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Gajendra Moksham-Significance and Meaning

Gajendra Moksham-Significance and Meaning

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Published by: raj on Oct 05, 2009
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Dr. C. Sivaramamurthy
Srimad Bhagavata is a bhakti scripture par excellence which enjoys universal popularity.Conceived in a moment of inspiration, invoked by the blessings of all-graceful Lord Narayana, Srimad Bhagavatam is truely unique in its beauty, charm, diction, philosophyand hold on human minds. During the ceremonial or festivity knoown as SrimadBhagavata Sapthaham, the whole purana is read within a period of seven days with greatdevotion.An extraordinary galaxy of devotees are exhibited in such a manner in this purana thatthey steal over the heart and exercise a haunting charm. Ajamila, the sinner redeemed bythe Lord's name, those child devotees Prahalada and Dhruva, the poor friend Kuchela, thestarving king Rantideva -- such narrations are many. Equally important is the story of thetusker who was saved from the crocodile by Vishnu who rushed to save this devotee. Heis the Lord of mercy; His Kshirasagara (Milky ocean) is Karuna Sagara (Ocean of compassion).Gajendra Moksham is one of the most famous exploits of Vishnu in Srimad Bhagavatam.A recitation of this episode early in the morning has great immortal powers like therecitation of the sacred hymn Sri Vishnu Sahasranama. There is no disaster from which,the mighty and the compassionate Lord would not protect the devotees, that with faithand devotion remember His feet as their refuge.Sri Parasara Bhattar in his famous commentary on Sri Vishnu Sahasranama popularlyknown as 'Bhagavatguna Darpana' faithfully reflects the greatness and grandeur of theLord's traits. He has classified the names beginning from 'Sabdasahah' (912) to'Ruchirangadah' (945) as Gajendra Moksha.The episode in Srimad Bhagavatam is narrated here along with Sri Bhattar's commentaryon these Namas.Let Lord Varada one who confers boons who is more famous as Karivarada protect us all.
The Elephant and the Crocodile
Once a lordly elephant, leader of a herd, inhabiting that mountainous forest, roamed withhis retinue of female ones, breaking through trees, bamboo clusters and clumps of cane.By the mere odour of animal, even lions and tigers not to talk of the elephants, hyenas,rhinos, pythons, sarabhas, yaks, wolves, boars, bisons, bears, porcupines, baboons, jackals, monkeys, all ran away in fear, while the weaker ones like the deer and the haresmoved about joyously by the protective presence of that very animal. (20-22).
Oppressed by the heat of summer, dripping ichor and swarmed by bees settled on it for itssheer taste, tormented by thirst, accompanied by the whole herd of bull and femaleelephants and the young ones, almost causing tremors in the mountain by their weight, hesmelt from afar the lotus pollen-filled breeze on the lake, and with eyes tremulous in astate of rut, speedily approached the vicinity of the lake. (23-24). Plunging into it, hedrank to his heart's content the immaculate, sweet ambrosial water, flavoured by the pollen of the golden lotuses, lilies, sucking it with his trunk and freely showering onhimself, and with his fatigue gone, equally offering mouthfuls and a liberal sprinkle of  bath to his retinue of cubs and female elephants like a loving householder, unaware in hisself importance of impending peril (25-26).There, Oh king! as ill luck would have it, a powerful crocodile fiercely caught his leg,and the elephant, accidentally so caught unaware, himself of immense strength,accordingly tugged his best. The cow - elephant and other chicken hearted ones seeingtheir leader in distress, just pulled forcibly, trumpeted in sorrow, unable to extricate him by pulling him holding from the rear. (27-28).As the noble elephant and the crocodile so fought one pulling in and the other out, athousand years elapsed, both yet alive and alert to the amazement of even the celestials(29).Then by the long passage of time the strength of the elephant both mental and physical aswell as his energy slowly ebbed; and as the strength of the one pulled into the water diminished, that of the aquatic animal increased. Thus when the elephant was in a sadsituation and despaired of his life, unable ever so long to free himself, thought of an idea.Those of my ilk cannot save me, how can the female ones help? Caught by the noose of Providence in the shape of the crocodile I shall seek Him the ultimate refuge. I seek refuge of the Lord that protects the scared seeking His refuge, for refuge from the powerful serpent of Death that pursues ever so swiftly, but yet itself runs away in utter fear of the Lord. (30-33).Here ends the second chapter.
The Lord Frees The Tusker
Sri Suka Spoke :
Having so resolved and with his mind at ease the elephant repeated the most noble prayers he had learned in a previous birth. (1)The Lord of elephants uttered :(Note : The text of Srimad Bhagavatam here gives one of the most magnificent hymnsaddressed to Vishnu as the Supreme one, the Almighty who is extolled in multiform inthe Upanishads, Ithihasas and in the various Puranas. Hence the relevant Sanskrit slokasare also given here, with the English translation).The Lord of the elephants uttered -- Salutation to that Lord from whom everythingsentient arises. To the Purusha the primordial seed, the Lord of all, I bow. I take shelter inHim, in Whom is the entire universe, from Whom it all emanates. Who is Himself itscause and Who is beyond all the utmost beyond. (2-3).Hail to that Uttermost beyond all, rooted in Himself, in Whom by His own illusion Heholds the universe somewhere, illumines it somewhere else, and causes its disappearancestill elsewhere. Whose perception is undimmed and who looks on, both as the witnessand the witnessed. (4).

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