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The Cow

Guest chamkila

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Guest chamkila


I have a question about the Cow (the animal), ok I know hindu pray to the Cow, but I want to know if Sikh also pray to the Cow. The reason I am asking this question is because I know Sikh people you eat meat but will not eat beef (cow).

When I use to eat meat I had no problem eating beef, because I belive that if you can eat lamb, chicken what so special about Cow.

Does it say any where in the bani that sikh will need to pray to a Cow and not eat beef.


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...I want to know if Sikh also pray to the Cow.

No, we do not.

The reason I am asking this question is because I know Sikh people you eat meat but will not eat beef (cow).

That has to do with Punjabi culture and has nothing to do with the Sikh religion.

Does it say any where in the bani that sikh will need to pray to a Cow and not eat beef.

No and no.

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Does it say any where in the bani that sikh will need to pray to a Cow and not eat beef.

I once heard Sant Singh ji Maskeen's lecture where he said that Gurbani does say that the cow and the crane (the bird) are advanced animals... but I have never heard that Sikhs pray an animal... :roll: :shock: And if you eat non-veg then that should include anything non-veg... i guess... 8)

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Sikhs in punjab are/were mostly farmers so you couldn't eat something that is most important to ur lively hood. We don't pray/worship cows, infact we don't even worship our gurus. Sikh only pray to waheguru and follow the 11 gurus teaching.

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  • 4 weeks later...

dude, don't bring up the eat/don't eat meat discussion...there are so many threads on that that don't result in anything but pages of disagreement..but the reason why lots of people don't eat cow is cause in India cow is holy to Hindu's and when a majority of the country considers something to be a "sin" then the rest won't take part in, so its Indian culture..and i eat all kinds of meat, cept halal.

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Also Chamkila I don't know if you are aware of this or not that why Hindus respect Cow?

Here is information for you.


Reverence for the cow is an important feature of Hinduism. For Hindus, the

killing of a cow is a serious crime. The Arthashashtra [1] refers to the

killing of cattle as a crime worthy of death [2]. This explains why during the

Second World War, "American servicemen in Calcutta were instructed that if a

traffic situation arose in which the driver had a choice of striking a cow or a

human, hit the human and proceed without stopping to a police station" [3].

M.K Gandhi [Mahatma Ghandhi] in his book Hindu Dharma says, "Cow-protection is

an article of faith in Hinduism. Apart from its religious sanctity, it is an

ennobling creed." (p.108). He also says, "If someone were to ask me what the

most important outward manifestation of Hinduism was, I would suggest that it

was the idea of cow-protection." (p. 110). He further says, "No one who does

not believe in cow-protection can possibly be a Hindu." (p. 118).

It is because of the cows divine position that Hindus regard its urine, and

dung as purifier [4]. Considering the divine status of the cow, some special

provision has been made in the constitution of India for its protection.

Moreover, slaughtering of the cow has been banned in several provinces of


However, it is interesting to note that the cow used to be slaughtered by the

ancient Hindus to enjoy its beef, entertain the guests and offer it as

sacrifice to their deities.

[Mahatma] Gandhi himself says, "I know there are scholars who tell us that

cow-sacrifice is mentioned in the Vedas. I... read a sentence in our Sanskrit

text-book to the effect that Brahmins of old [period] used to eat beef" [M.K.

Gandhi, Hindu Dharma, New Delhi, 1991, p. 120]. He, however, refrained from

showing enough courage in clearly speaking the truth, may be because he did not

like to hurt the sentiments of the people who were the main source of his

political strength.

There are clear evidences in the Rig Veda, the most sacred Hindu scripture,

that the cow used to be sacrificed by Hindus for religious purposes. For

instance, Hymn CLXIX of the Rig Veda says:

"May the wind blow upon our cows with healing; may they eat herbage ...

Like-coloured various-hued or single- coloured whose names through sacrifice

are known to Agni, Whom the Angirases produced by Ferbvour - vouschsafe to

these, Parjanya, great.protection. Those who have offered to the gods their

bodies whose varied forms are all well known to Soma" [The Rig Veda (RV),

translated by Ralph H. Griffith, New York, 1992, p. 647].

In the Rig Veda (RV: VIII.43.11) Agni is described as "fed on ox and cow"

suggesting that cattle were sacrificed and roasted in fire. Another hymn (RV:

X.16.7) mentions the ritual enveloping of the corpse with cow flesh before

applying the fire on it.

