Holy Cow is a memoir by Sarah MacDonald about her spiritual journey across India. The book follows the story of Elsie Bovary, a cow in Upstate New York who becomes fascinated with India after seeing a documentary on the country where cows are revered and not eaten.
Through Sarah’s experiences, readers gain insight into the traditional religious practices and spiritual experiences of Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Sufism, Sikhism, Parsis, Christians, yogis, swamis, and Bollywood stars.
The book explores the contradictions and chaos of India, from the exuberant festivals to the quiet reflections. Sarah takes it upon herself to explore all that India has to offer in the hope that she may gain answers to the big life questions about her own existence.
She visits, experiences, lives with, and learns about Vipassana in Dharamsala, Sikhism in Amritsar, Islam in Kashmir, Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, Buddhism in Dharamsala, Judaism with Israeli backpackers, Zoroastrianism with Parsis in Bombay, “Amma” Mata Amritanandamayi, Sathya Sai Baba, Our Lady of Velankanni, Mother ashram in Pondicherry, Sufism in Pakistan, and some Jainism.
Despite the challenges and overwhelming differences she encounters, Sarah finds herself transformed by the experience. She learns from Buddhism about controlling the mind, from Hinduism about respecting other paths, from Islam about surrender, from Jainism to make peace in all aspects of life, and from Sikhism about the importance of spiritual strength.
What I Liked
Excellent travel book through India. I like how the book shows India’s diversity.
What I Did Not Like
Nothing – fun read.