What Makes Cow Sacred To Hindus?

Nonviolence is promoted in Hindu philosophy, especially nonviolence against animals, and apparently, the cow has become a symbol of this philosophy

Hindus
Hindus do not worship cows, despite what the media might lead you to believe. Pixabay

BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY

The universe, according to Hindu scriptures, is a representation of the divine. Every part of the universe is holy. Elements, rocks, trees, animals, and humans are all deserving of reverence. Cows, on the other hand, have received unparalleled affection. She is the mother,gō-mātā, and she’s a devata (goddess). Hindus also have a cow holiday called Gopastami, during which all cows are washed and decorated with flowers, even those left to walk through busy streets and rural villages. Respecting the humble cow is an important part of Hindu life, from the ancient Vedas to daily worship. So, do Hindus truly worship cows?

No, they don’t. Hindus do not worship cows, despite what the media might lead you to believe. Hindus, on the other hand, adore cows to the point where it might seem like worshipping. They are held in high regard for their connections to the Gods and for their reviving qualities. This fondness is the product of a variety of causes listed below.

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Connections to the divine

The monkey, the elephant, the tiger, and even the rat are considered sacred by Hindus. None of them, though, is as beloved as the cow. God is depicted in Hinduism in a variety of ways, including elements, plants, animals, heavenly beings, artifacts, and geometrical shapes. As a result, a Hindu might worship fire or water, the tulsi shrub or the banyan tree, the sun or the moon, a pot or a sword, among other things.

Hindu
The cow is associated with many Hindu gods. Wikimedia commons

The cow is associated with many Hindu gods. Krishna, one of the most famous Hindu deities, spent his childhood as a cow herder, and one of Krishna’s bynames is bala-gopala, which means ‘the child who protects the cows.’ The cow is also identified with Aditi, the mother of the gods, in the Vedas, the oldest Hindu scriptures. Many other gods, such as Shiva, are also associated with cows. Nandi, Shiva’s steed, is a bull, and Nandi is worshipped as the carrier of honesty and justice. Cow products, especially milk and milk products, which are part of high caste diets, have also been associated with divinity.

Philosophy

Nonviolence is promoted in Hindu philosophy, especially nonviolence against animals, and apparently, the cow has become a symbol of this philosophy. Cows had already been synonymous with Brahmins, Hinduism’s highest caste, by the first century A.D. Killing a cow was equated to murdering a Brahmin and is still a major taboo among Hindus.

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Economics

Cattle and oxen were sacrificed to the gods in ancient India, and the flesh was consumed. Even back then, milk-producing cows were off-limits, owing to the scarcity of their milk as a food supply. The Indo-Europeans who arrived in India in the 2nd century BC were agricultural peoples who depended heavily on cattle for food and admired cows because they gave us more than we gave them.

The cow is idolized as “the nourisher,” a “constantly generous and undemanding provider.” Cows products are still highly valued and used for a variety of functional and ritual purposes in Hinduism.

Hindus
Respecting the humble cow is an important part of Hindu life, from the ancient Vedas to daily worship. Wikimedia commons

So, the above-mentioned facts conclude that cows are not worshipped in India; rather, they are held in high esteem for their mythological connections to the Gods and, more specifically, for their life-sustaining abilities.