Many people know that habitual cows in our region in some countries, for example, in India, have a special status. Have you ever wondered why the Indians chose this animal as the object of worship? And why does the sacred cow in India have rights almost on a par with man? We invite you to learn more about this aspect of Asian beliefs and customs.
Historical background and the origin of the tradition
Indians treat all animals with special respect, but the holy cow occupies a special position. In India, you cannot eat beef, and even visitors and tourists fall under this rule. It is also impossible to offend an animal in any way, to beat and even shout at it.
Indian mythology equates the cow to the status of the mother. The ancient sages noted that this animal is a symbol of fertility, as well as absolute self-sacrifice: a cow gives people food during life, its manure is used as fertilizer and fuel, and even after death it benefits, giving its skin, horns and meat to the benefit of its owners .
Perhaps that is why the image of the cow began to appear in many religious cults. Indians believe that any Burenka is holy, and can bring happiness and fulfillment of desires to a person. In antiquity, these artiodactyls were an obligatory part of the dowry, they were used as payment and presented as a gift to the priests.
Cow in ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece
The image of a cow is repeatedly mentioned in ancient legends, it appears in ancient Greek and Roman mythology. There is a beautiful legend about Zeus and his beloved, beautiful priestess named Io. By hiding his connection with the earthly woman from his wife, Zeus turned the girl into a cow. But by the same token he doomed her to long sufferings and wanderings around the world.
Peace and the former appearance of Io found only on Egyptian soil. This story served as one of the reasons for believing that a cow is a sacred animal. More ancient sources of Egyptian mythology tell about the goddess Hathor, who was revered in the form of a heavenly cow and was considered not only a parent of the sun, but also an image of femininity and love.
Later the goddess Hathor was called the daughter of the god Ra, who, as you know, personified the heavenly body. According to legend, in the sky he was transported just a cow. And the Milky Way, the Egyptians called the milk of this heavenly cow. One way or another, this animal figured on a par with the main deity, so these animals were treated with respect. In ancient Egypt, these artiodactyls were never sacrificed on a par with other animals, and identified them with the maternal principle of all life on earth.
This religious movement is closely related to Hinduism. Therefore, here the image of a cow arises repeatedly. In this religion, there is the term "cow spirit", which denotes the soul of the earth, that is, the spiritual core of all life on our planet. The founder of Zoroastrianism, Zarathushtra, advocated animals against human violence.
However, this religious doctrine does not prohibit eating beef. However, religion does not preach strict gastronomic bans at all. Adherents of Zoroastrianism believe that food that benefits a person should be on the table, but within reasonable limits. Love for Burenk is expressed in the fact that people care about these animals and care for them.
Hinduism is one of the most ancient religions in our land. It takes its origins from the time of the Vedic civilization, which began 5 thousand years BC. And even then the cows were revered as a symbol of birth, motherhood and self-sacrifice. For a long history in Hinduism, a large number of legends and legends, praising the sacred cows. These animals are called "Gau-Mata", which means Mother Cow.
According to the most ancient scriptures, Krishna, the most revered god in India, was a cow shepherd, and he treated these animals with trepidation. Therefore, the profession of a shepherd is considered in Hinduism honorable, blessed by God.
Cow's happiness in modern India
Even now, in the modern era, the people of India are kind to their symbol of motherhood. The cow in this country is protected by law. Moreover, the Indian government strictly ensures that its regulations are carried out. So, no one has the right to drive away the cows, and for killing an animal you can get behind bars. This animal is allowed everything: walk along pedestrian streets and the roadway, enter courtyards and vegetable gardens, relax on the beaches.
A good sign in Hindus is feeding a cow. Therefore, even those who do not own livestock, consider it their duty to share breakfast with a cow, good, these animals on the faces of Indian cities can be found at every step. There are also special days in which street cows are treated not only with unleavened bread, but also with grass and other delicacies.
Sacred animals provide peculiar help to pedestrians. Every driver in India is sure to miss the cow, even if it stopped in the middle of the road. But pedestrians in this country are not allowed to pass. Therefore, locals and tourists to cross the busy highway, wait for the animal, and cross the street with it.
Sacred Animal Products
Indians do not eat beef, but gratefully accept those products that the sacred cow gives them. Since the majority of the population reject meat products altogether, milk and its derivatives are a key nutrient for them. The people of India give the greatest preference to milk, considering it to be a healing substance.
One of the most popular milk derivatives of Indians is ghee. What is this product? Ghee is an oil melted and purified from impurities. This oil is widely used not only in local cuisine. It is widely used in medicine, as well as for religious ceremonies.
Another cow product is manure. Its inhabitants of India, especially in the villages, use as fuel. Cow flat cakes are thoroughly dried in the sun, and then used to heat their homes.
Interesting facts about Indian cows
Hindus keep a cow until she is healthy and gives milk. As soon as the sacred cow grows old, she is thrown out of the yard. The point is not that the owners are cruel and heartless, but they have no other choice. They cannot send a cow for slaughter for known reasons, but the death of a sacred nurse in a house is considered a sin.
If such a misfortune happened to someone in the yard, the owner would be obliged to make a pilgrimage to the holy Indian cities. In addition, the owner of the dead cow agrees to feed all the priests of his city. For many, such redemption of sin is not affordable, therefore the easiest way is to send the cow to home. This to some extent explains the fact that so many of these representatives of the artiodactyls walk the streets of India.
The Indians are very popular Vedic teachings, in which milk is considered the most valuable product on the planet. Some believe that the constant use of milk can make a person immortal. However, not only milk, but also other cow products in Ayurveda are endowed with supernatural properties. For example, cow dung is able to protect against evil spirits and dark forces. It is diluted with water and a cleansing ritual is performed, rubbing the floors and walls of dwellings with a solution.