Questions tagged [animals]

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23
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1answer
1k views

Do animals know God exists?

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. ...
17
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4answers
3k views

Can animals attain moksha?

Can animals attain Moksha or do that have to take human birth to attain Moksha ? There is this story of Gajendra Moksha where an elephant gets Moksha. Is it just a special case or is it possible by ...
17
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5answers
7k views

Why are Gods and Yogis shown sitting on animals skins?

It can be observed that many Hindu Gods and saints are shown sitting on animal (tiger) skins. What could be the reason behind this?
17
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2answers
718 views

Protection of cows and subsequent sins when failing in it

In India, I saw many cows roaming freely in the city. They were feasting on plastic bags. Isn't this ironic? On one hand, Hindus seem to accept that humans shouldn't harm cows. Does this not imply ...
16
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5answers
1k views

Why are cows given special importance?

Everywhere in the Bhagavatam, Lord Krishna keeps asking us to worship cows, not to harm them etc. Why only cows, why not other animals? All animals do something or the other for nature. Together ...
15
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2answers
31k views

Why do Hindus feed milk to snakes?

I have seen a lot of times in temples that priests offer milk to snake idols. What is the reason behind it? Do snakes really drink milk?
15
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5answers
9k views

Is it wise to kill an insect just because it is bothering you

Is it wise to kill an insect just because it is wandering around your apartment or just because it is bothering you? I've seen people killing small insects just because it is wandering/jumping/hiding ...
15
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1answer
8k views

Why Dattatreya is shown surrounded by 4 dogs and cow?

Simple google search with word "Dattatreya" shows many images of lord Dattatreya. but 1 important point to note is in most of those images, lord Dattatreya is shown surrounded by 4 dogs and cow. And ...
15
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1answer
248 views

Why do the Krodhavasas take away the merits of people with dogs?

When Indra comes to take Yuddhisthira to Swarga, the latter refuses to go without the dog who has been accompanying him all this while: "Yudhishthira said, ‘O thou of a 1,000 eyes. O thou that art ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Is sitting on a camel in a dream inauspicious?

Currently I am reading Sundara Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana. In this kanda, there is a sarga/chapter named Trijata Swapnam meaning the dream of the ogre Trijata. She narrates her dream to other ogres and ...
13
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3answers
580 views

Significance of certain deities using a particular animal as their vehicle

The Hindu texts are replete with references of deities using a particular animal as their primary vehicle. E.g., Ganesha has a mouse for his vehicle, Shiva uses an ox (Nandi), while Karthikeya is ...
13
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2answers
19k views

What is the significance of Ashwamedha Yagna?

Throughout the Hindu scriptures, there have been instances of Kings offering Horses as sacrifice to the Gods in the Ashwamedha Yagna. What is the significance of this ritual? Why only horses were ...
13
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2answers
1k views

If Hindus can't kill animals, how do they get tiger carpets?

I read some Yoga books, and saw Swami Sivananda saying to not kill animals, but himself can be found in a photo making asana over a tiger's skin carpet, even pictures of Lord Shiva show him over a ...
12
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4answers
29k views

Why we see Goddess Durga sometimes sitting on a tiger and sometimes on a lion?

I don't know why we see Goddess Durga sometimes sitting on a lion and sometimes on a tiger? Which animal was actually Durga's mount (vahana)? Is it Tiger or Lion?
12
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1answer
167 views

Is there any story in scriptures about the origin of peacocks?

The Shalya Parva of Mahabharat while describing the gifts of different arms to Kartikeya mentions the following: Garuda gave him his favourite son, a peacock of beautiful feathers. Aruna gave him a ...
11
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2answers
22k views

What is the significance or importance of a 7-headed snake?

There are many depictions of Vishnu resting on a Snake. But why is it that the snake is sometimes depicted as 3-headed, 5-headed or 7-headed? What is the meaning or importance of snakes in Hinduism?
11
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2answers
6k views

What are some of the practices of having pets as per Hinduism?

