I remember a scene from the Telugu movie Sri Ramadasu in which animals such as elephants, deer and peacocks are filled with ecstasy when Lord Vishnu descends to earth as Lord Rama, and welcomed Him. Now my questions are:

  1. Do animals really know God exists? Or was it just picturization in the film? (You can see that particular scene here).
  2. There is another story that Rama warmly stroked squirrel for the little help it could do while building Ramasethu. You can find the story from here. Does it mean that animals can recognize God (here Squirrel chants Rama-Nama and helps Him) in whatever form he exists? (Here Rama was human and some people who lived at that time saw him as human except Supraja and some other sages).
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    Animals know God exists. Because animals are jivas just like humans and all other creatures. Animals can theoretically get moksha. Because all it takes for moksha is realizing who we really are (Advaita). Hindu scripture is full of references to animals who are closer to God than several human beings such as vahanas, vanaras, etc. :) However from a general point of view, animals have tamasic nature dominating them, demons have rajasic nature dominating them, while humans ideally have a mix of everything. What is the third question? – Sai Sep 8 '15 at 14:45
  • You can read an incident about Ramana Maharshi and a cow named Lakshmi whom, Ramana granted Mokhsha -Lakshmi a cow. – Nithin Sridhar Sep 8 '15 at 16:09
  • @Sai Demons are characterized by Tamas, not Rajas. – Keshav Srinivasan Sep 8 '15 at 20:04
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    @KeshavSrinivasan well yeah I guess you could say that tamasic rajas is possible :). The reason I believe they are rajas is because of the strong activity that asuras have been doing in our Indian history. Asuras are known for doing thousands of years worth penance, as well as doing conquests and such. They are known for indulging in passionate activities to fulfill their desires. Such is the quality of rajas. Rajas is the guna which compels and agitates one to perform acts, motivated by desire. Anyhow this is totally unrelated to this discussion. Will be happy to chat about it if you require. – Sai Sep 9 '15 at 0:05
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    @Sai I think the issue is that the prominent Asuras that are featured in popular stories are highly atypical examples. Most Asuras don't do things like perform Yagnas, engage in Tapasya, etc. It's only the rare few who break away from their nature and do such things, but because those rare few are the ones who are most successful in defeating the gods and conquering the three worlds and the like, such that Vishnu, Shiva, etc. have to intervene, they're often highlighted in the Puranas. – Keshav Srinivasan Sep 9 '15 at 1:02

Gajendra elephant got Moksha by chanting name of Lord Vishnu. Once Gajendra elephant went to a lake to drink water. One crocodile came and barked at elephant's feet. Crocodile was very strong and it holds elephant in water only. Gajendra elephant continuosly chanted Lord Vishnu's name and Lord Vishnu came to rescue it. Thus an elephant got Moskha.

Nandhi is also devotee of Lord Shiva. Garuda is devotee of Vishnu and so on many deity has animals as their vehicle.

This describes that even animals know GOD exists and they can get moksha too.

Actually human is also one animal and Lord Shiva/Harihar is Pashupati.

Read More Here at Wikipedia


Animals cannot know God exists. Simply because animals don't need to know God exists. It is like asking whether fish know that water exists.

It is only the mind-intellect that asks such question. Beings immersed in pure living also don't ask such questions. Tribal people don't ask questions whether God exists.

The mind is troubled by its own existence and is simply seeking a way out. As for Gajendra praying, it is actually a human mind trapped in an elephant's body. Questioning is just the mind's way to feel its way back to its source.

Animals can neither be classified as rajasic, tamasic or sattwic. Animals that show deviations in nature are only influenced by the human mind. Pets are mostly heavily influenced by the owner's mind-nature.

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    Welcome to Hinduism SE! You should cite sources. – The Destroyer Mar 31 '17 at 8:23
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    "Tribal people don't ask whether God exists." What do you mean by that? – Sarvabhouma Mar 31 '17 at 8:39
  • @SreeCharan That means that they know that God exists..They are not sceptical like educated beings.. – Rickross Mar 31 '17 at 9:14
  • @@Kalyan For the most part i agree with you..but its not true that animals can't be classified into the 3 Gunas..Btw what is your answer to be precise ? a Yes OR a No ? – Rickross Mar 31 '17 at 9:16
  • It's a no really because gunas pertain to the thought process. Wild animals are part of nature and its process. Since we can't classify nature hence we can't classify wild animals. As for pets or those animals that come in contact with humans take on the guna-nature of the humans. As an example a wild lion kills only for food and deer are seen to be walking near a lion who is done with it. So how can one classify this lion as sattwic or rajasic? – Kalyan Krishnan Apr 1 '17 at 16:10

Animals in general don't know God exists !! That is the reason they got into the cycle of lower births.

Infact, only few among the 8.4 million species including demigods know the existence of God. And very interestingly, only humans can try and get God realization, after many human births, because only humans can completely surrender their karma unto God. This fact has been summarised in the B.Gita.

All the vedic/shastric example are either special cases of rebirths into animal body due to the effect of curse by sages (Gajendra, the elephant) or curse with the blessings by Big demigods (Kakabhshundi, the holy crow; Shukadeva, the holy parrot, etc) and/or death in attachment for animals (Bharat Maharaj, as a deer). These are also are the real examples, where the promise of Krishna in the Gita, "Kaunteya pratijanihi na mei bhaktyah pranashyati.." becomes true.


Yes. The other examples of God realization in the animals, (like in the cases of animals with Lord Rishabhdeva, Lord Buddha, Lord Chaitanya, and with many other higher devotees) are the transcendental induction effect of the "association with the realised pure devotees".

Ref: Srimad Bhagvatam, Chaitanya Bhagwata

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