Goddess Kamadhenu

When I was coming down the steps of Batu caves, I suddenly saw this idol. And I had to take a photo of it. Believe me, I was pleasantly surprised. I had never seen a cow with a woman’s breasts ! Forgive me for my lack of knowledge of Hindu mythology.

Later, I wanted to learn about this idol and this is what I know now.
Goddess Kamadhenu, a divine goddess, is also known as Surabhi. Kamadhenu, the sacred cow, is an integral part of Hindu mythology and grants all wishes and desires to the true seeker. She is termed as the “cow of plenty”.

cow goddess with breasts batu caves @lemonicks.com

Goddess Kamadhenu at Batu caves, Kuala Lumpur.

In iconography, she is generally depicted as a white cow with a female head and female breasts or as a white cow containing various deities within her body. It has polychromatic wings like a tropical bird and a peacock’s tail. Her milk is streams over a Shiva linga, only to be channeled by the yoni to become a sacrificial oblation in the sacred fire.

Of course, all these would have some meaning I am ignorant and uninterested about.
All cows are venerated in Hinduism as the earthly embodiment of the Kamadhenu.
As such, Kamadhenu is not worshipped independently as a goddess and temples are not dedicated to her honor alone; rather, she is honored by the veneration of cows in general.

Note- Goddess Kamadhenu is a part of www.lemonicks.com.
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11 thoughts on “Goddess Kamadhenu

  1. So you went up the Batu Caves steps??! A GREAT accomplishment- I did as a teenager…somehow they seemed so FAR in those days…I’m wondering if I went back now how I would perceive them!

  2. I have to congratulate you on your research. You’ve got all the facts right 🙂
    To add to it –
    Cows are indeed the most sacred animals in Hinduism. Eating beef thus is a sacrilege. If you have heard of Tirupati in India(one of the richest temples in the world), the deity here is Lord Venkateshwara. The story goes that his wife Vishnu’s wife was angry with him after a spat and came down to earth. Not able to bear this seperation, Vishnu also came to earth as Venkateshwara and Kamadhenu was the cow who provided him with sustenance by providing milk for him.
    In many places in India, it has so happened that cows were found shedding milk on rock formations. Believing these rock formations divine due to the cow’s interventions, people started worshiping the rocks in temples!

  3. Fascinating! And I now know why some colleagues asked me if I practice Hinduism because I don’t eat beef.

  4. Its one of the most common among our community – for my navratri golu, thats one of the earliest bommais (dolls) i purchased..just sayg in jest though that isnt it ironic that we sometimes leave our own shores and find a little bit about our own culture 🙂

  5. I think I saw a similar iconography in an Indian temple in KL. I didn’t know the story behind it though, although I know cows are venerated in Hinduism.

  6. It is first time I saw something like this. Though your picture captured an interesting subject, I am little bit surprised how prudent Hindus allowed such idol. To me idol does not seem right. It is not about you Nisha. You capture what you saw.

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