Cows are animal wealth and so are significant, highest yet most precious wealth. This is just one physical aspect of cows.Cows are our mothers and so is Ganga. One women has mentioned that we get water from Ganga, farm fields receive irrigation and that is why we consider her as a mother. But what I told her is these are just a few physical aspects of mother Ganga. You don’t call mother a mother just because she feeds or supply you with water. Mothers are those who bind us with motherly nature. With all the qualities of a mother she cares and nurtures us with emotions and divinity.
There is a story of a king named Dilip who was very famous for serving cows. He was so powerful that he could easily travel to heaven at his will but as he did not have his own child. It always bothered him with this absence or deficiency. During those days his spiritual teacher, Bashistha, used to stay in the Himalayas in a cave (just like this one) as it was beside the river Ganga. King Dipil went next to the hermit ashram and told his Guru that he doesn't have any children of his own. ‘Who would be the caretaker of the kingdom after my demise?’, he questioned the hermit. The teacher then asked king to serve a cow named ‘Nandini’ from his hermitage. ‘Take care of her grazing and provide full protection.’, the hermit requested the king. ‘Take a vow that you are going to follow her wherever she goes, stand when she stands, sit only when she sits down and you are not going to shout at her for any reasons at all. You eat only after she eats and during all these times you have to make sure that protect her from fierce animals such as lions with your bow and arrows. Also make sure that your queen performs worship and devotions before the cow leaves home in the morning. When she returns to the cottage in the evening, welcome her with lights from a mile away.”
King Dilip and his queen did exactly how his teacher has explained for twenty one days. This Nandini cow was very powerful and special daughter who had all the qualities of her ancestors ‘Kamadhenu’.She thought that now the time has come to test the King. With her hidden strength she imagined and created one fierceful lion and came towards her to attack.She cried for help with fear. The king was appreciating the beauty of mountain and attracted by the views when he suddenly heard this noise. Immediately king jumped, pulled his bow and arrows and ran towards Nandini. He was slightly late and felt guilty that he could not keep his promise of protecting cow. At the very moment the lion roared and told the king that he is not an ordinary lion. He is the vehicle of Goddess Parvati. “She has asked me to protect this tree here in the forest.”, he made a loud sound. Dilip politely requested the lion to release the cow and instead eat his body for meat. He said, for you the human meat is softer, better and tastier than the cow. The lion said,”You seem like an idiot, a coward and offering your own body for a simple cow?” But the king replied, “First of all she is a precious cow, secondly I have an obligation towards my teacher, thirdly I am from a warrior clan, it is my duty and virtue to protect her life.” Denying all the proposals that lion has put forward, king Dilip kneeled his head down,closed his eyes and was ready to give up his life. At the very moment, flowers fell from the trees and above. With a polite voice Nandini mentioned ‘arise my son, you’ve passed your test’. King opened his eyes but saw there was no lion, Nandini was standing up right.“Ask me what you want?”,she blessed the king. King asked for an offspring to look after the kingdom. Nandini asked him to take milk from her and drink it. King hesitated and told her, ‘Don’t your children have rights to your milk than me? Second comes my teacher, if he gives me permission I will accept it.’ Nandini was very happy with king’s answer. After returning to the cottage king told everything what has happened in the forest to his teacher. He then milked the cow, gave to her calves, served the teacher and with his permission he along with his queen received an auspicious milk. With the milk and the blessings from cows, king Dilip later had very noble and righteous kings such as Raghu, King Rama in his dynasty. Cow is our mother, and are like Lord themselves. Hari Ohm Tat Sat !