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Significance of Cow Dung in Hinduism

June 11, 2015 | Total Views : 7,186
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Cow is revered and worshipped by all pious Hindus. It is believed that cows came out of the milky ocean when it was churned by Gods and demons for nectar of immortality. All the Gods and Goddesses reside in the body parts of the cow in their subtle forms.

“Gavām hi tῑrthe vasatῑ ha gaṅgā puṣṭi tatha tad rajasi pravṛddhā Lakshmῑḥ karῑṣe pranatau ca dharmastāsām praṇāmam satatam ca kuryāt” “The very form of the cow is the residence of the ganga and all other teerthas. The dust from the feet of the cow (go dhuli) is strength giving. Goddess Lakshmi resides in the dung of the cow and by saluting the cow, one gains all dharma and wealth and thus the cow is worth being worshipped by all.”~ Vishnu Dharmottara – 2.42.58

Hindu Scriptures on sanctity of Cow Dung

The Upanishads say, “Gomaye Vasate Lakshmi”, meaning the Goddess Lakshmi lives in the cow dung. The epic Mahabharata says, “Of all the 84 lakh (8.4 million) species of living entities, only the cow is such an entity whose dung is not impure, but rather it purifies every kind of impurity.”

Dwelling of Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi is the presiding deity of Cow Dung. She is the embodiment of wealth, prosperity and marital happiness.

”Ashtiishwarya mayi Lakshmi vasategomaye sada” “Goddess Lakshmi with all eight opulence resides in cow dung.”
  • According to the Text, Shridharmapaddathi,” Every day early in the morning, the woman of the house should smear cow dung throughout the home, once she has done so, she will meet with no difficulties at all”.
  • “In the early morning, the threshold of the house is not to be left blank. The Goddess, the Deity of all resides at the threshold. The woman must smear cow dung at the threshold and make auspicious powder designs over it and mark with an auspicious sign of swastika. A woman who follows these rituals will have three things: wealth, long life and good reputation”

Hindu Sacrificial rite or Agni hotra

Rig Veda mentions, “Pancha Gavya or the five products of the cow (ghee, milk, curd, dung, urine) are used for agnihotra (fire sacrifices) and also for bathing of a new deity before installation”. Cow dung is used in agnihotra to purify the atmosphere. Use of cow dung and ghee gives a detoxifying effect on the atmosphere. Regular performance of agnihotra saves one of all ailments.

Pancha Gavya

Pancha Gavya possesses the quality of nourishment and purification of the five basic elements of the cosmos (earth, water, fire, wind, space). Ayurveda texts say, “Pancha Gavyam is a holy chemical, is a diet, gives of strength, develops the heart, promotes longevity, purifies blood, eliminates the imbalances in the three basic principles, cures the diseases of the heart and removes the toxins.”

Lord Krishna and Cow Dung

In purushottam sahastra nam in vol. 10, name of lord Krishna Himself is given as “gaushthanganah gati priyah” means lord Krishna happily performs pastimes in cow dung in cowshed. In Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.20, it is described that, after being breast fed by Putna, a demoness, Lord Krishna was given a bath with cow urine, Goraj (dust raised by cows feet) and cow dung was applied over body of Lord Krishna by gopis.

Use of Cow Dung in Ayurveda

Ayurveda describes cow dung as - germicidal, nourishing, gives brightness to body, destroyer of bad smell, absorber, virya vardhak (increase intelligence), Rasayukta (moisturizer, fatty) and supremely pure and holy. It has transcendental property of curing skin diseases and reducing toxins of blood. It makes body effulgent.

Hindu Festivals and Cow Dung

In India, during the fire festivals, cow dung cakes are burnt to purify the atmosphere. Such festivals are: Bhogi, Sankranti, Lohri, Pongal, and Bishu. Cow Dung is also used during the festivals of Naagpanchami, nuakhai, onam, karama, kajari, ugadi, gudi-padwa and govardhan pooja festivals to invite the auspicious energies of Goddess Lakshmi into one`s life.  


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  • MV Paul Worland
    Thankyou for this enlightening post!
    May 14, 2018
  • Shiva
    Great explanation would like to know more about holy cow.thanks
    January 23, 2018