Salvation to the King Elephant- Gajendra Moksha from the Bhagavat Mahapuran

ksetra-jnaya namas tubhyam sarvadhyakshaya  sakshine
    purushayatma-mulaya mula-prakritaye  namaha - 13

I bow down to the Lord who is the  Knower of the field (body), who is presiding over and witnessing everything,  who is the source of spirit and matter ( atman and prakriti) and who is the  Original Being (Mula Prakriti).

sarvendriya-guna-drashtre sarva-pratyaya-hetave
    asata cchayayoktaya sad-abhasaya  te namaha -14

I bow down to the Lord, who is  the perceiver of all organs of perception and their objects, who makes all the  concepts and precepts possible, whose true nature is made known by bestowing  consciousness to the ego (I-sense) just as the   substance  behind a shadow.

namo namas te‘khila-karanaya nishkaranayadbhuta-karanaya
    sarvagamamnaya-maharnavaya namo‘pavargaya  parayanaya -15

You are the cause of all the  causes, but you yourself are not the effect of any cause. You are the wonderful  cause because the ordinary causes undergo change when they become the effects,  but you produce the world without undergoing any change. You are the scriptures  and you are the ocean into which all the scriptures flow. You are the bliss of  salvation and the refuge of great souls. I bow down to you.

gunarani-cchanna-chid-ushmapaya  tat-kshobha-visphurjita-manasaya
    naishkarmya-bhavena vivarjitagama  svayam-prakashaya namas karomi -16

I bow down to you. who are the  spiritual fire of consciousness which remains hidden in the fire-wood of  prakriti’s gunas. When the equilibrium of gunas is disturbed, there arises in  you the will to create. You shine by your own luster in the minds of those who  having given up the scriptures and actions prescribed in them and keep  themselves engaged in your contemplation.

madrik  prapanna-pashu-pashu-vimokshanaya muktaya bhuri-karunaya namo‘layaya
    svamshena sarva-tanu-bhrin-manasi  pratita-pratyag-drishe bhagavatebrihate namaste17

I bow down to you who bless  ignorant creatures like me by severing our binding fetters of ignorance; who  are ever free yourself and ever- watchful in bestowing your mercy to save the  devotees and who by an atom of yourself shine in all embodied beings as  individualized self-consciousness without any mutilation to yourself as the  Absolute Being and the Absolute Will.

atmatma-japti-griha-vitta-janeshu  saktair dushprapanaya guna-sanga-vivarjitaya
    muktatmabhih sva-hridaya  paribhavitaya jnanatmane bhagavate nama ishvaraya -18

I bow down to you who are the  embodiment of Pure consciousness and the Lord of all who, though indweller of  all, are difficult to approach by those who are attached to their own body, to  relations like wife, children, kith and kin, and to possessions like property  wealth etc. You are beyond the gunas of prakriti though functioning through  them and who are immediately perceived in the cavity of their hearts by those who  are free from ignorance.

yam  dharma-kamartha-vimukti-kama bhajanta ishtam gatim apnuvanti
    kim chashisho raty api deham  avyayam karotu me‘dabhra-dayo vimokshanam - 19

O Lord! You gave Dharma, Artha,  Kama and Moksha to those who seek them from you and even bestow them with final  Bliss. You, who are so merciful, may be pleased to liberate me from the grip of  the crocodile and also from the cycle of births and deaths.

ekantino yasya na  kanchanartham vanchanti ye vai bhagavat-prapannaha
    aty-adbhutam tach-charitam  sumangalam gayanta ananda-samudra-magnaha - 20

Your devotees who take refuge in  you do not ask for anything except you. They are immersed in the ocean of bliss  by singing your glories and wonderful stories.

tam aksharam brahma param  paresham avyaktam adhyatmika-yoga-gamyam
    atindriyam sukshmam ivatiduram  anantam adyam paripurnam ide - 21

I glorify that Imperishable  Being, the Brahman, the overlord of Brahma and others, the one who is not  perceivable by the senses and the mind, the Being who is attainable only by  meditation, the Being who is subtle and infinite, the one though closest to all  but appears to be far to the ignorant, the one who is ancient, without  beginning or end and who is fully perfect.

yasya bramadayo deva veda  lokash characharaha
    nama-rupa-vibhedena phalgvya  cha kalaya kritaha - 22

Brahma and the other gods, the  Vedas, living and non-living beings with varied names and forms are all made  out of a small part of the Supreme Being.

yatharchisho‘gneh savitur  gabhastayo niryanti samyanty asakrit sva-rochishaha
    tatha yato‘yam guna-sampravaho  buddhir manah khani sharira-sargaha - 23

As the sparks of a fire or the  shining rays of the sun emanate  from  their source and merge into it again and again, the mind, the  intelligence,  the senses, the gross and  subtle material bodies, and the continuous   transformations of the different modes of nature all emanate from the  Lord and  again merge into Him.

sa vai na  devasura-martya-tiryan na stri na sandho na puman na jantuhu
    nayam gunah karma na san na  casan nishedha-shesho jayatad ashesaha - 24

