The title above is not about your ‘skimmed’ watered-down milk or the excess milk that safe, happy and healthy cows drop on grazing lands (as described in Lord Govinda’s pastimes), because nowadays almost all milk producing cows are jailed in concrete structures till they produce no more, then they are summarily executed without trial, jury or judge.
That they give life sustaining water is a surprising factor that I learnt of recently. Yes, cows give life sustaining water. Is it the cow urine? Getting closer, and while on the subject of urine, it is a very potent commodity that breaks down cellulose and contributes to a healthy ecosystem, a related topic.. Well have you guessed by now? because I would never have…here goes amazingly cow dung gives us water!. I will let you digest that for a while, close your eyes and try to imagine in any way cow dung can give you water, please don’t get me wrong but this is a practically proven fact. Perhaps you squeeze it all out and store it, then the dry stuff can be used for heating and cooking? Nope…nice try though. Take a look at the picture below. The ancient people of Egypt called the Horites viewed the scarab dung beetle as sacred and placed it symbolically on the hearts of the mummified Pharaohs. The dung beetle makes balls of dung and buries it underground where its young would feed off till they emerge from the earth, this was a symbolic representation of the rulers arising from the grave and leading their people to immortality.
These days we hear a lot about water shortages and even that in the future the next wars will be fought over water rights due to the shortage of water. Various water conservation methods have been introduced to catch water runoff called “Rainwater Harvesting” and “Underground Water Recharging” These involve catching the runoff from building and concrete paved areas or just bare ground and saving that water in tanks or “injecting” it back into the earth through holes/pipes leading underground.
Back to the cow dung, for easier understanding a diagram of the beetles life cycle is provided below. Now for the answer as to how cow dung gives us water, (if you haven’t figured it out already) it is a natural system given to us by the Creator Himself, Sri Krishna Bhagavan.
om purnam adah purnam idam
purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya
“The personality of Godhead is perfect and complete. Because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as a complete whole. Whatever is produced of the complete whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the complete whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.” (Sri Isopanishad, Invocation)
From the picture above we see the original and natural rainwater recharging system by digging tunnels (one cow pat may have up to 10 tunnels, with extended underground networks) the beetles create a natural pathway for water to travel downwards, they place the dung underground and other entities such as worms also utilize that dung, all machinations of a balanced ecosystem. Additionally this causes plants to extend their root systems further downward to get the nutrients thus creating a stable and finely woven topsoil and substrate held together, securing more water and preventing water runoff, soil erosion and ultimately desertification. Take a minute to think about it. The effect that this has on dry lands has already been proven with actual streams starting to flow once again using holistic planned grazing methods, which mimic natures original purpose in ensuring efficient land management.
It is very important to understand our ecosystem and the negative impact artificial chemicals and fertilizers have on these well planned intelligent systems.
Many persons refer to these ecosystems as delicate, from one perspective they are in fact sturdy, having taken decades of abuse that mankind has inflicted. At the same time we must become sober and wary of how much more abuse our mother earth can take, it will only inflict pain on us.
We must understand that Krishna the Supreme Creator has made a natural system that works so nicely to sustain life, it would be more than foolish to think that using pesticides and modified seeds could ever have a good long term effect. Pesticides do not discriminate which insects they kill. Nor is keeping cows in concrete sheds any good because the cow dung and urine cannot contact the earth to sustain the cycle of life from grass to milk to water to fruits and vegetables and flowers that are truly organic and natural, for our own benefit. Nor is sending our cows away from the lands to slaughterhouses because whether or not they give milk or even plough the land, young or old they give us cow dung and urine which are both vital for Mother Earth to continue to maintain us, the way God intended.