Why is Cow Sacred to Hindus and Indian Civilization? When and how did Cow Slaughter start in India?

The Mughal Empire and Cow

Babar in his will ‘Tuzuk-e- Babari’ tells his son that, “Humayun should respect the sentiments of the Hindus and hence should not allow the cow to be sacrificed or killed anywhere in the Mughal Empire. The day any Mughal emperor ignores this will, the people of India will reject him”.

Many other Mughal Emperors like Akbar, Jahangir, Ahmad Shah had banned Cow Slaughter in their kingdom. Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan who ruled the Mysore State in the present day Karnataka had made cow slaughter and beef eating a punishable offence and the crime would be punished by cutting off the hands of the person who committed the crime!

Today in India we have over 36000 slaughterhouses!  How did this massive turn around take place? But before that…

Science behind the Sacred Cow of Hindu Civilization

To understand that first we need to get back to the importance of cow in the ancient Hindu civilization of India. Cows are the most sacred animals to the Hindus and this is not without any reason. In fact the very word Cow in English is derived from the Sanskrit word Gau for Cow. So why are the cows so sacred to the Hindu civilization?

Hindus believe that all Gods and Goddesses live inside a Cow

Cattle – The backbone of Indian Agriculture

One of the most important reasons is that cows have been the backbones of Indian families and the Indian agricultural system ever since the dawn of this ancient Hindu civilization. Apart from the extensively used Cow’s milk which the ancient Indians used to collect only after the calf has had its share, the most important use of Cows was in Agriculture. Without Cow the Indian agriculture in those days was as good as gone, and this was one of the prime reasons why Hindus being nature worshipers also worshiped Cow. Cow’s urine was a natural pesticide, cow manure was a natural fertilizer. Cattle in ancient India had ensured that Indian civilization did not need any artificial pesticides or artificial fertilizers, both of which are extremely harmful for the farm soil and degrade soil quality over time.

Cows had their own shelters called Gaushalas (large places where the cows lived) which were many a times larger than the homes where people lived. There used to be people exclusively to look after the well being of the cows here and many a times they used to be the cow owners themselves who used to clean the Gaushalas everyday, feed the cows, take care of their health and so on . Every single festival of harvest had cow worship, house warming ceremonies had the ritual of taking the cow inside the house first and then pray to it to make the house prosper and flood with food grains, milk and butter.

Cows being fed at a Gaushala

Note that those were the days when food was grown in a healthy natural process. There was no industrial revolution, no artificial fertilizers, no chemical pesticides and insecticides. The entire Indian agriculture was based on the nature’s best fertilizer – Cow dung, and one of the nature’s best pesticide – Cow’s urine (along with the neem based solutions) were used extensively in the agriculture. Buttermilk again which is a derivative of Cow’s milk was used as an effective fungicide and weedicide.

And not without any reason, the Indian agriculture in those days was extremely productive thanks to the cow products. Farmers were happy, crops came on time, yield was high, prices were low for food crops, kingdoms even used to export their agricultural output, granaries were always filled, milk was abundantly available and so were its derivatives like Butter, Ghee etc which formed an important part of the Indian diet. Every religious institution, big farms, farmers, diary owners all had thousands of cows – the cows which had made the Indian economy rich and healthy.

Even today in African deserts were growing food is difficult and whatever grows must give a rich yield for people to have adequate food, fermented cow’s urine is used as a natural pesticide. Compare this with farmers today who spend thousands and thousands of rupees on artificial fertilizers and chemical pesticides, which not only make the food unhealthy, but also make the soil unproductive over time.

Cow slaughter and slaughterhouses are banned even today in Nepal. In India, very few are aware of the fact that Article 48 of the Indian Constitution (Directive Principles of State Policy) says clearly that the government must protect the cow, its progeny and other cattle used in agriculture, not just because the cows are sacred to Hindus but because Cows have been the backbone of Agriculture and milk production in this country ever since the dawn of civilization. To millions of poor families in India, even today Cow’s milk is the only source of nutrient to their kids and babies.

In India states like Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka etc have already banned Cow slaughter (Karnataka being a very recent addition). Cuba banned cow slaughter after its people virtually ate up all the cattle leading to a scarcity of diary products. Even Iran has banned Cow slaughter and note that it was at the request of a non-Muslim – Seth Merwanji Framji Panday that Iran – a muslim dominated nation had banned cow slaughter. Now compare this with India today where in the name of secularism we are killing our agriculture and degrading the farm soil.

British Rule and Slaughterhouses

Both Mahathma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru had declared before Independence that they would ban Cow slaughter in India after Independence. Obviously they didnt impose it. Why? Thanks to Robert Clive who had converted the Indian Muslims into believing that beef eating was their religious right. Cow slaughter had become a vote bank issue. How? Read below.

Robert Clive – the so called Founder of the British Empire in India who was twice the Governor of Bengal too – on entering India was astonished and amazed to see the success of the agricultural system here. He went on researching the reasons for the success of the Indian agriculture and discovered the root – The Holy Indian Cow. The entire hindu life style revolved around this animal, not just religiously, but socially. Cow was an integral part of a Hindu family as was any other human member in the family. He even found that in many places the total number of cattle was more than the number of humans living there.

