a story of devotion- dated 400 BC

Bound Angels Blog

The Story of Yudhishtira and his dog. Dated approx 400 bc

Krishna, after a vigorous and heroic life, retired to the forest to sit in meditation, and a hunter mistook him for a deer and fatally wounded him. Arjuna was grief-stricken when the great sage Vyasa brought him the news.
“Krishna’s time had come,” Vyasa told him. “Remember what he taught you.”
“Every man is responsible for his own death,” said Arjuna.
“Arjuna,” said Vyasa, “this age has nothing left in it for you. Bhima, your part in this story is done. Yudhishtira, is it not time to take your brothers home?”

So the Pandavas went on their last journey, north, into the great mountains. It was a small troup this time – just Draupadi, the five brothers, and Yudhishtira’s faithful dog. One by one they fell, victims of time and their own distinctive frailties. Draupadi went first, then Sahadeva and Nakula, then Arjuna, and finally mighty Bhima. Yudhishtira and his dog continued through the high mountain passes against the vicious wind and swirling snow.

And suddenly, there was Indra, in his chariot, offering Yudhishtira a hand up.

“Welcome, Yudhishtira, hero. You have won to my heaven. Come aboard and I will take you there.”
Yudhishtira whistled for his dog.

“Hold on.” Indra smiled fondly at Yudhishtira and wagged his finger. “No dogs in heaven.”

“He is a faithful and true companion,” said Yudhishtira.

“Sorry, old chap. Just gods and human heros in my heaven.”

“If he cannot come with me, then I will stay with him.” And Yudhishtira stepped down from Indra’s chariot.

“But, Yudhishtira, old warrior, great king. You are the great hero of a great story. Your place is in my heaven.”

“My place is where dharma is constant. This dog has been companion, protector, friend. I will stay near him.”

“Yudhishtira,” said the dog as he transformed into the embodied form of god Dharma. “My son, I have been with you through your long sad journey, and I am well pleased with your devotion.