[Advaita-l] "Dog story" in the Ramayana

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun Dec 12 11:28:40 CST 2004

On Fri, 10 Dec 2004, S Jayanarayanan wrote:

> I'm trying to locate the "Dog story" in the Ramayana,

In my edition (from Nirnayasagara press) there is a note by the editor,
Pt. V. L. Panshikar after the 59th sarga of the uttarakanda that "here
some read the story of the dog and the vulture and the owl (grdhraulakau)
however the author of the Tilaka [commentary, included in this edition]
has not commented on it so it is to be regarded as interpolated (prakshipta).
There follow three sargas consisting of 150 shlokas.  This story is in the
second of them.

> and came across a
> reference to it online at
> http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=53310 .
> If anyone has a ready reference of the Ramayana, please let me know if
> the version of the story that follows below is accurate. Thanks.
> The reason I believe the translation to be incomplete is that it does
> not explain why a person who serves others in a religious capacity (and
> performs his dharma immaculately to boot), had to be reborn as a dog!

The story is rendered correctly with a few minor quibbles here and

> The writer of the article then speculates, "The Ramayana doesnÂ’t
> explain further. Perhaps, addiction to power and wealth corrupted the
> kulapati system, so that becoming a kulapati became a curse rather than
> a boon.

...but the conclusion (there is one) has been lost.  The point is not that
being a kulapati caused rebirth as a dog but that the kulapati had no
control of his senses and was overly proud.  When one lacks control over
anger etc. then all the pious acts in the world will not cause good
fortune.  Similiarly Sarvarthasiddha (note the allegory in the name) is
cruel and quick to anger.  So despite being a learned Brahmana and a
kulapati, he will not prosper but instead will be reborn as a dog.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a boy! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/nilagriva/

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