The symbolism of the cow
The cow has been revered in our culture since time infinity. A gentle, domesticated animal, the cow not only gives milk, but is also part of many auspicious rituals and practises. The cow is also referred to as Gomata. This is because, this animal is considered ‘mother’ and also a representation of all deities in living form. Worshipping a cow is as beneficial as worshipping deities such as Brahma, Vishnu or Rudra.
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, as it provides us life sustaining milk. The cow is seen as a maternal and divine figure, a care taker of her people. The cow is a symbol of the divine bounty of earth.
Lord Krishna, is often depicted playing his flute amongst cows and dancing Gopis (milkmaids). He grew up as a cow herder. 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 having breakfast oneself.
Feeding the cow, substantially increases our Punya Balam or merits. By feeding the cow agaththi keerai (Sesbania Grandiflora, a spinach variety), sins that are committed unknowingly are negated. Throughout the Vedic scriptures there are verses which emphasize that the cow must be protected and cared for.
Feeding the cow 16 bunches of agaththi keerai will overcome the sin of not performing the rites for our ancestors.
Any sins incurred due to the wrongdoings of our ancestors will be negated and we will prosper.
Circumambulating a cow (pradakshinam) is equivalent to receiving the merit of circumambulating the entire earth.
Feeding the cow grass or caressing its neck will clear us of a thousand sins.
Dusk, the time when the cow returns home after grazing (godhuli), is considered a very auspicious hour.
The dust raised by a cow’s hooves, if it settles on us, is considered meritorious. Kings and emperors applied the dust from cow’s feet on their bodies.
The sound of a cow’s moo, purifies a space.
If a religious rite is performed where a cow is usually tied or where it is sitting, then it becomes four times more effective.
A cow can see death, messengers of death and the God of Death – invisible to the human eye – approaching. That is why a cow moos when someone is about to die.
When a person dies and is being taken away, his soul finds it difficult to cross the Vaitharanya River in the Asipatra forest (river made of urine, water, mucous, hot water). One who has donated a cow does not face this difficulty. The cow he has donated comes to his aid, and he can hold its tail to cross the Vaitharanya River, according to the Garuda Purana.
Spiritual research says that how much ever science may progress, and how much ever it may harm the world, wherever cows reside, those places would not be harmed in any way.Therefore, the cow is an animal like none other – and is a representation of all that is spiritual.
Cows represent wealth and joyous Earthly life as per Vedas. From the Rig Veda (4.28.1;6) says. “The cows have come and have brought us good fortune. In our stalls, contented, may they stay! May they bring forth calves for us, many-coloured, giving milk for Indra each day. You make, O cows, the thin man sleek; to the unlovely you bring beauty. Rejoice our homestead with pleasant lowing. In our assemblies we laud your vigour.”
Let us protect the cows and prosper in life with GF’ Blessings.