Lordly Elephant: Half-Mysterious Story of an Animal
Once upon a time in the previous Manvantra, there was a very eminent mountain named Trikuta, well known for its glory and beauty. This mountain is a thousand yojanas in height from the milk ocean. It contains many precious and valuable gemstones. Another beautiful sight at this mountain is the three mountains peaks which are sliver, steel, and gold. These peaks glitter from the ocean by illuminating the entire region. It is the home for precious stones and metals along with different varieties of trees and creepers. Besides this, it is home to exotic flowers and the animal kingdom.
There are numerous caves that were used by demigods for sportive activities. The demigods who come here to relax and enjoy the exotic atmosphere are Charanas, Siddhas, Vidhyadharas, Kinnaras, and eminent serpents, and so on. Sometimes the drums played by the demigods are mistaken by Lions and they started roaring, thinking another Lion is roaring. The beautiful valleys and pleasant winds that blow here with the sweet smell of golden lotus make this place even more special. Near this mountain, there is an exquisite lake that contains golden lotus and lilies that give intoxicating pleasantness surrounded by auspicious trees.
In that Trikuta mountain region lived a mighty and humongous elephant king known as the lordly elephant. He is feared even by the mighty lions and other furious wild animals? The elephant herd follows the command of its king. Once on a summer day, they decided to visit the beautiful lake to relax and spend a pleasant time by escaping the scorching heat of the sun. Many animals out of fear provided the way to the Lordly elephant on the way towards the lake. In the process, the elephant herd even stamped the small creatures who are on the way towards the lake.
The Lordly elephant along his herd and female elephants entered the lake to escape the wrath of the sun. It took a few dips and put some water on its back through the trunk. Intoxicated by the golden lotus smell, it forgets the approaching danger. A man who forgets the approach of time and spends his life in household duties and neglect to pray Lord and end up becoming the prey to the time serpent. Similarly, the lordly elephant paid no attention to the surroundings and got trapped.
By seeing the lordly elephant in the unaware state, the Lake beast took this as a wonderful opportunity to get hold of the elephant’s leg inside the water. By the time Lordly elephant realized his mistake, he is caught in the grip of deadly crocodile teeth. He tries to get free from the crocodile with all his might. However, it ends up in vain as the crocodile is even stronger than the lordly elephant as it is water. He tries to move to the shore of the lake but nothing works. The other male elephants in the herd tried to help but nothing could release the lordly elephant from the grip of the crocodile.
In this way, both the Lordly elephant and crocodile spend thousands of years fighting. Unfortunately, the lordly elephant loses hope and confidence. It became weak as the days passed on with the increase of pain and loss of blood. Also, seeing its own kind is of no use as other elephants were unable to save him and the female elephants were wailing. Understanding his end has approached, he realized the presence of the supreme brahman, Lord Vishnu, and starts praying.
Lordly elephant sang the hymns to Lord Vishnu saying – ‘Oh supreme, thy you’re the creator of the universe and destroyer, You take multiple forms for different sportive activities. Everything in this universe doesn’t exist without you’. In this way, the Lordly elephant prayed to Lord Vishnu with distress. The Lord who is the soul of the entire universe,pervades in all beings. Appeared before the Lordly elephant in the sky on Garuda along with demigods. By seeing the distress cry of the elephant, the lord got down from Garuda and released his Sudershan Chakra to kill the evil crocodile. The elephant that suffered beyond the limit by seeing the Lord of the universe greets him with the golden lotus flower in the trunk and sang hymns for Lord Vishnu.
By witnessing the magnificent incident in front of their eyes the demigods played drums and showered flowers on Lord Vishnu. The crocodile that was killed by Lord takes up a beautiful form and later explains its previous birth. He was a Gandharva(Celestial) who turns into a crocodile due to the sage Devala’s curse. With the divine touch of the supreme Lord, Gandharva gets a new and divine form. After singing the hymn of the Lord and circumambulating by prostrating, he gets teleported to the Gandharva Loka in-front of the viewer’s eyes.
The lordly elephant with supreme lord’s divine grace breaks free from all the bondage and ignorance created by the dull witness. Moreover, with the divine blessing of the lord he gets the form similar to the Lord himself. The cause for the distress of the lordly elephant is, in his previous birth he was a great king Indradyumna. He is a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and used to observe all the rituals for Lord Vishnu.
Once the king had to stay in the Kulachala hermitage in the Malaya mountains. By following the ascetic life wearing matted hair, observing silence, and controlling the mind, he stayed at the hermitage. One day after finishing bathing he engaged in the worship of Lord Vishnu without the awareness of the surrounding. At the same time, Sage Agastya along with his disciples visited the hermitage. The king indulges himself in the worship of Lord Vishnu unaware of the sage’s arrival. Hence he paid no respect to the sage. This act of king angered the sage and he curses him to be born as the elephant in the next life. The sage claimed the King disrespected him with dull intelligence similar to the elephants.
Later king consoled himself saying he can’t change the destiny other than accepting it. In the next life, the king was born as an elephant with dull intelligence and ignorance. However, due to the spiritual knowledge which he gained in the previous birth, he was rescued at the last moments of his life. Thus, the Lordly elephant gets Lord Vishnu’s attendant stature.Whoever recites this story early in the morning in the Kaliyuga(dark age) will be freed from the evil dreams and the worldly existence. The brahmins whoever recite this account in the early morning after purification will be freed from the evil dreams and attains spiritual goodness.
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