Why only cows, why not buffaloes or goats or any other animal whose milk is edible for humans?
To understand this we need to understand the importance of Cows in Hinduism. The following is an excerpt from the book, Aghora: At the left hand of God,
The cow is a perfect mother. She has four teats: one for her calf, one for guests including birds and animals, one for use in rituals and one for her master. The milk is automatically divided into four equal portions; everyone is provided for. And the cow is passionately devoted to her calf, just as a real mother must be to her child. Sometimes the mere sight of the calf makes milk flow from cow's udder; not drip -- flow...
and if the calf dies the cow refuses to give milk -- not like our water buffaloes who can be tricked with the head of a calf on stick. The buffalo is the symbol of Tamas, stupidity, dullness; the cow is pure Sattva, mental brightness...
Not just buffaloes, even your western cows will give milk whether or not the calf is still alive... What is so great about giving milk? All animals do it. The greatness of out Indian cows is that they give milk only out of an outpouring of love.That is the value of cow's milk. Won't a little of that love come through into the milk? It must.That emotion separates cows from other animals...
We are not worshipping the hide, hooves or the tail; we worship the essence...
Lord Krishna was called Gopala when he was a baby. Gopala literally means "protector of cows". There are many esoteric meaning to this word, but even the obvious meaning is beautiful. Gopala was such a lovable little baby that all the cows in the vicinity loved him more than they loved their own calves.
So, basically the answer to the significance of Cows to Krishna, in particular and Hinduism, in general is what is mentioned in the preceding excerpts.
As we know from history that cows were among the very first animals to be domesticated by men about 9000 BCE and for a long time cows were the major source of milk and many other milk related products for humans. They also give us many other beneficial things. Besides cows are very peaceful, docile and innocent creatures. Cows are so docile and peaceful that you can literally leave a baby with a cow for few hours and baby will be safe. Same cannot be said about any other animal. And because Hinduism itself is very old and its origin date back to tens of thousands of years and Krishna's age was around 5,000 years ago. Even at that time cows were major source of milk. So it is really very little we can do to treat cows with respect. This is the message Krishna is giving to us.
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protected by Sarvabhouma Feb 25 '18 at 2:10
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