In the Brahmanas at 1.15 in the Aiteriya Brahmana, the kindling of Agni on the

arrival of King Some is compared to the slaughter of a bull or a barren cow on

the arrival of a human king or other dignitary.

Similarly, at II.1.11.1 in the Taiteriya Brahmana and XXXI.14.5 in the

Panchavinsha Brahmana, the rishi Agastya is credited with the slaughter of a

hundred bulls.

In verse III.1.2.21 in the Satapatha Brahmana, sage Yajnavalkaya asserts that

even though the cow is the supporter of everyone, he would eat beef "if it is

luscious." At IV.5-2.1 in the same Brahmana, it is said that a barren cow can

be slaughtered in the Some sacrifice. Not only for religious purposes, but also

for other purposes one could kill a cow and eat beef. Thus at II.4.2 of the

same Brahmana, it is suggested that a fat bull or fat goat should be sacrificed

in honour of an important guest.

Similarly, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishada (VI.4.18) advises a couple to take an

evening meal of beef or veal pulao, if they desire to beget a son who is

learned in the Vedas [Robert Trumbull, As I see India, London, 1957, p.241].

[1] Its authorship is attributed to Kautilya, the Brahman minister of

Chandragupta, the Indian emperor of the 4th century BCE.

[2] Ibid, p. 99.

[3] Robert Trumbull, As I see India, London: 1957, p.241.

[4] PDR, p. 99.

[5] M.K. Gandhi, Hindu Dharma, New Delhi, 1991.

source: http://www.sikhnet.com/sikhnet/discussion....46?OpenDocument

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"Holy Cow: Beef in Indian Dietary Traditions," is a dry work of

historiography buttressed by a 24-page bibliography and hundreds

of footnotes citing ancient Sanskrit texts. It's the sort of

book, in other words, that typically is read by a handful of

specialists and winds up forgotten on a library shelf.

But when its author, Dwijendra Narayan Jha, a historian at the

University of Delhi, tried to publish the book in India a year

ago, he unleashed a furor of a kind not seen there since 1989,

when the release of "Satanic Verses," Salman Rushdie's novel

satirizing Islam, provoked rioting and earned him a fatwa from

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

As Mr. Jha's book was going to press last August, excerpts were

posted on the Internet and picked up by newspapers. Within days

the book had been canceled by Mr. Jha's academic publisher,

burned outside his home by religious activists and after a

second publisher tried to print it's banned by a Hyderabad civil

court. A spokesman for the World Hindu Council called it "sheer

blasphemy." A former member of Parliament petitioned the

government for Mr. Jha's arrest. Anonymous callers made death

threats. And for 10 months Mr. Jha was obliged to travel to and

from campus under police escort.

After months of legal wrangling, Mr. Jha's lawyers succeeded in

having the ban lifted this spring. And now his book has been

published in Britain and the United States by Verso, with a new

preface and a more provocative title: "The Myth of the Holy

Cow." But though copies have been shipped to India, few bookstores

there are likely to stock it.

His offense? To say what scholars have long known to be true:

early Hindus ate beef.

Mr. Jha says his book has become a casualty of the culture wars

that have plagued India since the hard-line Hindu nationalist

Bharatiya Janata Party took office five years ago. "The battle

lines are drawn very clearly," he said. "On one side of the

barricade are the ideas of cultural pluralism, rationality and

democratic values. On the other side are Hindu fundamentalism

and cultural nationalism."

Under this government, scholars and journalists say, history

books have been rewritten and occasionally censored. Two years

ago, for example, a multivolume project on the history of Indian

independence sponsored by the Indian Council of Historical

Research was scuttled by government officials who apparently

deemed its scope too liberal.

In a telephone interview from his home in New Delhi, Mr. Jha

said, "The prohibition on beef-eating has been made a mark of

Hindu identity, but this is historically not true."

Anyone who has tried to navigate India's cow-choked streets

knows the special status conferred on the beast by Hindus, who make up

more than 80 percent of the population. Gandhi referred to the

cow as "our mother," calling cattle protection "the central fact

of Hinduism." And in several Indian states killing a cow is

against the law.

But while cow veneration and vegetarianism may be the hallmarks

of Hinduism today, Mr. Jha compiles copious evidence that this

has hardly always been the case. Citing sources ranging from the

ancient sacred scriptures, the Vedas (circa 1000 B.C.), to

Sanskrit epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (200 B.C to

A.D. 200) as well as data from archaeological digs, Mr. Jha

contends that "the `holiness' of the cow is a myth and that its

flesh was very much a part of the early Indian nonvegetarian

food regimen and dietary traditions."

