The Milk Controversy – should we give it up?

Should spiritualists consume milk or should they be vegan? The Vedic texts enjoin us to develop solid intelligence through milk consumption, but yet modern milk production is fraught with violence. So what is the spiritualist to do?

Partha Das, 26 April 2020

Hare Krsna,

I was surprised to see many articles and interviews by modern day doctors saying milk is white poison.

As a Hare Krsna devotee, I have given up tea, coffee, alcohol smoking etc . My only source of pleasure is daily cups of hot milk . I also enjoy all the milk byproducts such as yogurt, paneer, cheese, milk, sweets etc.

I tried to be a vegan for 3 months , on advice of a doctor who is against milk. But the result was that my bones and tooth became weak and brittle. I was forced to restart milk immediately.

Could you enlighten me a little on this matter. It is not possible to get milk from an ISKCON farm , which doesn’t use injections on cows, or is not cruel to animals.

What is the ISKCON stand on this matter, as our source of milk is the Govt dairy farm and it’s not possible to keep a cow in a city.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Paramahamsa Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna, 

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

I would like to thank you for your wonderful question and also appreciate that you have worked your way to avoid Tea, coffee, and nasty habits like smoking. It indeed shows your dedication to imbibe a proper lifestyle that will bring you closer to Krishna by at least reaching to the mode of goodness. 

As far as Milk and milk products are concerned or in that case, any foodstuff you enjoy if you do so without making an offering to Krishna then you are verily eating sin as mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita 3.13 

yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo

mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ

bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā

ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt

And if you enjoy the foodstuff after they are offered to Krishna then you can rest assured that you are not eating white poison as you point out modern doctors referring to milk. Of course given the fact that your body is able to digest milk and you don’t have some intolerance which might be the case for some individuals and they need to be consulting proper medical care. 

But, from the perspective of Sastra, Srila Prabhupada has very clearly mentioned in many different places that one can maintain ones’ body with any kind of foodstuffs but special emphasis is on Cow milk. It is very essential for the development of finer tissues of the human brain so that they can understand the intricacies of Transcendental knowledge.

Now as far as the milk you are referring to (from ISKCON Farm ) is called Ahimsa milk. This is very rare for people like us living in a city to get but in this matter, Srila Gurudev gives an analogy of a thorn to remove another thorn.

If you are not able to protect or participate in any way to directly protect Mother Cow then at least the milk you get from commercial dairy farms could be used to offer it to Krishna so that at least that particular Cow’s life is successful and you are getting the needed nourishment to developed your brain’s fine tissue to understand the Transcendental knowledge and who knows in the near future with that intelligence you might be able to come up with some scheme for Cow protection! 

your servant, 

Paramahamsa Das

Rahul Prasad, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna …

Dandavat Pranam…

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

How can milk (commercial) be considered in goodness? In the current scenario, cows have to suffer a lot to produce milk (commercial). For the production of commercial milk, the cow needs to undergo various known sufferings.

Then how can the milk produced commercially be considered in goodness?

I request you to please advise.

your servant

Rahul

Paramahamsa Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna Rahul, 

Please accept my humble obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev

The milk that has been offered to Krishna and then accepted as prasadam is transcendental i.e above 3 modes of material nature. 

The milk of the cow even though derived by commercial means when offered to Krishna could be seen as service rendered by the Go (cow/cows) to Govinda  ( the Supreme Personality of Godhead) so it is similar to us working in the commercial world going under so much trouble and collecting little Laksmi and then we utilize it i in the service of Guru and Krishna( Narayan ).

Does this help?

your servant, 

Paramahamsa das.  

Partha Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krsna Rahul Prabhu,

If we see the way plants are treated nowadays with pesticides, DDT, chemical fertilizers etc , I am sure such vegetables are not suitable for offering to Krsna. They will fall in the same category as milk produced in modern farms by torturing cows.

Hence I feel offering milk and vegetables to Krsna , before consumption is the only option left for us.

Nothing in this modern world is pure.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Partha Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krsna Paramhamsa Prabhu,

Thanks for your guidance. I am already offering the milk to Krsna before consumption. 

Hope to be part of the Ahimsa farm community in the near future.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Priya Sundari devi dasi, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna Prabhus. 

