Milk and the Meaning of VijayaDashami

Goddess Durga.jpg
If one offers Me with love and devotion, a leaf, a flower, fruit or some water, I will accept it
— Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita 9:26

“Mahishasura was a bad Demon. He had received a boon from Lord Brahma that no man could defeat him and therefore, he became very arrogant. He went around destroying the planet, killing the animals and the Gods were powerless to stop him. They pleaded with Lord Krishna to intervene and he said that even he couldn’t stop him. But Goddess Lakshmi could, because she was not a man, but a woman. She descended on Earth as “Durga (Kimaya)” and battled with Mahishasura for 9 days and 9 nights. On the 10th day, she defeated him and put him in a headlock until he cried for mercy. He promised to change his ways, be kind to the animals, and help regenerate the Earth again!”

This is the Vegan version of VijayaDashami, the celebration of victory on the 10th day (or the victory over the 10 bad qualities), that our granddaughter, Kimaya, loves. Kimaya has wished that the world will be Vegan by 2026 and I consider it our sacred duty to fulfill that wish.

Five thousand years ago, during the time of Lord Krishna, in the Dwapara Yuga, milk was considered as nectar. Perhaps this was because milk provided the vital nutrient, Vitamin B12, containing the trace mineral cobalt that is not readily available to us, the only species on the planet that routinely washes its food before eating it (Vitamin B12 is naturally found only in soil bacteria and it was discovered in 1948). Milk was considered as Ahimsa (nonviolence towards all beings), since the cows were truly treated as members of the family. And milk was part of a regenerative agriculture that used cow dung to recycle nutrients back to the soil. Therefore, five thousand years ago, it made sense that Lord Krishna loved milk and especially, butter.

Today, in Kali Yuga, only the demon Mahishasura could possibly love milk! Milk is poison, not nectar, as it contains a concentrated dose of the 250 billion tons of environmental toxins that humans have been pouring into the air, water and soil annually through our industrial processes. Milk is Himsa, the opposite of Ahimsa, as the mother cow is the most tortured being on the planet. The worst thing you can do to a mother is to take her baby away from her and the dairy industry routinely does this to the mother cow within 48 hours of her baby's birth. If the baby is male, the industry kills him for veal. If the baby is female, the industry reserves her for future torture. Then, it rapes the mother cow within two months of her baby's birth and impregnates her again. It milks the mother three times a day, usually with a machine that sucks her teats dry in 1 minute flat. After torturing her daily for 4 years, the mother cow becomes thoroughly exhausted and then the dairy industry grinds her up into hamburger patties. This is Himsa or premeditated cruelty, plain and simple!

Finally, milk is destroying the planet. It is taking away food from wild animals and thereby killing them off. If you are paying less than $15 a gallon for milk, then you are more complicit in the deliberate cruelty and less complicit in the planet destruction. If you are paying $15 a gallon or more for milk, then you are more complicit in the planet destruction and less complicit in the deliberate cruelty. Either way, the demon Mahishasura is not out there, but within us. It is time to let Goddess Durga, or our own “Kimaya”, slay that demon within us. In the Vegan version, let her put that demon in a headlock within us.

The American Dietetic Association has said that it is unnecessary to consume milk or animal foods of any kind at any stage of the human life cycle. Therefore, during this auspicious time of VijayaDashami, may Lord Krishna, the apostle of Love, reign supreme in our hearts, as we kick our dairy habits.

Sailesh Rao

Dr. Sailesh Rao is an Electrical Engineer, systems specialist, Climate Healer, author of "Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies" and "Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis", and Executive Producer of "The Human Experiment", "Cowspiracy," "What The Health” and “A Prayer for Compassion.