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Vedas are said to be voice of God so should be universally true, should be true for all times, and true from the perspective of every region/country/person. But almost half of Atharava Veda and a significant portion of others are devoted only to cows.

I want to ask does not giving so much consideration towards cows gives it a more regional perspective? i.e. does it not make Vedas look more like a commonly accepted set of social norms which ancient Indians devised to live peacefully and with prosperity rather than it being a universal voice of infinite God?

Also how is this relevant in current times? when we have advanced from primary activities of animal rearing to more sophisticated ones of digitized world? Now if someone would be to write Vedas by hearing voice of God, would they still hear the same voice?

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    Your question is covered under this question: What does the atharva veda say about cows?. At the time vedas were revealed, cows might be present all over the earth. But now a days, things have turned around. So vedas are not regional. – Sarvabhouma Mar 26 '17 at 14:57
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    Please read last paragraph of the question. Vedas have to be true for all times and should not be related to just the time when it was written. What if someone tries to write Vedas now, would they give the same focus on cows as is given in these Vedas? – rastplyr Mar 26 '17 at 15:05
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    Also th question is NOT "What does the atharva veda say about cows? " but rather I am asking "Why does atharva veda say so much about cows?" – rastplyr Mar 26 '17 at 15:38
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    So, irrespective of age (digital or Spiritual), Cow is revered. All Gods stay in cow, as said by Atharva Veda. – The Destroyer Mar 26 '17 at 17:04
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    @SreeCharan- I have read that answer. I don't know how would that ingenious explanation can be reconciled with the following verses of atharva-Veda which says... Stealing a cow is a heinous crime – rastplyr Mar 27 '17 at 9:02
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Does giving so much consideration towards cows not give it a more regional perspective i.e., does it not make Vedas look more like a commonly accepted set of social norms which ancient Indians devised to live peacefully and with prosperity rather than it being a universal voice of infinite God?

You are right. There is plenty of evidence in the Vedas to suggest that cows became popular mainly because the Vedic society depended on them heavily for yajñas (sacrifices), as a medium of exchange, fees and donations. Had they relied on water buffalo instead, the buffalo would have gotten the same reverence as the cow.

This is what C. V. Vaidya says in History of Sanskrit Literature:

Sumerians and Indo-Aryans

There are other striking differences in their civilizations and conditions which may also be noted. The Vedic Aryans and the Iranians were worshippers of the cow and cows were plentiful in their lands beyond the Indus as well as in the Panjab. The seals show that the Sumerians worshipped or rather used buffaloes which were plentiful in Sind, their home land. The Ṛigveda does not mention the buffalo at all. They probably did not know it, as it is stated in the Purāṇas that the buffalo was a new creation by Viśvāmitra. If the Vedic Aryans had come from Mesopotamia, they would certainly not have forgotten the buffalo. Nay more, the Mudgala of the seals of the land of buffaloes can not be the Mudgala of the Ṛigveda who had a lakh of cows; for there could never have been cows in such plenty in Sind in those days. Then again while the Ṛigveda shows no trace of the buffalo, the Sumerian seals show no trace of the horse which is spoken of constantly in the Ṛigveda and which was so plentiful with the Vedic Aryans.

Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa

... the ordinary Dakshiṇā of a sacrifice was a cow. She is called Vara (boon) in III 12, 5. In higher sacrifices one hundred cows and even one thousand are prescribed as Dakshiṇā. The country was fit for cow-breeding and the Vaiśyas and even the Kshatriyas maintained large herds of cows and bulls. (See description of Duryodhana's herd in the Mahābhārata). In the jungles of the Panjab and of Kurukśhetra and Rohilkhand, which are many even now, not only are cows plentiful but they give also plentiful milk. Buffaloes are not mentioned anywhere and people drank cows' milk and used it in sacrifice. Indeed in the Vedas cows and sacrifice go together. A four year old cow, especially when pregnant, was the best Dakshiṇā and "secured every blessing"; she had a special name Shashṭauhī (III 12, 5).

