Can brahmins breed pets at home?
I totally disagree with the arguments put forward by the writers.
Once when Adi Shankara was in Kashi, while returning after a bath in the Ganges, he was confronted by a chandala with 4 dogs. The Chandala was none other than Lord Vishwanath, the presiding deity of Kashi, Himself, in disguise. The 4 dogs were the 4 vedas. Not recognising this, Adi Shankara requested the Chandala and the 4 dogs to move away from his path, whence the chandala questioned that who was to move away - their body or atma? If atma is indeed the same amongst every one- a learned scholar, a low-caste person and the dogs, why should Adi Shankara ask them to move? If Shankara was referring to the body, then by Shankara’s own admission, this body was temperorary and one should not identify oneself with the body. On this count also, there wasn’t any difference between the two of them. Gifted with a razor-sharp intelligence, it did not take long for Shankara to realize his folly and that the Lord Himself was before him in the form of Chandala and dogs. He immediately burst out with a philosophers delight -Manisha Panchakam a five-stanza exposition of the body-soul concept.
Both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata refer to instances where Rama and Dharmaputra show a lot of compassion towards dogs. Dharmaputra refused to be taken to heaven, when a dog that was following him in his final journey, and the dog tried to get into the ariel chariot that Indra had sent to bring him, but was prevented by the charioteer. Dharmaputra insisted that he would ascend only if the dog was also allowed. The dog immediately turns into Yama Dharma (who is his father) and admires him for his compassion for a dumb animal.
Similarly, in the Uttarakanda of Ramayana, there is reference to a complaint made by a dog against a brahmin who had hurt it without reason. Rama summons the brahmin concerned and admonishes him. He then asked the dog what punishment should be given to the brahmin,and the dog says "Make him a Kulapati ( a kind of University Vice Chanceller) for it was such a Kulapati in its previous birth and had hurt many students. Rama laughed but punished the brahmin.
Bhoota Daya(compassion towards all living beings) is stressed as an essential virtue everywhere, especially in the Srimad Bhagavata. This is why we have cows at home, feed the crow every day first, and do the Kolam with rice powder so that the ants and flies can eat it and survive. How is a cow different from a dog? While it is true that the cow does give us milk, it is the dog alone that gives you infinite love, love and love. It knows nothing else. It is a by-word for loyalty!
Jatabharata of the Bhagavatham story, was a great king and sage. Re-born as a Brahmin-Kshatriya, he ruled well as a king,and when the time came, he retired to the forest to medidate. One day, while bathing in the river, he saw a deer being chased by a lion. In sheer desperation, it jumped into the flowing river. It was in an advanced stage of pregnancy, and the impact of the fall resulted in its delivering a baby and dying. Out of sheer compassion, he saved the baby deer and looked after it with great care and affection. The deer took a lot of his time and affection, and he liked its pranks so much that, he started worrying if it strayed away and got out of sight. Because of excessive attachment, he was caught in the web of worldly comforts and had to be born as a deer, thought of which had obsessed him! There was one blessing though, that he could remember his past life events, and the wisdom to discard all worldly contacts of any kind. He was so detached, that he was taken to be an idiot, and used by all sorts of people for all types of menial purposes. Not a word of protest or reaction from him of any kind. Those who want to know the rest of this beautiful story can read it in Chapters 8 and 9 of Book 5 of the Srimad Bhagavata.
Also, the Puranas refer to SARAMA, the divine dog living in Indra's kingdom and much respected.
The Hindu today, carries a story of a dog saving it's master's life after an accident. This happened in Japan, and the Government honoured the dog at a public function and decorated it with a gold medal! After reading this, no one will ever shame that man can come nowhere near the dog! Or, want to think, write or talk disparagingly of this wonderful friend of mankind!
Apart from the above arguments, I would like to locate the kind of brahmin described by the writers as performing the Sastraic duties any more. We have buried it fathom-deep and, long ago.
So, the bottom line is, be good to all beings including animals and foster them, if your purse allows it! That is Brahma Gnanam.
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2011 19:12:39 +0400
Subject: RE: [Iyer123] Can brahmins breed pets at home?
I understand that our scriptures prohibit Brahmins from breeding pets. The main reason may be that Brahmins - men and women may have to forego valuable time of their brahminical duties - like doing sandhyavandanam, daily Puja and other household work for taking care of the pets. Not only that they may get more attached with the pets in due course of time than their duties and they may become like Jadabharatha.. The purpose of attaining Brahma Gnanam is of utmost importance and that will get diluted if pets become the centre of attraction in the house
I have seen that in some houses the pets are given more importance than children
From: Iyer123@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Iyer123@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of ram
Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 11:56 AM
Subject: [Iyer123] Can brahmins breed pets at home?
I want our learned members to clarify me whether breeding of pets in home by Brahmins is considered as sin in Vedas . While explaining in Tamil the Sanskrit mantras during Aavani Avittam , one Sastrigal told 'let the sin of breeding dog, cat may be removed from me'.
From: P.K.Ramakrishnan <email@example.com>
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>; pattar <firstname.lastname@example.org>; us brahmins <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, 26 November 2011, 15:53
Subject: [4brahmins] on dogs and cats
There is a sastra saying - svaanam sprishtvaa snaanam aacharet.
This can be interpreted in two ways.
- If you touch a dog you should take a bath.
- When you want to take a bath you should touch a dog.
There was a Brahmin who took the second meaning and whenever he wanted to
take a bath he would touch a dog. He was not keeping a dog. So he would go to
the streets and find a dog.