By Dirgha Raj Prasai : Currently, Nepal is sagging under the crisis. Foreigners are fueling the party leaders with the power of money against Nepal’s sovereign norms, identity and dignified tradition. Each and every sector of this nation is in a state of deep trouble. In the holy land where cow is regarded as the symbol of mother god is slaughtered openly. The cows are being slaughtered and its meat eaten to fear the Hindus. Some months ago many cows were slaughtered in Nepalgunj and its meat sold in the market as Sukuti (a traditional meat dish). All Nepali patriots, Nepali Army and security organs and civil society members should be more alert in saving from kiling the cows. Some days ago, there held a symposium about the prose and cons on the impact of cow killing for meat. Some indigenous scholar argued supporting to kill cows for meat purpose. But I expressed my opinions that it will be a crime to kill cow and eat its meat, and in terms of health it is not considered to be healthy. In terms of religion, almost 90% Hindus and Buddhists and some are Christians and some are Muslims in Nepal. Some have converted into Christianity. It is my appeal to all who follow their respective religion not to break with the established norms and values of its long traditions and common garden. Let us not carry suicidal works by attacking Hindu and Buddhist aspirations.
Cow is holy and venerable animal for Hindus and Buddhists. Hindu and Buddhist scriptures view cow in form of a mother in all over the world especially-Nepal and India. Since the Vedic period cow’s body has been accepted as the spirits of various Gods and Goddess. In many Vedic books has mentioned–’Gao Biswasya Matera’ or Cow is the mother in the world for human being. It is a belief that people who look upon cow with devotion and worship attain blessings and enlightenment. Such conclusions were given precedence in Shrimadbhagawat Mahapurnana (Hindu’s greatest religious book) since long period Gopalas started worshipping cow.
‘The cult of Pashupati is an ancient one. The Gopals, who were cow herders and the first ruling dynasty of Nepal, are credited with popularizing Pashupati. One of the cow stopped giving milk. Finding this odd, the cow’s owner followed it one day. The cow went to the present site of Pashupati temple on the banks of the Bagmati River and started giving milk. The cow herder and his friends dug up the earth to see what was there. Suddenly a terrible flame came from the hole and killed every one who stood close by. This was reported to a hermit named ‘Ne’. He covered the flame with sand and clay and worshipped it as Jyotirlinga’.-(Mukundaraj Aryal).
In Krishna’s characterization his affection towards cow has also been presented. Krishna has gained victory over King Indra Maharaj when they had confronted each other during the worship of Govardan Parbat (Hill). In Ramayan- (a great Hindu epic) King Dilip serves cow in order to bring happiness and peace in his country, and wishing encouragement and intellect for his children. There is a story relating to how the cow had wanted to test Dilip’s devotion. The cow is said to have turned into a lion and attacked another cow. Then the King intervened and pleaded with the lion- ‘Eat me not the cow.’ The cow seeing the King’s devotion is filled with joy, and decided to show him her real form of Goddess. Cow has been declared Nepal’s national animal for it has the supreme qualities of animals.’ The cow was venerated as the mother goddess in the early Mediterranean civilizations. The cow became important in India, first in the Vedic period, but only as a symbol of wealth. In the Mahabharata, Bhishma-a great religious personality and warrior, also observes that the cow acts as a surrogate mother by providing milk to human beings for the whole life. So the cow is regarded as the mother of the world.
I want to bring out the topic of Kamdhenu (mysterious God gifted)-‘Cow’. Parshuram Rishi’s father Jamdagni Rishi had the Kamdhenu cow. A King named Sahastraarjun had been hunting all day (time past) then in the evening time he went to the Rishi’s cottage as a guest, and he received sumptuous and enough food. He wondered at how such a poor Rishi could provide so much food. The King inquired and found out that it was due to Kamdhenu cow’s blessings. The King forcibly took away the cow against the Rishi’s consent which was later reclaimed by Rishi’s son Parashuram, whom having broken off his meditative trance fought against the King for the cow. This is mentioned in many Hindus scriptures. It is mentioned in the scripture of Himwatkhanda-Nepal that milk used to flow perpetually from the cow onto the Jyotirlinga in Pashupatinath.
Many cows are bred in Nepal’s Gaushala and Mrigasthali. Yogi Narharinath a great Hindu scholar was a great devotee of cow. Up to 2002, the Yogi had a calf to guard in his cottage. The calf never left his site when the Yogi fell ill. After the death of the Yogi the calf cried effusively. This incident is known to this author in capacity of an eye witness. Later the calf used to visit the spot where the Yogi took Samadhi (burial meditation) once a day and encircle it. It is believed that the cow is conscious and has adequate power.
Hindus worship cow as Goddess Laxmi. Every year cow is worshipped during the Hindu festival of Tihar. The day of worship is known as Gai Tihare Aunsi-almost 25/26 Oct. Cow is worshipped in every household. Cow’s urine and gung is needed during any auspicious occasion. It is Hindu tradition to slather the floor with cow’s dung to make it pure. The cow’s dung can also kill germs; so its use is good for health as well. The house that breeds a cow has a different décor. The excreta of other animals as buffalo, horse, rhino produces germs while the cow’s excreta kills them. All animals do not have the same nature. Cow’s excreta can also be used as a replacement of fuel. The cow’s milk, curd, ghee, urine, dung are the five elixir-like products which are known collectively as Panchaamrit-(five nectar)
A cow’s milk is highly nutritious that its advantages are hard to explain. Those who keep cows benefit economically in numerous ways by selling its milk and running a dairy. Milk cleanses our body and keeps it healthy as well as increases our intellectual power. There is no need to explain the advantages of the products of a cow. It is written in the Artha Veda that cows’ extinction from earth would result in Sun’s increase in temperature that would ultimately destroy the planet. This shows that the earth and cow have a significant relation. This Vedic expression can be understood in a simple meaning that the relation between the two is conditional and dependent. Those who drink and use cow’s milk, proved birllent and intellectual. And the buffalo’s milk user have been proved dull and blunt.
