Tuesday, November 13, 2012

23 Bhagavatha : Gajendra Moksha

Indradyumna, was a Pandya king devoted to Lord Vishnu. The monarch turned an ascetic and had his hermitage in the Kulachala mountain. He continued his worship with a vow of silence with a subjugated mind. Sage Agasthya, happened to arrive there with his disciples. Finding Indradyumna not offering him water or any sort of welcome, the sage felt disrespected.  He cursed Indradyumna. "Let him be born as an elephant, steeped in blinding ignorance." 
He was born as an elephant, Gajendra, and roamed about in the valley of the great mountain Trikuta. Leading a big herd of elephants and his young, he enjoyed life to the brim.
Once when he was sporting with his herd in a lake, a powerful alligator seized him by the foot. However much he tried, Gajendra could not extricate himself from the mighty jaws of the alligator. The female elephants, shrieked out of helplessness and the other elephants, trying their utmost to help him, gave up. Gajendra tried to pull himself outside and the alligator tried to pull him in. This tug of war continued for a long time.
Gajendra's strength depleted, but the alligator's strength kept increasing. The  herd of elephants leave one by one, unable to help him, until he was left all alone. He thought, how can my kith and kin help me, when they have no power to extricate me from this entrapment of Providence... Only the ultimate refuge of all, Lord Vishnu will be able to help me. His remembrance of the Lord at the most appropriate time was due to his adoration of Lord Vishnu in his earlier birth as Indradyumna. He calls out the same prayer mentally, glorifying the compassionate qualities of the Lord. Lifting his trunk, he offers a lotus to him. In an instant, the Lord Srihari, manifests himself on Garuda, wielding his discus, Sudarshana.  Gajendra, gathers enough strength and hails Lord Narayana, as the Adiguru (the preceptor of the universe). The Lord gets down from Garuda in a trice, and holding Gajendra's trunk, pulls him out of the lake, along with the alligator.  He extricates Gajendra from the hold of the alligator, whose jaws were rent open with the discus.  Gajendra is transformed into a divine attendant of the Lord. The alligator was also redeemed --- he regains his form as Huhu, a gandharva (celestial musician). He also pays obeisance to the Lord.
(Huhu, out of haughtiness, had played a prank, pulling the leg of the sage Devala from under the lake when he was bathing. The Sage cursed him to become an alligator).
And Lord Vishnu withdrew to his transcendent realm called Vaikuntha.

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Srimad Bhagavatham