|| Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadharau Vijayetam ||

shriharidasniwas

The Go-shala at Sri Haridas Niwas

Sri Haridas Shastri Maharaj ji used to visit the Go-shala regularly to look into the requirements of the Go
The entire focus of attention of the residents of Sri Haridas Niwas is to keep the Go hail and hearty. In other words, anukulata of Go is practised in Sri Haridas Niwas.

The Supreme Lord, whose special creation is Go, is also immensely pleased when the Go is genuinely served. For He Himself serves this unique creature. He loves Go so much that He has named. Himself after them. The form of His in which He manifests all His powers, attractiveness and opulence is called Govind (meaning one who makes the Go blissful). He has also named His eternal abode after the Go.
It is called Golok, the speciality of which is that it is inhabited by large number of Go. A prayer in the Rig Veda says,

tam vam vastuni ushmasi gamadhye yatra gavo bhurishrnga ayasah
“We wish to reach Your abode where there are wish-fulfilling Go with large horns.”
The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna in His abode, Goloka, surrounded by Go.
The extent to which Lord Govind loves the Go is understood from the fact that He showers affection on the residents of Vraja because the major activity of the residents of Vraja is Go-seva. The Lord even glorified the Govardhan hill because it catered to the needs of the Go by providing grazing grounds and caves for resting. Being pleased with this service that Govardhan did for Go, He even lifted the hill on His little finger to immortalize it and make it worshipable. We worship Lord Sri Krishna. But whom does Sri Krishna worship? He worships Go. Hence Maharaj ji used to say, “Go Bhagavan ke bhi Bhagavan hain” (Go is God of even God Himself). Based on this statement of Maharaj ji, the residents of Sri Haridas Niwas treat the Go with utmost care and love. In fact they are treated like members of a family. The calves in Sri Haridas Niwas are given full freedom to drink milk to their heart’s content.
 
Lord Sri Krishna made the Govardhan hill famous by lifting it on His finger. This is because the hill served the Go by providing them with grass for nourishment and caves for shelter.
If some excess milk remains in the mother’s udder, it is taken from the Go for consumption within the ashram. The Go gives it willingly for she knows that her calf is satisfied already. Such milk is full of the quality of goodness and it helps build a strong body and a gentle, peace-loving mind. People with such propensities grow up to be individuals who are strongly and fearlessly committed to work for the welfare of the entire creation. The calves, on the other hand, experience nothing but love and care throughout their lives.They thus grow up to be creatures so gentle and serene that even small children play with the large bulls with ease. Maharaj ji thus demonstrated that if our children are brought up in an atmosphere of love and care, and are given positive inputs from their childhood, they will grow up to be good natured individuals who would show love and care for others as well. The society can thus become peaceful.
 
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While we worship the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, He Himself worships the Go. Therefore, Sri Haridas Shastri Maharaj ji used to say, “Go bhagavan ke bhi bhagavan hain” (“Go is God of even God Himself”).

In Sri Haridas Niwas Go-shala, there is adequate space given to each creature. Some hefty bulls are kept unchained in rooms of their own. They are provided with electric lights and fans as well. When Sri Maharaj ji was manifest to material vision on the earth, his love for Go was expressed through a unique activity – feeding of laddus to each Go! To start with, the best ingredients were purchased from the market. Halwais, who were hired, used to come to the ashram and prepare delicious laddus under strict quality control of the ashram inmates. Laddus purchased from the market may not have high quality standards, and hence were not used. Thus it was ensured that Go, the special creation of God, is served with high quality delicious laddus every day. The Go too used wait for their laddus eagerly and used to reciprocate tender love as Maharaj ji would go to them, caresses them, feed them with laddus, examine their requirements, check if they are fed well, and personally tend to them when they would be sick.  In the winter, since gud would be more beneficial to them, Maharaj ji would feed them with gud instead of laddus.  Thus it was one of the practical demonstrations of the meaning of seva. The personal relationship between Maharaj ji and Go is a phenomenon that would take mortals ages to comprehend!

Before his tirobhav from this world, Maharaj ji had found that some Go love petha more than laddu.  Hence he introduced the system of feeding pethas also to the Go at times.  This practice continues even today after his disappearance from material vision.

 
In "Sri Haridas Niwas", the calves are given full freedom to drink as much milk as they desire.
Organic farming for Go
To ensure that the creatures that are extremely dear to the Lord receive good quality food, Maharaj ji made arrangements for growing organic green fodder for them on the cultivable lands of the ashram. There are no chemical fertlisers in use in these fields. Organic manure developed through vermiculture done within the ashram is used here. Similarly, the diet of the Go is mixed with wheat flour to make them taste better. The wheat for this purpose is also grown organically on the ashram’s land. The high quality vermicompost is also used as manure in the garden of the ashram that supplies flowers for seva of the vigraha in the ashram temples.
 
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Maharaj ji feeding the Go with laddus Pure and delicious laddus being
prepared for Go in the ashram
 
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Fodder for Go being grown in the fields of the ashram Organic fertiliser is prepared in the ashram through vermiculture