What Gandhiji said on Cow and Cow Protection


(From his Collected Works)

PLACE OF THE COW

“THE COW is a poem of pity. One reads pity in the gentle animal. She is the mother to millions of Indian mankind. Protection of the cow means protection of the whole dumb creation of God. The ancient seer, whoever he was, began with the cow. The appeal of the lower order of creation is all the more forcible because it is speechless.”

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“I worship it and I shall defend its worship against the whole world.”

THE COW IN HINDUISM

“The central fact of Hinduism is cow protection. Cow protection to me is one of the most wonderful phenomena in human evolution. It takes the human being beyond this species. The cow to me means the entire sub-human world. Man through the cow is enjoined to realize his identity with all that lives. Why the cow was selected for apotheosis is obvious to me. The cow was in India the best companion. She was the giver of plenty. Not only did she give milk, but she also made agriculture possible…..”

“Cow protection is the gift of Hinduism to the world. And Hinduism will live so ling as there are Hindus to protect the cow. Hindus will be judged not by their tilaks, not by the correct chanting of mantras, not by their pilgrimages, not by their most punctilious observances of caste rules, but their ability to protect the cow.” (Young Indian, 6-10-1921, p. 36)

“Mother cow is in many ways better than the mother who gave us birth. Our mother gives us milk for a couple of years and then expects us to serve her when we grow up. Mother cow expects from us nothing but grass and grain. Our mother often falls ill and expects service from us. Mother cow rarely falls ill. Here is an unbroken record of service which does not end with her death.

(Hind Swaraj, 15-9-1940, p. 281)

COW-SLAUGHTER

“Cow protection to me is not mere protection of the cow. It means protection of that lives and is helpless and weak in the world.”

“Cow-slaughter and man-slaughter are in my opinion the two sides of the same coin.”

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