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Why cow is sacred to hindus
Posted By Sarin on Mar 27, 2012     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news

If you come to India and you haven't seen cows roaming across the roads/Streets, then you haven't seen India.
If you come to India and you haven't seen Indians offering food (grass) to cows or worshipping cows, then it will not be wrong to say that your trip to India is incomplete.
All Indians and many non-Indians know that cow is sacred to Hinduism but if you ask why, then very few be able to list out all the reasons. Everyone will say a point or two but in reality, there are many reasons why cow is considered as sacred to Hinduism. Let us see some of the major ones.
1) Main reason is teaching of lord Krishna. Note that lord Krishna was raised as a cow-herder. Now, being a god, why did he choose himself to be raised in a low-caste cow-herder family? Inspite of being born to a royal family, why did he choose to be raised in a village? Well, the straight Answer is that he wanted to stop humans from the sin of killing cows. Before lord Krishna was born, slaughtering cows or cow sacrifice was followed in some kingdoms especially by low-caste tribals and villagers. Moreover, in some kingdom, beef was eaten by kings, his community and people. So, Lord Krishna through his Maya taught the whole mankind on why the cow is next to a mother. It is said that whenever lord Krishna would play his flute, all the cows would come running towards him or would constantly look at him as if they are devouring the melodious note coming out from his flute. The instant he plays his flute, he is surrounded by cows, deers, goats and other animals. Trees gave more fruits, dried trees became green, flowers blossom etc. Amazed by this, villagers would often asked the reason behind this sensational magic. Lord Krishna would smilingly answer that the whole creation of this universe is for love. I love animals and plants and they respond to my love in their own way but among all the animals created by god, cow is the only animal with utmost feeling of love and compassion. I love them and they share their love by surrounding me, giving food, shade, flowers etc.

Lord Krishna playing flute. Balaram, his friends and cows listening to him.
2) He also said that cow milk is the best alternative to mother's milk and is most nutritious of all foods and so, one should treat cow as second mother and hence, should call cow as gavmata. Gav mata translates as Mother cow.
3)This is why lord Krishna is also called as bala-gopala,(the child who protects the cows)
Govinda,another holy name of lord krishna means "one who brings satisfaction to the cows."
4)Waste of any animal is not as much useful as cow waste. Cow waste has been used in agriculture extensively since time unknown and even today in remote areas, cow's dung is used a essential fuel and fertilizer.
5) According to scriptures, Cows are reincarnation of human souls and hence are considered sacred above human souls. Many Hindus live a vegetarian life because of this faith.
6) After natural death, skin of cow can be used as a leather to produce useful products.
7)The approximate gestation time period of cow is 285 days which is almost equivalent to woman gestation period of 270 days. Hence similar to humans, cow is a mammal which keeps its young one like human do. Morever, cows milk being thin similar to human milk, is the best substitute to human baby and cow milk is recommended and given to babies if for any reason mother cannot feed its baby and hence Cows are treated as sacred like our own mother.
8)The five products (panchtatva) of the cow -Ghee, milk,butter(curd), urine and dung - are used in sacred ceremonies and rituals.9) Cow dung (gobar) is not only used as a fertilizer but also as a fuel in remote villages. Ashes of burned cow dung is used as a tilak(ritual mark on the forehead) in temples.
9)According to hinduism scriptures, Kamadhenu is a wish-fulfilling cow and also vehicle of several deities.

Kamdhenu cow
10)Cow is also used for ploughing of agricultural fields in villages.
11) Cow is the supreme donor because it gives so much without expecting anything in return and so, it is called as symbol of earth.The cow is also a symbol of piety,purity, peace, serenity and motherhood
Below are some of the other facts related to cows and its worship in india
1)Even Today, in India and Nepal, milk is the principal component in any religious rituals and ceremonies. Cows slaughter is banned in this countries and cows often roam freely across the nation like the normal humans. Moreover, in many places, offering snack, food, or fruit to cows before breakfast is considered as a auspicious and blessed activity. Killing and injuring a cow is a punishable offense in india and nepal.
2) Traditionally, Cows has been treated as the household of the family, honoured with famoous names and personalities. Just like one take care of his pet and don't hink of hurting/eating their pets, hindus don't hurt cows and take good care of them.
3)According to religious texts, taking care of cow or feeding cow is good karma and sacred activity.
4)Despite their sacred status, foreigners often dislike or are surprised by the presence of cows acroos city streets, temples, roads, garbage areas etc. Although cow worship has decreased with increased urbanisation still the cow is honored atleast once a year, on Gokulastami. On this cow Holiday, cows are washed, well feeded and decorated and taken to temples where they are ofered god blessings with the hope that it brings good fortune for their family. Beside this, there is a special festival for cows in south india called as 'mattu Pongal'.
5)In ancient India, bulls and oxes were sacrificed and their meat were eaten especially by low caste tribals. But cow slaughter was strictly prohibited. Rigveda refers cow as Devi (goddess), also as Aditi (mother of all gods).
6)Although meat eating was allowed, vegeteranism is favoured vedas. According to rigveda, "There is no sin in eating meat but abstention brings great rewards." (Laws of Manu, V/56)
7)Some indian priests recommend drinking Cow Urine as a cure of many diseases. Cow urine is also used in religious rituals
8)According to ancient scriptures, kamdhenu(pet of ancient rishi(Saint)) is a wish fulfilling cow. It has the power of granting anything one wishes for.
9) Once when lord Krishna was very hungry in the forest, cow satisfied his hunger by nourishing him milk. Hindus in turn worship the animal (the cow) that gave satisfaction to our Lord.
10)According to hindu mythology,wish fulfilling kamdhenu cow was one of the outputs from the Churning of the Ocean. Some of the holiest and pious things(like Vedas, nectar etc) came as the output from the churning of the ocean. So, cow is considered as a gift to mankind from this churning just like the other byproducts.
11) In olden times, Wealth of an individual was determined by the nummber of cows he has and so, Cows were considered equal to gold and 'go-daan'(gifting cow) a sacred activity.Cow is therefore taken as a valuable and auspicious gift that brings prosperity in the household of the receiver.
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