ISKCON Daiva Varnasrama Ministry (IDVM-India) in association with Mayapur Institute successfully concluded its six-day Varnasrama Training course on “Cow care” on October 15, 2016, beginning October 10, 2016.
On the first day of Cow Care Course, the participants began with invoking auspiciousness with prayers to the Guru parampara. Then Rama Lakshman das (Secretary, IDVM-India) gave a brief introduction of the guest Faculties who would be imparting the course and to the course itself.
As a curtain raiser to the course, Rama Lakshman prabhu also gave a presentation on the Shastric references to “cow care” (based on the writings of Founder-acharya of ISKCON, H.D.G. A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Thereupon, Dr.Sreekala and Dr. Sreekumar (the primary course coordinators and Faculties) gave a briefed the students to the core subject. Towards the noon everyone paid a visit to Mayapur Goshala. There the participating students got an opportunity to have a fruitful interactive session with Doyal Mukunda prabhu who is the regional Director for Mayapur Goshala. The participants also had first-hand experience with Mother Cow as they visited the different cow pens at the Goshala. The students came from variegated backgrounds (right from local devotees from India, right from Mayapur and Nagpur (Maharashtra), from India’s neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka to far-off countries like Cambodia and Copenhagen.
Second day onwards to the last day of the training, the course was very intensive and informative. Detailed information was given on aspects like physiology of production of milk, digestive system of cows, shelter for cows like open paddocks, closed paddocks; nutritional requirements of cows, planned grazing, holistic approach to cow care, four eco systems that are necessary to take proper care of cows. Topics like pricing of milk were also discussed at length. Every day had two sessions, one in the morning and then again in the evening. In every session different combination or even in singular topics were covered with dedication. Students had interactive sessions and at the end of each topic there was a questionanswer sessions. Interestingly, all the students participated very actively in the discussions and shared their doubts. They were very nicely answered by both Dr. Sreekumar and Dr. Sreekala.
The sixth day, marking the conclusion session, was a day of when all the participants were very vocal about their feelings. They greatly appreciated the efforts of IDVM-India and thanked the Ministry for organizing this course , which has been going on successfully from past three years.
Gauranga Ray das, a student from Mayapur Gurukula said, “I think one of the best ways is by arranging seminars put together for all the schools in ISKCON, so the children will grow up knowing how to properly protect cows and all the things related to cow care, in the future once they grow up they can apply in their lives.”
Acalesvar prabhu from Nagpur felt that the course in itself was very nice but he suggested that had it been supplemented by more practical sessions and site visits where these things are implemented it would create more impact. The courseware as much as time and space would allow, included a few presentations where practical cow care was dealt with including the discussion about the results or benefits the cows were getting. However, suggestions from the participants are always welcome as they help in the improvement of the quality of service.
On a positive note, Kurma Gaura das from Copenhagen found the course so rich in information that he felt that he had got at least one month of training and education in those six days.
Naimisaranya prabhu, serving at Mayapur Institute was so happy with the course that he said that he would try his best to recommend and spread the message about the course to as many devotees as possible and to the ISKCON authorities as well.
On the whole, the students were happily satisfied and felt that if course such as this are arranged more frequently in the future, they would like to participate every time it would be conducted and thus learn new things to serve Mother Surabhi. This way they hope to please Srila Prabhupada and ultimately please the Supreme personality of Godhead, Lord Govinda.