Friday, December 9, 2011

Why Mahaabhaarat War?

Why Mahaabhaarat war had to happen? Many MBH characters are full of revenges, ambitions, and jealousies, then war was inevitable. Some of these revenges, jealousies and ambitions which led to MBH war are given here. Let us start from the top -

1. Ambaa's Revenge With  Bheeshm
Since Shaantanu died when his children Chitraangad and Vichitraveerya were young, Bheeshm took their whole responsibility. He educated them and crowned Chjitraangad, but he also died soon, so he crowned Vichitraveerya and brought three princesses of Kaashee - Ambaa, Ambikaa and Ambaalikaa for him. Ambikaa and Ambaalikaa accepted him as their husband but Ambaa did not as she loved Shaalv. So she was sent back to Shaalv, but unfortunately Shaalv refused to accept her saying that he did not accept the thing which he has lost. Ambaa again came to Hastinaapur, blamed Bheeshm for this incident, and asked him to marry her. Bheeshm could not have married her at any cost because of his vow taken at the time of his father's marriage to Satyavatee, so she cursed him that even if she has to take several births, she will be the cause of Bheeshm's death.

That is how Ambaa was burning in her own fire and was planning to kill Bheeshm. She sought help from many people but nobody could help her. Then she pleased Mahaadev and he bestowed her a boon that she should be able to kill Bheeshm in her next life. She asked - "How, I am a woman, I cannot go in the battlefield." He said - "You will remember everything, you will get manhood and will be able to kill Bheeshm." and gave her a flower garland to hang somewhere. It would not wilt and in her next life when she would see it she would remember everything. So she hung it on Drupad's palace gate and died. Then she was born in Drupad's house as a girl and got manhood after her marriage, She became Shikhandee and became the cause of the death of Bheeshm.

2. Dhritraashtra's Ambition to Get Kingdom
Dhritraashtra is angry at his own fate of being born as a blind, and as a result this he was not getting kingdom. He always cursed his mother that why did she close her eyes at the time of seeing Vyaas Jee. His another anger was on Gaandhaaree that in spite of being pregnant before Kuntee she was not able to deliver her first son before Yudhishthir. Both the things were eating him like a termite. He agreed that he could not become the king as he was blind, but he was not ready to agree that why his son could not be a king?

3. Shakuni's Revenge with Bheeshm
Shakuni has to take revenge of his family's insult. When Bheeshm went to Gaandhaar to ask for Gaandhaaree, she got ready without any second thought and she tied a strip of cloth on her eyes too. Gaandhaaree was very beautiful. Seeing this that Bheeshm asked his beautiful sister for his blind nephew, Gaandhaaree's father did not feel much but Shakuni, her brother, got boiled with anger and he vowed to take revenge from the whole family that he would destroy his whole family. So he came to Hastinaapur and started manipulating the things in his own way.

4. Drupad's Revenge with Drone
Drupad wanted to take revenge of his own insult Drone did to him. Drone and Drupad were classmates. They were very good friends too. Drupad used to say - "Whatever is mine its half is yours." After the education Drupad became the king and Drone came home, got married, and had a son Ashwatthaamaa. He did not have any income so he could not afford even the necessary things for his son. One day when he saw Kripee giving him flour solution in place of milk and he sahying "this is not milk, I will not drink it." He became so sad that he went out of the house saying that he was going to bring a cow for his son, and he wouldn't be back until he gets one.

He went to Drupad and reminded him his promise, "Whatever is mine, its half is yours." and asked only one cow from his own share of his kingdom. But Drupad ignored it saying that it was the matter of childhood and there was no equality between them, and since friendship is between equal people only, they cannot be friends. Drone got very angry at this and came back with a thorn in his heart. Later he became the Guru of Kaurav and Paandav. He prepared them well and asked them to bring Drupad tying with a rope behind the chariot. Paandav fulfilled his wish. After taking his half kingdom, as he had already defeated him through his disciples, he took one cow from his own share and freed him. Since that day Drupad was burning in fire so much so that he even performed a Yagya to get a son who could kill Drupad - Dhrishtdyumn.

