Glories of Mother Cow (Vedic Quotes)
All glories to Krishna, the son of Mother Yasoda, the cowherd boy Gopal, Govinda who gives pleasure to the cows! All glories to the conqueror of Cupid, Lord Hari, who takes away all inauspiciousness, who is unlimited, and the awarder of liberation!
(Gitavali, Sri Krishner Vimsottara-Sata-Nam, Song 6, Verse 1 Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Trans. Dasaratha-suta dasa. Nectar Books, 2002.)
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, yielding all desire, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of lakshmis or gopis.
(Sri Brahma-samhita 5.29, translation and purport by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami. Los Angeles: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1989.)
May that Lord of the cows be satisfied by us. Who is Indra when compared to Krishna? Krishna is the master of Indra. And yet He has appeared as the master of cows; the Supreme Absolute Truth has accepted a simple position as the keeper of cows.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.27, Prayers by Surabhi, translation by Hrdayananda dasa Goswami, Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari, and Dravida dasa Brahmacari. Srimad-Bhagavatam (Cantos 10-12). Los Angeles: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1980-1987.)
Superficially, He is a mere cowherd boy. But let that cowherd boy, who holds within Him the power of controlling the whole universe, be satisfied with us. We want to worship that Lord who has taken the humble position of the king of the cows.
Abandoning their calves, the young cows joyfully worship Krishna with abundant nectarean milk. With great love Krishna always protects them. In this way Lord Krishna, who always protects everyone, became eternally famous as Gopal, protector of the cows.
(Sri-hari-bhakti-kalpa-latika, Stabaka 5, Text 10.)
Out of great affection for the cows of Vraja, Krishna became the lifter of Govardhana Hill. At the end of the day, having rounded up all His own cows, He plays a song on His flute, while exalted demigods standing along the path worship His lotus feet.
(Gopala-Campu, First Champi, Text 152, Srila Jiva Goswami, translated by Kusakratha dasa.)
Hearing the sound of Krishna‘s flute, the cows and boys in the forest become filled with bliss and the demigods in the celestial worlds become filled with wonder. Krishna has become glorious like the moon. With the sound of His flute He made the cows stunned with bliss.
The gopis said: “By hearingJhe melodies of Krishna‘s flute, we gopis attain a condition like that of the cows when they hear Krishna‘s flute. Still, there is a difference tween us and the cows. The cows respond by gazing in Krishna’s moonlike face at every moment. We gopis cannot gaze at Krishna’s face in that way. In what yuga will we be able to always gaze at His face?”
(Ibid., Text 77)
When Lord Krishna plays the flute, the surabhi cows become completely enchanted. The cows then make many great rivers of fragrant milk flow from the great mountains of their udders, rivers that join to become an ocean, an ocean of milk like a great moat surrounding Goloka on all sides. These cows are kamadhenu cows, cows that fulfill all desires, for from them flows an ocean of milk.
(Ibid., Text 59)
Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, wanders on the banks of the Yamuna to please the gopis, the cowherd boys, the birds, the bees, and the cows and calves. These are not ordinary birds, bees, cows, calves, or men; they have all reached the summit of self-realization and thus, after many, many lives, have attained a position whereby they can play with Krishna.
(The Science of Self Realization, Ch. 8, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,. Los Angeles: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1972-1977. )
The exalted status of these cows and the other residents of Goloka is only attained by persons who have pure love for Lord Krishna. It cannot be attained by performing severe austerities or by any method. For this reason Goloka is very difficult to attain.
(Brahma-samhita with commentary by Srila Jiva Goswami, translation and purport by Snla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami. Los Angeles: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1989.)
Because it is the home of the cows and cowherd people, Lord Krishna‘s abode is called by the name “Goloka” (the world of the cows). Goloka, the realm of surabhi cows, is very difficult to attain. Only one who is always active in service to Lord Krishna, is qualified to enter Goloka.
(Gopala-Campu, First Champi, Text 40, Srila Jiva Goswami, translated by Kusakratha dasa.)
Krishna is most complete in the pastimes of Vraja. Therefore objects of sweetness like cows, gopas, gopis, cowherds’ dress, butter, forests, fresh leaves, the Yamuna, and the flute are the only wealth of Vraja-Gokula, or Vrndavana. What is the need for opulence there?
(Sri Krishna-samhita, Ch. 7; Text 5-6, Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Trans. Bhumipati dasa. Vrajraj Press, 1998.)
Surrounded by His cows, Lord Krishna enjoys pastimes on the Yamuna’s banks. The powerful young hero Krishna is surrounded by Dama, Sridama, Sudama, and the boys and cows.
(Padavali, Song 82, Text 1, Srila Govinda dasa Thakura. Trans: unknown.)
The cowherd boys accompanying Him chant His glories. His garland is powdered by the dust raised by the cows’ hooves. His beauty, enhanced by His fatigue, creates an ecstatic festival for everyone’s eyes. Eager to fulfill His friends’ desires, Krishna is the moon arisen from the womb of mother Yasoda.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.35.22-23, translation by Hrdayananda dasa Goswami, Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari, and Dravida dasa Brahmacari. Srimad-Bhagavatam (Cantos 10-12). Los Angeles: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1980-1987.)
I desire to go to the abode of Radha and Krishna, where the cows have big horns and fulfill the desires of the devotees. This supreme abode of Krishna reveals itself completely.
(Rig Veda 1.54 sukta 6, Trans. unknown.)
The abode of Krishna is full of bliss. His wealth is its fruit, flowers and twigs. His citizens are the cows. His friends are the cowherd boys and His associates are the gopis. His food is butter, yogurt and milk.
