In Hinduism dogs have a great importance lord Kalabhairva's mount is a dog.can one features exactly the

Importance of dogs in Hinduism


How are they even related to gods

  • 2
    Dogs are often not liked much in Hindu Scriptures. And please do tell the story of "dog becoming sun god".
    – user12826
    Dec 24, 2017 at 11:00
  • from where i read there are no refrences given sorry for inconvenience. Dec 24, 2017 at 12:59
  • So as you can see dogs are not considered as important part of the Vedic religion. What more do u want to see in the answer? Are u looking for that story? @Fiercelord
    – Rickross
    Dec 24, 2017 at 13:32
  • Well in satarudriya i have read that lord rudra is called as lord of dogs and one who is in the face of dog so sorry i can not totally take it as per dharma shastras. Dec 24, 2017 at 13:58
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3 Answers 3


Well a dog does not have much role to play in Hinduism (at least generally and superficially speaking). The scriptures, specially the Smritis, talk very badly about them.

See the following verse for example. And, such verses are found in every Smriti texts.

An ancestral offering is ruined if it is seen by a dog, a Candala or an outcaste. Therefore, he should offer it in an enclosed place; alternatively he should scatter sesame seeds over the offering,

Gautama Smriti 15.28

And, the following:

Gods do not eat the food of a man who keeps dogs, who is married to a Sudra woman, who is controlled by his wife, or who lets his wife’s lover remain in his house.

Vashishta Dharma Sutras 14.15


So, according to the last verse, all people of today's time, who keep pet dogs, are worshiping Gods in vain. However, it is talking about the Dvijas (the twice borns) who have kept the Vedic fire in their homes.

Updating the answer:

In the following Vedic Mantra a dog is symbolically linked with jealousy (which is one of the Shadaripus; the six enemies of a man). The Mantra then asks Lord Indra (who's identified as the lord of the divine mind) to kill these 6 enemies for us. This Mantra is symbolic as it maps one animal (or bird) to one of the Shadaripus.

UlukayAtum ShushulukayAtum Jahi SvayAtum Uta KokayAtum SuparnayAtum Uta Grdhrayatum Drshadeva Pra Mrna Raksha Indra.

Oh Indra! kill the delusion (owl), anger (wolf), jealousy (dog), the lust (chakravAka), arrogance (eagle) and the greed (vulture).

Atharva Veda 8.4.22

Another reference is of Yama's two dogs, who are his messengers. These dogs are mentioned in Rig Veda's Yama Sukta.

ati drava sArameyau svAnau catur aksau sabalau sAdhunA patha |
athA pitrn suvidatrAgum upehi yamena ye sadhamAdham madanti||

10.Run by a good path past the two-eyed sons of Sarama, the four-eyed brindled guard-dogs; then approach the bountiful manes who rejoice at the same feast as Yama.

12.Broad-nosed and takers-of-life these two dogs, messengers of Yama wander among mankind; may these two give us back here to-day auspicious life that we may see the sun.

  • Unfortunately, I have not found a single Smriti illuminating. Dec 24, 2017 at 13:16
  • i am not qualified to talk about the sages. But Parashara, Atri Vashishta, Yajnavalkya have Smritis attributed to them. @Tamas.
    – Rickross
    Dec 24, 2017 at 13:17
  • Hmm, I have not concluded finally, I think these Smritis might be true. Truth seems bitter usually. But Smritis don't seem illuminating or something which could remove pAshas of pashus. Dec 24, 2017 at 13:22
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    IMO, even Vedas too although the highest authority, are just to train the pashus to tread the unknown path. Ultimate truth surpasses any kind of rituals, religions, books etc. Dec 24, 2017 at 13:31
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    And I am not quoting from scriptures of Buddhism. I am quoting from scriptures of Hinduism only @SethuSrivatsaKoduru
    – Rickross
    Mar 22, 2021 at 6:21

I got an intresting story:—

Vaishampayana said: "Then Shakra, causing the firmament and the Earth to be filled by a loud sound, came to the son of Pritha on a car and asked him to ascend it. Beholding his brothers fallen on the Earth, king Yudhishthira the just said unto that deity of a 1,000 eyes these words: ‘My brothers have all dropped down here. They must go with me. Without them by me I do not wish to go to Heaven, O lord of all the deities. The delicate princess (Draupadi) deserving of every comfort, O Purandara, should go with us. It behoveth thee to permit this.’

