Baitarni cow dan
'Baitarni cow daan’ means gau daan. ‘Gau’ means cow and daan means donation.
Cow has a great importance in hindu religion. Since times cows have been donated by kings and other people to Brahmins and others.
Although it can be donated any time, but it is believed that at least one cow must be donated in one man’s life time.
The benefits of donating a cow are simply endless. There is no other donation comparable to donation of a cow in this world.
It helps in making a person pure and helps him in attaining the highest state of eternal bliss. It is said that the sun,
moon, varuna, agni, brahma, Vishnu, shiva, salute the person who donates cow benevolently.
It is based on a river named baitarni river.
The Brahmin represents the head of the Virat Purush or cosmic soul. It is said that Brahmins have taken birth from the mouth of Brahmaji. A Brahmin is knowledgeable about scriptures and the vedic texts. Secondly he is referred as the God of the Earth i.e. Bhudev. Unless the Brahmin invokes the Gods through incantations the God cannot come and partake the oblations offered. Because of these reasons it is best to donate to Brahmins.
really quaint practice is 'go-daan'. According to popular Hindu belief one needs to cross the river 'Baitarani' to reach heaven. A sure way to do so is to gift a 'Brahmin' a cow- an act of supreme piety. Here in Gangasagar professional Brahmins themselves arrive on the scene with the cows. Against a few bucks pilgrims buy a cow and immediately gift it back, thereby ensuring a safe passage across Baitarani hanging on to the holy tail.
'Nature is full of abundance and works on principle of “As you give, so shall you receive”, or simply put “good for good, bad for bad’. The puraanas (scriptures) and epics hail the glory of Ann Daan. A yajna is considered incomplete without Ann Daan. The primary survival kit for humans comprises three basic necessities “Food, Shelter and Clothing”, and Food is considered vital among them.
Ann meaning food and Daan meaning donation / charity. Giving food to the needy is one of the greatest charities and is observed in Indian temples and monasteries to please the dieties.
During Ann Daan, food is served on a plaintain leaf or plate which is accepted by the person receiving Ann Daan. If the recepient does not take the plaintain leaf or plate in which the food is served, it is considered to be harmful to the person donating the food. However in case of an ascetic or guests, the reverse holds good. Also, the host is supposed to remove crumbs / leftovers after the food is served.
Today, starvation is one of the key worries of the world. Mitigating starvation is an holy act. Our ancestors always advised giving food to the poor or beggars, instead of giving MONEY .
In obedience to nature’s priniciple “As you give, so shall you receive”, charity by giving money would get you money, but charity by giving food shall get you more money which covers the cost of food, as well as for buying shelter and clothing too.
Hence, Ann Daan is an important act of charity.
Normally this is donated to poor and needy people and to Braahman. It is very common to give these to Braahman on some festivals (Sankraanti) and on performing religious rites of a person (birth, marriage, death etc); and to poor people at the time of lunar and solar eclipses (used clothes may be given at this time), or while being at a religious place (Teerth), or any other time whenever some needy comes on the door (at this time also used clothes may be given). It includes all kinds of things used for living (required, of comfort, even of luxury), wealth, etc.