Here I am going to discuss what the Vedic cow is and its description in Vedic scriptures. Vedic scriptures give specific descriptions of cow and the anatomy and we will see how it fits perfectly with cows in some parts of world esp. Indian subcontinent, Africa, south America etc and how most of cross breeds like Jersey, Brown Swiss, Holstein, Belgian Blue etc. doesn’t match the Vedic scriptural description.
I am aware that in western countries vedic cows are not easily available. But I request all to please read following points with open mind. There is always some discussion on cow urine of Indian (I would call it vedic) breeds and non vedic (which we call western) breeds. I am not making following statements as I am from India and neither because I hate western things. There is no prejudice on my side and I hope there should not be prejudice on the readers’ side as well. Let’s discuss analytically. But reasons and logic are mentioned and I request all open-minded readers to go through the article even though it is a bit long.
Of course this distinction does not at all, ordain or permit the slaughter of non-vedic cows. We have to be non violent towards all living entities. But Vedic cows have to be specifically protected. So although it is our duty to protect every species of life, we have to understand that according to the sastras, very specific species are considered auspicious and worshipable.
In Vedic scriptures cows are called as mothers and their products are called amruta i.e. nectar or elixirs. But today the scientists call milk as white poison. What may be the reason for this? I am not trying to break hearts of those who have cared for Jersey, Holstein, Brown Swiss and other such breeds of cow like species but then I cannot also restrain myself from speaking based on Vedic scriptures. Again, my only request to all is, please read complete post and then make an opinion and comment.
Scriptural References of Cow’s Anatomy:
I would say that in Vedic description time and again cow’s hump on back and dewlap i.e. thick prominent fold of skin below the neck is mentioned. I will also point out other differences. Then the decision is of readers. I quote here from Mahabharat anushasna parva section 79 Bhisma says as follows – By giving away a bull with a high hump and adorned with every jewel, the giver, O king, attains to the region of the Maruts.
Also in Ananda vrndavan champu in Govardhan lila it is described as follows – The cows sheltered their calves under the blankets of loose skin on their necks. In fear of the slashing rainwater, the cows kept their eyes almost closed. When the rain hit the horns of the bulls it bounced off and landed on their fatty humps. Breaking into small pearl like drops it then rolled down their broad muscular backs.
There are many other scriptural references where there are specific words for horns, hump and dewlap. Also I will discuss the importance and affects of presence of these various organs in cow which are found only in Vedic cows. I will also discuss about the difference between Vedic cow and non Vedic ones in terms of properties of their urine and dung.
So here I am going to point out few differences in anatomy of vedic and non vedic breeds. The significance of these differences.
Vedic Knowledge v/s Modern Knowledge:
Before that I am making one logical point. The sages in vedic India which dates many hundreds or even few thousands of years back were intelligent and had advanced spiritual and material knowledge. We may say that they did not manufacture laptops. But then the memory power was so strong that they did not required laptops. Like we remember Quresha disciple of ramanujacharya memorising whole book in few nights. If you had heard Shakuntala devi of India a genius mathematician who can do calculations faster than calculator. If most of populations had this capacity then why do they need to discover calculators?
In vedic times excellent steel was made. For eg the steel of Ashok stambha in New Delhi is still a technological wonder. The steel column is standing right exposed to all atmosphere for past 1200 years and still no rust has come on it. So the steel was made in vedic past. It was used for weapons but not for cooking pots. So it would do good to us to try to understand the decisions of vedic sages rather than trying to justify or not justify our recent actions based on modern science. Now we are hearing that even steel is carcinogenic etc.
Other bovine species in India also not considered Vedic cow:
Similarly there are many species in India which are very similar to Go mata (mother cow) but are not classified as go mata. For e.g. there is neel gaya. There is yak called chamari etc. The vedic sages studied in depth and based on it few species were given priority and few were not. Few metals were given priority and few were not. Also the knowledge came down in parampara.
Spread of non local species in the last few centuries:
Of all the famous non vedic breeds like jercy, browm swiss, Belgium blue etc were taken all around the world only in last 2-3 centuries. If you see same things apply to most of vegetables which were not used in vedic india. Almost all of these vegetables originated in chile, peru, etc regions of south America and were spread all over world in last 2-3 centuries. This is well known historic fact. If we observe these vegatables require maximum amount of pesticides to be used on them for cultivation. So my point is if the items is so riddled with pests that so much pesticides are required then how it can make us healthy after we eat it. The quality will be passed to us.
