Friendship with the animal kingdom

Why I buy pets

People may say that I am wasting my time and money when I buy animals and birds. But pets help people to bring forward their own affection. Every time I look at my birds, my chinchillas, my monkeys or my dogs, they bring forward extra love, affection and concern from me.

When I pour affection into a bird, this affection flows into the Universal Consciousness. Anything that I offer in the form of love, affection and concern, the whole universe receives.

So even though I go below the human level with my affection, it also touches the human level. Then it enters into my spiritual children. In this way, if I can spread more affection, I feel more fulfilled.

Also, when I buy a bird, I see so many things. The bird in the cage reminds me of how the soul is encaged in this human body. I see how my soul suffers, how your souls suffer; I see how our souls want to fly in the divine consciousness-sky.

23 December 1981

Why I keep animals

When we were celebrating Madhuri’s birthday, she asked me why I give animals such importance. I told her that it is because they give me joy. It is like playing with a top or a new toy.

I see how restless the monkeys are! My monkey Madhu is restlessness incarnate, but it gives me such joy to watch him.

When I was a child, I used to have animals at home — dogs, birds, monkeys. Now I am bringing back my old habits. These are not bad habits; old habits can also be good.

Everything has an inner reason. The main reason I keep animals is because they give me tremendous joy. Also I feel that these innocent beings need my special attention. Every day I hear the birds and look at the monkeys and various other animals — the guinea pigs, gerbils and so on. Every day I do it.

I really feel sad when one of the birds falls sick or when the monkeys and other animals do not do well.

Animals have restlessness and cuteness and, at the same time, sweetness and fondness. All these qualities go together.

3 April 1981

The vanishing bird

I bought a cute, little bird, but it just flew away into the kitchen. First it flew this side and that side for ten minutes, then it vanished. Databir and Ashrita tried so hard to find it, but it was not to be found. Inside the kitchen, it just disappeared!

I saw it enter into one cupboard. Databir and Ashrita opened up the cupboard, but it was not there. They think the bird flew out of the house.

27 September 1980


One of our hamsters is so bad! Today, with the top end of a ballpoint pen, I pushed it. Even then it did not move. I thought, “O God, it is dead!”

Then I pushed it again and it opened its eyes. It was enjoying such ignorance-sleep!

27 September 1980

The troublesome parrot

Today one parrot has given me so much trouble. He is so naughty. Yesterday, while I was grabbing him, a feather came out. Still I have not given him a name. 22 October 1980

The stray cat

For the past few days, every time I opened the front door, a particular cat would try to enter into my house. A fight was going on between that cat and me.

Cats are much less evolved than lions. Lions have developed good and noble qualities. House cats cry for constant affection, and by pouring and pouring affection into a cat, you can change its nature. But, in general, lions are much more evolved.

So many of the disciples have had lion incarnations. We started with Dulal!

23 October 1980

The morning chorus

At five-thirty in the morning, all the birds and animals join me when I play my musical instruments. Sometimes I cannot even hear myself! They all start together — all together! Sometimes the guinea pig has an absolutely human voice! 4 November 1980

Sadhu's fall

One of the birds I called Sadhu [ascetic holy man] because of its divine qualities. But when it saw all the other birds we had, it became jealous. All its divine qualities disappeared when it saw it had such a big family! 12 January 1981

Tigo talk

My bird Tigo is so great. It stays in my room twenty-four hours a day. And it talks all night! Once I taped the conversation. So many different messages it gave: “Hello, Tigo; hello, Tigo.” Like this, it went on and on.

The other day I was watching television, listening to news about the UN Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim. O God, Tigo would not allow me to watch the television. Louder than the loudest it talked!

24 January 1981

Scolding Tigo

The day before yesterday, I scolded Tigo. The following day, it was so nice and well-behaved. Ranjana could not believe how nice it was.

One scolding and the bird said to itself, “Enough of these human beings!”

