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Why is the cow sacred?


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on another thread, jtsingh & narsingha stated that namdharis & nihangs are against the killing of cows. narsingha also provided the following sources as evidence of that:

Well, the cow is sacred...Gurblias Shemi (chapter 16) speaks of Guru Hargobind Sahib being the protector of the brahmin (ie, holy men) and the cow.

As you have pointed yout jtsingh, Oogardanti Baani speaks of cow killing as a sin. Guruji speaks :

"Give me this command that I may grab Turks and destroy them. The great evil of cow-killing may I stop in this world. The throne of the Moghals may I destroy"

(Oogardanti Baani)

"Fulfil this desire of mine. May suffering of cows stop. May the victory of the true Guru resound through out the world.

(Oogardanti Baani)

A text by Monier Williams, 'Religious Thought and Life in India' (1883) also speaks of killing of cows as "the most henious of crimes".

Giani Gian Singh speaks of the actions of Akali Nihang Baba Jassa Singh Ahluwalia as:

"Though, he was very against killing of cows. To stop this, he attacked many times Lahore and Kasur, and slayed the cow butchers."

Twarikh Guru Khalsa, Giani Gian Singh (1894), Pa 734

As far as I recall, the text 'Kookiyan Di Vithia', by Ganda Singh mentions that against the orders of Baba Raam Singh, some Naamdharis killed innocent Muslim butchers (who were killing cows for meat). On 17th Jan 1872, 50 of them were shot for this crime by the British officer McCowan, using cannons.

why is it that the cow is held in such high esteem? & is the same view held by all the other sampardavas?

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The cow has been held sacred in India for a millenia because it is known as the mother, because it gives milk (well, highest milk yield of all domesticated animals).I'm sure there must be scriptural writings about the cow.However :arrow: because it is held sacred, it is also the highest anilmal sacrifice too, which has and does happen.

I read somewhere that in the Mahabharat epic there is a story about a king who sacrificed thousands of cows everyday, and have them cooked for brahmin priests.I maybe wrong.But there is scriptural evidence for cow sacrifice, that's a definate.Also, I'm sure some Indian scholar wrote a book about meat eating and ancient India, that our anscestors were not just sacrificing but slaughtering cows to eat.

So I wonder how vegetarianism and cow worship became so prevalent in India?Maybe it was the alcohol drinking meat eating Aryans and Scythians :LOL: ?I think the Dravidians were peaceful vege's.Meat-sharaab, chak de phatte Aryan te Scythian loko :LOL:

I'm a vegan, if you didn't already know.But beef was the best meat I ever ate :LOL: .

I'm a sinner!!I'm going to hell!! :LOL:

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Commander (and others) please elaborate from your comments where possible.

Thanking you.

I think I was pretty clear :D Practically, a cow is more valuable than other animals because of the milk, but it most certainly is not "sacred" and I don't know of any Sikh who holds that view.

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I think it was the Vaishnavs who made the sacredness of the the cow prevalent across India.They became very popular after Sri Chaitanya.Because Shri Krishan is known as Gopal ("the sustainer of the cows"), Goraksh ("the protector of the cows"), Govind ("the master of the cows")*.So I'm assuming it's the Krishan bhakti movement which popularised the sacredness of the cow.Moooooooo

[*Incidentally these names of Parbrahm/Krishan also appear in Gurbani - Gopal, Gorakh, Gobind]

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Guest Sardar Moderator Singh

I think I was pretty clear :D Practically, a cow is more valuable than other animals because of the milk, but it most certainly is not "sacred" and I don't know of any Sikh who holds that view.


Thanks for your elaboration, just to explain why I asked, writing "It's not" hardly qualifies as being "pretty clear" as to your reasons.

In any event, thank you for qualifying your statement.

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The cow is not sacred to the Sikhs. It is just as sacred to us as the goat and the chicken is.

i'm assuming then that u disagree with the sources provided by narsingha. could u please refute them with relevant evidence/sources.

