Last Updated : Jul 09, 2018 05:00 PM IST | Source:

Moneyshastra with Devdutt Pattanaik: The Rishi's cow

The video series speaks of the cow of Hindu lore that needs to be seen both literally and metaphorically. So the kings, during the Vedic period, had to give cows to the Rishis, which is a popular theme in the Puranas.

Anusua Banerjee @moneycontrolcom

According to the Vedas, the king had to create an ecosystem where there is a livelihood for people so that they can live fulfilled lives. They can do Purushartha, which means making their lives meaningful. So that’s the purpose of a king. Now in Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsha, there is a very interesting story which explains the concept at a refined level.

In Hindu traditions, the world is divided into two parts. The forest which is undomesticated and the field which is domesticated. And the king is responsible for the domesticated space and not for the undomesticated space.

Now, the cows live in the domestic space and lions occupy undomesticated space. Any confrontation between the lion and the cow is a confrontation between the forest and the field. And it’s really an ecological problem.

As the king wants to expand and provide more and more livelihood to people, he is going to destroy more and more forest to create pasture land and fields. The story of Raghuvamsha about king Dilip and the cow is really the conflict we face today. Ecological problems. In order to create jobs, we are going to do industrialisation. And the more industrialisation you do, you are going to destroy the environment.

The lion would return and see that the environment is destroyed. The lion would say, you are destroying the ecosystem, while the king is of the view that he would rather die, but will protect the cow. This means the king’s ambition has to be curtailed so that there is harmony between the village and the field. Here are some sophisticated ideas through simple stories. It should not be taken literally.
First Published on Jul 9, 2018 03:13 pm
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