Sanathana Dharma – Cow, Crow & Dog!

Dog , cow and crow

by Gopalakrishna Ramaiyer, Tambaram, Chennai

I was thinking of writing on stray dog feeding. Incidentally I came across some interesting information from Wikipedia today about cows and crows and interlinking them to ancestors. I thought of sharing them also with you. While every body write of serious topics I thought some light reading material would not be bad.

Definitely while I take up my morning walk through the streets I come across at least a dozen dogs a day. Initially the dogs used to come near and bark and make fear of biting. But as the day went I found they have smelled me, not even wake up from their location. The idea of feeding them was suddenly initiated in me one day about a few months back.

It came to my mind the annual visit of my son and daughter in law with kids and it was an enjoyment to her to feed the small dogs giving biscuits in the evening. More than kids I think she was enjoying the buiscuit feeding to the “bow bow”.

After she left finishing last vacation it was a wonder the particular dogs she was feeding remained in front of our house in the cemented flooring and took comfort in sleeping in the sand left till date.

I told my daughter in law a few days ago I feel happy by start feeding the dogs. She said- appa probably you would have missed to notice – I too use to feed after our food every day when we were on vacation. So it came to me after a break I have restarted and nothing special of the dog feeding. My wife will surely become angry if I do not mention she too used to feed occasionally.

Initially I was providing some food after my meals. Later I thought I should share a part of the food I take. After wards I came to the conclusion I should keep some thing first for them and take my food, which is followed now. The most interesting thing is while serving my wife first reminds me to keep some thing apart.

It is still wondering the particular dogs my daughter in law was feeding and remain in front of our house still take the food. If the food is more this female dog  leaves and her friends feed one by one. So far if at all the dog come with another two or three with it, no barking no quarrelling and the others keep guard to it. It makes me think there is a certain discipline among them.

Now coming to cow and crow story, it was a practice to feed cows coming in the streets after we constructed the house in 2005. Plantains when purchased/grown up in our garden a few we keep for the cow. Invariably the plantain leaves are cut and fed to them. The cow feed regularly the grass grown in front. I feel a purpose is served by their eating the grass grown. Two days back it happened so, when I placed food for the dog immediately three cows came and started feeding. Immediately I brought new rice and they fed that too. I felt the cows were so hungry and what kept for the dogs will be insufficient.

My wife was telling some day’s crow is not taking the rice kept fully. I said just like that cow is taking, dog is fed, do not mind the crow much. It may not be hungry.

Now coming to Wikipedia I just tried to trace mythology of crow and dog to day. It was astonishing to me to read that not only crows and cow but dogs too represent ancestors.

After reading this I told my wife- do not get worried of crow not taking fully and all that, dogs eat, not leaving a bit of food. Cows too we feed. I do not know fully the meaning of her words-“Appadiya” ( அப்படியா?). I hope she has told it having understood what I said.


1. Phrase- Raining cats and dogs

There are a number of explanations for the phrase, “it’s raining cats and dogs”?

Cats and dogs were closely associated with the rain and wind in the western mythology. Dogs were often pictured as the attendants of Odin, the storm God, and cats were believed to cause rain.
It was raining cats and dogs in Mumbai last month
But the true source appears to be quite literal. During heavy rains in the 17th century England some city streets became raging rivers of filth carrying many drowned cats and dogs.

2. Phrase-Every dog has his day

In Maoist Nepal, dogs still have their day The proverb-Every dog has his day – literally came true on Monday when people in Nepal, the world’s last Hindu nation, worshipped their dogs with utmost devotion.

People did not forget to worship their dogs on the day of Kukur Tihar, and protect their families from destruction. The festival is also known as Narak Chaturdashi.

Big red tikas – a paste of vermilion, curd and rice – were put on dogs’ foreheads and were garlanded.

Street dogs are also worshiped and are garlanded on the occasion. After worshiping the dogs, delicious meals were served to them.

The Hindus appease their dogs because the canine is also the steed of Bhairab, the god of destruction.

