ISKCON Mumbai Puts Gaumutra on Visitors’ Hands Without Permission
ISKCON says that gaumutra was used because they were running short of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has confirmed to The Quint that security personnel at an ISKCON complex in Juhu in Mumbai were spraying gaumutra (cow urine) on visitors’ hands as a “precaution for coronavirus”.
Visitors allege this was done without their permission. ISKCON has not denied the allegation – a representative from the organisation’s Communications team told The Quint that they should perhaps have informed visitors it was gaumutra before spraying it on their hands.
ISKCON says gaumutra was used only because they were running short of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and that it was applied on visitors only on Sunday, 15 March.
“What was used was Distilled Goark (cow urine). It is a disinfectant and an anti-bacterial. We used it for a short time while we tried to procure hand sanitizers. In the restaurant, we had regular alcohol-based hand sanitizers but at the main gate, we used gaumutra for some time.”Parijata, ISKCON Spokesperson
Gaumutra After Frisking
On Sunday, Raju Nair visited the ISKCON-run Govinda Restaurant in Juhu with a friend. Nair, a Kerala Congress functionary and convenor of the Congress’ Digital Media Cell in the southern state, took to Twitter to describe what happened while he was entering the ISKCON premises.
He further wrote, “It was insulting and offensive for the ISKCON authorities to do it without anyone’s permission. I was not even visiting the temple and was going to the eatery for lunch. This is against my faith and values.”
Speaking to The Quint, Nair said that he had not taken up the matter further with the restaurant authorities because his friend was slightly worried. But he has now sent a complaint on the matter to the Mumbai Police.
“Where has gaumutra been proved to be a sanitizer? Medically, it is not a sanitizer. Instead of using a proper sanitizer with alcohol content, it is misleading to use gaumutra like this and tell people that it can remove the virus.”Raju Nair
Nair wasn’t the only one to raise concerns about gaumutra being sprayed without permission.
ISKCON’s Response: ‘Gaumutra Is a Disinfectant’
Parijata, an ISKCON Communications spokesperson, told The Quint, “We wouldn’t normally have used it (gaumutra). It was only because we didn’t have enough alcohol-based sanitizers. We respect it when someone says they don’t want to put gaumutra because it goes against their beliefs.”
On being asked why the security personnel sprayed it without the visitors’ permission, Parijata agreed that that should have been avoided, “We can definitely tell the security personnel in the future (if such a situation arises) to ask visitors, “Would you like it (gaumutra)?”
However, Parijata maintained that cow urine has medicinal properties and can be used as a disinfectant: “And the purpose was to have a disinfectant there”.
She later sent a message to back her claims, “Cow urine has been granted US Patents no. 6,896,907 & 6,410,059 for its medicinal properties, particularly as a bio enhancer, antifungal, antibacterial and anti cancer agent.”
Read Quint FIT’s article on the details on those patents here.
‘No Scientific Evidence to Show Gaumutra Has Antiseptic Properties’
Quint FIT spoke with Dr Sumit Ray, a Senior Consultant, Critical Care Medicine, who said that there are no scientific studies to support claims that the remedy to the virus may be ‘gaumutra’.
“Scientifically, cow dung and cow urine are excreta from an animal’s (mammals) body, which is being thrown out. Unlikely to have any benefit to another mammal such as human beings. There are no scientific studies or evidence to show that cow urine or cow dung has antiseptic properties. It is not going to benefit us in any infections, including this coronavirus.”Dr Sumit Ray
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