A beautifully carved image of Madanagopala, surrounded by Kadamba trees, Tulsi bushes, cows with their little ones grazing in the open or resting in the shelter, the notes of Bansuri or “Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya” in the air, offer a sense of freedom from the limitations of space and time.
A typical day at the Goshala begins at 5:30 AM, with the notes of flute waking up the residents of The Sacred Grove, the healthy-looking cows, bulls and the calves. The caretakers, guests and the residents often meet here for a cup of tea and to pay silent obeisance to the rising sun. It can be shared without doubt that these bovines are the most tended and sought after living beings on the campus. Through the day, the guests, visitors, and the workers interact with these friendly beings, who stretch out their necks or bow down their heads to be petted. No festival or special occasion is celebrated without making an offering to these sacred residents of The Sacred Grove.
A time-travel to the year 2019 brings back memories of visits to various Goshalas in and around Madanapalle, Bangalore, Melkote, with the determination to bring in only the indigenous cows and zeroed in on Gir, Sahiwal, and Rathi breed of cows. The search connected us to the traditional farmers in Saurashtra, Goshala setups in Ayurveda and Yoga centres, husbandry research centres and culminated at a Goshala in Melkote, Karnataka.
A small Goshala shed housed the first three cows namely – Lakshmi, Chandrika, and the heifer Saraswati. Within a couple of days of her arrival at The Sacred Grove, the pregnant Lakshmi, brought in the joy of us witnessing the miracle of Surabhi’s birth. For the first time, many of us realised that while a human child takes around 18 months to start walking, a new-born of a bovine is up on its feet within an hour. Ever since, the number has grown to 20 plus and the spacious Goshala is full.
Encouraging adoption of calves for eco-friendly farming and propagation of indigenous breed
Instead of increasing the capacity of the Goshala to bring in more cows and calves, we have decided to share the newborn, once they are around a year old, to encourage Go-Palan of the indigenous breeds. Ayurveda and some recent research suggest the benefits of A2 milk procured from Desi cows. Towards this end the government bodies as well as the farmers from the neighbouring villages are being approached to adopt calves to train them for ploughing purposes. This will enable the farmers to adopt traditional and eco-friendly modes of farming and possibly cut out on the cost of farming. A government project based in Tirupati supported the process of farmers adopting male calves for semen collection to avoid the more prevalent practice of artificial insemination.
Planning a health-friendly mode of processing edible oil
It is interesting to note that the history traces the process of making cold-pressed oil to Indus Valley civilization. A few decades ago, it was a common practice to collect oil from the neighbouring ‘Kachi Ghani’, ‘Kolluh’, and then somewhere along the line, the refined oil started being promoted as lighter and tastier oil for cooking. We are connecting with the farmers to help set up a cold-pressed oil unit at the Goshala and encourage them to set up such units in their villages. The male calves can be shared with the farming community to promote healthier food habits.
The Sacred Grove invites you to join hands in promoting Go-Palan in rural areas where the large population of India lives. Write to us at email@example.com