References of animals in Hindu holy scriptures

As a child, I too had the same level of innocence and notoriety as any other child generally has. I remember one incident from my childhood that I may never forget.

The locality where I grew up as a child, was rich in vegetation and since it lacked human activities majorly, there was abundance of insects of various kinds. They used to appear mysteriously during the rains and used to disappear after the Diwali night. Needless to say, many flying insects used to get attracted to the Diwali lights and used to get burned down by the next morning.

Orthomorpha Coarctata

During the rainy seasons, we used to see swarms of creeping creatures come out of their hibernation or their kids used to breathe their first breath of life. Babies of Orthomorpha Coarctata was one of them. During the rainy seasons, their babies used to hatch and swarms of their babies used to appear around our home. Upon their sight, out of disgust, I used to kill them. When my elder sister saw this, she tried to stop me. As a inquisitive child, I needed a strong reason to stop. As she knew me well, she told me that these creatures are the ride of Bhagwan Vishnu. It was only then I stopped killing them. Of course, what she said to me wasn’t true, but it definitely worked!

We all deserve and crave for love and affection. So does other animals of this planet. It’s imperative for Human race to have a nurturing attitude towards all living beings of this world, in order to save our own existence.

This unconditional love for everyone and everything of this world has been prophesied in almost all Hindu holy scriptures. They encourage humans to elevate the nurturing and protective attitude towards all living beings – animals, plants and nature to a level that can be equated to worshipping them. Once you worship something, you’ll devote yourself in caring for that thing or person.

Hindu holy scriptures have used the references of flora and fauna in different ways, in different contexts so that we humans can easily establish a connection to them which is the first step towards ensuring their safety. In the scriptures, you’ll find the mention of various animals as the rides of Hindu Gods. Also, you’ll find their mention as avatars of God. Mention of animals are also found in holy scriptures as themselves playing a pivotal role in helping God’s avatar achieve their objectives on earth. Hindu dharma also promotes worshipping nature and protecting it from destruction. Nature, in return, protects everything, everyone, including humans. Some of the such references are cited below.

Rides of different Hindu Gods

  1. Bhagwan Shiv – Nandi – Bull
  2. Bhagwan Vishnu – Garud – Eagle
  3. Bhagwan Vishnu – Shesh nag – Serpent
  4. Mata Laxmi – Uluk – Owl
  5. Mata Saraswati – Hans – Swan
  6. Bhagwan Ganesh – Mooshak – Mouse
  7. Bhagwan Kartikeya – Paravani – Peacock
  8. Maa Durga – Dawon – Lion
  9. Maa Santoshi – Tiger

Avatars of Bhagwan Vishnu

  1. Matsya (1st Avatar) – Fish
  2. Kurma (2nd avatar) – Tortoise
  3. Varaha (3rd avatar) – Boar
  4. Narsimha (4th avatar) – Man-Lion

Nature Gods

  1. Prithvi – Mother Earth
  2. Aranyani – Goddess of Forest
  3. Indra – God of Rain
  4. Agni – God of Fire
  5. Vayu – God of Wind
  6. Varun – God of water
  7. All rivers in India are called “Maa” which means “Mother”

References from Ramayan

  • Crow – Kakbhushundi – Story of Ramayan is given by Bhagwan Shiv to Kakbhushundi which is further propagated to one of the greatest sages of his time, Sage Yagyavalakya. Sage Yagyavalakya gave the story of Ramayan to Sage Bharadwaj.
  • Garud- Eagle –
    • Chariot of Bhagwan Vishnu. Listens the story of Shri Ram from Kakbhushundi.
    • Jatayu – Fights with Ravan to save Mata Sita. Only creature of this world to be cremated by Shri Ram. Owing to circumstances Shri Ram did not cremate even His father, King Dashrath
    • Sampati – Using his far-fetched vision he finds the exact location of Mata Sita after Ravan abducts Her. Guides Shri Ram’s army to the location.
  • Monkeys –
    • Hanuman – The most valiant of all in the monkey clan and undoubtedly the greatest devotee of Shri Ram
    • Sugriv – King of the monkey kindom, who led his monkey army to fight Ravan
    • Baali – Brother of Sugriv, who kept Ravan captive under his powerful arms for months, until Ravan gave up
    • Angad – Son of Baali, who was made the commander-in-chief of Sugriv’s monkey army
  • Bear –
    • Jambavan – Wisest in the Sugriv’s army
  • Squirrel
    • Squirrel got the blessings from Shri Ram after he put his small contribution in making Ram setu that helped Shri Ram and His army to reach Lanka
  • Dear
    • Marich, Ravan’s brother, disguised himself as a Golden dear to attract attention of Mata Sita which later led to Her abduction by Ravan

I have many more blogs planned that will potentially help everyone understand the good learnings from Shri Ram’s life in simple language. I am hoping to publish them soon. Until then, if it interests you, you may read Ramcharitmanas in Hindi and English on the Mere Vishnu app. You may download the Android app from this link – https://t.ly/mvsn or scan the QR code in the following picture.

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