[Advaita-l] Dog-headed God

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 18 23:31:00 CST 2011

With reference to the above topic,I have few interesting points.The term 
"Vaishwadevam"performed as a daily rituals by the Orthodox Pundits consists in 
reserving a part of their daily food to the birds,dogs etc.This is done to 
propitiate the sins being committed daily,while sweeping the 
floor,digging,pounding of the grains by the pestle,burning and water.These daily 
acts harm and kill the "tiryak"jantus like ants,krimis,
centipedes,cockroaches etc.knowingkly or unknowingly.The term Vaishwadevam 
contains the word,"Shwa"which means four legged creature,which is "Dog".The word 
"Vishwamitra"also contains the word"Shwa"which means "Dog".The term 
"Vishwamitra"also means a "Staff".Is there a correlation between "Sunaka"which 
means "Dog"to "Shaunaka"who is a "Rishi".The picture of Lord Dattatreya also has 
four dogs following him,which signifies the four vedas.There is a relation 
between dog and Yama and is said to be his representative.The Vamachara system 
has the tantra called "Bhairav tantra".In the waking state or the 
"Jagrat"avastha,the being is called,"Vaishwanara"which contains the 
word,"Shwa",which is explained in the Mandukyopanishad.The Bhagawadgita 
states,"Ayam vaishwanaro bhutva praninam dehamashritah!Pranapana samayuktah 
pacamyannam caturvidham!!"
We have among the many vairagyas,"Shwana vairagya"which means a man repeats some 
acts even though he despises at the end of the act.Even a dog fasts one day of 
the year.We have many stories how some dogs rescued its master.We have the 
saying in Tamil,"Nai nanriyudaiyadu",a dog is greatful.
The dog represented as a sakshi to Dharmaraya by accompaning him when he went to 
the svarga and escaped "Naraka"by him.Finally,to glorify the dog,we have the 
saying,"Every dog has his day".

But,the Dog is considered impure when the Shraddha pinda for the pitris are 
offered to the Crows,is eaten by a dog.The Katr is supposed to repeat the 
shraddha  karma again after ablutions.


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