SEVEN KINDS OF MOTHER
Unlike the Calf-Idol that the Israelites crafted and worshiped after they were freed from Egypt, the veneration of Cows in India is undergirded by deep philosophical truths.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami said the following:
“There are seven kinds of mothers according to Vedic injunction: the real mother, the wife of a teacher or spiritual master, the wife of a king, the wife of a brāhmaṇa, the cow, the nurse and mother earth.”
The purpose of this “list of mothers” is to teach us that “motherhood” is an attribute of God that is manifested via seven channels (like sacraments) of maternal grace.
The veneration of cows is not some “backward” practice; it reminds us that motherhood is a divine quality that proceeds from the infinite God who is beyond conception.
Lord Jesus taught us that in order for a soul to inherit the new universe it must be “born again” from the Holy Spirit. (John 3)
It is the Holy Spirit that nurtures us with the “milk” of the Word. It is the Holy Spirit that knows the depths of God’s heart and who washes us like babes through baptism.
To love cows is a venerable act. To stop eating beef is even better (Rom. 14:21). But to recognize God’s maternal attributes manifested via cows is to have enlightened insight.
If we can learn to love cows as conduits of God’s motherly qualities, how much more can we prepare ourselves to recognize God in and through those whom He created in His “Image and Likeness?”
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.