Whilst residing in the small village of Punjalkatte, near Mangalore, Karnataka, we learned the traditional Vedic method of making butter. After the cow has been milked, the milk is boiled, offered to God, and then consumed. At night, a teaspoon of either sour raw milk (clabber) or left-over yoghurt is added to whatever milk has not been consumed that day. According to the Ayurveda, it is imperative  that the yoghurt (dadhi) be made from boiled milk otherwise such yoghurt will cause many diseases such as fever, anaemia and skin diseases (Astanga Hrdayam, Sutrasthana, 5.32).


 The next morning, the entire mixture has become yoghurt that is slightly lumpy in consistency (i.e. "curd.") This substance is then churned in a clay pot with a wooden churning rod for about half an hour until it gradually separates into a solid mass (butter or navanita) and a thin liquid (butter milk or takra). Both products are highly nutritious and medicinal (ibid, 5.33-36). Takra can be drunk as it is or mixed with herbs and spices. It is often mixed with rice and consumed at the end of a meal. Navanita can be then transformed into ghee (ghrta) by cooking on a low temperature until the milk solids separate from the butterfat. This pure butterfat is highly praised in the Ayurveda and is considered the best substanc among fats and oils for internal consumption (ibid, 16.2). It possesses many wonderful qualities such as promoting long life, good intelligence and a keen digestion (ibid, 5.37-39).

"If we really want to cultivate the human spirit in society we must have first-class intelligent men to guide the society, and to develop the finer tissues of our brains we must assimilate vitamin values from milk.[...]  No society can improve in transcendental knowledge without the guidance of such first-class men, and no brain can assimilate the subtle form of knowledge without fine brain tissues. For such important brain tissues we require a sufficient quantity of milk and milk preparations." 

-Srila Prabhupada

Light of the Bhagavata 27, Purport



"Milk is compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one's life. In modern civilization, men do not think milk to be important, and therefore they do not live very long. Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk. This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, instead of drinking milk, people prefer to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, advises go-rakṣya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one's life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectarean milk from their milk bags."

-Srila Prabhupada

SB 8.6.12 Purport