The world is filled with millions of animals, varying in not only species, but also in popularity and importance. Several animals have over time become especially significant within certain religions and cultures.
Some of these animals are generally considered wild dangerous but to some, their importance cannot be overemphasised. Below are 7 of the most sacred animals on earth.
Elephants are loved and worshipped by followers of the Hindu religion. The large animal considered is the living incarnation of one of their most important gods: Ganesh, an elephant-headed deity who rides atop a tiny mouse. Elephants are also respected serenity, strength, wisdom and royalty
Cows are considered very important creatures in religions such as Hinduism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism. However, contrary to opinion, cows are not gods, and neither are they worshiped. Hindus in particular are vegetarians and they consider the cow to be a sacred symbol of life that should be protected and revered. Furthermore, ancient societies such as the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks and Israelites also revered cows
Cats were the sacred companion to ancient Egyptians, who domesticated and revered them. They helped keep city homes free of mice and poisonous snakes. Killing a cat in was punishable by death, and some deceased cats were mummified just like humans to preserve their bodies.
In Nepal, Tihar, a five-day Hindu festival, is dedicated to dogs, while the second day of the Chinese New Year celebrations,is considered the birthday of dogs, and you are supposed to treat your dogs with extra care. Also, in Ancient Egypt, dogs were associated with Anubis, god of the underworld.
While christians consider snakes as evil and associate them with the devil, some other religions beg to differ. In India, a snake festival called Nag Panchami celebrates snakes and the Hindu deities associated with them such as Shiva who wears a cobra around his neck. More so, the Hopi people of North America perform annual snake dances to unite a pair of serpentine spirits and renew nature’s fertility.
Tigers generally are revered as the guardian of the forest as the act as provider, protector, guardian and intermediary between heaven and earth. Certain cultures look to them to prevent disaster, regenerate life and provide balance, peace and fertility. White tigers are particularly sacred and their white fur symbolises their wisdom.
Monkeys are revered in the religious traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Shintoism. The Sacred Monkey Forest in Bali contains a large population of crab-eating macaques, who live among temples. Hanuman is the most prominent monkey god in Hinduism.