We’re at a critical juncture with respect to elephant Gajendra’s situation currently, as he is struggling to keep himself afloat in the water, amidst the raging war with the fierce crocodile. As elephant Gajendra manages to keep a small portion of his long trunk above the water, he thinks for a moment and realizes that it is none other than Bhagawan Vishnu Himself, who is capable of saving him. There is no point in calling and crying to people in this world for help, as nobody is going to turn up, fearing for their own lives! We’ve seen this in real life as well. If we’re thinking that, whatever might be the situation, my father would come and save me, what did Hiranya Kashibu do to his son Prahlaada? We’ve just seen this event few episodes back. What did the father do to his son? Didn’t he try to kill his son every now and then until his last breath? Fine! If we’re thinking that our mother will protect us from bad situations in our lives, what did Kaikeyi do to her son Bharata? We’ve seen in our Ramayana episodes how Kaikeyi brought insult and shame to her son Bharata to fulfill her selfish needs. Fine, what if we go to our brother or other siblings for help? What happened to Ravana and Vibhishana? Although Vibhishana was his own brother, Ravana deserted him for his selfish need of attaining Mother Sita. What happened between Sugriva and Vaali? It’s the same story isn’t it? Although being brothers, Vaali gave up Sugriva when it came to ruling Kishkinta and he also went to the extent of abducting Sugriva’s wife, Ruma. This is why we always see in this world that there is no point in going towards our family, relatives, friends, etc. for protection. The only protector of this world is Bhagawan Narayana. This is exactly what elephant Gajendra is also realizing here!
For instance, if someone in our family falls sick and we’re admitting that person into a hospital, initially the doctors will try to give the best of the best treatments possible, and if the patient is not responding, what would the doctor say? He’ll easily say thus, “Please pray to Bhagawan for the patient’s recovery! We’ve done our best, but the patient is not responding properly to the treatment!” We would think thus, “Oh! This doctor could have said this ten days ago itself when we brought our relative to the hospital isn’t it? Now that the hospital has obtained truckloads of money from us for the treatment, for the past 10 days or so, and finally the doctor himself points out to Bhagawan!” This is where all of us lose the plot! During the initial times of our problem, we tend to assume that we’re the only saviors of our own self and in the process, we would never even think of Bhagawan! Only when things start going out of hand, we would start thinking and praying to Bhagawan for help! Now, why can’t we pray and seek Bhagawan’s help from day one itself? This is where our “Ahankaara” (Pride) takes over! This is what we’ve to learn from this episode of elephant Gajendra.
Hence, mustering all of his scantily remaining strength, elephant Gajendra cries out for his Bhagawan Narayana! He prays to Bhagawan to forgive him for all his misdeeds and his ego. He repents for his mistake of not calling Bhagawan during the early stages of the crocodile clutch itself. As Bhagawan Narayana hears the poor elephant’s desperate cry for help, His heart melts in compassion! He thus decides that He has had enough and it is time to save elephant Gajendra once and for all.
Now, the way in which Bhagawan Vishnu comes to save elephant Gajendra is beautifully explained by Sage Sukhaachaarya here. Normally in temples when we see Bhagawan being taken all around the locality, we see that there are so many preparations being done. Firstly, Bhagawan would be decorated with fresh flowers, jewellery, etc. and then the “Vaahana” (Bhagawan’s vehicles such as elephants, horses, chariots, etc.) being decorated, and then there would be some people who play some musical instruments to add to the flavor, etc. It is only with all of these, will Bhagawan come out of the temple premises, isn’t it? We would also keep seeing these kinds of events during important festival days. Similarly, if Bhagawan has to go somewhere from Vaikunta, there would be some decoration done to his “Garuda Vaahana” (Eagle). However, as Bhagawan listens to the fervent tone of elephant Gajendra, He didn’t wait for all these to happen. He immediately jumped up from his serpent bed (Aadisesha) in a jiffy and gets on to his “Garuda Vaahana”. As Bhagawan sits urgently over Garuda, He instructs Garuda to “Go immediately”! Upon hearing this, Garuda was surprised and clueless and asks Bhagawan, “Where should we go now?” Bhagawan replies thus, “Oh Garuda! Don’t you remember that you should go to the place where I think of? Now take me directly to the lake where elephant Gajendra is!”
As instructed, Garuda picks up speed and flying at a great speed. Bhagawan’s urgency to save elephant Gajendra is evident here. With the way in which Bhagawan is rushing forward, all his ornaments are flying apart! All his dress materials are flying here and there with the wind! He doesn’t care a damn for all of it. Now his only aim is to save elephant Gajendra as quickly as possible! As Bhagawan reaches the lake, He immediately spots elephant Gajendra reeling in pain. Compassionate as Bhagawan is all the time, at a single moment, employs His powerful “Chakra” and destroys the crocodile in a jiffy! Elephant Gajendra is now free from the crocodile within seconds! Such was the compassion and urge for Bhagawan to protect His ardent devotee!
So for today, let us enjoy and experience this wonderful and divine moment and we shall continue this discussion further in the next episode! Stay tuned! 😊