Holy Cow: Edwin Arnold (Post No 2650)

azakana madu, cowcow, HT photo

Compiled by london swaminathan


Date: 20 March 2016


Post No. 2650


Time uploaded in London :–  21-28


(Thanks for the Pictures; they are taken from various sources)




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)


From the book ‘India Revisited’ by Edwin Arnold, published in 1886 in London


This comes immediately after his description of Bombay in 1885; please go to my earlier post Why I love Bombay by Edwin Arnold.


“one cannot be a day in this land without observing how the ancient worship of the cow still holds  the minds of the Hindoos. Those baskets of ‘bratties’ are the established fuel of the country, which everywhere burns the bois de vache. The banjaras are the only sect in British India which allow the cow to labour and good Brahmans will feed a cow before they take their own breakfast exclaiming,

“Daughter of Surabhi, formed of five elements, auspicious, pure, and holy, sprung from the sun, accept this food from me salutation and peace.”


Everything which comes from the cow is sacred and purifying, — the droppings are plastered with water over the floors and verandahs of all native huses, and upon the cooking places; the ashes of the same commodity are used, with colouring powders, to mark the foreheads, necks and the arms of the pious, and no punctilious Hindu would pass by a cow in the act of staling without catching the hallowed stream in his palm to bedew his forehead and breast. I have observed this morning my hamal reverently touch the compound cow as she passed him, when nobody was looking, and raise his hand to his mouth. He doubtless muttered the mantra,

“Hail O Cow! Mother of the Rudra, daughter of the Vasu, sister of the Aditya, thou who are the source of ambrosia”. India does not change.



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