Not only were oxen and other animals offered as sacrifices to

the Vedic gods, he writes, they were routinely eaten by mere mortals

as well.

One religious text declares meat to be quite simply "the best

kind of food," while another captures Yajnavalkya, a revered

Vedic sage who lived around 500 B.C., confessing to a particular

weakness for beef. "Some people do not eat cow meat," he is

quoted as saying. "I do so, provided it's tender."

Meanwhile, the Mahabharata recounts the story of King Rantiveda,

who earned his renown by slaughtering 2,000 cows a day in his

royal kitchens and distributing beef along with grain to

apparently grateful Brahmins, the Hindu priests.

Even the Buddha, on record as opposing animal killing for either

food or sacrifice, was apparently not above the occasional

carnivorous nibble. Mr. Jha cites passages from early Buddhist

texts suggesting not only that the Buddha ate meat but that a

meal of contaminated pork may ultimately have been what did him

in. (Mr. Jha dismisses a dissenting interpretation that the

offending food was not pork but mushroom.)

None of this, scholars say, is news. In a recent review in The

Times Literary Supplement, Wendy Doniger, a professor of the

history of religion at the University of Chicago, called Mr.

Jha's book "a dry, straight academic survey . . . proving what

every scholar of India has known for well over a century."

"This is not 'Satanic Verses,' " Ms. Doniger added in a

telephone interview. "This is just a relatively intelligent, academic

book. It doesn't depict Hindus as horrible people."

Indeed, until the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power, said

Michael Witzel, a professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University,

much of the history Mr. Jha records was taught in Indian


"It's very much a reality of the culture here in India that

scholars have to face harassment and intimidation," said Sukumar

Muralidharan, the Delhi bureau chief for Frontline, a biweekly

news magazine. "The Hindu nationalist lobby is trying to force a

kind of polarization in terms of a singular cultural inheritance

on one side and all the rest on the other side. And their idea

of the inheritance is very much their own construct, not a full

reading of history."

In this context, even food has become politicized as Hindu

nationalists use their vegetarianism to distinguish themselves

from the nation's beef-eating and implicitly immoral Muslim


Mr. Jha's book, Ms. Doniger wrote in her review, "contradicts

the party line, which is that we Hindus have always been here in

India and have Never Eaten Cow; those Muslims have come in, and

Kill and Eat Cows, and therefore must be destroyed."

From a scholarly point of view, she said, what's shocking about

ancient Indian history is not that some people ate meat but that

some did not: "Since the human species is by nature carnivorous,

what is surprising is that there ever were vegetarians."

Beginning around A.D. 500, Mr. Jha writes, killing cows became

increasingly taboo according to the religious texts, a sinful

practice associated with the lowest social order, the

untouchables. In part, he speculates, the change in official

attitude may have coincided with the explosion of agriculture.

The cow, on whose strength (for plowing), dung (for fuel) and

milk the community depended, was just too valuable to slaughter.

Other scholars, however, say the taboo probably owed more to

factors increasingly integral to Hindu, Buddhist and Jainist

thought: the belief in reincarnation, which blurred the lines

between humans and animals, and the doctrine of ahimsa, or


"The feeling that people have about killing animals and taking

lives, that's the basis of it," Ms. Doniger said. "Obviously,

people were feeling guilty. Anytime you eat beef, that meant

someone had slaughtered a cow."

Mr. Witzel says that the word cow was frequently a metaphor in

Vedic texts, most notably for the poetry composed by Brahmin

priests. When one Vedic poet writes, "don't kill the innocent

cow," he really means "don't make bad poetry," Mr. Witzel said.

Ultimately, he speculated, both figurative and literal

connotations may have contributed to the prohibition on cow

slaughter. "As soon as you identify cow with poetry, you cannot

do anything to that cow. Step by step, this becomes


Of course, these are just the kind of explanations likely to

infuriate Hindus who are determined to have the cow's sacred

status enshrined in Indian law.

"Only two days ago, I saw the news that they are trying to get

the cow declared a national animal," lamented Mr. Jha, a Hindu

who says he is a vegetarian purely for health reasons. "In

Delhi, cows should best be treated as a safety hazard. You cannot drive

safely for the cows that stray around."

ref: http://www.ercwilcom.net/~indowindow/sad/g...story/dnjha.htm

To buy this book: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/185...7655275-1701449

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