Gopastami (Gopa-Astami) is the day we celebrate as auspicious cow day. The eighth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Karttika is known as Gopastami. This is the day for all cows in the world, cow protectors and caretakers, cow lovers and obviously special day for cow devotees. Today ( falls this year on November 10, 2013) is the day when Lord Krishna grazed a herd of cows. Lord got his name as ‘Gopala’ on this day as a qualifies cowherd. Kamadhenu,one of the noblest cow blessed Krishna.
So this day can be celebrated as birthday or as a special day of cows. We can offer cows with tasty grass, food or any drink they like the most. Initially Krishna’s name was ’Batsapal’, which means caretaker of the calves. When Krishna was ready to take care of mother cows, his name was promoted to ‘Gopala’. Also Gargamuni, one of the ascetic saint who lived in the jungle worshiped cowboy Krishna his cow herd on this very day.
Krishna grazed cows on his bare feet. We all know that how much cows love Krishna and he loves cows. Krishna saved a lot of cows from the fire which came out of Narakasur, an evil who lived in the jungle. Today, all the slaughter houses are like evil forest-fire. Cow lovers and these noble animals are not untouched by these forest-fire or gas-chambers. Lord Krishna has saved them in the past and he is the saviour of the present and the future. Today is the day that many cow lovers fast and take a vow to protect and serve cowherd. They do this by austerity,devotion and prescribed paths in the scriptures. To relinquish from bad karma is an ascetic practice.
It is very important and auspicious day for Indians to practice and celebrate this tradition in the entire sub-continent. On the Ramanawami day devotees remember Lord Ram, Shivaratri is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has got high importance and relevance in the society to celebrate Gopastami with highest regard. It is really hard to denounce our regular activities, offer prasadam, preserve fasting and retreat this special occasion and yet pull away some time from sensual gratification to remind us from cow protection. To feel dishonored or defamed due to adhering firmly on cow protection is considered virtue on its own.
This festivity recognizes both cow and cow advocators. It follows by ‘Ashthami’. Holy river Ganga comes out of cow’s mouth. Cows is considered as mother. Because bulls are the one who help plow, produce organic manure, cultivate, sow, grow seeds, cut crops and are considered earthly father. There are many similarities between Radha and Cows. Radha is considered as the energy of relationship, a love healer where as mother cows are symbol of life energy giver. We receive five types of extremely pleasing and tasty ambrosia from cows. Physical muscles or wrestling power can be obtained from buffalo milk but cow milk provides ascetic or retains yogic power. Every possible motherly characteristics are found in cows. Cow provides caring, giving, protecting, nurturing and various attributes like subtlety, lucidity and unstained purity.
Those who are obedient children they feel happy when they talk and listen to their parents. But we need to approach and educate them who do not know the importance and unexplained yet not readily apparent aspects of the meaning of their elders.
Today is the day of remembering the importance of cows. Many obedient devotees and followers obey their ascetic teachers and perform fasting on this day. Some may question why we need to perform fasting on this day rather proactively participate in a rally or ignite political cause. Those who are followers of sainthood, brahmins who are involved in ascetic and spiritual upliftment will not be able to fight with physical weapons but fasting, performing devotion are the only weaponless, unarmed movement. This action or opportunity gives them self-confidence,a conscious way of strengthening faith or belief. Helps soft minded and kind hearted people to act in the most effective yet organized way. On this day, let us remember cows and their services to humankind. Let us also passionately support and promote the interests of their services among the people who do not know the significance of cows.
- Hari Ohm Tatsat -