|| श्री गुरुभ्यो नम: ||
The significance of Gau Daana
दानानामपि सर्वेषां गवां दानं प्रशस्यते । गावः श्रेष्ठाः पवित्राश्च पावनं ह्येतदुत्तमम् ॥ (Mahabharata, Anushasana Parva 83-3)
Donation of cows is superior to all others. Cows are supreme and sacred.
कृषिगौरक्ष्यवाणिज्यं वैश्यकर्म स्वभावजम् ।
Agriculture, dairy farming, and commerce are the innate nature of work of Vaishyas. Supporting them through work is the natural duty for those with the qualities of Shudras.
One can see from the apparent world it is full of diverse people, some are born rich and some are born poor, some are beautiful and some are ugly, some attain higher position in various phases of life and some struggle, though efforts to be rich and happy can be seen from everyone, however one would realize for a similar action and effort one person succeeded and other could not, when one starts to analyze the reasons behind any success or failure, he would realize that the world is not under his control and when one further does a deep diver he gets to understand from scriptural perspective that everything boils down the good deeds (punya ) and bad deeds (paapa) which servers as currency for his next body.
As per Garuda Purana, from the thirteenth day after the death of a person, when sapindi karana is done the soul (Atma) starts traversing towards the Southern direction realm of Lord Yamaraja and has to pass through 16 towns of Yamaloka, it is believed that it takes 6months to reach the 8th town and there the Atma needs to pass thru a river called Vaitarani and the river is 100 yojanas wide (equivalent to the distance of Ram Sethu bridge), it is filled with blood, worms and human flesh and has unbearable stench smell for the sinners. Also, it is full of crocodiles, fishes with adamantine blade-like tails. Now in order to reach the next town the Atma the servants of Yama (Yamadootas) would help in rowing a boat using the merits (punya) earned during the lifetime of Atmans, if there are no merits the Atma would be left to swim and sink in the river with no help. So it is said if the Atma has donated a cow to a pious Brahmana during his lifetime, then he would have earned huge amount of punya which would enable him to pass through all the gates of Yamaloka and further reach one of the heavenly planets and he would stay there for the number of years equal to the number of hairs on the cow which he donated.
Some of the conditions before doing Gau Daana.
पीतोदका जग्धतृणा दुग्धदेहानिरिंद्रियाः। आनंदा नाम तेलोकस्तान् स गच्चति ता ददत् ॥ (Kathopanishad-Valli-1 Mantra-3)
In Kathopanishat, during Vihswajit Yagya while conversing with Vajashravas Nachikta tells his father “these cows have consumed grass and have taken water, they have been milked, and they are past reproductive age. One who donates these old cows will go to lower planets where darkness prevails and devoid of pleasures. Instead, donate me.”
One should not donate a cow which has been milked, or is of ripe age, if so one who does it will go to lower planets filled with darkness, filled with sufferings.
- The person accepting the gift (daana) should be a noble person, and must be very sure of his integrity to devotion and service to the cows, must be capable of taking care of the cow always.
- If the cows are not fed properly by the person who accepted your daana, then the person who donated Gau would get back two folds the sins committed by the receiver.
- The cows should be given a good care, if in case the cows are left to lurch around or ill-treated by the receiver or some associates of the receiver does any form of harm to the cow it would inadvertently lead to Pitru dosha (sins), this makes even his forefathers to suffer as well.
- Hence a thorough background verification has to be done to the person whom we are donating a cow, one must go and do physical background verification and even after donating the cow on a periodic basis the health condition of the cows should be thoroughly checked.
At Shri Puthige matha since ages the Gau seva is being performed with sincerity and devotion, the daani (donor) fully assured that it’s in safe hands and rest peacefully.
Benefits/significance of Gau daana to a righteous person/organization.
1. Relieves the donor from the debts borrowed during ones lifetime.
2. Relieves the donor and also the forefathers from all the bondages (sins) committed during their lifetime knowingly or unknowingly and would be forgiven for the misdeeds.
3. The donor and his forefathers would get enlightenment and would be liberated from the bondage of repeated cycles of birth and death (moksha).
The donation of cow to a Gau shala and taking of its wellbeing is considered as a service to Lord Shri Krishna and one can do service anytime, however it is considered that Ekadashi day to be more auspicious day, if one donates a cow the donor receives the blessings in abundant.