30 January 1981

The morning concert

When I play on the esraj early in the morning, how nicely the animals look at me!

The birds will join me in their own way. Around three-thirty or a quarter to four it starts. Upstairs one bird is saying, “Happy Birthday! Thank you!” Downstairs another bird is saying, “Hi! Hi! Hi!” Like that it goes on.

3 April 1981

Hriday's cats1

Yesterday Madhuri asked me why I do not have any cats. In Chittagong and Pondicherry my brother took care of so many cats. Hriday had fifteen or twenty cats that he fed every day. He renounced the whole world, but innocent cats he had to remain attached to!

God created the animals. Different people will be fond of different animals. Some you will like; others somebody else will like. Otherwise, there would be no fun for us in the animal world. It is better if there is some specialty!

There are many animals which I do not have, but it is not that they are hopeless or useless. No, no! Only I cannot have all the animals at my house.

Next week I shall invite the disciples to come to my house to see the animals and birds. Their cages will all be decorated.

3 April 1981

The "Sri Chinmoy Zoo" opened its doors for one day on 18 April 1981. The birds and animals in Sri Chinmoy's house had their cages specially decorated and lined up in such a way that the disciples could walk by and view them.

Another type of miracle

One day when Ranjana was tending to the birds, I said to her, “Ranjana, I have been to many, many pet shops, but most of the pet shops are nothing in comparison to the bird kingdom I have here at my house. I tell you, it is a miracle.”

Then I told her, “This morning I performed miracle after miracle. Usually people die only once, then finished! They go to God. This morning I died not once, not twice, but three times at the two-mile race. Yet even then I am perfectly alive. Why? Because, one by one, three elderly women passed me. These three thinner than the thinnest and weaker than the weakest women have smashed my athletic pride mercilessly, if not consciously. So you see, I ‘died’ three times, but I am still alive. That is another type of miracle.”

15 June 1981


The other day I was walking in my room. All of a sudden, I felt something touching my right foot. I looked down and what did I see? The chinchilla! I was so thrilled and, at the same time, a little bit worried for two reasons: how had it come upstairs and how would I catch it?

One girl was working downstairs in the kitchen. So I called for her to come upstairs immediately. She came up and I asked her, “How did it come upstairs?”

She answered, “Oh, Guru, the chinchillas have come upstairs many times.”

I said, “They jump up and are so cute. But how do they manage to come?”

She said, “They come!”

In the meantime, the chinchilla was jumping here and there in my room. Then it started hiding under my bed.

I said, “Now it will be a great struggle to catch this one.”

She said, “Let us try.”

Then she tried to catch the chinchilla. I am not familiar with catching them, so I only tried to get it to go to her side. I did not know how to catch it; I only knew how to shout! Since I was trying not to catch it, naturally it came to my side.

I placed my hand near it with the hope that it would not let me touch it. Outwardly I put out my hand. Inwardly I prayed that it would not come and touch me. God listened to my prayer, and it ran to her side. In this way, it went on for five or ten minutes.

I was totally amused, but she was rather discouraged that the chinchilla would not allow itself to be caught. Then I gave her a special message. I said, “This is what God is doing with us: playing hide-and-seek. When we do not pay attention to Him, He comes to us. But when we seek Him and are about to catch Him, He hides from us.

“So this chinchilla is teaching us the same game. When we do not pay attention to it, it will come near us and touch our feet and be around us. And then, when we are dying to catch it, it just disappears. In this way God’s Cosmic Game is being played with us by the chinchilla.

“When we are about to see God, at that time God goes away. And when we do not pay any attention to our spiritual life, when we do not think of God, at that time all good thoughts, beautiful thoughts, pure thoughts, will come to us. The day that someone does not want to meditate, when that person wants to enjoy ignorance, on that very day he gets tremendous inspiration to lead a spiritual life. But the day when he is dying to lead a spiritual life, on that day all wrong thoughts, wrong forces, may try to capture him.”

That is what the chinchilla was teaching us.

