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Why are cows sacred in India? – Enlightenment

Why are cows sacred in India? - Enlightenment

Cattle have been used since ancient Egyptian times between 4000 B.C. Christ and 394 AD especially worshiped in Arabian and Indo-Aryan countries, but also two African tribes with the Nuer and Dinka.
In addition to the domestic cow, all other breeds such as bulls or oxen are also worshiped. Linked to this is the story of the god Krishna, who sanctified the animals.

History of worship

If you translate the name India, which comes from Sanskrit and Aghnya is called bull. An Aghnya, on the other hand, means the untouchable and corresponds to the Hindu tradition that the task of every Hindu is to protect cows.
Already in the Vedas, a collection of written Hindu texts, in the years around 1500v. talked about the influence of the cows. Thus the mother goddess alias Mother Earth Prthivi matar often appears symbolically as a cow. In Hinduism, the cow is the giver of life of all Indians.

Why are cows sacred?

Cows are sacred in India because in Hinduism they are body stores strong>serve for their deities. Hindus believe that gods can hatch into any living being and according to the tradition of the god Krishna, preferably cows.
In fact, the sanctification of cows goes back to the god Krishna, who became after his birth after the wanted to live. He was taken to a shepherd family for protection. From then on he grew up here as a shepherd boyamong milkmaids and cows.
Since the dairy cows had the status of a nurturing mother at that timetook for him, these eventually became sacred. This is how the belief arose in mythology that a cow is the mother of millions of Indian people and harbors soul animals and their bodies. It symbolizes the nourishing love of the deities for humans.

Historical background of cow worship

In fact, there is much to suggest that cows were traditionally revered in India because the cows' milk was more important than the meat. For this reason, people should not slaughter the cows and process them into meat, but use the milk of the cows for years. In this way, the cows were able to supply large parts of the population with the valuable foodstuff milk.


Cows are part of today's street scene in India. They move through the noisy streets of Mumbai unmolested and with peace of mind. While the animals hardly notice the noisy vehicles, they in turn influence the entire road traffic. They are generously avoided, roads are suddenly single-lane, so that nothing happens to the sacred animals. Because if there is an accident with a cow, the fault lies with the people. He then has to fear severe punishment if a cow dies, no matter what the tragedy, Indian law interprets this as murder. Nevertheless, this also has a very large influence on the salvation of the soul of the offender and his rebirths.

Anyone who keeps cows in India is highly regarded in the country, but the living conditions there are very difficult and many people suffer from hunger and poverty. Often there is not even money for the bare essentials and feeding a cow is very expensive, so many cows run through the streets seemingly abandoned and feed on the refuse of the residents, which there is in heaps. Sick and decrepit cows often live in cow shelters and retirement homesfor cows, where they are kept and fed until their natural end of life.

The 5 sacred gifts of a cow

In addition to the cow's high reputation as the mother and breadwinner of all Indians these noble animals give their owners 5 sacred gifts:
1. clarified butter or ghee. In ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine, ghee is referred to as the elixir of life, which is said to stimulate digestion and keep the three life energies (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) in balance.
2. Cow dung. In India, this is said to have healing powers, so the excrement is dried and then heated. The powder made from it is used in various products. Including toothpaste, soaps and medicines. It is not uncommon for cow dung to be used to paint the vibhuti, the Indian sign on the forehead.
3. Cow urine. This is used not only for ritual cleansing but also for treating sick children. It is said to have antiseptic effects and is said to significantly reduce the healing process of wounds and skin diseases. For ritual cleansing, every convert or convert must be splashed with urine.
4. Milk. Nutrient-rich and traditionally served in Indian chai (milk tea).
5. Lasshi. A kind of buttermilk or yoghurt-like drink, which is extremely popular in India, but is not drunk warm like chai, but chilled. A blessing, especially given the hot temperatures in the country.

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