Posts Tagged ‘Vishnu’

When pets occupy a spiritual space

May 22, 2008

Anyone who has ever cared for a pet dog, neighbourhood cow, kitchen cat or horse at the riding club will verify French writer Anatole France’s statement that “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”.

The emotional bond between humans and animals is easily accepted. With its uncomplicated nature and unconditional love, an animal can expand the boundaries of the human heart. But are animals also deeply connected to the human soul? Like many philosophical systems, Hinduism gives animals prime of place.

One of its chief gods is elephant-headed and another is a monkey. Shiva and Vishnu have several animal incarnations. Anthropologically, animals were useful to humans; they were likely given the status of gods to impress their importance upon the general people. Moreover, since all creatures are considered manifestations of the same paramatma, animals necessarily gain a position of equality with human beings.

Click here for the full article.

Advertisements