My dandvat Pranams to all the devotees.
I have a pet (dog) at my home, we live in a flat. she lives withus inside the flat, we do not have varandah or garden area. Please guide me how to maintain her along with my other devotional duties, for example, if we sit on the ground (on mat) for bhajans, or chanting etc, do we need to wipe the floor because the dog has been walking all over the place. There are so many such situations where i am not able to understand how to handle the pet. kindly guide .
His Divine Grace, A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has given explanations which hopefully should guide us and tell us how we should act and behave. There are several explanations coming from different books and the quotes below should help.
From the Srimad Bhagavatam, 5th Canto, chapter 8, Text 1:
"Although Bharata Maharaja was very elevated, he fell down due to his attachment to a young deer. One day after Bharata Maharaja had taken his bath as usual in the River Gandaki and was chanting his mantra, he saw a
pregnant deer come to the river to drink water. Suddenly there could be heard the thundering roar of a lion, and the deer was so frightened that it immediately gave birth to its calf. It then crossed the river, but
died immediately thereafter. Maharaja Bharata took compassion upon the motherless calf, rescued it from the water, took it to his asrama and cared for it affectionately. He gradually became attached to this young deer and always thought of it affectionately. As it grew up, it became Maharaja Bharata's constant companion, and he always took care of it. Gradually he became so absorbed in thinking of this deer that his mind became agitated. As he became more attached to the deer, his devotional service slackened."
"When a person is advanced in spiritual consciousness or Krsna consciousness, he naturally becomes very sympathetic toward all living entities suffering in the material world. Naturally such an advanced person thinks of the suffering of the people in general. However, if one does not know of the material sufferings of fallen souls and becomes
sympathetic because of bodily comforts, as in the case of Bharata Maharaja, such sympathy or compassion is the cause of one's downfall. If one is actually sympathetic to fallen, suffering humanity, he should try
to elevate people from material consciousness to spiritual consciousness. As far as the deer was concerned, Bharata Maharaja became very sympathetic, but he forgot that it was impossible for him to elevate a
deer to spiritual consciousness, because, after all, a deer is but an animal. It was very dangerous for Bharata Maharaja to sacrifice all his regulative principles simply to take care of an animal. The principles enunciated in Bhagavad-gita should be followed. Yam hi na vyathayanty ete purusam purusarsabha. As far as the material body is concerned, we cannot do anything for anyone. However, by the grace of Krsna, we may raise a person to spiritual consciousness if we ourselves follow the rules and regulations. If we give up our own spiritual activities and simply become
concerned with the bodily comforts of others, we will fall into a dangerous position."
“Of all kinds of gifts, the gift of cows is applauded as the highest. Cows are the foremost of all things. Themselves sacred, they are the best of cleansers and sanctifiers. People should cherish cows for obtaining prosperity and even peace. Cows are said to represent the highest energy both in this world and the world that is above. There is nothing that is more sacred or sanctifying than cows.” [From the Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Sections LXXXIII - LXXVII - LXXVI]
“We have to keep some cows. Never mind we are to take payment from others. That is not cow protection. Cow protection means just like Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is tending the cows. He is going, taking the cows personally from His royal palace going to the forest whole day, working there. Is it not, cowherd boy?And taken some little fruit, mother, whatever mother has given. They are playing that. So this is cow protection, not that “Somebody will give money and we shall keep some third class cows and feed there and become cow protector.” We must tend the cows very nicely so that they give us sufficient milk. And with that milk we shall live.” (SRILA PRABHUPADA, Srimad-Bhagavatam Class 2.9.3 — Melbourne, April 5, 1972)
According to Vasthu shastra, we may have a pet dog but outside the home. Dogs inside home are not allowed. I too had a pet and we had another problem that we could not go out all together leaving the dog at home. So we found a farm house who were willing to take care of our pet dog. She is happily living there in the farm since over 2 years now.
Adult dogs do not accept a new master easily. So think twice before you give for adoption. Even in the apartment, you can always tie it in the balcony or some other remote place when you are chanting or doing any other service. Plus you can do what Ankita mataji has suggested to feed prasadam to her for her better future.
Hare Krishna prabhuji,
yes prabhuji, after reading the answers from all the devotees, I have come to conclusion that i will not give her for adoption, but make suitable arrangements for her and for us also , so that devotional services can be taken without any hinderance.
Please Accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada,
One of my friends she also had a dog at home when her family started practising Krishna consciousness, later as they grew more serious they wanted to invite deities at home but because of the dog they could not. When they took guidance from HH Jayapataka Maharaj, He advised them to give lots of prasad to the dog and not to bring in the deities till the dog naturally passes away. From this we can know, how to treat/handle the dog...with lots of love, kirtans and lots of prasad.
Of-course from Vedic Suchi (cleanliness) point of view it is not recommended to have a dog at home hence it will be difficult for example just like you stated you will have to clean/wipe the floor when you sit on the ground for japa or bhajan. But you must be tolerant which is a very important principle of Gaudiya Vaishnavism (Tranad api sunichena taror eva Sahishnuna...Shikshastakam) with this Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will be pleased.
1. For practical purposes you should maintain your altar at a height which should be beyond the reach of your pet.
2. You may chant your rounds on a raised seat not necessarily on the ground.
3. When you invite devotees for a group kirtan you may have to put your dog in a separate room for that while and while they are honouring prasad.
4. You can devise your own ways depending upon how trained your dog is.
Hope this would be of some help,..
Hare Krishna Mataji
please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Shrila Prabhupada
thankyou mataji for clarification. As you have said I have kept the home temple at an altitude. But my tolerance level is very poor, i get upset with pet around and some time feel that i must give her away in adoption and some time feel that i must not think of giving her away because we have taken her responsibility and should not leave it.
thankyou once again, please bless me that i may have more tolerance and energy to carry out my devotional services with more dedication.
Very well explained. A lady friend of mine is also in the same predicament. I shall give your explanation to her.
Many thanks for your kind clarification of this issue.