Ancient Indians used cow urine, butter milk and manure, not artificial chemical fungicides and insecticides. Artificial pesticides also kill useful microbes in the soil which otherwise help plants absorb nutrients. So if one uses artificial chemicals in agriculture, plants will be devoid of nutrients because the useful microbes are dead. So then farmers also become forced to use artificial fertilizers because plants are not naturally able to absorb nutrient from the soil. So the artificial pesticides kick in a vicious cycle where the soil quality is constantly degraded. After all, the trees in forest grow healthy fruits without the need for any artificial fertilizers!

So Robert Clive decided to break the backbone of agriculture in India – the holy cows have to be targeted. And thus was opened the first slaughterhouse of cows in India in 1760 by Robert Clive at Kolkata. It had a capacity to kill 30,000 cows per day. And anyone can guess within a year’s time how many cows would have been killed. And within a century India had very little cattle left to sustain its agricultural needs. And Britain as an alternative started offering artificial manure, and in this manner urea, phosphate etc started getting imported from England. Indian agriculture had started becoming dependent on west invented artificial products and was forced to give up home grown natural practices.

Guess what, till 1760 most of India had banned not only cow slaughter, but also prostitution and drinking wine was banned as well. Robert Clive made all three legal and removed the ban.

Now the British had hit two birds with a single stone by this move. The first was to break the backbone of the Indian agriculture ie making cattle not available for agriculture. And the second?

Well, obviously Hindus did not work as butchers at the slaughter houses opened by the British. And of course the British were well known for their divide and rule policies which they practiced throughout their colonial kingdoms then. So what did they do? Well, they hired muslims as butchers and this was done in almost every slaughterhouse they opened. And this slowly pushed the muslims into believing that beef eating was their religious right.

What the Mughal empire had banned had been turned into a practice by the British empire. What Babur and Akbar termed as a crime was converted into a norm by Robert Clive. And today the soil of India is filled with artificial fertilizers and pesticides while the holy Cow cries in the slaughterhouses. While there were over 70 breeds of cows in the country at the time of independence, today we have only 33 and even among them many breeds are facing extinction.

Guess what happened to the man who started all this? Robert Clive became a opium addict and later committed suicide by stabbing himself with a pen knife after being unable to withstand the pain caused by the illness that had resulted from opium addiction.


1. Cow Protection in India – L.L. Sundara Ram, pages 122-123 and 179-190.
2. The foundations of the composite culture in India – Malika Mohammada
3. The Cow and the Koran – People for Animals
3. http://eng.gougram.org/cow-slaughtering/
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Clive,_1st_Baron_Clive

  • Sriram

    Here is an easiest and logical way to prove why cow is regarded as divine.

    We all have high regards to our mothers as she has brought us to this world. She has nourished us with her milk along with love and affection. She never ever thinks any harm for us. That is why Mother is regarded as divine. “Maatrudevo bhava”. This also goes to good women in general.

    The same logic applies to a cow also. Ony thing is we are not born in her womb, but we are nourished by her and raised by her side. All mammals have a bond with their mothers. So do we.

    TLDR; “Kiling a cow is like killing your mother”

  • Balasubramanian S

    Hi Gurudev,

    I just found something recently in facebook that gives some references to our ancient scriptures where it mentions about the practice of killing cows. The references are as follows:

    1)Mahabharata, 500 B.C.: King Rantiveda slaughters 2,000 cows a day in his royal kitchens and distributed beef along with grain to apparently grateful Brahmins, the Hindu priests.

    2)Charak Samhita, 100 B.C.: Flesh of cow is prescribed as a medicine for various diseases. It is also prescribed for making soup and advised as a cure for irregular fever, consumption, and emaciation. The fat of the cow is recommended for debility and rheumatism.

    3)Taittiriya Brahman , 500 B.C.: Verily the cow is food.

    4)Yajnavalkya, one of the most popular hindu sages: ”Some people do not eat cow meat. I do so, provided it’s tender.”

    5)Sacrificial offering for Indra, the rain God and Agni, the fire God, are bulls and cows. (Perhaps that is why we are having less rain, as we stopped sacrificing cows.)

    6)Vedas have mentioned 250 animals out of which at least 50 are fit for sacrifice and human consumption.

    7)Manusmriti did not prohibit the consumption of beef.

    I don’t know to what extent the above points are genuine references. I could find only the reference to Charaka Samhita. Not sure about the others. I see that the non hindu people are taking this as a reference and arguing about the Holy cow concept.

    What are your views on the above references. Is it true that killing cows were part of ancient Vedic custom? Please pour your views on the above.

  • Sandeep Jaiswal

    It’s apparent from the reactions that their is certain amount of assent as well as dissent among people regarding this article. But I’m glad to see the unanimity among all of us with a serious concern over safety of Cows and its progeny.

    We should judge a person(or his article) from his objective and not his narratives. And I think, for all, what the author has tried to convey through this article, irrespective of his sources and findings, is to enlighten and unite us for voicing against Cow-slaughter. And for this we owe him an applause.

    If there’s something worth taking from this article and implementing for the fulfillment of the purpose, it would be becoming Vegetarian thus giving equal importance to all living being.

    • itzguru

      Thank you very much for understanding and presenting what I am trying to convey here.

  • itzguru

    Its based on “Tuzuk-e- Babari”, the will of Babar, and the book “Cow Protection in India” by L.L. Sundara Ram, pages -122-123, 179-190.

