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Cows in Hinduism
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Hinduism: Why do Hindus regard the cow as sacred?

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Hinduism: Why do Hindus regard the cow as sacred?
Yes, the cow is considered very sacred in our religion and for very good reason. It's good qualities are those that we can emulate.
 
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Spirituality, All about Hinduism, Hinduism in India, Hinduism Teachings, Hinduism Practice, Hinduism Practices, Hinduism, Veda, Vedic,
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By Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniyaswami



Hinduism: Why do Hindus regard the cow as sacred?
 
Introduction
We cannot give anything away but that it comes back to us. A few years ago in Madras an American devotee said to me, "Shall I give money to the beggar who is asking?" I said, "Give him ten rupees. You may need the fifty rupees when karma pays you back, just as he needs the ten rupees now." The karmic law pays higher interest than any bank when you give freely with no strings attached.
 
Rhetorical question: "Who is the greatest giver on planet earth today?" Who do we see on every table? At every country of the world, breakfast, lunch and dinner? It is the cow. The golden arches made a fortune on the cow. When we were in Moscow in March we learned that MacDonalds is opening 11 of its cow-vending machines there.
 
The generous cow gives milk and cream, yogurt and cheese, butter and ice cream, ghee, buttermilk, sirloin, ribs, rump, quarterround, porterhouse, beef stew. Its bones are the base for soup broths. It gives us our leather belt, leather seats, leather coats and shoes, beef jerky, cowboy hats, you name it. The cow is the most prominent giving animal in the world today.
 
And now the question: Why do the Hindus regard the cow as sacred?
 
Answer #1: People who ask if cows are considered sacred should understand that Hindus regard all living creatures as sacred-mammals, fishes, birds and more. The cow symbolically represents all other creatures to the Hindu.
 
Answer #2: The cow represents life and the sustainance of life to the Hindu. It represents our soul, our obstinate intellect, our unruly emotions, but the cow supersedes us because it is so giving, taking nothing but grass and grain. It gives and gives and gives, as does the soul give and give and give.
 
Answer #3: The cow is so vital to life, the virtual sustainer of life for humans. In a society if you only had cows and no other domestic animals or agricultural pursuits, you could still survive and the children could survive with the butter, the cream and the milk to feed the children. The cow is a complete ecology, a gentle creature and a symbol of abundance.
 
Summary
Yes, the cow is considered very sacred in our religion and for very good reason. It's good qualities are those that we can emulate.
 
Prepared for the July 4th, 1990 meeting of the youth of the Hindu Temple of greater Chicago, by Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
 

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