The hurly burly of being the chief minister of the country’s most populous state would not keep Yogi Adityanath away from his “favourite” cows as many of them will soon be shifted to his sprawling 5-Kalidas Marg residence here. ‘Gauseva’ or service of cows has been a part of the 44-year old priest’s regimen for several years during which he has developed a bond of affection with many of them.
“In the guashala (cow shelter) at the Gorakhnath Temple there are close to 460 cows and calves. Whenever, the Yogi is in Gorakhpur, he feeds the calves with milk, roti and jaggery. After this he feeds the cows,” said Swami Vidya Chaitanya Maharaj of Naimisharanya Ashram.
And now with Adityanath moving to Lucknow, some of his his favourite cows would also soon be brought here to 5, Kalidas Marg, official residence of the chief minister, he added.
“Adityanath calls the cows by their names. He has a strong bond with them. Nandini is his favourite,” Chaitanya Maharaj, who has been in close touch with Adityanath for the past 12 years said.
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He added that the Gorakhpur cowshed has the best breeds of cows including Gujarati, Sehwal, Desi and Gir, which produce over a hundred litres of milk a day.
This milk is used for making ‘mattha’ (a kind of buttermilk) which is distributed as ‘prasad’ among those visiting the Gorakhnath Temple, he said.
Known for his austere lifestyle, Adityanath has followed a strict daily regime.
“Adityanath gets up at 3 AM and practises Yoga between 4 to 5 AM. After this, he offers prayers and takes a round of the Mutt and temple premises, while inspecting the cleanliness of the place,” Chaitanya Maharaj said.
He would then feed the fishes and then head to the ‘gaushala’ (cowshed), he said.
It was only after these chores were over, that he would head to his office as the head priest and Gorakhpur MP to listen to the grievances of the public, Chaitanya Maharaj added.