|Immortalized in cave painting|
|Warrior Cows of Standing Rock campaign.|
|Calves at Paulstown service station|
Millions of Hindus revere and worship cows. Hinduism is a religion that raises the status of Mother to the level of Goddess. Therefore, the cow is considered a sacred animal. The cow is seen as a maternal figure, a care taker of her people. The cow is a symbol of the divine bounty of earth.
Lord Krishna, one of the most well known of the Hindu deities is often depicted playing his flute amongst cows. Krishna also goes by the names Govinda and Gopala, which literally mean “friend and protector of cows.” It is considered highly auspicious for a true devotee to feed a cow, even before eating breakfast oneself.
Throughout the Vedic scriptures there are verses which emphasize that the cow must be protected and cared for. It is considered a sin to kill a cow and eat its meat. Even today in India, there are many states in which the slaughter of cows is illegal. That is why you can find cows roaming freely all over India, even along the busy streets of Delhi and Mumbai.
Cows provide many practical purposes, and are considered a real blessing to the rural community. On the farm, bulls are used to plough the fields and as a means of transportation of goods. Even Lord Shiva’s trusted vehicle is Nandi– the sacred bull.
Cow dung is saved and used for fuel, as it is high in methane, and can generate heat and electricity. Many village homes are plastered with a mud/cow dung mixture, which insulates the walls and floors from extreme hot and cold temperatures. Cow dung is also rich in minerals, and makes an excellent fertilizer. There is a big organic farming movement in India to return to ancient methods of utilizing cow dung to re-mineralize the depleted soil.
In such a spiritual land as India, one can find religious ceremonies taking place at any time and any place. Spiritual “yagnas” are fire ceremonies that performed to thank the Gods and receive their blessings. Cows even play a central role in these fire yagnas or Agnihotras. Scientific research has found that the ritual of burning cow dung as fuel for these sacred fires, actually purifies the air, and has anti-pollutant and anti-radiation qualities in the environment.
Ayurveda understands that some physical and emotional health crisis can not be healed by diet and herbs alone. They need the deeper and subtler healing of these types of Vedic ritual ceremonies to clear astrological past karma. The holy cow again is auspicious in healing.
Holy Cow Article