By Swami Harshananda
Pañeagavya literally means ‘five products derived from a cow’.
The society has been venerating the cow for over three millennia. Working for the good of ‘go-brāhmaṇa,’ the cows and the brāhmaṇas, has been considered as a very pious act. The dharmaśāstras have prescribed several prāyaścittas or expiations for sins. In many of these rites consuming the pañeagavya finds a place, thereby reflecting the great veneration for the cow. The pañcagavya is a preparation from five products derived from a cow.They are:
The proportion in which they are mixed is 8:8:4:2:1. All these are to be taken from a kapilā cow. While preparing it, several mantras from the Ṛgveda and other Vedas are to be chanted. A part of it, mixed with green darbha is offered into fire with some more Vedic mantras and the remainder is consumed with a special mantra indicating the power of this pañcagavya to burn up all the sins.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore