In Srimad Bhagavad-Gita: chapter 10, verse 28, Lord Krishna says:
dhenunam asmi kamadhuk
Meaning: Among cows, I am the wish-fulfilling cow
Here, Lord Krishna declares that he is like the wish-fulfilling cow, Kamadhenu, which was also known as a Surabhi cow. Surabhi cows had the power to grant wishes. What are Surabhi cows? How did they gain such an exalted position by which they came to represent Lord Krishna? This information can be found in the Anusasana Parva of the Mahabharata by Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa.
The Surabhi cows
The Surabhi cow descended from the spiritual realms and manifested in heaven from the aroma of ambrosia or celestial nectar in order to benefit all creation. The cows in India are the direct descendants of these Surabhi cows. Hence they are considered sacred, and many devout Hindus treat them with great love and respect. They believe that cows should not be harmed even in one’s dream and shrink from eating the flesh of cows, as it is regarded as the most sinful act in the world.
Cows are like our mothers. They are also the mothers of the 33 crore Hindu gods and goddesses who supposedly dwell within their bodies. They are the most auspicious of all animals, and their milk nourishes us. The ghee from cow’s milk is offered in sacrifices (Homas), and it nourishes those who inhabit the celestial realms.
Cows give us milk, cheese, curd, butter, and ghee. The Vedas claim that cow milk is equivalent to ambrosial nectar. Also, ghee obtained from cow milk is the best libation for the sacred fires of Brahmins. Without cow’s ghee, one cannot perform sacred rituals to please the gods. Cows represent auspiciousness and prosperity.
In the Puranas, there are injunctions saying that we can take the life of a living being only if we can revive it again by chanting Vedic Mantras. But this injunction was applicable only to the previous yugas. It has been terminated in Kali-yuga (current age) by the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana, which states that in Kali-yuga, one must not kill cows under any circumstances. There is no atonement for the act of killing a cow.
go-ange yata loma tata sahasra vatsara
go-vadhi raurava-madhye pace nirantar
The Merits of Gho Dhanam/Cow Donation
Supposedly, no gift brings more merit than the gift of cows to a Brahmin. Cows represent the greatest wealth. It is very auspicious to offer cows as gifts to worthy people. Cows are akin to goddesses who can grant one’s righteous wish and desire.
Cows are also considered superior to yogis and ascetics who prefer to perform their austerities in the presence of cows. Sacrificing cows or harming them are sinful acts. In ancient times, kings would gift cows to worthy Brahmins as they believed that it would help them overcome any calamity.
The Vedas ordain that cow’s ghee is the best libation for the sacrificial fire. When one gifts a cow to a Brahmin, he will use the ghee obtained from its milk to perform Vedic ceremonies, but the one who gifted the cow makes a gift of a libation for the sacrifice. One can also gain more merit by rescuing and protecting cows that are in distress or receiving cows from owners who are unable to care for them.
When one donates a lawfully acquired cow, it benefits the entire dynasty of the giver. Cows have the nature of both the sun and the moon. Cows represent the life breath of all living things. So, one who gifts a cow makes a gift of life breath to all living things.
The Surabhi cows, after manifesting from the aroma of ambrosial nectar, performed severe penance for 100,000 years. They did this to gain the spiritual merit that would enable them to be the most essential thing required for the performance of Vedic rituals and ceremonies. It was due to their penance that sanctified ghee from cow’s milk became mandatory for performing Vedic rituals.
When the Surabhi cows’ austerities concluded, Lord Brahma himself appeared before them and granted all their wishes. He also blessed them, saying that cows would always be the ones to sustain all creatures. For this reason, cows are considered the most sacred and the foremost of all creatures in creation.
In the Vedas, the name for cow is ‘aghyna,’ meaning ‘inviolable’. Other names are ‘ahi,’ meaning ‘not to be killed,’ and ‘aditi,’ meaning ‘never to be cut into pieces’.
The Manu-Samhita, in chapter 4, verse 162, says that a guru, teacher, father, mother, Brahmana, cow, and yogi should never be killed. Such is the spiritual significance of cows in Hinduism.
Cow Donation Benefits
Cow donation is the purest of all donations and brings many benefits.
It eliminates our bad karma, both past and present.
It can remove our debts.
It brings forgiveness for our wrongs.
It enables our souls to cross the Vaitarani river. (The Garuda Purana talks about the Vaitarani river. The souls of deceased people have to cross this river to achieve Moksha. Those who have done good deeds and given donations during their lifetime can cross the river. The souls of those who have done cow donation cross the Vaitarni river with ease).
It helps us achieve Moksha.
It reduces the negative effects of malefic planets.
Do cow donation online and reap the immense benefits of Gho Dhanam.