TEXT 24
prabhāte kukkura cāhi' kāṅhā nā pāila
sakala vaiṣṇavera mane camatkāra haila
SYNONYMS
prabhāte—in the morning; kukkura—the dog; cāhi'-looking for; kāṅhā—anywhere; pāila—not found; sakala vaiṣṇavera—of all the Vaiṣṇavas present; mane—in the minds; camatkāra haila—there was great astonishment.
TRANSLATION
In the morning they looked for the dog, but it could not be found anywhere. All the Vaiṣṇavas were astonished.
PURPORT
Śivānanda Sena's attachment to the dog was a great boon for that animal. The dog appears to have been a street dog. Since it naturally began to follow Śivānanda Sena while he was going to Jagannātha Purī with his party, he accepted it into his party and maintained it the same way he was maintaining the other devotees. It appears that although on one occasion the dog was not allowed aboard a boat, Śivānanda did not leave the dog behind but paid more money just to induce the boatman to take the dog across the river. Then when the servant forgot to feed the dog and the dog disappeared, Śivānanda, being very anxious, sent ten men to find it. When they could not find it, Śivānanda observed a fast. Thus it appears that somehow or other Śivānanda had become attached to the dog.
As will be evident from the following verses, the dog got the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and was immediately promoted to Vaikuṇṭha to become an eternal devotee. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has therefore sung, tumi ta' ṭhākura, tomāra kukkura, baliyā jānaha more (Śaraṇāgati 19). He thus offers to become the dog of a Vaiṣṇava. There are many other instances in which the pet animal of a Vaiṣṇava was delivered back home to Vaikuṇṭhaloka, back to Godhead. Such is the benefit of somehow or other becoming the favorite of a Vaiṣṇava. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has also sung, kīṭa-janma ha-u yathā tuyā dāsa (Śaraṇāgati 11). There is no harm in taking birth again and again. Our only desire should be to take birth under the care of a Vaiṣṇava. Fortunately we had the opportunity to be born of a Vaiṣṇava father who took care of us very nicely. He prayed to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī that in the future we would become a servant of the eternal consort of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Thus somehow or other we are now engaged in that service. We may conclude that even as dogs we must take shelter of a Vaiṣṇava. The benefit will be the same as that which accrues to an advanced devotee under a Vaiṣṇava's care.

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