Why do Hindus worship the cow?
In the religion Hinduism, the cow is thought to be sacred and deeply respected. Hindus worship cows as deity and eat their dung (in very small portion) for health and vitality, the cow have been held in high esteem in Hinduism for almost 3000 years. The reason has to do with the cow’s agricultural uses and gentle nature. Around 3000 years ago agriculture was the main source of sustenance for many human civilization.
The cow contributed and played a very vital role in helping the Indian Hindu farmers in achieving great harvesting of rice and maize. But when the cow got sick or would not work for the farmer the farmer’s would treat it as a God and worship it and offer offering’s to the animal in order to make it healthy and start to work for them again. Sometimes the offering worked and thus the role of a deity in the form of a cow idea was born. The Hindu’s also realized that if they slaughtered the cow and ate it then it would take years for a calf to grow up and become a strong cow which could be utilized in the farming fields. Hence they concluded the cow meat to be scared (in order to save the cow) and compared it to the flesh of a human being.
People in the Vedic period were primarily pastoral. They relied on the cows for milk and dung. Cow dung is one of the main fuels in rural India and also served as a fertilizer. Cow dung and cow urine is also thought to be an disinfectant among ancient Indians and used to clean up home. Thus, cow provided the food, fuel, disinfectant and fertilizer for the Vedic people.
According to Bhagavad Gita –
Yajna is born of action, from yajna arises rain; from rain food is produced and from food come forth beings.
The yajna depend upon the cows. They give the best havishya (food which is used as offering to the Gods in yajna) to the Gods as they are the cause behind getting best harvested food. Through cow’s ghee the gods are offered havishya. Also the food which is used as havishya to the Gods is produced through agriculture with the help of the cow species (bull).
Before starting the yajna, the Brahmanas purify themselves by taking the panchagavya (mixture of cow milk, cow curd, cow ghee, cow urine and cow dung), because it destroys all the sins. Then the yajna place is purified by sprinkling cow’s urine and using cow dung. After that the yajna starts.
Brahmana and the Cow are the two branches of the same lineage. In one the mantra (sacred chants) resides and in other the havishya.
Indirectly the cows are the giver of results of the yajna.
The following are news articles from the internet on Hinduism and Cow.
India state to give life sentences for cow slaughter (READ MORE)
Hindu activists have long accused the Muslim-dominated meat industry of covering up the slaughter of cows.
Muslim man dies in India after attack by Hindu ‘cow protectors’ (READ MORE)
Police say 55-year-old died two days after mob targeted his cattle truck in latest in spate of killings in name of sacred animal
Suspected Hindu cow protection ‘goons’ attack Muslim family in Kashmir (READ MORE)
A group of cow vigilantes has attacked a Muslim family in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, injuring the family members, including a minor girl.
Why Cow Urine Can Be as Valuable as Milk in Bovine-Worshiping India (READ MORE)
“It was almost unthinkable and grotesque to give cow urine to your son but my husband was insistent that we should try it out and, after a lot of persuasion, I gave in,” said the 32-year-old engineer from Modinagar, near India’s capital of New Delhi.