The Sri Sathya Sai Gokulam was started to take care of the cows as a benevolent gesture by Bhagawan Baba.
The Gokulam is a shelter for cows that houses over 400 cows.There are about 100 milking cows and this milk is consumed in the canteens and other institutions such as the primary school hostel, higher secondary school hostel, and the university boys hostel. The other by-products that the Gokulam produces are vermi-compost which is used by the farmers from neighboring villages as manure which is sold at extremely cheap rates. The Gokulam also houses a biogas plant which is used for generating alternate fuel for cooking food by the adjoining university boys hostel.
Bhagawan has been always concerned about the cows at Gokulam. He says,“ ‘Gomatha’ or Mother Cow should be considered as one of the mothers that a man has. Every person on this earth, has 5 mothers.They are –
- DehaMatha(the mother who gave birth to the Body),
- Desha Matha(One’s own Country),
- Gomatha (the Cow),
- Veda Matha (the Vedas), and
- Bhoomatha (Mother Earth).
He says in Telugu “Nee tallivruddhuraalaindaniaamenuvadileystaavaa?” which translates to, will you throw away your own mother from your house just because she has become old? Adhering to Bhagawan’s instructions, all the cows, whether young or old, milking or non-milking – all are taken care of very lovingly by the personnel serving in the cowshed. Many a times, Bhagawan has said that it is not easy to get such a great opportunity to serve gomatha; one has to have a pure heart and acquire a lot of punya to serve the cows.
Keeping in mind his teachings the highest reverence is accorded to the cows. The cows which have become barren and old are not discarded or given away for slaughter, but cared for at Gokulam till they are alive.
Each year during Krishnashtami, a few cows and their calves are taken to Kulwant Hall in front of Bhagawan in a procession by the boys from the university as well as the higher secondary school. Each year Bhagawan lovingly feeds these cows that are brought for His blessings. In the earlier years, Swami used to visit the Gokulam quite often and has even entrusted some of his students to manage the cowshed too. He used to lovingly call these boys the “cow boys”.