Most of traditional Indian vegatables can be grown with minimal or with natural pesticides. In India we hardly see karela(bitter guard), muli(raddish), bhopla(pumpkin) having any insects inside. They require very less chemical pesticides to grow. So such vegetables which are healthy themselves and so can give health to us were given priority. Making this point I come to point of cows.
How the discussion began:
Similarly the cows go mata, the respect of mother was given to cows of vedic breeds which had distinguished hump and dewlap. These are prominent distinguishing features. I am not against Belgium or swiss cows. If they fit the description of cows in Vedas which mention hump and dewlap (fold of skin below neck) then I have no problem. I am here discussing the anatomy.
Such cows and come from any part of world. But they should fit the vedic description. Also about few simple differences more than those mentioned above. These differences were pointed to me by ISKCON gosevaks of Europe with whom I was having non biased healthy discussion. One is Mohan prabhu of Slovenia. When we both were at our temple’s wada farm where we have vedic cows we were discussing this topic.
Below are a few points that came up.
Above: A vedic cow (hump).
Below: A modern cow (hump).
Above: A vedic cow (Dewlap).
Below: A modern cow (Dewlap).
Above: Vedic cowdung.
Below: Vedic bulls.
Our Hiten Prabhu who had been visiting Prabhupada Manor since his childhood told me that he had seen always the stool of cows there flowing liquid as if from tap. The harmful dysentery causing bacteria is present in dung of non vedic cows and it can be seen in its stool by consistency. I know in few places the dung of non vedic cows is also solid in consistency. But then the second test. The odour of the dung is repulsive as compared to that of vedic cow. This was brought to my notice by HG Mohan prabhu who had served non vedic cows for few years. Its only vedic cows of all 84 lakh species whose dung doesn’t smell bad. In fact you can hold it in your hand and the odour is pleasing. Then comes the 3rd point. The dung of vedic cows is always covered by a membrane like covering. This helps is medicinal properties and many other point which if mentioned will make the already lengthy post lengthier.
Someone with non vedic breeds can do this and report to us. Take one litre of cow urine and keep it in clean bottle. Let is remain for a year. Just tell me the observation. At least the cow urine of vedic cow never gets spoiled even if kept for more than 1 year. This I have tried.
Also I would like to point out another historical fact that what we call jercy, swiss, belgium cows were spread all over Europe and America in just last 200 years from their places of origin. The cows were raised in west for beef and milk. The vedic knowledge gives in detail knowledge of cow and its every part while protecting it. The cow’s protection history of Indian sub continent dates to many thousands of years.
Can we compare the knowledge and experience of the two? Just because now we are devotees of Krsna shall we claim that we know most about cow protection and we don;t need to refer to the scriptures that are the real reference of our life philosophy? Why should we neglect the knowledge left to us by vedic sages since thousands of years just because we circumstantially don’t have access to vedic cows? Will that be considered as ‘the proper following of the scriptures’ for an aspiring devotee of the Lord?
Racism amongst cows
When there is any discussion on vedic (indigenous breeds) and non-vedic breeds some tend to say this is racism amongst cows. Here I would like to say few points. First there is always and will always be differences in bodies and species and entities. Even in ordinary dealings we tend to go to experts for work in that field. So if we want to remove racism amongst cows, then we should be okay to go to any person for any work or else it will be racism.
This differentiation is not racism but a practical science. As many of readers will be devotees of Sri Krsna I would like to point out here that even Sri Krsna and his parents Nanda and Yasoda made this practical differentiation. We have heard that nanda maharaj had 9 lakh cows. Amongst them 1000 were very special. They were given special soft grass to eat. Their milk was pure ambrosia and nectar. The milk from these 1000 cows was given to 100 very special cows. Then the milk from these 100 special cows was fed to 10 very very special cows. Then one cow was extremely special called padma gandha i.e. whose fragrance was like that of lotus flower. This one very very very special cow was fed milk from 10 special once last mentioned. Then the milk from this one special cow was used to be given to sri Krsna.
So here we see differentiation being made amongst cows all for practical vedic purposes. So making differences between Vedic cows and non vedic once is not racism but rather coming to accept reality.
I want to say again that, I am aware that in western countries vedic cows are not easily available. I have not made above statements as I am from India and neither because I hate western things. There is no prejudice on my side and I hope there should not be prejudice on other side as well. Let’s discuss analytically.
The sages of vedic India had taught above points only after realising these facts. There are many details to this topic which will appear in other posts.