]If eating the cow is wrong then so is the goat. Eating of all meats is wrong in accordance to Sanatan Dharm.

off topic. please take it up on the vegetarianism thread... which reminds me... mods? what's happening with the veggy thread?

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I’m not participating in this debate.

u already have! :roll:

All I’m saying is that Sanatan Dharm does not support the eating of flesh. Anyone thinking they can follow Sanatan Dharm and still eat meat don’t know about Sanatan scriptures.

what is your definition of "Sanatan Dharm"? & which sanatan scriptures are u referring to?

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Guest Javanmard

1. The sacrifice of several types of animals and the consumption of their meat is inscribed in the Vedas!!!

2. Rama and Lakshmana used to hunt!

3. According to Dharma shastras kshatriyas are allowed to drink wine, hunt, eat meat and enjoy polygamy!!!

4. Animal sacrifices are an essential part of the Shakta rituals where goatas and buffalos are sacrificed to the Devi.

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Here got something for ya:

source: http://www.damdamitaksal.com/lit_rehat_18.htm

Five not to be associated with (i.e. not to eat with or marry your children to)

1. Tobacco users

People who smoke or use any form of tobacco (or drugs) are not to be associated with.

2. Female Infanticide

Those who kill their daughters at birth:

bRhmx kYlI Gwqu kMkw AxcwrI kw Dwnu ]

iPtk iPtkw koVu bdIAw sdw sdw ABmwnu ]

“The following are all major sins:

a) Killing a Brahmgyani,

B) Killing a black cow

c) Killing or selling your daughter,

d) Eating from a person who has no moral discipline. Anyone who commits any of these has committed thousands of sins and this egotistical individual will be reprimanded thousands of times."

(SGGSJ Ang 1413)

kMinAw ko mwry mony ko kMinAW dyvy so qnKwhIAw ]

"They who kill their daughters and marry their daughters to those

who cut their hair are punishable."

(Rehatnama Bhai Deya Singh ji)

3. Those who sell their daughters

Those who receive money for the marriage of their daughters.

4. Those that cut some of their hair from their head

5. Those who completely shave all their hair from their face and head

A Hukamnama from Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib excommunicated Narakdharees on 30 June 1978.

Radha Soamis and other groups whom claim themselves to be the Guru and do not accept Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji as the Guru. These groups are not to be

associated with, married into or meals taken with them. If they take Amrit from Panj Pyare, keep the Khalsa Rehat and accept Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji as their Guru then they can be associated with and they are our brothers and sisters.

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Those who live in accordance to the Vedic scriptures know the importance of a vegetarian diet. Ancient Indians have observed Vegetarianism since the start. This was observed by the Chinese Buddhist monk Fahsien during his travels in India.

The great ancient Kshatriyas warriors of India were vegetarians. This is supported by the fact that Bhisham Pitama the grand father of the Pandavas and Kauravas explained to Yudhishtar about Sanatan Dharm on his death bed of arrows. He told Yudhishtar that the meat of animals is like the flesh of one's own son, and that the foolish person who eats meat must be considered the vilest of human beings (Anu. 114.11). The eating of 'dirty' food, it warns, is not as terrible as the eating of flesh (Shanti. 141.88 ).

The Sanatan laws contained in the Manu Simrati are another proof of Sanatans Dharmas refusal to eat meat. Manu explains on 5.49 'refrain from eating all kinds of meat,' for such eating involves killing and leads to karmic bondage (bandh).

In the Vedic scripture Srimad Bhagwatam, King Parikshith the last of the great Vedic King says 'only the animal-killer cannot relish the message of the Absolute Truth (Srimad Bhagvatam 10.1.4).

As far as Sanatan Dharm is concearned meat based diet is a Big NO NO. Anyone eating meat is not following Sanatan Dharm.

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Guest Javanmard

1.Srimad Bhagavatam is NOT a Vedic text but a purana.

