Cows occupy an important place in Hinduism. Worshipping and feeding cows is an age-old custom of the Hindus. This article will discuss the status of Cows in ancient Indian History, the reason for Hindus worshipping Cows, and the Significance and Benefits Of Feeding Cows.
Cows in ancient Indian History
Cows find a prominent place in ancient Indian History. The significance of Cows finds mention in several ancient texts and edicts. The donation of Cows to the brahmins was a widely followed practice.
Only Cow products (milk, ghee, curd, butter, etc.) were used in poojas, abhishekam (divine hydration), havans (sacred fire labs), and also for cooking prasad(divine offering to God) in the temple.
Gaupooja was performed in the temples. In this pooja, the Cow will be bathed and decorated and then taken to the temple’s Sanctorum. God will first see the Cow, and only then devotees shall have God’s darshan.
Ancient Kings have donated cows to temples and brahmins. They have also provided regular allowances for the good upkeep of the cows.
The ancient rulers established cow Hospitals and care centers. The killing of cows was considered a sin, and the person involved in the act was duly punished.
The cow products like milk, curd, ghee, butter, dung, and urine were considered holy. Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine, widely uses Cow products in its medicine.
Cows were an indicator of wealth in ancient India. The number of cows possessed by a person determined his social status. Likewise, a nation’s wealth was judged depending on the number of cows.
Why do Hindus Worship Cows?
Worship of animals, trees, and birds is a very common custom in Hinduism. Hindu texts propagate the message of seeing everything as a form of God. Worship of Tulsi plants, Basil tree, Peepal Tree, and Neem tree are common. Likewise, worship animals like Cow and elephant, and cobra are also predominant.
Of everything, Cow worship occupies a very important place. The Hindu sastras (holy scriptures) proclaim that 330 million Gods reside in a Cow. Thus, worshipping a Cow is akin to worshipping all the 330 million gods of Hinduism.
As per Hindu mythology, Kamadhenu, the divine Cow, came out from the churning of the holy ocean. This Kamadhenu is considered very holy and is depicted featuring prominent Hindu Gods and Goddesses all over the body, signifying they reside in her body.
Along with Lakshmi and Kubera, Kamadhenu is worshipped widely to pray for wealth and prosperity. Many Hindus have a portrait or a small statue of this divine cow on their pooja altar. Friday is an auspicious day to worship Cow.
Gopashtami is a popular festival associated with cows. It is celebrated on the Ashtami tithi of Shukla Paksha in Kartik month. On this day, Lord Krishna and cows are worshipped.
Similarly, Cows are also worshipped on Makar Sankranti / Mattu Pongal. During this festival, farmers thank the bulls and cows that helped in their abundance of produce. They offer prayers and provide a tasty feast to the cows.
Significance and Benefits Of Feeding Cows
The Significance and Benefits Of Feeding Cows are given below for your reference and understanding.
|S. No||Planet||Item to be fed to the Cow|
|1||Surya (Sun)||Wheat bread (Indian roti)|
|2||Chandra (Moon)||Pure Water|
|3||Budha (Mercury)||Green grass or any green vegetable|
|4||Angaraka (Mars)||Gram & jiggery|
|5||Sukhra (Venus)||A part of your food every day|
|6||Guru (Jupiter)||Soaked gram & jiggery|
|7||Shani (Saturn)||Green spinach or oiled bread to cow every Saturday|
|8||Rahu||Soaked black daal to black cow or black buffalo every evening|
|9||Ketu||Sesame seeds mixed in wheat flour|