A SYM­BOL OF LOY­ALTY

Bali & Beyond - - LITTLE LOVES -

In the Ba­li­nese cul­ture, dogs are his­tor­i­cally im­por­tant as they are be­lieved to sym­bol­ize “Tyaga” which means “bhakti” or sin­cere de­vo­tion. In Ma­haprash­tanika­parwa or the “Book of the Great Jour­ney” – a part of the Ma­hab­harata, an epic an­cient story from In­dia – a black dog is told to fol­low Panca Pan­davas (the five broth­ers) and Dru­padi (the wife of the five broth­ers) as they jour­ney to heaven.

How­ever, one by one the trav­el­ers died – only one of the five broth­ers named Yud­histhira and the black dog sur­vived and made it to the top of Mount Ma­hameru. Then, God In­dra came to pick Yud­histhira up to heaven, but he told Yud­histhira that he should not bring a dog into heaven. Yud­histhira re­fused the re­quest as the black dog has been a loyal com­pan­ion from the be­gin­ning of his jour­ney. Sud­denly, the dog trans­formed into God of Yama, Yud­histhira’s fa­ther. It turns out the Gods were test­ing him and Yud­hi­s­tira passed the test. He then man­aged to go to heaven.

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