“The Blessings of Worshipping Kamdhenu, the Divine Cow – Kamadhenu”

The Blessings of Worshipping Kamdhenu

TITLE:- “The Blessings of Worshipping Kamdhenu, the Divine Cow – Kamadhenu”

Kamdhenu (Sanskrit: [Kamden], Kamdhenu), also known as Surabhi, is a heavenly bovine-goddess depicted in Hinduism as the mother of all cows. She is a magical bountiful cow who gives her master whatever he wants and is frequently portrayed as the mother of other cattle. She is commonly represented in iconography as a white cow with a feminine head and breasts, bird wings, and a peafowl tail, or as a white cow housing many deities within her body. Kamdhenu is not regarded as a deity in her own right. Rather, she is honored through the Hindu adoration of cows, which are considered her earthly manifestations.

The birth of Kamdhenu is described in several ways in Hindu texts. Some say she arose from the churning of the cosmic ocean, while others say she was the daughter of the creation god Daksha and the wife of the sage Kashyap. Other scriptures claim that Kamdhenu was in the possession of either Jamadagni or Vashista (both old sages), and that monarchs who tried to seize her from the sage were punished severely. Kamdhenu plays a significant role in delivering milk and milk products for her sage-master’s oblations. Hindu scriptures describe many versions of Kamdhenu’s birth. Some say she arose from the churning of the cosmic ocean, while others say she is the daughter of God.

In the realm of Hindu mythology, amidst the myriad deities and celestial beings, the Kamdhenu Goddess stands as a symbol of purity, prosperity, and divine benevolence. This ethereal figure, often referred to as the “Cow of Wishes,” is a celestial cow believed to possess the power to fulfill the desires of those who venerate her. In this article, we delve into the profound essence of Kamdhenu, exploring her origin, significance, and the art of worship that has captivated devotees for generations.


Surabhi or Shurbhi is Kamdhenu’s proper name, which is sometimes used as a synonym for a regular cow. According to Professor Jacobi, the name Surabhi—”the fragrant one”—was derived from the unique scent of cows. Surabhi denotes fragrant, attractive, appealing, as well as cow and earth, according to the Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary (1899). It can specifically allude to Kamdhenu, the sacred cow and mother of cattle, who is also known as a Matrika (“mother”) goddess. Other names for Kamdhenu include Sabala (“the spotted one”) and Kapila (“the red one”).

The epithets “Kamdhenu,” “Kamaduh,” and “Kamaduha” () literally mean “the cow from whom all that is desired is drawn”—”the cow of plenty.” The cow Nandini is given the name Kamdhenu in the Mahabharata and Devi Bhagavatam Purana in the setting of Bhishma’s birth. In other places, Nandini is referred to as Surabhi-Kamdhenu’s cow-daughter. Vettam Mani, a scholar, considers Nandini and Surabhi to be synonyms for Kamdhenu.

The Mysterious Beginning and Symbolism

Kamdhenu, a mystical and mythical creature, finds her roots entwined with Hindu scriptures, particularly the Vedas and the Puranas. According to these ancient texts, Kamdhenu emerged during the churning of the cosmic ocean, known as the Samudra Manthan. She is said to have arisen as a divine gift from the celestial abode, bestowing her infinite blessings upon humanity.

In Hindu iconography, Kamdhenu is often depicted as a luminous cow, radiating a heavenly aura. Her body represents various cosmic elements: her four legs symbolize the four Vedas, her horns represent the gods, her eyes signify the sun and the moon, and her udder symbolizes the four Purusharthas (the goals of human life: dharma, artha, Kama, and moksha).

The Worship of Kamdhenu

The worship of Kamdhenu is an ancient tradition that continues to captivate the hearts of devotees seeking prosperity, abundance, and fulfillment of desires. While there are no strict guidelines for her worship, several rituals and practices are commonly followed:

1. Purity and Devotion

Before beginning the worship of Kamdhenu, devotees ensure physical and mental purity. They cleanse themselves through a ritualistic bath and wear clean clothes as a mark of respect and devotion.

