My Understanding of Epic Gajendra Moksham.
I have said umpteen times that I’m an Agnostic. The reason for repeating the same is my below write-up, it shud not be viewed/understood as my changed views. I wrote the below lines keeping my Agnostic philosophy at bay. So, my write-up shud be seen as mere narration of characters and shud not attributed to my views wholly or partially. This time, I desist writing something nasty on GOD . Last time when I did it on Facebook, it hurt my cousin Sis’ . So vowed not to repeat it.
Gajendra Moksham , It always makes me emotional . The desperate plea of Elephant and Lord Vishnu descending to protect his devotee has always attracted my attention . There are many morals to this story. One of the moral of Gajendra Moksham is that, there is no disaster from which Lord Vishnu wud not protect . Thus, he is often called as Lord Of Protection. This story is all about telling the Vishnu devotees that when all other Dharma’s (means) fails then go for his “ Sharanagatha” (Total surrender to Bhagawan) . It is widely believed that if one chants the Gajendra Moksha stotram, one gets the liberation from Birth & Death cycle. The following story of Gajendra Moksha which I’ am going to narrate is from Srimad Bhagavatham .
The whole story of Gajendra Moksham is about surrendering to Lord Vishnu . It tell us that Lord Vishnu is not just the forgiver but also protector of those in distress. In simple, One who surrenders to Lord Vishnu in turn HE surrenders to you. This story also tells us that Lord Vishnu’s love for his devotees is not undermined by Race, Creed or Economic status. His Love is same towards all the Jeeva (living things) on this planet.
The Story begins with Gajendra the most ferocious Elephant in the forest moves with his wives and cubs uprooting trees, bamboos and what ever came in its path with glowing pride. Gajendra along with his wives and cubs on hot humid day marches to the lake to cool off in its fresh waters. The elephant was so powerful that all animals were scared and ran away from its path to hid until the herd moved out . The cruelest tigers, lions, rhinos, jackals all feared looking at the might of Gajendra . This has made the Elephant proud to see other species running away from its sight and taking shelter in bushes.
This arrogance of Gajendra has halted its thought process. It steps into water as its thirsty and also want to bath, so that it can collect Lotus flowers to be offered to Lord Vishnu as its Prayer. The pond was full of beautiful Lotus and Lilly Flowers , which made the Gajendra happy , thinking each of the herd can collect the flowers and offer to his Lord Vishnu . Gajendra powered with brute strength has totally ignored the fact that the pond is a natural habitat of mighty crocodiles and they rarely spare any trespassers.
Here the moral of Gajendra Moksham depicts the strength and power of the elephants while moving in herds. This is exactly how a Human behaves when he is surrounded with his relatives and friends during the ones hay days. Proud , ferocious , ruthless , not caring for anyone as long he has numbers behind him . This is where our arrogance sways away from realising the immediate threat’s . In these situations we can not expect Elephant to know, where we humans have failed to conquer our senses.
As it nears the beautiful pond decorated with all kinds of Lotus, Lilly flowers , Gajendra, lordly leads his family towards the pond and takes a plunge into the water . The sweet and flower flavoured water makes him happy and drank as much as it can and quenches his thirst and throws away the remaining. Gajendra was so pre-occupied with his self importance and was showering the plucked Lotus and Lilly flowers all over his female elephants and cubs . This self importance of Gajendra has undermined the impending danger to its own life .
Well , the Moral of Gajendra Moksham tells us that, We just like Gajendra in our happy playful days are so arrogant that we fail to see anything outside the materialistic world in which we live in . Here the Gajendra who had come to Pond with his Wives and Cubs shud have quenched his thirst and left . Instead he displays his brute strength plucking all the flowers and showering on his wives . Wasting the water by sucking it with his trunk and throwing it away . This is exactly what we Humans do , we showcase our riches by wasting the money on all not so needed materialistic things .
