpaahi – Yajur Veda 14.8
Abstract Meaning: Protect the bipeds and quadrupeds
7. Yah paurusheyena kravishaa samankte yo ashwena pashunaa yaatudhaanah. Yo aghnyaayaabharati ksheeramagne teshaam sheershaani harasaapi vrishcha. – Rig Veda 10.87.16
Abstract Meaning: May those who feed on human, horse or animal flesh and those who destroy milk-giving Aghnya – cows be punished severely.
Source: ‘Vedic Satsang – Authentic Vedic Perspectives’, Compiled and Edited by Dr.Deen B Chandora, M.D.,Madhusudan Chandora MD, Aditya Chandora, et al, Pub. by Greater Atlanta Vedic Temple Society, Inc., Lilburn, GA, USA, Ed.2012.
The Vedas do not at all sanction animal sacrifices. The synonym for the Yajna in the Vedic lexicon called Nighantu is Adhvara. The Word has been explained by Yaskacharya, an ancient vedic etymologist, as:
Adhvara eti yajyanam dhvarati hinsa karma tatpratished Nirukta 1.7
Adhvara means where there is no violence of any kind (or the act which is perfectly non-violent). This word(Adhvara) has been used in all the four Vedas hundreds of times clearly proving that the Vedas do not sanction animal sacrifices.
In the Sam Veda-176, too it is clearly stated – We act according to the injunctions contained in the vedic hymns. We never kill animals.
Meat-eating is not sanctioned by the Vedas. On the other hand it is strongly condemned and prohibited. Rig Veda 10.87.16 says “One who eats human flesh, flesh of a horse or of any other animal and deprives others of the milk slaughtering cows, O King, if such a fiend does not desist by other means, then even cut off his head by your power.”
Who then started such obnoxious practice of animal sacrifice? In reply to a question by Yudhishtra, Bhismacharya explains in Mahabharata (Shanti Parva – 261.9) “Dhortey pravriti yajney naitadveydeshu vidyatey” i.e., Taking Wine, fish and flesh of animals, intoxicating drinks of various kinds, etc. is not sanctioned by the Vedas at all. It is the wicked people that have introduced such ignoble practices. Mahabharata further states – “It is only such absolutely foolish people, who do not know the real import and tradition of the ancient Dharma, who are atheists and who are skeptics that have mentioned slaughter of animals.”Source: “Teachings of the Vedas”: An introduction by Pt.Dharma Dev Vidya Martand, pub.by Shree Ghudmal Prahaladkumar Arya Dharmarth Nyas, Hindaun City, Raj.
In the Vedas the cows are called Aghanya which derivatively means ‘not to be killed’. This word Aghanya has been used in all the four Four Vedas repeatedly. In the book “Vedic Culture, pub.by Ved Bharati, Allahabad, Ed.1985, its author Pt.Ganga Prasad Upadhyaya says that he found the word Aghnya “At 20 places in the Rig Veda, 5 in the Yajur Veda, 2 in Sama Veda and 33 in the Atharva Veda. As per Pt.Ganga Prasad Upadhyaya while seeking blessings, almost equal regard has been paid to Ashwa, i.e., horse which has been used at numerous places in the Vedas.
Swami Vidyanand Saraswati, (formerly Principal and Fellow Punjab University) writes while quoting Atharva Veda 1.16.4 “Capital punishment has been ordered for one who kills or tortures our cows or men, deserves to be shot dead, because such a person is a murderer(viraha). How can we then conceive the killing of animals in any yajna which has been termed as the noblest act or ‘shreshthatam karma’ . It has been generally held by western scholars and their zealous followers here, that horses were sacrificed as the Ashvamedha. But the word Ashvamedha, during the Vedic period, was used in the sense of administration or welfare of the state(Rashtram va Ashvamedha – Shatpatha 13-1-6). There is no evidence whatsoever of the sacrifice of horse in the yajnas, performed during that period. It is clear that animal sacrifice in the yajnas were started only by outlaws. And since it is not in harmony ith the Vedic spirit, any reference reference to it anywhere should therefore be taken as interpolation.Source:‘On the Vedas – A Clue to understanding of the Vedas’ by Swami Vidyanand Saraswati, pub.by Vijaykumar Govindram Hasanand, New Delhi.
There are enumerable references available in uninterpolated Arsha texts against flesh eating and intoxicants and in favour of Ahimsa(non violence). Manusmriti says at one place “Men should abstain from flesh diet and intoxicants”(Manusmriti 5-5).
Maharishi Dayanand (1824-1883) started a signature campaign against cow slaughter and sent a memorandum to Queen Victoria. Maharishi Dayanand writes in his book Satyarth Prakash “Neither we should kill, nor allow others to kill animals like cow, who in one generation does good to four lakhs seventy five thousand and six hundred people. During the rule of Aryas, no slaughter was allowed of cows or other serviceable animals. Then men and other creatures lived happily in the Aryavartta and other parts of globe. Milk, butter, oxen and other animals were in abundance and supply of food articles was in abundance.” Source: Satyarth Prakash (Chapter 10).
The stand of Arya Samaj since its inception in 1875 has been for a ban on slaughter houses and for protection of animals and, therefore, carried out several Andolans in this regard. After the publication of the book “Gokaronanidhi’ in 1881 by Swami Dayanand Saraswati and other scholars of Arya Samaj have written extensively with a rational approach about the core message of the Vedic texts, in order to explode the myths regarding meat eating as well as to put the concept of Ahimsa in its right perspective. For more information on this subject, you may like to read the book “Vedas-The Myth and Reality” (A Reply to Vedic Age) by Bharat Bhooshan(former Deputy Editor, PTI) published by Arsh Sahitya Prachar Trust, Khari Baoli, Delhi. The above book is an english translation of the book “Vedon Ka Yatharth Swaroop” by Pt.Dharam Dev Vidya Martand published by Samarpan Shoodh Sansthan, Sahibabad.
Cow finds a prominent part in Indian culture which has also been the back bone of our agrarian economy. Traditionally, Hindus have been using five products of cow, i.e., pancha-gavya which include milk, curd, ghee, urine and cow dung and not its flesh. Therefore, Godaan ritual i.e., gifting of cow to the bridegroom by the bride’s family is performed even today(though as a formaility) during the marriage ceremony. Most suitable time for performing marriage ceremony is supposed to be Godhuli bela. After cooking the food, some families even today offer first measure to cow described asGogras. As per an Upanishadic story, Satyakama was given charge of four hundred cows by his Guru and was asked to take care of them in the pasture land until they become one thousand. Conclusively, the emphasis of Vedic culture has always been on the growth of cattle wealth by care, love and compassion and not otherwise.