When we talk about cow protection, of course, that means protection of calves and bulls, too. And unlike the image of the mother cow, which is more or less clear to us, that of the bulls is the depth of an ocean which we are yet to penetrate. The bull is called a representative of Dharma, Father of religion, provider. The cow nourishes with her milk, and the bull – with his legs. His legs are the four pillars of religion: cleanliness, truth, austerity and mercy. When Arishtasura demon decided to attack Vrindavan, he did that under the guise of a bull, hoping that Krishna was not going to thrash the father of Dharma. But he made a mistake – Krishna values Dharma, but he vanquished false religion without any hesitation. The ninth mantra of Sri Isopanisad also emphasizes the danger of false knowledge, “Those who engage in the culture of nescient activities shall enter into the darkest region of ignorance. Worse still are those engaged in the culture of so-called knowledge.”
In the purport to this mantra Srila Prabhupada writes:
“Such Veda-vāda-ratas search out meanings in every word of the Vedas to suit their own purposes. They do not know that the Vedic literature is a collection of extraordinary books that can be understood only through the chain of disciplic succession.”
Why do we often feel fear when approached by a bull? Because it is not just the body of a bull that approaches us, it is his consciousness, too – that is Dharma itself approaching us. “If there’s adharma in your heart, you will experience fear” – says Valmiki Prabhu, and he also discloses the way into the heart of a bull, “Our Dharma is to be a servant of the Guru. Remember Guru, think about what he wants from me, how I can satisfy him. Guru is the key figure in our life. Remembering that, we can follow our Dharma. The main Dharma is chanting. We must become the servants of Krishna’s servants. If we think about Krishna and Guru in the right way, our consciousness will be protected against adharma. We will be able to fulfil the dharma of spreading the message of Lord Chaitanya and give the people a chance to see Panca-tattva. God came here in the most merciful of His incarnations. The beauty of the Lord is His associates, the most powerful of His weapons is His devotees. In this way, we can help Mahaprabhu save the whole Universe!”
Taking care of the bulls enhances our internal ramrod and determination on our spiritual journey in a wonderful way. Their protection also includes the notion of “ahimsa”. If we use machines in tilling the land, and send the bulls to slaughter because there’s no need for them anymore, then the harvest that we get cannot be called ahimsa-produce. The psychology of interactions between humans and bulls is also quite profound. Despite their awe-inspiring look, the bulls are nonetheless quite social and devoted to their master. Daivata Prabhu, a devotee who trains the bulls by voice command, shared his insight,” So, if he looks like he is going to butt you or tries to, just know that he is just being a little protective of the relationship he has developed with me. He wasn’t expecting anyone else. Did you have an appointment? It’s amazing, isn’t it? They do the same thing that we do.”
Cows and bulls are the dwellers of the spiritual world. They came here with the mission, and service to them is equal to serving the Lord. They say that Srila Prabhupada can take us to the spiritual world through the back door. Who knows, may be serving the cows is one of those doors?