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Lessons from Gajendra about Surrender
Gajenra the elephant! one of the prayers I go back to often and think how this reflects our situation in life (well... I can only speak for myself and my animal like existence before Krishna picked me up, shook me off and put me on another level). Gajendra was living a life of luxury, being king of the forest, completely engrossed in his activities, his associates and his duties of...being a very respected elephant king! He, like many others, probably never thought about death, (or like me may have been convinced that science would solve everything, or maybe, if you had a good enough diet you'd live long enough to eventually get bored of life and die happily). But just like with Gajendra, things come about that smash our expectations, our predictions, and our hopes for any bright future (especially when Saturn takes a turn into your horoscope for a year or two).
He was grabbed by the crocodile when he was just planning to go into the safest, most soothing lake to get relief from the burning heat! He was completely out of his comfort area! a fish out of water is like an elephant in water. The crocodile grabbed him, and started to pull him under. He was gasping, struggling, fighting with all his physical and mental strength. When that failed, he had to face the humiliation of asking his helpless relatives for help! what could they do? They simply stood watching.
And then comes breaking point! nothing in this world is sufficient to save us from the crocodile of TIME! What can be done? He realised the futility of it all. The complete waste of time that is prestige, power, wealth, fame, family, reputation...whatever else an opulent elephant of the heavenly worlds has at his disposal. He on his own was simply insufficient to deal with this situation.
And then, a small calling from within...'I am here with you! you're never alone!' It must have been like that zero gravity moment, when all goes quiet and the soul sturrs from its slumber. The soul no longer considers the mental and physical pain of the situation. Just as he was about to get dragged under water, he reached for something beautiful, just beside him on the top of the water. Its beauty reminded him of something, Someone! and then his soul within him roared in despair! a beautiful prayer, long forgotten to him, from another life even.
'O Lord! You are the Supreme, I surrender onto You! there is nothing and no-one else to help me now, I remember You! O look how this lost servant of Yours has wasted his time uselessly! I want only to serve You now! If You wish, You may save me.'
The Supreme Lord Krishna appeared on His transcendental carrier Garuda. Blazing like a thousand suns, and immediately gave liberation to His servant. All it took was a lotus flower, all it took was the mood of that surrender that took real effect. Gajendra was not seeking for further enjoyment of this world upon getting rescued. He had the full realisation of his position, and Krishna reminded him of words which he should speak from within his heart upon getting that realisation.
The Lord never hesitates when someone is calling, when they genuinely give up all other hope apart from the hope in Him. The Bhagavatam is full of stories of complete surrender. The Gopis of Vrindavan being the epitome of this. Prahlad and Druv were also facing the tides and sways of this world. The way in which Krishna appeared to them and touched their hearts, showed them the way, reinforced their incredible faith in Him gives us a shining light along our own path in life! This surrender is the key to opening our hearts, and every sloka of the Bhagavatam leads the soul towards this understanding.
OM TAT SAT
This is so vivid and beautifully written. I'm inspired! Thank you.