?Save the cow, save the nation? is the battle cry of Shree Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swamiji, the present pontiff of Shree Ramachandrapura Math. He is popularly known as ?Gou Swamiji?. Under his guidance the Shreemath, which was established by Adi Shankara in Gokarna, is emerging as a positive force in shaping the destiny of the nation.
As we step into the 62nd year of Independence, the questions which haunt us are, ?Are we truly Independent?? Can a nation which has no pride in its culture, tradition and value systems call itself free? The greatest challenge in front of us today is to regain the lost soul of the nation and free it from the shackles of cultural, emotional and spiritual enslavement. While the Charka (Hand weave wheel) united India and drove away the colonisers, it is Sri Swamiji'sfirm conviction that today it is only the ?cow? that can serve as a holy symbol to integrate the nation and restore the lost identity and dignity.
This second freedom struggle launched by Shreemath under project Kamadhuga, aims to create a wave of compassion and love for Indian cows, which are on the verge of extinction. Legislation alone cannot put an end to cruelty and destruction of the cattle wealth. The true freedom for the cow and the nation will be achieved on the day when every heart feels for cows? that is the day when the nation becomes ?Bharat??the land of light.
The most important phase of the work which is being carried out by Shreemath is the creation of an awareness among the people that the ?end of cow is the end of man?. It is our primary duty to save the precious and rare indigenous cow breeds which are on the verge of extinction. All the awareness campaigns aim at transformation of hearts.
Bharathiya Gou Yatra (November 2005) Vishwa Gou Sammelana (April 2007), Kotineerajana (November 2007,) and Deepa Gopura (April 2008) are great events organised by Shreemath which have brought about a huge change in the emotional and spiritual psyche of the nation. It has brought about a fundamental change in the attitude of the people with regard to the importance of the cow protection movement and national regeneration.
In addition to this attitudinal shift, there are other socio economic dimensions to this cow-centered revolution. Shreemath works as a catalyst in this regard.
Shreemath is working to convert Dharwad in Karnataka an Abhaya Zilla in which no cow will be slaughtered. This task will be achieved through positive action of buying cow urine and dung from farmers, who will never have to sell their cows because cow rearing will become profitable even after they stop yielding milk. Industrialists have come forward to establish gavya production units in Dharwad. This model of rural development will be extended to other districts too.
These initiatives of Shreemath have received positive response from the Government of Karnataka which has declared to set up cow urine and dung procurement centers at Mysore and Shimoga. The government has already allotted funds for research on cow urine.
Due to the efforts and inspiration provided by the Shreemath, industrialists of national and international repute have started the production of quality gavya products which will hit the market soon and provide profit to the farmer, protection to the cow and health to the public.
Under project Kamadugha, Shreemath has established Amritdhara Goushalas all over India. They play a vital role in protecting and propagating the precious indigenous cow breeds which are on the verge of extinction. The Goushala at Hosanagara houses thirty of the thirty three identified cow breeds and has received international recognition for its contribution towards preserving the gene pool. Due to these efforts rare breeds like Vechur and Krishna Theera have been saved from extinction.
A wide range of gavya products are manufactured in the Hosanagara Goushala and Shreemath offers training and expertise to institutions, which wish to start gavya production units. In the context of spiraling oil prices, the menace of chemical fertilisers and endemic farmer suicide, Shreemath'smodel of cow-centred development holds a ray of hope to the nation. Shreemath provides desi cows to farmers on condition that they do not sell or cross breed them. It also provides shelter to cows during draught and famine. Gou Sanjeevini is a unique project through which Shreemath buys the cows which are being sent to the slaughter houses.
Research and Development
Shreemath has undertaken a number of research projects on indigenous cattle in collaboration with prestigious research institutes. Some of these are:
Research on the use of cow urine in treatment of diabetics in collaboration with Veterinary College, Bangalore; Comparative study of the properties of the urine of the 30 varieties of indigenous cattle in collaboration with M.G I.R.I, Wardha; A comparative study on the milk of indigenous cows in collaboration with Veterinary College, Pukodu, Kerala.
Dr Sathyashankar Varmudi, Kasargod has documented cases of cancer patients cured by cow urine therapy. Punyakoti Cancer awareness care and research centre in Mulleriya, Kerala specialises on cancer and gavya chikitsa.
Under project Sanjeevini, Shreemath has been providing health care to a large number of people, especially to the rural people. Shreemath runs an eye hospital, a cancer institute and a number of gavya clinics and mobile clinics in Karnataka and Kerala. Shree Bharathi Nethra Chikithsalaya, Mujungavu, Kerala, a super specialty hospital offers subsidised and free treatment to all eye ailments. It also runs an eye bank.
It is Shree Guruji'sardent wish that Bharat should regain its glory as the land of light. Shreemath runs several institutions which offer both ancient and modern systems of education. Hosanagara, the main Math is emerging as a centre of Vedic learning and culture. A university is being set up there for the study of ancient Vedas and kalas which may disappear from the face of the earth if they are not studied and practised. Upavedas like Ayurveda, Arthashasthra and disciplines like Vastu, Agama and Shilpa are also studied. Research on ancient Indian history and culture is carried out.
Towards building a new Bharat
Shreemath provides a number of other community services through its network of volunteers. It offers financial assistance to poor students and also adopts poor families. Shree Guruji'sdiscourses and dhyana classes bring solace and happiness to a large section of society.
Under the guidance of Shreemath, many temples have been renovated. Shreemath is building a unique temple for Chandramouleeshwara in Hosanagara. It will be dedicated to the world in April 2009.