15 June 1981

The compassionate pet store owner

The owner of one pet store is very, very nice to us. Always he will quote one price and I will quote another. Then he will say, “Can you not go a little higher?”

I will say, “No, I cannot go higher!”

Then he will tell me that he will give the pet to me at my price provided I keep it in a very large cage. He says he will come to my house the following week to see if I have provided a large cage for it. Otherwise, he says he will take it back.

Usually he brags about his monkeys and I brag about my monkeys. Once he sold us some flying squirrels.

11 January 1982

Upstairs, downstairs

Sona goes upstairs very bravely, but he is afraid of coming down. So many times we were looking for him today. He had gone upstairs and was hiding in Ranjana’s office!

The little puppy, Kanu, stays upstairs in the second room. Sometimes he will cry for three or four hours at a time. If I take him out of his bed, for half an hour he will be very nice and quiet. Then he will strive to get a promotion and come up on my bed. But if I bring him up onto my bed, even for two minutes he will not stay in one place. He goes to twenty different places on my bed!

21 January 1982

NOTE: Sona, a white Maltese, was the first puppy that Sri Chinmoy brought home. He was born on 8 March 1981 and passed away on 29 October 1996.

Kanu was a white Bichon Frise puppy. He was born on 17 October 1981 and passed away on 23 December 1992.

Sri Chinmoy later bought two additional dogs: Chela, a Yorkshire Terrier (21 March 1994-25 November 2006); and Gopee, a white Poodle, born on 8 January 2007.

Kanu's cries

My tiny puppy Kanu will cry for hours. Then finally I will take him upstairs, where the first thing I will do is give him vitamins from a tube. Kanu sits on my lap and eats the vitamins. Afterwards, he jumps up and down.

Then I have to go downstairs and bring water for him. In a few minutes, I go down again and cut up cheese from the refrigerator for him.

When I go downstairs, I close the door to my room so he cannot come out. Kanu stays by the door until I come back. Then, after eating and drinking, he falls down flat on the floor.

Always he looks at me to see if I am going away. If I move a little, immediately he looks up at me as though I were a naughty boy!

You cannot imagine my fondness for him and his fondness for me. The owner would not sell him because he said he would not last more than two or three weeks. I said, “I am prepared to take the chance.” So I gave the owner the money and came away with Kanu.

At night I take him upstairs and feed him. Then, during the day, Ranjana and others take care of him.

21 January 1982

Meditating with Kanu

Early in the morning, very powerfully I meditate. At that time Kanu is sleeping near me. He is also having a good ‘meditation’. But if I get tired of sitting with my legs crossed and make just a little movement, immediately Kanu jumps up. He is so tired that he can hardly open his eyes, but he will not allow me to go anywhere!

Two or three times I kept him with me on the bed while I was meditating, but he fell off. I heard the sound, and I felt absolutely miserable.

Then I decided to keep my feet on the floor when I meditated. Kanu sleeps on the floor next to them. But whenever I lift my feet onto the bed, he jumps up and starts crying because he is not seeing my legs any more. Then, when I put my feet down and he sees my legs again, he goes back to sleep.

If Koka the bird makes noise, Kanu will not pay any attention. But if I write something on a piece of paper with a ballpoint, immediately he opens his eyes because he is afraid I am leaving. And if I move or make any noise, right away he starts jumping and crying.

21 January 1982

My faithful puppy

At seven-thirty each morning, I come downstairs and play the flute. Kanu comes down with me and moves around the bows of my esraj and cello that are lying on the floor.

I cannot go anywhere without him following me. Then, when Ranjana comes at eight o’clock, he is so excited and delighted. He jumps and jumps and jumps. Then I am free.

21 January 1982

A visit to the garrulous parrot

In the newspaper it was mentioned that one parrot on Long Island can say over three hundred words. I wanted to see it for myself, so yesterday one of the boys drove me there. The weather was extremely cold, and we had to drive a long distance.

