There was a King of Gajas (Elephant), named as Gajendra. One day Gajendra with his family went to a lake nearby for recreation. While Gajendra was playing in lake, he is caught by a mighty crocodile by his leg.
Gajendra; cried for help, family members of Gajendra; who were now out of the lake due to fear; tried to help Gajendra but all went in vein. Gajendra struggled to get free but grip was crocodile was hard and crocodile is now pulling Gajendra back into lake.
Now here Gajendra Moksha starts. By now Gajendra became tired and weak. Looking that nobody can help him and looking at his end. He recalled mantra that he used to chant in previous birth by heart. He started reciting that mantra, devoted to Parabrahma (Lord Narayana); for help.
The elephant started to pray to Lord Vishnu (Param-Brahm). Lord Vishnu heard Gajendra’s cries for help and appeared on his vehicle, Garuda. He sent the Sudarshana Chakra; whirling down. The Chakra killed the crocodile and set Gajendra free. Gajendra offered Lord Narayana a Lotus and thanked him for saving his life.
Strange as it may seem, the crocodile then adopted the form of a gandharva. His name was Huhu. He had been cursed by a sage that he would become a crocodile. And the sage had told him that he would be freed from the curse by Lord Vishnu. That had now happened. In fact; the elephant had earlier also been a king named Indradyumna. And he had been cursed by a sage that he would be born as an elephant. Indradyumna too was freed from his curse and became Vishnu’s companion.
Below I present Gajendra Moksha shloka and meaning attached to it.
ऊं नमो भगवते तस्मै यत एतच्चिदात्मकम । पुरुषायादिबीजाय परेशायाभिधीमहि ॥१॥
Salutations again and again; to the all powerful divine Parabrahma denoted by “Om”. Due to whom the body and mind are made conscious, and he also exists within them in the form of the seed for the spirit.
यस्मिन्निदं यतश्चेदं येनेदं य इदं स्वयं । योस्मात्परस्माच्च परस्तं प्रपद्ये स्वयम्भुवम ॥३॥
I surrender to that God in whom this universe was born, exists in essence and in totality and was made in to the divine. Who becomes all the world that we see, and who is different from it in his physical and spiritual form.
यः स्वात्मनीदं निजमाययार्पितं क्वचिद्विभातं क्व च तत्तिरोहितम ।
अविद्धदृक साक्ष्युभयं तदीक्षते स आत्म मूलोsवत् मां परात्परः ॥४॥
May I be protected by the God who revealed himself, who reveals himself as the universe at times of creation, who keeps the universe as an illusion at the times of deluge. Thus revealing himself sometimes and hiding himself at other times, and who sees them as a witness in both these states.
कालेन पंचत्वमितेषु कृत्स्नशो लोकेषु पालेषु च सर्व हेतुषु ।
तमस्तदाsssसीद गहनं गभीरं यस्तस्य पारेsभिविराजते विभुः ॥५॥
Over time when all the worlds and their guardians, are reduced to the five elements and all their causes. Only Impenetrable and fathomless darkness, remains. Coming out of that darkness, the divine Lord shines from within that.
न यस्य देवा ऋषयः पदं विदु-र्जन्तुः पुनः कोsर्हति गन्तुमीरितुम ।
यथा नटस्याकृतिभिर्विचेष्टतो दुरत्ययानुक्रमणः स मावतु ॥६॥
And his form thus exhibited is; not understood, even by the devas and sages. Like the actual form of the actor in a drama is not known to the spectator. Definitely the ordinary beings is at a loss to describe it, thus making his actions unfathomable and let that God protect me.
दिदृक्षवो यस्य पदं सुमंगलम विमुक्त संगा मुनयः सुसाधवः ।
चरन्त्यलोकव्रतमव्रणं वने भूतात्मभूता सुहृदः स मे गतिः ॥७॥
He whose auspicious feet is desired even by, the great sages who are bereft of any attachments, who have benevolent feeling towards all beings, and observe penance and sacred vows in the forest. Is the divine one who is in all beings, and is my only source of support.
न विद्यते यस्य न जन्म कर्म वा न नाम रूपे गुणदोष एव वा ।
तथापि लोकाप्ययसम्भवाय यः स्वमायया तान्यनुकालमृच्छति ॥८॥
He does not have either Janma (birth) or Karma’s(actions), he does not have any name or properties, and he does not have any faults as he is beyond nature, and in spite of that he assumes several forms, at different times to carry out the creation and upkeep of the world
तस्मै नमः परेशाय ब्रह्मणेsनन्तशक्तये ।
अरूपायोरुरूपाय नम आश्चर्य कर्मणे ॥९॥
Salutations to him who does wonderful acts, who is beyond Janma (birth) and Mrityu (death) and the Brahm. The one without endless power and one who neither has a form or is formless
नम आत्म प्रदीपाय साक्षिणे परमात्मने ।
नमो गिरां विदूराय मनसश्चेतसामपि ॥१०॥
My salutations to him who shines within himself, who is the witness for all, who is the divine soul, my salutations to him who is far, far away, from the activities of the mind and it’s faculties.
