Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Holy Cow of Ancient Cultures now Food for Many, still Revered by Hindus

(Compilation for a discourse at Sri Ganesha Temple, Nashville   by N. R. Srinivasan, January 2015)

Love for animals can be seen in all cultures that often have their own pets which they treat almost as their own family members developing special feeling and fondness. Indo-Aryans developed such love for cow, the only pet they domesticated.   It is strange that cow which is a pure vegetarian is the one that provides the major cheap protein food for the humans and fellow beings by sacrificing itself after serving them for some time often mercilessly butchered! Cow has developed a unique technique to eat abundant grass and yield bulk protein by way of beef.  In some   Western countries similar sentiments are voiced about horses which they often refer as noble animal. It is an ever-ready companion of a soldier fighting wars often saving his life.   St. Patrick developed love for animals which made some Westerners even to create graveyards for the pets and remember them on St. Patrick’s Day and venerating the departed souls. It is a paradox that the conceptualization of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) came from the West who regularly slaughter animals for food,

Though Rigveda mentions cow as God in a lone mantra it never elaborated on it as it did on ghee a product from cow which is an important ingredient in Vedic sacrifices or Yajna as a vyaahriti (emanation) of Brahman. Mahanarayana Upanishad pleads to the Omniscient  to protect cattle and horse in the following mantra which is chanted while waving the light before the deity: Maanoe hi(ga)mseej jaatavedo gaamasvam  purusham jagat | abibhradagna aagahi sriyaa maa parpaataya||   [Lord , the Omniscient! Pray do not slay the world of cattle, horse and men that belong to us. Without bearing the terrible form, O Agni, come to us. Associate me with wealth. Thus in  latter part of Vedas we  see the plea for protecting cattle. It is the Puranas that dealt at length on the subject and made cow an object of veneration. Volumes can be written as to why Hindus consider cow as holy going through various Sthala Puranas or Upa Puranas (local religious anecdotes, stories and subsidiary Puranas). I would however like to touch upon some major Puranic events that glorifies cow.  Any Hindu worships mother as  matro devo bhava but does not build temple for her!

Puranas have associated cows always with Krishna and Siva. Siva is addressed as Pasupati, the Lord of cows and Krishna as Gopala, Protector of Cows. Krishna was a native of Gokula, a township of Cowherds community. There are also many Puranic stories of cows associating   with Lord Siva and Lord Krishna.

There is an interesting Sthalapurana (local anecdote) about Siva and cow. Siva once played a game of dice with Amba (Parvati). They played for stakes and a quarrel arose based on a disagreement over a move. Enraged Siva cursed her to become a cow and also keep roaming on earth. So she roamed on earth as ordinary cow. In her Sahasranama Amba is extoled as “Gomaataa guhajanmabhoo”. She came to mother earth as Mother Cow. Vishnu is also described as the brother of Amba in Tamil scriptures. Vishnu as the brother-in-law wanted to protect his sister. So taking the guise of a cowherd he accompanied the divine cow, as he was not a victim of any curse. He took a liking for the job of a cowherd in due course.  That is how he took delight   in grazing the cows in his incarnation as Krishna Tamils say. He protected cows and the cowherds by lifting the Govardhana Mountain while Indra was angry and came down with his tsunami downpour. He also looked after the welfare of citizens of Gokula, had many friends and was successful to find a girlfriend Radha, doted and devoted, a coy and beautiful cow-maid.

Terazhandur in Tamil Nadu is also called   Gosakhaakshetra.  There is a temple for Siva as well as Krishna here. Of course every village in Tamil Nadu believes in it to keep Vaishnavites and Saivites busy and not start fighting. Krishna here is known as Aamaruviyappan.  Aa means cow in Tamil.  You know the famous dairy Aavin Paal in Tamil Nadu. Near it is a village called Pillur (meaning where the grass grows).  Mekkiramangalam in Tamilnadu is also a place where Vishnu grazed cows.   For Brother and sister to worship Siva, Vishnu installed Vedapureeswara (Siva) in Gosakhaakshetra.

The cow as well as Brahmin (Head priest) is essential to the practice of Vedic Dharma. Milk and ghee (melted brown butter) are indispensable to Yajna (sacrifice), while without Brahmin the sacrifice cannot be performed. This fact is emphasized in the popular prayer, Gobrahmanebhyo subhamastu nityam -- (May cow and Brahmin ever prosper!)

In the olden days ponds were dug here and there exclusively for cattle and stone pillars were installed here and there for them to scratch themselves. It was an unwritten law that almost everyone must feed the cow every day. This is called go-graasam and this act is extolled in Hindu scriptures. Grassa means mouthful and the English word grass is derived from it.

The origin of the veneration of the cow can be traced to the Vedic period. People in Vedic period were pastoralists; cattle had major economic significance that was reflected in their religious following also.   The milk cow in Rigveda was   said to be “un-slayable.” The degree of veneration afforded to the cow is indicated by the use in rites of healing, purification, and penance of the panchagavya, the five products of the cow—milk, curd, butter, urine, and dung. Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad prescribes the consumption of beef of a young bull offered in sacrifice by the pregnant mother as Prasadam (blessed food) for begetting a valorous and intelligent son.  “Atha  ya ichchetputro may pandito vigeetah samitingamah sushrooshitaam  vaacham bhaashitaa  jaayeta Sarvaan-vedaan-anubraveeta-sarvam-aayuriyaaditi mamsaudanam paachayitvaa sarpishmantamasneeyaataam-eesvarau janayitava aukshena vaarshabhena vaa ||” – He who wishes that a son should be born to him that he should be a reputed scholar, who would be frequenting the assemblies of learned scholars, who would be speaking delightful and worth hearing words, who will be a   master  of all Vedas and who will attain full term of life should have rice cooked  with the meat of a young bull advanced in years and he and his wife should eat with clarified butter, the they will be able to produce such a son.

Shandilya, Bharadvaja, Kaasyapa and others were called   Gotrapatis who are considered to be Rishis or sages by all Hindus.  Shelter for a cattle is called Gotra in Sanskrit. As these shelters were small in number many   families in Vedic days were obliged to put their cattle in the same shelter or Gotra. As a result, the cattle of one family often got mixed up with the cattle of other family or families and dispute arose over their ownership. To resolve such disputes, supervisor endowed with great moral and spiritual virtues were appointed to act as judges to give fair and just verdicts.  When one Vedic period person of one clan met someone belonging to another Vedic period person, he introduced himself by using the name of his Gotrapati. Hindus even today use the Gotrapati’s name to identify themselves as recorded in our horoscopes and temple Sankalpas (religious resolutions).

During the Puranic period the   Cow as Holy and as   an animal of veneration has been pushed too far though no cow avatar had taken place like Matsya (fish), Koorma (Tortoise) or Varaha  (Boar). Nandi of Siva was conceived as half-bull and half-man similar to Narasimha and Hayagreeva. But many animals have been pushed as mounts of Gods   or devotees of gods— Monkey, Eagle Elephant, Bull, Peacock, Swan etc. Agni Purana, Markandeya Purana, Vishnusmriti, Skandapurana, and Manusmriti etc., have glorified cow and made it sacred.  It is interesting to note only the female species of the cattle is raised to the status of Divine Mother. Atharva Veda says: The cow is the mother of Rudra; she is the daughter of the Vasus; she is the sister of Surya. She is a storehouse of ghee that is like the celestial nectar—“Maataa rudraayam duhitaa vasunaam | svasaa aadityaanaam amritasya naabhih || Atharva Veda being the last of Vedas and of much later origin has been often revised inserting materials of  all kinds of  beliefs  including sorcery, rituals and  slokas as mantras.  But a Hindu’s reverence to cow is based on Rigveda mantra (6:28): “Cows are God; they seem to me to be Indra, the God of Heaven”. Newer Upanishads have been fashioned after major Upanishads including lot of Phalasrutis (benefits derived on chanting) as Narayanopanishad and Ganapati Athrvaseersha Upanishd. So our focus should be on Major Upanishads for drawing any conclusion that are ten in number.  Mythology speaks about two divine cows Kamadhenu and Subala as   two all wish- granting cows and a devout Hindu attached to his cow sees it as his little Kamadhenu.   Lord Krishna was a cowherd and he spent most of his childhood and youth taking care of cows. Krishna says in Bhagavadgeetaa “Amongst cows I am Kamadhenu”. Gita also says “whoever sees me in everything sees me alone”—“Yo maam pasyati sarvatra mayyeva sa Pasyati”. Looking at Krishna with his pet cow a devotee sees Krishna in that cow also. Based on Gita philosophy to a Hindu when he looks at most useful things in life like a cow or Aswattha tree or at an odd looking icon like Ganesha,  worship to them is intended to Supreme Being only like all sacrifices offered to fire are intended for the chosen deity or deity prayed upon. But why should we go on with this assumption and how long? When do we get enlightened to meditate on Brahman alone? There are too many things in Hinduism to be understood when observed which a Western culture can’t easily apprehend. Sometimes me too! But a rational Hindu will never consider a cow superior to human beings; the manifestation of God in cow, an animal, is much less pronounced than in human beings as the progressive incarnations reveal.

Hindus also consider giving a cow in charity as the most sacred act. Many Puranas say whoever gives a cow in Charity (Godaana) shall always be happy and content and attain heaven after death. It is believed that after death,   before one reaches heaven, one reaches Vaitarani River. To make the task of crossing it surely one has to hold the tail of the cow and finally reach heaven. So cow is not only an inseparable companion here but also on our way to heaven!