5. Duryodhan's Jealousy With Paandav
Duryodhan had several issues. First he wanted to take revenge of his father's insult by Vidur at the time of coronation of King of Hastinaapur. Vidur advised that since Dhritraashtra was blind he could not be appointed a king. That is why he always insulted Vidur. Secondly he was very jealous with Paandav, since the day they came from the forest after losing their father. he had taken for granted that Paandav belonged to forest and Hastinaapur was his kingdom and one day he would be the King of Hastinaapur. For the same reason he tried several times to kill Paandav but did not succeed. Later they took Draupadee also and were invited to live in Hastinaapur. he could not tolerate this and he forced his father to divide the kingdom.

Later when Yudhishthir did Raajsooya Yagya, he became extremely jealous seeing their wealth and prosperity. On top of that when he was visiting their royal court built by Maya Daanav, he fell in a pond taking it as a dry floor, and hit a wall taking it as a door. Seeing this Paandav and Draupadee laughed at him. he felt so much insulted at this that he could not stay there even a moment and came back to Hastinaapur and planned to take their wealth. He organized dice game and defeated Paandav cunningly and took their wealth including Draupadee. He also insulted her in the court. Luckily she succeeded in taking everything back. Seeing his plan failed he played the dice game again and sent them in exile. There also he troubled them a lot. Even after the completion of their term of exile he did not return their kingdom. He was not ready to give them even five villages, so the war was necessary.

Duryodhan was sure that he would win the war as he had Bheeshm (with Ichchhaa Mrityu boon), Drone with many unique weapons (learnt from Parashuraam), Kripaa and Ashwatthaamaa (both immortal, Karn, Shakuni and Dushaasan with him. In fact he was right in his thinking but when Destiny is against somebody nothing works.

6. Karn's Desire to Defeat Arjun
Karn always felt "Why he was a Soot-Putra? Why his mother had left him? Who was she?" Bercause of being Soot-Putra he had to suffer a lot. He wanted a good education in archery which he could not get it. First Drone did not accept him. Later he had to lie to become the disciple of Parashuraam Jee. And because once his this lie was known to Parshuraam Jee he cursed him and took his most precious education from him.

From the beginning he had the competition with Arjun. he was stopped showing his abilities in a royal demonstration of weapons and they declared Arjun the best archer, he did not like this at all. His plea was at least they should give chance to others also then only they could declare him the best archer. Next in Draupadee's Swayamvar, he was insulted by Draupadee when she said - "I will not marry a Soot-Putra." And Arjun took Draupadee. He was always eager to fight with Arjun, but unfortunately he could never stand him, still he was never disappointed and till the last moment he fought with him with the desire to kill him.

7. Draupadee's Revenge with Duryodhan and Dushaasan
Draupadee wanted to take revenge from Duryodhan - of her insult in the court, he wanted her to sit on his right thigh; and Dushaasan of her insult - dragging her in the court in an odd condition and disrobing her in the court. Even Karn insuted her by calling her a prostitute. Since that day she did not tie her hair and waited for Dushaasan's chest's blood to wash her hair. When Bheem brought it, then only she tied her hair.

8. Bheem is Angry Overall
Bheem is angry overall with Dhritraashtra and his family as a whole - the whole affair, since their coming to Hastinaapur, effort to kill him by feeding him poisonous Kheer, Baaranaavat incident, giving them a non-arable land as their mkingdom etc till not giving back their kingdom even after coming back from their exile. He fulfilled all his vows - killing all the 100 sons of Dhritraashtra, bringing Dushaasan's chest's blood to Draupadee, and breaking Duryodhan's thigh.

9. Arjun is Also Angry Overall
Arjun is is also overall angry - with Duryodhan - on Baaranaavat affair, on cheating in dice game, and on insulting Draupadee; with Dushaasan - on insulting Draupadee, and with Karn - on insulting Draupadee.

11. Krishn's Task
Krishn had to do His own work for which He had come in this world - kill many Raakshas, destruction of Kuru Vansh, Yadu Vansh and some other kings; and establishing Paandu's sons' rule.

When so many people are living with jealousies, ambitions and revenges in their hearts a war is a must to take place. 

