Why Worship Cow?

The worship of god as mother started in prehistoric times in India. The people of India conceive the Goddess as the supreme, ultimate Godhead. She is considered to be simultaneously the source of all creation, as well as its embodiment and the energy that animates and governs it. It has been observed that nowhere in the religious history of the world do we come across such a completely female-oriented philosophy and meditation practices. It must be due to the unparalleled quality of the mother-child relationship that the worship of God as Mother became widespread. The tradition of worshipping God as Mother is well established in the Vedas, Hindu scriptures praising the Divine Mother as Lakshmi, Paravti, Durga and Saraswati.

In early times, the Vedic culture was matriarchal, not patriarchal. It spoke of the Motherland and not the Fatherland, mother language and not father language. This shows the importance given to the feminine or motherly influence in Indian thought from ancient times.

Even though God is a concept that is beyond the reach of thought and speech, man always prefers to see God in an individual form. According to the Hindu view the Supreme in its ultimate essence is attributeless, formless and actionless; but in the plane where we live, God has attributes, form and action.

The devotee needs a form for his worship that is close to his heart. The freedom to worship God in any form that appeals to his heart has always been recognized in Hinduism. God is worshipped in manifold forms, such as Siva, Vishnu, as a friend or lover, etc. The Hindu doctrine has many forms of God, but ultimately God is one. In this worship of many forms, there is no room for conflicts. The devotee, who is initially attracted to the his chosen deity, meditates on those qualities; in the end the worshipper and the object of worship become one, and the devotee merges into the Absolute Truth that is without name and from.

Shaktism is a denomination of Hinduism that focuses worship upon Shakti or Devi – Divine Mother – as the absolute, ultimate Godhead. According to Sakti, God as feminine philosophy, the Supreme Truth and the ultimate cause of the universe are Siva and Sakti. Siva principle is the Essence of Consciousness devoid of attributes, without parts, actionless. Sakti is the power of action latent in that Consciousness. Hence, Siva and Sakti are not distinct from each other. If Siva is Consciousness (Cit), Sakti is its embodiment. If Siva is prakasa, the undivided Consciousness, Sakti is vimarsa, creative power that engenders awareness in Siva of His own existence. Sakti is inseparable from Siva as the burning power is from fire and light is from the Sun.

The creation of the universe starts when Sakti emerges from Siva on its own. Sakti is all-pervading and dwells in everything. The Sakti doctrine states that Siva, Sakti, Jiva, the individual soul and the universe are intrinsically one and the same. In this doctrine, the universe is the true manifestation of the Supreme Principle.

Many wrongly believe that Hindu women are prohibited from learning, performing rites, ritual and prayer. Hindu women are not considered unequal to men, but honored and respected. Hinduism is the only major religion to honor God’s feminine power!

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