  • Sandy Shukla

    enlightened Muslims should understand the sentiments of hindus and should not slaughter cow or eat beef. they can eat goat, sheep, fish etc. If muslims voluntarily give up cow slaughter it will be healthy example for all and lead to hindu-muslim unity.

    • itzguru

      More than hindu sentiments it has to do with protecting the quality of our agricultural soil, revert back to the natural process of using cow urine as pesticide and cow manure as fertilizer, instead of using harmful chemical pesticides and artificial manure, which kill essential microbes in soil, make plants devoid of natural nutrients and degrade soil quality over time.

    • Yashvir Singh

      I strictly oppose your thought, one should have compassion towards every living being, not just few of their own choice. As, every living being deserves freedom to live. Take it as a positive criticism.

  • deepak sing

    really it is a very good article ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,cow slaughtering should be banned,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,aur westurn culture ko to latt marke bhga do vapis brtiain……jai hind

  • Yashvir Singh

    I’ll simply say who ever comits a crime, has to pay for it one day !! So, did Robert Clive. ->What ever goes around, comes around.

  • Srihari Ramadas

    Firstly, I could not find any relevant sources which confirms cow slaughter was banned during Mughal rule. Even if they did, it does not stand a justification that it should be continued today. Things change over the years.

    Secondly, Robert Clive opening the first slaughter house of cows in 1760 does not mean that was the first time in India that cattle were killed for food. Slaughter House only denotes a facility (mostly mechanized) dedicated for animal slaughter. Local butchers were available to carry that job out prior to slaughterhouses. People even used to hunt animals in the wild mostly for food which I’m sure you can find references in Hindu puranas.

    Christianity arrived in India much before the mughals; infact much before it did in some european countries! St.Thomas arrived at Kerala in 52AD. Now southernmost part of India, atleast current day Kerala and Tamilnadu, were not ruled by the mughals but by the local kingdom who enjoyed an alliance with the mughals. So even if mughals banned cow slaughter, it must not have affected the christians living down south. I’m using Christians only as an example here, but there must have been many other pagans who resort to beef as food.

    In any case, I’m sure southern India were introduced to beef not by the influence of British.

    • itzguru

      Just because there were mistakes done in the past doesnt mean we should continue them even today. The justification to ban cow slaughter is not religious or emotional grounds alone. It is more on the scientific grounds.

      Look at the immense harm it has caused to the Indian agriculture, look at the degradation in soil quality, farmers used to get pesticides and fertilizers for free from these cows, and also used to sell its milk and dairy products. But today they have to pay hefty sums for artificial chemicals which actually kill the soil by also destroying essential microbes used by plants to absorb nutrients from the soil. The diverse breeds of Indian cattle have disappeared. A day will come when you won’t get milk or dairy products – human population is increasing, cattle population is decreasing. You want more reasons than this to ban cattle slaughter?

  • Krishna Shastry

    Dear Gurudev, this is a decent attempt, and reading the comments I can see a real concern towards cows.

    Kindly note that the entire anti-cow slaughter mindset cares ONLY about cows, their close relatives buffalo are not so fortunate, even though they have provided many many things towards comfort of human beings.

    The male bovines were always suffering throughout last several centuries, right from the times humans started domesticating them.

    The real solution is to go vegan. Going vegan has 3 fold benefits – ethical, environmental and health.


  • Kevin

    come on guys…india is a secular country..every religion has the right to live in this country..if one religion cannot kill it doesnt mean that all others should follow..If tomorrror I start a religion and says the plants are my god and it is because of them we even survive no one will stop eating them…One who doesnt want to eat dont eat..thats all, dont be so ignorant guys…

  • V Aravindganesh

    Gurudev ji, someone told me incident about cow slaughter finds place in Vedhas. is it so?

    • nak

      Why not you read ” Manu smriti”  chapter 5
      No 30….  And No 35

      RigVeda  book 10 hymns 16 , 86

      chapter no 88 read what  Bhishma said…

       and  Manu smriti chapter 3

      You will get the answer.

  • Sanjiv Singh

    I am shocked to know the facts about our Mugal regime and pay my regards to them for their kindheartedness towards our motherly COW. This facts were not known to me.See the result of misdeeds of British regime who lost its control from allover the word one after another.

  • Sanjiv Singh

    I am shocked to know the facts about our Mugal regime and pay my regards to them for their kindheartedness towards our motherly COW. This facts were not known to me.See the result of misdeeds of British regime who lost its control from allover the word one after another.

  • Savvatheman


  • Gupta Sheetal90

    All is false…….even mughals were the people who used to hang the cow in temples and cut them like anything…they were the ones who even today are allowed to eat beef….and promote cow slaughtering …………this all is written just to praise the mughals…

    • Anonymous

      What is the need to praise those who aren’t around today :)

    • Cnjwijwji

      i agree with u sheetal. may be the author is also a mughal. praising him self.

    • Cnjwijwji

      i agree with u sheetal. may be the author is also a mughal. praising him self.

    • Cnjwijwji

      i agree with u sheetal. may be the author is also a mughal. praising him self.

    • Cnjwijwji

      i agree with u sheetal. may be the author is also a mughal. praising him self.

    • Cnjwijwji

      i agree with u sheetal. may be the author is also a mughal. praising him self.

