Why Do Hindus Revere Cows?
It is curious how we
approach the religion of others by reacting to what for us appear to
be the lowest or most objectionable side of what they do.
Predominant Western religions have conditioned people not to respect
the so-called lower forms of life and to think that those who do so
are somehow primitive or superstitious.
The cow is a symbol of
Divine love and grace. With no thought of itself, but out of love,
like the Divine Mother, it produces milk which nourishes other
creatures. Respect for the cow is meant to instill the virtues of
gentleness and receptivity into the human mind. Hindus do not
worship cows. The cow to them is a great symbol of cosmic
We can judge how a culture
values the spiritual life by how it treats its cows. By this
standard modern culture, which not only eats cows but raises them
under artificial and cruel circumstances, is quite deficient in any
deeper sensitivity. We should not only revere cows but respect all
life, particularly those beings who function selflessly.