Subsequently, with the concept of Ahimsa (no infliction of pain or injury) and the absence of the desire to harm living creatures) introduced by Buddhism and Jainism as the   highest moral code (ahimsaa paramodharmah), the cow came to symbolized a life of nonviolent generosity. In addition, because her products supplied nourishment, the cow was associated with motherhood and Mother Earth. The cow was also identified early on with the   priestly class who performed Yajnas (fire sacrifices), and killing the cow was sometimes equated   with the heinous crime of killing a Brahmana (Brahmahatya dosham). In the middle of the first millennium CE cow killing was made a capital offense by Gupta kings   and legislation against cow killing promulgated by them persisted into the 20th century in many princely states where the monarch was Hindu. In the late 19th century, especially in North India, a movement to protect cows arose that strove to unify Hindus and distinguish them from Muslims by demanding that the government ban cow slaughter.  It may be worth recalling here that during Sepoy Mutiny in India both Hindus and Muslims joined together to fight against British, a rare one time occurrence as they always fought with each other,   as  both of their religious sentiments were hurt,   because they were  forced to handle  guns lubricated with cow and pig tallow  fats. At other times, the intertwining of political and religious purpose led periodically to anti-Muslim riots and eventually played a significant role in the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947.

We are often pained to hear the words “Holy Cow!” when an American Christian exclaims using it in an angered tone or derogatory sense. Of course he also says “Jesus” with angry tone on such occasions though one of the Commandments says: “do not use the name of thy God in vain”. He does not enjoy the freedom in Christianity like Hindus who can call their Beedi (a country cigar) Ganesh Beedi and snuff Ambal Snuff! Hindus revere cows as a symbol of life. Unlike many misconceptions about the significance of cows in Hindu culture, cows are not gods nor have they ever been worshiped in that sense. In ancient India, although oxen and bulls were slaughtered for meat and sacrificed to the Gods, it was unacceptable to kill a cow that produced milk. One possible reason for this practice was that Aditi (Mother of Gods) identified with milk producing cows in the Rigveda.

For people of Abrahamic religions cow is the main source of food today. Probably they want to avoid holy goat and lamb! It is like “Anna (food)” hailed in Taitaareeya Upanishad for Hindus.  I often wondered why Jesus did not mention about beef while he did refer to bread and wine in the last supper as detailed below. For Jews   lamb and goat were main sacrificial animals and Jesus was Jew.  Only his followers named his doctrines as Christianity and those who followed them as Christians naming after him. Had Jesus   mentioned beef along with bread and wine cow would have also become an object of veneration in Christianity and Christians would not have been mad at us joking with Holy Cow! There may be two reasons here.  In those days they were goat and lamb eaters as the blood of lamb was spilt at each door step to identify Egyptians to kill the first born. Also Moses was vexed with the people who resorted back to calf worship when he went into wilderness to fetch the Ten Commandments that came with the new ruling by God that “thou shalt not bow unto any graven image”.  So cow was avoided and only Bread and wine were considered as flesh and blood of Jesus Christ as he spoke at the last supper. At the Last Supper, Jesus made three highly significant statements. ‘This is my body’, ‘This is my blood’, ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ The first of these bears an obvious relationship to his words in John chapter 6 verses 53 to 56: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day; for my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him”.  Compare this with Lord Krishna’s statement “yo maam pasyati sarvatra mayyeva sa pasyati” whoever sees me in everything he sees me only”. Earlier in the same chapter he said, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’ The angel of the Lord, when destroying the first-born of the Egyptians, would pass over the houses marked by the blood of the lamb: hence the name of this holy feast or ordinance as Feast of Passover.

Since cows were thought to be God's gift to mankind to provide food, fuel and life, it became sacrilegious to eat this gift that God had sent to Bharatiyas. Cows are looked upon as symbol of motherhood. But unfortunately Hindu Americans who are non-vegetarians say only Indian cows are holy like Muslim Americans who say American ham and cheese is not prohibited in Koran. Although there are religious implications for this, there are also reasons of necessity. Cows provided milk, melted butter for lamps, and fuel. Slaughtering a cow for sacrifice or food was expensive and with each death also died all the uses cows fulfilled and valuable resource.
Today, Hinduism teaches to abstain from eating beef.   Most families in Hindu village culture own at least one cow that is considered equal to their own family member.   Milk, provides nourishment for growing children, so cows are thought of as surrogate mothers nourishing all mankind. Cow dung is the largest source of household energy in the village life of India; often ash from dung is used for a Tilak, or a religious mark on the forehead. Dung is considered as a natural   product of the earth and   soil nourishing manure unlike most Western cultures would consider it as dirty excrement. Since cows are considered cleansers, cow dung is considered a disinfectant. Of Course most often, cows roam on the streets of India starving and uncared for, not because they are not held sacred, but because their termination (however diseased or nuisance value they may be) is considered almost a taboo in Hindu culture.  On Gopaashtami day cows are washed and decorated and given food hoping that such gifts of life to a harmless and sacrificial cow will make them also prosperous.  Offering food to animals and revering them is considered as one of the five daily (Bhoota Yajna) sacrifices prescribed to a religious Hindu.     All Hindus are not vegetarians and they do depend for their food on other animals, birds and fish.   Majority of the Hindus except some outcastes still avoid eating beef but they do not look down upon any person who consumes beef. That is how so many interfaith and inter caste marriages take place in which one partner is a meat   eater or beef eater. Westerners who love pets have even graveyards for their pets. Even those do not want to understand Hindus’ love which turns to veneration for cow.
It is strange Hinduism is always charged myths and superstitions particularly when they think cow is holy or beef eating a sin when they are non-vegetarians as beef is the cheap source of protein and nourishment.  I have even heard a White American exclaiming “If hundred million people go to hell by eating cow why the starving Hindu wants to go to heaven by not eating cow?” For Western Americans cow is the cheap source of protein. Let us examine the myths and beliefs that existed in the so called Western Culture which they forcefully got rid of when Christianity ruled the country. Hindus in India never could do that. They follow what they believe in and do not interfere with other beliefs.

The following information described as ancient myths was sent by courtesy for onward transmission for the benefit of Hindus and misunderstood Christian faiths.  Westerners believe in Aryan Invasion theory and the existence of Dravidians in India before their arrival. Indian Government goes by this Aryan Invasion theory while teaching history in schools.   If that is true  Ancient Myths that link us to past ages when cattle was venerated came mostly from Aryans only which was later solemnized by Vedic culture.   
according to current history taught in India Indo-Aryans were not indigenous to India but migrated from Central Asia. Bonnard-Levin is of the opinion that the ancestral home of the Aryans was the region of Southeastern Europe as reflected in the Indian history taught in schools. They were nomadic people whose livelihood depended mainly on raising cattle.

Ancient World Myths Link Us to Past Ages When Cattle were Venerated

“Ancient People linked together cattle, fertility and abundance. This was reflected in their spiritual practices, and in many parts of the world people worshiped a Cow Goddess or a Goddess who protected cow.

HATHOR, the Egyptian Goddess, was known as the gentle cow of heaven. She was said to give a plentiful supply of milk to the baby Pharaoh thus making it to a divine being. She was described as the winged cow of creation, who gave birth to the universe. She is shown with cow-head or with horns on her head between which there was a sun disk. She embodied the Milky Way   upon which the Sun God RA and the king sailed. She was a fertility goddess and was also associated with the flooding of life giving waters of Nile and the flooding of waters before birth.
She later became identified with BATA, another cow Goddess, who was connected with BA, an aspect of the soul and came to be associated with the afterlife greeting the dead as they began their journey from the world of living.   

In Ireland, there were   several ancient Cow Goddesses, including some like DIL and DAMONA who both ruled over fertility but about whom very little is known today. Then there is BO FIND, who manifested as White Cow. She transformed Ireland from a barren land into green and fertile land. She came from the Western Sea with her sister BO RUADH, the red cow goddess and the black cow goddess BO DHU. These different colors represented the different phases of the moon.

The sister all went to different parts of the Ireland.  BO FIND went to the center where she gave birth to a male and female calf. These twins were to provide food for the people by giving milk and help in ploughing the earth. Their work having been done, the cow twins departed back to the sea.
Another Goddess was ANU who was guardian of Cattle and Health. Fires were lit for her big midsummer and her priesthood sang the dying to sleep.

BRIGIT was a cattle mother goddess to many European tribes. Some suggest her name came from the Sanskrit word brihat, an epithet of Brahman. She was goddess of regeneration and abundance and her protection was said to be very great. She was seen with a pair of oxen called FA and FEINHEAN.

As Christianity began to grow BRIGIT also known as BRIDE was transformed into a popular saint. Legend says her mother was carrying a pitcher of milk when she was born and the infant was bathed in it. She was unable to adjust to ordinary food and was reared on the milk of white, red eared cow. This was a special animal with links to the other world in Celtic mythology. The companion animal of the adult saint was said to be a cow, who gave her all the milk she required. When she became an abbess she miraculously increased the milk and butter yield of the abbey. Some say there was a lake of milk three times a day and on one churning of milk filled hundreds of baskets with butter. After her death her skull was stolen from the abbey by soldiers who took it to Portugal and every year cattle were driven past it in a spring festival. 

One of the most popular goddesses in ancient Scandinavia was Freya. She was a Vanir, a divinity of nature, a goddess of love, fertility and fortune. The cow was her symbol and one could please her by offering flowers, planting trees, or feeding the cows. The day of the week Friday (Freya’s day) is named after her. Linguists acknowledge that Freya is related to the Sanskrit Priya meaning ‘beloved’, an apt name for the goddess of love.

The alphabet of the old Germanic and Scandinavian peoples is known as the Elder Futhark and is written using the Rune script. It is composed of 24 letters, grouped into 3 sets of 8 letters each, known as the Aettir. Like the bija (seed) letters of Sanskrit, the Runes are used in combination for divination and magic. The first Aett is Freya’s and relates to the creation of the world.

It is said that in the beginning of creation the world was frozen covered in ice. Then, the divine cow, Audumbla, the first creature in the universe, appeared and began to lick the ice. With her hot breath and licks she melted the ice revealing Ymir, the first man, encased within. Ymir then drank the milk from the divine cow, as a child does of its mother, for nourishment. Thus mankind had an intimate connection with cows from the dawn of creation. The name Audumbla is generally translated as ‘the wealth of the cow’. It is likely related to the same root in the Sanskrit word Audarya, meaning ‘generos’  or ‘magnanimous’.

