New £2.5 million cow sanctuary to be opened in Letchmore Heath on Saturday
3:18pm Thursday 4th November 2010
By Suruchi Sharma
A NEW brand of slaughter-free milk for Hindus will be brought to the masses following the official opening of a new £2.5million cow sanctuary in Letchmore Heath this weekend.
The sanctuary will be opened at Bhaktivedanta Manor, in Hilfield Lane, by thirty saffron-robed priests who will be chanting 5000 year old Vedic mantras or prayers for the farm called New Gokul.
Guests of honour include Dominic Grieve QC MP, the attorney general, and spiritual leader from India His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami.
The original Gokul is a small town in the Indian district of Mathura and is the setting of Hindu god Lord Krishna’s childhood.
The god is revered by Hindus and the manor annually holds a public Janamashtami festival in his honour, which brings in more than 60,000 people every August.
New Gokul, a farm on which no animal will be killed or harmed, will create milk called Ahimsa Milk, meaning milk produced without harm to any living being.
Special treatment received by the 44 cows and bulls, mostly dairy Short Horns and Meuse-Rhine-Yssel, includes relaxing music being played to the cows as they are hand-milked and being allowed to live their full natural life-span.
Having taken over five years to complete, its main features include an oak building, ox power in the fields and treadmill, hand milking and the full viewing facility so that all visitors can see the working of the farm.
Described as the “Hilton of farms” the milk is £3 a litre making this the most expensive milk in the UK.
Radha Mohan, from the manor, said: “There was considerable interest in the milk. There is holy water and now there is holy milk.
“It is encouraging the amount of interest there has been. There is already organic milk and for our congregation they feel it is well worth the money to have this milk for their cornflakes, coffee and tea.
“If you buy milk from a mainstream supermarket the cow is probably dead by the time you drink the milk so you are sort of assisting in the murder in a way.
“This is our version of kosher or halal food.”
On Sunday, the manor will celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, and a set of Chinese lanterns will be released followed by a grand firework display.
Before each lantern is released into the night sky, a prayer for world peace in ancient Sanskrit will be recited by priests.
Highlights of the Diwali festival will include colourful dances, plays and free vegetarian meals for everyone.
The day will start at 4pm and with the fireworks display at 6.15pm.
Temple President Srutidharma das said: "Diwali is a time for family and for prayers, sacrifice and charity.
"Millions of Hindus around the world worship Lord Rama on this day by lighting lamps and sharing a sumptuous vegetarian feast with friends and neighbours."
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