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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 8

The Elephant Gajendra's Crisis

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 8   

 The Elephant Gajendra's Crisis

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'There was a very big mountain countless of miles high, o King, known as Trikûtha ['three peaks'] surrounded by an ocean of milk [or plant-juice see 5.20: 18]. (2-3) With its three peaks all around as wide as it was long was it as an island, lush with trees, creepers and shrubs and the sounds of waterfalls in all directions, standing radiant against the sky. It was composed of silver, iron and gold, with more peaks on all sides full of precious stone and minerals. (4) At its foot, always washed dark green by the waves of the sea all around, was the earth green with emerald stones. (5) The perfected, the venerable, the heavenly singers, the ones of knowledge and the great of the world of snakes, the ones of superpower, the dancing girls and the sportive enjoyed there the valleys. (6) The glens resounding with the sounds of the singers made the stout lions of envy roar out for a mate. (7) The dales harbored great numbers of all thinkable jungle animals and the gardens maintained by the enlightened there were beautifully decorated with all types of trees and chirping birds. (8) In the rivers and lakes full of crystal clear water, were from the by gems glittering sand beaches the damsels of the godly bathing, enriching the air and the water with the fragrance of their bodies. (9-13) In one valley was there of the great soul, the mighty personality of Varuna, a garden with the name Ritumat which was a sporting place of the sura ladies. It was everywhere in honor of the divine most beautifully tended with flowers and fruits and mandâra and pârijâta, pâthala, as'oka and campaka trees. There were fruits like cûtas, piyâlas, panasas, mangoes, âmrâtakas, kramukas and pomegranates as also coconut and date trees. There stood madhukas, palm trees, tamâlas, asanas, arjunas, arishthas, udumbaras, plakshas, banyans, kims'ukas and sandelwood trees. Also were there found picumarda flowers, kovidâra fruits, sarala- and sura-dâru trees, grapes, sugar cane, bananas, jambu, badarî, akhsa, abhaya and âmalakî fruits. (14-19) In that garden there was a very large lake full of shining golden lotuses surrounded by bilva, kapittha, jambîra, bhallâtaka and other trees and of the great beauty of the kumuda, kahlâra, utpala and s'atapatra flowers were the bees intoxicated humming along with the most melodious songs of the birds. It was crowded with swans and kârandavas, cakravâkas, flocks of water chickens, koyashthis and dâtyûhas all making their noises. The water, surrounded by kadamba, vetasa, nala, nîpa and vañjulaka flowers, did, agitated by the movements of the fish and tortoises stir the lotuses of which the pollen falling from them covered the surface. The kundas, kurubakas, as'okas, s'irîshas, kûthajas, ingudas, kubjakas, svarna-yûthîs, nâgas, punnâgas, jâtîs, mallikâs, s'atapatras and the mâdhavî-latâs and jâlakâs and other trees growing on the banks adorned it in all seasons abundantly.

(20) Once did on that mountain the leader of the elephants living in that forest in the company of his wives wander there breaking through many thickets full of thorns, creepers and all kinds of trees and plants. (21) Just the smell of him made the lions and other predators and fiery beasts, the other elephants, the rhinoceroses and the big snakes as also the white and black camarî deer all flee in fear. (22) Because of his mercy could the foxes, boars, buffaloes, bears, porcupines, gopucchas and other deer, the wolves, monkeys and other small animals like rabbits and others, roam unafraid. (23-24) He perspiring, with saliva dripping and surrounded by nectar drinking bees, made, followed by the other he and she elephants and the young in their midst, all around the mountain the earth tremble. From a distance smelling the dust of the lotus flowers carried by the breeze was he, with his company obsessed in being thirsty of an intoxicated vision, hurrying for the bank of that lake. (25) Entering its pellucid, cool water drank he to his fill from the nectarean lotusdust mixture and was he relieved of all fatigue taking a good bath in it. (26) Sucking the water in with his trunk and spraying it over him inspired he his wives and children to bathe as well. Thus engaged took he, like a concerned householder all too attached to his family, under the influence of the external energy no heed of any possible danger. (27) He like anyone else resorting under the divine ordination then met with the fate that his foot, o King, there and then was captured by a mighty and angry crocodile [- of mâyâ], whereupon the elephant with all the strength he had in him strenuously tried to free himself from the dangerous position he had landed in. (28) The wives, who saw that their leader was attacked and captured by that force, began, daunted, to cry over the danger, while the other elephants trying from behind trying to free him, couldn't manage either. (29) With the elephant and the crocodile this way fighting, pulling one another in and out of the water, passed a thousand years in which they both stayed alive, and that, o King, was something which by the immortals was considered most wonderful. (30) In the time thereafter lost Gajendra, the elephant king, because of the exhaust of for years of prolonged fighting being pulled into the water [to elsewhere thus], more and more his strength while on the contrary the crocodile that was at home in the water all together became more frantic, strong and powerful.

(31) When he, Gajendra, in his life, this way by providence having run into this form of danger, found himself unable to save himself from such a helpless condition, had he to think for a long time and reached he thereupon this decision: (32) 'When all these relatives aren't able to deliver me as an elephant from my distress, and I from my wives neither may expect to be freed from the tight grip of the crocodile [of passion], must even [a stout elephant as] I, as good as anybody else, take shelter of that [Supreme of the Lord] which is the transcendental and the refuge of the exalted [compare 7.9: 18]. (33) Against the so very strong serpent of death [time, see B.G. 11: 32], which with its fearful force chases someone endlessly, will He who is someone's Controller, protect him who, afraid of death, is of surrender; I will seek my refuge with Him who is the actual shelter of everyone and for whom even death itself runs scared.'

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/