“We Hindus in Nepal worship dog to guard our house from destruction, ” Pallavi Sharma, a housewife in Kathmandu said.
However, Hindus in India generally do not worship dogs.
3.Dogs -we very often compare to humans
Many say he did just like dog to get things done. In kerala they say” Nai petta padu or Pattiyae polae Nadannittu” depend on desacharam.
The dogs have very rudimentary requirements and they do not make any undue demands on the infrastructure and the amenities of the campus, much unlike their human counterparts, who, though work like dogs, end up straining the campus facilities. The fact that humans make undue demands is obvious from their whining that they live a dog’s life Besides, the dogs have been known to be obedient followers and the human beings, the dominant masters.
Brahminical dominance of humans beings has forced the dogs to avoid being alone; fearing for their safety they are always found in groups of three or more.
Also, when the human population was less, the dogs had enough space on the campus and they could move about and live freely. With the increasing human population, there is much less space for the dogs on the roads, in the parking sheds, on the footpaths, and in the corridors and staircases of the buildings.
We forget to recollect the dogs are also rightful inhabitants of this earth and this campus.

4. History of dog
Very early records of the historical mythology (or mythological history, if that’s what you prefer to call it) have references to the existence of dogs; Pandav king Yudhisthira was accompanied by a dog on his last journey. Why can’t we tolerate a dog in our short journeys on our roads in the campus?

5. Do not dog good in nature?
The dogs use only the public places. Never has anyone heard of a dog entering a human being’s house forcefully although it has been reported that last year a dog attended all lectures in class room A1 of the CSE department of Mumbai IIT.
But then, a class room is a public place and it was not a forceful entry. May be the dog found CSE to be the most interesting discipline or the CSE teachers to be the best teachers (or both).
Further, dogs being dogs and not human beings, such groups have always worked in unison.

6. Scientific Name of dog
Canis lupus familiaris Linn
Common Name-Dog, Kutha (Hindi), Naai (Tamil), Kukuraha (Sanskrit)
Distribution- Throughout India
Conservation Status- Domesticated

7. Dog in Mythology
Lord Bhairava, the guardian deity to the abode of Lord Shiva, is usually depicted with a dog or riding a dog as his vahana.
Feeding and taking care of dogs is believed to be a way of showing our devotion to Lord Bhairava.
Lord Indra is believed to have a divine dog named Sarama. Sarama is said to have pursued and recovered the cows stolen by the asuras and hidden in the nether world of Patala.
Lord Yama, the Hindu God of death is believed to have two ferocious dogs – Sarameyas (described as the offsprings of Indra’s dog). The dogs have four eyes each and they guard the road to Yamaloka.
Lord Yama himself took the form of a dog, while guiding Yudhishtra to swargaloka.
Lord Dattatreya, looked upon as the incarnation of the holy Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, is usually followed by four faithful dogs, which symbolically represent the four Vedas and his complete mastery over them.

In Hindu mythology too, dogs have a special place. In religious ceremonies, dogs are considered to be a link between us and our ancestors. Special offerings are given to dogs, along with the cow and the crow, so as to remember and invoke the blessings of our ancestors.
As if wearing rings and holding yagyas to cure malefic planetary conditions were not enough, people have started buying dogs to free them of the “dosh” in Shani and Rahu.
A Kanke Road-based pet dealer Manoj Mishra says according to Hindu mythology dogs are considered to be an incarnation of Bhairav.
“It is believed that feeding a black dog on specified days is good for Saturn but the difficulty is finding a black dog on the specified day. As a result many people keep them as pets,” he said. Known astrologer and palmist, N.K. Bera, believes dogs have a great importance in astrology. People are advised to feed black dogs if their Saturn is weak while feeding white dogs cures their Venus.
Bera, who is also the head of the Bengali department at Ranchi University, however, says: “I only ask people to feed them. It is good if people feed animals.”