Sushma Gupta

Chandra Grahan (Lunar Eclipse) Dec 2011

This blog writing time - December 9, 2011;  8.00 am,
Tomorrow on  December 10, is the Full Moon eclipse. This is the year's first total Lunar eclipse and surprisingly, it will last for unusually long time, a rare celestial treat - 1 hour 40 minutes. Last time the Moon was covered for so long in July 2000 - it was for 1 hour 47 minutes long.

Scientific Reason of the Lunar Eclipse
The full Moon normally glows from reflected sunlight. A total Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Moon glides through the long shadow cast by the Earth and is blocked from the sunlight that illuminates it.
As the Moon plunges deeper into the Earth's shadow, the disk will appear to gradually change color, turning from silver to orange or red. This is because some indirect sunlight still reaches the Moon after passing through the Earth's atmosphere, which scatters blue light. Only red light strikes the Moon, giving it an eerie crimson hue.

Hindu Mythological View - Story of Saagar Manthan
Long long time ago, once there was a Devaasur Sangraam (Dev and Asur War). Many Devtaa and Asur were killed in that war. Daity's Guru Shukra had the Sanjeevanee herb to bring Asur  to life after they were dead, so they all came back to life, while Devtaa were not. Seeing this Dev Raaj Indra went to Brahmaa Jee, reported this event and asked the remedy. Brahmaa Jee went to Vishnu along with Devtaa. Vishnu said - "Presently, you extend friendship with Asur. Make them agree to churn the Ksheer Saagar (Milky Ocean). It will give us Amrit (nectar), somehow I will manage to to give you Amrit and then you will be immortal." And He explained them His plan. Devtaa got very happy to hear this. They went to Asur King Bali and extended friendship with him and made him ready for churning the Ocean.

They used Sumeru Mountain as the churning rod and Vaasuki Naag as the churning rope. When they wanted to carry Sumeru Mountain to the Ocean, they could not lift it as it was very heavy. Vishnu had to help them by carrying it on His Garud. So the Mountain was set and the rope was tied to churn it. Devtaa took the mouth end of Vaasuki Naag and Asur took the tail end. After a while Asur thought "when Devtaa are at Naag's mouth end, there must be some good thing in it", so they exchanged the ends with Devtaa.

They started churning the Ocean, but the Ocean's movements were so strong that the Mount Meru was unable to stay at one place, thus it was difficult to churn the Ocean. So Vishnu again had to come to help them. He assumed the form of a tortoise (Kashchap Incarnation)  and Meru Mountain was kept on his back, but still the mountain kept shaking. Vishnu again rescued them and kept His one hand above the top of the Mountain to keep the Mountain at one place. Then only Devtaa and Asur were able to churn the Ocean.

Ocean Gives Amrit
Fourteen Ratn (gems) came out of this churning including - (1) Halaahal poison - Shiv Jee drank it; (2) Surabhi Cow - Rishi took it; (3) Uchchashraivaa Horse - Raajaa Bali took it; (4) Airaavat Elephant - Indra took it; (5) Kaustubh Mani (gem) - Vishnu took it; (6) Kalp Vriksh - was planted in Nandan Van of Indra; (7) Many Apsaraa - Indra took them; (8) Lakshmee - Vishnu took Her; (9) Vaarunee Devee (liquor) - Asur took her; (10) Dhanvantari Vaidya - with Aayur Ved in his one hand; and (11) Amrit in his another hand.

As soon as the Asur saw Amrit Kalash (pitcher of nectar), they snatched the Kalash from Dhanvatari's hands and ran away to drink it. Devtaa just stood watching them running away with the Amrit Kalash. Vishnu again rescued them. As Asur were running away with the Kalash, they saw a very beautiful woman coming towards them. She was Mohinee - Vishnu's 14th Incarnation. Mohinee said - "O Asur, What is in this pitcher? And where are you running away with it?" Asur said - "We have Amrit in it and we are going to drink it. We are running away from Devtaa so that they do not take it from us." Mohinee smiled and said - "There is no need to run away from here, I can do this in a better way. I will deceive them and I will give you all this Amrit." Asur got ready as they had got mesmerized by the beauty of Mohinee. They gave the Kalash to Her. In the meantime Devtaa also came there, so Mohinee asked all of them to sit in two separate rows - one for Asur and one for Devtaa. All sat down patiently.

