Tihar has begun.
“…Every dog has his day…” These are the exact words what George Henry Borrow, British writer, had written for the first time in the 19th century.
But for centuries in the Nepali Hindu culture there is recognition of several beasts including dog, crow and cow. They have their days!
First day of the Yamapanchaka is the day of crow. People performed pooja of the oftentimes despised bird today. The reason is it’s believed that the black bird is the messenger of the Yamaraaja, the God of Death.
Dog, the vehicle of Yamaraaja, will have its day tomorrow.
Similarly, cows and oxen will be worshipped in the following days.
And the final day of Tihar will be for we beasts: brothers. Sisters will worship their brothers and pray for the latter’s long life.
Hindus do not kill cow and ox, they being considered as sacred. They do not kill dogs and crow to eat.
Meanwhile, I am concerned about the buffaloes, swine, goats and chickens that are killed every day for consumption.
There was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a boar. (Is that the reason despite being non-veg some Hindu communities do not eat swine?) Nonetheless, pigs, wild-boars and their close relatives are killed and barbequed or roasted.
All mammals live on milk in their earlier life. Only the siblings suck their mother’s nipple. Clever humans learned to rare and milk many mammals. We drink milk of cow, buffalo, goat and some other beasts (depending on the geography and customs.)
Thus, in moral grounds, they are to be treated brotherly. However, they are wickedly killed to eat their flesh.
Some people argue that for the betterment of human race other animals are exploited. They believe doing so in not unfair.
Again, I want to ask them: “Is there no significance of something called morality and wisdom to them?
Is this world only of we humans?
No need to worship the God, if we respect the right to live of other animals also.
Had every day had been all animals day that would be better.
That will be the day.