    • Cnjwijwji

      i agree with u sheetal. may be the author is also a mughal. praising him self.

    • guest

      please substantiate your statements with proof before denying others

  • Vaibhavsharma0810

    It is very shameful and heinous crime to kill the cow in slaughter house.India is a country where lord rama,krishna,gautam buddha ,mahavir swami and mahatma gandhi were born.We all should raise our voice against this crime.Government should also make a strict law against this………….

  • Kiran_thogaru

    An eye-opening article. Thanks for the information.

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      You are welcome Sir :)

    • Anonymous

      You are welcome Kiran :)

  • Preshit

    exellent article much informative eventodayin imagination if I meet robrtclive i`ll comment edited by moderator. but do u hav a referrence to the statement that babur , akabar , hyumayun even banned cow slaughter aurangazeb bcoz while telling everyone , no one wil believe without evidance n proof.

    • itzguru

      Look at the references at the end of the article, and there is the will by Babur which anybody can read.

  • Ajay Sheth

    Some has said that our basic commonsence should be questioned. Though we believe that cow is a sacred animal not only for Hindus but even Muslims in Mugal period had ban the killing of cow. Britisher were ruling
    in India. But now we are independent. Why should we kill the animal. If country like Iran can stop killing why cant we ?. But unfrotunately our life style is changed so much and we have become so indifferent that we can not think good of our own. We should strongly opposed the killing of animals in India. More than 36000 slaghtur house will ruin the India. Today we are getting milk at Rs 4o/ Per Ltr. In coming years milk will become history for coming generation. Let us deside to do something constructive to stop this killing of innocent animals.

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Its all because of our politicians who are still following the divide and rule in the form of votebanks, religion and caste. We dont have any long term strategy for the food security, defense security, economic security etc. We are only reacting and not being proactive. Look at the way prices of vegetables fluctuate every year, last month Tomato was 30 Rs per kilo and today it is 10 Rupees! We have absolutely no planning or control on the happenings and are somehow continuing to manage till now. Imagine if rains fail for a complete year, what is our backup plan to feed a billion plus people? We dont even have granaries to properly store what we produce. Hundreds of tonnes of grains, wheat, rice etc go rotting every year.

    • Srihari Ramadas

      When during 2011-12 was milk Rs.40 a litre??? Last I checked, Nandini milk in Bangalore is less than Rs.30 a litre.
      The important point is price of milk, unlike petrol, is not rising due to shortage but due to expenditure incurred in maintaining the cow. Farmers are demanding more money and it is not the milk federations demanding a hike in prices due to milk shortage. Ban on cow slaughter will not bring down milk prices.

      • itzguru

        What logic? Of course prices will go down if you have more cattle because there will be more supply of milk. It is simple demand vs supply economics.

        The reason for rising milk prices is decreasing cattle population and increasing human population. Look at the amount of dairy products we consume every day in the form of milk, butter, ghee, ice cream, cheese and so on. At this rate in future we will have to start importing milk. Our milk production is growing at around 2% rate while demand is growing at around 10%! Its just a matter of time before demand overtakes supply.

    • ayush

      my friend that is where british were successful ruing indian education, culture & system

  • Badar

    Excellent article! .. i didnt know many of the facts you listed here so thanks! :)
    I am a pakistani and it hurts so much to see how this division has lead to so many grievances and such a huge divide! Surely the divide and rule succeeded .. and the facts in this article were the seeds .. a single seed will lead to many branches .. and here many seeds were sown.
    So much is wasted from both sides on defense which had this division not occured .. could have been spent on welfare .. Its such a waste!
    You are right .. people will not stop at playing god when it satisfies their desires .. Our ancestors were just too naive, trusting and loving people .. and the Brits manipulated them!
    Thanks a lot once again :)

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Good to hear on this blog from a Pakistani :)
      Yes definitely the divide and rule succeeded and we have warring sides at the border and we are spending more money on bombs and missiles than for the development of the country. I really dont understand what the partition achieved in the first place because today more muslims live in India than in Pakistan or Bangladesh, and more importantly they all are living in greater harmony with Hindus and other religions except for a very few isolated incidents which happens in any multi-ethnic society.

      The partition has caused problem from 1947 till to date and created an artificial divide which otherwise would have made the subcontinent a great international power. Also the rise of religious fundamentalism is a cause of greater concern in the region today. The partition and the after math wrong decisions by Pakistani leadership have made Pakistan a epicenter of religious fundamentalism. Why should we always be fighting like this. Cant we live like how US and Canada live for instance? If France and UK who fought numerous wars can unite, if European union can be formed, why cant we live like that? Why are we having events like 26/11 which only increase mutual suspicion? Definitely with the British, the politicians and decision makers of today are to be equally blamed as well.

  • Ramesh

    Salute you for this excellent article

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      You are welcome Ramesh. Tried to put down some little known facts.

  • Pavani

    very nice article, but felt sad when you said means donot matter, hook or crook achieve the goals, i still somehow feel after all the wear and tear somehow truth will prevail,truth will reincarnate , we may see a temporary triumph of evil but the strongest peril of truth will unfold ,my fav childhood quote Gods mill grinds slow but sure. :-)

    i think the best religion is ones conscience , if you follow it blindly even if it takes you to death, it will give you an everlasting peace which nothing else can equate.

