Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Why Cow is so sacred ?
Swamiji Maharaj has explained "Why cow is so sacred" very beatifully in Sadhaka Sanjivani (Ref: Gita 18-44, page 1947 in English). Some of the points from the commentary are:1. In the materialistic world of today, a cow is very useful. Her milk, ghee and cow-dung add to the wealth of a nation. India being primarily an agricultural country, bullocks are used to plough the land. The land can also be ploughed by male-buffaloes or camels. Buffaloes cannot work so efficiently as bullocks because the bullocks have more sattvic strength, they can work for a longer time in the sun compared to buffaloes. Camels cost lot more than the bullocks. 2. The grains produced by cow-dung and urine of the cows as manure are considered pure. Dung and urine of cows make the land more fertile as compared to chemical fertilizers as has been learnt by conducting experiments. Chemical fertilizers destroy the fertility of land in a few years and make it barren. Cow-dung is being exported to foreign countries so that the lost fertility of the land may be restored 3. Cows of India are gentle and sattvic in nature. Their sattvic milk sharpens the intellect and makes the nature of the person mild. Foreign cows give more milk but they are angry by nature, their milk makes one cruel. A she-buffalo gives more milk than a cow but her milk is of rajasic nature. Those who drink cow's milk are more active than those who drink a she-buffalo' s milk. Once an experiment was conducted on military horses, it was found that horses fed on cow-milk could cross a river while the horses fed on buffalo-milk could not do though the later seemed stronger. The milk of she-camel being of tamasic nature is not useful and it is not used to curd and butter.4. Cow occupies an important place in performing all religious rites. Her milk, ghee and dung are used in performing rites and ceremonies at birth, tonsure and sacred thread. Cow-dung purifies the places too where these rites are performed. Cow's milk is used in preparing sweet dishes which are offered to Brahmans, in honor of manes. When a cow is offered to a Brahman it is considered as a punya or high merit. Also cow's ghee is used in religious sacrifices which are performed to satisfy desires. 5. The cow is a sacred animal, even the air which touches her body becomes pure. Her dung and urine, check epidemics such as plague and cholera. Houses plastered with cow-dung are not so much affected by bombs as the cemented houses. Cow-dung eliminates poison. In Varanasi, there was a case of a saint saving a man who was supposed to be dead by a snake-bite, just by smearing the body with cow-dung two times. Urine of cow is very useful in heart diseases. A little quantity of urine of a she-calf, as a dose everyday cures stomach diseases. A saint suffering from asthma had a lot of relief by drinking a little urine of the she-calf. These days several medicines are prepared from cow-dung and urine of cows. Cooking gas is made from cow-dung also. 6. Service to the cow without expectation of any reward leads to purification of heart and enables eventually one to achieve salvation. Lord Krishana is known as Gopala because He staged a human play as a cowherd with bare feet. In ancient times in India sages reared cows so that they could have nourishment from the cow's milk & ghee to sharpen their intellect. Because of the sharp intellects, they could create such great and rare classic literature. Cow's milk and butter provided them with longevity, great emperors went to these sages for expert advice on complex matters related to their kingdoms. 7. In Indian historical records, innumerable names are mentioned who sacrifices their lives for the protection of cows. But today, it is sad plight that thousands of cows are slaughtered daily, out of greed only. If this state of affairs continues, cows will totally disappear. Then of course cow-dung will not be available. Without cow-dung land will go barren and there will not be production of corn, wheat and cotton. People will be deprived of the bare necessities of life, such as food & clothing and they will have a miserable life. Slaughter of cows is the main cause of increasing number of natural disasters such as famine, droughts, volcanoes etc.