Bhagavad Saptaha (XXII)

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Gajendra the elephant and the crocodile
            Sukdevji says, Parikhit it is not that we do not remember God, but the fact is we remember Him when we are in trouble. During happiness we forget and during miseries we remember again.
            Rajan in this regard, one thing comes in my mind, once there was a mountain named Chitrakut means it has three types of root. In that mountain lives all types of creatures, some are ferocious, some very nice birds and also there lived a very beautiful elephant named Gajendra. He was Gajendra means king of all elephants, he has several wives and many children. When Gajendra use to travel with his family, all the smaller animals and birds use to sing his glories. He was very proud and uses to tell other to inform him if they are in trouble, he will wipe away all their miseries. He further says that he had the strength of ten thousand elephants. One day, he alongwith his wives and children enters in a large pond to take bath. As that pond was filled with water the elephant was happily sporting with his family members and seeing this play all the other animals and birds surrounding the reservoir begins to jubilate. In that pond there also lived a large crocodile which comes and grips Gajendra’s feet with its mouth. The elephant didn’t pay any attention of it as he thought, I am the king so the crocodile might have come to beg for forgiveness, later on I will see to it, but at the moment let me play.
            But later on as the crocodile had very firmly caught hold of his legs and began to suck blood, Gajendra realizes that his strength is decreasing rapidly and he is becoming weak, he carefully notices and finds that a huge crocodile had caught hold of his leg.
            Now the elephant begins to show his strength. Maharaj Sukdev says, rajan although the Gajaraj applies his power, but the crocodile doesn’t leaves him a bit neither it loosens its attack. The power of aquatic animal is always better in water and as the elephant witnesses that he is gradually becoming strength less, tears begins to flow from his eyes and all his vanity and pride gets destroyed. He calls his wives and says, devi you all please assist me, I am in crucial danger, my dear sons please help, I am in great difficulty. All his wives and children tries to drag him out holding his trunk, and it went on for three months but that crocodile does not leave him even slightly, rather it took him more inside water. In this way as his family members tries very hard but could not release him they gets disappointed and goes away inside the jungle leaving him behind. In this way as his wives and children one by one starts leaving him, the eyes of Gajraj get filled with tears, he thinks I had done so much for my family and now at the time of crisis they all abandoned me, it is useless to ask for anything from any creature, it is proper to beg from Govinda. So Gajendra closes his eyes and as his strength was about to end he somehow lift his trunk above and starts praying to the Lord.
            This prayer of Gajendra is known as Gajendra moksha leela (salvation pastimes of Gajendra) in Srimad Bhagavattam. This prayer is very graceful and if it is recited daily than all great difficulties are severed and great functions are also held in this regard.      
Prayers of Gajendra
            Gajendra did not mention the name of any particular God in his beautiful prayer. He says, One who fabricates the entire creation, One who gives me energy to move and speak, I pay my obeisance to Him. Let Him come and save me. One without whose mercy even a leaf of a tree is unable to move, without whose orders the demigods are unable perform any activity, except the mercy of whose the sun and moon are lusterless, I pay my obeisance to that Paramatma to that ksetragya (agya-knower, ksetra-field or body) who is Master of everyone, who is the protector, ruler, although happens to be nirguna (without material qualities) yet saguna (with material qualities) as well as saguna yet nirguna, although nameless yet prominent by several names, although He incarnates yet unborn, I pay my obeisance to that Parabrahma (superior to Brahma), let Him save me. In fact many demigods and goddess had witnessed this difficult situation of Gajaraj, but nobody is coming to help him because they were thinking that this Gajaraj has not uttered their name, why should they go and save him. They waited for the time for Gajaraj to utter their name and then they will help. But Govinda thinks that when nobody’s name has been taken that means it is My name, he has taken My shelter, calling Me, I have to go and save him. So riding upon Garuda, His carrier the Lord comes to Gajendra. In the meanwhile Gajendra is almost dead, a little bit of his trunk is above water and the entire body has gone inside. In this manner as he witnesses Vishnu riding upon Garuda approaching towards him, he holds up a lotus flower in his trunk and says, I am offering this in the divine feet of Govinda, hey Narayana, hey akhilguro (preceptor of the entire universe), my obeisance to you again and again. The Lord catches his trunk and pulls him out of water and alongwith Gajendra the fierce crocodile also comes out. The Lord by his divine sudarshan charka (discuss) separates the head of the crocodile from its body.
            Sukdevji says rajan what is the significance of my saying this story? When somebody is in danger and his energy is completely exhausted, he remembers and calls Govinda. Gajaraj has also done the same thing, but if he had remembered him earlier than this kind of difficulty would not have arrived.
            Maharaj Parikhit asks, whom did the Lord delivered, Gajaraj or the crocodile, who attains salvation, because to die in the hands of the Lord and to live both are be continued
(A part of the Summary of Srimad Bhagavattam translated from the diary of Sri Gurudeb)