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Thanks for the comments Pavani:)
      What I meant was – superpowers have become so because they did not care about the means to achieve their ends. Be it the colonial powers who conquered and ruled different parts of the world, or the modern super powers or the ones in waiting like China. It may sound bad, but what is happening in todays politics is this. Politics is no more Rajadharma today, and the neeti is removed from rajneeti. But yes, yet another sambhavami yuge yuge will happen to overcome this. That is the cycle of time. And yes, nothing should be followed blindly and even the basic commonsense should be questioned.

  • Pradee[

    Dear Gurudev on this particular subject I send you an mail requesting some data, I would be grateful if you could look into it and reply.

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Sorry for the delay Pradeep, will look into the mails, clearing the pending requests one by one :)

      • Pradeep

        One year passed and I am still awaiting :)

  • sainath

    Gurudev is this reply for my July 19, 2010 at 12:17 PM comment ?

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      No Sainath, the reply to that comment is
      While we as kids are taught all good stories through our moral science books, at home etc, as we grow up we are taught about other so called facts which have an overriding influence over these stories, and at youth when people are at an age of wanting to achieve something such overriding facts have a larger influence on our minds. It is like the Asimov’s laws where one law overrides the other.

      It all has to do with the kind of society we grow in as we grow up. The momentum of the childhood has to be maintained atleast till the age of 18-20, and only then we can have humans who stand by humanity, instead of limiting themselves to a section of it. Unfortunately the kind of society we grow up in today mostly influenced by the news channels who are interested only in negative news which occupies more than 90% of the airtime, and the education system which makes every student individualistic and self-centered than social centered, the output is selfish professionals who think about themselves first, and get confined to their locality, religion, circle, caste, etc. Most of them are more interested in promotions, money, wealth than achievement, serving the society, protecting nature, etc.

      And it all starts at the school level. Were marks are given more importance than knowledge. Irrespective of what you know what matters is how much you score. It doesnt matter if one has mugged up the entire textbook without understanding an iota of what they have mugged up, and I have scores of such people scoring good marks. There was one guy in our computer science class who used to mug up C programs and attend the practicals! Grade systems are best systems were we simply say whether a student is grade A or B or C. That would create a healthy competition, unlike a marks based system which would put up a competition between two students who get first and second rank. That would also make a student group oriented than become individualistic by scoring first rank. Ranks are fictitious and dont mean much, which is why you see that not every body who gets a first rank becomes a great achiever nor those who get on average 50% always only remain in low profile posts. And another drawback is less practicals more theory, which would also result in the student being theoretical throughout his life not understanding what he says :)

      In that way I completely agree with the movie three idiots, just let the student achieve in what is his passions, and then both life and job would be fun for him as well as he will do great achievements. Else job will be a headache, and life would become mechanical, and India would remain as is. A country of over a billion population, but number of achievers in this huge population?? By achievement I mean not just some inventions, but anything that would improve the society and make Earth a better place to live in.

  • Dr Shailesh G

    I respect the Indians have for the cow and it was only because of the various use cow was of to the humans in ancient times. Cow was the center of agriculture and the family but equally important were the oxen, bulls, horses, the dog and even hens and fishes. Animals have been tremendously useful. Cow is respected more so even though there is list of important animals including bulls and oxen which make the cow milk productive.
    The thing with Indians is that we respect a single thing and will do it 100%.
    let me tell you in the run from a small invisible animal to a primate and a human we have cycled through hard carnivore habit. We have surpassed ice-ages by eating other animals only because the the vegetation wont grow in ice. the cow only gives milk till a certain age and then their no rises sharply leading to a load on society. The rural setup may withstand but urban system will simply crush as we still have to follow the natural chain. in natural process cattle will be killed by carnivores to lay balance in no but human societies will secure cattle to increase their numbers that becomes detrimental. medically animal protein source is vital and cannot come from any other source. faith is one thing and scientific revelation another. Why only cow be safeguarded and not other useful animals. I don’t think a respect should be indiscriminate and so many symbolism which is now so prevalent in Hinduism today are of any virtue. Cow is also an animal if we get out of our preoccupation. I cannot question the imagery Indians have with the cow which has been only carries since the very ancient times when the current norms are new a bit. In cities dogs safeguard your property and lives while one can hardly see any cow in a city. One can respect a cow but stopping someone from eating beef as their practice cannot be rational. I’m myself a veg, right but faith and science must strike a balance. this is my thought though.

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Very true Dr. Shailesh. The intent of the article was not to ask those who eat beef not to do so, but to bring out a historical truth of who actually started slaughter houses in India and take out the myth that cows were killed during the mughal period. While all animals are equal, not all animals are equally beneficial to the humans. The importance given to cows was because of its milk and manure. In ancient days babies who lost their mother or whose mothers didn’t have enough milk used to be fed with cow’s milk. Cow’s milk formed a large part of the vegetarian diet – be it not just milk, but also curd, butter milk, ghee, butter and what not. And as you said, it was not just cow, but the entire cattle species were considered sacred, bull is worshipped in the form of nandi all over the country. Dogs are also worshipped by Hindus in the form of Narayana and Dattatreya. And for that matter it is again not just cattle or dogs, but all forms of life are worshipped by Hindus – be it snakes and offering them eggs and milk, be it buffalo, be it peacocks, be it swans, be it tigers, be it lions, be it rats and so on. Cows look to be respected more because they were the ones that are domesticated more. It is only Hinduism which believes that reincarnation also happens across life forms. A human in this life might be some insect in his earlier life and a tree before that. No other religion in the world give this kind of equal status to all life forms.

