Unnecessary Necessities

prabhupadareading1

The following is a lecture on the Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.12-13. Recorded June 11, 1969, New Vrndavana. There is a link at bottom of post, if you want to hear the audio.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Lecture 1.5.12-13
By Hiws Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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The Higher Taste

The Higher Taste

This is a nice little cookbook, with information on vegetarian cooking, health, nutrition, cow protection, bhakti yoga, etc. We offer it as a free download which you can view, print or save to your computer by following the link below:

click on link to veiw or download book; The Higher Taste

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Sustainable Cow Protection

SUSTAINABLE COW PROTECTION
By Kurma Rupa Prabhu

If a family keeps a cow and calf and has a few acres of land, a vegetarian diet is easily sustainable. I know a family in Colorado whose cow gives nine gallons of milk a day and she lactates for four to five years. They have enough land for the cow and her offspring to graze on and even with several months of winter they can easily maintain their cow. (see CFC News July 2010).

If you mean to ask will protecting a family cow produce enough income to maintain herself and provide for a family of five people with urban habits, then no, it won’t.
In an agrarian setting cows actually give more than they take.

However, when one tries to produce milk for commercial purposes and requires expensive farming equipment (tractors, bailers, combines, silos etc.) has to pay outrageous prices for veterinary aid, purchase homogenization and pasteurization equipment, conveyances to transport the milk to urban areas and so on, sustainability becomes a problem. In short, what makes cow protection unsustainable today is urbanization and consumerism.

Remove these two from the picture and you have the formula for a peaceful existence.
A large herd is sustainable in an agrarian community with common pasturing grounds and bordering forests, not otherwise.

I have visited village communities in India which still resemble the ancient Vedic model where every household hosts a few cows and a few cowherd men or women take the collective herd out to pasture daily leaving the calves behind. At the end of each day there is a celebration when the cows return with their stomachs full and many with udders full as well. The only investment is the time it takes for a few people to accompany the cows in their daily wanderings.

The cows are milked; the calves are fed; the milk boiled on a cow dung fire; hot milk is served; the remainder left overnight to become yoghurt; which is later churned to make butter; and the nourishing buttermilk is offered to unexpected guests and whoever else. I have never witnessed a more joyous existence. But the villagers I have examined pay their bills by farming, not selling dairy products.

“Excess males and unproductive females” are terms used by commercial dairy farmers that have nothing to do with cow protection but everything to do with cow exploitation. Urbanization and mechanization have rendered bulls unemployed whereas in the Vedic model the bull calves are valued more than the females as there is always ploughing and draught work to be done.

Since their dung and urine have numerous practical uses in agrarian life, and since Vedantists consider tending cows and pleasing them to be an activity which pleases God, real cow protectors always consider cows and bulls productive even when dry, retired or diseased.

We do not encourage commercial dairy farming or any type of attempt to make living from selling cow products. A profit orientation invariably leads to decisions which sell the cow short.

The term “humane culling” is an oxymoron at best or a euphemism at worst. If you are humane, how can you take the life of a creature who has not agreed to give it up?
Why not call it what it is?- – killing to increase profit. People who coin such terms do so to minimize the guilt resulting from acting against their conscience.

Other examples are “terminating the pregnancy” instead of saying “killing the child in the womb”; or “pacifying the enemy” instead of bombing the hell out of them; and so on. When the sinister want to manipulate others to perform horrible and unbeneficial acts which may disturb their conscience, they employ such devices to facilitate the phenomenon of self-deception.

Creation and employment of such devices indicates malignant narcissism.
In an agrarian society cows have a wonderful effect on the ecology. Their dung is known to be the best fertilizer and their hooves and horns have a nourishing effect on the earth.
You may find Rudolf Steiner’s (the founder of biodynamics) work interesting. A Google search will yield much on his work. Since in the Vedic formula, ahimsa is the first principle, I think a vegan diet is better than one including commercial dairy products obtained by violence. But the best and most wholesome diet is one which includes milk obtained from a loving cow who is treated like one’s own mother.

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Simple Living, High Thinking


Simple Living, High Thinking
by Jahnaya Das

If one is truly serious about achieving the ultimate goal of human life by perfecting his spiritual inquiry, he must adopt a life style that is conducive to the cultivation of self-realizing knowledge. This life style can be beautifully summarized in the phrase ‘simple living and high thinking’. Here simple living is in relation to maintenance of the body, and high thinking is in relation to the aim of one’s intellectual pursuits.

In order to exist in this world it is necessary to maintain one’s bodily existence, but as will be shown in later lessons, maintenance of the body is not progress towards the goal of life. Maintenance just allows one to perform the activity of existing in a particular body, which does not denote any accomplishment of a goal. This maintenance of the body involving mainly our activities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending is not in itself any great feat opr achievement. Even the animals are engaging in these activities of bodily maintenance. The cows also eat, the birds also mate, the hogs also sleep and the dogsalso defend. Simply engaging in theseactivities of maintenance does not actually make one human. For this reason, one who is interested in achieving the real, permanent goal of life does not focus solely on these activities of bodily maintenance, but he rather focuses primarily on the path of perfection. This is why he adopts the process of simple living.

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