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

In my recent years of doing some research and talking to farm devotees as well as non-devotees, this is what I have concluded with the help of some senior Vaishnava inputs: 

1. If you have access to ahimsa milk then that is best. Drinking even 1 cup of ahimsa milk is better than loads of non ahimsa milk. Some devotees get raw milk delivered in bulk and freeze this and use this as needed. 

There are different degrees to the meaning of Ahimsa in this context. 

a. Where a cow is left free to graze and the calf is allowed to freely feed and then what remains is consumed….to…. 

b. Where cows are tied in a farm and allowed to graze for a bit and calves are allowed to feed limited. 

c. Of course the idea is that at the end of Mother Cow’s life, she is not slaughtered and the male calves are not sent away to be killed. 

2. If you don’t have access to ahimsa milk, then the next best option is Raw + Organic whole Milk. You can check with your local farm suppliers. 

a. This ensures that we are not ingested the various antibiotics and other medications that mother cow is subject to 

b. Also organic milk = mother cow is fed a better diet 

c. Raw because is it best to not have milk that has been treated (pasteurized and homogenized) 

*** Please note raw milk will need to be gently boiled before consuming to ensure that any other harmful bacteria have been eliminated***

3. If you don’t have access to raw milk, then the next option is Pasteurized + Organic + Unhomogenized Whole Milk. 

This can be bought locally in many supermarket chains. 

This follows the order of best, better and good. If you are able to afford / have access to ahimsa milk then that’s best. If that’s not an option then the next so on and so forth. 

In the least, the milk that we consume should be Organic and unhomogenized and always whole milk. 

Dr. Marianne Teitlebaum who is a renowned Ayurvedic practitioner talks more about that in her book: 

The demonization of milk

— Dr Marianne Teitelbaum

“Almost every blog or nutritional book I read calls milk a poison. Ayurveda considers milk a nectar and perhaps the most important food we can give to our body. Why the disconnect? There are several factors to consider here, all of which I discuss in my new book “Healing the Thyroid With Ayurveda.”

When you milk a cow and let the milk sit, the cream will rise to the top. This is called unhomogenized milk. Nowadays most of the milk is homogenized so you don’t see that layer of cream at the top anymore. But homogenized milk isn’t as nourishing and can contribute to heart disease and clogged arteries due to this processing of the fat molecules. So strive to get unhomogenized milk.

Get the full fat milk as it is the fat in the milk which delivers the calcium into your bones. If the milk is low-fat your bones will suffer as the calcium is now excreted out of your body contributing to the epidemic levels of osteoporosis we are currently experiencing. 

Many people cannot digest milk due to faulty digestion so it is imperative that you fix your digestion in order to receive milk’s health benefits. 

Some people cannot digest the protein in A1 milk, however numerous small dairies are springing up around the country which supply A2 milk which is lacking that hard to digest protein (see my book or previous posts about A2 milk). 

You must boil the milk to melt down the fat globules for best absorption into your cells, otherwise it will clog your throat and sinuses. 

If cow’s milk bothers you, try goat’s milk which is much lighter and easier to digest, and is similar to Mother’s milk. It is good for losing weight, congestion in the lungs and infections in the gut. 

Simmering the milk for a few minutes with 2-3 cardamom pods helps you digest the protein in the milk. And add a cinnamon stick to help you digest the sugar in the milk. Always add a few pinches of turmeric when simmering milk as the fat will deliver the turmeric into your cells. 

Milk is the only food that instantly absorbs into your cells to nourish all 7 tissues (blood plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow and reproductive fluids). within one day of ingesting whereas any other food can take up to a month to assimilate into the body. 

And boiling the milk forms tryptophan which helps you make more serotonin which makes you both happy and calm. 

This is why drinking warm milk before bed can contribute to a deep restful sleep. 

Many of our thousands of patients have reincorporated milk back into their diets and have experienced the strength, stamina and radiant health that warm whole milk can bring back to our depleted bodies. 

Don’t buy into the argument that we should avoid milk. It’s one of THE most nourishing foods if taken in the correct way.”

follow Dr Teitelbaum’s posts on Facebook. 

If there’s a large group of devotees in your area OR you have consumers who are favorable to not slaughtering cows / calves then you can talk to local farmers and request milk to be delivered for a higher price so that the cow is not harmed and to help the farmer not sell the cow at the end of her life to a slaughter house.  This has worked in some communities in the past. This also means that if people are interested then there is scope for preaching. 

I hope this has helped shed some light on the milk topic. 

your servant 

Priya Sundari devi dasi.

