March, 2017, a young male calf was found abandoned in the neighborhood of a guesthouse I was staying at in Chennai. Having a male calf show up for Spring Equinox was considered a good omen as Nandi the divine bull is said to bring water. I wrote to some friends in Europe:
“One of the things I love about India:
You can bring an abandoned calf home, and everyone pitches in to take care of him and no one yells at you Everyone is in love with him.
He’s been given a bath, and we’ve had the vet out to look at him and give him some injections of antibiotics and some B vitamins. He’s much perked up in the last 48 hours.
All the staff seem to have family roots in village life elsewhere and seem to know automatically what to do with a calf. The cook ran off to get some long skinny cucumbers, someone else got various green leafy stuff and someone else came back with bananas, so the calf was upgraded from garbage dump dining to fine cuisine.
There is a place that can take him that has land and other cows, and then he will be with other animals of his species, and we can visit him from time to time. There isn’t really room in the courtyard for him full-time, and he will grow and get a lot bigger.
We verified with the neighbors that the calf has been abandoned for at least 8 days that they know of, so it does not seem that someone is out looking for him. “
Some of the neighbors had quietly done simple pooja (a light/sound ceremony) to the young calf as cows and bulls are revered in the Vedic tradition as living representatives of divine energies.
When I first visited India in 1999, I had been astonished to see cows freely wandering around in the streets. Later I lived in a building that housed AstroVed’s Homa and Remedy Center as well as some cows, and every day for over a year I attended an early morning elaborate cow pooja conducted by a Vedic priest.
Here is a written description by another woman who was also a guest during that time:
Here are some video clips showing some of the ingredients and steps of the Astroved Cow Pooja (aka Gho Pooja) during that time:
The word “Gho” means cow in Sanskrit. Thus “Gho Pooja” means worship of the cow. The Siddhas instruct us that Gho Pooja is an important worship procedure. They point out that a cow is so spiritually pure that millions and millions of deities take residence in and around a cow.
Cow pooja especially invokes the blessings of Lakshmi, feminine archetype of beauty, grace, purity and abundance. In ancient times, in an agrarian culture, having cows represented wealth. In modern times, many of us do not normally live in a place where cow pooja can be performed on a regular basis. Even AstroVed had to discontinue offering regular cow pooja service when the AstroVed Homa and Remedy Center moved to a new location that was not as cow-friendly. (We did find good homes for all the cows before the move.)
For me, connection to cow seems to be in my DNA. My great uncle and great aunt on my mother’s side had a small dairy farm in Minnesota which I visited as a child, and on my father’s side, a few generations back one branch of the family came to USA from Switzerland. A friend on Facebook had shared this from a book written in the 1930’s, and I had loved seeing that the cow is included in spiritual ceremonies in other traditions:
“’……told me that they (Loetschental Valley, Switzerland) recognize the presence of Divinity in the life-giving qualities of the butter made in June when the cows have arrived for pasturage near the glaciers. He gathers the people together to thank the kind Father for the evidence of his Being in the life-giving qualities of butter and cheese made when the cows eat the grass near the snow line. This worshipful program includes the lighting of a wick in a bowl of the first butter made after the cows have reached the luscious summer pasturage. This wick is permitted to burn in a special sanctuary built for the purpose. The natives of the valley are able to recognize the superior quality of their June butter, and, without knowing exactly why, pay it due homage.’ -Weston A. Price”
This week, as we were in Chennai in a car following the young male calf to his new home, we enjoyed seeing him sticking his head out the back of a small 3 wheel taxi and eating fresh grass held by a staff member who was accompanying the calf. Several people on motorcycle did a double take to realize they were alongside a live calf traveling in a motor vehicle!
I reminisced to Swamini Karuppayi how much I had loved in the past being part of daily cow pooja for over a year. She pointed out to me how much deeper my connection to Lakshmi had become as a result of those ceremonies, to the point that my most recent Nadi reading had predicted wonderful things for me with Lakshmi’s mantra SHREEM BRZEE. Dr. Pillai has said over and over how in this age it is time for money to come into the hands of spiritual people. Cow pooja is one of the short cuts to help that happen.
I told her wouldn’t it be great if AstroVed could revive the cow pooja service, now that we had found a suitable, local place with cows and people who appreciated the divine teachings about cows. This would be a wonderful service to help people connect more easily with the blessings of Lakshmi as the names and birthstars of all sponsors would be read by the priest before a cow pooja.
She agreed, it would be great to send a priest over periodically to do cow pooja at this new location. We are looking forward to offering this service again in the near future through AstroVed. Stay tuned for further cow pooja news!
Written by Swamini Valli Wells
Valli is available for ½-hour and 1-hour Live Astrologer Consultations (LAC) at AstroVed (USD global version only). She encourages people to create a free account at AstroVed and run free reports about their own Birth Chart, Birth Star, Moon sign, and Planetary Influences. This is a simple way to begin to make friends with astrology. She invites everyone interested to learn more about Vedic astrology to join a newly formed Facebook group for Astrology Club – AstroVed.
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