2. Sacred Offerings

Devotees often present Kamdhenu with offerings of fresh water, fruits, flowers, and grains. These offerings symbolize gratitude and the act of giving back to the divine source of abundance.

3. Mantras and Chants

Recitation of sacred mantras dedicated to Kamdhenu is an integral part of the worship process. The recitation of these mantras is believed to invoke her blessings and establish a spiritual connection.

4. Artifacts and Idols

In homes and temples, idols or representations of Kamdhenu are adorned with intricate jewelry and vibrant colors. Devotees often light incense and lamps as a gesture of reverence.

5. Feeding Cows

As Kamdhenu is revered as the divine cow, feeding and taking care of cows is considered a virtuous act that pleases her. Many devotees engage in charitable activities involving cows.



In a poster condemning the consumption of beef, the sacred cow Kamdhenu is depicted as containing various deities within her body.

According to Indologist Madeleine Biardeau, Kamdhenu or Kamaduh is the general word for the sacred cow, which is revered in Hinduism as the source of all prosperity. Kamdhenu is considered a manifestation of Devi (the Hindu Divine Mother) and is intimately associated to the fertile Mother Earth (Prithvi), who is sometimes depicted as a cow in Sanskrit. The sacred cow represents “purity and non-erotic fertility, sacrificing and motherly nature, [and] human life sustenance.”

Kamdhenu is described as a “popular and enduring image in Indian art” by Frederick M. Smith. The body of Kamdhenu—the generic cow—is said to house all the gods. Her four legs represent the Vedas; her horns represent the triune gods Brahma (point), Vishnu (middle), and Shiva (base); her eyes represent the sun and moon gods, her shoulders represent the fire-god Agni and the wind-god Vayu, and her legs represent the Himalayas. In poster art, Kamdhenu is frequently shown in this form.

Kamdhenu is also depicted with the body of a white Zebu cow, a crowned woman’s head, colorful eagle wings, and a peacock’s tail. This figure is influenced by the imagery of the Islamic Buraq, who is depicted with a horse’s body, wings, and a woman’s face, according to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Kamdhenu appears in this form in contemporary poster art as well.

A cow, named as Kamdhenu, is frequently pictured with the divinity Dattatreya. In relation to the deity’s iconography, she represents the deity’s Brahmanical side and Vaishnava connection, in contrast to the surrounding canines, which represent a non-Brahmanical element. In the image, she also represents the Pancha Bhuta (the five classical elements). Dattatreya is sometimes shown with one of his hands carrying the sacred cow.

Birth and children

According to the Mahabharata (Adi Parva book), Kamdhenu-Surabhi arose from the churning of the cosmic ocean (Samudra Manthana) by the gods and demons in order to obtain Amrita (ambrosia, elixir of life). As such, she is considered the spawn of the gods and demons, born when they churned the cosmic milk ocean and entrusted to the Saptarishi, the seven great seers. Brahma, the creator-god, commanded her to provide milk and ghee (“clarified butter”) for ritual fire sacrifices.

Surabhi was formed from the belch of “the creator” (Prajapati) Daksha after he drank the Amrita that came from the Samudra Manthana, according to the epic’s Anusha Sana Parva book. Surabhi also gave birth to countless golden cows known as Kapila cows, who were known as the world’s mothers. A similar story is told in the Satapatha Brahmana: Prajapati produced Surabhi out of his breath. According to the Mahabharata’s Udyoga Parva Book, the creator-god Brahma drank so much Amrita that he vomited some of it, from whence Surabhi arose.

Surabhi is the daughter of sage Kashyap and his wife Krodhavasha, the daughter of Daksha, according to the Ramayana. Her daughters Rohini and Gandharvi are cow and horse mothers, respectively. Nonetheless, Surabhi is referred to in the text as the “mother of all cows.” However, in the Puranas, such as the Vishnu Purana and the Bhagavatam Purana, Surabhi is depicted as Daksha’s daughter and Kashyap’s wife, as well as the mother of cows and buffaloes.