2. Animal sacrifice was practised in Vedic times, Fa Hsien came to India during the puranic period!

3. Mahabharata being smriti does not hold the same authority as the shruti and the shruti clearly says that animals are being sacrificed and their meat consumed.

just for the joy of it:




and here a little bit of Vedic texts:


and manu: look for meat and wine : you might be surprised. Even ascetics eat meat!


ISKCON is not the only authority reagrding this question...

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3. Mahabharata being smriti does not hold the same authority as the shruti and the shruti clearly says that animals are being sacrificed and their meat consumed.

just for the joy of it:

Lalleshwari, whether you like it or not, Manu Simrati, Srimad Bhagwatam, and Mahabharat are Sanatan scriptures. They speak out against animal consumption. But if it is Vedic texts as in the 4 vedas you want then you will be disappointed.

Please take a look at the following verses from the Vedas which speak for protection of animals and against meat consumption.

Protect both our species, two-legged and four-legged.

Both food and water for their needs supply.

May they with us increase in stature and strength.

Save us from hurt all our days, O Powers! Rig Veda Samhita 10.37.11. VE, 319

One who partakes of human flesh, the flesh of a horse or of another animal,

and deprives others of milk by slaughtering cows,

O King, if such a fiend does not desist by other means,

then you should not hesitate to cut off his head. Rig Veda Samhita, 10.87.16, FS 90

Those noble souls who practice meditation and other yogic ways,

who are ever careful about all beings, who protect all animals,

are the ones who are actually serious about spiritual practices. Atharva Veda Samhita 19.48.5. FS, 90

You must not use your God-given body for killing God's creatures,

whether they are human, animal or whatever. Yajur Veda Samhita 12.32. FS, 90

No pain should be caused to any created being or thing. Devikalottara agama, JAV 69-79. RM, 116

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I think this whole cow protection thing is an allegory.Because the cow is called "mother" - this could be reference to "mother India".Maybe.Something like that.Could be reference to the disrespect of Indian traditions shown by the malechh.

Also on the topic of Sanatan Dharam scriptures.Well, there are many scriptures (and Indian religions) which don't agree with one another.

Some Indian religions advocate absitence from sex, others practice sex (outside marriage) as part of there religion.Some say don't eat meat, others say sacrifice a calf to the Devi and drink the blood.

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Hari, maybe some contradictions, but atleast they all agree to vegetarianism. No contradiction there.

Aghori's do not agree to vegetarianism or teetotalism, nor abstinence from illicit sex.In fact they have been known to eat human flesh.Wether they still practice that, I cannot confirm.But eating flesh and drinking alocohol and other intoxicants is part of their religious practice.

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Guest Sardar Moderator Singh

Dear All,

When making references to scriptures and/or other religious/spiritual traditions and their practices, please could we seek to substantiate our arguments with the necessary reference and/or reasoning.

Thanking you all.

p.s. RE: Aghoris, practices here do, as with many traditions vary from sect to sect, however should one use, for instance the works relating to Aghori Vimalananda (Dr R E Svoboda), one can clearly see how their traditions are derived and related to what has been termed 'Sanatan scriptures' above.

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This is one of my favourite quotes from Sri Mat Bhagwatam.

Those who are ignorant of real dharma and, though wicked and haughty, account themselves virtuous, kill animals without any feeling of remorse or fear of punishment. Further, in their next lives, such sinful persons will be eaten by the same creatures they have killed in this world. Sri mad Bhagvatam 11.5.4.FS, pg, 90

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Guest Javanmard

Srimad Bhagavatam Purana is a Vaishnava scripture and hence only applies to Vaishnavas.

There is no such thing as Sanatan scriptures! The concept of Sanatan dharma is actually not supported by the scriptures you quote. YOu surely have Smartas, Shaivas, Vaishnavas, Shaktas but there never were Sanatanis before the 19th century!

Aghoris are Shaivas and have their own revelation based on certain agamas.

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