‘The cow from whom all plenty flows, Obedient to her saintly lord, Viands to suit each taste outpoured. Honey she gave, and roasted grain, Mead sweet with flowers, and sugar cane. Each beverage of flavour rare, And food of every sort, were there: Hills of hot rice, and sweetened cakes, And curdled milk, and soup in lakes. Vast beakers flowing from the brim With sugared drink prepared for him; And dainty sweet meats, deftly made, Before the hermit’s guests were laid.’ W. M. Wilkins, Hindu Mythology
Reality today is very different from the dream, the holy cow (go svami) in Sanskrit, is a lost wonder in the city’s complexity, lost in the instinct of feeding, is eating all kind of dirt, feeding them selfs with the plastic trash of society, in a path of degenerative and healing problems, this is the holy cow of the future! Here is a present movie that takes a minute for the holy cow’s life.
‘Anthropology has for too long ignored doctrine in its study of the religions of literate societies such as India. However, in the 1990s，after the publication of Writing Culture (CLIFFORD and MARCUS 1986), a more open climate for the cultural analysis of texts emerged, signaling the discipline’s willingness to return to textual scrutiny. Given the fact that the cow is such a powerful and pervasive image in India, it would be unwise to separate ecology from theology in this instance. Textual legitimacy is, of course, only one aspect of any given phenomenon. However, it is a crucial one, for it allows for the canonization of a given concept or practice. If we are to construct a holistic understanding of the cow in India, we need to broaden the scope of study by applying a hermeneutic method to the problem of the cow’s apotheosis, which I have outlined above, for no theory can claim precedence over others in the interpretive marketplace. Only by seeking out multiple interpretations of bovine divinity can we hope to derive an overall, multidisciplinary picture of the cow in India, without excluding data that may be able to shed some light on the nature of the cattle complex in India. Understanding the role of the cow from a symbolic perspective, as well as from an ethnographic one based on participant observation, might allow us to draw on her historically traceable apotheosis to serve as a powerful symbol for Indian ecological awareness in the sense Gandhi described when he wrote that “Man through the cow is enjoined to realize his identity with HOLY COW! 197 all that lives”（1954 3). Without getting enmeshed in what Stephen Elkins (1989-1990) has termed the “politics of mystical ecology，” perhaps this would allow for the development of a nonsectarian approach to confront the ecological crisis that faces India at present. O f course, this predominantly Hindu symbol would still need to be translated in a way that would empower all Indians who share the same “ecological ethnicity.” Be they Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Parsis, Sikhs, Christians, Jews, Dalits, or indigenous peoples. The cow alone can not save India’s threatened environment, but she may provide a focus for further musing on mankind’s spiritual relationship to nature.’ F r a n k J. K o r o m Boston University Holy Cow! The Apotheosis of Zebu, or Why the Cow is Sacred in Hinduism*