It is said in the Haribhakti-sudhodaya, “A person who circumambulates the Deity of Vishnu can counteract the circumambulation of repeated birth and death in this material world.” This means that clockwise
circumambulation nullifies the accummulated karma that keeps one bound to the cycle of birth and death.
Circumambulation demonstrates respect for the object kept on the right
and purifies the performer. In the Vedic culture elders, the king, saintly persons, cows, Tulasi (sacred basil), Deities, temples and holy places are
respected and honored by circumambulation.
Since the scriptures mention that Vishnu, Brahma, Siva and many other divine beings as well as the sacred River Ganges and all holy tirthas reside in the body of the cow, it is understood that the benefits of
circumambulating Vishnu are to be obtained by circumambulating the cow.
So circumambulation is considered worship. The second part of the verse defines the result of worshipping or pleasing the cow — Sri Gopal is pleased.
From this we can deduce that the opposite is also true: If the cows are not
pleased, Sri Gopal is not either. This underscores the importance Sri Gopal gives to how cows are treated and clearly indicates His intimate connection with them. Actually the cows are Sri Gopal’s Deity. They are
the worshipable Lord of the Supreme Lord.
The cows are so dear to Gopal that treating them properly and making them happy actually constitutes worship of Himself. He tells Uddhava, “I can be worshiped within the cows by offerings of grass and other suitable grains and paraphernalia for the pleasure and health of the
cows.”(S.B.11.11.43) The simple formula is that offering things which
enhance the pleasure and health of the cows actually constitute worship of the Supreme Lord.
We often hear that the cow is sattvic. Sattvic qualities include
peacefulness, purity, cleanliness and simplicity and these are quite easy to
detect in the cow. Cows are simple and fortunately quite easy to please. By offering them fresh water, grass, suitable grains, gur and a clean place to sit, they can be quite satisfied. And by this simple process, Sri Gopal,
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is pleased.
Srimad-Bhagavatam declares that the highest perfection one can achieve
is hari toshanam, or pleasing the Supreme Personality of Godhead
(S.B.1.2.13). And for one who has accomplished that, there is nothing left to be achieved.
Furthermore, the Supreme Lord promises, “One cannot appreciate
or understand Me without pleasing Me, but one who has seen or pleased Me has nothing more for which to lament for his own satisfaction. (S.B.7.9.53)