Yudhisthira’s Dog – Dog That Followed Pandava to the Himalayas

Many Vedic verses have referred to dogs as ‘Shvan’ and have a crucial meaning in the Hindu Mythology.

In many parts of India like North Bengal and Sikkim, dogs are worshipped and have been on the mounts of some gods like Kalabhairava. Dogs are also known to be the protectors of heaven gates.

Who was the dog with Yudhisthira?

Indian Pariah Dog was with Youdhisthira during his pilgrimage for Himalayas with his wife and brothers. While other fell down one by one, Yudhisthira, survived and the dog gave him company. These two continued their journey.

As per scientists, the first domesticated dog breed – The Indian Pariah features in the renowned and great Mahabharat. The end chapters of this epic mythology narrates the story of King Yudhisthira and the Pandavas making the pilgrimage to the resting place.

The Pandavas ruled the kingdom for 36 years after the Mahabharat war. They then decided to give up the kingdom and go for Sanyasa and Vanaprastham.

When the Pandava brothers (Yudhishtira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva) along with their wife Draupadi left for Himalayas and were followed by a dog throughout.

As they started to go up the Himalayan mountains, starting with Draupadi, one by one, they fell down, fainted and died. The eldest of the Pandavas, Yudhisthira, survived and the dog gave him company. These two continued their journey.

During their journey, Indra appeared before Yudhisthira. He wanted to take Yudhisthira to heaven as he wasn the most devoted of all Pandavas and always followed the path of Dharma.

Yudhisthira did not enter the chariot and wanted to do so with his brothers and Draupadi. Indra then assures him that he will meet them in heaven.

After entering the chariot, Yudhisthira then asks the dog to enter but Indra has objections to the dog entering the chariot.

Indra said that everyone eats food on their floor and it is not possible to do so if the dog roams in the same place. He also added that the presence of the dog will spoil heaven.

Yudhisthira was adamant on taking the dog to heaven as the dog was loyal and devoted, especially in the times when he had lost his brothers and Draupadi. Yudhisthira also stated that he would not be happy in heaven without the dog.

Yudhisthira decides not to go to heaven without the dog and stays with him. The dog was Yamadharma, Yudhisthira’s father. His father appeared before him and said that he is a great and righteous man.

Yudhisthira’s compassion for all living things is outstanding as the dog was as dear to him as his brothers. His father also said that this noble act of his will forever be an example to everyone.

Yamadharma told him to enter the chariot without any hesitation. Yudhisthira was satisfied and bowed down to his father and Indra before entering the chariot. As he reached heaven, he was pleased to find his family and friends there.

Some Mahabharata stories are real while some people have written fictional stories about it. Let us know in the comments section what you think about this story, is it real or fictional?