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Gajendra Saved

Long ago, King Indradyumna ruled over the Pandya kingdom. He was a great devotee of God Vishnu. He used to begin the day's work only after worshipping the god. One day, while the king was at his worship, sage Agasthya came to the palace. Agasthya told the servant at the door, "Tell Indradyumna that I have come to see him." But the king could not leave in the middle of his worship. Therefore he said to the doorkeeper, "Receive the sage with the utmost respect, conduct him to my chamber and beg him to be seated. I will come soon."

The sage expected that the king would himself come to welcome him. When he saw the servant who came back, he was angry. He thought that the king did not appear because of arrogance. So he cursed him, saying, "0 King, since you did not honor me out of pride, may you be born as an elephant!" He was about to leave the palace.

By then the king completed the worship. He came running and begged Agasthya to forgive him and explained the reason for the delay. The sage realized that the king was not to blame; he felt sorry for him. But a curse is like an arrow, which has left the bow-, it cannot be recalled. But still
Agasthya said, "Indradyumna, when the sacred wheel of Lord Vishnu touches you, the curse will end." So he indicated the remedy, too.

The king became an elephant. The elephant moved with other elephants in the forest. Later on, he became 'Gajendra', the king of the elephants. One day, the elephants were thirsty. They went to a lake to drink water. The elephants entered the water and drank water to their hearts' content.

Suddenly a big crocodile in the water caught the leg of Gajendra. It started pulling Gajendra into the water. The elephant fought back. But the crocodile would not let go. The other elephants too came to the rescue of their king. They tried to pull him out of the water. But the crocodile was a big and strong one. It pulled harder than all the elephants. The elephants said in despair, "God alone can help you," and left the place. Step by step
Gajendra was pulled into the water. When all the elephants left him, he did not know what to do. He began to pray to-God; he cried out, "You are the hope of those who have no other hope," and prayed to Lord Hari in many ways.

Mahavishnu who was in heaven heard his devotee's cry of despair. How can the Lord bear it if his devotees suffer even a little? At once he mounted Garuda, who carries the Lord everywhere; he came to the lake where Gajendra was, and hurled the Chakra, the sacred wheel, at the crocodile.

Blazing like a thousand suns and revolving round and round, the Sudarshana Chakra shot forward and cut off the head of the crocodile. The compassionate Lord brought the elephant out of the lake. He accepted with all affection the lotus flower devoutly offered by Gajendra. Thus
Indradyumna was liberated from the curse.

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