Recently, all the rage on the internet seemed to be centered around the girl from Bangalore who refused an arranged marriage because the guy was against having a pet dog in the house after marriage. Such news was surely a breath of fresh air and a restoration of faith in humanity after all the regular reports of cases of violence against animals and after witnessing the poor state of animals in our country. However, this rise of love for animals and in increasing awareness about the importance of pets is not something necessarily recent as we present to you a tale you might have often heard from your grandmother. It is a tale from the ancient Hindu mythology Mahabharata which is about Yudhishthira and his dog. It is a tale that beautifully depicts the values of love for animals and bravery.

However, this sudden increase of love for animals and awareness about the importance of pets is not something necessarily recent as we present to you a tale you might have often heard from your grandmother. It is a tale from the ancient Hindu mythology Mahabharata which is about Yudhishthira and his dog. It is a tale that beautifully depicts the values of love for animals and bravery.

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Yudhisthira was the eldest son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti and the king of Indraprastha. Years after the Kurukshetra war, the successful Pandavas decided to retire and renounce their kingdom on the advice of sage Vyasa. Following the coronation of Parikshit as the king of Hastinapur and Vajra as the king of Indraprastha, the Pandavas along with their wife Draupadi commenced on their journey to the Himalayas. Yudhishthira lead, followed by his brothers Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva, and last in the line was Draupadi. On the way, an Indian Pariah Dog started following them through the rough terrain.

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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. And now only Yudhisthira and the dog were left, they continued their journey together.

Finally, Indra descended in his chariot. He praised the extraordinary qualities of Yudhisthira and invited him into the chariot to ascend to heaven.

“The dog must come with me,” said Yudhishthira

“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 Yudhisthira. “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.

“Stop!” cried Indra. “None have the qualities that you possess, O Yudhishthira! The dog is Dharma, from whom you have descended!”

Yudhisthira

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And indeed, the dog had transformed into the God of Dharma and blessed Yudhisthira for his complete lack of selfishness and dedication to righteousness in all circumstances.

And thus rose Yudhisthira to heaven in the chariot of Indra.

It was a test of dharma and Yudhishthira had once again proved his righteousness by not abandoning people who stayed with him throughout.

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.

 

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