Kuladri Recalls Srila Prabhupada’s Second Meeting With Kaliya, New Vrindaban’s First Cow – 1976.

kaliya-with-prabhupada New Vrindaban 1972

Srila Prabhupada meets Kaliya, New Vrindaban’s original cow, on the path to the New Vrindaban farmhouse, 1976.


An excerpt of an article, written by Madhava Smullen, titled “ECOV: A Dynamic Solution to a Modern Dilemma.”

The first cow protection program that Srila Prabhupada established in the Western World was in the rural community of ISKCON New Vrindaban—named after Krishna’s village and nestled in the hills of West Virginia. “Krishna by His practical example taught us to give all protection to the cows and that should be the main business of New Vrindaban,” Prabhupada wrote to his disciple Hayagriva in June 1968. He suggested a life close to the land: “So these duties are there in New Vrindaban, and we shall live there independently, simply by raising cows, grains, fruits, and flowers.”

In May 1969, Srila Prabhupada visited New Vrindaban, and met its very first cow—and only cow at the time—a black Jersey named Kaliya. Prabhupada would drink a little of her milk morning, noon, and night. “I haven’t tasted milk like this in sixty-five years,” he said. Looking around at his disciples, he told them that he wanted New Vrindaban to demonstrate to the world the social, moral, and economic advantages of protecting the cow and utilizing her milk, rather than killing her and eating her flesh.

When Prabhupada visited New Vrindaban for the fourth time in 1976, the cow protection program had grown to hold many more cows, including Kaliya.

“The cows would graze up on the hill,” recalls Kuladri Dasa, who has served at New Vrindaban since 1970. “One day, as Prabhupada was walking up the road with a group of devotees, Kaliya came ambling down the hill towards them, all by herself. Prabhupada immediately recognized her from his first visit, and addressed her, ‘Ah, my dear old friend Kaliya.’”

In those early days, devotees would milk the little herd twice a day, and the milk would be more than enough for the small, dozen-strong community. “We would have two devotees milking the cow by hand at once—one on each side,” says Kuladri. “Radhanath Swami, now a major spiritual leader in Mumbai, was one of the cowherd boys then, and I would milk with him. I remember he was a strong milker—our cow would always give the most! Altogether, four or five of us would team up and milk all the cows.”

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