Distribution of Amrit and Raahu
Now Mohinee started distributing Amrit. She was very clever. She gave Amrit to Devtaa and Suraa (liquor) to Asur. For some time it was all right, but then Raahu Asur noticed what was going on. He silently rose from his seat, changed his form to a Devtaa and sat in Devtaa's row between Soorya Dev (Sun) and Chandramaa (Moon). When Mohinee came to distribute Amrit to Devtaa, she gave some to Raahu also considering him Devtaa. As he gulped the Amrit, Soorya Dev and Chandramaa recognized his disguise and reported to Mohinee. Mohinee immediately took out Her Chakra and severed his head. But by then Raahu has already gulped the Amrit, so he did not die, his both parts remained alive. His head was known was Raahu and his trunk came to be known as Ketu. Later Brahmaa Jee bestowed both parts of Raahu the status of planet and that is how these two planets (Raahu and Ketu) have their own importance in Vaidik astrology.

Since then Raahu is very angry with Soorya and Chandramaa and whenever he gets chance he comes to eat them. Raahu eats Chandramaa on Poornimaa (on the Full Moon day) and Soorya on Amaavasyaa (New Moon day).

Since our Devtaa are in trouble at these times, it is advised that people should do Jaap, Mantra recitation, Daan (alms) etc during these times for their welfare. After the eclipse is complete, one should take bath and clean one's house with water.   - beautiful site to show eclipse time and regions, you will enjoy seeing it

Sushma Gupta

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Axe in Hindu Scriptures

Axe, which was used a lot for many purposes a few decades ago, has been vanishing much from the field today from the modern world as well as from India, because whatever the axe did in past days, machines are used to do it today. The main use of the axe in ancient days was to size woods removing bark and outer inferior wood of trees and preparing fire wood. People took their axe to forest, cut the wood and bring it to their home putting it on their head. Those people were called woodcutter. Besides, there are many types of axe, there are many sayings about axe, and there are many uses of axe. We have many references of axe in our scriptures also, you must be wondering, how? let us see... Along with the scriptural references, here is given a very common story too about axe.

(1) Parashuraam With His Axe
Let us start with Bhagavaan himself. Parashuraam Jee, Vishnu's 7th incarnation, was born as the son of sage Jamadagni. There are three Raam in our scriptures. How to differentiate them from each other?  - (1) First Raam is called Parashuraam. He is the 6th incarnation of Vishnu. Why is he called Parashuraam, because he had an axe as his weapon that is why he is called Parashu + Raam, (2) Second Raam is Balaraam. He is the incarnation of Shesh Naag. Why is he called Balaraam, because he was very mighty that is why he is called Bala + Raam and (3) Third Raam is Shree Raam. He is the 7th incarnation of Vishnu. Why is he called Shree Raam, because he had taken one-wife vow and was always with Lakshmee (Shree) Jee that is why he is called Shree Raam.Parashuraam Jee got his axe from Shiv Jee after performing long austerities. he gave it to him to end the atrocities of Asur born on Prithvi. There are several stories of his axe. There are very few temples for Parashuraam. One temple is at Tiruvallam near Trivendram in Kerala.

(1.1) Parashuraam and Sahastrabaahu
It was this axe from which Parashuraam Jee emptied this Prithvi from Kshatriya 21 times. Once Sahstrabaahu came to Parashuraam's father Maharshi Jamadagni. Jamadagni Jee welcomed him and entertained him and his army with the help of his Kaamdhenu cow. Seeing that cow Sahastrabaahu became surprised and asked him to give that cow to him as the king was the appropriate man who should own such a cow, but Rishi refused to give her to him as she was not only cow to him, she used to fulfill all the needs of his religious activities. He could not give her to him at any cost. But Sahastrabaahu did not listen to and took her forcefully. The cow got angry and she produced lots of army from her body and killed the King's all army, so the King went away.

