krishnas message for cow protection
namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca
jagad-dhitaya krsnaya govindaya namo namah
“My Lord, You are the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas, and You are the well-wisher of the entire human society and world.”
(Vishnu Purana 1.19.65)
In this prayer special mention is made of teh protection of the cows and Brahmanas. Brahmanas are the symbol of spiritual education, and cows are the symbol of the most valuable food. These two living creatures, the brahmanas and the cows, must be given all protection – that is real advancement of civilisation.
The Vedic literature tells how Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, takes the role of a cowherd boy for His past-times. In fact, one of Krishna’s names is Govinda, meaning “one who gives pleasure to the cows”. ”. Five thousand years ago, Krishna appeared as the son of the leader of a cowherd community. At that time a man was wealthy not if he had a pile of paper money but according to the number of cows and the amount of land he possessed. Krishna’s community had hundreds of thousands of cows. Thus the members of the community are described as having been very rich. They paid tax to the king with ghee, cheese, and whole milk and would also barter these products for cloth and other items in the market.
Lord Shree Krishna, by His personal example taught us the importance of cow protection, which is meant not only for the Indian climate, but for human beings all over the world.
The cow & bull must be protected
Religion is symbolised by the form of a bull, known as Dharma. In one well-known Vedic history, Dharma was attacked by Kali, the personification of the bad qualities of this age. Kali had broken three of Dharma’s legs (symbolising cleanliness, austerity and mercy) when King Parikshit (the grandson of the Pandavas) arrived on the scene. He was immediately ready to kill Kali, who begged for his life. The king allowed Kali to live in certain places only, one of them being wherever animal slaughter was taking place.
The Vedic tenet of ahimsa, or non-violence toward all living entities, demands that animal slaughter of any kind be avoided, and even a plant’s life is taken only to provide subsistence.
Panca-gavya, the five products received from the cow, namely milk, yoghurt, ghee, cow dung and cow urine, are required in all ritualistic ceremonies performed according to the Vedic directions. Cow urine and cow dung are uncontaminated and since even the urine and dung of a cow are important, we can just imagine how important this animal is to human civilisation.
In Vedic and Sanatana Dharma the cow is considered very sacred. There are many reasons for this:
She provides milk
The cow, eating only grass, happily supplies milk, which provides virtually all of the nutrients our bodies need. From milk we get cheese, curd, butter, ghee (clarified butter), whey, cream, yoghurt, and an endless variety of milk-based preparations well known to experts in traditional Indian cookery. Because the cow supplies milk, she is accepted in the Vedas as our mother.