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Why we offer our respect to mother? Because when you are helpless, we cannot eat anything, the mother supplies milk from the breast. Mother means who supplies the food

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"Why we offer our respect to mother? Because when you are helpless, we cannot eat anything, the mother supplies milk from the breast. Mother means who supplies the food"

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Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

The cow, according to Vedic civilization, is considered mother. Why not mother? She is supplying milk. Why mother is respectful? Why we offer our respect to mother? Because when you are helpless, we cannot eat anything, the mother supplies milk from the breast. Mother means who supplies the food. So if the cow is supplying food, milk—milk is so nutritious and full of vitamin—and she is our mother. In the śāstra there are seven mothers, according to Vedic civilization.
Why We Offer Our Respect to Mother?
- Prabhupada 0750


Lecture on BG 9.10 -- Melbourne, April 26, 1976:

There is no school, college or institution to make research what is mṛtyu-saṁsāra-vartmani. We are so fallen that we do not inquire. Just like the same, animal. The animal is being taken to the slaughterhouse, everyone knows. But the animal has no capacity to inquire, "Why I am being taken to the slaughterhouse?" He has no capacity. He has no capacity to make any counteraction against that being taken to the slaughterhouse. Mṛtyu-saṁsāra-vartmani. Every one of us, we are going to the slaughterhouse; but the human being, if he is by force he is taken to the slaughterhouse, he will at least make some protest, cry, that "Why this man is taking me to the slaughterhouse?" But the animal has no…, although he feels, he cries, there are tears in the eyes, sometimes we have seen. They know that "We are being taken to the slaughterhouse without any fault. We are doing no harm." Just like the cows. They are eating grass, and in exchange giving you the most nutritious food, milk. But we are so cruel and so ungrateful that we are taking the cows to the slaughterhouse.

The cow, according to Vedic civilization, is considered mother. Why not mother? She is supplying milk. Why mother is respectful? Why we offer our respect to mother? Because when you are helpless, we cannot eat anything, the mother supplies milk from the breast. Mother means who supplies the food. So if the cow is supplying food, milk—milk is so nutritious and full of vitamin—and she is our mother. In the śāstra there are seven mothers, according to Vedic civilization. Seven mothers. One mother is real mother, from whose womb we have taken birth. Ādau mātā. This is the real mother. Guru-patnī, the wife of spiritual master or teacher, she is mother. Ādau mātā guru-patnī brāhmaṇī. The wife of a brāhmaṇa, she is also mother. Actually, a civilized man sees all women except his own wife as mother. Not seven, eight—everyone.

mātṛvat para-dāreṣu
para-dravyeṣu loṣṭravat
(Cāṇakya-śloka 10)

A learned scholar does not mean how many degrees he has got. A learned person means who sees all women as mother. So apart from all women, at least seven we should accept as mother. Ādau mātā guru-patnī brāhmaṇī. Brāhmaṇī. Rāja-patnikā, the queen. The queen is mother, rāja-patnikā. Dhenu, cow. Cow is mother. And dhātrī, nurse, she is mother. Dhenur dhātrī tathā pṛthvī. And the earth, she is giving us so many varieties of food.

So this is philosophy. So we should be very much kind, at least to the cows. If one is addicted to meat-eating, he can kill some other minor animals like goats, sheeps, hogs, fish. There are other animals. But in the Bhagavad-gītā especially it has been mentioned,

kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ
vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam
(BG 18.44)

Go-rakṣya. That is very important thing in the society, to give protection to the cows and to get milk. And varieties of milk preparation, ultimately ghee, is very important thing. In India still, every home requires sufficient quantity of ghee. But they are not meat-eaters. The meat-eaters cannot tolerate ghee.