(Sri Caitanya-siksamrta, Ch. 1, part 1, Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Trans. H.H. Bhanu Svami.)
When the cows wander onto the mountainsides and Krishna calls out to them with the sound of His flute, the trees and creepers in the forest respond by becoming so luxuriant with fruits and flowers that they seem to be manifesting Lord Vishnu within their hearts.
(Sri Priti-sandarbha Anuccheda 396, Srila Jiva Goswami, translated by Kusakratha dasa.)
The beautiful cows and bulls are of various checkered colors—red, black, green, yellow, ash, etc. And because of their colors and healthy smiling features, the atmosphere is enlivening.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.2.29, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Los Angeles: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1972-1977.)
One cowherd man said, “Krishna! The expert cowherds fail to milk the cows and the calves cannot drink even a drop of their mother’s milk, being very morose. The cows are looking gown the road for You to come, they are waiting, licking their calves, filling all directions with their mooing, unable to tolerate another moment without You.”
(Sri Krishna-bhavanamrta, Chapter 3, Trans. Sri Advaita dasa. Vrindavan: Rasbihari Lal and Sons, 2000.)
Bowing His head and with a smile mixed with tears, Krishna said, “O My mothers, what can I do? The cows do not know what to do. Without Me they will not even eat a mouthful of grass.”
(Gopala-Campu, First Champi, Text 69, Srila Jiva Goswami, translated by Kusakratha dasa.)
O moon faced One, the other cows became very anxious when they saw that Krishna had finished milking one of them. Look! Krishna‘s hips and thighs are marked with drops of milk. The cows and calves drink the nectar of His fresh, youthful luster with tear-filled eyes, keeping their necks bent.
(Sri Krishna-bhavanamrta,Ch 17, Trans. Sri Advaita dasa. Vrindavan, Rasbihari Lal and Sons, 2000.)
Krishna counts His cows on a mala of gems. For each of the four colours of cows—white, red, black and yellow—there are twenty-five subdivisions, making a total of one hundred colours. Such qualities as being coloured like sandalwood-pulp tilaka [speckled] or having a head shaped like a mridanga drum create eight further groups.
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.35.18-21 & purport.)
To count these 108 groups of cows, distinguished by colour and form, Krishna uses a mala of 108 jewel-beads. Thus when Krishna calls out, “Hey Dhavali [the name of a white cow],” a whole group of white cows come forward, and when He calls “Hamsi, Candani, Ganga, Mukta” and so on, the twenty-four other groups of white cows come.
The reddish cows are called Aruni, Kunkuma, Sarasvati, etc.; the blackish ones are called Syamala, Dhumala, Yamuna, etc.; and the yellowish ones are called Pita, Pinlgala, Haritalika, etc. Those in the group with tilaka marks on their foreheads are called Citrita, Citra-tilaka, Dirgha-tilaka and Tiryak-tilaka.
There are groups known as Mrdanga-mukhi [mridanga-head], Simha-mukhi [lion-head] and so on. Thus being called by name, the cows are coming forward, and Krishna, thinking that when it is time to bring them back from the forest none should be forgotten, is counting them on His jewel-beads.
Deluded by their divine love, each cow thought: “Krishna is walking behind us with His friends.” Although they moved slowly because of their full udders and their love for Krishna, the cows moved quickly when Krishna called them. Their faces, tails and ears were raised, they kept bunches of grass in their mouths, and the blankets on their necks rocked when they ran towards Govinda.
(Sri Govinda-lilamrta, Chapter 19, Text 25-30, Trans. Sri Advaita dasa. Vrindavan: Rasbihari Lal and Sons, 2000.)
The cows, headed by Ganga, always drank the nectar of Krishna‘s beauty with their eyes and smelled the fragrance of His beauty with their noses. It was as if they embraced Govinda with their bodies and licked Him with their tongues. Mooing in great joy they surrounded Him.
Overwhelmed by affection, Keshava [Krishna] scratched and caressed His cows with His hand and said: “Now You are satisfied with grazing, the day in Vraja is almost over. Oh Mothers! Your calves are suffering from hunger! Let’s go back to Vraja!”
The cows had bells with different shapes and sounds around their necks and feet. Headed by their group leaders, they went back to Vraja. The cows walked on Krishna‘s right side and the buffaloes on His left side. The residents of heaven mistook the cows to be the white Ganga and the buffaloes to be the black Yamuna.
(Ibid., Text 31-34)
Who will not be happy to see Krishna slowly walking behind His cows, showering them with nectarean flute songs, His restless locks of hair turned grey by the dust thrown up by their hooves?
(Ibid., Text 31-34)
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Vrindavana, the cows and calves surrounded Him and began licking His body. All the cows relished the nectarean tasteof His body and cried in ecstatic love.Seeing this, Lord Caitanya said, “Vraja has inconceivable qualities. The residents of Vraja all have natural devotion to Krishna.”
(Sri Advaita Prakasa, Chapter 16, by Sri Isana Nagara, trans. by Subhag Swami.)
Lord Caitanya then touched the cows with His lotus hand, and the cows all began to dance almost like gopis. Seeing the dancing of the cows, He was inundated with love. He chuckled and danced like an intoxicated person.
Anyone who meditates on Lord Krishna‘s birth, His protecting the cows, His singing charming songs with the gopas, and His other pastimes, will find himself overcome with bliss and love.
(Gopala-Campu, First Champi, Text 97, Srila Jiva Goswami, translated by Kusakratha dasa.)