The life span of all beings is spent in dealing with joy and sorrow. At times of extreme distress when all effort seems ineffective, one turns to God for refuge.

This is what happened in the case of Gajendra. Initially, he thinks that with all his might and the help of his family and retinue, he could easily extricate himself from the crocodile’s clutches. But gradually he realises that this is not possible and that this extraordinary situation is the work of a far greater power. In deep anguish, Gajendra seeks Adhimoolam, the ultimate source of all existence.

The prayer for release is pertinent to all of us who are caught in the powerful veil of ignorance and are unaware of our own dire situation, said Sri B. Damodhara Dikshitar in a lecture. Gajendra’s profound grasp sees his physical predicament as a temporary one that is likely to get resolved with time; however, the deeper problem which obstructs spiritual attainment is caused by ignorance of the ultimate truth. This ignorance or avidya is something which He alone can remove through His abundant grace, says the elephant in his soulful prayer. The prayer reflects the essence of the Upanishads that try to fathom the infinite nature of the Supreme Brahman.

Vedanta Sastras tell us with examples about how the universe is the unique work of God. Any created object presupposes a maker and the material with which it has been created. In the case of the universe, the Lord created it and has pervaded it totally. He is the primordial cause of all existence. But He remains unaffected by the constant change which characterises the universe.

Gajendra realises the Brahman as the ultimate cause and truth, and meditates on this truth with faith. He prays to the Almighty to help all those who are in a similar situation — caught in bondage. God liberates Gajendra. The devout who chant His name and meditate on Him while reflecting on Gajendra’s release will be freed from ignorance, gaining spiritual elevation. They will be immune from the evil effects of Kali dosha while securing protection from the adversities of this world.

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