Surrender unto His Lotus Feet - Part 29

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in continuation of the previous offering, "Surrender unto His Lotus Feet" wherein we were meditating on Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.6.7 and about elephant king Gajendra surrendering to Lord's lotus feet when being attacked by crocodile in the lake. In the last offering we saw the verse 8.3.22-24 wherein Gajendra says that Lord is unlimited and is the source of everything. Now we shall see further.

In verse 8.3.25 Gajendra prays

jijīviṣe nāham ihāmuyā kim
antar bahiś cāvṛtayebha-yonyā
icchāmi kālena na yasya viplavas
tasyātma-lokāvaraṇasya mokṣam

I do not wish to live anymore after I am released from the attack of the crocodile. What is the use of an elephant’s body covered externally and internally by ignorance? I simply desire eternal liberation from the covering of ignorance. That covering is not destroyed by the influence of time.

This is yet another wonderful prayer offered by Gajendra to Lord. The word jijīviṣe in the above verse is worth meditating. jijīviṣe means wish to live long. Our tendency is that we try to prolong our life somehow or the other. Right from birth, every one of us, without exception would have faced so many miserable situations, but still our attachment to this material body is so deep that we never want to lose it. We identify ourselves with the body and bodily relations and wish all of them to be eternal. But reality is that everything is destroyed with time. Whether we like it or not, everything material, comes to an end. It is said, "as sure as death" - So, those who are born have to die. We keep running after material happiness although it is declared by Krishna that this place is duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam. - full of miseries and temporary.

Unfortunately we don't realise it or wish to accept and this identification with the body is the greatest ignorance. Gajendra is very clear that there is no point in simply asking the Lord to grant him for a long life in the elephant body. In Srirangam temple, Lord Ranganath give his first darshan to cow, horse and elephant. The elephant there, is engaged in the service of bringing water daily either from river Kaveri or Kollidam in a golden pot for Lord. So those special souls in the body of cow, horse and elephant are very fortunate and blessed because even in that body, they are able to serve the Lord. But even after getting human body, if we fail to engage in service of Lord, then what is the use of our life?

Gajendra knew that even after being released from the attack of crocodile, he might still have to face some other danger later - sariram roga mandiram - This body is a temple of disease. Also it makes us forget our real identity that we are spirit souls. For devotees who are constantly engaged in the serving the Lord, in glorifying Him, and who are surrendered unto Him, Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita verse 10.11

teṣām evānukampārtham aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ
nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva-stho jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā

To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.

So Gajendra humbly request Lord to remove this covering of ignorance.

Krishna willing we shall meditate further on this topic in the subsequent offering.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva
Sudarshana devi dasi