The Greatness & Motherhood of Cows

ammassridhar's picture

Average: 5 (8 votes)

Why are Cows Sacred?

The following compilations focus on the greatness and motherhood of cows as given in Srimath Mahabharatham. The great men from Mahabharath had thus spoken on the virtues of cows.

Bhishma said:

No sacrifice can be performed without the aid of curds and ghee (clarified butter). The very character of sacrifice which sacrifices have, depends upon ghee. Hence ghee (or, the cow from which it is produced) is regarded as the very root of sacrifice.

Cows have been said to be the limbs of sacrifice. They represent sacrifice itself. Without them, there can be no sacrifice. With their milk and the Havi produced therefrom, they uphold all creatures by diverse acts.

Cows are guileless in their behaviour. From them flow sacrifices and Havya and Kavya, and milk and curds and ghee. Hence cows are sacred and to be treated with the highest regard.

Afflicted by hunger and thirst, they bear diverse burdens. Cows support the Munis (sages).

They who make gifts of cows, and who subsist upon the remnants of things offered as libations on the sacred fire, are regarded, as always performing sacrifices of every kind.

Of all kinds of gifts, the gift of cows is applauded as the highest. Cows are the foremost of all things.

Themselves sacred, they are the best of cleansers and sanctifiers. People should cherish cows for obtaining prosperity and even peace. Cows are said to represent the highest energy both in this world and the world that is above. There is nothing that is more sacred or sanctifying than cows.

"Cows are the mothers of the universe."
The human infant is fed breast milk by its human mother for less than three years. After weaning, the cow acts as the surrogate mother providing milk for the rest of the human life - through childhood, adult age and old age. Cow is verily the mother of the world. One would be filled with repugnance at the ungrateful idea of killing mother, whether surrogate mother or otherwise.).

Vyasa said:

Cows are sacred. They are embodiments of merit. They are high and most efficacious cleansers of all. One should for three days drink the hot urine of the cow... For the next three days one should drink the hot milk of the cow. Having thus drunk for three days hot milk, one should next drink hot ghee for three days.

Having in this way drunk hot ghee for three days, one should subsist for the next three days on air only.

Vasishtha said:

By bathing in water mixed with cow-dung, people shall become sanctified. The deities and men shall use cow-dung for the purpose of purifying all creatures mobile and immobile. One can sit on dried cow dung.

One should never eat the flesh of cows.

One should never show any disregard for cows in any way. If evil dreams are seen, men should take the names of cows. One should never obstruct cows in any way. Cows are the mothers of both the Past and the Future. Cows have become the refuge of the world. It is for this that cows are said to be highly blessed, sacred, and the foremost of all things. It is for this that cows are said to stay at the very head of all creatures. Every morning, people should bow with reverence unto cows.

Cows are the best Havi for the deities. The Mantras called Swaha and Vashat are forever established in cows. Sacrifices are established in the cows. Cows constitute the fruit of sacrifices. Cows are the future and the past, and Sacrifices rest on them. Morning and evening cows yield unto the Rishis, Havi for use in Homa (sacred fire ceremony).

Vyasa said:

Cows constitute the stay of all creatures.. Cows are the refuge of all creatures. Cows are the embodiment of merit... Cows are sacred and blessed and are sanctifiers of all.

One should never, in even one's heart, do an injury to cows. One should, indeed, always confer happiness on them.

Living in a pure state, in the midst of cows, one should mentally recite those sacred Mantras that are known by the name of Gomati, after touching pure water. By doing this, one becomes purified and cleansed.

Contributed by sridhar
Sanctity of cows which was mentioned in Mahabharatha,
Anusasana Parva, Sections LXXXIII - LXXVII - LXXVI.

SriGuruvayurappan.JPG42.89 KB

Phroggy's picture

What an interesting world we

What an interesting world we live in. :)~

Phroggy | Tue, 09/02/2008 - 00:53
kalgo's picture


I would use the adjective "beautiful" instead. And I am not talking sarcastically, if you really look at that post with less mind conditionings, this post is awesome.

kalgo | Tue, 09/02/2008 - 08:47
Phroggy's picture


One perspective is not conditioned while the other is devoid of conditioning? It is conditioning which leads to the perception of both interesting and awesome.

Phroggy | Wed, 09/03/2008 - 02:27
Omkaradatta's picture


I get the feeling many on this website are rebelling against Western conditionings, but the way to do that is not necessarily to accept Eastern conditionings ;-).

P.S. Re: cows - don't they "just Be" most of their lives? If they're sacred, then behave like them too... stop chasing goals, turn within and just be ;-).

Omkaradatta | Tue, 09/02/2008 - 22:22
Phroggy's picture

No more BS

I've seen some resistance to Western nondual teachings, often seen as an imitation of the real thing. This is what has Westerners going on pilgrimages to India and chanting "arunachala" or whatever they do, or imagining the sacredness of cows or watching somebody pull a rabbit out of his butt.

On the contrary, I've come to appreciate Western nodualism because of it's directness and I suspect it's this uncompromising directness that drives egos to the East in droves. Also, when the Truth is seen, it's seen. Doesn't matter where you live or teach. The rallying cry for all serious seekers of Truth should be "No More Bullshit" (And get those damn cows out of the road)

I seem to be in a trouble making mood lately....This too shall pass. :)~

Phroggy | Wed, 09/03/2008 - 02:27
Omkaradatta's picture

Western nondual teachings?

Can you specify a few tenets of so-called Western nondualism? (other than "there is no this, there is no that", which I think we can both agree is dismissal).

P.S. suppose a famous Western guru recommended his followers make a pilgrimage to India and worship cows... would that be an Eastern nondual teaching? ;-).

Omkaradatta | Wed, 09/03/2008 - 02:46
Phroggy's picture

Sorry, I didn't follow any

Sorry, I didn't follow any of that.

Phroggy | Wed, 09/03/2008 - 03:05
Omkaradatta's picture


Can you specify a few tenets of Western nondualism, other than "there is no X" ?

Omkaradatta | Wed, 09/03/2008 - 03:07
Phroggy's picture

No, Western Nonual teachings

No, Western Nonual teachings aren't big on religious tenets and practices. No cattle worshiping or hill meditations, just a direct pointing at This. Not much to keep ego entertained.

Phroggy | Wed, 09/03/2008 - 03:16
Omkaradatta's picture

Forget the word 'tenets' then...

... can you give a few examples of pointings? I'm only aware of "There is no X", which strikes me as dismissal.

P.S. You want an example of "there is no", here's one: There is no Eastern or Western nondualism. Only teachings that point clearly, or do not point clearly. Whether the teaching has an Eastern 'flavor' or not is irrelevant, in my view.

Omkaradatta | Wed, 09/03/2008 - 03:24