Milk has been called as amrit in the ancient texts. Charak Samhita reveals that milk increases vitality (ojas) in man. Dhanvantari states that cow’s milk is a desirable and preferred diet in all types of ailments. According to Atharva Veda, the cow, through its milk, transforms a weak and sick person into an energetic person, provides vitality to those without it and by doing so, makes the family prosperous and respectable in the civilised society. Milk is considered as a complete diet providing strength, complexion and nourishment to all seven dhatus as it exhibits properties of ojas, which is the essence of all the dhatus.
Traditionally, after boiling, milk is transferred repeatedly from one container to the other till it foams. This process releases vayu (vata), which makes it easier to digest. Of all the varieties of milk, cow’s milk is considered the best. From milk we derive butter, curd, cheese and ghee, all of which are highly nourishing and important part of our diets. It was said of kingdoms that were prosperous, that rivers of milk flow there, and kingdoms that met their downfall, rivers of blood flow there. Today in our country, there is little milk. A sign of growth or fall?
Ghrit or ghee is called as the ahar or source of nourishment of devas. It is this food that endows the devas with their attributes. There is a story in Shiv Purana which details the effect of change in diet of devas and asurs. Once the mighty Tarakasura cut off the supply of nourishment to devas by forcing the humans to make offerings to him rather than Indra, while performing havans. In the absence of the nourishing oblations of ghee from the humans, devas started losing health. Miserable, they approached Lord Vishnu for intervention. Lord Vishnu just smiled and said, ‘Lets see what happens next.’
There were two men who continued to make offerings to Indra, despite the orders of Tarakasura. Furious, Tarakasura demanded his sons to kill the offenders. The sons, having been put on the diet of devas, felt compassionate towards the innocent people and disregarding the orders of their father, let them live. The sons also took to the path of penance. The asurs, whose basic nature is destruction, having received the subtler prana from the diet of ghee, developed the subtler qualities of compassion and mercy. Such is the impact of your food.
Today the ghee available in the market is smeared with cow fat. Fat from abdominal cavity and other parts of dead animals is used in the manufacturing of desi ghee by popular brands. So many cows and buffaloes that are put to death everyday eventually find their way into our food. Synthetic milk made out of chemicals such as urea and detergent is readily available for consumption at local shops. While Tarakasur put asurs on the diet of devas, men of today are putting devas and humans on the diet of barbarians. The result is evident in the form of ever-increasing crime rate, pain and suffering. The levels of pollution are unparalleled in history. There is adulteration in everything we eat, drink and breathe.
Cow is an evolved being with a high level of consciousness. It has been revered across all faiths and cultures. In Mahabharata, the great Sage Chyawan, in a barter deal with King Nahush, puts his worth as equivalent to a cow, indicating how evolved a being it is. Eating it is as good as eating a human. The act has strong karmic repercussions. Vedas say that the disease in society is directly proportional to the slaughter of cows. The variety of diseases that are coming up these days and the kind of abnormalities that are found in offsprings are enough proof of the statement.
Yogi Ashwini is the spiritual head of Dhyan Ashram.