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(Click to enlarge painting of Shivananda Sena's dog receiving the mercy of Lord Chaitanya)

While going to Jagannātha Purī, Śivānanda Sena allowed a dog to go with him. He supplied it food to eat and maintained it.

One day, when they needed to cross a river, an Orissan boatman would not allow the dog to get in the boat.

Śivānanda Sena, unhappy that the dog had to stay behind, paid the boatman ten paṇa of conchshells to take the dog across the river.

One day while Śivānanda was detained by a tollman, his servant forgot to give the dog its cooked rice.

At night, when Śivānanda Sena returned and was taking his meal, he inquired from the servant whether the dog had gotten its meals.

When he learned that the dog had not been supplied food in his absence, he was very unhappy. He then immediately sent ten men to find the dog.

When the men returned without success, Śivānanda Sena became very unhappy and fasted for the night.

In the morning they looked for the dog, but it could not be found anywhere. All the Vaiṣṇavas were astonished.


Śivānanda Sena's attachment to the dog was a great boon for that animal. The dog appears to have been a street dog. Since it naturally began to follow Śivānanda Sena while he was going to Jagannātha Purī with his party, he accepted it into his party and maintained it the same way he was maintaining the other devotees. It appears that although on one occasion the dog was not allowed aboard a boat, Śivānanda did not leave the dog behind but paid more money just to induce the boatman to take the dog across the river. Then when the servant forgot to feed the dog and the dog disappeared, Śivānanda, being very anxious, sent ten men to find it. When they could not find it, Śivānanda observed a fast. Thus it appears that somehow or other Śivānanda had become attached to the dog.

As will be evident from the following verses, the dog got the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and was immediately promoted to Vaikuṇṭha to become an eternal devotee. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has therefore sung, tumi ta' ṭhākura, tomāra kukkura, baliyā jānaha more (Śaraṇāgati 19). He thus offers to become the dog of a Vaiṣṇava. There are many other instances in which the pet animal of a Vaiṣṇava was delivered back home to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, back to Godhead. Such is the benefit of somehow or other becoming the favorite of a Vaiṣṇava. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has also sung, kīṭa-janma ha-u yathā tuyā dāsa (Śaraṇāgati 11). There is no harm in taking birth again and again. Our only desire should be to take birth under the care of a Vaiṣṇava. Fortunately we had the opportunity to be born of a Vaiṣṇava father who took care of us very nicely. He prayed to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī that in the future we would become a servant of the eternal consort of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Thus somehow or other we are now engaged in that service. We may conclude that even as dogs we must take shelter of a Vaiṣṇava. The benefit will be the same as that which accrues to an advanced devotee under a Vaiṣṇava's care.

Thus in great anxiety they all walked to Jagannātha Purī, where Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu met them as usual.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went with them to see the Lord in the temple, and on that day He also took lunch in the company of all those devotees.

As previously, the Lord provided them all with residential quarters. And the next morning all the devotees came to see the Lord.

When all the devotees came to the place of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they saw the same dog was sitting a little apart the Lord.

Furthermore, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was throwing remnants of green coconut pulp to the dog. Smiling in His own way, He was saying to the dog, "Chant the holy names Rāma, Kṛṣṇa, and Hari."

Seeing the dog eating the green coconut pulp and chanting "Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa" again and again, all the devotees present were very much surprised.

When he saw the dog sitting in that way and chanting the name of Kṛṣṇa, Śivānanda, because of his natural humility, immediately offered his obeisances to the dog just to counteract his offenses to it.

The next day, no one saw that dog, for it had obtained its spiritual body and departed for Vaikuṇṭha, the spiritual kingdom.


This is the result of sādhu-saṅga, consequent association with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and promotion back home, back to Godhead. This result is possible even for a dog, by the mercy of the Vaiṣṇava. Therefore, everyone in the human form of life should be induced to associate with devotees. By rendering a little service, even by eating prasāda, not to speak of chanting and dancing, everyone could be promoted to Vaikuṇṭhaloka. It is therefore requested that all our devotees in the ISKCON community become pure Vaiṣṇavas, so that by their mercy all the people of the world will be transferred to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, even without their knowledge. Everyone should be given a chance to take prasāda and thus be induced to chant the holy names Hare Kṛṣṇa and also dance in ecstasy. By these three processes, although performed without knowledge or education, even an animal went back to Godhead.

Such are the transcendental pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the son of mother Śacī. He even delivered a dog simply by inducing it to chant the mahā-mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa.

(Caitanya-caritāmṛta Antya 1.17-33, Purports to Text 24 and 32)
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Become the Dog of a Pure Vaishnava