Saturday April 21, 2018
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Cow’s head disposed outside Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary in US

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cow's head
Worshipping cow in India. image source: mashable.com

Jackson Township, New York: State police are investigating a case of ethnic intimidation in Monroe County.

Someone dumped a cow head at the home of a Hindu man over the weekend. Hinduism is a religion where the cow is a symbol of life and should never be killed.

None of the 20 or so cows at Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary near Tannersville was hurt. The severed head was left where the Hindu owner of the farm would find it, but he’s not letting this taint what the sanctuary is all about.

Every day, the cows graze the fields at Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary, no matter their breed and no matter their age it’s their home, their safe haven.

The sanctuary is Sankar Shastri’s labor of love, a place where he can live in harmony with the cows according to the Hindu religion in which the sacred animals are symbols of life.

“If you like cows and show love and compassion then there’s more love and compassion and you don’t need war,” he said.

The sanctuary has not been at its current location for much more than a month and already it’s dealing with a case of ethnic intimidation. The folks who live and work on the farm wonder why someone would go to all that trouble.

“I just think it’s kind of silly, people wasting their time. Imagine they took some effort in getting a cow head, bringing it here, had to go out of your way to do that,” said volunteer Katherine Davis.

“I was shocked,” added Shastri. “I said I hope this doesn’t magnify anymore. I don’t want to take it to the next side. I hope just a prank.”

Shastri can’t think of anyone who wold do something like this. The Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary had been a safe haven in the Bangor area for nearly 20 years before moving to the larger piece of land in Monroe County.

Now the sanctuary has a chance to educate folks about Hindu beliefs in spite of a disturbing deed.

“They probably didn’t realize. People are unaware of what we’re about,” said Shastri.

The cow sanctuary is considering installing cameras, but hopes this story helps people become more aware of the importance of these animals to Hindus.

If you have any information about where the cow’s head came from, you are asked to call state police.

Watch this video about the incident:

Source: http://wnep.com

Next Story

Right of Nature: Are Rivers Living Beings?

Should rivers be considered Living Entities?

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Right of Nature
Many cultures across the globe believe that rivers are living beings or Gods/Goddesses and they just take the form of water bodies.

By Dr. Bharti Raizada, Chicago

Science says that water bodies are not living entities, as water does not need food, does not grow, and reproduce. Water is required for life, but in itself it is nonliving.

However, many cultures across the globe believe that rivers are living beings or Gods/Goddesses and they just take the form of water bodies.

The Maori tribe in New Zealand considers the Whanganui River as their ancestor and the Maori people fought to get it a legal status as a living being. In 2017, a court in New Zealand gave this river the status of living being and same rights as humans, to protect it from pollution. Thus, now if someone pollutes in it then it is considered equivalent to harming a human.

ALSO READ: Worshiping mother nature part of our tradition: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Right of Nature
Rivers are sacred in many religions, including Hinduism. Image courtesy: Dr. Bharti Raizada

Rivers are sacred in Hinduism also. Hindus believe that the Ganga descended from heaven and call her Ganga Maa. A few days after New Zealand’s court decision, Uttarakhand high court in India gave the Ganga and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries the status of living human entities. The Court-appointed three officials as legal custodians. However, the court did not clarify many aspects related to this decision.

After this verdict some of the questions, which naturally came to mind, were:

Can Hindus still do rituals of flowing ashes, leaves, flowers, diyas in river or no? Can a dam be built on the river after this judgment? If some damage, to a person, animal, plants, or property, occurs because of river e.g. overflow, hurricanes, flooding etc., how the river will pay the liabilities? What if all rivers, oceans, ponds etc. are given the status of living beings? Will drinking water from river become a crime? What about taking water and using it for routine needs,  agriculture or building structures? Will it be illegal? If a child throws a stone in water, will it be a criminal act? Will fishing be considered stealing? What about boating? If someone is using heat near water and water evaporates, is it equal to taking the body part of a human being? What about taking a bath in the river?

Right of Nature
If the river gets a living status, as human, then we cannot use it for anything without its permission, so everyone has to stop touching the water. Image courtesy: Dr. Bharti Raizada

ALSO READ: Decoding supernatural: What is the nature of entities and gods who influence human behavior

Other queries, which arise, are:

Will animals and plants get the same status? What if you kill an ant or a chicken etc. or cut a tree? Will all animals and plants get a legal custodian?

Where is all the waste supposed to go? It has to go somewhere back in nature, right?

Uttrakhand state government challenged the judgement in Supreme Court and the latter reversed the judgment.

Right of Nature
So where do we stand? In my opinion, granting living status to nature is a different thing than giving protected status or preserving nature. Image by Dr. Bharti Raizada

ALSO READ: How nature destroys the negative tendencies in a positive manner

Ecuador’s constitution recognized the Right of Nature to exist, specifically Vilcabamba river, in 2008.

Then Bolivia passed the law of the right of mother earth and granted Nature equal rights as humans.

Many communities in the U.S.A. passed the Right of Nature law.

These laws are creating a dilemma or quandary also, as people need to use these resources. We cannot live without using natural resources. However, there is a difference between using natural resources and afflicting or destroying these. So, please use natural resources very diligently. Try not to vitiate nature.

On World Water Day (March 22), please start taking care of rivers, so that there is no need for future celebrations. It should not be a one-day celebration anyway, we should scrupulously look out for nature all the time.

Dr. Raizada is a practicing anesthesiologist.