Hinduism

Cows in Hinduism

A cow is revered in the Hindu culture. She is seen as the

symbol of life.

In a family a cow is seen as a member of the family not as a cattle. In fact in Vedic times people were so personal that they used to call their cows by names and every family had atleast one cow. A family was thought incomplete without a cow. In this article we shall illustrate

how sacred a cow is

in Hinduism or Vedic civilization.

Cow as Mother, Bull as Father

A cow is referred to as

‘Go’

and respectfully is called as

‘Gomata’.

Mata means mother. She is revered as mother because everyone drinks cow’s milk. Just as a small child is nourished by mother’s milk, humans should consider cow as mother as cow’s milk is so nourishing to body and soul.

Bull is respected as father. Now-a-days tractors and other machines are used for agriculture. But in Vedic times it was bulls which ploughed and tilled the land. Just as the father in a family works hard for the bread and butter of family, these bulls were seen as aide for the family. Thus cow as mother and bull as father were inseparable part of the family in Vedic times.

Worship of the Sacred Cow

Cow is seen as very sacred in Vedic culture. Even her wastes ie dung and urine are used as purifying items. Cow dung is smeared in houses. It is used to make biogas. Cow urine is used for medicinal purposes. Cow is worshipped in Hinduism. It is because cow is connected to Lord Krishna. In Srimad Bhagavatam Lord Krishna’s pastimes with cows and calves are described so vividly.

She is worshiped for her utilities and also for her spiritual values.

‘Gopastami’

, the eight day of the month of Kartik month, is dedicated to the worship of cow. It was on this day Lord Krishna and His brother Balaram took cows and calves for herding. This is a Vedic cow holiday. On this day cows are washed and decorated. They are taken in a procession and fed nicely. Cows are given as charity to Brahmins.

Thus cows are very significant in

Hinduism

empathically in

Vedic culture.

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