*Kṛṣṇe matir astu*

Partha Das, 29 April 2020

Hare Krsna Mataji,

Thanks for your elaborate explanation.

Partha Das

Rahul Prasad, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna

Dandvat Pranam

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

I do agree that if we offer the Milk (commercial or other type) it will be freed from all 3 modes.

But if we/vegetarian people will avoid consumption of Milk and Milk products then the demand of Milk will fall and the Milk industry will not (will reduce) production of new cows.

As most of the cows are first subjected to the Milk industry and later on moved to Meat industry.

So for the benefit of cows we can move to a (no milk product) vegetarian diet.

I request you to please advise me.

your servant

Rahul

Dr.Reena bhardwaj, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna    

Milk products like curd are good for health , increase immunity, and provide relief for gastrointestinal infections. So, milk in moderate amounts is good for health. 

Dr.Reena Bhardwaj 

Sailesh, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna:

With my limited knowledge, I share the following facts that I am aware of:

 Milk bearing cows are slaughtered once their calf bearing days and milk giving days are done.  It is better in my humble opinion that we be intellectually honest with ourselves, that by supporting milk industry we support the beef industry as well. PETA has a campaign about it as well ( Are you drinking beef?)

 Yes, we can say offer the milk to Krishna , by saying “Krishna Arpana” and then all consequences including the slaughter of the Cows go to Lords feet. But let us be very clear that there is a direct connect between us drinking milk and the end result of what happens to the Cow.

This happens in India as well. The moment a Cow stops giving milk and cannot produce calves, they are released on to the streets. The Cows eat from garbage bins for a while, eventually they are captured and slaughtered . No doubt many are taken to Gau Rakshak sheds, but that is not always the case.

If I have offended anyone, I beg forgiveness. If any feel these are not the facts, I would be grateful if I could be corrected.

Sincerely,

Sailesh

Kumar shivam, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and matajis.

Is there any evidence that if we stop consuming milk then that cow will not yet be slaughtered? Maybe,it might then be used solely for meat purposes and get cultivated as a meat machine as the economic value of milk will go down..

Can’t we promote cow dung for biogas plants, manure and it’s urine for medicinal purposes(as many brands are marketing now itself) so that slaughtering becomes a less viable option.

your servant,

Shivam

Harold Meier, 1 May 2020

Hare Krishna

The only real solution to this matter is to have your own farm and your own cow.  Not very practical.  However you decide to act, act for the sake of Krishna.  If you decide to give up drinking milk, do that for Krishna.  If you decide to continue drinking milk, do that for Krishna.  Either way, don’t be attached to the result and be grateful for each step you take towards Him.

Hare Krishna

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Jiva Soul – A poem from 1874

Back in in 1874, Bhaktivinode Thakura wrote this sublime poem that gives us the formula for Supreme Spiritual Success! Jiva Soul, from Saragrahi Vaishnava

This is a poem by the great saint Bhaktivinode Thakura… from his 1874 work, “Saragrahi Vaishnava”

The Jiva Soul:

Alas for those who spend their days
In festive mirth and joy.
The dazzling, deadly liquid forms
Their hearts fore’er employ.

The shining bottles charm their eyes
And draw their heart’s embrace;
The slaves of wine can never rise
From what we call disgrace.

Was man intended to be
A brute in work and heart?
Should man, the Lord of all around,
From common sense depart?

Man’s glory is in common sense
Dictating us the grace,
That man is made to live and love
The beauteous Heaven’s embrace.

The flesh is not our own alas;
The mortal frame a chain;
The soul confined for former wrongs
Should try to rise again.

Why then this childish play in that
Which cannot be our own;
Which falls within a hundred years
As if a rose ablown.

Our life is but a rosy hue
To go ere long for naught;
The soul alone would last fore’er
With good or evil fraught.

How deep the thought of times to be!
How grave the aspect looks!
And wrapt in awe become, O, we,
When reading Nature’s books.

Man’s life to him a problem dark–
A screen both left and right;
No soul hath come to tell us what
Exists beyond our sight.

But then a voice, how deep and soft,
Within ourselves is left;
Man! Man! Thou art immortal soul!
Thee Death can never melt.

For thee thy Sire on High has kept
A store of bliss above,
To end of time, thou art O! His–
Who wants but purest love.

O Love! Thy power and spell benign
Now melt my soul to God;
How can my earthly words describe
That feeling soft and broad.

