Gajendra Moksha, or Gajendramoksham, is an important incident found in the Bhagavad Purana and it shows the importance of Bhakti, prayer and true devotion.Indradyumna, Thy great devotee and the king of Paandya land was once engrossed in worshipping Thee on the Malaya mountain. He was so absorbed that he did not even notice sage Agastya who approached expecting his hospitality. Agastya who was overcome with anger cursed the king that as he was of such haughty nature he would be born as an elephant and departed. Indradyumna got the form of a lordly elephant with the good fortune of retaining a clear memory of Thee.
A gandharva his name was Huhu. He had been cursed by a sage that he would become a crocodile. And the sage had told him that he would be freed from the curse by Lord Vishnu. That had now happened.There was a beautiful mountain named Trikuta. The waves of the ocean lapped at the foot of Trikuta. There were thick forests on the mountain. And in the forests there lived a king of elephants named Gajendra. He ruled over all the other elephants in the herd.and he had thousands of queen elephants with whom he used to bathe and play in a huge lake. Gajendra was proud about his status and on a summer day he was arrogantly bathing in the lake with his friends.
One day Gajendra was playing with his family & friends, the other elephants in a lake in the forest. Suddenly, a crocodile that lived in the pond caught Gajendra by his leg. Gajendra, in spite of being an elephant could not break free. He then, called out for help. All his friends, the other elephants gathered around him and tried to help, but in vain. The crocodile was stronger than all the elephants put together. They gave up. Gajendra tried for a long time to escape from the crocodile. He trumpeted until he was hoarse. The crocodile simply would not let go.
The elephant and the crocodile struggled for a thousand years. When a thousand years over, the elephant began to tire, although the crocodile’s strength was still undiminished. Gajendra lost a lot of blood and he became very weak. He finally realized that only God could help him and called out to Lord Narayana.
The elephant started to pray to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu heard Gajendra’s cries for help and appeared on his vehicle, Garuda. He sent the Sudarshana Chakra whirling down. The Chakra killed the crocodile and set Gajendra free. Gajendra offered Lord Narayana a Lotus and thanked him for saving his life.
When we are caught in the jaws of death, there is no one who can save us. Friends flee, relatives disappear. Our own body fails us miserably. Like the elephant in the story, the only solution from suffering is to turn to the Lord. In the moment of that utter surrender, God rushes to our aid, destroys death, and releases our soul from the clutches of death – and that is liberation or Moksha that comes by the grace of the Supreme.
Dasakam: 26-- Shlokam: 01
स्त्वद्भक्तात्मा चन्दनाद्रौ कदाचित् ।
त्वत् सेवायां मग्नधीरालुलोके
नैवागस्त्यं प्राप्तमातिथ्यकामम् ॥१॥
tvadbhaktaatmaa chandanaadraukadaachit |
Oke naivaagastyaM praaptamaatithyakaamam || 1
Indradyumna, Thy great devotee and the king of Paandya land was once engrossed in worshipping Thee on the Malaya mountain. SageAgastya, came there, expecting to be welcomed as an honoured guest by the king; butthe king, his mind fully immersed in Thee, did not notice the sage at all.
स्तब्धात्मा त्वं हस्तिभूयं भजेति ।
शप्त्वाऽथैनं प्रत्यगात् सोऽपि लेभे
हस्तीन्द्रत्वं त्वत्स्मृतिव्यक्तिधन्यम् ॥२॥
stabdhaatmaa tvaM hasti bhuuyaM bhajeti |
shaptvaa(a)thainaM pratyagaatsO(a)pi lebhe
hastiindratvaM tvatsmR^iti vyakti dhanyam || 2
Sage Agastya, overcome by rage, cursed him to become an elephant of inferior intellect, for his arrogance, and went away. The king became the lord of elephants, but was graced with Thy remembrance as he had been thinking of Thee, when he was cursed thus.
Dasakam: 26-- Shlokam: 03दग्धाम्भोधेर्मध्यभाजि त्रिकूटे
क्रीडञ्छैले यूथपोऽयं वशाभि: ।
सर्वान् जन्तूनत्यवर्तिष्ट शक्त्या
त्वद्भक्तानां कुत्र नोत्कर्षलाभ: ॥३॥
dugdhaambhOdheH madhyabhaaji trikuuTe
kriiDan shaile yuuthapO(a)yaMvashaabhiH |
sarvaan jantuunatyavartiShTa shaktyaa
tvadbhaktaanaaM kutranOtkarShalaabhaH || 3
This king of elephants was engaged in romantic sports with the female elephants in theTrikuta mountain, situated in the middle of the ocean of milk, and was superior instrength to all other animals. Oh Lord, Thy devotees attain glory, wherever they go.