Seeing this his sons got angry and once they went alone to Rishi's Aashram, killed the Rishi and took the cow. When Parashuraam cam and saw this, he got very angry, he took his axe and went to take revenge of his father's killing. He killed Sahastrabaahu, and his all sons, leaving five of them, and brought his cow back. He brought his father to life. He found many other kings also who were troubling society so he killed all of them. Thus he emptied this Prithvi from Kshatriya 21 times. He filled five large tanks from their blood which were known as Samant Panchak (they are near Delhi). Later he donated the Prithvi to Braahman, threw his axe in the sea and went to Mahendra Parvat to do Tapasyaa (penance).

(1.2) Parashuraam and Ganesh Jee
Once Parashuraam Jee went to see Shiv Jee. Shiv Jee was taking rest and Ganesh Jee was guarding his place. So when Parashuraam Jee was about to enter the place of Shiv Jee, Ganesh Jee stopped him - "Where are you going?" "I have to see my Guru Shiv." "You cannot see him now as he is taking rest now." :But I am in hurry, I have to see him with regard to some specific purpose and I am free to see him anytime." "No, You cannot." At this both started fighting, Parashuraam Jee took out his axe and hurled it on Ganesh Jee. Ganesh Jee immediately recognized the axe as the weapon of his father. He bowed to the axe, fell one his teeth on the ground in his honor. The axe went back to Parashuraam Jee.

All this was so much noisy that both Shiv and Paarvatee came out to find out what was happening. They saw Parashuraam Jee with his axe and their son only with one tooth. They understood what would have happened. Paarvatee Jee got very angry at this and got ready to curse Parashuraam Jee. Parashuraam Jee tried his best to explain his situation but she was adamant on her decision. Then Vishnu came and explained her that Parashhuraam was also like her son Ganesh, and she should forgive him. Then only she agreed and forgave Parashuraam Jee. Since then Ganesh Jee has been known as Ekdant.

(1.3) Parashuraam Created Kerala With His Axe
After attacking all kings on account of killing his father Jamadagni by Kaartaveerya Arjun (Sahastrabaahu), and giving all those lands to sage Kashyap as Daan, sage Parashuraam prayed God Varun to give him a piece of Land from sea for throwing his axe. The entire area covered by the axe was restored as Land. This land is present Kerala as per legends. It was Parashuraam who brought Nampoodaree families from North India, organized them and settled them in 64 Graam (villages). He constructed many temples and made them the chief priests of those temples. On account of this Kerala temples have Namboodaree as Tantree.

Another popular legend would have it that the land crust that forms the State was raised from the depths of the ocean. After killing all Kshatriya of Prithvi, at one moment Parashuraam Jee felt painful regret for the wanton annihilation he had wrought. He offered severe penance atop the mountain heights. In a mood of profound atonement, the sage heaved his mighty axe into the midst of the distant ocean. The waves foamed and frothed as a axe-shaped land, extending from Gokarn to Kanyaa Kumaaree. surfaced from the depths of the sea to form the state Kerala and hence the sobriquet - "Gods own Country". He made/worshiped at the 108 Shiv Kshetra all over the South Western coast of India, of which 105 exist in modern Kerala, followed by one in Sucheendram, Tamilnaadu, two in Karnaatak namely Kollur and Gokarn. These temples have special sanctity.

(2) Satyavaan-Saavitree Legend
In the Satyavaan and Saavitree legend, Satyavaan was a wood cutter. Saavitree was a princess of a great beauty, intellect and good conduct. When his father could nor find a groom for her, he asked his daughter to look for one herself. He sent her around with his ministers and her friends. She went around and saw a boy cutting the wood with his axe in the forest. She found out about him and informed her father about him.  The then Naarad Jee came there and told that that boy was not good for her because he had only one year to live from that day. The King asked Saavitree to choose any other one but she said - "Father, Indian girl chooses her husband only once. I have chosen him and that is all."  Later they got married.

Satyavaan didn't know anything about this, but Saavitree did not forget it. Three days before the appointed day, Saavitree started her worship and the third day she went to forest with Satyavaan in spite of explaining her several times. After a while Satyavaan complained about headache and died. Saavitree saw Yam Raaj taking Satyavaan's astral body taken out from his physical body. She followed him and got success to bring him back to life with her talking skills. They came back with their axe.  Read the full story.