Enjoyment, sorrow — what but lots
To which the flesh is heir?
The soul that sleeps alone concludes
In them it hath a share.

And then, my friends, no more enjoy
Nor weep for all below;
The women, wine, and flesh of beasts
No love on thee bestow.

But thine to love thy brother man
And give thyself to God.
And God doth know your wages fair–
This fact is true and broad.

Forget the past that sleeps and ne’er
The future dream at all,
But act in time that are with thee
And progress thee shall call.

But tell me not in reasoning cold,
The soul is made alone
By Earth’s mechanic lifeless rules
And to destruction prone.

My God who gave us life and all
Alone the soul can kill
Or give it all the joys above
His promise to fulfill.

So push thy onward march, O soul,
Against an evil deed
That stands with soldiers Hate and Lust–
A hero be indeed.

Maintain thy post in spirit world
As firmly as you can,
Let never matter push thee down–
O stand heroic man!

O Sharagrahi Vaishnava soul,
Thou art an angel fair;
Lead, lead me on to Vrindavan
And spirit’s power declare.

There rests my soul from matter free
Upon my Lover’s arms–
Eternal peace and spirits love
Are all my chanting charms.

Finally Kicked the Tea and Coffee Habit!

Tea and Coffee are injurious to health. Anything with caffeine is actually in the same category. and anything with caffeine is in the same category. Here is how to kick the nasty habit!

Partha Das, 10 October 2019

Hare Krsna, Dandavats.

Glad to inform that I could give up my 40 years old habit of drinking tea / coffee within 4 months of Chanting the Mahamantra 16 rounds daily.

Wouldn’t have been possible without GuruMaharaj’s daily lessons and guidance.

I already follow the 4 regulative principles.

Thanks a lot.

Hare Krsna,

Partha Das

Annu bhatia, 10 October 2019

jai shree krishna guru ji! 

haribol! 

Annu

Sudhanshu soni, 11 October 2019 

Hare Krishna please accept my humble obeisances prabhu ji

Dandvat pranam

Prabhu ji is it possible to share your realisation or what all things was there which helped you to give up the tea/coffee habit.

Thanks

your servant 

Sudhanshu

Sundar Gopal Das, 11 October 2019

Dear Sriman Bhakta Partha,

Hare Krishna,

Pls accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru & Gauranga.

This is really inspiring for all of us that you have been able to give up the habit of intoxication of tea/coffee. This shows you are gradually getting “intoxicated” by the necteran practice of Krishna consciousness,particularly chanting of 16 rounds daily…keep it up.  

with regards,

your servant,

Sundar Gopal Das

Partha Das, 11 October 2019

Hare Krsna, Please accept my humble obeisances,

I think the Chanting raises us to a higher level of consciousness. You then just lose taste of lower things. 

Dandavats

Partha Das

Harish, 11 October 2019

Hari Bol

Jaya Srila Prabhupada

Harish

Guru Vandana devi dasi, 11 October 2019

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

Congratulations Partha prabhu, very inspiring 

Aspiring servant 

Guru Vandana devi dasi 

Editor’s note: We are referring to teas like black tea, green tea, coffee with coffee beans, which all contain caffeine, which is injurious to one’s spiritual practices. Just like a serious athlete does not eat certain foods, similarly, a serious spiritualist does not take certain substances.

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com

Intoxication – do it right

Do you or any one you know do intoxication? Learn to do it right!

I met a young man who “sometimes takes magic mushrooms” to help him “advance spiritually”.

I said to him “mushrooms are a material substance – the spiritual quest is non-material, how can you reach the spiritual dimension with a mere hallucinogen?”

Think about it, if you need a substance to get you in the spiritual mood, then how will you transcend the material? Is that all your “spiritual experience” is? A chemically induced high?

No, the spiritual high is different, potent, and there is no substance that can even come close to the real thing.

Do you or anyone you know like to drink alcohol? Or smoke a little Marijuana? Drugs? Prescription Medication? Or some other hallucinogen? Are you into tea or coffee? Or tobacco in any form? Chocolate anyone?

In human life, our most precious gift is our highly developed consciousness. In other species of life, there is ample facility for the primitive needs of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, but no other species offers the specific gift of highly evolved consciousness.

In the cycle between birth and death, if a person strives to use their consciousness to transcend the misery of birth, death, old age, and disease, or in other words, rediscover their eternal spiritual nature, that is good use of human life.

