Questions tagged [animals]

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13
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
898 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
542 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
20k 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?
9
votes
1answer
745 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
17k 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 ...
15
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6answers
5k 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?
9
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2answers
3k 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.
7
votes
3answers
27k 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 (bahan)? Tiger or Lion?
8
votes
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
674 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
35k 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
205 views

What scriptures describe toads being found in the heart of solid rocks?

The term "Shaivite" is overused nowadays. For instance, Iyer Brahmins are often called Shaivites, but they're actually followers of Adi Shankaracharya's Smartha sect (which I discuss here and here), ...
-3
votes
1answer
212 views

Is “cow” a concept or does it refer to just one species of milk-producing bovine animals?

3. The murderer of a Brāhmaṇ becomes consumptive, the killer of a cow becomes hump-backed and imbecile, the murderer of a virgin becomes leprous,--all three born as outcastes. The Garuda Purana, ...
8
votes
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
30k 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?
6
votes
1answer
240 views

What's the response to the Cārvāka thought on animal sacrifice in a yajña?

How did other schools of Indian philosophy respond to this argument by the Cārvākas with regard to animal sacrifice as part of a yajña? If a beast slain in the Jyotishtoma rite will itself go to ...
5
votes
3answers
247 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
854 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
138 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
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
419 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 (...
4
votes
0answers
153 views

How prevalent is animal sacrifice in India as part of Hindu ritual?

I was under the impression that animal sacrifice as Hindu ritual was a minority phenomenon in India. Am I wrong? Are there any statistics available? Note that I am not asking if it is justified, ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
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?
7
votes
1answer
10k 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
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Do Hindus mourn the death of animals the same way they mourn their deceased relatives?

Hindus remain austere and refrain from participating in any religious ritual for a specified number of days (mostly 13) when any family member expires. The popular thought is that the home becomes "...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the role of dogs in Hinduism?

In Hinduism dogs have a great importance lord Kalabhairva's mount is a dog.can one features exactly the Importance of dogs in Hinduism and How are they even related to gods
4
votes
2answers
306 views

Which scripture talks about killing baby cows in sacrifices?

Manusmriti verses 5.41-42 say this: madhuparke ca yajñe ca pitṛdaivatakarmaṇi | atraiva paśavo hiṃsyā nānyatraityabravīn manuḥ || 41 || eṣvartheṣu paśūn hiṃsan vedatattvārthavid dvijaḥ | ...
4
votes
1answer
563 views

What scriptures describe scorpions born from cow dung?

As I discuss in this question, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school, which bases its tenets on the doctrines laid out in the Brahma Sutras, a work by the sage Vyasa ...
2
votes
5answers
8k views

Soul, rebirth, humans and animals

For human the soul is child of supreme soul. Soul takes birth and leave the body until it gets MOKHSA. But what about animal's soul, will they always take birth as animal and who is supreme or manager ...
2
votes
1answer
248 views

Do the Devas and Pitrs like eating meat?

The body of animals killed in Yajnas and Sraddhas go to the world of the Devas as well as the world of Pitrs. The Devas and Pitrs eat the flesh of the animals killed in the yajnas offered by humans. ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

What scriptures describe worms born from honey?

As I discuss in this question, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school, which bases its tenets on the doctrines laid out in the Brahma Sutras, a work by the sage Vyasa ...