The man who owned the parrot was unbearable and his wife was only a little bearable. They were screaming at the bird as though it were a child. They were trying to get it to say something. But out of its three hundred-word vocabulary not even one word was coming.

So we wasted nearly two hours and did not hear a single word! The bird may not talk for strangers, but in front of the owners — who brag about it in the newspapers — the parrot says three hundred words!

25 January 1982

My morning audience

When I play the esraj, the chinchillas, guinea pigs and all the rest of the animals and birds look at me. I come and play at about eight o’clock.

Sometimes Kanu will not allow me to play. He starts biting the bow. But when I play the cello, the bow is too high for him to reach. So he just goes and plays around my feet.

25 January 1982

How Kanu frightened me

Today Kanu really frightened me. For a few minutes, his eyes were closing and closing, as if he were dying.

Every day he jumps, but this morning, when I took him upstairs, his eyes were closing and he would not eat.

25 January 1982

The insomniac

Kanu does not allow me to sleep! He cries and cries all night. So many hours during the day he sleeps, but at night, when I am ready to sleep, at that time he is moving around. For more than two minutes, he will not stay in one place. He jumps and jumps and wants to come up onto my bed. At night he is not interested in sleeping. 31 January 1982

I beg Sona to eat pizza

From time to time, I feed my dog Sona. Sometimes he will not eat, but when I feed him pizza, he will take the cheese from my hand in a very, very cute way.

Four or five days ago, I wanted to feed him, but Sona was too restless to eat. He was only barking. So I just looked at him and contacted his soul. There were ten or twelve disciples on my front porch and I said to them, “Now his soul has told him to eat and, believe it or not, he is going to eat!” Then, as soon as I gave him pizza, he started to eat it.

This dog, in front of so many people, obeyed me. Twenty times at least he ate. Sona did not want to eat at first, but when I asked his soul, the soul convinced the vital.

When I ask the soul of one of the disciples to do something, the soul desperately tries to relay the message to that disciple. But quite often the mind comes and blocks the message. The mind is so powerful! Most of the disciples have ‘wonderful’ minds, so they do not always listen to their souls.

It is very difficult for the soul to convince the human mind. It is also extremely difficult to convince the vital. How desperately the souls of the disciples try to convince their vitals if they are doing the wrong thing! But it does not always work.

In Sona’s case, the soul contacted the vital of the animal and convinced it so easily. The vital of a dog may be more willing to listen to the soul than the vital of a human being. In terms of evolution, man is far, far superior to the animals. But in terms of obedience, it is a different story. Human beings can be much more complicated!

31 January 1982

Temporary peace

Today the boys brought all the birds and animals upstairs. They will stay there temporarily. Now there is so much peace in the meditation room! When the birds are in the meditation room, I cannot play any instrument. Their instrument, which is their screeching, is too powerful! 3 February 1982

Sona's restlessness

Today Sona was so restless! I had to scold him.

I told him, “When you are in front of your Guru, do you think you can act like this? You have got a promotion, so you have to act like a human being!”

16 February 1.982

Tears in Sona's eyes

This morning I was seeing real tears in Sona’s eyes. I was on the couch, and Sona was standing on his hind legs with his front feet up in the air. Absolutely there were tears in Sona’s left eye because Sona wanted to be with me on the couch. But I had to go to the United Nations.

When I came back, I stood in front of Kanu and Sona for at least five minutes. Both of them were showing off — showing how high they could jump. So with both hands I had to bless both of them.

27 April 1982

Who is the boss?

This morning Savyasachi was holding Sona as I was walking to the car. Three dogs happened to pass by, and Sona started barking. One German lady who is so nice to me tried to console me. She smiled and said, “All dogs bark.”

Then a gentleman greeted me. The man was laughing. He said, “I am sorry he is barking, but he is the boss!”

