Yesterday, the Internet was obsessed with the Bangalore girl who refused an arranged marriage proposal as the guy was against a pet dog living with them after marriage. Loving your pet is something we all support but things like these rarely happen in the real world. Maybe, that's why it made it to the news. Amidst all the stories of humans being cruel to animals, this story was like a breath of fresh air.
Loving animals is ingrained in some people so much so that we can even find dog lovers in the ancient Hindu mythology too. If you have read Mahabharat, you'd definitely remember the famous Yudhishthir-dog story. And, if you don't, we got you covered. Read on.
In the closing chapters of Mahabharat, King Yudhisthir, Bheem, Arjun, Nakul, Sahadev and Draupadi makes a pilgrimage to their final resting place. On the way, an Indian Pariah Dog started following them through the rough terrain.
Everyone kept falling and dying one by one. The first to fall along the way was Draupadi, then Sahadev, followed by Nakul, Arjun and Bheem.
Only the loyal stray dog and Yudhisthir were left, continuing the journey together. Finally, Indra descended from heaven in his chariot. He praised the extraordinary qualities of Yudhisthir and invited him into the chariot to ascend to heaven.
“The dog must come with me,” said Yudhisthir.
“That is not possible,” said Indra. “All cannot attain heaven. The dog is old and thin and has no value.”
“In that case, I do not seek heaven, “replied Yudhisthir. “The dog was my faithful companion and I cannot abandon it. It sought my help and gave me unconditional love. The pleasures of heaven will mean nothing to me in comparison to its grief. It has done nothing to deserve abandonment and had none of the weaknesses of my wife and brothers. If it does not deserve to go to heaven, then neither do I.” And so he turned back.
Turns out, the dog was none other than his deity, Dharma and it was a test of virtues for Yudhisthir. But, you got the point, right?
Not only heaven, if you show them love, they will even follow you on the highway to hell. There is something special about the dogs, they offer their heart to us, and the least we can do is to not abandon them. You don't have to be a dog lover, but, you mustn't stop others from loving them.