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Canines in mythology
Article - Canines in Mythology

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated...GANDHI M.K.
Divinity on Animals
Sree Kaal Bhairav
is the most terrifying aspect of Lord Shiva. He is worshipped as the Kotwal (Chief of Police) of Varanasi(Benaras), appointed by Lord Shiva. Everyone entering Varanasi has to worship Sree Kaal Bhairav to get his permision to stay at Kashi. Darshan of Sree Bhairav Nath gives freedom from fear and relieves sins committed in previous births also. He rides on a dog and to get His favour 11 dogs are to be fed every saturday after performing His puja to bring fulfilment of desire and Prosperity.
Sree Dattatreya
of Maharastra, is believed to be the incarnation of the holy trinity-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He is accompanied by four faithful dogs, which symbolically represent the four Vedas, by virtue of the qualities they have. In religious ceremonies, dogs are considered to be a link between us and our ancestors. Special offerings are given to dogs, along with cows and crows, to invoke the blessings of our ancestors.
Sree Muthappan Swamy
is also a manifestation of Lord Shiva. The Parassinikadavu Temple is situated in the Kannaur District of Kerala. He is always accompanied by a dog. Dogs are considered sacred here and one can see dogs in large numbers in and around the temple. One can see two carved bronze dogs at the entrance of the temple that are believed to symbolize the bodyguards of God. When the Prasad is ready it is first served to a dog that is always ready inside the temple complex. Without dogs the Theyyam (rituals)cannot be performed.
Sree Khandoba/ Khanderao/ Khanderaya/ Malhari Martand/ Mallu Khan/ Mallana/ Maliara
is worshipped as Martanda Bhairava, a form of Shiva, by both Hindus & Muslims. Jejuri in Maharastra is the main place of His worship. Sree Khandoba is depicted as a warrior seated on horseback with one or both of his wives and accompanied with Four Dogs, representing Four Vedas. This is in recognition of the qualities the dogs have, to carry this honour. Dogs get special treatment in Sree Khandoba worship. Sai Baba also first worshiped Khandoba before arriving at Shirdi.
Bhagwan Shree Krishna
is the protector of all creations. He spent his childhood amongst cows and was a mentor of all animals of the jungle where cows were taken for grazing. His sermon that ` a person serves God, who is kind to the animals' was emphasized by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is commonly said that `if Krishna wants to save anyone then nothing can happen to that soul'
Bhagwan Tirthanker Mahavira
taught: "there is no quality of soul more subtle than non-violence and no virtue of spirit greater than reverence for life." Ahimsa - non-harming. Jainism believes that animals, plants and human beings all contain living souls. Each of these souls, whatever species it may be in, is considered of equal value and should be treated with respect and compassion. Lord Mahavir also preached ` that all living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, and form, spiritually developed or not-developed, are equal for love & compassion.'
viewed both humans & animals as of Allah's creation. The Holy Qur'an, the Hadith, depicts kindness, mercy, and compassion for animals. "There is not an animal on Earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings - but they are communities like you." "The Holy Prophet (S) saw a woman being chastised after death because she had confined a cat during her life on earth without feeding and watering it, or even letting it free so it could feed itself. He told that prostitute had seen a thirsty dog hanging about a well and given it water to drink. Allah forgave her because of that good deed. The Holy Prophet advised to keep dogs for security & hunting. Salai dogs are considered as the Gift of Allah.
recognizes Saint Roch (also called Saint Rocco), of 13th century France, as the patron saint of dogs. He caught the plague while doing charitable work and went into the forest, expecting to die. There he was befriended by a dog which licked his sores and brought him food, and he was able to recover. The feast day of Saint Roch, August 16, is celebrated in Bolivia as the "birthday" of all dogs. Saint Francis of Assisi (Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone; 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226)[2] was a Catholic deacon and preacher. He also was the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, more commonly known as the Franciscans. He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment and one of the two patrons of Italy (with Catherine of Siena).
Lord Gautam Buddha
proclaimed Ahimsa is the Supreme Religion.The Tibetan Buddhists held the dog in high regard. They believe that dogs are closest to humans in reincarnation and that high lamas often reincarnate as dogs. Tibetans used dogs as holy temple guards or good luck charms for monasteries. The Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama often kept dogs as pets and sent dogs as gifts to other kings. Two Tibetan & Mongolian sages were intimately associated with dogs -- Kukkuripa and Kukuraja.
Shirdi Sai Baba
is the essence and embodiment of spiritual enlightenment and religious harmony. He awakened people to the eternal truth. "Sabka Malik Ek" (One God governs all). He wanted to provide each one with two powerful implements to make them stronger and wiser - 'One' being 'Shraddha' (Faith) and other being 'Saburi' (Patience). Sai Baba told , “Know, that I like only him who sees me in all living beings. So give up the sense of differentiation. This is the way to worship me.” All creatures (such as; dogs, cats, flies, and pigs) are My own form. He who sees Me in them, is My beloved. So abondoning the sense of duality and distinction, continue to serve Me. Every creature has an Atma, satisfy all.
developed 500 years ago out of the Hindu faith and shares some of the same principles but also differs from Hinduism in some ways. The religion is based on the teachings of ten holy men, the seventh of whom was Sri Guru Har Rai Ji (1630-1661). He was particularly known for his love toward animals, setting up animal hospitals for care. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the great lover of horses & other animals.
“Vohu Mana” represents the divine quality of the “power of mind” (i.e.intelligence, wisdom, etc.) which is a special gift to mankind. The creation of ‘animal kingdom’ is also placed under this ‘Vohu Mana’. Whoever kills the living animals destroys his own power of mind. “Vohu Mana” is the Lord of the Heaven. When a person dies, his/her soul will be judged for getting entry to Heaven or Hell. The "Vohu Mana" will receive the pious soul in the Heaven whereas who was cruel to dumb and innocent animals wiil go to hell. This itself indicates that killing and cruelty towards the animals is considered as a grievous sin (leading towards hell) and which would affect one’s own soul towards its spiritual progress.
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