 The cow was of primary importance to the Scandinavian peoples. We can see this in the first two letters of their alphabet both of which relate to the cow. The first letter, or Rune, is ‘Fehu’ meaning both ‘cow’ and ‘wealth’. It is also the first letter in Freya’s Aett, the first letter of her name, and the first creature in the universe, and thus the sacred cow belongs to her. As she was the goddess of fertility, the giving of life to the world begins with the cow. The symbol itself is a simple pictograph representing the two horns of the cow.

The cow was associated with wealth because she provides all the basic necessities of life. Her milk provides   protein, fats, and vitamins. In northern areas, with little sunlight, the cow’s milk provides much needed Vitamin D. Her manure creates fertility in the soil to grow all manner of vegetables. We even see, as far away as Iceland, girls would wash their hair in cow’s urine as a beauty treatment to provide shine and silkiness. Thus in Scandinavian society wealth was measured in cows and could be used in the payment of debts and as a means of exchange. For this reason Freya was also the goddess of Fortune.

The second letter in the Elder Futhark is Uruz meaning ‘wild bull’ as well as ‘rain/water’. In the Vedic tradition we also see rain and water poetically described as a bull – often as the sound of stampeding hooves. The word sacrifice means ‘to make sacred’. In the Vedic yajna (fire sacrifice) the gods provide rain, which causes the grass to grow. The grass then feeds both the cow and bull. After mating and giving birth, the cow provides milk. This milk is then turned into ghee (clarified butter) and poured back into the sacrificial fire as an offering back to the gods. This completes the sacrificial cycle, uniting the gods, the earth, the animals, and man, making the whole of creation sacred and wonderful. The Sages inform us that the higher powers left our presence at the beginning of this Age of Quarrel as we had severed our connection with nature due to our mistreatment of the cow. The symbol Uruz represents the strong stance of the bull.

Today in the Western part of the World the great Cow Goddesses of the past have faded into history. The cow is rarely venerated now and her gifts together with those of bull and oxen are plundered, like those of Mother Earth, without recompense. They are seen solely in economic terms as objects for exploitation and nothing is given back.  Indeed they are killed when they have outlived their usefulness. It would serve us well to remember, that domesticated cattle was the foundation of human civilization. The way we treat them may symbolize much about how corrupted our relationship with nation has become. When we respect the cow and enter into a symbolic relationship with her, we are respecting symbiotic relationship with her, we are respecting the entire natural world and celebrating abundance”.

Why did Jews worship a calf before they received the   Ten Commandments?
 The people of the Middle East were very religious, but they also worshiped many gods.   When God gave His Ten Commandments to the Israelites, He began by addressing this religious pluralism.   “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me” (Exodus 20:2–5).  Lord Krishna on the other hand referring to a different ignorant crowd   with a devoted mind said “Even those devotees of other Gods who worship them endowed with faith, worship Me alone though in an unauthorized way”.

[How you wish today Brahman addressed the same thing to Hindus? We are bewildered and confused   with 33, 33000…. ... 33 Crores gods!  Since the time of Sankara we see in Hinduism several human beings, declaring themselves to be either Avatars, or representatives of the Supreme Being, or their devotees superimposing the Avatars on their preceptors or Gurus though Bhagavata says after Bauddhavatar next Avatar is Kalki.   Mention here may be made of Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Raghavendra, Andal, Saibaba, Swami Narayan, Ramana Maharshi, Anandamayi Maa, Aurobindo, Krishnaprem Vairagi,Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Swami Prabhupada, Ma Jnananada etc. But Bhagavad Gita says you see me only through all of them whom you worship and in whatever form. That is a big relief and divine guarantee! ]

While Moses was up on the mountain receiving God’s laws, the people were getting anxious    down on the plain.   The people urged Aaron, their temporary leader, to make gods for them to follow as they could not sit idle without worship.   Aaron took their gold earrings, which they had brought from Egypt, and melted them down to make a golden idol. The idol he crafted for them was a calf, but Aaron maintained the name of the Lord in connection with it (Exodus 32:5). He was merging the prevailing practices they were familiar with and the worship of the God they were just beginning to be re-acquainted with. Aaron called the people together and told them that the golden calf was the god who delivered them from Egypt. The people offered sacrifices and then engaged in rituals to worship the new God. Why did Aaron do this?    First, the people’s long familiarity with idol worship would incline them to follow that method in the absence of clear direction otherwise. It is likely that the people had not yet received the commands against idol worship, since Moses was yet to come down with Ten Commandments. Second, they were already in the habit of merging their beliefs with those of the people around them, a practice that would continue to plague them throughout the kingdom years. Third, Aaron was faced with an unruly crowd that placed a demand on him. The solution of making an idol and calling it by God's name seemed fairly reasonable as in our practices today.

Why did he choose a calf/bull?  He did not choose but it just came out of the fire like this, it is said.    Some have tried to show that the bull represented one of the gods of Egypt, but that doesn’t fit the text, because Aaron called a feast to the Lord (Yahweh) and said that it was the god(s) which brought them out of the land of Egypt. The bull was a symbol of strength and fertility, and the people were already familiar with bull gods from Egypt. Bulls were also typical animals of Jewish sacrifice, so to use their image as a symbol of the god being worshiped was a natural connection. Aaron’s bull was a mixture of the powerful God who delivered the people through mighty works and the   methods of worship that existed with the people.  

In India the Puranic glorification of cow based on Rigvedic mantra still haunts the religious sentiments of those who worship Cow as Holy and Gomaataa, Mother Cow!   Though Rigveda glorified cow it did not raise it to the status of Brahman as it did Ghee (ghritam), a gift from cow.   Vedas paid their gratitude only to cow by the Rigveda mantra glorifying it. MNU also says:   “Madhveergaavo bhavantu nah” meaning may our cows be sweet towards us! But it  elevates Ghee to the status of Brahman thus expressing its gratitude to cow  which provided them ghee for offering their oblations to desired destinations through  fire,  with  ghee and  Agni’s  help,  both of which are considered as Vyaahritis or emanations of Brahman and so Brahman itself.  MNU says: “ghrite srito ghritamuvasya dhama anushadhamaavaha maadayasvsa”—This Ghrita (ghee) alone is the material cause of this Universe and this Universe merges in Ghrita (Ghee). It is not out of place to mention here that Christians too think bread represents flesh and wine blood of Jesus Christ. Only they have not elaborated on it except paying their respect during the celebration of Last Supper Jesus had with his twelve disciples.

It is clear cow is not recommended for worship as God and therefore there are no temples to cow though there are Varaha Temples and Koorma Temples.  We also rarely see Krishna icons with cow though we see Dattatreya with dogs but see him often only with his flute.   In recent  times  India  saw several  human beings declaring themselves to be either avatars are representatives of the Supreme Being, or their devotees superimposing the avatars on their preceptors or Gurus like  Aandal, Sankara, Ramanuja,  Swami Narayan,  Saibaba of Shirdi, Satya Saibaba  etc. to whom many exclusive temples are built and worshiped which has even crossed the shores of India. Conceptualizing cow as Holy based on its usefulness and lasting companion of people is not anything unusual for such Hindus who go out of the way in showing their reverence and prostrate. They do so when they receive Heads of monasteries. They revere them but not consider them as Gods. Anyway among the fanatic masses of India and religious Hindus the slaughtering of cows for food will be a controversial issue for long years to come as India has declared itself as secular country like USA where Christians and Muslims would love to eat beef and so cow slaughter cannot be banned by a Central legislation.

We have seen how cow, the female species only, has been venerated in gratitude to its support to Vedic sacrifices and sustenance of the human beings. While horse and goat and rarely bull are mentioned as sacrificial animals in very early Vedic sacrifices no cow the female species is ever mentioned. Horse because of its association of war and also its large scale sacrifice in the battlefield gained its position in Aswamedha sacrifices. Goat is considered an enemy of plant kingdom and so considered as a choice animal in sacrifices. It also multiplies fast.  But progressively animal sacrifice was given up though meat eating by majority continues as noticed even today. While Sanatana Dharma was slowly moving  to modern concept of Hinduism due to facing serious criticism as to Vedic  animal sacrifices emerging Christianity was thinking of Human sacrifice as the greatest sacrifice. That is why Holy Bible says God sacrificed his own Son to save the world! Jesus himself said “my flesh is real food and my blood real drink”.  Yet we find lot of criticism from Westerners on Purushasookta misinterpreting sacrifice of Viratpurusha!
As a vegetarian I believe in Ahimsa but not averse to milk and milk products. Contrary to the general belief Hindus are vegetarians, majority of Hindus eat meat like goat, lamb, fowls, fish etc.  Those who are not vegetarians do tell us: “like the goats, cows,   fowl and fish that we eat vegetables and cereal also have life”.  Ahimsa may mean minimal pain. It does not mean na imsa himsahimsa or no pain. Plants have life and feelings like human but they do not have sensation of pain to the same degree as animals and birds have.  This has been scientifically established.  Also, but for certain leafy vegetables which we uproot to prepare food, most other vegetables are obtained from plants without killing them. It is like clipping our nails or hair.  Fruits are plucked when they are ripe and about to fall. Even in Western practice only certain type of meat is eaten. Horsemeat is not usually eaten. They have their logic too.    Every household in one sense is a butchery as the sloka goes:

Panchasoonaa grahastasya vartante harahah sadaa /
Khandani pesani  culli jalakumbha upasskarah //

Khandani is used to cut vegetables. It stands for one type of butchery. The second butchery is represented by grinding or pounding. We mercilessly grind corn, pulses etc. The third butchery   is by the culli or the kitchen fire. The water pot (jalakumbha) is also included among the objects of butchery to which flies and insects fall and die. Then there is the upaskara, the broomstick.  Many tiny insects are killed as we sweep the floor. But all these killings are committed unwittingly. There is a provision In Hindu scriptures for expiation for the sin committed unwittingly. It is the Prayaschitta of Vaisvadeva. We perform this ritual to ask the Lord to forgive our sins of having caused the destruction of various creatures and pray for the happiness in afterlife.  Vaisvadeva rite is meant for the excommunicated and for all creature of earth like dogs, crows, insects, etc. This rite absolves us of all sins. The importance of pancha mahaayajnaas (five daily sacrifices) about which we have talked about a lot cannot be over emphasized in this context which include feeding the cow and offering water to quench its thirst in return as a gesture of gratitude for its selfless service. This Yajna concept is built into some of our festival rituals and rites.