Intermediate Brāhmaṇas

Fees are indeed prescribed by this Brāhmaṇa as a rule as Vakils' fees are prescribed by rules in British India. Fee was, however, not taken in advance as Vakils' or doctors' fees are taken, which again are more exhorbitant than those demanded by the priests of the Tāṇḍya Brāhmaṇa for performing tedious and onerous sacrificial duties. For, the price of a cow given as Dakshiṇā has been fixed at one rupee and a quarter and one hundred and twenty cows mean in modern [1930's] currency only one hundred and fifty rupees. Considering the labour and the knowledge and education demanded of the Hotṛi and other priests this remuneration does not seem to be excessive. But this aspect apart, we find from. the Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa, as already noticed, that fees were never settled before and that they ranged from one cow to one thousand according to the liberality and ability of the sacrificer. This shows how the latter Brāhmaṇa is older than the Tāṇḍya. Cows, it may be noted by the way, represented the medium of exchange in those days, as corn did in India even down to the British times.

Further Details about the Tāṇḍya Brāhmaṇa

This Brāhmaṇa almost always prescribes the Dakshiṇā to be given at each sacrifice. It is usually in the form of cows, so many as one thousand cows being prescribed in one place in three instalments of 333 each time. A horse, black, in colour, should be given to the Brahman (18, 1) and soma chamasa (spoon) to a sagotra Brahmin. Strangely enough, the Subrahmanya gets a he-goat only (18, 8). The Grāvastut gets a she-calf. Pregnant shashṭauhīs (four year old cows) are prized as Dakshiṇā. Gold and silver are also prescribed and apparently nishka was the coin used.

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  • that's like saying "had the Prime Minister (or President) been the most important post of the country, then the PM/President would get Z category security". well of course. PM/President is the most important post of a country, and that is a fact which will never change. No use of hypothetical scenario here. Cows are given utmost importance in the Vedas because all Devas reside in its body. and that's a fact which will never change because Vedas are eternal. No other animal is going to get that reverence. – ram May 18 at 22:43
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From one of the article, I had read online:

Hindus see the cow as a particularly generous, docile creature, one that gives more to human beings than she takes from them. The cow, they say, produces five things — milk, cheese, butter (or ghee), urine and dung.

The first three are eaten and used in worship of the Hindu gods, while the last two can be used in religious devotion or in penance or burned for fuel.

When was the last time your cat gave you anything besides a dead mouse? And here’s a fun fact — Hindus associate several animals with different gods and consider them sacred, including the monkey (Hanuman), the elephant (Ganesh), the tiger (Durga) and even the rat (Ganesh). But none is as revered as the cow.


The main questions are:

1) I want to ask does not giving so much consideration towards cows gives it a more regional perspective? i.e. does it not make Vedas look more like a commonly accepted set of social norms which ancient Indians devised to live peacefully and with prosperity rather than it being a universal voice of infinite God?

2) Now if someone would be to write Vedas by hearing voice of God, would they still hear the same voice?


  1. The Veda is not a scientific fiction, which can be written in a short time, having a plot, characters, a theme, etc.

    • Basically, The Veda is all about spiritual matters and was composed by Sages, as and when they heard the DIVINE voice, which period spread to many thousands of years.

    • Cows in the Veda was mentioned to be kept hidden in a cave. It is an esoteric way of indicating the stage of dormant self, without realisation.

Rig veda 1.65.1 speaks about Agni.

ONE-MINDED, wise, they tracked thee like a thief lurking in dark cave with a stolen cow: Thee claiming worship, bearing it to Gods: there nigh to thee sate all the Holy Ones.

  1. Yes, composing of mantras require a mixer of SELF REALISED soul and a poet. Even now, one who hears the voice of the DIVINE can compose mantras in a cryptic manner, provided he/she is also a poet.
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