Gajendra’s Prayers Of Surrender
Sri Sukadeva Goswami
Sri Sukadeva Goswami said: Thereafter, the King of the elephants, Gajendra, fixed his mind with perfect intelligence and chanted a mantra which he had learned in his previous birth as Indradyum¬na and remembered by the grace of Lord Krishna.
The King of the elephants, Gajendra, prayed: I offer my respectful obeisance unto the Supreme Person, Vasudeva [oṁ namo bhagavate vāsude¬vāya]. Because of Him this material body acts due to the presence of its indwelling spirit, and He is therefore the root cause of everyone. He is worshipable even for exalted persons such as Brahma and Shiva, and yet He has entered the heart of every living being. Let me meditate upon Him. The Supreme Godhead is the supreme platform on which everything rests, the ingre¬dient by which everything has been produced, and the person who has created and is the only cause of this cosmic manifestation. Nonetheless, He is different from the cause and the result. I surrender unto Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is self-sufficient in every-thing. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, by expanding His personal energy, keeps this cosmic manifestation visible and again some¬times renders it invisible. He is both the supreme cause and the supreme result, the observer and the witness, in all circumstances. Thus He is transcendental to everything. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead give me protection.
In due course of time, when all the causative and effective manifestations of the universe, including the planets and their directors and maintainers, are annihilated, there is a situation of dense darkness. Above this darkness, how¬ever, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I take shelter of His lotus feet. An artist onstage, covered by attractive dresses and dancing with different movements, is not understood by his audience; similarly, the activities and features of the supreme artist cannot be understood even by the demigods or great sages, and certainly not by those who are unintelligent like animals. Neither the demigods and sages nor the unintelligent can understand the features of the Lord, nor can they express in words His actual position. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead protect me.
Renunciants and great sages who see all living beings equally, who are friendly to everyone and who flawlessly practice in the forest the vows of brahmacarya, vānaprastha and sannyāsa desire to see the all-auspicious lotus feet of the Su¬preme Personality of Godhead. May that same Supreme Personality of Godhead be my destina¬tion. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has no material birth, activities, name, form, qual¬ities or faults. To fulfill the purpose for which this material world is created and destroyed, He comes by His original internal potency, in the form of a human being like Lord Rama or Lord Krishna. He has immense potency, and in His various forms, all free from material contami¬nation, He acts wonderfully. He is therefore the Supreme Brahman. I offer my respects to Him.
I offer my respectful obeisance unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the self-ef-fulgent Supersoul, who is the witness in everyone’s heart, who enlightens the individual soul and who cannot be reached by exercises of the mind, words or consciousness.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is re¬alized by pure devotees who act in the tran-scendental existence of bhakti-yoga. He is the one who bestows uncontaminated happi¬ness and is the master of the transcendental world. Therefore I offer my respect unto Him.
I offer my respectful obeisance to Lord Vasudeva, who is all-pervading, to the Lord’s fierce form as Lord Nrsimhadeva, to the Lord’s form as an ani¬mal [Lord Varahadeva], to Lord Dattatreya, who preached impersonalism, to Lord Buddha, and to all the other incarnations. I offer my respectful obeisance unto the Lord, who has no material qualities but who accepts the three qualities good¬ness, passion and ignorance within this material world. I also offer my respectful obeisance unto the impersonal Brahman effulgence. I beg to offer my respectful obeisance unto You, who are the Supersoul, the superintendent of everything, and the witness of all that occurs. You are the Supreme Person, the origin of material nature and of the total material energy. You are also the owner of the material body. Therefore, You are the supreme complete. I offer my respectful obeisance unto You. My Lord, You are the observer of all the objectives of the senses. Without Your mercy, there is no possibility of solving the problem of doubts. The material world is just like a shadow resembling You. Indeed, one accepts this material world as real because it gives a glimpse of Your existence. My Lord, You are the cause of all causes, but You Yourself have no cause. Therefore You are the wonderful cause of everything. I offer my respect¬ful obeisance unto You, who are the shelter of the Vedic knowledge contained in the scriptures like the Pañcarātras and Vedānta-sūtra, who represent You and who are the source of the spiritual lineage (paramparā). Because it is You who can give lib¬eration, You are the only shelter for all transcen¬dentalists. Let me offer my respectful obeisance unto You. My Lord, as the fire in araṇi wood is covered, You and Your unlimited knowledge are covered by the material modes of nature. Your mind, however, is not attentive to the activities of the modes of nature. Those who are advanced in spiritual knowledge are not subject to the reg¬ulative principles directed in the Vedic scriptures. Because such advanced souls are transcendental, You personally appear in their pure minds. There¬fore I offer my respectful obeisance unto You.
Since an animal such as me has surrendered unto You, who are supremely liberated, certainly You will release me from this dangerous position. Indeed, being extremely merciful, You inces¬santly try to deliver me. By your partial feature as Paramatma, You are situated in the hearts of all embodied beings. You are celebrated as direct transcendental knowledge, and You are unlim¬ited. I offer my respectful obeisance unto You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. My Lord, those who are completely freed from material contamination always meditate upon You within the cores their hearts. You are extremely difficult to attain for those like me who are too attached to mental concoction, home, relatives, friends, money, servants and assistants. You are the Su¬preme Personality of Godhead, uncontaminated by the modes of nature. You are the reservoir of all enlightenment, the supreme controller. I therefore offer my respectful obeisance unto You.
After worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, those who are interested in the four principles of religion, economic development, sense gratification and liberation obtain from Him all they desire. What then is to be said of other benedictions? Indeed, sometimes the Lord gives a spiritual body to such ambitious worshipers.
May that Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is unlimitedly merciful, bestow upon me the benediction of liberation from this present danger and from the materialistic life. Unalloyed devotees, who have no desire other than to serve the Lord, worship Him in full surrender and al¬ways hear and chant about His activities, which are most wonderful and auspicious. Thus they are always submerged in an ocean of transcen¬dental bliss. Such devotees never ask the Lord for any benediction. I, however, am in danger. Thus I pray to that Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is existing eternally, who is invisible, who is the Lord of all great personalities, such as Brah¬ma, and who is attainable only by transcendental bhakti-yoga. Due to His being extremely subtle, He is beyond the reach of my senses and transcen¬dental to all external realization. He is unlimited, He is the original cause, and He is completely full in everything. I offer my obeisance unto Him.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead creates His minor parts and parcels (jīva-tattva), be¬ginning with Lord Brahma, the demigods and the expansions of Vedic knowledge [Sāma, Ṛg, Yajur and Atharva] and including all other living entities, moving and non-moving, with their dif¬ferent names and characteristics. As the sparks of a fire or the shining rays of the sun emanate from their source and merge into it again and again, the mind, the intelligence, the senses, the gross and subtle material bodies, and the con¬tinuous transformations of the different modes of nature all emanate from the Lord and again merge into Him. The Lord is neither demigod nor demon, neither human nor bird or beast. He is not woman, man, or neuter, nor is He an animal. He is not a material quality, a fruitive ac¬tivity, a manifestation or unmanifest phenomena. He is the last word in the discrimination of “not this, not this,” and He is unlimited. All glories to the Supreme Personality of Godhead! I do not wish to live anymore after I am released from the attack of the crocodile. What is the use of this elephant’s body, covered externally and internally by ignorance? I simply desire eternal liberation from all coverings of ignorance as they are not destroyed even by the influence of all powerful time. Now I fully desire release from material life, and thus I offer my respectful obeisance unto that Supreme Person who is the creator of the universe, who is Himself the form of the universe and who is nonetheless transcendental to this cosmic manifestation. He is the supreme knower of everything in this world, the Supersoul of the universe. He is the unborn, supremely situated Lord. I offer my respectful obeisance unto Him.
I offer my respectful obeisance unto the Su¬preme, the Supersoul, the master of all mystic yoga, who is seen in the core of the heart by per¬fect mystics when they are completely purified and freed from the reactions of fruitive activity by practicing bhakti-yoga. My Lord, You are the controller of formidable strength in three kinds of energy. You appear as the reservoir of all sense pleasure and the protector of the sur¬rendered souls. You possess unlimited energy, but You are unapproachable by those who are unable to control their senses. I offer my re¬spectful obeisance unto You again and again.
I offer my respectful obeisance unto the Su¬preme Personality of Godhead, by whose illu¬sory energy the individual living entity (jiva), who is part and parcel of God, forgets his real identity because of the bodily concept of life. I take shelter of the Supreme Personality of God-head, whose glories are difficult to understand.
Sri Sukadeva Goswami continued: When the King of the elephants was describing the supreme authority, without mentioning any particular person, he did not invoke the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, Indra and Chandra. Thus none of them approached him. However, because Lord Hari is the Supersoul, Purusottama, the Personality of Godhead, He appeared before Gajendra. After understanding the awkward con¬dition of Gajendra, who had offered his prayers, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, who lives everywhere, appeared with the demigods, who were offering prayers to Him. Carrying His disc and other weapons, He appeared there on the back of His carrier, Garuda, with great speed, according to His sweet will. Gajendra had been forcefully captured by the crocodile in the water and was feeling acute pain, but when he saw that Narayana, wielding His disc, was coming in the sky on the back of Garuda, he immediately took a lotus flower in his trunk, and with great diffi¬culty due to his painful condition, he uttered the following words: O my Lord, Narayana, master of the universe, O Supreme Personality of God¬head, I offer my respectful obeisance unto You.” Seeing the devoted Gajendra in such an aggrieved position, the unborn Supreme Personality of God¬head, Hari, immediately got down from the back of Garuda by His causeless mercy and pulled the King of the elephants, along with the crocodile, out of the water. Then, in the presence of all the onlooking demigods, the Lord severed the croco¬dile’s head from its body with His disc. In this way He rescued Gajendra, the King of the elephants.
— Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) » Canto 8: Withdrawal of the Cosmic Creations » Chapter Three » Verses: 1-33.
Gajendra’s Prayers Of Surrender
Gajendra’s Prayers Of Surrender