Exodus 29:36 says: “And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement; and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it”. Sacrificing a cow in Eid-al-Adha is in vogue today. Mexican Folk Catholicism practices cow sacrifice. The sacerdotal function in all religions called for blood sacrifice in ancient belief though Hinduism is criticized for its animal sacrifices which it is trying to overcome while others still continue. Feast of Sacrifice consecrated and perpetuated by Mohammed when he acted as a priest-is still perpetuated. Emphasis is now on Kurbaani of infidels (in their interpretation), turning away from the spirit of self-sacrifice if not animal sacrifice as they are easily available in plenty all over the world. Christianity follows the gospel of Christ: unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you”.  Arabic religions depend very much on their priest prophets to guide them spiritually. Hinduism on the other hand is successfully fighting against spilling of blood and animal sacrifices and comes with the prayer: “Gobrahmanebhyah subhamastu nityam lokaassmastaah sukhino bhavantu” May there be welfare for cows and the guru-priest (to nourish our body and soul) so that all living beings be happy and content. Hinduism talks about the welfare of the cow for their living (providing food, fertilizer, fuel and motive power to till the soil and draw the carts) and the Guru-priest to guide them for saving the soul while others consume cow all the time, only sometimes offering it as a sacrifice and enjoying the blessed food.  Recently American Senator Ted Cruz reflecting the life of early Christian Americans said: “All a man needed was a horse, a gun and open land and he could conquer the whole world”. But Hindu American even after migration to USA still chants “Gobrahmanebhyah……..” in his prayers implying all we need is the cow and the Guru to develop in body, mind and spirit. Veneration of horse comes from material goals while veneration of cow springs from the spirit of sacrifice! It is a choice between War and Peace! 

I am of the opinion that Purans written after the birth of Jainism and Buddhism forbid Hindus from the consumption of any meat or meat products. But majority of Hindus are meat eaters but they too consider cow alone is holy. Only the so called Harijans sometimes consume Beef. The agitation against slaughter of cows is increasing but it has no legal standing. The problem should be tackled by promoting vegetarianism. With the problems of heart diseases and cholesterol all over the world, we should propagate vegetarianism and abandon red meat altogether. Still, fish and egg will remain popular with those non-vegetarians.

Hinduism-Today in India proclaims “Gomatru devo bhava” treat cow as Mother Goddess while other Indian religions   thank their Gods for the blessed food of cow for their happy living. “I Love My India” of conflicts and contradictions!  After long years of Independence India fought for a country divided on language basis but not religious following basis. That would have made the task easier to ban cow slaughter only in Hindu Religion state! It would have been easier to create small states for other religious followers. Jains and Buddhists would have gone with Hindus! Hindus in India want to start “Gosamrakshana” agitation movement inspired by the religious discourses of Sankaracharya of Kamakotipeetham as the political wind is in favor of Hindus today. It is complicated! But my dilemma remains still as to why Sankaracharya has not thought about poor lamb, sheep and hen etc. that are slaughtered in millions and consumed by Hindus in whom the same Jeevaatman resides as in cow as I understand from Upanishads? Will it not be a good idea to start vigorously promoting Vegetarianism which will gradually kill beef eating. Even Argentina where   for every man there are three cows, a top beef eating country, vegetarianism and Hindu philosophy are strongly promoted from health and spiritual advancement considerations. As a Hindu American I go by the direction of Geetaa:

Sreyaan svadharmo vigunah paradharmaat-svanushthitaat |
 Svabhaava-niyatam karma kurvan-aapnoti kilbisham || 18-47 ||

Better is one’s own Dharma, though destitute of merits, than the Dharma of another well performed—He who does the Dharma  obtained by his own inherent nature, he incurs no sin. As a Vegetarian I will refrain from any meat or fish or egg and will not switch over to European American traditions. Let others follow their own dharma as directed by their religions! The  greatest scientist  on Earth   Dr. Albert Einstein once said: “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet”.

Honoring Great souls and erecting statues for them is human instinct which dominates in Hindu culture. Hindus honor great souls as Gods but do not build temples for them to worship.  On the reverse out of extreme love and devotion they treat God as their honored guest in their worship to feel his intimate company for a while. This sentiment extends to most useful things in life and even extends to animal and plant kingdom. Cows are therefore considered holy but no temples are built. As in every society mistaken cult instinct cannot be avoided. These are rare as you find in the lone temple for Bull in Karnataka, the statue for Mahishasura in Mysore and EVR Periyar in Tamil Nadu. I wish Karnataka has built a Nandi temple, instead Bull Temple in Basavanagudi, Bengaluru, for an Avtar of Siva half man half-bull like Narasimha!

1.      Ed Viswanathan, Am I a Hindu? Rupa & Co., Delhi, India.
2.      Swami Bhaskarananda, Essentials of Hinduism, Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, India.
3.      Prem P Bhalla, Hindu Rites, Rituals, Customs and Traditions, Pustak Mahal, Delhi
4.      Wikipedia and other Internet sources.
5.      IndiaDivine.Org, Internet Communication.
6.       Jagadguru Chandrasekahrendra Saraswati, Dharma, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai, India.
7.       Sumathi Agambaranathan, Mission 2015—Gho Samrakshanam, Internet

  Sent through courtesy  from The Blog of Sumathi Agambaranathan;

 Mission 2015 - Gho Samrakshanam (Protect and Save Cows)

Very happy to touch base at the dawn of the New Year - hoping and praying that 2015 would bring in lots of luck and good fortune to all of us.

As for me, am happy to continue my spiritual journey holding on tightly to the lotus feet of His Holiness Sri Kanchi Maha Periva. I pray to HIM to give me the strength to continue spreading HIS light far and wide through the Forums/ Groups I manage along with some likeminded friends and devotees.

All of us are aware that Sri Maha Periva's discourses captured in the seven volumes of Deivathin Kural/ Voice of God is also known as the common man’s Veda. Our Mahaswami has given us a wealth of information through these books, and every single page is a pokisham (treasure) for us to cherish and relish. In Volume Seven of Deivathin Kural, an entire chapter is devoted to Gho Samrakshanam (Protection of Cows).

Periva has addressed every argument that one can think of on why the holy animal must be protected and why cruelty to the cow is a great sin.  Here is an extract/ some key points from Periva's extensive narration.

The cow is God. Although she is an animal, she is Gomatha who gives milk like a mother and is the form of Srimatha. As Kamadenu, she is the divine mother who gives all that is desired. Kamadenu manifested from the Ocean of Milk (Kshirabdhi). If we enjoy the milk from the cow as long as it gives milk and then send it away for slaughter once it stops yielding milk, it is like killing the mother who has become old and cannot do any work. The meat of a cow is the same as the meat of a mother.

Only some people can do puja to the cow treating it as divine. But there is a duty that is to be performed by everyone – giving fodder to the cow. Every day we have to give atleast a handful of grass to the cow. Sasthras refer to this as ‘gograsam’. ‘Grasam’ means a mouthful of food. It is from ‘gograsam’ that the English word ‘grass’ has been derived. In his Thirumandhiram, Thirumular has mentioned the duty of giving ‘gograsam’ in between the duty of offering a leaf (bilva) to Iswara and giving alms.

On the one hand, we worship the cow as a deity. On the other hand, we are making available for slaughter cows which have stopped yielding milk or we starve them. This hypocrisy is a great blemish on us. Till such time we do not protect the cows well until its natural death, we are unfit to call ourselves Hindus.

My wish is that in addition to we Hindus coming together as a family in the service of the cow, we have to carry this message with love to people of other religions also, involve them so that the entire society comes together as a family for doing the service. Religious affinity may take different forms for different people but since compassion to animals is common to all, all religions in our country should come together on this basis. That is my wish.

To nurture the cow and protect it is punya which will give all benefits. To neglect it is a great sin which will invite curse and there is proof for this. The welfare of the cow will ensure the welfare of the country. If it is protected, sins will come down on-their-own. If it is subjected to cruelties, there will be trouble for the whole world. According to Sasthras, Dharma Devatha is of the form of a bull (Rishabham) with four legs namely, thapas, purity, compassion and sathyam. In Bhagavatham (1.17) it is said ‘Gomatha’ is in association with that bull, that mother cow yields dharma as milk and because the Kali Purusha subjected the pair to cruelty, this age of Kali (Kaliyugam) is in a state of such deterioration. Therefore, for remedying the Kali dosham and dharma to come up, cow protection is an important measure. 

There is no great punya that the gift of a cow. It is the greatest remedy for sins. The gift (dhanam) has to be made after making sure that the person who receives it is capable of protecting it. That country where cows have no fear of any cruelty being inflicted on them and live peacefully in gokula, all sins will go and will shine.  May Lord Krishna bestow His grace so that our Bharath becomes such a country and all of us develop the attitude and ability to make it such."

No doubt that there are several noble people protecting cows in Ghosalas. It is also enlightening to know that several youngsters are coming forward to support this cause. 

I am happy to endorse one such organization called in Chennai, focused on supplying farm fresh Organic Milk, Organic fruits, vegetables, greens and pure organic pulses. 

My interest in this organization is two-fold - one is that their products are directly sourced from organic farmers, which will help the farmers get better margin for their products and thus encourage them to continue agriculture which is currently dwindling And second, and most important outcome of this initiative is the protection of cows and cattle, including dry cows which are invaluable to the organic farming practices.

Those of you who are interested in supporting this noble cause can visit their website to buy their products online, and have them delivered at your home in Chennai.  They can be reached via email on or phone @ +91-99529-22522

As someone who has grown amongst cows since my childhood, protection of cows is something very close to my heart. Sometime down the years, I want to take up this initiative in a big way, and am waiting for HIS call. In the meantime, am supporting a couple of Gho Salas in and around Chennai which are in dire need of financial assistance - the least I can do at the moment to prevent these animals from going to the slaughter house.

