[Advaita-l] Dog Headed God

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 16 09:12:20 CST 2011

> If Dog worship has Sruti Pramana why say it is left handed? People
> can worship in God in many forms. He will be pleased. 
> People build temple for Dog
> http://news.oneindia.in/2010/04/10/people-build-a-temple-for-dog-in-karnataka.html

Dear Sri Venkatesh,
I believe you need to appreciate the nuances a bit more. Worshipping a dog as God,
like the new temple that you mention above is different from worshipping Siva in the
form of a dog. After all, you do not worship an elephant or a lion or a monkey as
God, you worship Ganesa, Narasimha or Hanuman. It so happens that these forms
have the face of these animals, with a rich mythology, ritual and culture behind their
worship. In any case, please go to Wikipedia and see the entry on Khandoba or
search for Khandoba/Mallari/Mailari on Google. Much information is available.
As for "left-handed" vs. "right-handed" approaches, these are defined not by the
object of worship, but by the methods adopted for worship. It is the same Goddess
who is worshipped via vAmAcAra/kaula and samayAcAra/dakshiNAcAra tAntrika
approaches. In many village temples, you will find fire-walking, swinging from a
hook that goes through a piercing in the back, swallowing fire and other such
practices as part of worship. And there are many cremation ground associated
rituals followed by some sects, such as drinking out of a human skull etc., done
as part of worshipping Siva. On the other hand, you have the Vaidika approach 
of reciting rudra praSna with abhisheka during pUjA. It is not the fact of Siva
worship that is left-handed or right-handed in itself. It is the method used that
makes it so. I hope the distinction is clear.

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