‘Dohan’ was followed scrupulously
in ancient Bharat and up to pre-independence, but later lost acceptance with
dwindling farm incomes and excessive commercialism. We are helping to re-establish
this practice, which has many practical benefits for modern society.
WHAT is dohan? A brief history…
Dohan is derived from the word ‘do’
which literally means two. It is an ancient Vedic practice where the calf is
allowed to feed to its satisfaction from two ‘Anchals’, while the remaining two
are used to obtain milk for other living beings. This is an ancient practice
which was scrupulously adhered to in Bharat. However, as time passed, farm
incomes came under pressure particularly post independence. Grazing pasteurs of
Gomata (‘Cow’ as Divine Mother, an ancient Vedic belief, or should we say Vedic
conviction) became scarce with rising urbanization, increasing rural
populations and less attention paid to preserving indigenous & local grass
varieties. As a result, farmers had to buy feeds from outside to maintain their
Gomata’s. Driven often by desperation and sometimes by greed, farmers slowly moved
away from ‘dohan’ and started milking from 3 or 4 Anchals. The practice that
was followed since centuries gradually lost significance.
With the advent of modern scientific
advances in dairy industry, the traditional human-Gomata touch involved in ‘dohan’
further depleted with milking machines. Gomata gradually lost Her position as
the Mother, as interference from scientific ‘innovations’ further interfered
with Her independence – those interventions which were designed to stimulate
breeding and increase milk production. The rest as they say is history. Today,
urban consumers remain largely and blissfully unaware about the condition of
Gomata, and the ethical, spiritual as well as practical repercussions it has it
their own lives and health.
WHY is ‘dohan’ so important in our relationship with Gomata?
Social organizations such as
Bansi Gir Gaushala have been leading the way in re-introducing this concept,
and encouraging farmers to look after their Gomata with a paramparic
(traditional) Vedic approach involving ‘dohan’. When people take a very limited
view, the most practical question that often arises is this - does ‘dohan’ not
lead to a loss of milk and hence reduced profitability for the farmers? For
farmers concerned about their profitability, ‘dohan’ makes sense for the following
1) Stronger breed - When ‘Dohan’
is followed, it strengthens the breed as calves are healthier as they enter
2) Longevity of milk - Gomata’s
can give milk for longer periods when She knows Her calves are still feeding.
When calves are weaned away earlier to gain more milk for humans, Her milk also
dries up earlier.
3) Earlier maturity of calves –It
has been observed that calves who feed on their Mothers under the process of ‘dohan’
attain maturity much earlier compared with conventional dairy calves that don’t.
HOW ‘dohan’ affects quality of milk and its consequences for health
From a health perspective, ‘dohan’ has benefits which are not limited to the above practical considerations alone. Gomata is satisfied when She knows that the calf is well fed. This reduces or eliminates the need for stress hormones, and the resulting milk is more beneficial compared to the milk of Gomata who is worried that Her calf is not fed well. Some nutritional experts argue that conventional dairy milk causes hypertension (blood pressure) and hormonal problems in many people due to the stress that Gomata’s go through. Various studies show that Gomatas form bonds with their offspring and friendships with other Gomata’s around them. Their heart beats and stress hormone levels are affected when their calves are taken away from them during feeding periods. When ‘dohan’ is followed, the Gomata experiences peace, love and satisfaction. She is also able to form more affectionate bonds with Her caretakers or gopalaks. Such milk improves well being
and is highly beneficial from an Ayurvedic perspective. This also positively
affects other ‘panchgavya’ products
From a spiritual perspective,
ancient Bharatiya scriptures say that condition of mankind will be similar to
the condition of Gomata’s. When Gomata’s are loved and looked after well,
humanity will also experience enhanced happiness and prosperity. ‘Dohan’ is an
important element of taking good care of Gomata, under the Vedic Gopalan
approach. The Karmic consequences associated
with consumption of such products, which result from happier & healthier
Gaumata’s are also far more favourable compared to the increase in product cost
So, dear customers – let us understand & support Vedic Gopalan…
So as we argued in an earlier
article (see ‘Food as medicine’ - https://www.sose.in/blog/our-blog-1/post/food-as-medicine-3-things-to-look-for-when-you-buy-ghee-17#scrollTop=0),
it is our humble appeal to consumers to support farmers who follow Vedic
Gopalan which includes practices such as ‘dohan’. Other non-exploitative
practices that constitute Vedic Gopalan can involve significant costs to the farmer,
but also has benefits in terms of enhanced product quality. We need to support
such farmers by paying the right price for their products, it is both ethical
and in our interest to do so.
We also strongly encourage
consumers to visit the Gaushala or farmers from whom they buy ghee or other
panchgavya (milk, curd, ghee, gomutra, gomaya) products, offer their
encouragement & support for undertaking paramparic gopalan, and gain the
benefits of being physically close to Gomata. Gomata has a very special divine
aura which modern research proves has very calming and healing effects. We
believe paramparic gopalan and Ayurveda were among the most important secrets
behind the physical strength, intellectual vigour, creativity and longevity of
our ancient forefathers in Bharat.