If anyone is interested in "Gho Samrakshanam", please write to me. There is so much we can do to give back to the society through Cow Protection.

This New Year, let each one of us pledge to do whatever we can to protect the divine animal, and also help the farmer who is dependent on the Cows for organic farming. 

Wish you all a Very Happy, Prosperous and Blessed New Year 2015!!

Posted by Sumathi A at 11:24 PM 

Labels: chennaiDeivathin KuralGho Samrakshanam; Cow Protection; Go SamrakshanamMy Organic BazaarSri KanchI Maha Periva

The Samurai: Protectors of the Cow


Published on Feb 25 2015 02:21 PM  |  Posted by The Editor     History and Culture      


If I were to tell you, that once, no other country, save India, revered the cow as much as Japan, I could understand your disbelief. Today, we think of Japan as a meat-eating culture. However, this image is a product of the last 150 years of American influence. The traditional Japanese culture held the cow as the most sacred animal. What follows next is the true story of among the greatest protectors of the cow – the Samurai.

In The Footsteps Of The Buddha

When Buddhism left India for the Far East it had a profound influence on all of the countries it encountered including China, Korea and Japan. Buddhism entered Japan around the year 552 A.D. In April 675 A.D. the Japanese Emperor Tenmu banned the consumption of all meat from four legged animals including cows, horses, dogs, and monkeys, as well as domestic birds such as chickens and roosters. Each succeeding emperor would periodically reinforce this ban until by the 10th Century all meat eating had been eliminated.

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In mainland China and Korea the Buddhist monks adhered to the principle of ‘ahimsa’ or non-violence in their eating habits but theses strictures were not placed on the population as a whole. In Japan, however, the Emperor was very strict in guiding his subjects towards the Buddha’s teachings of non-violence. The killing of mammals was considered extremely sinful, birds moderately sinful, and fish somewhat sinful. The Japanese did eat whale, which today we know are mammals, but at the time were considered very large fish.

The Japanese also made a distinction between animals reared in the household and wild animals. To kill a wild animal such as a bird was sinful. However, to kill an animal raised from birth was considered abominable – tantamount to killing a member of the family. As such, the diet of the Japanese was mostly rice, noodles, fish, and on occasion wild fowl.

During the Heian Period (794-1185 A.D.), the Engishiki, a book of law and customs, required a period of fasting for up to three days as penance for eating meat. During this period of penance one was not to look at the deities of the Buddha as a sign of shame.

In subsequent centuries the Ise Shrine passed even stricter rules – one who ate meat must fast for 100 days, while one who ate with someone who ate meat must fast for 21 days, and one who ate with someone who ate with someone that ate meat must fast for 7 days. In this way, three layers of pollution were accounted for through penance due to the violence inherent in meat.

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To the Japanese the cow was the most sacred animal.

The drinking of milk, however, was not common in Japan. Among the peasantry the cow was used almost exclusively as a draft animal to plow the fields.

Among the aristocracy there is some evidence of milk consumption. There were instances where cream and butter were used for the payment of taxes. However, for the most part cows were protected for their own sake and allowed to roam around the royal gardens at peace.

One milk product we know the Japanese used was called ‘daigo’. The modern Japanese word ‘daigomi’ meaning “the very best part” is derived from this milk product. It is meant to evoke the feeling of deep flavor and pleasure. Symbolically it was seen as the final stage of purification towards enlightenment. The first mention of daigo is found in the Nirvana Sutra with the following recipe:

“From cows to fresh milk, fresh milk to cream, cream to curdled milk, curdled milk to butter, butter to ghee (daigo). Daigo is the best.” – Nirvana Sutra

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Another milk product was ‘raku’ said to be made from sugar mixed with milk boiled down until it became a hard block. Some say it was a type of cheese but from its description it sounds like a form of burfi. In an age before refrigeration this enabled the transport and preservation of milk protein. Shavings of raku were sold and either eaten or added to hot tea.

The Foreign Arrivals

On August 15, 1549 Francis Xavier, one of the founders of the Jesuit Catholic order, along with Portuguese missionaries, arrived on the shores of Nagasaki, Japan. They began to preach their Christian faith.

Japan at this time was politically divided. Many individual lords ruled over territories and various alliances and wars were taking place. One Samurai, Oda Nobunaga, though born of peasants, would go on to become one of the three great unifiers of Japan. He was also notable for giving accommodation to the Jesuits for their preaching and supported the establishment of the first Christian church in Kyoto in 1576. Many believe his support was a way to undermine the power of the Buddhist priests.

Initially the Jesuits were cautious observers. In Japan they found an alien culture that was highly refined and developed. They noted that the Japanese were obsessed by cleanliness bathing every day. This was unusual at a time when Europeans would bathe only once every few months, if at all. The Japanese also wrote from top to bottom rather than left to right. And while they had a strong military order, in the Samurai, they still fought with swords and arrows.

The King of Portugal did not financially support the missionary activities in Japan. Instead the Jesuits were allowed to engage in trade. After converting the local Daimyo (lord) Omura Sumitada, the small fishing village of Nagasaki was given to the Jesuits. In time Christian missionaries found favor throughout southern Japan and converted the Daimyos of Kyushu and Yamaguchi regions.

All manner of trade began to flow through Nagasaki and merchants were becoming very wealthy. There was particular interest in Portuguese guns. However, as the missionaries expanded they began to introduce meat eating. At first it was as an “accommodation” for the foreign missionaries who “needed meat to be healthy”. But the slaughter of animals and the consumption of meat spread wherever people converted to the new faith. We see this evident in the Japanese word for meat ‘waca’ derived from the Portuguese ‘vaca’.

There was one social class called ‘Eta’ (literal translation “an abundance of filth”) that were considered unclean as their occupation was to dispose of dead carcasses. Today they are known as the Burakumin. No cow was ever to be killed. However, they were allowed to make and sell leather goods from a cow that died of natural causes. Because they were engaged in unclean activities, at the bottom of the social ladder, many converted and were engaged in the growing meat industry.

But the spread of meat eating was only the beginning. The Portuguese were one of the main merchants of world slavery at the time. The Jesuits facilitated this slave trade through their port city of Nagasaki. This became known as the “Nanban” or “southern barbarian” trade. Thousands of Japanese women were enslaved and brutalized around the world. There is in fact correspondence between the King of Portugal Joao III and the Pope listing the price for this exotic fare – 50 Japanese girls for 1 barrel of Jesuit saltpeter (gun powder).

As local lords were converted many forced their subjects to convert as well. The Jesuits saw weapons trade as one means to shift the balance of political power between the various warring sides. They supplied arms to Christian Daimyo and used their own military forces to advance their influence. Many lords would convert knowing they would gain military advantage over their rivals.

Within a few decades it is estimated there were over 300,000 converts. Caution was now replaced by confidence. Ancient Buddhist temples and shrines were now being desecrated as ‘pagan’ and ‘unholy’.

Observing all of this was the Samurai Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Like his master, Oda Nobunaga, he too was born a peasant and grew to become a powerful General. He became suspicious of Jesuit motives when he saw the Spanish conquer the Philippines. What he saw happening in Japan made him disgusted. In 1587 General Hideyoshi commanded the Jesuit priest Gaspar Coelho to meet and handed him “The Purge Directive Order of the Jesuits”. In this document were 11 points, among them:

1) All Japanese slave trade must end and all Japanese women from around the world must be returned.
2) All meat eating must cease – the cow and horse must never be killed.
3) All desecration of Buddhist temples must end.
4) All forced conversion must end.

With that he expelled the Jesuits from Japan. It had been only 38 years since their arrival. Next he led his armies through the southern barbarian lands. Conquering these lands he was disgusted by the slaughtered carcasses that lined the street shops. He began to post Kosatsu, signboards, all along the countryside notifying the people of the laws and ordinances of the Samurai – among these laws – “Do Not Eat Meat”.

Meat was no longer simply ‘sinful’ and ‘unclean’. Now meat was associated with the wickedness of the foreign barbarian – with sexual slavery, religious desecration, and political subversion.

Following the death of Hideyoshi in 1598 the Samurai Tokugawa Ieyasu gained control. He also saw Christian missionary activities as a sort of ‘expeditionary force’ to conquer Japan. By 1614 he banned Christianity entirely noting they were ‘corrupting goodness’ and creating political division. During the following decades it is estimated that perhaps 3,000 Christians were killed, with most renouncing their faith or remaining hidden.

Finally, the Sakoku (‘Closed Country’) Edict of 1635 sealed off Japan to foreign influence. No Japanese were allowed to leave Japan nor return if they were abroad. Japanese trading boats were set on fire to sink off the coast. Foreigners were expelled and only a very limited amount of trade was allowed through the tiny peninsula of Dejima in the Bay of Nagasaki. This island was 120 meters by 75 meters and only 19 foreigners at any one time were allowed to be on this island.

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For the next 218 years Japan remained isolated but politically stable. With no wars to fight the Samurai slowly became idle, interested mainly in the latest political gossip. While the society was controlled, some would say repressed, these restrictions allowed Japan to retain its traditional culture.

The Barbarians Return

On July 8th, 1853 Commodore Perry entered the bay of Edo, the capital city, with four American warships puffing black smoke. They blockaded the bay and prevented any food or supplies from entering the country. The Japanese, isolated for the prior 218 years, were technologically far behind and were no match for the modern American war ships. This became known as “the Black Sails” event.

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The Japanese were panicked and this created a serious political crisis. Commodore Perry, on behalf of the United States, demanded Japan sign a treaty opening up for free trade. He began to fire his cannons as a show of force and threatened total destruction if they did not submit. On March 31, 1854 the Kanagawa Treaty “Japan – US Treaty of Peace and Amity” was signed. Soon thereafter the English, Dutch, and Russians followed suit using similar strong-armed tactics to force their way into free trade with Japan.

The Japanese realized their vulnerability and concluded they needed to modernize.

One small Buddhist temple named Gyokusen-ji was set aside to host the foreign visitors. By 1856 this temple was converted into the first U.S. Consulate in Japan headed by Consul General Townsend Harris.

