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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Hinduism

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Old 01-03-2021, 06:21 AM
ajay00 ajay00 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,114
When King Yudhisthira renounced heaven for the sake of his loyal dog...

For us Hindus, the character of King Yudhisthira in the Mahabharatha is well-known.

He was the embodiment of virtuous conduct and behavior and exercised patience and goodwill even in the most adverse situations and circumstances. Even his arch-rivals Duryodhana and Shakuni praised Yudhisthira's character and conduct, and Krishna was his lifelong friend and counselor who aided him in difficult situations in his life out of great regard for his virtuous nature.

Numerous tests emerged in life for Yudhisthira testing his conduct and character in great adversity but Yudhisthira passed them bravely.

After his retirement in old age from kingly duties, Yudhisthira set out in pilgrimage to the Himalayas accompanied by a dog.

Upon reaching the top of a mountain he met Indra, the king of the gods, who had come personally to take him to heaven. When Yudhisthira sought Indra's permission for his loyal dog to accompany him to heaven, Indra refused citing that the dog was an unclean animal and not fit for heaven.

Though Yudhisthira pleaded incessantly for his dog to accompany him, Indra refused. At this, Yudhisthira decided to refuse to go to heaven with Indra as he felt that abandoning a loyal creature to be a great sin and turned back with his dog. At this point, it was revealed that the dog was actually Dharma, the god of righteousness in disguise, and this whole drama was actually a test of Yudhisthira's character.

Having passed the final test, Indra took Yudhishtira in his physical form to heaven, and it is said that Yudhisthira is the first man to go to heaven in his physical form without abandoning it.

So this begs the question. Is compassion and empathy to living creatures other than human beings, actually a silent test for all human beings in this world , and would this also determine to some extent whether we embrace heaven or hell after death ?
Blessed is the mind that jumps over and beyond its own conditioning and lands again into its natural state of unmoving awareness. - Mooji

Evil is an extreme manifestation of human unconsciousness. -- Eckhart Tolle
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:08 PM
inavalan inavalan is online now
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 4,448
Quite interesting story, and it surely invites one's interpretation, and pondering on it. What is the lesson? What is the guidance resulting from that lesson?

There is a special place in my heart for animals, and for some of them I developed feelings that one might consider to be reserved for human friends only.

I believe that all (most of) these stories are symbolical, even multi-level symbolical, and each one of the seekers can interpret them at their level of development.

That's why when I read such a story, firstly I put aside my beliefs and expectations about the message, and forget others' interpretations of it. Then, I interpret at intuitive level, neither intellectual, nor emotional.

Asking "So this begs the question. Is compassion and empathy to living creatures other than human beings ..." seems to me more like looking for the confirmation of one's already held beliefs. In this way they may miss the true message.

I feel that this story will keep coming into my mind until I'll eventually decide to understand its lesson and guidance.

My first reaction is to rebel a little against the idea of being tested that way, and also not to settle for the warm and fuzzy feelings of compassion and empathy. I need to go beyond the obvious.
Everything expressed here is what I believe. Keep that in mind when you read my post, as I kept it in mind when I wrote it. I don't parrot others. Most of my spiritual beliefs come from direct channeling guidance. I have no interest in arguing whose belief is right, and whose is wrong. I'm here just to express my opinions, and read about others'.
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Old 02-03-2021, 06:04 AM
kralaro kralaro is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Inavalan, IMO this story teaches that not to ditch one's loyal subjects in return of pleasure. The dog wasn't Yudhisthira's own but was a street dog who followed him.
Beware this story doesn't teach attachment. There's even a story that King Bharat was reborn as a deer because at the moment of his death he thought about his pet deer.
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