Can Humans communicate with Animals?

Picture of Monk walking with a tiger in Thailand.

 Can Humans communicate with Animals?

Men who spoke to animals: Asvapati, Seraman Perumal Nayanar,Vikramaditya, Sufi saints; Men who tamed animals : Daniel, Pulipani, Appar, Swami Vivekanada, Tamil Siddhas, Ramana Maharishi, St Francis of Assisi, Romulus and Remus  (Founders of Rome).

Modern scientific research has shown that animals do communicate with one another in their own way. Even plants communicate with other plants and warn them of impending dangers. They release certain chemicals to warn others. Animals use various sounds to warn or to express love. But they don’t use human languages. Whales, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes and okapis use infra sound (low frequency sounds) for communication. They can use it for long distance communication. Humans can’t hear those sounds. Even domestic dogs and cats understand what we tell them. They obey our commands. Circus animals also obey commands. But this is definitely different from human communication. They may react to sounds, sometimes, out of fear of punishment (in circuses) or hunger.

Tamil Siddha Pulipani on tiger

Very often we come across some birds like myna and parrots imitating words of human beings. Once again they are not using languages like we use. Sanskrit and Tamil literature speak about the parrots that recite Vedas. Ancient Sanskrit and Tamil literature paint a different picture on animal communication. They say humans spoke to animals or understood their language. We have such stories in the books such as Mahabharata, Vikramaditya and Betal/Vedala, Panchatantra, Periyapuranam and the Bible. Later day Christian saints like St.Francis of Assisi were credited with this knowledge. Tamil Siddhas tamed animals and rode on them.

Ramayana gives a story about Asvapati who knows animal language. Asvapati was the father of Kaikeyi. Asvapati banished his wife to forest because she insisted that Asvapati should reveal what two birds spoke about. Asvapati said to her that he should not reveal what he overheard. He told her that his head would blow into hundreds of pieces if he reveals to her the bird’s talk. This happened while they were strolling the palace gardens. After Asvapati listened to two swans, he laughed loudly. Kaikeyi’s mother (queen) insisted that he should reveal what he heard, but he refused and banished her to forest.

Tamil Saint Kumarakurupara on Lion


Periapuranam gives the life history of 63 Tamil Saivite saints. One of the 63 poets is Seraman Perumal Nayanar also known as Kazarirrarivar. He also knew animal language like Asvapati.

Periyapuranam verse 3760 says: “He was enabled to reign as king at the same time follow the path of loving worship. He was given the power of understanding the communication of all living creatures”

We must notice one thing here: Scriptures don’t attribute this rare talent to everyone. Only few of the ancient people had this knowledge. Christian saint St Francis of Assisi was an embodiment of love. Even fishes kissed his fingers. King Solomon also understood animal language.

Najmuddin Kubra was a Sufi Muslim saint who founded the Greater Brother order. His pictures show that he was always surrounded by birds. Sufi saints were said to have spoken to birds and animals. Ancient Hindu saints spoke to animals in the natural language. Probably Asvapati, Kazarrarivar and Vikramaditya used thought power to communicate with them. Stories of Vikramaditya have several incidents of listening to birds’ talk.


Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Hebrew Bible has a story of Daniel in the Lion’s den. King Darius ordered that Daniel should be thrown in to a lion’s den for disobeying his orders. Daniel prayed to different god violating king’s order. When he was thrown into the lion’s den, they did not attack him. The king came to know about this miracle and ordered that Daniel’s enemies should be thrown in to the den. Hindu scriptures have hundreds of stories similar to Daniel in Lion’s den. Appar alias Tirunavukkarasu was not attacked by the mad elephant set upon him. Swami Vivekananda tamed a bull that was rushing towards him in a narrow street. Kalidasa’s Raghu Vamsam and Kamba Ramayanam say that deer and tiger drank water from the same source. The idea is that if the king ruled according to law, even animals won’t attack one another unnecessarily (out of natural enmity). Ramana Maharishi lived in a cave where there was a tiger. Pulippani Siddhar rode on a tiger.

64 Arts

Another interesting fact is that women should learn 64 arts and one of them is to train parrots to speak. ‘Saarikaa Pralaapanam’ is the 45th art in the list of 64. Knowledge of how to train parrots to speak and answer questions of human beings comes under this topic.

(I have already posted several articles of music taming the animals, Tamil Birdman, Parrots reciting Vedas, Crows communicating for sharing the food, Animal Einsteins etc. Please go through my blogs)


St Francis de Assisi