Cows bestow good fortune
Updated: Mar 17, 2019
According to the Vedic Tradition, anything to do with cows such as the sight or touch of a cow, is considered to be auspicious. It bestows good fortune.
We had one of our monthly weekend retreat courses for ladies on our Mother Divine campus ending on Sunday afternoon. While all the course participants were chatting and bidding each other goodbye in the hallway, Katherine was outside walking up to the entrance of the building with a leash in her hand. She had our grandmother cow Lakshmi with her coming to meet everyone. Seeing a cow standing gracefully right outside the building was a happy surprise for all the ladies. For those who had lived all their lives in New York City, it might have been the very first time they had ever seen or been so close to a real cow. Right away a lady pulled her cellphone out of her pocket and took a few photos of Lakshmi amidst the gathering. Another lady walked up and had a photo taken of herself patting Lakshmi. Some other ladies walked up to Katherine and enquired about the cows. Katherine said “Seeing a cow, touching a cow is auspicious." It is said in the Vedic Literature that, "by laying one’s body on a cow, all the pains or ailments can be relieved….”
I was there, watching Lakshmi quietly by the side. Someone asked Katherine for a name card for future contact. Before Katherine went to fetch her name card from her room, she handed over Lakshmi’s leash to me to keep her in company. I thought if Lakshmi wanted to walk away, there’s no way for me to hold her back because she was at least 7 to 8 times heavier and many times stronger than a human being. Anyway Lakshmi was very graceful, allowing everyone to come up to her, to touch her or whisper to her. While all this was happening, Lakshmi was attracted by some scent and she started sniffling around and bending over a small bush of roses that was growing by the entrance of the building. I became nervous, feeling concern that Lakshmi might eat up the whole rose bush… In order to distract her, I hastily said “Lakshmi, let’s go.” Believe it or not, Lakshmi looked up at me and started turning around, ready to walk away. I was amazed that Lakshmi understood what I said to her. At that moment Katherine returned, seeing Lakshmi was about to walk away from the crowd, she held up her hand in front of Lakshmi’s face, saying “Hold.” Lakshmi then stopped moving and obediently remained where she was.
After all the ladies had departed, Katherine started walking Lakshmi back to the barn, holding Lakshmi’s leash in her hand. I walked along and Katherine started showing me how one should hold a cow’s leash and emphasized that for safety first, one should immediately let go of the leash instead of trying to hold back if a cow starts to run away. When we were walking by one of the Peace Palaces, one of our new buildings, Lakshmi stopped walking and stood there for some reason. We waited for quite a while but Lakshmi remained standing there showing no intention of moving away. Neither of us knew what Lakshmi was up to. She seemed to enjoy standing right outside the Peace Palace. Katherine looked at her watch and said that she had to meet someone at the barn. When she handed over Lakshmi’s leash to me, she reminded me of letting go of the leash and not trying to hold her back if she started running away. While Katherine walked back to the barn, I was standing patiently outside the Peace Palace with Lakshmi. After a little while, Lakshmi started walking again. I kept her leash in my hand, and followed wherever she went. Lakshmi was walking slowly, paying attention to everything she saw on the way.
Perhaps I should explain what her name means. Lakshmi is an ancient Sanskrit word which means “the goal”. The Laws of Nature comprising the fulfillment felt when a goal is achieved are sometimes personified as the goddess of wealth, happiness and all auspiciousness. I thought, “Isn’t it nice to have the goddess of wealth and happiness touring our Mother Divine campus.”
When we passed by a heap of big pebbles around the corner of our path, Lakshmi got excited, which I could tell from her increased breathing. She walked hastily towards the heap of stone pebbles with me following by her side. I wondered why stone pebbles would be of such interest to her—perhaps she mistook the pebbles for apples. As soon as we walked close enough to the heap, Lakshmi realized what they were—just stone pebbles. I could tell, she looked somewhat disappointed and turned around walking away. At that moment I innocently made a quiet promise to Lakshmi, “One day I’ll give you a lot of apples to eat to your heart’s content.” Lakshmi kept exploring on the way and finally we made it back to the barn after more than an hour. When Katherine saw both of us at the barn, she said to me “You both had a long walk. Lakshmi must have trusted you and felt comfortable with your walking her back.”
Later I found out Lakshmi’s birthday is just one day before my birthday. We do have shared something in common.