I was walking down the street when I saw this beautiful cow heading towards me. I thought I’d throw in a little of Indian mythology into the A to Z Blog Challenge.
Gomatha, in Sanskrit, translates to cow mother, and is also known as mother of enlightenment. She bestows truth, wisdom and prosperity upon those who worship her, and possesses the combined power of Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. The story of Gomatha comes from Hindu mythology.
There once lived an old man and wife in a little village. As his routine followed, he would take her to graze in the meadows during the day, bring her back in the afternoon so he could have lunch, and take her back for grazing for the rest of the day to finally return home in the evening. At nightfall, he would enclose her in the cowshed with a protective barrier to keep her from escaping or getting stolen.
As the wife was doing the dishes near the cowshed one day, the cow whispered to her, “Tonight a demon will visit our house. The demon will be clothed in black, and when he comes, he will sit before the lamp that burns in the room.” Alarmed, she turned around, and the cow in soothing tones comforted her, “Don’t be afraid. I’ll help you kill the demon. Alert the villagers, tell them to look out for anything suspicious. Light the firewood and heat water in the biggest vessel you have it hot. When the demon enters your home, hit him with a broomstick and push him into the vessel of boiling water. Close the container with a lid and do not open until he dies. Once he is dead, cast him at the center of this village and burn his remains so no harm will ever come to anyone here.”
The demon came as the cow predicted, and the old lady followed the cow’s instructions diligently until the demon was dead and his remains were incinerated. She told the village of the cow’s foresight, and they were all thankful. Since that day, the villagers began worshiping the cow as a Mother, and believed her to be an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Cows do not only provide milk but also are the sole source for milk products like butter, curd, cheese and most of calcium rich diet. Cow dung is used as manure in agriculture, while cow urine is believed to have healing properties. Cows are believed to be auspicious by Hindus and are treated respectfully, worshiped even. They are not bound but allowed to roam free on the streets, as they are believed to be divine beings sent to protect us on earth.