Cow is Not Holy in Jainism and Buddhism
There is not a single Jain or Buddhist text, which declares cow as a holy animal. Jainism and Buddhism respect all types of living beings, but they also consider that human being is superior to other living beings. So there is no question of cow being holy in these two religions.
The Vedic Hindus think that cow is a holy animal. But in ancient time, cows were being killed by Vedics in the name of religious rituals, and beef was one of their popular food.
It were Jainism and Buddhism, who stopped the Vedics from sacrificing animals in the name of rituals. Because of campaigns by Jains against eating meat , most of the Vedics became vegetarians.
The campaign launched by Jains and Buddhists was for saving all animals, big and small, and not just for cows. But the smart Vedics, who were beef eaters, declared cow as a holy animal. They declared that inside each of the cow, 33 types of Gods live. Later it was spread that cow is home of 33 Crores (3.3 Billions) Gods. Not only that, but the Vedics discovered and declared that Cow Urine can cure all type of diseases, so people should drink it.
Why Cow, Why not Bull?
It is a question that why Vedics did not declare Bull as a holy animal? If Gods selected cow as their home, there is no reason that a Bull can not become their home, and if cow's urine can cure diseases, then so can do the urine of a Bull. Then why bulls were not declared as holy?
Bull is a symbol of hard work as Indian farmers were using bulls for the works in farms and also for transportation through Bullock Carts. But as Vedics never gave respect to physical hard work, they never show respect for Bulls. (Remember that in Vedic Varna system, people who did physical hard work were in forth place) That is why they did not declare bull as a holy animal. In case of cow, she do not do any physical hard work, we know.
Cow is not holy in Jainism
Although Jainism believes in equality of souls and respects all types of life, it does not say that cow is a holy animal. No animal is holy for Jainism. In fact, according to Jainism cow and all other animals, trees etc. are inferior to human beings, as only human beings can get liberated from the cycle of birth and death. So Jainism does not permit to worship animals, trees, stones etc. It is a Vedic tradition which promotes worshiping such things.
But now a days, we see that some Jain monks and nuns are showing a special interest in protection of cows. Some of them are worshiping this animal. Some of them are telling people that how cow urine cures diseases. All this is a stupidity. They have nothing to do with real values of Jainism.
You may like to read Animal Rights V/s Human Rights
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