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Hindus/The Sacred Cow

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Question
Why is the cow considered so "sacred" in Hinduism? Has it always been held in such high regard throughout history? Also the citing of certain scripture regarding this topic would be much obliged.

Answer
Dear William,

Thank you for your question.

Cows are no more "sacred" in Hinduism than are other beings. However, because they give us milk, as our mothers do, they are regarded with the respect given to a mother. Cows are cherished pets in India, not unlike dogs in America. They are considered much more useful alive than dead, and people love them, as we love our pets.

Best wishes,

Brother William

Hindus

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William Schindler, a.k.a. Brother William

Expertise

I can answer questions about Vedanta philosophy, Patanjali Yoga philosophy and practice, Tantra, Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Vivekachudamani (Shankara`s Crest-jewel of Spritual Discrimination), Advaita (non-dualism), the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda tradition, Goddess worship, meditation practice, Hindu monasticism (sannyasa), and Sanskrit.

Experience

I've been studying and practicing Vedanta and Tantra since 1969.

Organizations
I'm the founder and spiritual director of Ashram West, a gay spiritual community based on traditional Hindu Tantra. I have been a member of the Vedanta Society of Southern California since 1969.

Publications
I have three books in print: GAY TANTRA, ESSAYS ON GAY TANTRA, BLOOD OF THE GODDESS.

Education/Credentials
I hold a B.A. in Sanskrit (UC Berkeley 1975) and an M.A. in clinical psychology (Antioch University 1986).

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