Recently, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali product Gonyle, a floor cleaner, was the subject of much twitter trolling for containing cow urine. However, there are concerns of a different kind since it sounds similar to Gaunyle, registered with the Holy Cow Foundation. Anuradha Modi, founder of Holy Cow Foundation, spoke to The Goodwill Project on issues of copyright and the merits of cow urine and Ayurveda.
Is Patanjali’s Gonyle and yours different? Or are you supplying them with the product? The brand name Gonyle, the word holy cow and the principle of preventing cow slaughter may lead people to believe it’s your product.
We can only talk about our own product, and have no knowledge about the constituents of the Patanjali floor cleaner. We are not supplying any product to Patanjali. The name GAUNYLE is registered as a property of Holy Cow Foundation. We appreciate and welcome Patanjali s intention to protect the Desi Govansh and at the same time we reiterate that the product being sold by Patanjali has nothing to do with us except for the deceptive similarity in the name. Once again, we insist that this name has been registered in the name of Holy Cow Foundation since 2015.
What are your concerns, including the fact that it may use chemicals? How do you plan to respond to Patanjali and Baba Ramdev?
The fine recently levied on Patanjali for misbranding and misrepresentation of products has been a major blow on its image as a quality conscious brand. In such circumstances, when people see a similarity in the name and basic nature and intent of the two products, there is bound to be a situation of doubt and confusion. Naturally, we fear that people may suspect our product as being of a doubtful origin. The issue is being brought to the notice of Patanjali, so that this confusion of names gets rectified.
How did you come up with the name? When did you start making it and what is the composition?
The name of our product is spelt as GAUNYLE. It is a floor cleaner that has been made by tapping the microbicidal properties of Desi Govansh urine and Neem. The formula has been developed by the Ministry of Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), Govt Of India, Bio-processing & Herbal Division Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Rural Industrialization (MGIRI), Wardha.
Since Gaunyle is a floor cleaner and has Gaumutra as a component and the term ‘Phenyl’ is commonly used for floor cleaners, we came up with a combination of the two words. This was in order to emphasize the presence of the COW element, and also to denote its function of cleaning floors. The name effectively distinguishes our product from the usual chemical ridden floor cleaners.
How much Gaunyle do you produce currently? Maneka Gandhi had recommended using it in government offices at one point, as reported. What has happened on that front?
Currently, we are producing about 200 litres of Gaunyle per month. Mrs Gandhi’s recommendation had been a great encouragement, and we had even started supplying Gaunyle to Kendriya Bhandar, from where the Government offices were required to buy their supplies. Unfortunately, there was a change in Government policies soon after, and now the said offices have no binding of buying from Kendriya Bhandar. They now raise tenders for the same. It was not possible for us to compete for such tenders. However, we would still urge the various departments to take a decision after considering all the advantages of Gaunyle over the regular chemical-based cleaners.
People are mocking the concept of using cow urine (since urine and any excreta is obviously unclean) to clean floors. How do you respond to that? I understand you use distilled urine in your products…what is the difference, if any?
We live in times of scientific validation. This is the approach that we recommend in this case too.
Chemical analysis of Desi Govansh urine and Govar proves that it has powerful microbicidal properties. Not just this, Gomutra has already received a U.S. patent as a treatment for cancer.
Possibility of any human or animal’s urine or excreta being able to pass such tests is next to nil. The uniqueness of the Desi Govansh was recognized by Ayurveda in ancient times and this knowledge had been passed from one generation to another all this while, only because there is substance and truth in the belief. It is sad that most people get repulsed by those natural gifts that cure and get attracted to toxin laden chemical-based foods, medicines, preservatives, even household cleaners that harm us! If we were made to study the chemical analysis of most of these, it would become very easy for them to opt for Panchagavya-based products instead.
Gomutra is boiled for a long time during the process of making Gaunyle.
Many other products are manufactured using distilled Gomutra. We would like to mention here that our ancient texts have clearly equated Gomutra to Gangajal, and also mentioned that in Gaumaye (Govar) resides the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi.
What are the benefits of cow urine? Could you tell us a few? Also, its traditional uses.
Urine of Indigenous Govansh, or Gomutra, is rich in many beneficial minerals, some of which are as follows:
- Nitrogen – Removes toxins, natural direutic;
- Sulphur – Cleanses blood,
- Ammonia- Stabilizes Kapha, Vata, Pitta in body,
- Copper- Controls Fat built up;
- Sodium – Antacid; Manganese-Germicidal,
- Sodium Chloride- Germicidal, Vitamin A,B,C,D,E, Creatinin, Aurum Hydroxide-Germicide
- Traditionally, Ayurveda has held Gomutra in high esteem as a medical remedy for various illnesses, not only to be used as an external application in case of skin conditions, but also to be taken internally in both raw form and after distillation, as a cure for infections, as a diuretic, immunity booster, antacid and more.
In modern times, as mentioned earlier, it has been once again recognized as a treatment for cancer. Distilled Gomutra is used as an immunity boosting health tonic, weight loss ark, and also used for making shampoo, soap, and much more.
