Cow in Hinduism is highly revered and considered as a Mother, nourishing life. Scriptures state that “Kamadhenu”- Bestower of Desires, manifested on earthly planes during the churning of the cosmic ocean and was presented to the Saptharishi’s. She was ordered by Brahma to provide Milk and other products to the sages. Kamadhenu Or Surabhi known as the mother of all cows is bestowed with miraculous powers to confer anything desired by the one who worship her.
The Body of a Cow is thought to house all 33 Crore Gods Of Hindu Dharma. We have all grown up with popular stories of Bhagwan Sri Krishna as the Cowherd surrounded by his herd of cows. As per Hindu Shashtra, Cow is the only earthly being being thought to have a direct connect with the Sun through a vein running through her backbone “Surya Ketu Nadi”.
This connect enables the cow to produce Gold mineral in her blood and hence her Milk, Ghee and Urine is tinged a Light yellow. The story of Kamadhenu appears in the Vedas, which makes it very, very old.
The four legs of Cow symbolize the four texts of the Vedas, while the teats are four Purusharthas, the goals of all human life: Righteousness, prosperity, love and liberation. While the horns symbolize the gods, the sun is exemplified by the face as is the moon. The shoulders are a symbol of Agni, the god of fire. Therefore, all that is sacred can be found in the cow.
Kamadhenu is known to exist in five different forms: Nanda, Sunanda, Surabhi, Sumana, and Susheela. Other names are Sabala and Matrika. Kamadhenu is regarded as the divine mother of all cows. Like her daughter Nandini, Kamadhenu could grant a wish to any true seeker.
Kamadhenu over the ages
Kamadhenu symbolizes Dharma, the right, orderly way of living and being.
She is said to stand steadily upon the earth on all four feet during Satya Yuga or the world’s first age of truth, three feet during Treta Yuga, the second stage of less than perfection, and only one leg during the Kali Yuga or dark ages.
Birth of Kamadhenu
Different texts provide diverse versions of the story of Kamadhenu’s birth. One of them says that this Divine Cow emerged from the Ocean of milk or Kshira Sagar during the churning of the oceans.
In this story from Hindu mythology, there was a battle between the gods (devas or suras) and demons (asuras). However, the devas and the asuras managed to work together, churning the oceans to obtain the milk of immortality. All sorts of elements appeared from that churning, not only the nectar, but also different goddesses, trees, magical objects, poisons and Kamadhenu, the cow. In the end, the gods kept the nectar from themselves.
According to the Anushasana Parva, a book of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, Kamadhenu was the daughter of Daksha, the creator of the world, also called Prajapati. She came to life from Daksha after he consumed Amrita, the nectar of immortality that was created from the churning of the oceans. The cow is therefore regarded as the mother of the world and the child of Lord Brahma, in some legends.
Ramayana, a holy Hindu epic describes Surabhi or Kamadhenu as a daughter of one of the seven sages, Kashyapa, and his wife Krodhavasa, born of Lord Brahma.
According to the Vishnu and Bhagwat Purana, Surabhi is the daughter of Daksha and Sage Kashyapa’s consort.
Credits: Janhvi Johorey