That Lord is certainly not a Deva  or Asura or a human being or a beast or a male or a female or of neuter gender.  He is neither an attribute nor an action, neither cause nor effect, neither a  being (sat) nor a non-being (asat) He is what remains after  everything has been negated (neti, neti) and constitutes all. May all  glories go to Him!
  jijivishe naham ihamuya kim antar  bahish chavritayebha-yonya
  icchami kalena na yasya  viplavas tasyatma-lokavaranasya moksha - 25

I have no desire to live on in  this world. Of what use is life in this elephant body wherein veils of  ignorance hide the spiritual vision both from within and without?  It is not from the crocodile threatening my  life that I pray for release, but from this obstructive screen of ignorance  hiding the awareness of my spiritual self - an unhelpful veil that Time cannot  undo but only illumination can. For, Time will put an end to the physical body  but not to ignorance which persists till your grace removes it.

so‘ham vishva-srijam vishvam avishvan  vishva-vedasam
    vishvatmanam ajam brahma pranato‘smi  param padam - 26

Now, fully desiring release from  material life, I bow down to Him, who is the creator of the universe, who is  Himself the form of the universe and who is nonetheless transcendental to this  cosmic manifestation for whom the world is a toy, an object of sport, who is  the soul of the universe, who is unborn, all pervading and the Supreme Being,  Brahman.

yoga-randhita-karmano hridi  yoga-vibhavite
    yogino yam prapashyanti yogesham  tam nato‘smy aham - 27

I bow down to that Lord of Yoga,  who is seen in the core of the heart by the yogis who have purified and freed themselves  from the agitations of past karma by practicing bhakti.
  namo namas tubhyam  asahya-vega- shakti-trayayakhila-dhi-gunaya
  prapanna-palaya  duranta-shaktaye kad-indriyanam anavapya-vartmane - 28

You have formidable strength. The  force of your three kinds of energy - sattva, rajas and tamas, is irresistible.  You are the protector of those who take refuge in you. You manifest yourself as  the objects of the senses. You are unapproachable by those who are unable to  control their senses. I bow down to you again and again.

nayam veda svam atmanam yach-chaktyaham-dhiya  hatam
    tam duratyaya-mahatmyam bhagavantam  ito‘smy aham - 29

I offer my respectful obeisance  to that Supreme Being, whose Yoga Maya creates the ego-sense which hides the  real Self from all in the world and whose glory and power are endless.

Salvation of Gajendra
When the King Elephant, Gajendra,  thus invoked the DIVINE, without any form or particular attributes, none of the  Deities like Brahma and others, who are conscious about their forms, characteristics  etc.did not go to the rescue of the elephant. It was Sri Hari who includes in  Himself all the deities, who came to the scene. Seeing Sri Hari on His vehicle  Garuda, with discus in hand, the elephant plucked a lotus flower with his trunk  and lifted it up and said “Narayana, Precepptor of all, Bhagavan, You, endowed  with all powers and excellences, I bow down to you.”. (Picture given at the  top)

Alighting from Garuda, Bhagavan  dragged the elephant out of water and killed the crocodile with the discus in  the presence of all Celestials who showered flowers on the Bhagavan.  (8.3.30-33)

Gajendra, in his previous life  was a great devotee of Sri Hari called Indradyumna who was also a great king.  One day, when Indradyumna was busy with his austerities, the great Sage Agastya,  came to visit the king.  Indradyumna did  not notice the sage. This enraged Agastya who cursed the king to become an  elephant in his next birth. Indradyumna was soon born as an elephant. But as a  result of his worship of Sri Hari, he had his memory restored at the last  moment of his current life which enabled him to pray Sri Hari to get himself  released from the clutches of the crocodile.

The crocodile, who was none but a  leading Gandharva by name HuHu, turned into that form under the curse of a  sage, now attained freedom from the curse by the Lord’s touch and became a  beautiful Gandharva. He sang in praise of the Lord, who freed him from all the  sins,

Thus was the King Elephant  released and given a place among the Lord’s attendants. Sri Hari told the King:  “Whoever glorifies me early in the morning everyday, with this Stotra which you  sang, will be freed from all sins and I will grant them a pure understanding  before the end of their lives.” With these words Mahavishnu, the Prime Mover of  all the senses, sounded His divine conch and ascended His Garuda vehicle to  depart. The salient point to note in the whole hymn is the following appeal of  Gajendra to The Lord. “I am not asking you to save me from the clutches of the  crocodile, or that I should survive this attack! I am aware that I not only have  a body of an elephant but also a fat mind of an elephant! What is the use of  keeping this life? I want to be liberated from my Ignorant Mind which hides the  resplendent soul! I can only be saved by Your Grace!”
aum! asato maa sadgamaya!  tamaso maa jyotirgamaya!!

1. Srimad Bhagavata (2nd  Volume) - Swami Tapasyananda
2. Srimad Bhagavatam - Swamy Srikrishna Das

Receive Site Updates