In Hindu mythology, Kamadhenu (Sanskrit: कामधेनु, pronounced [kaməðenu]) was a divine cow who was believed to be the mother of all cows. Like her daughter Nandini, she could grant any wish for the true seeker. Kamadhenu provided Vasishta with his needs for the sacrifices. Kamadhenu (kama-dhenu, ‘wish-cow’), was a miraculous cow of plenty who could give her owner whatever he desired.
The cow stands for prosperity—as does Lakṣmī (see Lakṣmī), the wife of Viṣṇu (see Viṣṇu). Kāmadhenu is especially associated with brahmans (see Brahmans) and their “wealth,” because she is the producer of the milk and the clarified butter, the offerings traditionally placed on the sacrificial fire.
Kamadhenu, the sacred cow which grants all wishes and desires, is an integral part of Hindu mythology. This divine cow, which lives in swargalok (heaven), emerged from the ocean of milk (ksheerasagar) at the time of samudramanthan (the great churning of the ocean by the gods (suras) and gemons (asuras). It was presented to the seven sages by the Gods, and in course of time came into the possession of Sage Vasishta.
Kamadhenu’s complexion is like the white clouds. Every part of cow’s body has a religious significance. Its four legs symbolize the four Vedas, and its teats the four Purusharthas. Its horns symbolize the gods, its face symbolize the sun and the moon, its shoulders Agni (the god of fire), and its legs the Himalayas. Kamadhenu is also well-known through its other five forms: Nanda, Sunanda, Surabhi, Susheela and Sumana.
Lord Krishna states in Srimad Bhagavad-Gita: chapter 10, verse 28
“dhenunam asmi kamadhuk dhenunam”
“Among cows I am the wish fulfilling cow.”
“One who gives in charity a bull becomes famous even in Swarga.”- The Mahabharata
“One who donates a cow (or bull) becomes free from sin and achieves liberation for himself and 14 generations of his family members”. – The Mahabharata
“The cows are the mothers of all living beings and the givers of all earthly pleasures.” – Atharva Veda
In this verse Lord Krishna reveals that among cows He is manifested as the kamadhuk meaning kamadhenu the original wish fulfilling cows known as the surabhi cows – Anusasana Parva of the Mahabharata by Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa.
The surabhi cow descended from the spiritual worlds. The direct descendants of the surabhi cows are the sacred cows from the continent India which are uniquely distinguished the same as the surabhi by the beautiful hump on their backs and the wonderfully soft folds of skin under their necks.
Cows are the mothers of all creatures. Cows are verily the mothers of the 33 crores of demigods that administrate creation in the material existence throughout all the universes. Cows represent sacred acts themselves and without cows there can be no performance of any sacred act.
One should never show disrespect for cows in any way nor should one feel any repugnance towards the urine and dung of a cow because these things are also pure. Cows are also fragrant. The wonderful scent of the amytis agallochum emantes from out of their sacred bodies.
To teach by example, Sri Krishna and Lord Balram show us when They descend into this world, how important is to protect, love and serve Cows and Bulls. Krishna is known as Gopala (protector of the Cows) or Govinda (one who gives pleasure to the Cows). Lord Balram represents plowing the land for agriculture and therefore always carries a plow in His hand, whereas Krishna tends Cows and therefore carries a flute in His hand. Thus the two brothers represent krisi-raksha (protecting Bul
ls by engaging them in farming) and go-raksha (protecting the Cows). 10.5.20
Lord Krishna says in Srimad Bhagavatam, “I can be worshiped within the Cows by offerings of grass and other suitable grains and paraphernalia for the pleasure and health of the Cows, and one may worship Me within the Vaishnavas by offering loving friendship to them and honoring them in all respects.”