Dasakam: 26-- Shlokam: 04
स्वेन स्थेम्ना दिव्यदेशत्वशक्त्या
सोऽयं खेदानप्रजानन् कदाचित् ।
शैलप्रान्ते घर्मतान्त: सरस्यां
यूथैस्सार्धं त्वत्प्रणुन्नोऽभिरेमे ॥४॥
svena sthemnaa divyadeshatva shaktyaa sO(a)yaM
khedaanaprajaanan kadaachit |
shailapraante gharmataantaH sarasyaaM
yuuthaissaardhaMtvatpraNunnO(a)bhireme || 4Owing to his strength and by the power of the divine region, where he lived, the elephant king did not face any hardships of life. One day, roaming on the mountainious region, unable to bear the heat of the sun, he sought relief in a lake and sported therein with his herds, indeed prompted by Thee.
Dasakam: 26-- Shlokam: 05
ग्राहीभूतस्तज्जले बर्तमान: ।
जग्राहैनं हस्तिनं पाददेशे
शान्त्यर्थं हि श्रान्तिदोऽसि स्वकानाम् ॥५॥
graahiibhuutastajjale vartamaanaH |
jagraahainaM hastinaM paadadeshe
shaantyarthaM hi shraantidO(a)sisvakaanaam
At that time, a gandharva, named Huhu, having become a crocodile, due to the curseof Sage Devala, was present there. This crocodile caught hold of the elephant's foot.Oh Lord, in order to give ultimate peace to Thy devotees, Thou tests them by puttingthem through trial and tribulation.
Dasakam: 26-- Shlokam: 06
त्वत्सेवाया वैभवात् दुर्निरोधं
युध्यन्तं तं वत्सराणां सहस्रम् ।
प्राप्ते काले त्वत्पदैकाग्र्यसिध्यै
नक्राक्रान्तं हस्तिवर्यं व्यधास्त्वम् ॥६॥
yuddhyantaM taM vatsaraaNaaM sahasram |
praapte kaale tvatpadaikaagryasiddhyai
nakraakraantaM hasti varyaMvyadhaastvam || 6
Supported by the power derived from the glory of Thy worship, the elephant king was invincible and went on fighting for a thousand years. When the time for his redemption had come, and he was fit for one-pointed devotion to Thee, Thou subjected him to this situation.Dasakam: 26-- Shlokam: 07
शुण्डोत्क्षिप्तै: पुण्डरीकै: समर्चन् ।
स्तोत्रं श्रेष्ठं सोऽन्वगादीत् परात्मन् ॥७॥
aartivyakta praaktana j~naanabhaktiH shuN
stOtra shreShThaMsO(a)nvagaadiitparaatman || 7
Under the stress of suffering, his inherent devotion and pure knowledge unfolded and he began to offer Thee worship with white lotus flowers plucked with his trunk. Relating to the attribute less Brahman, he sang continuously a great hymn which he had learnt in the past life.Dasakam: 26-- Shlokam: 08
श्रुत्वा स्तोत्रं निर्गुणस्थं समस्तं
सर्वात्मा त्वं भूरिकारुण्यवेगात्
तार्क्ष्यारूढ: प्रेक्षितोऽभू: पुरस्तात् ॥८॥
shrR^itvaa stOtraM nirguNasthaM samastaM
sarvaatmaa tvaM bhuuri kaaruNya vegaat
taarkshyaaruuDhaH prekshitObhuuHpurastaat || 8
On hearing the entire hymn, Gods Brahma, Siva and others, knowing that it did not refer to them, did not comethere. But Thou, who art all knowing, manifested before him, seated on Garuda,impelled by Thy flow of mercy.
Dasakam: 26-- Shlokam: 09
हस्तीन्द्रं तं हस्तपद्मेन धृत्वा
चक्रेण त्वं नक्रवर्यं व्यदारी: ।
गन्धर्वेऽस्मिन् मुक्तशापे स हस्ती
त्वत्सारूप्यं प्राप्य देदीप्यते स्म ॥९॥
hastiindraM taM hastapadmena dhR^itvaa
chakreNa tvaM nakravaryaMvyadaariiH |
gandharve(a)smin muktashaape sa hastii
tvatsaaruupyaM praapya dediipyatesma || 9
Thou with Thy lotus hands caught jolt of that elephant king and cut asunder the powerful crocodile with Thy discus. The crocodile was thus released from the curse of sage Devala and got back his Gandharva form. The elephant was, by Thee, then endowed with a brilliant form similar to Thy from.
Dasakam: 26-- Shlokam:10 एतद्वृत्तं त्वां च मां च प्रगे यो
गायेत्सोऽयं भूयसे श्रेयसे स्यात् ।
इत्युक्त्वैनं तेन सार्धं गतस्त्वं
धिष्ण्यं विष्णो पाहि वातालयेश ॥१०॥
etad vR^ittaM tvaaM cha maaM cha prageyO gaayets
O(a)yaM bhuuyase shreyasesyaat |
ityuktvainaM tena saardhaM gatastva
M dhiShNyaM viShNO paahivaataalayesha ||
Oh All pervading Lord, According to Thee, whoever sings this episode of GajendraMoksham, at dawn and chants the name of Gajendra and Thee, will attain all wealthand prosperity. Having said this, Thou departed for Vaikunta, along with him. OhGuruvayurappa ! May Thou protect me.