Essence Of Maha Bhagavatha Purana

Bhagvat Purana

Salvation of Gajendra the Elephant King

During the Tamasa Manu’s period was born Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, named Sri Hari- to Harini and Harimedha- who saved the Elephant King, Gajendra from the deadly grip of a crocodile. A massive mountain ‘Trikuta’ with an expanse of ten thousand yojanas ( eighty thousand miles) was besides the River Gandaki, where Gajendra and his spouses as also a massive collection of elephant army were bathing on the banks of the River and another King of Crocodiles, along with its own group, caught hold of the Elephant King.

The two animals were illustrious in their previous lives; the crocodile was the Chief of Gandharvas, named Huhu who was bathing with a party of women and angered Muni Devala by pulling his leg and the latter cursed Huhu to become a crocodile. Gajendra was Indradyumna, the King of Pandyas who too angered Sage Agastya and became an Elephant King. A fierce battle followed for thousand years which was joined by the armies of elephants and crocodiles, without overpowering neither of the battling animals.Gajendra was desperate but became exhausted physically, mentally and psychologically, while the crocodile being an animal of water was doubled up with energy and enthusiasm. By the grace of Lord Krishna, Gajendra remembered from the past birth as a King and recited the Mantra: Om Bhagavatey Vasudevaya in final desperation and made intense prayers to say that there was none else Who could save him, but Him. Lord Sri Hari alighted his ‘Vahana’( Vehicle) of Garuda and on reaching the spot instructed His ‘Sudarsana Chakra’ (Disc) to slit the head of the crocodile. The curse of Sage Agastya ended and the Gandharva Chief attained  Salvation.Gajendra who was a grand devotee in his earlier life too attained Moksha as blessed by Lord Sri Hari.[ Harihar Nath Temple, believed to have been built by Lord Rama when He visited the Holy Spot along with Sita and Laxman, still continues to be a Pilgrimage Place, which is also visited by lakhs of persons witnessing the Sonepur Mela ( Trade Fair), one of the largest Animal Fairs held every year near Patna].

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