Vanara Gita 8: Significance of giving cow in charity (godānam)

All Vedas and Scriptures declare that among all the forms of life birth as human being is the best! In such human birth, the cow is considered sacred and is duly worshipped. Hence it can be concluded that the cow which is being worshipped by the humans is more sacred than the human being himself!

The sight of a cow should bring into memory all the Vedas. Its milk is nectar (amrita). In fact, in terms of respect, the cow is at par with the status of a mother. Rearing and nourishing a cow means nourishing and protecting Mother Goddess Herself! All the deities (Devatas) reside subtly within the body of the cow.

Have you ever observed a cow minutely? Its beautiful, proportionately shaped body and its gentle traits are very appealing. No other animal can produce milk that is as tasty as the cow’s milk. Cow is said to have descended directly from Vaikunṭha (abode of Lord Maha Vishnu). The deed of giving away such a cow in charity is considered extremely meritorious.

Gold and cow thus are said to be the best items to be given away in charity. The merit that can be earned by giving them away in charity is beyond all measures. Giving away in charity just an iota of gold, or a cow together with its calf, or the fodder of a cow for just one day showers limitless merit (punya). This does not mean that a fistful of grass be plucked and fed to the cow expecting great merit. Fodder should be given in generous quantities or money equivalent of that should be offered to the person who is rearing the cow towards its fodder.

Previously when people gave away a cow in charity to the ashram they would daily contribute a little fodder for the cow, a cloth to cover its body and the like. Through these small donations for its fodder etc., our balance of merit (punya) multiplies significantly. We should therefore learn about these small charitable activities and whole-heartedly participate in them.

If just generously feeding a cow grants immense merit, what can be said about the merit earned by gifting away billions of cows and billions of mountains of gold? The merit earned is beyond imagination. The kings, in the ancient past, gifted away cows and gold in large quantities. In the more recent past, saint Purandara dasa, gifted away his house itself.

Om namo Hanumate namaha.

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