Surabhi is described in two ways in the Matsya Purana. Surabhi is portrayed in one chapter as Brahma’s consort, and their marriage produced the cow Yogishvari. She is then characterized as the mother of cows and quadrupeds. In another place, she is identified as Daksha’s daughter, Kashyap’s wife, and the mother of cows. Surabhi is the mother of Amrita (ambrosia), Brahmins, cows, and Rudra’s, according to the Harivamsa, an appendix to the Mahabharata.

According to the Devi Bhagavatam Purana, Krishna and his girlfriend Radha were having an affair when they became thirsty for milk. So Krishna milked the cow and made a cow named Surabhi and a calf named Manoratha from the left side of his body. The milk pot fell to the ground and broke while being drunk, spilling the milk, which produced the Kshirasagara, the cosmic milk ocean. Numerous cows soon erupted from Surabhi’s pores and were handed to Krishna’s cowherd-companions (Gopas). Then Krishna honored Surabhi and ordained that she be worshipped at Diwali on Bali Pratipada day as a cow, the giver of milk and prosperity.

Surabhi is described in various scripture sources as the mother of the Rudra’s, including Nirrti (Kashyap’s father), the cow Nandini, and even the serpent-people nag’s. Surabhi is also mentioned as the mother of Nandini (meaning “daughter”) in the context of the birth of Bhishma’s, an incarnation of a Vasu deity, in the Mahabharata. Nandini, like her mother, is a “cow of plenty” or Kamdhenu who lives with the sage Vashista. Nandini is kidnapped by the divine Vasus and hence cursed to be born on Earth by the guru. According to Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsa, king Dilipa—an ancestor of deity Rama—once went by Kamdhenu-Surabhi but failed to pay her respects, provoking the wrath of the celestial cow, who cursed the king.

220px Kamadhenu

Kamdhenu pictured with her calf

The king and his wife appeased Nandini, who removed her mother’s curse and gifted the king with a son named Raghu. Surabhi is depicted in the Ramayana as being concerned at the abuse of her sons—the oxen—in fields. Indra, the god-king of heaven, regards her tears as a bad omen for the gods. Surabhi laments the suffering of her son, a bullock, who is overworked and beaten by his peasant-master in the Vana Parva book of the Mahabharata. Indra, moved by Surabhi’s sobs, rains to halt the suffering bullock’s ploughing.

Wealth and protector of the Brahmin

In Hinduism, Kamdhenu is frequently connected with the Brahmanas, sages, and ascetics whose wealth she represents. Cow’s milk and its derivatives, such as ghee (clarified butter), are essential components of Purohit’s Vedic fire offerings; consequently, the ancient Kamdhenu is sometimes also referred to as the Homadhenu—the cow from whom oblations are extracted. Furthermore, the cow protects the Brahmin, who is not allowed to fight, from oppressive monarchs who want to hurt them. As a goddess, she transforms into a warrior, raising armies to protect both her master and herself.


Parshurama slaying Kartavirya Arjuna as Kamdhenu and her calf flee

According to mythology, the sacred cow Kamdhenu lived with the sage Jamadagni’s. According to the earliest version of the event, which appears in the epic Mahabharata, the thousand-armed Haihaya monarch, Kartavirya Arjuna, destroyed Jamadagni’s hermitage and captured Kamdhenu’s calf. To rescue the calf, Jamadagni’s son Parasuraman killed the king, who was then killed by his sons.

The kshatriya (“warrior”) race is then destroyed 21 times by Parasuraman, and his father is resurrected by divine favor. Other sources provide similar descriptions of the kidnapping of the heavenly cow or her calf, the murder of Jamadagni’s by Kartavirya Arjuna, and Parasuraman’s vengeance, which resulted in the death of Kartavirya Arjuna. According to the Bhagavatam Purana, the king kidnapped Kamdhenu, her calf, and Parasuraman.