      And in that sense, even humans are just another primate species from Africa, and for some aliens who invade Earth human flesh might be tastier than other animals :)

      True faith is one thing, and science the other. And today science says that the answer for world food shortage is vegetarianism. You require more resources, more land to grow crops to feed chicken, cattle, pigs etc than to grow food crops for direct human consumption in the same land. Human digestive system is more related to herbivorous than carnivorous, our teeth is more like that of cow and not like that of tiger. When a person suffers ill health one of the first thing that a doctor advises is to go low on non-veg.

      Probably you can provide your views on these articles on vegetarianism

      • Guest

        Dear gurudev, both ur answer and Dr Shailesh’s opinion is coming out of your imaginations. Always u need to substantiate your statements ( both gurudev and Shailesh ) by authorized books. why should I believe in your theories or the popular ones? fact must be told.. not the theories prevalent.. COW is not just another domesticated animal. Dr Shailesh professes that scientific revelation say other thing.. and hence old cows can be killed.. but dear Shailesh – take cow dung and cow urine and perform experiments in the lab. you will know that they contain v. imp anti-bacterial, anti -fungal properties and much more. cow dung and cow urine never smell putrid unlike other animals!. COW is one of our mothers and a divine blessing of God on humanity. Learn more on these subjects – before commenting on unknown horizons. but thanks for both of your interest in mother cow.

    • Krishna Shastry

      Dear Dr. Shailesh, animal protein is not at all vital medically. Kindly do not spread myth. Plants are also very good sources of proteins and you are conveniently ignoring numerous ill-effects of eating meat.

  • Pradeep

    Great to know, Dhanyawad.


    Living, I yield milk, butter and
    curd, to sustain mankind
    My dung is as fuel used,
    Also to wash floor and wall;
    Or burnt, becomes the ash,
    When dead, of my skin are
    sandals made,
    ‘Or the bellows at the blacksmith’s
    Of my bones are buttons made…..
    but of what use are you, O Man?

    • ursri

      Remembered similar lines in old kannada song by PBS/Dr. Raj

      nInArigAdeyO ele mAnavA
      hari hari gOvu nAnu

      iTTare sagaNiyAde taTTidare kuruLAde
      suTTare nosalige vibhUtiyAde
      tattadE hAkidare mElu gobbaravAde

      hAlAde karedare mosarAde hettare
      melgeneya kadidare beNNeyAde
      mElAda tuppavU nAnAde kAsidare

      hAdi bIdiyalli kasada hullanu maidu
      bandu manege nAnu amRuthavanIve
      adanuMDu nanageraDu bageva mAnava nInu

      and so on…..

      • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

        Great poem ursri :)

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Very true Pradeep. What if tomorrow some aliens find human meat very tasty and start slaughtering humans like how humans are slaughtering other animals for meat :)

  • sainath

    Really Sad… but also surprising how/why our people were so easily fooled though they had all the required things in abundance…. since same thing applies to Sanskrit -> English… East -> West culture

    sometimes I feel that this is the only way to live life the Jungle Kingdom “Survival of the Fittest” :( , since in historical scripts also either it is Huge War which have happened or some natural disasters which terminated everything…. to live the Satyuga everyone needs to be in sync with only good thoughts and still it will end one day… god knows whether there was or will be any such Satyuga…. sometimes i feel even nature itself is not in its own control… is it random….

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Yes sainath, its survival of the fittest and means doesnt matter, by hook or crook..

      • sainath


        here i am unable to understand as to why Robert Clive and Co. had to take such a step of slaughter houses, since the best step would have been to learn from india and make gaushals in their own country and continue/follow the practices which indians had done for years… i cant swallow such basic thought can’t come to these people minds… why they choose destruction or divide and rule… didn’t they think/realize harmony is the final goal…. since from childhood everyone any culture/language listens to stories which tell how by doing bad deeds or being greedy for power or anything hampers/destructs everything… still how can these people think of only such (wrong) alternatives… i am unable to understand… :(

        • I=Indian

          Dear Sainath,

          Cultures also tell people not to encroach upon other’s properties as it is a bad deed. They tell people not to kill people of other culture.

          Did not the same British and other Europeans yet colonialize the entire world? Didnt they kill natives in so many places? What is the difference between ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Kashmir, and that of what these Europeans did in other parts of the world?

          What is surprising in them killing animals when they killed native humans in places like America and Australia with such cruelty.


          Hope you are able to undestand now ;-)

          • sainath

            Yes I=Indian,

            I am also saying the same thing not just for cows but for humans as well…
            but what i am trying to put is though from childhood we(all of us) only(mostly) hear/listen about how to be good to society and do only good deeds and how bad deeds will fetch bad results etc… why is that humans after growing up tend to overlook this basic aspect and run after things which they have been warned off as not to do/indulge in all the time (any religion)… what makes them think that by overpowering/dominating others only.. they will be happy and do good for their country men…. though right from the word go we hear/listen to stories scripts which tell exactly against it….

