The cow is specially revered and equated with a mother and the Gods. It is believed that all the Gods reside within the body of a cow. It is therefore the responsibility of every person to accord it respect and do one's duty by it. for most religious ceremonies the cow is essential. The cow has been important since ancient times. Maharishi Chyavan preferred a cow to a kingdom. Such was the importance of the cow. Like a mother, the cow is known for the good it does mankind. it helps promote good health and long life.
In Atharva Veda, it is said:
माता रुद्रानाम दुहिता वसूनाम
स्वसा आदित्यानाम अमृतस्य नाभि
maataa rudraanaam duhitaa vasoonamswasaa aadityaanaam amritasya naabhi
"The Cow is the mother of Rudras, she is a daughter of the Vasus, she is the sister of Surya. She is a storehouse of ghee that is like the celestial nectar".
It is also said that cow's milk helps overcome debility and regain lost physical and mental health. It promotes intelligence.
In the Markandeypuran, it is said that the welfare of the world depends upon the cow. The back of the cow is the symbolic of the Rig Veda, the body of Yajur Veda, the mouth of the Sama Veda, the neck of the household deity and the good deeds and the soft body hair are like the mantras. Cow dung and urine give peace and good health. Wherever a cow lives the virtues are never wasted. A cow always promotes contentment.
The Agnipuran says that the cow is a pure, auspicious animal. Looking after a cow, bathing it and making it eat and drink are commendable cats. Cow dung and urine are said to have medicinal qualities. The milk, curd, butter and ghee are all used in religious ceremonies. whoever offers a morsel of food to the cow before eating attains salvation. Whoever gives a cow in charity benefits the whole family. Wherever a cow lives the place becomes pure. The touch and care of cows absolves one of sins.
In the Skandpuran, it is said that cow dung purifies the courtyard and temple and also used as a fuel.
The land on which cows live is pure. Cows are pure and auspicious. They promote the welfare of mankind. They help make a yagya successful. By serving cows, one gets rid of sins. Their dwelling is like a pilgrimage. One becomes virtuous through reverence of cows.
Cow is an evolved animal, of satvik disposition. The other name for cow, "go" represents a ray of light/knowledge for this reason. Indra is called Gopati, the ruler of dawn. So is Sri Krishna. "gopuram", the peak of a temple premises, is also named after cow's back.
Cow's primary image is that of a mother, and also divine mother. Infants who lose their mother, are fed on cow milk. Pancha gavyas are milk, curd, clarified butter, dung and urine. All these are applied for worship, and also in medicine.
In the Bhagwat Gita, Sri Krishna said, "Amongst cows, I am Kamadhenu".
In the Mahabharata, it is said that a cow given in charity becomes like Kamadhenu through its virtues and returns and returns to the donor in the next birth. Through her virtues the cow protects the donor from the darkness of hell as air protects and guides a boat from sinking and helps it steer through the cast ocean of life. Just as a mantra acts like a medicine to destroy disease, in the same way a cow given in charity to a good person protects one from all sins.
In the Mahabharata, Kurmpuran, Yagyavalkya Smriti and several other religious texts, it is said that whoever gives a cow in charity shall always be happy and content and attain heaven after death. it is believed that after death, before heaven one reaches Vaitarni River. To cross it one can hold the tail of the cow and finally reach heaven.