The cow’s urine (Gauut) and dung can turn soil fertile and help crops to grow. The grasses that sprout from the soil, straw, stalk, and other grains can be used as fodder for cow which retains the traditional balance.
A cow’s significance is huge. We need to open the discussion, which is highly necessary, if we should consume cow’s meat or not. During the Vedic period the Risihis’ had observed a ritual sacrifice of the cow which brought all curses of diseases as leprosy, Dusadhya, Rajyayachma and Ohjayachma different kinds of diseases that led the Rishis to their death. So the ritual was not observed. To consume the cow’s meat can be compared to consuming slow poison. The killing of cow and its sacrifice was banned. To eat cow’s meat is in reality like consuming poison. Those who are used to eating beef have low immunity resistance, and they easily fall prey to the diseases, which ultimately claim their lives; so all sectors ought to be alert to this danger. In Saudi Arab to take a picture of Lord Shiva is banned, it is prohibited. In similar manner if beef is allowed to enter the holy land of Nepal for the consumption by tourists the government ought to impose strict regulation against it. It is the subject of the sensitivity of this land. In the name of secularism no one has the right to kill the aspirations of the majority in the interest of the minority of the country.
However, it is said that the cow from the Himwatkhanda region and that from western countries some differ considerably. There are logics that claim the consumption of cow meat in western nation is less dangerous than what it would be in this region. The environment and the geographical environment create such difference between the east and western regions. British grass cannot be used for religious rites of Hindus. If the grass sprouting in any other places than Himwatkhanda cannot be used for Hindu rituals then there must be some difference in terms of cow too–as some logics have pointed out. In western nation it is said that consuming cow meat does not bring diseases, but drinking urine brings great illness. But in Himwatkhanda it is the reverse. Drinking cow urine cures diseases where as other animals urine can be fatal. The cow’s meat eaters are the sufferers of leprosy and death in decay.
Once there were news that people in Britain went mad and became ill after consuming cow’s meat. They had even stopped consuming cow’s meat. Then, the British Govt. banded cow’s meat. In many beef eating countries banded the beef from Britain. After that, some Britain’s media reported that, so many British left eating cows’ meat. If a person suffering from arthritis consumes sheep’s meat, and if a person with pressure consumes the meat of a castrated goat then they suffer from unnecessary thoughts. If a person eats beef that person suffers from bad breath. There must have been an ulcer inside the stomach. To eat goat’s meat for the blood- pressure patients and to eat the sheep’s meat for the rheumatism patients will harmful. So, the beef is also becoming the causes of the obesity and increases cholesterol level which is very dangerous for heart. Sometimes it also spread diseases like e-coli and b-coli.
In Himwatkhanda consumption of cow’s meat is taken as a curse. To eat cow’s meat is not advantageous for people in this region. There are evidences showing that people are unable to digest the meat and that it saps the immunity power of diseases in human body. One of the example is that the Tamang people have been eating the meat of dead cow. An experience shows that majority of Tamang people who consumed meat of a dead cow have suffered from leprosy. This is not written with any malicious intention directed against any particular group. Anyone can judge it within the periphery of investigation. No one should deny truth and fact. Some advocates of indigenous rights are threatening to launch rebellion because they were not allowed to eat cow’s meat. Many believe that this is not a rebellious voice for right, but a business. Under the direction of Christians, these people say that the cow was made the national animal of the nation in Brahmin’s interest. But, it is not truth.
The Buddhist and Hindu scriptures explicitly calls consumption of cow meat as a form of crime. In Nepal, many cows are being killed, which is spreading terror among the Hindus on the direction of Christian missionaries. Those seeking the right to eat beef are also demanding the right to become ill. In our context, since the Vedic period our tradition in worshipping cow. How has cow’s significance been increasing? A cow’s urine and dung can be used as precaution against diseases. But, the fertilizer of horses, elephants, buffalos create diseases. Then, why shouldn’t we accept this empirical fact?
New experiments are drawing facts supporting the claim that cow’s meat does more harm than benefit to health. Comparatively immunity power among people eating beef is found to be less harmful than those who do not eat it. Westerners eat beef. Hindu and Buddhist people do not eat cow’s meat and consider eating it as sin. If the Westerners who eat cow’s meat suffer from leprosy, small pox, measles they will not have the immunity to resist and eventually there is high risk of fatal death. However, if the diseases are seen in Hindus, Buddhists and people of this region who don’t eat cow’s meat, simple treatment will cure them. This shows that those who do not consume beef have immunity power to resist. We must not forget that eating the cow’s meat is bad for health. The Hindu and Buddhist people worship cow as mother on the basis of experiments and facts. They will continue to worship cow. In view of such importance of cow, Nepal observes cow as its national animal. Thus, we must all acknowledge truths and facts and serve the cow as a mother.