In the Brahmanda Purana, Kamdhenu uses her magic to build a huge metropolis to house Kartavirya Arjuna’s army when they visit Jamadagni’s retreat. When Kartavirya Arjuna returns to his kingdom, his minister, Chandragupta, persuades him to catch the celestial cow. The minister returns to the hermitage and attempts unsuccessfully to persuade the sage to give up the cow, so he resorts to force to seize Kamdhenu.

The guru is killed in the subsequent conflict, but Kamdhenu flees to the sky, and Chandragupta takes her calf instead. According to the Brahmanda Purana, Kamdhenu Sushila was given to Jamadagni’s by Kamdhenu-Surabhi, who controls in Goloka.

According to the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, the celestial cow – known as Kapila here – generates numerous weapons and an army to help Jamadagni’s beat the king’s army, which had come to grab her. Kapila instructed her master in martial arts when the king himself challenged Jamadagni’s to a battle.

Jamadagni’s led Kapila’s army to multiple victories over the monarch and his army, each time sparing the king’s life. Finally, the monarch slew Jamadagni’s with the help of a divine weapon bestowed upon him by the god Dattatreya.

Vashista cow

The Ramayana has a similar story about Kamdhenu, except the sage is Vashista and the monarch is Vishvamitra. Once upon a time, King Vishwamitra and his army arrived at Sage Vashista hermitage. The sage welcomed him and prepared a lavish dinner for the soldiers, which was prepared by Sabala, as Kamdhenu is referred to in the text. The surprised monarch begged the sage to give up Sabala in exchange for thousands of ordinary cows, elephants, horses, and jewelry. However, the sage refused to part with Sabala, who was required for the sage’s sacred ceremonies and charity. Vishwamitra, enraged, took Sabala by force, but she returned to her lord, fighting the king’s warriors.

The Eternal Significance

Kamdhenu holds a unique place in Hindu mythology, embodying the ideals of nourishment, sustenance, and abundance. Her significance extends beyond material desires, inviting devotees to cultivate a sense of spiritual fulfillment and gratitude for life’s blessings.

This celestial entity bridges the gap between the ethereal and the earthly, reminding humanity of the divine grace that flows through all existence. Her worship encourages individuals to embrace a balanced life, striving for both spiritual enlightenment and material well-being.

Embracing Kamdhenu’s Blessings

In a world often characterized by fast-paced lives and unending desires, the worship of Kamdhenu offers solace and perspective. Through sincere devotion and a heart full of gratitude, one can tap into the boundless blessings she bestows. The rituals, mantras, and practices associated with Kamdhenu’s worship serve as a pathway to connect with the divine and attain the harmony that so many seek.


The location of Kamdhenu-Surabhi changes according to the scriptures. The Mahabharata’s Anusha Sana Parva describes how she was awarded ownership of Goloka, the cow-heaven located above the three worlds (heaven, earth, and netherworld): Surabhi, the daughter of Daksha, travelled to Mount Kailash and worshipped Brahma for 10,000 years. The happy god bestowed goddess hood on the cow and ruled that she and her offspring – cows – would be worshipped by all. He also handed her the world of Goloka, while her daughters would live among people on Earth.

Surabhi is portrayed in the Ramayana as living in the city of Varuna, the Lord of the Oceans, which is located beneath the ground in Patala (the netherworld). Her gushing delicious milk is thought to generate the cosmic milk ocean Kshiroda or Kshirasagara. This milk is claimed to have six flavors and the essence of all the nicest things on earth in the Mahabharata’s Udyoga Parva book. Surabhi lives the lowest realm of Patala, known as Rasatala, and has four daughters – the Dikpalis – the guardian cow goddesses of the heavenly quarters: Saurabhi in the east, Harhsika in the south, Subhadra in the west, and Dhenu in the north, according to the Udyoga Parva.

In addition to Goloka and Patala, Kamdhenu is said to live in the hermitages of the sages Jamadagni’s and Vashista. Scholar Mani addresses the contradictory traditions of Kamdhenu’s birth and appearance in the processions of numerous gods and sages by claiming that while there may be more than one Kamdhenu, they are all incarnations of the original Kamdhenu, the mother of cows.