20 May 1982

Visits from Kanu's soul

The other day, when Kanu was at Mridul’s Compassion-Height Animal Hospital getting an injection, he was crying so pitifully. I was in Chicago, but how his soul was coming to me! I felt miserable and phoned up New York. Sona is very brave, but not Kanu.

Kanu’s soul has come to me so many times. When Kanu was a month and a half old, his soul started talking to me. At that time, Kanu was lying on my chest, and then he began looking at me. It happened at two or three o’clock in the morning.

2 July 1982

Outer disobedience

Sona’s soul has also come to me many, many times. But on the physical plane, do either of the dog's listen to me? In India, my dogs were so good, even though they got very little attention from us. As soon as you called them, they would come. But here, you can call Sona’s name again and again, and still he does not come! 2 July 1982

Gifts for Kanu and Sona

One of the disciples had brought some gifts for Kanu and Sona. The gifts were inside bags on the porch, but I did not have to take them out. The dogs took the gifts out themselves.

Nirvik was massaging me at the time. He said, “Oh, Guru, how could they do it?”

But they knew the gifts were theirs.

21 July 1982

Trying to talk

Sona desperately tries to talk to me in an absolutely human way! In Sona’s case, human incarnation is granted.

Now, does Kanu want a human incarnation? Kanu has come from the planet worlds, from Neptune. Look how peaceful Kanu is. When Kanu starts crying, he cries in a particular key, in intervals, as though he were playing a musical instrument.

9 August 1982

A fleeting unconditional surrender

When I go out to run early in the morning, as soon as Sona hears me coming, he comes out of his bed where he sleeps to see me and get attention. Sometimes he cannot open his eyes even; he comes to me with his eyes closed!

Then he lies down and makes unconditional surrender at my feet. The trouble is that his surrender lasts only for a second — like my disciples’ surrender!

Sometimes when I am going out, Sona looks at me so soulfully and pitifully. Then, when I come back inside, he will not let me come in unless I bless him and show him affection.

See how the animal world is responding to my love and concern! The amount of affection, love and concern that I shower on human beings is unimaginable! But these innocent dogs are responding to my divine qualities most satisfactorily.

27 August 1982

A rare bark from Kanu

Kanu never barks; he only cries. Only on very rare occasions does he bark. But when he and Sona saw the big stuffed lion at our Progress-Promise meeting hall recently, both of the dogs were barking! 27 September 1982

Bitten by Kanu

Today, for the first time, I allowed Kanu to bite me. On other days, I move away when he wants to bite, but this time I said, “Bite me!”

Three times he playfully bit me so gently that it was nothing. Now he has started biting me regularly. He is not afraid!

12 October 1982

Sona's progress

Now Sona is semi-conscious of who I am. This time, when I came home from my trip, he needed ten minutes’ affection from me. He would not be satisfied with less. This time and the last time also this happened. 11 February 1983

The whining bird

When I was upstairs today, I heard a peculiar noise. Then I went down to the porch, and I was still hearing the noise. I said, “What is that?” It was really puzzling me.

Today I was hearing that same noise again, so I went down to the bird room to see if the noise was coming from there. When I entered into the bird room, I saw that one of the birds was saying, “Ahh! Ahh!” It was whining!

The bird is not actually suffering. It just whines.

15 February 1983


If Sona sees Kanu with me, he becomes very jealous. He acts as if he were saying, “What right do you have to be with Kanu?”

Even if another person is holding Sona when I am holding Kanu, Sona barks and barks. Then, when he comes to me, he is satisfied.

But, generally speaking, when we got Kanu, Sona accepted his little brother right away. He has sincere affection for Kanu.

When human beings become jealous of someone, they do not maintain their real affection for that person. But dogs are not like that. My two dogs follow each other and play together. Even if Kanu bites Sona, Sona will only threaten him and growl. But he never bites Kanu.

20 February 1983

Oneness with Kanu

Kanu used to cry at every second, either when he was downstairs or when he was upstairs with me in my bed. And sometimes he would fall off my bed and cry.

