Dosha News Archives
The Holy Cow
|In India, all animals are
sacred. But the cow, referred to
as Gau Mata or Mother Cow, holds a special place in the pantheon of
creatures. India was originally an
agriculture-based civilization, and before money came to the countryside, cows
were a symbol of wealth. Cows
became legal tender, exchanged for goods and services and even presented as
dowry at weddings. It was thought
that gifting a cow to a priest could bring salvation. The cow also provided milk, the main source of nourishment
for much of the country. The cow
dung is used as buel even today.
Dung mixed with hay and dried warms the home and keeps the kitchen fire
burning. It is also mixed with
clay and used as building material.
But since most Indians are vegetarian, once the cow stops producing milk,
it is often abandoned. That’s one
reason why there are so many cows wandering the streets. Cows find that the exhaust from the
cars helps keep the flies away, so they’re more comfortable. It’s easy for these cows to find
food. Bread is often left out for
the cows the eat, as this is said to be good karma. On holidays, wandering cows are offered sweets and grass.