A Woman Should Follow Her Husband

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.23.4-5 | January 26, 2005 | Practical, Education, Women, Modernization, Social Topics, Difficult time, Vedic, Varnasrama

English; Mangalore, Karnataka, India

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Question: Should devotees refrain from taking milk from commercial dairy cows who are destined to go to the slaughter house if there is no milk available from ISKCON protected cows, and in that sense be vegan, thus removing the risk of being connected with the slaughter of cows? This is a hot topic in ISKCON… Expand>

Question:

Should devotees refrain from taking milk from commercial dairy cows who are destined to go to the slaughter house if there is no milk available from ISKCON protected cows, and in that sense be vegan, thus removing the risk of being connected with the slaughter of cows?

This is a hot topic in ISKCON right now and I was inspired to ask you this question after hearing a lecture you gave in Mumbai entitled "ISKCON's Forgotten Mission."

I am engaged on the goshalla at Bhaktivedanta Manor, UK and am a brahmacari in the asrama.

 

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami:

Should devotees refrain from taking milk from cows destined to go to slaughterhouses, if there is not available milk from ISKCON protected cows? Well, apart from ISKCON at least here in India, are protected cows from Jains, they for instance and others, keep goshalas in which they don’t sell out the cows when they don’t give milk anymore or become old. Anyone who sells the cows for any reasons, it means they will likely go for slaughter. Vegan, well, should they be vegan if they can’t get milk? Well, there should be milk, at when you go to an ISKCON center, you should be able to get milk. Probably in the West ISKCON is the only society that claims to protect cows. I don’t know if there are some Jain goshalas, I never heard of it in America, England, there is one in Berm so I heard when I was there. Probably in Nepal, there may be some goshalas. So, mostly in India. Difficult to get there, even in India.

 

NEGLECTED MISSION
Actually our movement should have by now after all these years promoted farm communities and plenty of milk available from protected cows but it is a neglected mission. Some individual devotees may as they wish take or refrain from taking milk unless it is from protected cows, which for many devotees might mean they will never take milk or milk products.

COW'S MILK REQUIRED
However Srila Prabhupada also writes that milk is required…Milk means cow’s milk…generally when stated milk in shastra it refers to a cow’s milk, not the buffalo’s milk or…There is a lots of buffalo milk in India, or buffalo’s milk mixed with cow’s milk…There is also goat’s milk, donkey’s milk, camel’s milk, horse’s milk, pig’s milk, human milk (devotees laugh)…whale milk…I never heard of anyone milking the whale (laughter). But milk means cow’s milk. So, that is required, Srila Prabhupada said, to make fine brain tissue required Srila Prabhupada said to make the fine brain tissues which are required for understanding God. So Srila Prabhupada stressed that milk drinking is important for devotees and even though he was taught that in America by law milk could not be sold without fish oil in it, anyway Srila Prabhupada said devotees should take it and offer it. That was generally supposed to be true. But one devotee did some investigation, he asked dairy companies and they said, no, they don’t put the fish oil because it would smell horrible and nobody would like to take it. The thing is the milk is supposed to be vitamin D enriched and they were taking it from some other source. But the point I’m making is that Srila Prabhupada said that we should go on taking milk. So, yeah, we should do.
I’m not doing it, after reading a book from Sahadeva prabhu I decided I’m only gonna take milk from protected cows which in India, a lot of the time in many places you can do that.

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1) According to sastra, matajis are not allowed to go out for material education but are they allowed to do book distribution in various places like trains, stalls etc.?

2) Some time ago your holiness sent a quote from Srila Prabhupada's lecture on BVKS Sanga email group. The text is as follows:

I shall get my next body according to my mental condition at the time of death. So just like our women are taught to become very chaste. Why? That is a process to give her a chance to become a male next life. A woman, if she is educated to become chaste, attached to the husband, then naturally at the time of death, she'll think of the man, and she gets immediately… That is promotion. Similarly, if a man is very much attached to his wife, he'll think at the time of his… He becomes woman. These are the science.

From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Bhagavad-gita 2.22 — Hyderabad, November 26, 1972

My question in this regard is:

Is it not a good idea that instead of becoming attached with husband, woman develop attachment for Krsna?

A quote in this regard from Srila Prabhupada's Krsna book:

"My dear Lord, You have advised me to select one of the princes such as Sisupala, Jarasandha or Dantavakra, but what is their position in this world? They are always engaged in hard labor to maintain their household life, just like the bulls working hard day and night with an oil-pressing machine. They are compared to asses, beasts of burden. They are always dishonored like dogs, and they are miserly like cats. They have sold themselves like slaves to their wives. Any unfortunate woman who has never heard of Your glories may accept such a man as her husband, but a woman who has learned about You — that You are praised not only in this world but in the halls of the great demigods like Lord Brahma and Lord Siva — will not accept anyone besides You as her husband. A man within this material world is just a dead body. In fact, superficially, the living entity is covered by this body, which is nothing but a bag of skin decorated with a beard and mustache, hairs on the body, nails on the fingers, and hairs on the head. Within this decorated bag are bunches of muscles, bundles of bones, and pools of blood, always mixed with stool, urine, mucus, bile and polluted air and enjoyed by different kinds of insects and germs. A foolish woman accepts such a dead body as her husband and, in sheer misunderstanding, loves him as her dear companion. This is possible only because such a woman has never relished the ever-blissful fragrance of Your lotus feet."

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