Cheese, medicine, food, water — no matter what I tried to give Kanu, always he gave me a hard time.

One of our disciple boys loves the two dogs so much. Kanu started crying this morning, and then that particular disciple also started crying.

20 May 1983

The competition

This morning both Sona and Kanu were licking my nose. They were having a competition as to how fast and how hard they could lick my nose! 18 September 1983

Swapping beds

As usual, Sona barked when the boys took prasad this morning. Then Sona went over to Kanu’s bed and lay down in it. Kanu was standing there. In silence, he was telling Sona to get out, but Sona did not listen to him.

I also was begging Sona to get out, but Sona would not go. I said to Kanu, “What can I do? I am begging him. Do I have to go and grab him?”

Kanu was waiting for Sona to go, but he would not go. So, after some time, Kanu went to Sona’s bed.

8 November 1983

The salted palm

I was eating cashews, and then Kanu discovered salt on my palm. He was licking and licking it. 15 November 1983

Heard but not seen

For the last few days, I have been practising my cello in front of the middle door. I sit there because of these two great, divine dogs!

As soon as I come down from upstairs, they open their eyes and start crying. But if I sit in front of the middle door, they do not see me. So they do not cry.

It is all right with them if they hear the cello. As long as they do not see me, they do not cry.

3 February 1984

Kanu lies on my head

Quite often when I sleep, Kanu has to sleep between my two knees. I could squash him, but he is not afraid.

Today, when I went upstairs, the first thing Kanu did was to lie down with his head on my feet. Then, after two or three minutes, he got permission to change position. So he lay down right on my head!

5 April 1984

"Help! Help!"

When I play the cello, one bird starts calling and calling, “Help! Help!” Even from upstairs, I can hear it.

Then the other bird starts screaming, “Carreras! Carreras!” I bought that bird in Venezuela. Carreras happened to be the leader of one political party.

29 April 1984

Watching Sona's performance

Kanu does not care for dry food, but Sona likes it very much. Three or four times a day, he goes and looks in his food dish. If he finds even one piece of dry food, he is so happy.

He takes such a long time to eat one piece! I enjoy watching Sona’s performance.

9 June 1984

Kanu's prayers

Sometimes animals pray — just like human beings. At around six o’clock this morning, I was resting on my bed with my eyes open when my little dog, Kanu, jumped onto the bed and came right up to my face at eye level. Then he began breathing in and out practically with the same rhythm as I had in my breathing.

I did not know if my breath would ruin his breath, or if his breath would ruin mine, but I did not have the heart to move him away. I said, “This much love I have for my dog!”

When Kanu was breathing in and out with me, how devotedly and soulfully he was praying! He was not praying for anything in particular; he was not asking for a human incarnation like that famous cat in Brooklyn did once. Only he was looking at me with such a devoted feeling.

There are so many times during the day when I will grab him and try to get him to look at me, but he will not look. When he does not want to pray or meditate, no matter how hard I beg him, he will not do it. But this morning, he just started praying spontaneously.

4 February 1986

Kanu's favourite place

So many times, Kanu will jump onto my chair when I am resting and come right up to my chest. Once, when I was taking a short rest on my bed in the afternoon, he jumped onto my chest. There was so much room on the bed, but he had to jump on my chest! That is Kanu’s favourite place. 4 February 1986

The mynah bird

Today the mynah bird said, “Supreme, Supreme, Supreme,” very fast — the way I say it!

Sometimes it tries to say, “Happy Birthday!” Unfortunately, it only says, “Happy Birth!” The ‘day’ it does not say. Then it comes and starts biting my toe!

9 March 1988

Kanu's conversation in Bengali

Last night Kanu’s soul came to me, and we were talking in Bengali. In Bengali he told me, “Your name is Sri Chinmoy, but your nickname is Madal.”

Then he said, “Now keep it a secret. Do not tell anybody that I can speak Bengali!” His soul was full of adoration and affection.

