What happens if a dvija touches a dog? If it's sinful what is the prayaschitta? If it causes asaucha what is the method of purification?

  • fyi, Yudhishthira was a dvija, and while ascending to svarga, he had a dog all the way.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Apr 20, 2023 at 3:41
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    @TheLittleNaruto - did Yudhishtira touch the dog ? Also, the dog was incarnation of Yama dharmaraj, If one's house pet jimmy/tommy is also yama dharma raj, they can touch it. FYI, Muslims consider dogs unclean too - if you touch one, you can't go to masjid before bathing.
    – ram
    Apr 24, 2023 at 12:57
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    Tbh, I would care less what other religions have to say something on any matter. In any case, I got the answer from the accepted one. :-) @mar
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Apr 24, 2023 at 13:33
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    @TheLittleNaruto - the reason I mentioned Islam is that many young supposedly 'right-wing' traditional people feel the need to differentiate Hinduism from Islam at any cost - even if it means disregarding their own shastras.
    – ram
    Apr 24, 2023 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


Dogs are considered unclean as per vedas

Shatapatha Brahmana 12:4:1:4 :

4. 'But, surely, there are three unclean animals, a vicious boar, a vicious ram and a dog: if any one of these runs about between (the fires) whilst the Agnihotra-offering is put on (the fire), what rite and what expiation would there be in that case?'

Shatapatha Brahmana 14:1:1:31:

31. And whilst not coming into contact with Sûdras and remains of food; for this Gharma is he that shines yonder, and he is excellence, truth, and light; but woman, the Sûdra, the dog, and the black bird (the crow), are untruth: he should not look at these, lest he should mingle excellence and sin, light and darkness, truth and untruth.

Expiation for dvijas due to physical contact with dogs as per padmapurANa & garuDapurANa


32. A man should bathe after having touched (i.e. if he touches) a fallen man, or a leper, or a cāṇḍāla eating the flesh of cows, or a dog, or a woman in her menses, or a bhilla.

garuDapurANa-dhanvantrisamhita-ch.CCXXXI :

A Brahmana having touched a dog, a shudra, or any other beast, or a woman in her menses, before washing his face after a meal, shall regain his purity by fasting for a day, and by taking Panchagavyam.

yudhishthira dog story does not invalidate any of the above as that story is about sacrifice for a dependent living being during final stage of life and not impurities associated with dogs

"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.

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    Thanks. In the second Brahmana citation, it puts women and shudras in the same category as dogs, but that's only in the context of the pravargya ritual where they should not be looked at. Obviously outside of that we can touch women (and outside of menstruation).
    – Ikshvaku
    Apr 20, 2023 at 17:04
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    Also, how come the garuda purana offers a more difficult prayaschitta compared to the padma purana? Fasting and drinking panchagavyam versus taking a bath.
    – Ikshvaku
    Apr 20, 2023 at 17:12
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    Garuda purana is specifically referring to brahmana whereas padma purana appears to be generic (all men/dvijas), maybe thats the reason for extra penance
    – ekAntika
    Apr 20, 2023 at 17:25
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    That makes sense.
    – Ikshvaku
    Apr 21, 2023 at 2:41
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    What about this part "before washing his face after a meal"? That sounds like a random interjection.
    – Ikshvaku
    Apr 21, 2023 at 2:46

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