Is it true that cow has 33 crores gods in it? If so, where it is written and what are all the names of those 33 crores gods.
The word 'Gods' is a misnomer here. The 33 crore numbers refers to devathas that administer the functioning of the universe. In scriptures posit that the microcosm(human body) is a reflection of the macrocosm(universe). The 33 crore Devathas thus also represent 33 crore gene functions/characteristics in human beings. Every Devatha has an name associated mantra for invocation and propitiation. You can read through chapter 2 and 3 in this for more on this. The reference to the cow in this context is possibly to the host these genes common between humans and cows with different degrees of dormancy and active states of these genes in the two species.
Whether it's a myth or truth cannot be judged. It all depends on faith. In Hinduism, there are a total of 33 crore gods. And these are symbolically represented in cows as we derive so many benefits from a cow.
The same analogy you can apply to any animal as well as to a human.
Example: God related to Vaishnavara. Every living being will contain this in the form of digestive 'agni'.
Then why Lord Krishna refers to Kamadhenu in Bhagavad Geetha? Because it is a wish fulfilling cow. Just like how a deity fulfills all our desires.
The Vedas refer to not millions of deities but 33 supreme deities.
33 divinities are mentioned in the Yajur-veda, Atharva-veda, Satapatha-brahmana, and in several other Vedic and later texts. The number thirty-three occurs with reference to divinities in the Parsi scriptures of Avesta as well.The expressiontrayastrimsa deva is found in the list of classes of gods in Sanskrit Buddhist texts like the Divyavadana and Suvarnaprabhasa-sutra.
The word koti in trayastrimsati koti does not mean the number 'thirty-three crore'. Here koti means 'supreme', pre-eminent, excellent, that is, the 33 'supreme' divinities.
The word koti has the same meaning as uchha koti.
It was a problem even in AD 725 when Subhakarasimha and his Chinese colleague I-hsing translated the Mahavairocana-sutra into Chinese. They rendered the compound sapta-koti-buddha as shichi (sapta) kotei (koti) butsu (buddha) in which they did not translate the word koti that transliterated its pronunciation as kotei. The Buddhas were not 'seven crore', but only 'Seven Supreme Buddhas': six predecessors and the historic Buddha. Tibetan masters who translated Sanskrit texts into Tibetan, rendered koti by rnam which means 'class, kind, category'.
In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, chapter 3, Yājñavalkya has said that in reality there are only 33 gods and goddesses. Of these 8 are Vasus, 11 Rudras, 12 Adityas, and Indra and Prajapati.
8 Vasus + 11 Rudras + 12 Adityas + 2 Heaven and Earth ( 8+ 11 + 12 + 2 = 33).
It depends on which form of Hinduism (the word 'Hindu' refers to almost every religion from India besides Buddhism and Jainism) you're referring to.
In most forms of Hinduism the cow is not particularly auspicious and there is nothing against eating beef, that seems to be an idea introduced to India relatively recently.
As to where the idea comes from is unknown, but no earlier scriptures mention it.
In fact Swami Vivekananda said
"You will be astonished if I tell you, that according to old ceremonials, he is not a good Hindu who does not eat beef. On certain occasions he must sacrifice a bull and eat it" (Swami Vivekananda)
It is clear that earlier Hindus ate beef and it is still uncertain where the sacred cow idea comes from. It is also clear that certain forms of Hinduism are against eating all meat but not beef specifically or only beef.
Foreigners were often called "mlecchas" or meat-eaters, but it's not against eating beef only but all meat in general.
There is no scripture that claims that the cow has 33 crores gods in it, that idea was likely a recent idea passed down through tradition.
In the Vedas there are 33 main deities, they are mentioned frequently in Buddhism also, The Buddha is considered as an incarnation of God to many Hindus but according to The Buddha the Vedas come from the "Heaven of the Thirty-Three" which is merely a temporary heavenly world.
One of The Buddha's disciples, Kumara (who was an enlightened arahant) debated a skeptical atheist prince Payasi, here's part of the debate that mentions the Heaven of the Thirty-Three:
"Well, Reverend Kumara, I had friends who followed the right path, who were very good people and citizens in every respect. By any right, as certain Holy men have said, they should have gone to the Heaven of the Thirty Three Gods. Yet, when one of them died, I said to him, "You have always been trustworthy and dependable. Certain Holy men say that, because of your lifestyle and because you followed the right path, you will be reborn in the Heaven of the Thirty Three Gods. If this is so, please come and tell me if it is true, or send a messenger to tell me if it is true. To date, they have neither contacted me nor sent a messenger."
"Hmm. Well, Prince… Consider this. In the Heaven of the Thirty Three Gods, time passes at a different pace, and people live much longer. In the period of our century, one hundred years, only a single day, twenty four hours would have passed for them. Thirty of these hundred year days make up one of their months, twelve such months make a year and a thousand such years is roughly the life span of those born into the Heaven of the Thirty Three Gods. Suppose your friend decided, "I will go back to that unclean world just long enough to deliver my message to the Prince – I shall set out tomorrow. Or perhaps, after I have seen some more of this place, in two or three days, I will set out to go see him." – would he have been able to?"
"Of course not, Reverend Kumara, because, by the reasoning you have given, we should all be long dead by the time he had spent three days there. However, I do not think that those born in the Heaven of the Thirty Three Gods would be so long lived, or that time has a different pace. How do you know about their lifespan or their time?" (Payasi Sutta)
Interesting discussion from around 500 BC isn't it?
The Vedas don't seem to revere the cow as particularly auspicious or special either nor does any earlier scripture so it is still unclear where the idea comes from.
I know that Caitanya was against it and revered the cow, but he is from the late Middle Ages so perhaps the idea of the sacred cow arose or gained popularity in India during the Middle Ages for agricultural reasons (which is relatively recently).