9 March 1988

Sona's close call

About seven or eight years ago, Sona went for treatment at Mridul’s Animal Hospital in New Paltz. It was just a simple matter; Sona was not sick at all. All of a sudden, Mridul phoned me up. He said, “Guru, I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it!”

I asked, “What happened?”

He said, “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it! In my hands, in my hands, Sona has gone!”

I said, “Mridul, wait for a minute.” Then I put all my concentration on Sona. After a few minutes, I heard Mridul say, “Oh, he has come back, he has come back!”

That was the happiest news!

13 November 1996

A serious situation with Kanu

The day I first met with President Gorbachev — 29 May 1990 — Kanu was dying. I was in Ottawa, Canada. My meeting with the President was supposed to take place at the Governor General’s residence. But the whole day I was only thinking of Kanu, instead of thinking about the world’s greatest man. How many times from Canada I called Mridul!

And after my meeting with President Gorbachev was over, I rushed to the telephone to find out about Kanu.

13 November 1996

Afraid of Sona

Many times I was afraid of Sona, specially when he barked. He never bit me, but he was always frightening. 13 November 1996

Sona the uncontrollable

Many times I used to feel so sad for the disciples who work in my house because Sona was uncontrollable. They would try desperately to grab him, but they could not. Sona would run away. He used to make their life miserable. 13 November 1996

Sona's passing

The day Sona left, around three-thirty in the morning, I stood behind him and touched him and blessed him. I said, “Now, Sona, you can go.”

His soul said to me, “No, I do not want to go, I do not want to go.”

I said, “You are suffering, suffering, suffering. I have kept you on earth. You have been so kind and compassionate to me.”

He said, “Then, all right. I will go with your blessings.”

I told him, “My blessings, love, gratitude and gratitude, and pride and pride will stay with you.”

Then, after leaving the body, again he was sad. He wanted to be on earth. I said, “Now you have left the body. If I wanted you on earth, I would not have allowed you to die. I wanted you to go, and you have left. With my blessings, joy and pride you have left.”

13 November 1996

Sona and Kanu together again

For two hours after he left the body, Sona felt sad. In the meantime, Kanu came to meet him in the soul’s world. Kanu was so thrilled and so happy; he was literally jumping with joy. Then my mother’s soul came. I said to her, “You have taken Kanu to be with you.” My mother said, “I will take Sona also.”

Kanu wanted to play with Sona, but Sona was still sad. On earth, Kanu was so small and Sona was much larger by comparison, although both the dogs were quite small. Now, in the soul’s world, Kanu is so big and Sona is so small. Kanu is full of compassion, and Sona is the little child. Here Sona was the big brother; now Kanu is the big brother.

Kanu is so happy to have Sona with him again.

13 November 1996

Real affection

Both Kanu and Sona showed their real affection, to Ranjana they showed such loyalty and affection. And Ranjana poured ceaseless and endless affection into these two. Both of them responded. Kanu responded from the beginning to the end. Sometimes towards the end, Sona used to become dull, but when he was alert, he showed Ranjana tremendous affection. 13 November 1996

Eyes of compassion

When you look at Sona’s picture, he is so alive. He is full of compassion. The last few days I saw only compassion in his big, big eyes. After his passing also, when he was lying in the meditation room, I looked at him. I was seeing that his eyes were full of affection and compassion. Such compassion he developed at that time. 13 November 1996

Playing in the soul's world

For the last four or five days, both Sona’s and Kanu’s souls have been playing upstairs in my room. I enter into the room, and then I see that they are playing and jumping on my bed. So vividly I see that their souls are playing — not fighting, but playing and playing and playing. 13 November 1996

Sona's good news

One day recently I was very, very sad. Sona’s soul appeared before me and told me that he would make me happy by bringing me happy news. He was on earth for fifteen years, so he would bring me fifteen pieces of good news.

I asked, “When? In how many years?”

He said, “No, by the end of this year.”

