SACRED COW EXPLAINED IN HINDUISM
Cow in Hinduism is equivalent to Mother. There are two reasons for this. First, cow’s milk is nourishment for children just like mother’s breast feed. Second, it has emotions parallel to mother, especially emotions of grief and sorrow. It has been reported that the mother and the cow in house come to know about child’s distress even if the child does not verbalize it. This is the reason that sacred cow is worshiped like a mother in Hinduism and considered as holy, sacred and saintly.
Hindu God Krishna chose to be called as a Cow Herd. No picture of Krishna is complete without a cow. His two popular names were Gopala and Govinda, both confirming his love for cows.There are numerous stories in Hinduism when cow acted as a boon to enrich and fulfill the desires of living forms. In Bhagwad Geeta, Lord Krishna called himself as Kamdhenu– the wish fulfilling sacred cow. Such is the sanctity of cow in Hinduism.
The cow is also worshiped because of satvvik quality of her milk. In Hinduism, the following three types of foods are mentioned:
1. Satvik – Fresh/Healthy food: that enhances your pranic energy; Gives you longevity, vitality, energy, health, happiness and strength; Satvik food includes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and cow milk and its products.
2. Rajasi – Tasty/Stimulating Food: that excites and stimulates your mind and body; Gives competitiveness, aggressiveness, achievement drive, power drive, egoistic drive, desires, sexuality and restlessness; Rajasi food includes tea, coffee, red and green chilly, pepper etc.
3. Tamasi – Stale/Preserved Food; that deteriorates your level of consciousness and makes you dull and dumb; Gives you excessive sleep, indulgence, laziness, ignorance, slowness and sadness; Tamasi food includes stale and fermented food, food with preservatives and flavors, food left overnight, deep refrigerated food and prepared meat of animals (that is all non-veg food).
Out of three types, cow milk and its products (Butter, Ghee, Cream, Yogurt, Buttermilk etc.) belong to Satvik food which offers health and vitality to humans.
In short, Cow is the docile, calm, generous, selfless, non-threatening being that lives to propagate and promote love- Parallel to a Mother. Thus, Hindus call her : “Gau Mata”.