(3) Kaali Daas and His Axe
Do not cut the branch you are sitting on. That is what Kaali Daas was doing, and that is why people took him as a fool. If a person is sitting on a branch and cutting it from the tree side, he is a first class fool, because as soon is the branch is cut, he will fall down. If one has to cut the branch sitting on it, he should sit on the tree side and cut the branch from outside. This axe was so important in his life that it helped him marry a very learned girl who had refused to marry many boys on the basis that they were unsuccessful in defeating her in discussions.   Read the full story.

A Story About Axe
Once there was a woodcutter living in a village. He was very poor and used to manage his family after selling the wood in the market. One day he was cutting a tree near a river that his axe got slipped from his hands and fell into the river. The tree was half cut. He had to finish it, and he had only one axe. He did not know swimming, so he prayed to God sitting on the bank of the river to get his axe back. The God heard his prayer and He suddenly appeared before him holding a Golden axe and asked him whether that was his axe? He said "No, this is not my axe." God took a dip in the river and got another axe. It was made of silver. God asked him again whether that was his axe, he still said "No".

Now God again took a dip in the river and appeared with an old iron axe. He again asked the man whether it was his axe. The man quickly replied God - "Yes, it is my axe." Seeing the truthfulness of the woodcutter, God gave him with all the three axes. The woodcutter first accomplished the task with his iron axe, and then sold his both gold and silver axes. Now he became very rich, but still he continued to cut wood and mange his family.

Now there lived another woodcutter in his neighborhood. He was greedy and jealous. As he saw that his neighbor had become very rich he got jealous. His wife was more jealous than him, so she asked him to go to the neighbor and asked him what did he do to become rich. He went to the neighbor and asked him - "Friend, What did you do to become so rich?" The neighbor was very simple so he told him the truth whatever happened with him. The neighbor went back to his home and reported it to his wife. His wife was very wise, she compelled him to go and cut the tree near the river and behave in the same way as his neighbor did. The envious woodcutter reached near the river and found a tree for cutting. He started cutting it, but the axe would not slip, so he wontedly threw the axe into the river and started praying the God to bring it to him.

God truly heard his prayer and came out of the river with his own iron axe and asked him whether it was his axe. But the envious woodcutter wanted not his iron axe but the golden axe to satisfy his wife, so he said that it was not his own axe. God again took a dip in the river and reappeared with a silver axe and asked him if it was his axe, but the envious woodcutter wanted not the silver axe but the golden axe to satisfy his wife, so he said that "No, it is not my axe." God again took a dip in the river and reappeared with the golden axe and asked him whether it was his axe. Seeing that axe, that person got very happy and quickly said that - "Yes, Yes, It is my axe." And he was going to almost snatch that axe from God’s hands, but God was very clever. He moved His hand back and the neighbor could not take that axe from God's hand.

Now God asked a question – "Do you cut the tree with this axe?" He never expected such a question from God, so he could not reply Him immediately. The God was so annoyed by his lies that He threw all axes back into the river and disappeared. Thus not only he lost the gold and silver axes due to his greed but his own good iron axe also which was his only means to earn livelihood.

Sushnma Gupta

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dog in Hindu Mythology

Dog in Hindu society is considered an inauspicious animal. In North India it is not a very common sight to see a dog in houses in general. An exception I saw in Kachchh, when I was in Anjaar, that dogs were welcomed there in the houses, sometimes even in the kitchen. The women there fed them and after eating the dogs went away.You will be surprised to know several descriptions of dog in our scriptures, how and where, let us see ---

(1) Dog in Ved
Rig Ved Rishi have mentioned Dogs in at least 3-4 Mantra in Rig Ved, however, the stories are not there, because Upanishad doesn't contain text related to popular Indra, Sinhaasan and Devtaa and Daitya, God or Demon type stories, their subject is only Brahm and Aatmaa.

(2) Dog in Raamaayan
In the Uttar Kaand of Vaalmeeki Raamaayan, (V-Raamaayan, 7/24 Sarg 24) there is reference to a complaint made by a dog against a Braahman who had hurt it without any reason. Raam summons the Braahman concerned and admonishes him. He then asked the dog what punishment should be given to the Braahman, and the dog says "Make him a Kulapati (a kind of University Vice Chancellor) Kaalanjar Pradesh for I was such a Kulapati in its previous birth and had hurt many students, that is why I took birth as a dog. When he would be the Kulapati, he will also behave in the same way, and will be born as a dog in his next life." Raam laughed and punished the Braahman as the dog prescribed.

