Every dog owner knows. Dogs give, give and only GIVE. They give their love unconditionally and readily. Just open yourself to receive their love, and see what a torrential pour of love you experience. They are all over you, physically trying to hug you so to speak. If you want them to stay away, they will. But they will continue to send your their love-waves silently. Their love, like the sunshine, is for you to take on your terms. Here is a beautiful video of love in action http://www.godvine.com/Loving-Dog-Takes-Care-of-a-Little-Boy-With-Down-Syndrome-1908.html
Even when they are physically hit (the very thought of this cruel act is painful, but sadly it does happen in the world), they give only love in return. Even when they suffer, they are focussed on caring for others only. Have you looked into the eyes of a dying dog? You will see only their caring for you and a message of sadness at its helplessness to serve you. You’ll not see even a hint of its own suffering. And how satisfactorily it closes its eyes when you caress it at that time!
There are only givers in the world of dogs. We have both givers and takers in our world – mostly takers.
Dogs teach both sacrifice and selfless service.
When did they read the Bhagavad Gita, I wonder. I see them doing what the Gita asks me to do (BG 3.10). They readily tread the natural path of sacrifice that we humans hesitate to do.
In the beginning the Creator created man and the spirit of sacrifice together, inseparable from each other. He then blessed the man saying “May you establish yourself in this spirit of sacrifice always; your spirit of sacrifice will grant all your wishes”
saha yajnaah prajaah srushtvaa purovaacha prajaapatih |anena prasavishyadhvam eshavostu ishtakaamadhuk ||
How do we relate to dogs? Are we dog masters and dog trainers? I’m not so sure about being either its master or trainer.
It is the unconditional love of dogs that triggers our conditional love to love them in return. There are several books on the intelligence of dogs. During training, when the dog obeys our command, isn’t it more intelligent than us to know not only what we expect but also do per our expectations so it can serve and satisfy us in its love? In the end, are we training the dog or is the dog training us?
Enjoy this mind-blowing story of stray dogs riding the subway in Moscow.
But dogs bark. They bark at every passing thing! This teaches me that I should not bark in my life. It reminds me to speak sweetly. I also learn that I should not react to and “bark” at every passing thing in my life, but use my wisdom.
Dogs also bite ( in spite of what their owners may claim!). This tells me that I should not do it. I should not “bite” and hurt others with my words or actions.
Dogs also roam the streets aimlessly and go astray. This is a teaching to me to not become like that. I should not go astray in my life but to ground it well on human values and be a human being. This tells me that I should not waste the gift of life I have as a human being.
“Take-home”s from the dog
A few “Do”s
- Give, give and give unconditionally
- Gratitude (more on this in a later post)
- Sacrifice in selfless service
- Be loving
- Help always, at all times, in all places
A few “Don’t”s
- Do not “bark”. Speak sweetly
- Do not “bite”. Do not harm others in speech or in action
- Do not go astray. Stay the path and live as a human being with human values
Science tells us that what we see with our eyes are captured as reversed and upside down images on our retina and the brain reorients them. The dog is a powerful reminder to me of this fact. Is it really DOG? Or did I get it reversed and it really is GOD ? Regardless of the play of words and letters, the love of a dog reminds me of the all pervasiveness of divinity and the Bhagavad Gita teaching that it is the formless Love that takes many forms in this world, speaking the language of love. (mamivaamso jeevalokhe jeeva bhoothas sanaatanah – 15.7)
The lark and the bark of a dog is the language of this Love only.