All Vedas and Scriptures declare that among all the forms of life birth as human being is the best. In such human birth, the cow is considered sacred and is duly worshipped.
The sight of a cow should bring into memory all the Vedas. Its milk is nectar (amrita). In fact, in terms of respect, the cow is at par with the status of a mother. Rearing and nourishing a cow means nourishing and protecting Mother Goddess Herself! All the deities (Devatas) reside subtly within the body of the cow.
Cow is said to have descended directly from Vaikunṭha (abode of Lord Maha Vishnu). The deed of giving away such a cow in charity is considered extremely meritorious. Giving away a cow together with its calf, or the fodder of a cow for just one day showers limitless merit (punya).
Godanam is also a considered important in pitrukaryas as it a part of dasadanam, in which a cow and calf is given away to the Brahmin. It helps the deceased soul to attain a peaceful journey after life.