In May of 2014 a report was given on the state of ISKCON Mayapur Goshala. That report is available with us for those interested. One of the major items which was addressed in a previous article on Mayapur Voice was The Calf’s Share. A system of milking only once a day was implemented and the results became clear to even a casual observer, an almost double increase in the weight of the 99% of the calves. Just one week ago the policy of one time milking was stopped and milking twice resumed.
So let us look into the economics of this: Previous records showed that 100 litres plus/minus drawn in the morning and the same in the evening. The selling price of this is 40rs per litre, which translates into an average of Rs. 8000/- per day and Rs2,40,000/- (Two Lacs Forty Thousand per month) from milk alone. It does not take much to figure out that in any profit driven industry, dairy being one of them, maximum production vs. minimal expense is the formula for success. And this is where we go wrong, because the drive to make more profit, and this is a normal human trait ALWAYS overtakes the need to protect dependents such as employees and animals, and this is where exploitation takes place in the name of capitalism, and that is why our calves were so thin and malnourished. Actually one time milking or two time milking is irrelevant as long as you ensure that the persons in control of the milk supply chain give enough milk to the calf for it’s good health, development and survival.
The difference between devotees and karmis is that the devotees have no ambition to make profit. The profit is self manifested in the service itself without the need for the externals. Srila Prabhupada had emphasised this in various ways over and over again, The mission statements of Srila Prabhupada encompass this and a mission statement is the base guideline of what any organization has to keep itself on track. It is easily available on our ISKCON official website: http://iskcon.org/philosophy#.U-L0Q-OSyNk. It reads as follows:
1. To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all people in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.
2. To propagate a consciousness of Krishna (God), as it is revealed in the great scriptures of India, especially Bhagavad-gita andSrimad-Bhagavatam. We accept the principle of transmigration of the soul (reincarnation).
3. To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, thus developing the idea within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna).
4. To teach and encourage the sankirtana movement, congregational chanting of the holy name of God, as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
5. To erect for the members and for society at large a holy place of transcendental pastimes dedicated to the personality of Krishna.
6. To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler, more natural way of life.
7. With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings that help realize these purposes.
Recently I travelled to Gujarat and I met a devotee family there. One of his relatives although not a fully practicing member of ISKCON was running a goshalla for abandoned and rescued cows and he does not extract a drop of milk. What is happening in the goshala is the creation of an artificial economy. Cows are meant to have pasture and this land was bought for the purpose of maintaining the cows but now it appears that this noble sentiment has been all but abandoned. Now because you don’t graze all the cows you have created the following expenses:
More Feed to be purchased
More labor to be engaged in the function of cutting grass and delivering it to the cows, clean the goshalla and provide water etc.
In some commercially driven enterprises, especially in India, wherever there are purchases made in bulk, there is always a need for close monitoring and analysis of purchasing departments integrity, but let us not divert the issue and get back to our goshalla. One surprising thing is that there is world wide acceptance of the fact that cow dung is one of the best fertilizers one can get, yet at ISKCON Mayapur goshalla the commercially produced fertilizers are purchased to grow grass to feed the cows, if this is not irony I do not know what irony is.
On a recent visit chance visit to the Mayapur Quality Assurance Department, I was told that the number of complaints regarding the goshalla had dropped from being one of the most complained about to almost zero in the past months…anyone can go there to confirm this. The fact is that when more devotees take the time and effort to treat others as they would like be treated themselves, especially cows who have no voice (except Mayapur Voice 🙂 ) Yesterday, and many times, I noticed that the tied up milking cows were extremely thirsty, one devotee Vet was visiting and told me that all the cows are constipated due to lack of water, and he also sadly told me that my efforts to give water to all the cows in a tiny bucket will not be productive, I of course understood and was even told by one milker to give water only after the milking process is over.
In conclusion we must understand that devotees need to take an active role in the goshalla to rescue devotional service from the clutches of impersonalism. We can begin and end with the prayer to Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada Pranati
nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Chaitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.