(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 7 November 2010, Vrndavana, India, Govardhan Puja Lecture)
Namo brahmanya devaya go brahmana hitaya ca. Srila Prabhupada explained ‘go brahmana’, first the cows and then the brahmanas. So much importance is given to the cows by Krsna that even before worshipping the brahmanas, we worship the cows.
In the Brahma Samhita, it is mentioned that in the spiritual world, the cows are wish-fulfilling – they are known as Surabhi cows. They are producing oceans of milk, ksirabdhi. Krsna is residing in his transcendental abode where there are unlimited cows. It is described that when Krsna was here in Vrndavana, Krsna would have unlimited cowherd boy associates and each of these associates would have a huge number of cows and calves. If we think about the numbers of cows in these pastimes, we sometimes wonder how they all fitted on the narrow pathways of Vrndavana – there must have been enormous traffic jams! But somehow or other, by Krsna’s arrangement everything is going on very smoothly.
The world where cows are protected is indeed Krsna’s arrangement; it is the natural way to exist. We are now living so far from that. We are here for a day to worship the cows so naturally we are having very warm feelings for the cows but our everyday way of life, is a life with machines – the result is that our lives are painful. It is difficult and in our lives, it is a struggle to do just about anything.
Here in Vrndavana, we can see how India is playing with modern technology and they don’t always understand it. Today, we saw some flames coming out of an electric box and it didn’t look good but everyone was like, “It is ok! It is ok!” Well, it didn’t look ok!
I remember how in India, you learn to pray in traffic. Two vehicles were approaching each other in the darkness of night and one of the drivers was nodding, was he asleep – it looked serious. The vehicles were coming closer and closer and a head on collision seemed unavoidable… if it would have been machines but because they were bullock carts, nothing happened!
Even when the driver falls asleep, the bullocks stay awake! In this way, the bullocks move around and I saw many times here in Vrndavana, in the night, the bullocks walking to the market and the owner sleeps in the back and when they get to the market, the bullocks sleep and the owner works! So, they work in shifts!
In another words, it is a very practical culture. A culture that is not inimical to being natural.