Saints and Sages have chosen the names for the cow in Sanskrit literature in ancient times that were aware of the intrinsic role which the cow plays in the greater scheme of nature and particularly in relation to the wellbeing of human society.
The foremost name for the cow in India is Go-mata or Mother Cow. The wise men in ancient India considered that the human being has seven mothers; the mother who gave us birth-MOTHER, the mid-wife-DHAYMATA, the wife of the King- RAJMATA, the wife of a priest- DEVMATA, the wife of our teacher- GURUMATA, the Earth- DHARTIMATA, and the cow- GOMATA.
Most human beings come in contact with the above seven mothers during the course of life and benefited greatly from them. Therefore, Indian culture requires that these seven mothers always be given respect and protection. You would not kill your 'Mother' - similarly you should not kill the cow.
Cow Protection of course the seven mothers are not all put on the same level in terms of practical dealings and the cow is certainly not worshipped as superior to ones birth mother, as those who are antagonistic to Indian culture sometimes suggest. But because all respectable persons, objects, or beings are to be worshipped, there is a day reserved in the year where the followers of Indian culture worship the cow with decorations and various types of offerings. That day is called Gopashtami or Go-puja or the day for worshipping the cow. Go-puja is especially observed in rural India where people live their lives and depend greatly on the cows and bulls.
In ancient Sanskrit literature the benefits of cow protection are always extolled. The practical effects of cow protection can also be easily experienced by anyone who takes part in cow protection, but the real benefit for human society in terms of cow protection will only be realized when all the slaughter houses of the world are closed. Then we can expect to see peaceful existence and prosperity prevail.
The cow as Mother and the need to protect the cow as such is presently a heated debate in modern India where some states favour cow protection and others permit cow slaughter. The trend of modernization in India has indeed eroded many of her cultural values and this has set the stage for a conflict of ideas.
Globally, however, 'Mother Earth" has gotten our attention and all nations and people of this planet have now realised the benefit and the urgent necessity to protect the Earth, her resources and her creatures in the wild. It will be a great day for world civilization when the same concerns and scientific methods for protecting the Earth are directed toward the most humble of the Earth's creatures, our bovine mother.
Perhaps this is the bane of modern times where ancient Indian values seem to be out of place in an industrial society. Traditionalists lament the apathy of educated urban Indians who are ambivalent in their feelings for the cow which seems to have become just another animal. For a country known for its principles of vegetarianism and non-violence, the cow treated so badly but also cow slaughter is still permitted in India.
Gandhi, the father of the nation made a passionate appeal to ban cow slaughter in India. He wrote with great depth of feeling for the cow and called it a "poem of compassion". He said that the cow is the representative of the mute world of animals. With the language of its eyes the cow seems to be saying to Man that "God has not made you our master so that how you could kill or eat or mistreat us. Instead He made you to be our friend and protector". Such a fine thought can only emerge from this land where the cow is a symbol of its civilization. The songs of glory of the cow is a priceless gift of India to the rest of the world.
There is a good deal of talk today about protecting the cow from the slaughter-house. People are becoming conscious of the great evil that indiscriminate slaughter of cattle has brought to our country. On the purely shortsighted view, the need for milk in a vegetarian country being important, it gives a premier place to the cow as a feeder of the nation. Apart from that it also provides the bullock which is the motive power with which the farmer produces from the land. The importance of this aspect of the question has been fully realised in conferring divinity on the cow and raising cow-slaughter to the level of a religious question. However, because of fanaticism, the very same zeal on the one side has created cussedness on the other side and we often find conflict between different sections of the population centred around cow slaughter. Therefore it now becomes necessary to ascertain exactly the place of the cow in India and give it a national approach.
We are dedicated to promoting the idea of cow protection and demonstrating on a practical level that protection of the cow only furthers the peace and prosperity of humanity.
Please visit us often and follow our progress. If you would like to visit our Gaushala personally.
Importance of Cows
Role of Cows in Rural Economy