The lordly Gajendra’s luck fell short . It felt its mighty leg got stuck to something in water . Neither it was weeds , nor the flowers where his leg got caught. Its something as strong as himself. It was very painful , mighty Gajendra was not able to bear it any more . It took not much of time for Gajendra to understand that dreaded crocodile has caught his huge leg between its sharp teeth’s .
Mighty Gajendra can feel the sharp teeth’s of crocodile deeply piercing his flesh and bones . As it does the pain multiplies and becomes much unbearable for Gajendra . He does gather all his strength to pull away from the crocodile . Knowing crocodile is stronger in water he does try to drag it off to bank , but all his efforts seem to be futile . As Gajendra battling with mighty crocodile , the herd consisting of wives and cubs were helpless, they moved away leaving Gajendra to its fate .
The Moral of Gajendra Moksham, tells us that arrogant’s luck is always short lived. The narration here deals very sensitively about the worldly relationships we get into and in time of need how they are helpless . He tells us that in death and distress only Bhagwan can protect us and no one else including our kith and kin for whom we devout all our life, will abandon us. Gajendra sees everyone else has abandoned him midway and goes into oblivion .
Gajendra had a fat body and a fat MIND to match it. All his life he lived along with his brute strength . Now suddenly finds his strength and power is being challenged . The teeth of crocodile were cracking the bones and tearing apart the living tissues . The pain has accumulated into burning sensation . He lost lot of blood and comes to his senses that he won’t survive , unless someone comes to his rescue. Gajendra discovers the hopeless situation he is in . Then he suddenly remembers , The Protector of All, Sri Vishnu .
When everything fails , a HOPE arises . That is the HOPE of Almighty God . Man is always surrounded by ‘Maya’( illusions) and he becomes egoistic . In despair when he comes face to face with hardships and everything else fails then he remembers the Bhagawan. Until then Man doesn’t even acknowledges the existence of GOD.
Gajendra now starts praying for Lord Vishnu . Calls him, The Protector, and does “sharanagatha” (Total Surrender) takes shelter in HIM . Elephant pleads Lord Vishnu to save him and praises him as All Merciful. He begs Lord Vishnu to save him from Death and grant MUKTHI (salvation) from yet another cycle of Life & death . Gajendra realises that he is not the Body , but the SOUL and pleads Lord Vishnu to give him eternal MOKSHA.
The Moral of the Gajendra Moksham is, Just like elephant , we humans too remember Bhagawan only when we face the most impossible situation . It tells us that in need of help from him do “ sharangathi” , surrender to him totally . He alone can save you from the clutches of Life & Death .
As an when Lord Vishnu hears the cry of Gajendra , he rushes to rescue the elephant . He himself comes without wasting any time than necessary. Lord Vishnu was in such a hurry to save his devotee Gajendra that his upper garment was not even in its right place . He seated on ‘Garuda’ wastes no time to descend at lake . Decorated with his lethal weapon , Sudarshan Chakra (Discus) dawns the avatar of Protector of his devotee . He sent his Sudarshan Chakra to kill Crocodile and thus saved his devotee Gajendra . Elephant and Crocodile both were cursed in their last birth, now attains their original form and thus attained Moksha.
The Moral of the Gajendra Moksha is , Bhagawan wastes no time when his devotees need help . He himself descends from “Sri Vaikuntam” to protect his loved ones . To kill crocodile, he cud have sent his Sudarshan Chakra from his abode. But Lord Vishnu is so passionate about the welfare of his devotees that he himself personally take care of them. He protects those who surrender to him totally and never differentiate his devotees .
Gajendra Moksham in KALIYUGA
The below ferocious fight between Gajendra and crocodile was pictured at Luangwa River in the South Luangwa National Park, ZAMBIA (Africa).
Did Divine Lord Vishnu descended again by the lake to save the Gajendra ? Otherwise it is impossible for elephant to come out of the grip of Crocodile.