RENO, Nev. (March 21, 2016) — Pennsylvania Hindus are highly concerned after reports of a severed cow’s head with a bullet to it was left at a Hindu cow sanctuary in Jackson Township in Monroe County of eastern Pennsylvania between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
In a statement from Nevada, Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that it was “shocking” for the hard-working, harmonious and peaceful American Hindu community that number about three million. This community has contributed greatly to their host nation and society and said it is shocking to receive such signals of hatred and intimidation.
Zed urged the Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Monroe County Chairperson John Moyer to contact the area Hindu community to reassure them that swift action is being taken with an investigation into the incident.
Zed commended the Cow Sanctuary for keeping the ancient Hindu traditions alive in Pennsylvania by providing protective shelter to cows. The cow is worshipped by Hindus the world over, he said.
“Rig-Veda, the oldest existing scripture of the mankind, describes cow as aghnya — not slayable,” Zed said. “Lord Krishna, shown as cowherd many times, is also known as Gopala — protector of cows. There is a belief that cow was created the same day as Brahma (creator god). Also referred as Mother Cow, this divine animal, venerated from an early period, is the abode of many deities in Hinduism. Mahatma Gandhi reportedly said, ‘I yield to none in my worship of the cow.'”
Zed said the goal of this Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary is “to protect as many cows as possible and to make them genuinely happy” and its mission is “to provide them with a free and loving environment where they can live peacefully.” The Sanctuary also sells organic dried cow dung patties for use in some Hindu religious ceremonies. Dr. Sankar Sastri, a former dean of engineering in New York City College of Technology, is the founder.
According to reports in 2015 there were 40 Hindu religious flags burned outside a home in Queens, New York on Thanksgiving Day. A Hindu temple was vandalized in Kitchener, Ontario on Nov. 15. A sign of planned “Winston Salem Hindu Temple” was hit with over 60 shotgun blasts in July at Clemmons, N.C. A Hindu temple was vandalized in Dallas in April. Two Hindu temples in Kent and Bothell of the Seattle metropolitan were vandalized in February. A Hindu grandfather was roughed-up by police in February in Madison, Ala., resulting in partial paralysis. In 2014, there was anti-Hindu vandalism in Loudoun County, Va.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.