(3) Dog in Mahaabhaarat - Yudhishthir's Dog
--Yudhishthir had a dog with him when he was going to Swarg (in Swargaarohan Parv of Mahaabhaarat). He did not leave this dog in spite of Indra's threat that he would not be able to go to Swarg because the dogs were allowed in Swarg. When he did not get ready to go to Swarg at any cost leaving the dog behind,, the dog showed his real form and blessed him. In reality that dog was the father of Yudhishthir - Dharm Raaj himself, although he did not now it. (MBH, G-7-Postwar/34)
-- Because of being inauspicious animal, once Raajaa Janamejaya was doing a Yagya along with his brothers, that a dog came there and just stood there. Janamejaya's brothers considering him inauspicious pushed him back. By chance they did not know who that dog was. So after being pushed away that dog went to his mother and when his mother saw him beaten badly, she asked him what had happened to him. He told the whole story that he was just standing near the Yagyashaalaa that Raajaa Janamejaya's brothers beat him and pushed him away, although he did not do anything to annoy them. In fact he was the son of Indra's bitch Saramaa, so Saramaa came to Janamejaya's Yagyashaalaa and asked them as why did they beat her son without any reason. They could not reply, so she cursed the King - An evil will fall on you when you will least expect it."Raajaa Janamejaya came back after the sacrifice and had to look for somebody who could neutralize its effect. (MBH, G-0-Prolog/4)

(4) Indra's Dog
--Indra himself has a bitch named Saramaa whose son was abused by Janamejaya's brothers when he was doing a Yagya. At that Saramaa cursed Janamejaya that his Yagya will come to stop in between by a Rishi - the story is given in under the heading - "Dog in Mahaabhaarat" above.
--Saramaa is said to have pursued and recovered the cows stolen by the Panai Asur and hidden in the nether world of Paataal.

(5) Yam Raaj's Dog
Yam Raaj, the God of death is believed to have two ferocious dogs Sarameyas (described as the off springs of Indra's dog). Both of these dogs have four eyes each and they guard the road to Yam Lok. Yam himself took the form of a dog, while guiding Yudhishthir to Swarg Lok, see below. [MBH, G-7-Postwar/34]

(6) Kaal Bhairav's Dog
The vehicle of Kaalbhairav (a fierce firm of Shiv Jee) is a dog.

(7) Bhagavaan Dattaatreya's Dogs
Dattaatreya's picture can always be seen with four dogs following him.

(8) Shankaraachaarya and Dogs
Once when Aadi Shankar was in Kaashee, while returning after a bath in Gangaa River, he was confronted by a Chaandaal with 4 dogs. The Chaandaal was none other than Vishwanaath, the presiding deity of Kaashee, Himself, in disguise. The 4 dogs were the 4 Ved. Not recognizing this, Aadi Shankar requested the Chaandaal and the 4 dogs to move away from his path, whence the Chaandaal questioned that - "Who is to move away - their body or Aatmaa? If Aatmaa is indeed the same amongst every one - a learned scholar, a low-caste person and the dogs, why should Aadi Shankar ask them to move? If Shankar was referring to the body, then by Shankar's own admission, this body was temporary and one should not identify oneself with the body. On this count also, there wasn't any difference between the two of them." Gifted with a razor-sharp intelligence, it did not take long for Shankar to realize his folly and that the Lord Himself was before him in the form of Chaandaal and dogs. He immediately burst out with a philosopher's delight - Maneesh Panchakam a five-stanza exposition of the body-soul concept.

(9) Dog's Reference Elsewhere
Five Characteristics of a Student
Kaak cheshtaa, bako dhyaanam, shwaan nidraa, alpahaaree,
griha Tyaagee, vidyaarthee panch lakshanam"
Roughly translated - the five indications of a good student are ---
(1) perseverance of a crow,
(2) concentration of a crane,
(3) light sleeper like a dog,
(4) light eater,
(5) staying away from home (means noise, emotions).

Read also     Dog or God,    and    Man and God

Sushma Gupta