Is it ok to have pets in Hinduism and if so, what pets are ok and which are not ok? Moreover, is there a proper protocol for raising pets? In general, views from Shastras would be very helpful.
10
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1answer
192 views

Way of beheading before consuming meat

In north part of India, I have observed, Hindus only eat meat of goat/chicken beheaded at once. They say it "jhatakA"; literal meaning "at once". Is this concept backed up by scriptures ? If not then ...
10
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1answer
817 views

Story of a rishi converting a dog to a dragon that tries to eat the same rishi

I remember having heard the story in my childhood days. The basic plot of the story goes something like this: there is a poor dog which comes near a meditating rishi who takes pity and converts it ...
9
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3answers
38k views

Why are owls considered inauspicious?

I remember in my childhood many elders advised me to avoid seeing owls. That bird is considered inauspicious by many in the Hindu community. The most common reason cited for owls being inauspicious ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Which scriptures say that the Kings and Kshatriyas are allowed to hunt animals?

Many people cite the example of the Pandavas hunting deers to prove that its ok for the Kshatriyas (& the Kingly classes) to hunt. 1) But are there any Scriptures which explicitly say that Kings ...
9
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1answer
3k views

Did the story of Mahabharata start (and end) with a dog?

Some people say that the tale of Mahabharata starts and ends with a dog. When they say ends with a dog, they are referring to Yama-disguised-as-a-dog who follows Yudhishtira and other Pandavas on ...
9
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1answer
156 views

When did Cows receive the boon of horns from Brahma & why did they want them?

Mahabharat Anushasan Parva Section LXXXI mentions Vyas as saying: "Vyasa said, 'Kine constitute the stay of all creatures. Kine are the refuge of all creatures. Kine are the embodiment of merit. ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Why do the gods look like human beings?

The gods generally have a humanoid form: one head, two eyes, two ears, two arms, two legs, etc. Of course some gods have individual variations: Vishnu has four arms, Brahma has four heads, Indra has ...
9
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2answers
9k views

Why does lord Krishna love cows so much?

Why only cows, why not buffaloes or goats or any other animal whose milk is edible for humans?
9
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3answers
1k views

Are there references to sharks or dolphins in hindu mythology?

Both sharks and dolphins have been known to live in and around India. The Irrawaddy dolphin and the Ganges shark are species that actually live in seas or swim up rivers. It seems like there should be ...
8
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3answers
883 views

What is name of tiger in vedic-age? Is he present in rig-veda?

What is name of tiger in vedic-age? Is he present in rig-veda? If no then only refrence other vedas and scriptures. UPDATE Is simha a word used for both tigers and lions in rig-veda and other ...
8
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2answers
1k views

What scriptures describe swans separating milk from water?

As I discuss in this question, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school. But there are five other Astika or orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy: Purva Mimamsa, Samkhya,...
8
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2answers
2k views

How many rebirths does a soul go through?

I heard that an Atma (soul) will take 7 births on the earth. Is it true? If it is true, then seven janma-s apply only for humans or animals or combinations of them?
8
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1answer
8k views

Shani Dev and Crow

Shani(शनि) deva, also known as शनैश्चर is one of the Navagraha (the nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology) of Jyotiṣa. If we visit the temples, there is good chance that Shani(शनि) deva is ...
8
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1answer
4k views

Why do only Indian squirrels have stripes on them?

Why do only Indian squirrels have stripes on their back, whereas squirrels from other countries don't have stripes on their body? Is this because of Rama? What is the story/belief behind this?
8
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2answers
6k views

What is the vaahan (mount) of Lord Hanuman?

Does Lord Hanuman have a mount (vahana) like all the other Gods? I got this doubt when I have seen a camel before Hanuman in a temple like Nandi before Lord Shiva.I searched the internet about this ...
8
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1answer
226 views

What scriptures describe these four types of living beings?

The Paratvadi Panchakam is a five-verse poem by the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Nadadur Ammal In praise of the five types of manifestations of Vishnu described in the Pancharatra Agamas: Para, Vyuha, ...
8
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0answers
88 views

Are any stories available for the sons of Sarama that serve Yama?

