Kamdhenu: The Sacred Cow Mother


Kamdhenu |

Surabhi: the sacred cow

India is a country that has never considered a cow as an animal but as a mother. Our Rishi Munis have mentioned the cow as a mother of the world because they feed a big part of the population. 

गावो विश्वस्य मातरः

A cow is the mother of the world.

Our dharma defines the vital significance of the cow and its products and has mentioned it in various scriptures and epics. The Ayurveda appreciate and praise Panchgavya (five products produced from cows) consisting of milk, ghee, curd, cow dung, and cow urine. However, pseudointellectuals reject the use of cow dung and cow urine in medical treatments. During research on Cow dung and urine, the researchers stated that there are about 752 compounds with medicinal benefits present in cow urine. Therefore, cows are no less than mothers who protect their children from various dangerous aspects of the world.

When talking about the significance of cows in our scriptures, Kamdhenu holds an essential place in our dharma. It is a divine bonified cow mentioned in our scriptures as the mother of all the cows. 

नमो देव्यै महादेव्यै सुरभ्यै च नमो नम:। गवां बीजस्वरूपायै नमस्ते जगदम्बिके।।

My salutation to the great goddess who fulfills all the wishes. The living seed inside all cows, salutation to the mother of the universe.

The verses stated above have their relation to Lord Indra, who prayed to the sacred cow. Our Sanatan Dharma state Gau Mata as the supreme symbol of purity belonging to everyone. The word Kamdhenu comes from the Sanskrit word \’Kamaduha,\’ which means \”the cow of plenty.\” She is the one who fulfills all the desires. As per the dharmic story, the Kamdhenu cow is mother of the Rudras. 

The emergence of Kamdhenu

The emergence of the cow has no specific record and has various versions of description in different scriptures. All the gods and goddesses believed to reside inside the physical body of the cow. The references for the emergence of the Gau Mata are as follows:


The Adi Parva (Mahabharata) stated the emergence of Kamdhenu from Samudra Manthan. Therefore, she is an offspring of Devatas and the Asuras. Later, the Saptarishis became its keeper when gifted to them. Brahma made an official order that she will provide ghee and milk for special Yagnas (spiritual sacrifices).


The story narrated in the Ramayana epic states Surabhi is born as a daughter to Rishi Kashyapa and Krodhavasa. And, her daughter Rohini and Gandharva have symbolism as the mother of cows and horses. 

Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana

According to the Puranas, Surabhi was the daughter of Prajapati Daksh and got married to Rishi Kashyapa. Surabhi gets denoted as the mother of all cows and buffaloes.

Matsya Purana

The Matsya Purana has two conflicting mentionings of Surabhi. Firstly, it describes her as the wife of Lord Brahma. Also, their union gave birth to Yogeshwari (mother of Quadpeds). Secondly, it described Surabhi as the daughter of Prajapati Daksh and got married to Rishi Kashyapa.

Devi Purana

The Devi Purana describes the emergence of Surabhi when Lord Krishna and Radha felt thirsty for milk and created Surabhi and her calf Manoratha from the left side of his body. Lord Krishna worshipped Surabhi, decreeing her as the milk and prosperity giver. From then, people worship Surabhi in the form of a cow on Diwali on Balipratipada day.

Bhagavad Gita

In the verses of Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna mentions Surabhi as Kamdhuka twice in verses 3.10 and 10.28

सहयज्ञा: प्रजा: सृष्ट्वा पुरोवाच प्रजापति: |

अनेन प्रसविष्यध्वमेष वोऽस्त्विष्टकामधुक् || 10||

Prosper in the performance of these duties (sacrifices) shall get upon all you wish to achieve.

Lord Krishna said for doing one\’s duty, get the milk of all desires.

आयुधानामहं वज्रं धेनूनामस्मि कामधुक् |

प्रजनश्चास्मि कन्दर्प: सर्पाणामस्मि वासुकि: || 28||

I am the Vajra (thunderbolt) amongst weapons and Kamadhuka amongst the cows. I am Kaamdev, the god of love, amongst all causes for procreation; amongst serpents, I am Vasuki.

Lord Krishna, when describing himself to Arjuna said, he is Surabhi among the cows. 

Other References

Several other references mention Surabhi as the mother of the Rudras, Rishi Kashyapa being the father. The Udayoga Parva book of Mahabharata described the emergence of Surabhi when Lord Brahma drank too much of Amrit that he puked some of it from which emerged Kamdhuka. 

The Bhagavata Purana states Kamdhenu as Rishi Jamadagni\’s cow stolen by Haihaya king, Kartavirya Arjuna (a king with 1000 arms) by destroying Rishi Jamadagni\’s place. Later, to free Surabhi, Lord Parshuram Ji defeated and killed Kartavirya. However, Kartavirya\’s son killed Jamadagni. Their killing of Jamadagni made Lord Parshuram furious, and he went on killing the Kshatriyas race 21 times. Finally, Lord Parshuram\’s father got resurrected by divine grace. 

Follow Us On: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *