Sacred Cow in Tamil Veda ‘Tirukkural” (Post No.4057)

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 6 July 2017
Time uploaded in London- 19-59     
Post No. 4057

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

 

Hindu culture has been practised by the people of India from the Northern most Himalayas to the southernmost Kanyakumari for thousands of years. Sacred cow is mentioned in the Sangam Tamil literature in several places. One of the post Sangam books is Tirukkural written by Tiruvalluvar. Like the Vedas always pair the Brahmins and Cow, Tiruvalluvar also does.

 

“Go brahmanebya subamastu nityam lokas samasto sukino bhavantu” is the daily prayer of the Hindus. From the Brahmins and cows all living beings must live happily is the meaning. The reason for placing Brahmins and cow in the beginning is that they are pure and selfless. This pairing continued from the Vedic days and we see that in the oldest part of Tamil Literature – Purananuru verse 9. Poet Nettimaiyar sang this poem in praise of the ancient Pandya king Mudukudumi Peruvazuthi. His epithet is that one who did innumerable Yagas (Fire sacrifices). The poet says before waging any war, he will first request that Brahmins, Women, Cows, invalids, sick people and those who has not given birth to child must keep away. Kannaki, the Tamil heroine of Silappadikaram also did the same. Before burning the city of Madurai she commanded the God of Fire (Agni Deva) not to burn the Brahmins, women and cows. Tamil Miracle boy and one of the four Tamil Saints Jnana Sambandar also sang Long Live the Brahmins, Long Live the Cows.

Tamil Purananuru verse lists the worst sins and one of them is killing the cow (verse 34 by Alathur Kizar)

 

Now let me quote two couplets from Tirukkural, considred Tamil Veda by the Tamils (actually it was one of the poets who sang the praise of Tiruvalluvar, used these words Tamil Veda).

“If the guardian of the country neglects to guard it, the produce of the cows will fail and the men of six duties (shad karmana: = brahmins) will forget The Book (Vedas)” (Kural 560).

Here we see the Go+Brahmna pairing.

 

in another couplet (1066) “It is most heinous to beg for a bucketful of water even to quench the feverish thirst of a sinking cow”.

 

Being cow the most sacred animal, Tiruvalluvar used the cow here. feeding the cows, worshipping the cows are part of Hinduism. In Tamil Nadu, Go Puja (worship of cow) and Gaja Puja (worship of elephant) are done in all the temples and mutts in the early morning.

 

In front of the temples, cows are tied to the poles and the devotees used to feed them with the Agathi leaves (Agathi grandiflora) to earn good merits (Punya).

Of late the picture of wish fulfilling cow Kamadhenu’s picture is displayed in many houses and shops as a symbol of good luck.

–Subham–

 

 

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