The process of liberation is brahma jijñāsā, the search for the Absolute Truth.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/5/14/

When someone uses their human consciousness to strive to search for the Absolute Truth, then even if they do not attain to spiritual perfection in this life, they are sure to get another chance…

नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते ।
स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ॥ ४० ॥ nehābhikrama-nāśo ’sti
pratyavāyo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt

In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/40/

As Srila Prabhupada writes…

Or, as the Christians say, “What profiteth a man if he gain the whole world yet suffer the loss of his eternal soul?”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/40/

Intoxication of any kind causes a degradation of the consciousness.

Intoxication does not take you higher, it drags you lower.

What happens to a person who takes intoxicants? They lose their sobriety. This loss of sobriety is gross in some cases, such as someone who is drunk, or subtle in others, such as someone who becomes materially attached.

Even the “benign” substances such as tea, coffee, and chocolate keep us bound up to the material world, by increasing our attachment to the material world.

Are you on a spiritual journey? Then intoxicants will act to dampen your enthusiasm for spiritual perfection. Dear fellow spiritualists, please avoid all material intoxicants, and ensure your smooth journey to pure spiritual consciousness.

However, know that there is a Supreme Intoxication, the transcendental sound of the Names of God. There are unlimited names of God. You can chant any of them, and each of them will intoxicate you.

However, if you haven’t tried these Supreme Combination of Syllables, try them now.

The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, the Mother Mantra, the Source of All Spiritual Wisdom

If you want to know how to do intoxication right, please let me serve you!

Why are Intoxicated People Happy?

Jaanvi, 06 February 2015

Dear all,

Hare Krsna

There are many people who like indulging in alcohol and have a very strong and healthy body as well as being happy. And then, there are those who do not consume alcohol and have a weak body. Now, could you tell me how to understand this difference?

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 06 February 2015

Hare Krishna!

Mother Jaanvi – our present health has many contributing factors. One of them is called “past karma”. A pious person today may have been impious before thus accruing negative karmic reactions, and an impious person today may have been pious before this accruing positive karmic reactions. It is something like a bank account… suppose two people keep spending money equally from their bank accounts, one person’s bank account suddenly becomes empty and the person has no more money, but the other person’s account has a lot more money… but if they keep spending, that account also will become empty.

It is like a Ferris wheel… some people are on top, some people are at the bottom, but the wheel of time turns and situations change.

A fool who keeps indulging in intoxication will eventually fall sick, grow old, and die, nothing is permanent in this material world.

But, Srila Gurudeva has explained that the pious person who is suffering should internally rejoice because their past reactions are getting finished and soon they will be closer to liberation. And the impious person should be gravely thinking that their stock of good karma is rapidly diminishing and some day soon they will have to face up to their current impiety.

The Krishna conscious person sees both with an equal vision, every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future, in this way both saints or sinners can be fully Krishna conscious. But neither the pious nor impious person are really fortunate, unless they are striving to be Krishna conscious.

Krishna consciousness is the only way by which one can get off this “samsara chakra”, the inescapable prison of complete entanglement.

Hope this helps! Other devotees, please do feel free to contribute.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Sacinandana Das, 07th February 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev.

We are not this body. This body is a temporary covering. Only foolish people drink alcohol as its written on the bottle that its injurious to health. Body is secondary. Consciousness is more important. Its better to be Krishna Conscious in a weak body and go Back to Godhead other than being a materialistic drunkard and taking birth as an animal. Only avoiding alcohol is not enough, we should eat and drink only Krishna Prasadam – sanctified vegetarian foodstuff. Generally devotees have a very strong and healthy body. Devotees are the most happy people on this planet. If a man is happy why does he need to drink alcohol?

your servant,
Sacinandana Das

Jaanvi, 8th February 2015

Dear Prabhujis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks for your clear explaination to this query.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

Saurov, 10th February 2015

Hare Krishna,
My feeling is that when Krishna wants us to come back home, he creates certain situations so that we do not wander. Problems, though we might feel punishing in the short run, is a blessing in the long run as this prevents us from indulging in vices. It is a form of Krishna’s love and mercy. I have seen healthy people so involved in indulging their senses that there is no chance for them to remember Krishna in the present condition.
I agree with all the points Mahabhagavat Prabhu has mentioned. This was my additional input from my own realisations.

Hari Bol,
Saurov

 

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