Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 8 Chapter 3:22-33

Book 8: Chapter 3

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 8: Chapter 3: Verses 22-33
The leader of the elephants extols the Lord and is rescued from the dangerous situation

The Lord by whose minutest ray (all) the gods with Brahma as their head, the (four) Vedas and (both) the animate and inanimate worlds have been created with an infinite variety of names and forms and from whom, the self-luminous One, this phenomenal world-which is(nothing but) a modification of the three Gunas, consisting as it does of the intellect, the mind, the (ten) lndriyas (the five senses of perception and the five organs of action), the bodies with which a Jiva is invested in the course of its mundane existence-emanates and into Whom it returns in the same way as flames emanate again and again from fire and rays from the sun, and then return (into the fire and the sun respectively)-that Lord is, really speaking, neither a god nor a demon nor a human being nor again an animal; He is neither a female nor a male nor a person of neither sex nor is He an asexual creature, He is neither an attribute nor an action, neither an effect nor a cause. He is that which remains (as the basis of negation) after everything else has been negated, and (yet) constitutes all.

May He reveal Himself (for bringing about my release) i I do not long to survive (by being extricated from the grip of this alligator); what have I to do here (in this mortal world) with this elephant-life, enveloped as it is with ignorance in and out ? I (for my part only) seek the lifting of the veil (of ignorance) that screens the light (knowledge) of the Spirit, and the tearing of which is not possible by (the destructive influence of) time (but by spiritual enlightenment a(one). Such as I am, I (simply) bow to that all-pervading Spirit which not only creates the universe but (also) constitutes the universe and is yet other than the universe, (nay), which toys with the universe and is the Soul (Inner Controller) of the universe, which is devoid of birth (etc.), and is the supreme goal (of all). (Again), I do homage to that Master of Yoga (supernatural Powers) whom Yogis, (mystics or those practising concentration of mind), that have burnt the (entire stock of) their Karma (past actions) by means of Devotion, directly perceive in their heart purified through (the practice of) Yoga (concentration of mind). Hail, hail to You of endless potency, the protector of those who have taken refuge in You, the force (in the shape of passion etc.) of whose threefold energy (in the form of the three Gunas-Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) is irresistible, who manifest Yourself as the objects of all the senses of perception and whose (very) path is unattainable by those whose senses are directed towards the (outside) world. I have sought that Lord whose glory cannot be easily surpassed and due to whose Maya (deluding potency) this Jiva is unable to know its own self (essential character), obscured (as it is) by the ego-sense (a product of that Maya).

Sri Suka continued: When these (aforementioned) gods, Brahma (the creator) and others, who are identified with their respective distinctive forms, did not approach the king of the elephants, that had referred to (glorified) the Lord as devoid of any particular form as 'aforesaid, Sri Hari, (who had taken His descent from the loins of Harimedha through his wife, Harini [1] and) who embodies all the gods (in His person) because of His being the Soul of all, manifested Himself on that (very) spot. Finding the elephant distressed like that [2] and having heard the hymn ( mentally recited by it and reproduced in the preceding verses), the Lord who wields the discus (Sudarsana) as His (characteristic) weapon and is the Abode of the universe, forthwith arrived where the king of the elephants was, being swiftly borne (on his back) by Garuda (the king of the birds)- possessed of a speed that depends on his will-and accompanied by celestial beings who were duly extolling Him. Beholding Sri Hari (mounted) on (the back of) Garuda in the air with the discus uplifted (in one of His arms), and holding up its trunk with a lotus (plucked by way of an offering[3]), the elephant, ( that had been) seized inside the lake by the mighty alligator and felt (much) distressed, uttered with (great) difficulty (on account of pain) the words "Hail to You, O Lord Narayana, the Preceptor of the universe !" Perceiving the elephant afflicted and alighting all at once (from the back of Garuda) out of (extreme) compassion, the birthless Sri Hari speedily pulled the king of the elephants (by its trunk) along with the alligator out of the lake and, (even) while the gods stood looking on, extricated it from (the hold of) the alligator,whose jaws had been rent open with the discus.

Thus ends the third discourse, bearing on the deliverance of the king of the elephants,

in Book Eight of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana,

otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Samhita.


  1. ' Vide VIII. i. 30.
  2. See Discourse II.
  3. The Indian tradition is that one should never approach a king, deity or preceptor empty-handed (without a present)-

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