In 1973 Srila Prabhupada was in Paris talking with Cardinal Danielou, a prominent figure in the French Catholic Church. When Srila Prabhupada brought up the Vedic principle of cow protection—because we drink the cow’s milk we should consider her our mother instead of killing her—the cardinal objected.
“But the cow has no soul,” he replied. Yet the very milk of the cow proves the presence of her soul. A living cow gives milk; a dead one does not.
The soul is present in every living body
The Christians teach that the soul is only something that takes good humans to heaven and bad ones to hell. Animals and plants do not need one. But the Bhagavad-Gita and other Vedic writings teach that the life force present in every living being, whatever the species, is the soul.
Proof of the soul
Anyone can see that the life force is different from the body, that someday this force will go its own way, leaving the body lifeless though intact .
The Bhagavad-Gita also tells us that this life force, the soul, never dies but takes on one body after another. In other words, I am the soul and have been given this body, which I will have to give up someday for another one.
In fact every living being in this world is a soul covered by a body, as is observable: every living body has a life force that will someday depart. The cow, then, is also a life force that has taken on many bodies, even human ones, and now has the body of a cow.
So don’t worry about what the cardinal said. The next time you lick the cream from a mug of warm cow’s milk, remember that you have it only because the cow has a soul, just like you.
Eternally touching my head to the lotus feet of my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada,
⁓Umapati Swami, July 26, 2018
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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the teacher who brought Krishna Consciousness from India to the West and then to the rest of the world. He is the founder of the worldwide Hare Krishna Movement as well as the author and compiler of many works of Vedic knowledge. He left this world in 1977.
One of the first American devotees of the Hare Krishna Movement, he became Srila Prabhupada’s disciple in 1966. Since then, he has preached Krishna Consciousness in many countries and is the author of “My Days with Prabhupada,” available from Amazon. Now 84 years old, he has started this blog to share what he has learned.
© 2018 Umapati Swami