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Some thoughts on Gajendra Moksha

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Wed Sep 20 2000 - 16:56:50 PDT

[ From Sri A. Bharat of Bangalore ]

Dear Mani

I wonder if you realize the import or let's say the full import
of the Gajendra Moksha episode.It is actually a symbolic
representation of an Upanishadic directive as well as a
procedural demonstration of Prapatti.

The elephant due to its physical strength,headstrong nature,
enough intelligence to get by and propensity to 'mada' represents
the samsari chetana.It sees something attractive in a pond and
overestimating its strength steps in.Immediately it is caught by
the indriya-grAha.The gaja has enough sense to realize that this
situation can't continue,but is sure that its strength is equal
to the situation.But the grAha is in its own jurisdiction
(tannilam) and hence the contest proves to be unequal.The
struggle goes on for a thousand deva-samvatsaras(as the text
correctly puts it) when the gaja starts getting tired by the long
struggle and tries to think of a way out.

This enquiry gives rise to the real gnAna which is needed for
mukti (gnAnAn mokshah) which results in its giving up its own
effort and calling to the real rakshaka.It has to first identify
that person.The gnAna tells it that it could only be its own
source and cause of existence.To indicate that it has realized
the correct relationship it calls Him by the one name which
cannot apply to anyone else.Thus it follows the upanishadic
command- " kAraNam tu dhEyah"(AtharvaSikha).Naturally the other
devatas who are not concerned do not respond.And He promptly
responds.And cuts its prakriti-sambandha with His kAla-chakra and
personally lifts it on to the bank (ik-karai).

In this action,the gaja has exhibited
anya-devatA-vaimukhyam ,SaraNa-varaNam and bhara-samarpaNam- and
thus totally performed Prapatti.

A most significant fact should not be missed.The speed with which
the Lord arrives has been emphasized.Sri Parasara Bhattar
says,"Bhagavatas-tvarAyai namah!"  It was so fast it cannot be
bettered.What is the least time taken to reach a place?  It
should be as near zero as it can possibly be,isn't it.Well it was
actually zero.  For the Lord was always there right beside the
Chetana,waiting just for his Abhimukhyam.

The episode has always had the title gajendra-MOKSHAM.How much
clearer can a riddle be?

Sri EmberumAnAr TiruvaDigaLE SaraNam!
 with regards

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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