7.1. Dog entering yanja premises
Janmeya’s brothers got a curse for mistreating a dog during the yajna-The story is slightly big but enjoyable.
Abhimanyu, the son of Arjun, had a son called Parikshit. Parikshit was killed when a poisonous snake bit him. So Parikshit’s son Janmejaya organised a Yajna in which he vowed to burn all the snakes. The Yajna was to be organised with the help of his brothers in the fields of Kurukshetra.
Janmejaya had three brothers called Shrutsen, Ugrasen and Bhimsen. While they were performing the rituals (Puja) a stray dog wandered into the sacred area where the holy offerings were kept.
The brothers hit the dog with sticks to drive it away and the dog ran squealing to his mother.
The mother consoled her puppy and said that he must have done something to provoke the anger of the brothers.
The dog defended himself by saying that he was not at fault and that he had neither licked any of the offerings, nor even looked at them.
The dog’s mother Sarna, who belonged to the Gods felt very angry and hurt at the brother’s treatment of her son. She went to the Yajna place and asked the brothers of Janmejaya why they had thrashed her son without any fault.
When no one answered her she became really angry and cursed them, “You have punished my son without any reason, therefore I curse you that there shall be some sudden fear that will engulf you.”
Thus cursing she went away from there. Janmejaya’s brothers were saddened by this unexpected turn of events. After the rites of the Yajna were performed, they went to Hastinapur and looked for a priest who would rid them of the curse.
After a lot of search they got a priest Somshrava Janmejaya requested Somshrava to accompany him to Hastinapur. When they reached Hastinapur he told his brothers to do exactly as the priest told them to do and never disobey him. The brothers did as they were told and the priest helped them get rid of their curse. Later they even invaded Takshila and won it.
8.Dog enjoy music

From music to mythology, from prayer to protest, it was man’s best friend – the dog – that took center stage at this concert for a cause held in the Capital recently. Ireespective of sniffing dogs present or not my street dogs always present in most Railway stations -my experience Trivandrum,Ernakula m, Chennai Tambaram. But they never harm you

9. Birth control for dog

A petitioner, B Krishna Bhat, had sought the quashing of rule 7 of Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rule so that stray dogs can be eliminated.

10.We dogs are heros

In World War I, Germans used dogs as a part of their military action. The dog force can sniff out not only deadly drugs and weapons, but even the existence of diseases such as cancer in the human body. Thousands have written verses in praise of dogs.
A veterinary doctor Rameshwar Narayan Pandey says German Shephard, labrador and German Spitz are commonly available in black and are therefore most popular.

11.  Now about cat-Phrase cat out of the bag

Not long ago in England, a city dweller had to be careful of buying a pig from a villager who would keep it in a sack. Very often, cunning villagers intent on duping the customer substituted the pigs with cats. And when the city dweller opened the bag, he would literally let the cat out of the bag, revealing the crafty farmer’s secret.

12. Phrase – To get ones back

When a cat is attacked by a dog or other animals, it aggressively arches its back, a response that suggested the phrase ‘to get one’s back up’ to describe humans aroused to anger.

12. Phrase cat has nine lives

Cats have long been regarded as tenacious survivors because of their careful, suspicious nature and because they are supple animals that can survive high falls. This could be the reason for the Old English saying that a cat has nine lives. This phrase can be traced back well before the 16th century.

14. Phrase cat has got the tounge

You might have asked a person who has been rendered speechless if a cat has got her tongue. This phrase refers to a form of punishment in the Mid-east, several centuries ago, when the tongue of a person who lied was cut off and fed to the ruling king’s pets, often cats.

15. Phrase- Being a cat.

Being a cat or cool cat implies that the person is smart or street smart – like a cat. I am recollecting one of my cousin’s words that his wife is just like cat when referring to her nature.

16. Dog and cat in pet therapy
Pet therapy is becoming very popular these days in the USA, especially for help in diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Experiments have shown that merely petting a dog or a cat reduces blood pressure.

    TRS Iyengar

    Born on Makara Uthiradam star, native of Mukkur and brought up in Ladavaram village near Arcot and now well settled in Mumbai for over five decades. Presently, at 70, trying to run this website without any commercial expectations or profit motive, just for the sake of our future generations to understand about Sanatana Dharma & Srivaishnavam sampradayam.Within my limited knowledge that I put it here, what I learnt from the world.