Cow in Indian culture

Years since, it has been believed in the Hindu religion that Cow is more or less revered as the source of food and a symbol of life that may never be killed. With many interpretations made by non Hindus, believes that Hindus worship cows considered to be sacred.

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Prior of being sacred, Cows don’t have a charmed life in India. People around the world visit India and see cows in public places being unlashed, unrestrained and unfenced. It’s a false idea to consider cows as gods in Indian culture rather they are being fancied on the name of god. Here’s some more information about the cow in Indian culture.

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History of the Sacred Cow

In the past, bulls and oxen were trolled down before the gods as offering and their meat was eaten. This practice was not done to cows that were producing milk. As mentioned in the verse of Rigveda it has been significant that the cow is referred as Devi or goddess and is being identified as Aditi or mother of the gods.

The concept of meat eating still prevailed though one of the scriptures signifies that there is no sin to eating of meat but in turn brings reward in other forms.

Considering cow in providing abundant products like milk, butter and fuel from dried dung. Hindu stopped the practice of eating beef during the fertile period that introduced Buddhism and Jainism. In early century AD the cow was considered as an appropriate gift to Brahmins signifying that killing a cow will symbolise killing a Brahmin. Adding elementary significance to Krishna’s stories in late 10th century it was reinforced cows as sanctity.

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Mythological Significance

It’s admirable to watch at calf that nuzzles for its mother’s udder around the courtyard of most Hindu temple in old streets of Delhi. Hindus have provided shelter locally called goshala for cows just to avoid disrupting traffic, wandering everywhere and feeding on rubbish.

From mythological point of view Nandi, a bull was considered as the most prominent solder in the steed of the Lord Shiva. In other scenario it has been noted to have heard of Lord Krishna that he was horn as a cow herd.

Cows are considered effective to human life as seen in many rural households in India are being recognised as the biggest producer of milk in the world with a support of at least one cow or buffalo. The owner of cow makes the best use of the cow till it pass the reproductive life and after that the owner least cares about further feeding to the cow in no return.

Village woman making goitha from cow dung
Village woman making goitha from cow dung

Beef Industry

Considering the case of export of beef, Buffalo makes up to the India’s beef exports but as far cows are considered the cow meat is being banned from being exported but still some trace are found in abroad.

One of the business holders named Mahendra Singh of Aligarh for production of buffalo meat says that the production of buffalo meat has certainly increased to 150 tonnes a day from 100 tonnes around a year ago. The industry works on both secrecy and trust as the company has made a long standing tradition among the Muslim traders.

Qureshi one of the business partner sighted that the business is profitable at its best and will continue to flourish later.

Eating beef in India

Practices related to cow

To the current world cows are considered to be a protected animal in Hinduism and in support Hindus have stopped eating beef. Speaking of present scenario the families in rural areas are now available with only one dairy cow and is being treated as the member of the family. Today, it can be said that the cow in Indian culture is  considered holy and revered.

In rituals the Indians use five products of the cow like milk, ghee butter, curds, dung and urine. Each product being significant in their own way as milk helps in growth of children in a family, dung commonly known as gobar is used a tikal for spiritual cause or as a source of energy for household throughout India.

Despite of being sacred and unique status cows are still not being appreciated in India. From visitors point cows in India are found walking neglected in streets and found dwelling in garbage areas.

To be predictable the cow is honoured once in a year as the Indian celebrate it as Gopastami. With joy and cheers the “cow holiday” is celebrated in India with cows being washed and decorated in temple premises, in hope that her gift of life to continue.

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