Sarama is the female dog that is mentioned in many Vedic verses as the helper of the gods and is especially associated with Indra. Her children are also mentioned in some verses as being assistants of ...
8
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0answers
979 views

What is this ancient animal called Yali?

I have been told that Yali is a fierce animal of ancient times. I have seen this in temple sculptures: It is beyond doubt that this animal is extinct now, but my questions are as below. Which Hindu ...
7
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2answers
669 views

Is caste system only for humans?

Is caste system only for humans? What about animals, Asuras, Devas etc. Does caste system also apply to them?
7
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2answers
5k views

What is Hinduism's stand on bestiality?

Bestiality is possibly the most abnormal and perverted form of sexual intercourse where a human being unites (sexually) with an animal. Presumably, some Hindu temples in India depict bestiality ...
7
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2answers
693 views

How can killing a Human being and killing an Animal be on the same level?

Why does Manu Smriti say that by killing certain Animals one should perform the same penance that must be done for killing a Sudra? Manu 11.131 - Having killed a cat, an ichneumon, a blue jay, a frog,...
7
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2answers
588 views

Did any sect reject animal sacrifice from the time of its founding?

I believe Sankara, Ramanuja et al condoned the idea of animal sacrifice. I think Ramanuja says the sacrificed animal may feel some pain but it would reach a higher state after being sacrificed. If ...
7
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1answer
458 views

What do Vedas say about non-sacrificial killing of animals?

Do Vedas or any scripture say anything about any restrictions on non-sacrificial killing of animals? We all know about animal sacrifices which was later explained by scholars. But what about normal (...
7
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1answer
647 views

Why was Yudhishtira accompanied by a dog during the ending stages of his life?

Is there any reason why a dog was chosen as Yudhishtira's. Is it mentioned in the Mahabharata?
7
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1answer
13k views

What is the animal on Kubera's lap? Is there a story?

There is an animal on Kubera's lap in the pictures. I posted one such picture below. Also, I want to know if there is a story attached to it.
7
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0answers
141 views

What scriptures describe the Rishi Shalihotra cutting the wings off of horses?

The Ashva Shastra is a work of unknown authorship about the nature and proper care of horses. Now this chapter of the Ashva Shastra says that there used to be winged horses, but then Indra asked the ...
7
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0answers
166 views

Which scriptures describe the concept of "Shadjanma Pashu"?

While reading the article "Ahimsha and Vegetarianism in Kashmir Shaivaism" on the Kamakotimandali, i came across the concept of "Shadjanma Pashu" ( Shad=six; Janma=birth; Pashu=an animal). It is ...
7
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0answers
99 views

What is the most recent reference to wild Sharabhas existing?

Most people only know the story of how Shiva took an incarnation as the half-lion half-bird Sharabheshwara in order to try to subdue Vishnu's incarnation Narasimha, as I discuss here.  What's not as ...
6
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3answers
254 views

Do Hindu scriptures talk about how to handle conflicts between prescriptions in scripture and the secular law of the land?

Organizations like PETA seem to be working through the judicial system to end the practice of animal sacrifice. A recent example of this was a petition by another organization to end animal sacrifice ...
6
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4answers
1k views

Unknown creature mentioned in the Hindu mythology?

Mahabharata mentions the Timingila and Makara as being deep within the ocean, along with other huge sea creatures: timingilah kacchapasca tatha timi timingilah makarascatra drsyante jale magna ...
6
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2answers
767 views

Do I commit a sin of greater degree when I kill a holy creature (say cow) instead of any other creature?

I genuinely believe this question is a bit in bad taste but do read below my thoughts of inquisitiveness for putting up a bland question like this: I was curious to know if karma would adjudge me as ...
6
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1answer
176 views

What does the Rig Veda say about the forests and healing properties of plants and animals

This article mentions the forests, and healing properties of plants and animals ...Similarly the Rig-Veda mentions about the forest goddess and healing properties of plants, tribes of fishes, ...
6
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1answer
5k views

Why does Parashara say to keep a black cat and precious stones in home?

In the Parashara Smriti, there is a verse which instructs to keep a black cat and precious stone in homes. One should keep in his house the following things : the wood for striking out a ...