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For 1200 years not a single cow had been killed in Japan.

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Then in 1856 U.S. Consul General Townsend Harris had a cow brought to the Consulate and slaughtered on the grounds of the temple. Then he, along with his interpreter Hendrick Heusken, roasted and consumed the meat along with some wine.

This caused great disturbance in the community and farmers began to hide their cows in fear. Eventually Heusken was killed by a Ronin (a Samurai with no master) leading anti-foreigner campaigns.

But the act was done – they had killed the most sacred animal to the Japanese. It was this act that was said to inaugurate modern Japan. Suddenly “old conventions” were out, and the Japanese could shed their “primitive” and “backward” ways. In 1931 the consulate building was renamed “The Temple of the Slaughtered Cow” to memorialize this event. A statue of the Buddha, on top a pedestal decorated with cows, overlooks the building.

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From then on slaughter houses started to appear and wherever they opened panic arose. The Japanese felt it desecrated their neighborhood, made it unclean and inauspicious.

By 1869 the Japanese Ministry of Finance established the gyuba kaisha, a company designed to sell beef to foreign traders. Then in 1872 Emperor Meiji passed the Nikujiki Saitai law which broke the two great strictures for Japanese Buddhist monks – it allowed them to get married and eat beef. Following that, in the same year the Emperor publicly announced that he personally loved to eat beef and mutton.

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On February 18, 1872 ten Buddhist monks stormed the Imperial Palace to assassinate the Emperor. Five of the monks were shot and killed. They declared that eating meat was “destroying the soul” of the Japanese people and must be stopped. This news was suppressed in Japan but was reported in a British newspaper The Times.

The Emperor then disbanded the Samurai warrior class, replaced them with a Western style conscripted military, and started purchasing modern weapons from the United States and Europe. Many samurai became impoverished overnight. They were now on a lower standing than the merchant class who were profiting through new trade.

Marketing Meat In Japan

With the Emperor publicly declaring his love for meat the intellectual, political, and economic classes began to embrace it. Intellectually meat was promoted as a sign of civilization and modernity. Politically meat was seen as a way to build up the strength of the military – to build a stronger soldier. Economically meat was associated with affluence and wealth for the merchant class through trade.

But the general public still regarded meat as unclean and sinful. A process to market meat to the public began. One technique was to rename the meat so as to avoid knowing what it was. For instance, boar was called as ‘botan’ (peony flower), deer as ‘momiji’ (maple), and horse as ‘sakura’ (cherry blossom). We see a similar marketing approach today with Happy Meals, McNuggets, and Whoppers – whimsical names to hide the violence.

One meat company in 1871 ran this advertisement pitch for meat:

“First of all, a common excuse for disliking meat is that since cows and pigs are so big, butchering them is unbearable. Which is bigger, a cow or a whale? No one is against the eating of whale meat. Is it cruel to kill a living creature? Is it not cruel to slice open the spine of a live eel or to cut the head off a live turtle? Are beef and cow’s milk unclean? Cows and sheep eat only grains and grasses, while the boiled fish paste found in Nihonbashi is made from sharks that have feasted on drowning people. Although soup made from black porgy [a marine fish common in Asia] is delicious, it is made from a fish that eats the human excrement discarded from ships. And while spring greens are certainly fragrant and delicious, I expect that the urine applied [as fertilizer] to the plants the day before yesterday has soaked into the leaves completely. Does beef and milk smell bad? Don’t pickled fish organs also smell bad? The fermented and dried jack-fish meat certainly smells much worse. And what of the pickled eggplant and daikon radish made using the method introduced by our ancestors, by which insect larvae are combined with the rice miso used to pickle them? Isn’t the issue based more upon what we are used to and not used to? Beef and milk provide a great deal of nourishment and are extremely good for the body. They are basic ingredients of westerners. We Japanese must open our eyes and begin to receive the benefits to be had from beef and milk.”

Slowly the public began to turn.

The Cycle of Destruction

The coming decades saw Japan develop a modernized military with expansionist dreams. Meat became a staple of the Japanese soldier’s diet. While the scope of the subsequent wars is too great for this article we can say Japan went on to commit great atrocities across South East Asia. As the war was coming to a close, the United States, once weapons supplier to Japan, was putting the finishing touches on the world’s most destructive weapon.

On July 16, 1945 in Alamogordo, New Mexico, the first atomic weapon, code named ‘Trinity’ was detonated. The “father of the atomic bomb” Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, upon seeing the results thought of the Bhagavad Gita verse (11:32) “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” You can see him commenting on this verse below:The U.S. military then set their sights on Japan. Most of the cities in Japan had already been decimated by years of war. President Truman decided on two targets – Hiroshima and Kokura. These were standing cities unharmed thus far by the war. By dropping the weapon upon these targets they could gain valuable ‘testing’ of the effects on buildings and humans while breaking the will of the Japanese people.

Three weeks later, on August 6, 1945 the Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy” a uranium bomb on the southern city of Hiroshima. Some 80,000 people were killed instantly with another 70,000 injured and dying over the subsequent weeks.

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The next target was the city of Kokura but a typhoon rolled in delaying the flight. When the weather cleared on August 9, 1945 the plane, blessed by two priests, was loaded with “Fat Man”, a plutonium based implosion weapon. It took off from Tinian Island (code named ‘Papacy’) with orders to drop the weapon on the city of Kokura only on visual sight.

The pilot, Major Charles Sweeney, flew over Kokura but the city could not be seen due to cloud cover. He passed over and flew around for a second attempt but still could not see the city. Running low on gas and flying over enemy territory he made his third and final attempt. Again the clouds made it impossible to make visual sight of the target.

He flew on prepared to head back to base. Then the clouds parted and Major Sweeney could see the city of Nagasaki. With visual sight of a target he ordered the bomb dropped. It fell into the Urakami valley of Nagasaki. And with a flash as hot as the sun over 40,000 people were instantly killed. Far more would have died but the walls of the valley protected much of the exterior city.

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Two of the greatest war crimes in history had just been perpetrated. The old and the young, men, women, and children, the healthy and the infirmed – all were killed. No mercy was shown.

The phrase “the Luck of Kokura” came to mean escaping unaware complete destruction.

When news came back that Nagasaki was destroyed the two priests that blessed the plane were in shock. Both Father George Zabelka (Catholic) and William Downey (Lutheran) would later renounce all forms of violence.

You see, Nagasaki was the center of Christianity in Japan, and the Urakami valley was the center of Christianity in Nagasaki. Almost 396 years to the day that Francis Xavier first arrived in Nagasaki fellow Christians killed more members of their faith than any Samurai ever did over 200 years of persecution.

Later two U.S. Catholic Bishops (John O’Hara and Michael Ready) were urged by General Douglas MacArthur, the Allied Supreme Commander, to send “thousands of Catholic missionaries” at once for they only had about one year to “fill the spiritual vacuum created by the defeat.”

The Aftermath & Modern Japan

The Japanese were completely destroyed. On September 2, 1945 they officially surrendered.

During the U.S Occupation (1945-1952), the Allied Supreme Commander established a school lunch program, managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in order to “improve the health” of Japanese school children and teach them an acquired taste for meat. Initially 250,000 children participated which increased to 8 million by the end of the occupation.

But a mysterious disease began to infect the school children. Some feared it was due to residual radiation from the atomic weapons. Rashes started to appear all over their bodies. In time they realized the Japanese were allergic to meat and the hives were a reaction to this sensitivity.

Over the coming decades Japan saw an increase in meat imports as well as the development of their own domestic slaughter industries.

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In 1976 the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) began a marketing campaign to promote U.S. meat in Japan. This was followed up with the 1985 Farm Bill Targeted Export Assistance (TEA) program. In 2002 USMEF create the “Desire Beef” campaign followed by the “We Care” campaign in 2006. The private-public relationship between the USDA and USMEF has helped to promote meat eating in Japan generating billions of dollars for the U.S. slaughter industry.

A sign of the current situation is a recent headline from McClatchy DC, December 8, 2014, that reads: “Japan’s soaring demand for cow tongue drives U.S. exports.”


This historical account can show us the techniques used in the promotion of meat eating:

1) An appeal to religious/foreign minority status.
2) Targeted conversion of the upper classes.
3) Targeted conversion of the lower classes.
4) Marketing of meat with whimsical names.
5) Association of meat with modernity, health, and wealth.
6) Weapons sales to create political instability.
7) Threats and acts of war to create free trade.
8) Complete destruction & rebuilding a new meat friendly culture.
9) The creation of school lunch programs to teach children meat eating.
10) The use of trade associations & economic incentives.

The ancient Seers understood the subtle laws that guide the universe. The violence inherent in meat sows the seeds of future conflict. When you see these techniques used know that a pralaya (destruction) awaits.
Once Japan was the greatest protectors of the Cow--the Samurai.