"Shakra said, ‘Thou shalt behold thy brothers in Heaven. They have reached it before thee. Indeed, thou shalt see all of them there, with Krishna. Do not yield to grief, O chief of the Bharatas. Having cast off their human bodies they have gone there, O chief of Bharata’s race. As regards thee, it is ordained that thou shalt go thither in this very body of thine.’

"Yudhishthira said, ‘This dog, O lord of the Past and the Present, is exceedingly devoted to me. He should go with me. My heart is full of compassion for him.’

"Shakra said, ‘Immortality and a condition equal to mine, O king, prosperity extending in all directions, and high success, and all the felicities of Heaven, thou hast won today. Do thou cast off this dog. In this there will be no cruelty.’

"Yudhishthira said, ‘O thou of a 1,000 eyes. O thou that art of righteous behaviour, it is exceedingly difficult for one that is of righteous behaviour to perpetrate an act that is unrighteous. I do not desire that union with prosperity for which I shall have to cast off one that is devoted to me.’

"Indra said, ‘There is no place in Heaven for persons with dogs. Besides, the (deities called) Krodhavasas take away all the merits of such persons. Reflecting on this, act, O king Yudhishthira the just. Do thou abandon this dog. There is no cruelty in this.’

"Yudhishthira said, ‘It has been said that the abandonment of one that is devoted is infinitely sinful. It is equal to the sin that one incurs by slaying a Brahmana. Hence, O great Indra, I shall not abandon this dog today from desire of my happiness. Even this is my vow steadily pursued, that I never give up a person that is terrified, nor one that is devoted to me, nor one that seeks my protection, saying that he is destitute, nor one that is afflicted, nor one that has come to me, nor one that is weak in protecting oneself, nor one that is solicitous of life. I shall never give up such a one till my own life is at an end.’

"Indra said, ‘Whatever gifts, or sacrifices spread out, or libations poured on the sacred fire, are seen by a dog, are taken away by the Krodhavasas. Do thou, therefore, abandon this dog. By abandoning this dog thou wilt attain to the region of the deities. Having abandoned thy brothers and Krishna, thou hast, O hero, acquired a region of felicity by thy own deeds. Why art thou so stupefied? Thou hast renounced everything. Why then dost thou not renounce this dog?’

"Yudhishthira said, ‘This is well known in all the worlds that there is neither friendship nor enmity with those that are dead. When my brothers and Krishna died, I was unable to revive them. Hence it was that I abandoned them. I did not, however, abandon them as long as they were alive. To frighten one that has sought protection, the slaying of a woman, the theft of what belongs to a Brahmana, and injuring a friend, each of these four, O Shakra, is I think equal to the abandonment of one that is devoted.’"

Vaishampayana continued: "Hearing these words of king Yudhishthira the just, (the dog became transformed into) the deity of Righteousness, who, well pleased, said these words unto him in a sweet voice fraught with praise.

"Dharma said: ‘Thou art well born, O king of kings, and possessed of the intelligence and the good conduct of Pandu. Thou hast compassion for all creatures, O Bharata, of which this is a bright example. Formerly, O son, thou wert once examined by me in the woods of Dwaita, where thy brothers of great prowess met with (an appearance of) death. Disregarding both thy brothers Bhima and Arjuna, thou didst wish for the revival of Nakula from thy desire of doing good to thy (step-) mother.On the present occasion, thinking the dog to be devoted to thee, thou hast renounced the very car of the celestials instead of renouncing him. Hence. O king, there is no one in Heaven that is equal to thee. Hence, O Bharata, regions of inexhaustible felicity are thine. Thou hast won them, O chief of the Bharatas, and thine is a celestial and high goal.’"

source:— http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m17/m17003.htm

Dattatreya figure has four dogs symbolizing 4 vedas


As has already been delineated about the position of dogs according to several scriptures, it can be unanimously accepted that keeping them at home can render rituals ineffective. But according to Bṛihat Samhitā, Chapter 62,

A dog three of whose legs have five nails and the right forefoot six, whose lips and muzzle are red, which has the gait of a lion, smells the ground while running, has a shaggy tail, eyes like those of a bear, ears handing and soft, such a dog being kept in a house promises ere-long great prosperity to the owner. —v1.
A bitch with five nails on each foot, six on the left forefoot , with eyes surrounded by white rings, with crooked tail and having brown color and hanging ears, protects the country if she is properly nurtured. —v2.

it seems that keeping a particular breed might turn out to be favorable also. On squaring these contrary verses with the dictums of other scriptures, it seems that a particular breed of a dog can be kept (possible somewhere outside the home) while ensuring that it doesn't stumble upon performance of nitya, naimittika & kāmya karma-s.

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