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Can animals practise spirituality?

“This is the effect of bhakti-yoga. Even a child can take part, even a dog can take part, and even an animal can take part. And the vibration of that spiritual science as a sound will purify the whole tmosphere
so that even there are so many small animals in the wall and the corner, they will be purified.”
– Srila Prabhupada (Lecture on Chaitanya Charitamrita, Allahabad, 1971)

I know a dog that wakes up at 4.30 every morning and rushes for mangal aarati- morning prayers at the temple.

He wags his tail enthusiastically when he sees any devotee of Krishna; jumps on them for love and never fights with any other dogs.

Meet Mangal, a native Indian street dog, who for the last nine years, unfailingly attends morning spiritual program at the Govardhan Eco Village. He has been attending the morning prayers, waiting outside
the temple- knowing fully well that dogs don’t enter temple- and chanting and praying. Then every evening he attends the aarati at the Yamuna and loves to be with devotees. He knows where to go for food and at what time. He honours only Prasad!

He is also not married! He spends his time with devotees and in spiritual activities.

Devotees lovingly named him Mangal because he attends the ‘Mangal’ aarati daily.

Krishna consciousness is all attractive. Srila Prabhupada, in his talk at New York, during the initial days (November 1966), says, “Krishna consciousness is simple process, very simple process. Even children
can take part in it. A dog will dance, a cat will dance, a child will dance. There is no necessity of preliminary qualification for understanding, because it is from the spiritual platform. It is from the spiritual platform.”

Srila Prabhupada also said that Krishna consciousness is simple for the simple. Many want to wrangle their minds on complicated subject matters, and they wonder how can something so simple award us highest benefits. That’s precisely the benediction for Kali yuga- the modern age of quarrel and hypocrisy.

Unfortunately many intelligent people miss the golden chance of Krishna consciousness because of the mind-set that anything precious has to be abstract and un decipherable.

Let me now choose to be simple like Mangal, and hopefully devotees’ mercy will help me remember Krishna and go back to Krishna after this life.

By Vraja Bihari Das

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