The Sanskrit compound word Gauśālā or Gaushala consists of the terms gau (गौ), which means ‘cow’ and śāla or shala (शाला), which means ‘house’, ‘abode’ or ‘home’, so gaushala means ‘cowstall’ or ‘cowshed’.
In the thousands of years old tradition of ashrams and gurukulams in India, yajnashalas and gaushalas were always an indispensable part, and so is our Gaushala the heart of SRSG. The mother cows provide us with fresh milk to nurture us and we serve them. Our “Sadhaka Grama Gaushala” includes a covered cow shed, where all our cows can rest peacefully in the evenings. There are two big storerooms next to the cowshed, where we store cattle feed for our beautiful cows, including hay, grains, and fresh green grass.
We have cleared out the space next to the Meditation Hall, previously known as the Manana Vatika, and our big cows happily graze and rest there during the day. The small cowshed has been rebuilt and extended so that our baby cows have more space to run and play around during the day.
Our Gaushala houses three generations of cows with the two 10-year old grandmothers – Saraswati and Divya. Their daughters include Ganga, Yamuna, and Kali. The third generation includes a 2-year old cow named Gauri, four 1-year olds (Gayatri, Maitrika, Saumya and Purnima), a 3 month old Parvati and our only baby bull named Nandi, who is only a month old. The eldest of these calves – Gauri and Gayatri – have grown up to join the five big cows in the big cowshed already. The younger ones – Maitrika, Saumya, Purnima, and Nandi – are still jumping around in the little cow shed!