            I hope i am able to put clearly now…

        • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

          They went to different parts of the world to colonize it and to stamp their authority there. We today conversing in English is one of such direct impacts :)

          We should remember that before the British era, India was a great exporter to rest of the world, especially its agricultural products like spices apart from diamonds, handicrafts, silk, muslins, shawls etc. Conquering a country militarily is one thing, but conquering culturally is a different game altogether. Most of the time in this case the local culture would be completely destroyed as it happened in America, Australia etc. But in the case of India it is an absorbing culture, the ancient vedic culture had absorbed all the invasions into itself without getting destroyed and had given all the invading cultures the flavor of Indianization starting from the ancient Greeks, to Mughals to the British.

          However, anything that is weak is vulnerable atleast to some extent and so we had partial impacts like the one mentioned in this article, and then the partition of India, etc.

  • http://www.youngindia99.com Raj

    Hi Gurudev.I am a regular reader of your articles.They are very informative and useful.
    Regarding this cow slaughter in India I was very angry against the politicians and muslims.But one of my Guru told me that Its our people(Hindus) who are culprits.Muslims dont rear cow nor do they worship it.If Hindus stop selling the cow to them how will they slaughter them.Its a hindu who sells his old cow(sometimes young one also) in order to earn some penny.
    Hi Gurudev do have any solution to this?

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Yes Raj, greed transcends all religion, especially the greed for money. Our country is so corrupt that people are ready to sell anything in return for a few bucks. So it would be wrong to blame any particular religion. Only solution would be to educate the future generations.

  • ursri

    Sorry Gurudev… posting comments before reading complete article for obvious reason.. articles are good by default… just thought of sharing info

    One day a program on Ayurveda(Science of healthy longevity) and Human anatomy was explained in detail. In short- “Human anotomy is of herbivorous”. Digged sites and got this beautiful link which is in synch with program I viewed http://donuts56.umwblogs.org/2009/04/17/the-human-herbivore/

    Tail piece: We are what we consume (either to stomach or to brain)….

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Thank you very much for that link ursri, it is very very informative.

  • Test


    What sort of crap are you trying to do??? Seriously I don’t understand. First know the facts and then spread it in your blog. Muslims eat beef from time immemorial(that is from the time islam started ;) ). And if people want you to eat beef, fucked up ppl like you can’t stop it. We live in a democratic country and people have the choice on what to EAT, wear and say. So I don’t mind, you telling all sorts of crap. But know the facts before you state them. Of course u are gettin ur facts from Baba Ramdev(as though he’s gonna say everyone feast on Beef). Also did u notice a interesting pattern. All the BJP ruled states have banned it. HINDUTVA agenda. Superb!!!!

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      What has been stated here are facts and not just a direct discourse form Baba Ramdev’s speech. I only got to know the fact that Mughals had banned cow slaughter from Baba Ramdev’s speech. And I started digging up from there. You can verify all the historical and social facts stated here.

      In this very same democratic country where people can eat and do whatever they want, why is sale of meat and liquor banned on Gandhi Jayanti throughout the country? Dont people have the right to eat and drink whatever they want on that day? ;)

      By the way please refrain from using offensive words. It does no good in proving any point. Also from when did Jammu & Kashmir become a BJP ruled state? :)

      • Srihari Ramadas

        Liquor sale is banned throughout India on Gandhi Jayanthi (I believe so!), but not meat sale. You can get meat anyday in Kerala. At Bangalore, last Gandhi Jayanthi I could buy meat products, though some retail chains such as Reliance fresh were not selling on that day.

    • I=Indian

      Muslims might be eating cows since time immemorial in remaining parts of the world. But isnt it surprising to learn that Mughals were more secular and provided equal rights to all than today’s democracy?

      What democracy are you talking about today?
      Secularism today means to subsidize Haj and Tax Manas Sarovar yatris. Is this a democracy? If you assault a Hindu basher then you call them communal and lecture about freedom of speech, but when Taslima Nasreen gets assaulted and kicked out of the country and when you ban Satanic Verses its called respecting minority sentiments. Shouldnt majorities have any sentiments? When Kashmiri Pandits get killed in thousands there is no democracy for them.

      And then the constitution talks about equality to all citizens, yet I dont get an engineering seat even if I have scored 80%, but somebody with 60% score gets that seat because he belongs to a so called backward caste. It doesnt matter whether that somebody else is 100 times rich than me. This is your democracy. What is the difference between caste discrimination in medieval India and caste discrimination in today’s democracy India, except that the discriminated castes are reversed?

      If you want to see what really a democracy means then come to US. This is one country which is truly secular and respects talent irrespective of their caste or creed and that is the reason why it is a superpower for centuries. Many of those Indians who write comments here will be either working for an American company or on some american project. And that is not without any reason.

      What democracy are you talking about where the law applied to you depends on your religion? Why isn’t the law same to all humans? Does the definition of crime vary based on which religion you belong to? If I am a Hindu and get second marriage then I will be jailed, but if I am a muslim then it is no crime to do so. This nonsense you call democracy? And you call the party communal when it demands Uniform Civil Code.

      And what is the kind of administration you have in your democracy. From birth certficates to death certificates you have to pay bribe. Mulayams, Lalloos, Mayawatis are your democratic leaders. Every politician, bureaucrat, police all are busy making money. You pay a bribe to a traffic police and get out in that democracy. Corruption cases get closed only after the accused politician dies.

