Holy Cow! Shoo! What?
Speak about cow and Hinduism sees as a holy image. It’s not uncommon to see people touch a cow passing by the road and seek blessings by then touching their temple and heart with the right hand. In the countryside, they are of course used for farming and dairy products. The city side it would only serve as a dairy source and maybe some pulling bullock carts to transport supplies. But still, she is considered to be sacred, holy and so she is prayed to win some blessings. For the non-Hindu’s however, its possibly just another animal that is or was domesticated and would turn up as a menu item.
But its surprising that the same people who treat a cow holy can also treat them in a way which definitely is not an act of sanctity . The domestic cows are seen left to roaming around in streets of busy city roads. There are no caretakers for most of such marooned cows. They are let loose and left on their own if the owners cannot meet up the medical needs or if the cow is just like another white elephant – to just feed fodder and get no milk in return. It’s sad that the same cow who is looked as a figure attached with holiness is later turned aside as another liability. Does holiness fade away with time?
During a visit to a temple with my mom and two sisters, I saw a strange and funny combination of both at the same time. And it was saddening too. A newly wed couple with few other relatives were taking shelter from sun below the plastic roof of a shop when a cow strolled their side. The woman set her hand ahead, touched the head of the cow seeking blessings, closing her eyes and then touching her forehead and lower neck. Then suddenly, her husband hit the cow hard from back and pushed aside for her to move out from ‘their’ place yelling out “Shoo! Go away! Go Away!”. I am sure the cow also would have got puzzled as what is happening. From the front there is the woman praying her and adoring her while from the back, the guy is hitting her back shooing her away. Me and my sister were feeling sad for the cow but were also laughing over the couple at how the good and bad can happen at the same time, and in this case from the same family.
You can go to any religious place but no matter how many sacred chants you made, how many statues you prayed for blessings, as long as there is any ill-treatment from your side, there is no washing off your sins.