Businessman- born as Cow, Dog and Snake before got liberated! (Post No. 2428)


Cycle of Birth and Death is described as Samsara Sagara (ocean of family ties) in Tamil and Sanskrit.


Written by London swaminathan

Date: 26 December 2015


Post No. 2428


Time uploaded in London :– காலை 8-17

( Thanks for the Pictures  ) 





There is an interesting story in an old Tamil book about a businessman who became cow, dog and snake because of his strong attachment to his family. At last he was liberated from the cycle of birth and death with the grace of a Guru (spiritual teacher).


A saint was going through a town where a good man was running a sweetmeat shop. The shopkeeper used to welcome any saint visiting the town and offer him food. This saint also visited his house where he was honoured with a good feast. He was given all types of sweets with a pot of hot milk. The saint was so happy to get food from a good soul, he immediately came forward to give him a ‘mantra’ which would liberate him from the ‘disease of birth and death’. But the businessman hesitated saying that he had some duty to fulfil towards his family. The saint said that he would come back after some time.


After a few years the saint passed through the same town where he met the businessman. He welcomed the saint home and told that his wife had died, but yet he has some duty towards his two sons. He wanted them to get married. The saint smiled at his statement and went away.

jersey cow

A few years have passed. Again he came back to the businessman’s house where his two sons prostrated before him with their new wives. He blessed them and looked at the businessman. He understood what the saint meant. But he apologised to the saint saying that the family incurred some debt due to the marriages. So he wanted to clear the debts before getting the liberation mantra. The saint smiled at him and went his way.


Several years passed and the saint came back again. Now he was welcomed only by his sons. They told him that they had lost their father. The saint used his third eye to know his whereabouts in his rebirth. The businessman was born as a cow and in the cattle shed of the same house. But his children didn’t know that. The saint went to the cattle shed when the children were inside the house and told the cow who he was in his previous birth. The saint even came forward to give him the mantra. But the cow told him, “Look! Guruji! My sons are in need of money. My milk helps them to earn some money. So I don’t want the liberation mantra now”. The saint smiled and went his way.



After a long time, the saint came again. This time he saw a dog in the businessman’s house whose story he heard from the businessman’s sons. After the cow’s death, this dog came on its own to his house and so they raised it as their pet dog. As soon as the saint heard this he knew that it was the cow reborn as a dog now. The saint went to the dog and told him, “Look! You were born as a cow and now a dog. I offered the mantra even when you were in human form. Are you ready to accept my mantra now which will liberate you from this low life of a dog”.


The dog said to the Guru, “Please don’t give me the mantra now. My sons have been very irresponsible. If I were not there, this house would have been burgled several times. So I wanted to guard the house for some time. The saint was surprised to hear his reply. His attachment to the family was so strong that not even a saint could help him. So he smiled at the dog and went his way.


After a few years the saint who became very old now, struggled to walk to the house of the businessman. His sons were not ready to welcome him. They were angry to see him and was about to chase him. But the saint told them that he wanted to reveal them a secret. They told the saint that the dog had died and now there was no one to guard the house.


The saint told them it didn’t matter much because there was a treasure buried in his house. He told them that it was under a thick bush in the wooded area of their garden. The sons ran there with a spade and axe. But to their surprise a cobra rose its hood and tried to bite them. They came back to the Guru accusing him of conspiracy to kill them. He told them that the cobra is protecting the treasure. The saint knew that it was their father who became cow, then dog and now a snake to guard the family property. When the sons heard abbot the treasure, they called the villagers to kill the cobra. When it died they took the treasure from the ground.


The saint who watched the whole drama caught the spirit of the cobra and liberated it. Guru also disappeared from the scene. Then the businessman’s sons realised that it was not an ordinary saint who visited them. Guru also was very happy that it was able to save one soul.


“Attach yourself to the one who has no attachment (God) to sever all other attachments” (Tirukkural 350)