Gauranga used to pass His time playing and enjoying many frivolous games with His friends. One day they found a litter of puppies. Nimai picked out the nicest one.

Nimai's friend said, "Look Nimai, You chose the best puppy and left the ugly ones for us. It's not fair. If You keep that one, then we're going home."

Vishvambhara said, "Come on. Listen, I'll keep this puppy in My house and we can all play with him there."

Nimai took the puppy home and tied it to a chain. Having just finished her duties, Shachimata had gone to bathe in the Ganges along with her friends. Vishvambhara's friends came into the house and played with the puppy dog. They fondled the dog, rolled in the dirt with it, and laughed and joked.

Suddenly, a quarrel broke out among the boys. Nimai took the side of one boy and found fault with the other. Gaurahari said, "Listen, everyday you come here to play and you always start a fight. Why do you behave like this?"

In defense, the boy said, "Well, You stole the puppy!" Then he stormed out of the house.

Seeing Shachimata returning from the Ganges, that boy said in a voice choked with anger, "Your son Vishvambhara is playing in the house with a puppy dog. Sometimes He puts it on His lap, or hangs it over His shoulder. Go and see for yourself." Shachimata quickly entered the house and saw Vishvambhara playing with the puppy. In astonishment, she hit her forehead with her palm. "Vishvambhara! What are You doing?" said Shachimata. "I simply can't understand Your behavior. You have so many things to play with, but instead You play with a dog.

"You are the son of a very religious father. What will people say if they see You playing with a dog? This behavior does not befit a brahmana's son. It pains my heart to imagine how people will criticize You if they find out.

"Your form is so pure and wonderful. Why do You find happiness in smearing Your body with dirt? Seeing You like this, I bow my head in shame and wish to die. Your body shines like fresh lightning, and Your face is more beautiful than many moons. Yet, instead of wearing Your clothes, You cover Your body with dirt and play with low-class boys."

Fuming with anger, Shachimata bit her lower lip and rebuked her errant son. "Okay Nimai, if You like that puppy so much, then take him to Your room. Just forget about Your mother and father and play with Your dog!"

But the charming beauty of Gaura's gorgeous and innocent face quickly dissipated Shachimata's anger. Adopting a joyful mood, Shachidevi said, "Come my darling son, get on my lap. I want to hug You and kiss Your sweet smiling face. Now, just leave that puppy alone for a little while, and go bathe in the Ganges.

"Besides, You must be hungry. It's already lunchtime. Why are You filling me with anxiety? Now tie up Your puppy, take bath, and after lunch You can play with him again. Your face looks tired like a golden lotus withered by the scorching sun. A drop of perspiration, like a pearl, rests on the tip of Your nose."

Smiling, Vishvambhara said, "Mother, please watch My puppy while I take a bath." After cleansing the dirt from Nimai's body, Shachimata rubbed Him with fragrant oil. Gaurahari and His friends went to bathe in the Ganges. They laughed, swam about, and threw water on each other just like playful elephants do when bathing. Gauranga's golden body appeared powerfully built and as immovable as Mt. Sumeru.

Meanwhile back home, Shachimata untied Nimai's puppy and sent him away. One of Gauranga's playmates saw this, and then ran to the Ganges to inform Nimai. "Hey Nimai, Your mother sent Your puppy away!"

Nimai immediately ran home. Not seeing His puppy, Nimai's heart burnt in anger. Feeling separation, He cried and scolded His mother. "Listen mother, you don't understand. Why did you do this to Me? I feel very hurt. He was such a nice beautiful puppy. How could you send him away?

Simply-a-touch-of-Lord-Gauranga-liberates-a-dog

Playing innocent, Shachimata said, "I don't know what happened to Your puppy. He was just here. May be a thief has stolen him. Now stop crying. We'll search for the puppy and bring him back tomorrow. I promise I'll find Your puppy. Now please stop crying."

After saying this, Shachimata wiped the tears from Nimai's face, put Him on her lap, and smothered Him with kisses. Then Shachimata pacified Nimai with khirasandesh, bananas, and other tasty sweets.

Shachimata dressed her darling son. She tied His hair in a topknot and applied black kajjala around His eyes. She wrapped a ruby-red cloth around Nimai's nicely curved hips. She hung a pearl necklace around His neck. Sandalwood tilaka adorned His forehead. Gold bangles highlighted the beauty of His wrists and ankles.

Grabbing a sweet ball, Nimai ran outside to play with His friends. His walking defeated the pride of the king of elephants. His deep voice sounded as sweet as nectar. Nimai, the crest jewel among His brahmana friends, looked like the full moon surrounded by a cluster of stars. The demigods felt great happiness to witness Lord Gaura's transcendental pastimes. Lochana Dasa is amazed to see that the Supreme Lord touched cats and dogs.

That puppy dog attained the greatest fortune by the transcendental touch of Lord Gauranga. The dog gave up his bad habits and became Krishna conscious. One day the dog just started dancing ecstatically while chanting the holy names, "Radha-Krishna! Govinda!"

Hearing that a lowly dog was chanting Hare Krishna, the townspeople of Navadvipa ran to see the miracle. Before everyone's eyes, the dog exhibited the bodily symptoms of ecstatic love of God. The dog was crying, his hair stood on end, and his entire body was covered with goosebumps. Suddenly, that most fortunate dog gave up his body.

At that moment, a golden celestial chariot came down from the sky, and carried the dog to Goloka Vrndavana. Topped with many domes, the chariot was lavishly decorated with pearls and dazzling jewels. The sound of bells, gongs, conch shells, and karatalas accompanied the divine singing of Gandharvas and Kinnaras, who were singing the glories of Radha and Krishna.

Flags flapped atop the chariot whose brilliance outshone the light of the sun. In his spiritual body, the dog was sitting upon a jeweled throne inside the chariot. His body, adorned with divine ornaments, looked more beautiful than millions of moons. The former dog was singing the glories of Radha, Krishna, and Gauranga. The Siddhas fanned him with chamaras as he soared back to Goloka.

Lord Brahma, Shiva, Sanaka, and other demigods surrounded the chariot and sang Gauranga's praises. "All glories, all glories to the ocean of mercy, the darling of Shachimata. Never before has He bestowed such mercy. He liberated a dog and sent him back to Goloka'.

The demigods continued, "All glories to Gaurahari, the resort of the helpless. You are the best of all incarnations. By Your mercy, the people of the age of Kali will attain salvation. What wonderful pastimes will You reveal in the future?

"When will we demigods become fortunate and receive Your supreme mercy? Simply by Your touch, a dog attained liberation. We've never seen such mercy, even in the pastimes of Lord Hrishikesha, Krishna. We hanker for Your mercy, so we too can attain the same destination as that dog.

"O Gaura Raya, we bow down to Your wonderfully glorious lotus feet. You always overlook one's faults and offenses. In this way, any fortunate living entity who takes shelter of You, Lord Gauranga, will attain Goloka."

Repeatedly singing these glorious transcendental pastimes, I, Lochana Dasa, continually marvel at the divine incarnation known as Lord Gaurachandra.