Sunday, December 30, 2007

Organic farming and the centrality of the cow

Jai Sri Ram.


These days you hear a lot about organic farming. It can be defined as the entire process of agriculture in a given area done exclusively with natural manure and natural pesticides. (and on the other hand completely eliminating syntheric fertilizers and pesticides).

India was a world leader (and we still are) in the area of organic farming. Our forefathers knew how to take record harvests using bio manure using cow dung . The pesticide they used was pancha kavya- which is a mix of cow's milk , cow's ghee, curd, cow dung, and cow's urine.

Coming to think of it , the cow was the centre point of agriculture. No wonder , it was a respected animal in India. The entire economy of rural India depended on cattle and farming. Without a cow, no family was complete. A man's wealth was measured by the number of cows he had.

In addition to manure, the cow's milk was a much sought after food. Butter milk was (is) a famous health drink and even a poorest man prepares it and takes regularly.

The cow is the most docile of all animals known to man. It is man's friend, wealth and spiritual companion. All great yogis, after having reached a stage when they could reflect on their past lives, found to their astonishment that , a recent birth of them was in the form of a cow !

But, how do we treat them? Old cows , after the milch period is over, are sold to moslems who take them in open trucks for days without food and water ! All the cattle farmers in India are Hindus and all the butchers are muslims. Will our mother nature forgive us ? How can any Hindu go to a Krishna temple when his pet animal is butchered in his own land ?

How can a person go to Shiva temple, when the bull , his vehicle, is killed mercilessly after all its strength is sapped out in farming and cart pulling ? Do we not see in suburbs of cities, the neck and legs of cows are joined with a rope so that the cow cannot raise its head more than one foot above the ground ? The owner replies that this prevents the cow to 'focus' on the grass and prevents it from straying away !

Will our Gods ever forgive us ? Think ! This is the only country that knew to thank the animals. But here , right in our midst, all these chaos are happening.

Self respecting Hindus, awake ! Stop this killing. Even if it is at the cost of some of your savings, buy an old cow, save it, and protect it. If you are a city dweller, allocate some money each month to give it to some goshalas, who are struggling to make the ends meet . There are many good goshalas. In my next post I will give the address of some. Meanwhile members can post on this and add whatever you want to.

Organic farming and the centrality of the cow- part 2
I think this is something everyone need to educated uopn.

60 years back, we were taking only one harvest a year. The rest of the time , the field was rested or 'rejuvenated'.

The issue of plenty has nothing to do with farming methods. Rather with preservation techniques and distribution.

The farmer 60 years back must have been a confused man. He knew neither his own tradition well nor the dangers of the alien methods. A professor in Annamalai University, was explaining in Podhigai channel how he helped get fantastic yields of sugar cane with just cow dung manure as fertiliser and pancha gavya as pesticide. The suffix - 'cide'- meaning-'to kill' is a misnomer here . These natural agents created an atmosphere where the pests cannot thrive.

Similarly, neem paste and turmeric made the bugs sterile by interfering in their reproductive system.

Sri Natesan , organiser of Govardhan, a cow protecting organisation, was telling me that Masaal Dosai with potato smash inside became famous only in the 60 s. Because they could be easily transported from the Nilgiris . But no one bothered that the terrace farming that was a requisite for potato was ruining the western ghats and the source of a number of rivers.

Twenty five years back, if a guest came during noon, he was served only butter milk or rice- but no milk or coffee. Why ? Was milk insufficient ? Nope. India had much more cows then than at present. There was no preservation. The 'pasteurization' was not introduced.

But no one bothered to notice that the pasteurized milk was a dead milk by heating it to 170 deg plus temperature. Initially in America, no cat or dog used to touch the pasteurized milk. My son's bronchial allergy/ cold taking/wheezing was greatly relieved after I started giving him farm fresh milk. You will vomit instantly if you ever enter the storage yards. The globe- container is washed once in many months or not at all.

Nowadays apples are waxed and stored for years. Waxing closes the pores in the outer skin of the apple and prevents the moisture from escaping. Taste a waxed apple and taste a fresh one. You will know.

In essence, If we want our children and their descendants to live healthily, organic farming is essential and cow protection is a topmost priority. Without cow organic farming is inconceivable.

Let us all give our big hands. Cow protection is not only spiritual in nature but profoundly scientific.

1 comment:

Rasamandal das said...

This is an excellent article. The author has done a wonderful job by emphasizing the importance of cow protection. May your fraternity increase day-by-day.

Hare Krsna