Sacred Cow in Satapata Brahmana (Post No.4050)

Cow attending Veda class

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 4 July 2017
Time uploaded in London- 10-41 am
Post No. 4050

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.



Satapata Brahmana is one of the Brahmana books of Vedic period. Foreigners date it to 800 BCE to 1000 BCE. Hindus date it to thousands of years before that. Foreigners spread a false story that Hindus adopted vegetarianism only after Mahavira and Gautama Buddha appeared in India. Those stories are exploded by the Satapata Brahmana passage.

Cow photographed in Oldenburg ,Germany

Through out the Vedas cow and calf are used as the symbol of love and affection between a mother and her child. This is the oft used simile in the oldest portions of the Vedas. That shows that cow was equated to mother. Vaatsalyam is a Sanskrit word coined out of it (Vatsa=calf)


The biggest contribution of the Vedic Hindus to the world civilization are the DECIMAL SYSTEM and the COW’S MILK. In no other world literature, we come across such references or similes as we see in the Vedas. Until today the world has not found an alternative to the Decimal system and the Cow’s milk. These are used everyday. This shows at they are the oldest and highly advanced civilization. These type of concepts can evolve only after thousands of trial and error methods or experiments.

Here are some passages from the famous Satapata Brahmana (3-1-2-3):

“Let him not eat the flesh of either the cow or the ox; for the cow and the ox doubtless support everything on earth. The Gods spake: ‘Verily the cow and the ox support everything here; come let us bestow on the cow and the ox whatever vigour belonged to other species of animals; and, therefore, the cow and ox eat the most. Hence were one to eat the flesh of an ox or cow, there would be, as it were, an eating of everything, or, as it were, a going on to the end. Such a one, indeed, would be likely to be born again as a strange being, as one of whom there is evil report, such as, “He has expelled the embryo from a woman’ He has committed a sin; let him therefore, not eat the flesh of the cow and the ox”.

Most valuable fuel and manure– cow dung

Foreigners are so cunning and divisive that they quote from different sources (very old and the latest) to support their arguments. It may be from the latest books, which they would never mention. But if they see any good things, they will say that they are from the latest books. It was because of…………. They will bluff.


Atharva Veda talks about a huge geographical area from West Bengal to Iran. No ancient civilization had such a sway over a large region. When such things come they will say Atharvana Veda was the latest addition. How latest – no two scholars agree! They try to cramp the development of a huge civilization within a span of 200 to 400 years. It is not possible to any civilization even in the modern period.


Usefulness of the Cows:

Sale of Cow for the Soma plant

In Vedic times barter trade was practised. They exchanged cows for Soma herb. Here is a passage about it:

“He bargains for the King Soma; and, because he bargains for the king, therefore any and everything is vendible. He says,

Soma seller! is your King Soma for sale?

Soma seller: He is for sale

I will buy him from you.

Buy him

I will buy him of you for one sixteenth of the cow;

King Soma is surely worth more than that.

From the cow comes the fresh milk; from the boiled milk boiled milk comes ghee/butter cream, clotted curds, whey etc.

Soma seller: King Soma is worth more than that; but surely is the greatness of the cow

Adhvaryu Priest:-

Gold is yours;  a cloth is yours;  a milch cow, a pair of kine,  three other cows are thine.


They buy the Soma plant for a cow and then the cow is also taken back.

This type of conversation shows the importance of cow and they are shown as equal to mother and Soma plant.

Foreigners quote certain passages to show that a cow was sacrificed in the yaga; but there are also it is explained that a cow made up of dough or flour is sacrificed.


The very concept of sacrifice is uniquely Hindu. It shows that all you desire, all that you want, all you consider valuable are not yours—Idam Na Mama – it is not mine.


from this ritual ‘Idam na mama’ they take humans to a higher stage i.e. everything thing belongs to God – Isavaasyam Idam sarvam i.e.

Cow Puja at Kanchipuram

MANTRA ONE of Isavasya Upanishad


isavasyam idam sarvam

yat kinca jagatyam jagat

tena tyaktena bhunjitha

ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam


isa–by the Lord; avasyam–controlled; idam–this; sarvam–all; yat kinca— whatever; jagatyam–within the universe; jagat–all that is animate or inanimate; tena–by Him; tyaktena–set-apart quota; bhunjithah–you should accept; ma–do not; grdhah–endeavor to gain; kasya svit–of anyone else; dhanam–the wealth.




Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong. 


(This is the favourite hymn of Mahatma Gandhi)




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