A twitter user cracked a pun on the possibility of “gompoo” or shampoo using cow urine, but you also have that product, besides joint pain oil, a fat loss tonic, etc. What are the advantages of these over regular products?
It is best that we stick to facts and focus on the chemical composition and beneficial properties of Gomutra and Govar. If we were to read the contents of most cosmetics and compared them with those of our natural shampoo, maybe opinions of our critics would be different. In fact, if the components of even the fertilizers and preservatives that go into our food were to be studied, we would realize the scale at which we are exposed to toxins today.
You also conduct courses on Panchgavya. What does this entail? Could you tell us about this?
Panchagavya (Pancha- Five + Gavya- Gifts of the Cow) refers to milk, curd, ghee, Govar and Gomutra. Of these, there is an extreme focus on milk, while the Govar and Gomutra are being overlooked at an alarming scale. We strive to educate the participants about the immense utility of the same. Not only are they greatly beneficial to humans, plants, soil and the environment, they are also essential to save the Govansh from utter disregard and death, even largescale slaughter.
We conduct courses where three basic modules are covered:
Ayurvedic applications to make traditional as well as modern Panchagavya-based products like face packs, hair oil, shampoo, joint pain oil, Gaunyle, mosquito coils and more.
Gaushala management: Proper management techniques are taught in order to facilitate effective management of Cattle, their feed and fodder, health, transport and other such related topics.
Gau Aadharit Krishi: Participants are taught how to make and apply various types of farming aids like fertilizers, seed fortifiers and pest repellents. Since all these are made using Desi govansh gobar, gomutra and easily available local cheap materials, they can be easily afforded by the poor farmers. This can save them from heavy debt incurred due to purchase of chemicals. Of course, the added benefit is that the soil is enriched and consumers get chemical-free healthy food.
Our workshops not only impart useful techniques and formulae to the participants, they also play the all-important role of reviving the lost glory of the Govansh by making them immensely useful for the both the farmers and city dwelling consumers once again.
Holy Cow Foundation is an NGO, that was formally formed in April 2013, with the aim of bringing sustainability to the Desi Govansh so that the Gaupalaks (caretakers) and Gaushalas (shelters) could give a good life to the Govansh by generating enough resources and look much beyond milk or donations.
We try to guide them in inculcating practices that would make cow care effective.
We make an effort to support needy Gaushalas that are making genuine efforts. One such Gaushala is the Pashupati Gaushala in NOIDA. We recently provided a gobar log-making machine to the Cow Hospital in Jhajjar, which houses over a thousand cows that are injured, mostly deliberately, by humans. They also conduct surgeries to remove plastic from the cows’ stomachs. The aim is to help them generate their own funds instead of depending on donations alone. (Govar logs are a great alternative to firewood, especially in furnaces and crematoriums.)
We also strive to sensitize the common city dwellers to the value of the Desi Govansh and tell them about the benefits that can be enjoyed from use of Panchagavya products and also from draught power of the bulls. We do this through annual Music Festivals and through social media. We are making Panchagavya products available to the urban dwellers through sale from our counters in malls, online and by participating in various melas and bazaars.
We have helped in setting up a gaushala in Tihar jail, which has proved to be a great stress buster and generator of positive thoughts among many inmates, as testified by them.
Additionally, we strive to interact with the government to request for its help in bringing about policies keeping welfare of the Govansh in mind.
Please tell us how one can contribute to your efforts.
The biggest help that a common person can give is by becoming sensitive to the fact that most of the milk brought to us is coming from dairies that abuse the cows. They do this by depriving the calves of the very milk that we are drinking. Worse still, the old and sick cows and also the male calves are abandoned. Such cows and calves are often stolen and slaughtered for their flesh, hide and bones.
We MUST reduce our intake of milk and milk products (paneer, cream, cheese, ice-cream), and start QUESTIONING the dairies about what they do with the males and non-lactating cows. This includes even the largest milk suppliers of the country. (The whole world, actually). Almond milk is a healthy and tasty, safe substitute that can be easily made at home.
Additionally, we must use and promote cow-based products. In fact, they can even be given as gifts during Diwali or while just visiting someone. They are available not only with us, but also online, suiting all tastes and budgets. This will greatly support and encourage the producers.
Try to buy produce from farmers who are making their efforts with Gau Aadharit Krishi. It will greatly boost their morale and support them financially too. Your health will also improve when you consume chemical free food, as it once used to be, in our country.
Parents can inculcate love for the divine cows by telling them stories from our scriptures. Krishna’s love for cows, Kamdhenu, Nandini being some such examples. Interaction with cows generates immensely soothing emotions in humans and we can do ourselves a favour by becoming aware of this. Visits to gaushalas for this purpose could be considered.
If desired, feed for cows can be sponsored, for a whole year/ a month or even a day by giving the required amount of money. Roughly Rs 70 would be required per cow per day. We can connect patrons to trusted Gaushalas.