He has already brought two or three pieces of good news. When I have heard fifteen, by the end of this year, in Japan, I will declare the good news that Sona has brought me.

13 November 1996

What the future may hold

These two dogs, Sona and Kanu, will not have any more animal incarnations. No more animal incarnations for them — only human incarnations. Who knows, perhaps they will not want to take human incarnation. But if they want to, I will bring them into a very, very, very nice family, and I will bring them into the same family. 13 November 1996

My beloved dogs

I had Kanu, our dearest of all. If I had a headache, a real headache, he would go and be on my pillow. Touching my head, he would take my headache. And I did not tell him even what was wrong with me. He knew. When I had a stomach ache, he would go and just be on my stomach. He used to cure me. That was Kanu.

Again, it is all a matter of gratitude. The owner said she would not sell him because the doctor said he would not last more than two or three weeks. She thought that afterwards we would blame her. So I gave it in writing that I would not blame her. One disciple went and gave her the letter and she sold us the dying puppy. He lived, I think, more than eleven years!

I would try to keep Kanu near my chest or near my head. He would not listen. He would go and be at my feet all the time. And I was afraid that my legs would squash him. So again I would bring him back to my chest, then again he would go back there.

Three times, I think, in the last few months of his life, he appeared to be dead. Then I would bring his lifeless body down the staircase. I would be asking myself, “How am I going to give this message to Ranjana? How am I going to give it?”

I saw that he was gone. Then, when I reached the meditation room, I sat with him and looked at him. O my God, he came back. These two dogs really showed me life-and-death scenes.

The first time Kanu left the body was the day I was supposed to meet with President Gorbachev. According to me, President Gorbachev is the world’s greatest man, and I have such admiration for him. The interview was supposed to take place at the Governor General’s palace in Canada. That was the time when Kanu was at Mridul’s Animal Hospital. Somehow Mridul got me on the phone.

I said, “What happened?”

He said, “Kanu has passed away.”

I concentrated and said, “No, Mridul, it cannot be. I know, I know. No, no, no, no.”

Then I hung up. In a few minutes, he called me back. “Oh, Guru, he has come back, he has come back!”

I said, “I told you. He cannot go because my soul has that much connection with Kanu.”

Here I was going to see the world’s greatest man, but when I heard what had happened, believe me, my joy disappeared. My whole consciousness was concentrated on Kanu. How many times I called Mridul from Canada about Kanu.

These little, little animals can be so affectionate. There are so many stories about dogs who give their lives to save the master, in the same way that horses have been known to do during a battle. Is there any human being who gets a little food twice a day and is ready to give their life for somebody? No, no, no.

They say that God gave the name ‘dog’. Reverse ‘God’ and it becomes ‘dog’.

In Shakpura we had a dog called Bhaga. He used to take messages three miles away. We would put the message around his neck and he would go to our aunt’s place and bring the message.

When we were leaving the village for the last time to go to Pondicherry, Bhaga knew that we were not coming back. He jumped into the river and started swimming. Then we had to take him into the boat. He was happier than the happiest. We stayed at our maternal uncle’s place in the town for three days, I think, before we could go to Pondicherry by train. Bhaga was so happy to be with the whole family.

Then we left. After we reached Pondicherry, the message came that Bhaga had died. For one week, he would not eat anything; he fasted. They tried so hard, so hard, to feed him. He would not eat. He was so strong, so strong, but in a week, he died. That was the experience of our Bhaga.

4 January 2005

Editor's preface

In the early 1980s, Sri Chinmoy embarked on a new adventure, welcoming into his house a variety of birds, dogs, monkeys, chinchillas and other pets. Sri Chinmoy explained that while offering his love, affection and concern to the animal kingdom, these qualities would also touch the human level, entering into his spiritual children and flowing into the Universal Consciousness. This volume contains charming and sometimes amusing stories about Sri Chinmoy’s experiences with his pets, as well as with the disciples who assisted in caring for them.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Friendship with the animal kingdom, Agni Press, 2010
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