Why save the Cows?
Posted by Jahnava Nitai Das | November 11, 2005 | 1,545 views
 The Vedic literatures [Hindu scriptures] state that protection must be given to weak and helpless living entities by the stronger members of society. It is the duty of a householder to protect and provide not only for one’s family, but even for the ants that live within one’s house; what to speak of higher living entities like the cow, who are at the mercy of their owners. The scriptures state that the cow is our mother. We drink the milk from the cow, therefore we must accept her as our mother and protect her. As such how can a civilized society allow violence to come to such helpless living entities, who sustain us all with their milk.”
In Hinduism the cow is held sacred due to the fact that it is very dear to Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is explained in the Hindu scriptures as follows:
namo brahmanya-devaya= go-brahmana-hitaya cha
jagad-dhitaya krishnaya govindaya namo namah
[Vishnu Purana 1.19.65]
“I offer repeated obeisances unto Lord Krishna, who is the protector and well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas. He is also the protector of the entire society. Unto that Lord, who is always satisfying the senses of the cows, I offer my obeisances again and again.”
The words go-brahmana-hitaya indicate that the Supreme Lord is especially concerned with the welfare of the cows and the qualified brahmanas (spiritual teachers). The Lord is concerned with everyone’s welfare, but the cows are especially dear to Him. The brahmanas (spiritual teachers) are dear to the Lord because they worship him, as indicated by the words brahmanya-devaya (the Lord of the brahmanas).
When Lord Krishna appeared on this planet 5,000 years ago, he appeared as a cowherd boy. This was due to his great love for the cows. Even in the spiritual realm, the Lord is engaged in herding the spiritual cows, as stated in the Hindu scriptures:
chintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpavriksha-
lakshavrteshu surabhir abhipaalayantam
govindam aadi-purusham tam aham bhajami

“Lord Krishna is situated in a spiritual abode made of transcendental gems. In that abode he is surrounded by millions of desire fulfilling trees (kalpa-vriksha), and he takes pleasure in tending the divine cows. He is always being served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of devotees. To that Supreme Lord, who is always trying to satisfy the senses of the cows, and who is the original person, I offer my worship.”
The great Hindu saint, Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, while commenting on this verse states:
“Kama-dhenus (cows yielding the fulfillment of all desire) give milk when they are milked; but the kama-dhenus of the spiritual world pour forth oceans of milk in the shape of the fountain of love showering transcendental bliss that does away with the hunger and thirst of all pure devotees.”
The cows of this world are the material reflections of the divine cows of the spiritual realm. As such, the Lord blesses them by basing the entire Hindu (Vedic) culture on their protection.
The very word Govinda, which is a famous name of Lord Krishna, means “one who brings satisfaction to the cows”. And Lord Krishna has many such transcendental names which reflect His relationship to the cows. Gopala means “the protector of the cows”, and Krishna is famous throughout India as Bala-gopala, “the child who protects the cows”.
The Vedic literatures state that protection must be given to the weak and helpless living entities by the stronger members of society. It is the duty of a householder to protect and provide not only for one’s family, but even for the ants that live within one’s house; what to speak of higher living entities like the cow, which are at the mercy of their owners. The scriptures state that the cow is our mother. We drink the milk from the cow therefore we must accept her as our mother and protect her. As such how can a civilized society allow violence to come to such helpless living entities, who sustain us all with their milk.
All these rules and regulations in the scriptures are given by the Lord for the protection of the cows. When these rules are not followed, and when the world turns away from the injunctions of the scriptures by violating the rights of the helpless, at that time the Lord descends to reestablish the principles of religion, to punish the miscreants and to protect his devotees.
Thus, according to Hindu scriptures, a civilization where there is no respect for the cow is condemned.
Question: “If the cows are protected by Lord Krishna [God], then no force on this world should be able to harm the cows. Why then is there so much slaughtering of cows going on in this world?”
The cows which Lord Krishna personally tends and protects are not the mundane cows of this material world. They are the surabhi cows of the spiritual realm of Vaikuntha:
lakshavriteshu surabhir abhipalayantam
The supreme transcendental realm is called ‘Goloka’ because it is the abode of ‘go’, transcendental cows, and ‘gopa’, transcendental cowherds. These transcendental cows are the greatest devotees of the Lord.
Krishna also provides protection to the mundane cows of this world, but in an indirect way. For their protection he establishes the principles of religion and the Vedic culture. Krishna is the protector of dharma (religion), but in order to accommodate the free will of the living entities, sometimes He allows dharma to become degraded, and as a result the cows (and the entire world) are mistreated. At such a time, the Lord will incarnate to reestablish the principles of religion. Of course the true protection the Lord gives his devotees goes much beyond this. He does not protect us from death;  He actually protects us from life – life in this material existence. People with a very limited vision of existence think death is our enemy, and we must prolong this life as much as possible. But those with a spiritual vision understand that the soul is eternal, and he will continue his journey in his next body. As such, our need no longer becomes protection from death, as death is nothing more than a passing phase of one body. We actually need to be protected from this life and attachment to its false bodily possessions.
The Lord’s protection is absolute. He is protecting each and every one of us. Some people he protects from death, other’s he protects from life. In both cases He is protecting them, because he is seeing to the protection of their eternal soul, and not just their external body. The entire material creation is for the protection of the living entities. Krishna is drawing us back towards His spiritual abode. From the perspective of eternal time, one life span, or even a thousand life spans, are not very significant. The actual purpose of the Lord’s incarnations is to reclaim the fallen conditioned souls through His transcendental association. This is the Lord’s true protection, which he gives very freely to the cows of Vrindavana.
The Vedic culture is centered on sacrifice, and for sacrifice one requires ghee (clarified butter). Thus it is the cows which allow man to worship the Lord through sacrifice. The cows provide man with milk, ghee, and curds, all of which were essential in the worship of the Lord. Now due to the influence of the present age of Kali (“the period of darkness”), sacrifice to the Lord has stopped, and as a result the cows are neglected, despite the immense service they perform for society.

Scientific Benefits of Cow Protection
Posted by Krishna Das | Sep 09, 2015 |  IndiaDivine.Org

Cows, as ‘Kamdhenu’ are the fulfiller of all desires. “matrah sarva bhutanam, gavah sarva sukha prada”, which means, the cow being mother of all living entities gives all pleasures to everyone.
1)  Cows are receivers of the auspicious rays from all heavenly constellations. Thus she contains influences of all constellations. Wherever there is a cow, there is influence of all heavenly constellations; blessings of all gods. Cow is the only divine living being that has a Surya Ketu Nadi (vein connected to sun) passing through her backbone. Therefore the cow’s milk, butter and ghee have golden hue. This is because Surya Ketu Nadi, on interaction with solar rays produces gold salts in her blood.
These salts are present in the cow’s milk and cow’s other bodily fluids which miraculously cures many diseases. Ancient scripture state that “Suryaketu” nerve on cow’s back absorbs harmful radiations and cleanses atmosphere. Mere presence of cows is a great contribution to environment.
2) Cow milk is the most compatible with human mother’s milk than any other species in existence. This is because the DNA of the cow was specifically constructed to be harmonious with mammalian human DNA. So it can be clearly understood that cow DNA was designed so humans could benefit from cows products being milk, cheese, butter, cream and yogurt.
Charaka Samhita states:
Milk is the best life strengthener.
While Casein protein in milk helps growth of infants.
Calcium and sulfur strengthen our bones.
Milk is also rich in vitamins D and B-complex.
Curd arrests diarrhea, controls fat, and resists cancer.
Ghee improves intelligence and beauty. It is used to treat eye diseases.
Distilled cow urine is effective in treatment of flu, arthritis, bacterial diseases,
food poisoning, indigestion,  edemas, and le
Panchagavya Mix : Various medical formulations like Panchagavya Ghrita, Amritasara, Ghanavati, Ksharavati, Netrasara etc. are invaluable medicines in Ayurvedic system.
“yatvagasthi gatam papam dehe tishthti mamke prasnat panchgavyasya dahasagnir-ivendhnam”
Meaning: From skin to bones, whatever sins (diseases) are in my body, are destroyed by panchagavya just as fire destroys fuel.
3)  “gavyam pavitram ca rasayanam ca pathyam ca hrdyam balam buddhi syataaayuh pradam rakt vikar hari tridosh hridrog vishapaham syata”
Meaning: Cow urine panchgavya is great elixir, proper diet, pleasing to heart, giver of mental and physical strength, enhances longevity. It balances bile, mucous and airs.  It cures heart diseases and removes effects of poison. For thousands of years, people in India have used cow urine and cow dung for different purposes in their daily and ceremonial activities. Being highly recommended by the scriptures, it is considered holy and safe to use.
Medicinal Benefits:
According to Ayurveda the cause of all diseases is the imbalance in three faults (tri-dosas) i.e. mucous, bile and air. Cow urine balances the tri-doshas, thus diseases are cured.
There are some micronutrients in our body, which give life strength. These micronutrients are flushed out through urine. Therefore gradually ageing steps in our body. Cow urine has all elements, which compensate for deficiency of nutrients in our body, which are required for healthy life. Thus Cow urine stops ageing process. So it is called an elixir and also life giving.
(Urine & Cow Dung) provide the right solutions for most of the diseases that are considered incurable.
Cow urine has natural disinfectant and antiseptic qualities. It helps in curing Cancer, AIDS, Asthma, Diabetes, High BP, Psoriasis, Eczema, Other Skin Diseases, Heart Diseases, Hypertension, Piles, Prostate, Liver, Kidney, Urinary Diseases, Female Diseases, Hepatitis, Acidity, Fits, Ulcer, Spleen, Ear, Sexual Disorders, Nose, Eye, Cough & Cold, Migraine, Headache, Gout, Knee Joint Pains, Sodalities, Sciatica and other chronic ailments.
Cow urine being miraculous poison destroyer, destroys the disease caused by poison (toxin). Extremely dangerous chemicals are purified by cow urine. Cow urine provides immunity power by increasing resistance power against diseases in human body. It is anti-toxin.
Cow urine corrects functioning of liver. So, liver makes healthy pure blood. It gives disease resistance power to the body. Cow urine contains many minerals especially copper, gold salts, etc. It compensates for bodily mineral deficiency. Presence of gold salts protects body against diseases.
Mental tension hurts nervous system. Cow urine is called Medhya and  Hradya, which means it, gives strength to brain and heart. Thus cow urine protects heart and brain from damages caused by mental tension and protects these organs from disorders and diseases. Excessive use of any medicine leaves some residue in our body. This residue causes diseases. Cow urine destroys the poisonous effects of residues and makes body disease free.
Electric currents (rays) which are present in the environment keep our body healthy. These rays in form of extremely small currents enter our body through Copper in our body. We get Copper from cow urine. To attract these electric waves is quality of Copper. Thus we become healthy.
By acting against the voice of soul (immoral & sinful action), the heart and mind become narrow minded. Due to this the functioning of body is effected and causes diseases. Cow urine provides mode of goodness. Thus helps us to perform correct activities by mind. Thus protects from diseases.
“Sarve rogaah hi mandagnau” All diseases begin with mandagni (Low fire i.e. digestive capacity). If fire is strong, diseases won’t occur. Cow urine keeps the fire strong.
Irregular bowel movements cause diseases. Cow urine regulates bowel movements. Weakening of immunity system also causes disease. Cow urine is elixir--Gavyaatu Samproktam Jivanaya rasayanam meaning cow urine gives life and is elixir.
Bull’s urine is stronger. But its medical value is no less as species is same. Just by smelling bull’s urine, infertile woman can conceive child.
In scriptures some diseases are said to be due to sinful actions performed in previous lives which we have to bear. Ganga resides in cow urine. Ganga is destroyer of sins, thus cow urine destroys such previous sins and so diseases are cured.
4) Organic colostrum benefits and rebuilds the human body at a deep foundational level. Besides   containing the building blocks (all the parent essential fatty acids, all the essential amino acids, etc. for every nutrient needed by the body), naturally occurring lGF-1 (which stands for insulin-like growth factor)  could be considered the crown jewel as to why cow colostrum benefits human longevity potential so well.
According to wikipedia, “IGF-1 is one of the most potent natural activators of the AKT signaling pathway, a stimulator of cell growth and proliferation, and a potent inhibitor of programmed cell death” (this helps combat the metabolic effects of aging). IGF-1 is one of the many growth factors found in bovine colostrum that helps create a state of anabolism in the body which can lead to increased lean muscle mass, bone density and tissue regeneration. The oligosaccharides that are present in colostrum benefit the healing of the skin externally in the form of reversing wrinkles and internally in the form of healing the lining of the digestive tract. These long chain sugars also serve as pre-biotic and feed the good bacteria in the intestine (including acidophilus) and aid in the maintenance of peak health for the digestive system.