      Crores of rupees are spent on the security of Kasab who killed hundreds of people ruthlessly. Even decades after the country’s Apex court announcing death sentence to a terrorist he is still alive. Great democracy. If Mahatma Gandhi was alive, he would have gone on a fasting till death today and yet nobody would care in this country.

      • Test

        I do totally agree with you. There must be no reservation based on religion or caste. Mandel commission was to be finished by 1970 i think. But instead now the quotas are rather increasing. Even i got got good rank in my entrance exams, but the guy who spent life enjoying while I was studying hard, though his rank was 10k lesser than me, he got into a better college. Just because he was a SC. What sort of justice is this????

        And on the previous comment I made. Just that we must not restrict people on what we eat. We live in a democratic country and other people must respect it. And seriously whats wrong in eating beef on Gandhi Jayanti???

        • http://suchindailies.blogspot.com Suchin


          Somehow you appear to have given up on your original point. However, you try to imply that democracy does not apply for muslims and so they do not respect the belief system (holy cow) of Hindus in India and so does not have to stop killing cows being muslims.

          It also implies that you are telling the Hindus to keep the cow as long as it ‘survives’ and then sell it to muslims for a family meal.

          The very fact that the invasion of muslims and British in India has changed the psyche of Hindus being helpless, has converted a social change into an advantage for the muslims. They both, hand in hand, has successfully destroyed the Holy Cow into Whole Meal Cow.

          • Krishna Shastry

            Muslims don’t have to “tell” Hindus; greedy Hindus voluntarily want to cut down costs and hence mercilessly sell old cows.

      • Srihari Ramadas

        So US is a true democratic country, huh? It is bribe free too?
        Democracy exists where all the citizens needs are taken care of. For an eg. can US Health care be considered truly democratic? I believe US is a country which is driven by corporates.

        Watch Sicko, documentary by michael moore, to understand US healthcare. Food Inc is another

    • rawraj

      Muslims do not eat beef, I quote

      Milk is “healing,” ghee is “medicine,” and beef is “disease.” – The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)

      Meat eating is “allowed” as Islam came out of the desert. Muslims take their Quran very seriously. If Meat eating was “banned” many would have died of Hunger in the desert :-) .

      There is PROHIBITION OF MEAT in Quran. One is not supposed to eat meat when on Pilgrimage. They have to a pure vegetarian.

      Meat was just “allowed” maybe so that devout muslims don’t die of Hunger if there was a drought or they got stuck in a desert.

      But also MAYBE, just like Christianity Unofficially allowed Pork(even though it is banned, Jews follow the Bible and don’t eat pork, Seventh Day Adventists are Pure vegetarians) so that they could Convert Pagans who were “addicted” to pork and Beef.

      • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

        Thank you very much for that valuable information rawraj, Yes, you are right that eating meat in desert areas where vegetation is sparse is the only means of survival. Infact, depending on the local geography many cultures classify what is vegetarian and what is non-vegetarian. For instance, in coastal regions fish is considered to be a vegetarian food, and so going by that definition vegetarianism means developing a food culture with minimal possible animal violence. And as you rightly said, when there are other alternatives in the form of plant food available, it is a correct measure by religions texts to have banned animal food in such instances.

        • Krishna Shastry

          Agree. We should make best efforts not to use animals and their products to satisfy our need and greed. Going vegan is quite possible these days and I hope more and more people become vegans.

      • Srihari Ramadas

        I doubt whether christianity or Bible proclaim a ban on pork eating

    • i won’t tell u my religion

      you r saying as if any human  can eat any human anytime he wants…..i think that is your definition of democracy but according to me the definition of democracy is self restrain and self reliance.It is a crime even if we kill an animal for our greed not just cows and for your kind information we grow more food than our requirement it is just that is does not reaches to the poor.

      importance of cow 
      it provides us with excellent fertilizer i.e cow dung and urine which contains all the micro nutrients essential for growth of crops whereas artificial fertilizers have basically 3 nutrients NPK  also urine i.e desi cows urine is a very good worldwide known pesticide 

      it provides us milk butter ghee all very important suppliments 

      also the most important one is that cattles can solve or petroleum deficiency problem because there excreta can produce the alternative bio gas or gobar gas..on which vehicles  can run on it acts as cooking gas also…but we don’t use our resources but sadly copy western civilization

      for me not even cow but every single animal and birds we are killing should be protected by law and moral values of mankind

      • Anonymous

        Very true, Man is the only animal which eats even when not hungry. The animals like Lions, Tigers, Leopards etc whom we call “wild” do not even harm a deer or a buffalo passing right next to it when they are not hungry. So by definition man is the wildest of all animals, who not only kills (not hunts) other animals for his food, but also kills them for entertainment (Bull fight etc), kills them to use their skin (leather accessories), jails them for life time in cages with barely any space to move around (in the form of zoos and pets) and so on.

        • Krishna Shastry

          Dear Gurudev, since you have very well understood how human beings’ greed is harming other living beings around, I sincerely hope you have already turned vegan.

          • itzguru

            I am a pure vegetarian by chance and choice…

  • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

    Thanks Venkatesh, most of the information I got from a discourse by Baba Ramdevji which I saw on a TV channel. Then verified them by going through a couple of books and links. Have added the references accordingly.

  • Venkatesh


    a great article, but it would be great if you could provide the references about all these.