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Cows and Krishna

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Cows and Krishna have always been together. In His original form in the spiritual world, Krishna is a cowherd boy in the agricultural community of Goloka ("cow planet") Vrindavan, where He keeps unlimited, transcendental surabhi cows.

When He descends to earth, Krishna brings a replica of Vrindavan with Him, and He spends His childhood tending cows and calves while playing in the pasturing grounds with His friends. His example shows the importance of cows to human society, the practical benefits of caring for them, and the advantages of an agrarian economy based on cooperation between man and cows.

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Krishna established the original economic system, varnashrama-dharma, for the spiritual and material progress of all living beings. Protected cows are a major component of this system; bulls and oxen till the fields, and cows give milk. Cows are are considered one of the mothers of humankind because cow's milk—when properly prepared—is perfectly suited to maintaining human life. Milk can be made into a wide variety of preparations, such as yogurt and butter, which are also essential ingredients for use in the ceremonial worship of Krishna in His transcendental Deity form.

In His famous book of instructions for humankind, the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna mentions cow protection as one of the prime duties of any civilized society. The Bible also tells us that cow-killing is as punishable as killing a human being.

Note: our homepage banner photo for Cows and Krishna comes courtesy of the International Society for Cow Protection.