Gajendra Moksham is one of the first religiously themed stories I remember being told as a child. When I was young, my sister and I would sit eagerly in our beds as Appa pretended to be first Gajendra, then Makara the crocodile, and then pretend to spin the Sudarshana Chakra off his finger and at Makara. He would always remind us that God had perfect aim, even if he shook his finger at an angle, and my sister and I would laugh until we were too tired to stay awake.
Gajendra Moksham, or the Liberation of Gajendra, is a uniquely relatable story, which makes it ideal for serving as an introduction to faith for young children. Not that we have all been elephants or crocodiles before, but all of us have had our own “crocodile”. Whether it is school stress, or a boss that refuses to recognize your worth, or a friend that does not see the value in your chosen path in life. Even children understand that, though everything may seem fine on the lake’s surface at any given moment, there could be danger lurking beneath it. There could be conflict brewing in your life that you are unaware of, and when that conflict breaches the surface, faith is all you have as you try to pull yourself free from it.
Like Gajendra, we call out with faith that someone is listening — the Adhimoolame he cries out to is the same one we try to reach, by prayer or nama sankeerthanam. And like Gajendra, we too see results in our lives. We are happier, and our worries are more temporary. There is someone looking out for us that will rid us of all the crocodiles in our life, so why should we worry about them? All that is required is that we surrender all we have to Him, and call out for help. And, for former naughty children like myself, the story provides the best moral of all — with God in your heart, you will never get in trouble again.
Shruti Swaminathan Milpitas, CA