Lacto-peroxidase is an enzyme that acts as an anti-microbial agent. It is found naturally in milk and colostrum to prevent the proliferation of bad bacteria. These beneficial properties are then transferred over to those who consume it. Colostrum benefits your oral health if you let is dissolve in your mouth around your gums. This can prevent or even treat gingivitis and may be able to help re-grow a receding gum-line. Lacto-peroxidase has also been shown to stimulate macrophages (white blood cells) to gobble up cancer cells present in the body.
The lactobacillus acidophilus in raw colostrum is a strain of healthy bacteria that is an important part of the human immune system. Many people develop an imbalance of not only their intestinal flora (healthy bacteria) but also the flora on their skin and other bodily orifices (ears, nose throat, mouth etc) over time due to poor diets and the use of medication and specifically antibiotics. Acidophilus taken orally in organic colostrum benefits the flora of the entire body by populating first the gut and then it eventually “overflows” into all other areas of the body. As previously mentioned, there are naturally occurring prebiotics in organic colostrum that feed acidophilus as well as any strains of good bacteria already present in your body.
Lactoferrin and hemopexin may be two key nutrients in “leveling the playing field” in terms of the difference of lifespan between men and women. One suspected cause for men living shorter live than women on average throughout the world is that they don’t regularly shed their blood the way women do once a month. Iron is a pro-oxidant and the theory is that “rusty” old iron that is floating around the body for too long causes damage that builds up over time. Lacto-ferrin and hemopexin are known to bind to excess iron and remove it from the body safely.
Nucleosides found in dairy products and specifically in higher amounts in cow colostrum, have a number of beneficial functions for the body. Dietary nucleotides support immune modulation, meaning that they intelligently alter the immune system to become more effective, as opposed to just blatantly boosting it which may exacerbate underlying autoimmune conditions. These nutrients also enhance iron absorption in the digestive tract as well as help in the desaturation of fats, making them easier to digest!
Proline rich peptides (PRP’s) act as hormones that regulate the thymus gland and help modulate the immune system (much in the same way as the nutrients mentioned above). Specifically, PRP’s promote better functioning of T-lymphocytes, they help produce cytokines, they stimulate the activity of natural killer cells (NK cells) and they stimulate and modulate many other immunological functions. What makes cow colostrum one of the best antiaging foods is that PRP’s increase the permeability of blood vessels in the skin, resulting in the improved uptake of nutrients into the skin which results in a healthier and more youthful complexion!
5) Cow dung has antiseptic, anti-radioactive and anti-thermal properties. When we coat the walls and clean the floors of house with cow dung, it protects the dwellers. In 1984, gas leak in Bhopal killed more than 20,000 people. Those living in houses with cow dung coated walls were not affected. Atomic power centers in India and Russia even today use cow dung to shield radiation.
6) When we burn cow dung, it balances atmospheric temperature and kills germs in the air. We can also reduce acid content in water by treating it with cow dung.
7) When we offer ghee in fire as part of ritualistic sacrifices, it strengthens the ozone layer and shields the earth from harmful radiations from Sun.
8) Manures from cow urine & dung make the soil fertile, for yielding more nutrient fruits & vegetables for healthy life.  They help in overcoming the negatives of chemical fertilizers. 99% of the insects in nature are beneficial to the system. Insecticides prepared from cow urine or well fermented butter milk does not affect these helpful insects. Dung from one cow is adequate to fertilize 5 acres of land and its urine is can protect 10 acres of crop from insects. African deserts were made fertile using cow dung.
9) 70% of our people depend on agriculture. 98% of them depend on cattle based agriculture.
9) India has approximately 30 crores cattle. Using their dung to produce bio gas, we can save 6.0 crores ton of firewood every year. This would arrest deforestation to that extent.
10) Boasting of the largest rail road network of the world, Indian Railways transported 55.7 crores tons of goods in 2004-05. In the same year, the humble ox carts transported 278.5 crores tons! In that year, trains moved 511.2 crores passengers while ox carts had 2044.8 crores customers! Oxen have carried up to 14 ton goods non-stop 24 hours, without water and food. Most importantly, the carts do not produce air or sound pollution. Goods carried by ox -carts are 4 to 5 times as much as by trains. This saves considerable foreign exchange. i.e., transportation worth Rs. 50,000 crores was done by ox-carts in 2005. By expanding cow based industry, cow would have a defining stature in our economy.


"The wish Fulfilling Divine Cows
Posted by The Editor | Sep 04, 2015 | IndiaDivine.Org
Kamadhenu also known as ‎Surabhi is a divine bovine-goddess described in Hinduism as the mother of all cows. Kamadhenu, the sacred cow which grants all wishes and desires, is an integral part of the entire Indian culture. This divine cow, which lives in swargaloka (heaven), emerged from the ocean of milk (kshira-sagar) at the time of samudra-manthan (the great churning of the ocean by the gods (suras) and demons (asuras).
It was gifted to the seven sages by the Gods, and in course of time came into the possession of Sage Vasishta.
Kamadhenu is also well-known through its other five forms: Nanda, Sunanda, Surabhi, Susheela and Sumana.  Kamadhenu’s complexion is like the white clouds.  Every part of cow’s body has a religious significance.  Its four legs symbolize the four Vedas, and its teats the four Purusharthas. Its horns symbolize the gods, its face symbolize the sun and the moon, its shoulders Agni (the god of fire), and its legs the Himalayas Brahma (the creator of the Universe in Hinduism) is her back, while Lord Vishnu is her throat.  To the right, a man is seen as protecting the cow from being slaughthered.She’s described as sometimes taking on an anthropomorphic form, with a human head, a cow’s body, a peacock’s tail, and the wings of a parrot.”

According to the ‎Ramayana
Surabhi is the daughter of sage Kashyapa and his wife Krodhavasha, the daughter of Daksha. Her daughters Rohini and Gandharvi are the mothers of cattle and horses respectively. Still, it is Surabhi who is described as the mother of all cows in the text. However, in the Puranas, such as Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana, Surabhi is described as the daughter of Daksha and the wife of Kashyapa, as well as the mother of cows and buffaloes.
According to the ‎Mahabharata
Kamadhenu-Surabhi rose from the churning of the cosmic ocean (Samudra manthan) by the gods and demons to acquire Amrita. As such, she is regarded the offspring of the gods and demons, created when they churned the cosmic milk ocean and then given to the Saptarishi, the seven great seers. She was ordered by the creator-god Brahma to give milk, and supply it and ghee for ritual fire-sacrifices.
According to the MatsyaPurana
Surabhi is described as the consort of Brahma and their union produced the cow Yogishvari, the eleven Rudras, “lower animals”, goats, swans and “high class drugs”. She is then described as the mother of cows and quadrupeds. In another instance, she is described as a daughter of Daksha, wife of Kashyapa and the mother of cows. The Harivamsa, an appendix of the Mahabharata, calls Surabhi the mother of Amrita (ambrosia), Brahmins, cows and Rudras.
 According to the Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita, a discourse by the god Krishna in the Mahabharata, twice refers to Kamadhenu as Kamadhuk. In verse 3.10, Krishna makes a reference to Kamadhuk while conveying that for doing one’s duty, one would get the milk of one’s desires. In verse 10.28, when Krishna declares to the source of the universe, he proclaims that among cows, he is Kamadhuk.
The cow symbolizes the dharma itself.
It is said to have stood steadily upon the earth with its four feet during the Satyayuga (world’s first age of truth), upon three feet during the Tretayuga (the second stage of less than perfection), upon two feet during the Dwaparayuga (the third stage of dwindling and disappearing perfection) and only on one leg during Kaliyuga (the fourth and current age of decadence)."

[Puranas have made cows holy based on the above  narrations.  In Vedas bull was a sacrificial material if not cow. Even today bulls are branded and sent out to freely roam about  as part of rituals following Antyeshti. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad prescribes young bull meat offered in Yajna for begetting an intellectual and valorous son. Concepts  have changed influenced by  Purans. With the present agitations going on, India should become total vegetarian or should not support only Hindu views having declared itself secular sovereign republic. Total vegetarianism is good economically and health-wise. Apart from present agitation more focus has to be given towards mercy killing in clean slaughter houses to deliver hygienic meat to those Non-vegetarian Hindus who seem to be in majority than Vegetarin Hindus. Buddhists  who championed the cause of Vegetarianism once have admirably settled to enjoy beef and  even pork; fortunately they   all  left India long back and changed  non-violence  thoughts of Buddha!]