Other scriptural references


Kamdhenu with a sage

Kamdhenu is referred to as Kamadhuk twice in the Mahabharata’s Bhagavad Gita, a lecture by the god Krishna. In verse 3.10, Krishna mentions Kamadhuk while saying that for completing one’s duty, one will receive the milk of one’s wishes. In verse 10.28, Krishna announces to the source of the cosmos that he is Kamadhuk among cows.

The Mahabharata’s Anusha Sana Parva describes the god Shiva casting a curse on Surabhi. This curse is thought to be a reference to the following legend. Once upon a time, while the gods Brahma and Vishnu were arguing about who was better, a fire pillar—linga (symbol of Shiva)—emerged before them. It was decided that whomever discovered the end of this pillar was superior. Brahma took to the skies in an attempt to locate the summit of the pillar, but he was unsuccessful. So Brahma forced Surabhi (or, in other accounts, Surabhi advised that Brahma lie) to falsely swear to Vishnu that Brahma had seen the summit of the linga; Shiva punished Surabhi by enslaving her bovine offspring.


Images of Kamdhenu are adored in some temples and homes. She has, however, never had a worship cult dedicated to her and no temples where she is worshipped as the major deity. In the words of Monier-Williams, “it is rather the living animal [the cow] that is the perpetual object of adoration.” Cows are frequently fed outside temples and are revered on all Fridays and special occasions. Every cow, according to “a pious Hindu,” is an avatar (earthly manifestation) of the almighty Kamdhenu.

Do you know?
Cows are considered to be divine creatures because different deities are said to reside in a cow’s body. Her four legs are the Vedas, her horns are the triune gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, her eyes are the sun and moon gods, and her shoulders Agni and Vayu.
Cows have always been connected with wealth, strength and abundance because they provide milk for whoever is in need of it without discrimination. A cow along with her calf, is said to be the ultimate symbol of motherly love as a cow provides nourishment, care, love and support for the calf who is by her side at all times.
This Brass idol of a Cow with her Calf portrays her standing strongly and nourishing her calf with milk, which represents the power of motherhood and shows that mothers will provide for their children without expecting anything in return. The idol is crafted with high quality Brass and adorned with stone work, which enhances its beauty and magnificence. They stand on an intricately carved pedestal, which is the perfect base for the duo and it subtly accentuates the décor value of the masterpiece.
Bring motherly love into your home and have a strong bond with your children with this Brass Figurine of a Cow with her Calf! The masterpiece can add immense value to your home and workplace. Through this figurine, you can bring about a sense of appreciation for motherhood and its virtues in your family and guests!
This will be an ideal gift for your loved ones, as you can extend a warm and loving bond to them by giving them this Brass Cow and Calf figurine that symbolizes love, care and support.
Kamdhenu Mata is the cow goddess in which 330 million kinds of Gods stay. Some other names of Goddess Kamdhenu are Surabhi, Shaval, Aditi and Kamaduh. She was one of the nine divine blessings which came out during the Samudra Manthan and was gifted to Rishi Vashista.
It is believed that during the reign of King Vishwamitra the whole land was cursed with drought. He went to Rishi Vashisht Ashram for the solution. On arriving in the sacred place King Vishvamitra observed that Rishi Vashisht had prayed to Kamdhenu Goddess for arranging the food for all the persons that came along with the king.
In turn to his surprise he saw that Goddess Kamdhenu had blessed all of them with delicious variety of food and drinks. Greed arose in the king’s heart and he tried to take the Goddess Kamdhenu to his palace by force. To which Rishi Vashisht showed resistance and pleaded him that if he really wished to have Goddess Kamdhenu for himself he would have to become a saint by heart and soul.
Kamdhenu Goddess has two daughters known as ‘Nandini’ and ‘Patti’. Both were great worshipers of Lord Shiva. The place where ‘Patti’ worshipped Lord Shiva and attained salvation is known as ‘Pattishwar’ in Southern India. It is said that the river named after ‘Nandini’ use to flow with milk before the era of Kalyuga, which henceforth turned into water.



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