Dogs are generally shooed away from places of worship. Though considered man’s best friend, some believe that dogs are ‘impure’ and thus undeserving of entry to a holy place. And the belief is not restricted to any particular religion or region. Thus it came as a surprise to many when the video of a dog ‘singing’ kirtan (devotional song) in a temple surfaced.
In the video the dog, a white stray, is seen joining the kirtan in its own way with the singers.
The video was shared by Twitter user @sudhmadate, who wrote that the dog always visits the temple on Thursdays.
“This devout little dog belongs to my friend’s factory. Every Thursday evening, without fail, he walks over to the temple next door and joins the keertan. Then he has his share of prasad and trots back home. Every single Thursday!” Date wrote.
This devout little dog belongs to my friend’s factory. Every Thursday evening, without fail, he walks over to the temple next door and joins the keertan. Then he has his share of prasad and trots back home. Every single Thursday! 🙂 pic.twitter.com/HiuluOJdiy
— sushma date (@sushmadate) April 11, 2019
Obviously, the dog won the internet with people, who were left amazed by the devotion of the dog, leaving beautiful comments.
This totally made my day!
— Flâneuse (@SharmiliChudail) April 12, 2019
Lovely doggo. Very moving to see his dedication to sing and to know he ‘attends’ every Thursday. Must be an old soul.
— Hiten Vaya (@HitenVaya) April 12, 2019
For some reason, this video brought tears to my eyes. In our Santana Dharma, all living beings experience Bhakthi. All living beings are blessed with the opportunity to touch divinity. Seeing this “Bhairavar” sing along with the group was incredibly heartwarming 🙏🙏
— Dr. Saundarya Rajesh (@SaundaryaR) April 13, 2019
A story of compassion that goes beyond humans, embracing even a dog.
— Subhash Kak (@subhashkak1) April 12, 2019
This is SO amazing!! Where is this temple? I would want to come here with my daughter to show her how beautiful life can be….thank you so much for sharing
— chowkidar chirayu desai (@chirayusdesai) April 12, 2019
At the time of writing, the tweet posted by Date had attracted 5.4K likes and had been retweeted 2.2K times.
Dog and religion
To those who are still wondering how a dog could be allowed inside a temple, the Hindu mythology reveals that dogs are not necessarily ‘impure’ as the belief goes.
Lord Bhairava – one of the most powerful forms of Lord Shiva – has a dog as a mount. Lord Dattatreya, an incarnation of the Trinity, has four dogs, symbolising the four Vedas, for company.
Yudhisthira, the principal character in Mahabharata, is followed by a dog to heaven. According to the epic, that dog was Lord Yama in disguise who was testing whether Yudhisthira was worthy of ascending heaven. When Lord Indra tells Yudhisthira to abandon the dog, he refuses citing the dog’s loyalty to him, thereby passing the test.
Nepal has an entire five-day festival called Kukur Tihar during which dogs are worshipped.
In Christianity, Saint Roch is recognised as the patron saint of dogs. In Bolivia, 16 August is celebrated as the “birthday of all dogs”.
Dogs are, however, considered unclean in Islam even though kindness to all animals is advocated in a Hadith.