Importance of Cow in Sanskrit Literature! (Post No.4053)

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 5 July 2017
Time uploaded in London- 9-28 am
Post No. 4053

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

 

The cow occupies a unique position in Hinduism. Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsa gives a graphic account of care and respect shown to a cow by the emperor Dilipa.

Hindus’ greatest contribution to the world civilization is cow and its products. When the world was drinking goat’s milk and camel’s milk and even donkey’s milk they discovered that the cow’s milk is the best in the world and it is as good as mother’s milk. No ancient literature praises or values cow’s milk as Hindu literature. From Rig Veda to Sangam Tamil literature we find innumerable references in praise of the cow.

 

There are very interesting words in Sanskrit from the cow:-

Vaatslayam

Love and affection shown towards calf by its mother cow. Oft quoted in the Vedas

Go loka

The heaven of Krishna is Go loka (cow’s world)

Duhitri

A daughter is called milk maid (duhitri)

Gotra

clan; group

Gopis

Women with divine love towards Krishna

Madhuparka

All the saints are honoured with Milk and Honey. Hospitality is a unique Hindu concept. Rig Veda and Tamil Sangam book Purananuru have a lot of Danastutis, in praise of donation and hospitality. (English word donation comes from Sanskrit Dhaana).

Hosipitality is the rule of life among the Hindus. Tamil Veda Tirukkural has a chapter on it. Rig Veda praises it. Mahabharata has several stories in praise of hospitality. Panchatantra is full of quotations on hospitality. Guests were received with great ceremonies in ancient India. They must be given water to wash their feet and a seat to take rest. If they are unknown people, pial of the house was given to them to take rest and provided with full meals.

 

Hindus not only domesticated the cows and oxen, they worshipped them as gods and goddesses. Kamadhenu is the wish fulfilling cow. The picture and statues of Kamadhenu are in Hindu houses and temples.

Go puja and Gaja Puja (cow and elephant worship) are done in all the temples and religious Mutts. This has been going on for several thousand years without stopping. No animal in the world is worshipped continuously like this.

A word ‘Gohna’ is used for the guests. Foreigners translated it literally as Cow killer. They thought a cow was killed by the seer to feed another seer. The real meaning is that a cow’s products such as milk, butter, ghee, curd/yogurt, cow dung Go mutra (cow’s urine)– all are used in the service of the guests. Cow dung will be sprinkled with water in front of the house. Cow dung will be smeared in the oven to clean it. Cow’s urine is used to purify a place and a person.

Story of Cow’s creation

Satapata Brahmana (2-2-4-1) gives the story of Cow’s creation.

“Prajapati alone existed. He generated Agni (fire) from his mouth.

When they had sung praises, they went towards east saying, ‘We will go back thither! The gods came upon a cow which had sprung into existence. Looking up at them, she uttered the sound ‘hin’. The gods perceived that this was the ‘hin’ of the Saman (melodious sacrificial chant of Sama Veda); for heretofore their song was without ‘hin’, but after that it was the real Saman. (musical chant of Rig Vedic mantras; Hindus discovered the musical notes sa, ri, ga , ma pa, da ni – seven notes)

 

And as this same sound, ‘hin’ of the Saman, was in the cow, therefore the latter affords the means of subsistence; and so does he afford the means of subsistence whosoever thus knows the ‘hin’ of the Saman in the cow”.

 

“They said, ‘Auspicious indeed, is what we have produced here, who have produced the cow; for truly she is the sacrifice, and without her no sacrifice is performed; she is also the food. This word ‘go’ (Sanskrit word for cow; English word cow came from Sanskrit Go) then, is a name of those cows, and so it is of the sacrifice; let him therefore repeat it, saying , good, excellent! and verily, whosoever, , knowing this, repeats it, as it were saying good, excellent! with him those cows multiply, and the sacrifice will incline to him”.

Foreigners couldn’t understand this mantra. They took the word sacrifice and wrote that cow was sacrificed in the fire. But Hindus knew the correct  meaning: without cow’s products they cant run their life or do religious performance; Hindus use milk in birth and funeral ceremonies. Without Go mutra (cow’s urine), Ghee and milk no ceremony is done. They were great scientists to find that that Cow’s urine and Cow’s poo (cow dung) have got great curative and anti- bacterial properties.

Another story about cow is as follows:

Cow came from Prajapati’s Breath

Satapata Brahmana says ((7-5-2-6)

“Prajapati was alone at first. He desired, May I create food, may I be reproduced!. He fashioned animals from his vital airs, a man from his soul (mind), a horse from his eye, a cow from his breath, a sheep from his ear and a goat from his voice”.

 

Foreigners couldn’t understand the meaning of such mantras. Whenever and wherever they wanted they interpreted some words according to their whims and fancies; and the fact is no two foreigners agreed on the meaning, because they don’t know the real meaning. We can see this tend throughout the Vedic translations done by 20 to 25 authors. For them it was jigsaw puzzle game.

 

In the above mantras if they see a direction ‘North’, they will write “Look, they have come from North pole”. Here in the mantra the direction mentioned is east. Poor foreigners couldn’t say that Aryans came from the east. So they will keep quiet!

 

–Subham–

 

 

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