सत्त्वेन प्रतिलभ्याय नैष्कर्म्येण विपश्चिता ।
नमः कैवल्यनाथाय निर्वाणसुखसंविदे ॥११॥
Salutations to him who gives us Kaivalya (solitude, detachment or isolation), and who makes us realize the infinite joy of salvation, and one who can be seen by the real sages with purity of mind, by the constant practice of detached actions .
नमः शान्ताय घोराय मूढाय गुण धर्मिणे ।
निर्विशेषाय साम्याय नमो ज्ञानघनाय च ॥१२॥
Salutations to the one who appears to be serene, ferocious and foolish, but really the one who is devoid of any qualities and is always alike. Salutations to the great treasure of wisdom
क्षेत्रज्ञाय नमस्तुभ्यं सर्वाध्यक्षाय साक्षिणे ।
पुरुषायात्ममूलाय मूलप्रकृतये नमः ॥१३॥
Salutations to one who knows the form, who is lord and witness of everything, who is the Purusha (ultimate consciousness) and who is the seed of every being, and salutations to the basic nature which exists
सर्वेन्द्रियगुणद्रष्ट्रे सर्वप्रत्ययहेतवे ।
असताच्छाययोक्ताय सदाभासाय ते नमः ॥१४॥
Salutations to one who watches the health of all senses, and also the objectives of all such senses, and to him who is the one who activates.
The immobile nature that follows you like a shadow.
नमो नमस्तेsखिल कारणाय निष्कारणायाद्भुत कारणाय ।
सर्वागमान्मायमहार्णवाय नमोपवर्गाय परायणाय ॥१५॥
Salutations to him who is the cause of everything, to him who is not caused by anything and also, the wonderful cause which does not become what it causes. Salutations to him who is the ocean of Tantras, to the personification of saintliness and refuge of the great.
गुणारणिच्छन्न चिदूष्मपाय तत्क्षोभविस्फूर्जित मानसाय ।
नैष्कर्म्यभावेन विवर्जितागम-स्वयंप्रकाशाय नमस्करोमि ॥१६॥
Salutations to him who hides similar to the fire of consciousness, that is hid in a piece of wood of qualities and characters, whose creative mind is aroused when the characters are disturbed, who comes shining before those who do detached actions.
मादृक्प्रपन्नपशुपाशविमोक्षणाय मुक्ताय भूरिकरुणाय नमोsलयाय ।
स्वांशेन सर्वतनुभृन्मनसि प्रतीत-प्रत्यग्दृशे भगवते बृहते नमस्ते ॥१७॥
Salutations to the God of boundless compassion, who frees those ignorant beings from the ties of this world, as soon as they surrender to him though. He himself is ever free and is endowed to the great mercy, and he also shines in the minds of all as their own soul, though he himself is the limitless Para Brahm.
आत्मात्मजाप्तगृहवित्तजनेषु सक्तै-्दुष्प्रापणाय गुणसंगविवर्जिताय ।
मुक्तात्मभिः स्वहृदये परिभाविताय ज्ञानात्मने भगवते नम ईश्वराय ॥१८॥
Salutations to that God, who is not attainable to those, who are attached to Thanthras, their sons, house, wealth and friends, who himself is completely free of all attachments to senses, and who is brought in to their own hearts by his devotees,
यं धर्मकामार्थविमुक्तिकामा भजन्त इष्टां गतिमाप्नुवन्ति ।
किं त्वाशिषो रात्यपि देहमव्ययं करोतु मेsदभ्रदयो विमोक्षणम् ॥१९॥
Whosoever prays you for Dharma, Desire, Wealth or Salvation, they get their desires fulfilled, and even when your devotees. Do not ask anything from you, you give them an imperishable body, and I request from you; salvation for me.
एकान्तिनो यस्य न कंचनार्थ वांछन्ति ये वै भगवत्प्रपन्नाः ।
अत्यद्भुतं तच्चरितं सुमंगलं गायन्त आनन्द समुद्रमग्नाः ॥२०॥
Those devotees who in loneliness, pray you, without wanting gold or similar things, and are not even desirous of salvation, and sing your wonderful story. Drown themselves in the ocean of bliss.
तमक्षरं ब्रह्म परं परेश-मव्यक्तमाध्यात्मिकयोगगम्यम ।
अतीन्द्रियं सूक्ष्ममिवातिदूर-मनन्तमाद्यं परिपूर्णमीडे ॥२१॥
I salute that complete God who never dies, who is the divine God much beyond Lord Brahma, who is not clear and is available for spiritual seekers, who is beyond senses like the very micro things, and who does not have an end and is primeval.
यस्य ब्रह्मादयो देवा वेदा लोकाश्चराचराः ।
नामरूपविभेदेन फल्ग्व्या च कलया कृताः ॥२२॥
I salute him from whose very micro form are created. Brahma and others, devas, all worlds, all moving and stable beings, assuming very different names and bear fruit.
यथार्चिषोsग्नेः सवितुर्गभस्तयो निर्यान्ति संयान्त्यसकृत् स्वरोचिषः ।
तथा यतोsयं गुणसंप्रवाहो बुद्धिर्मनः खानि शरीरसर्गाः ॥२३॥
Similar to the heat generating from the fire, and rays generating from Sun, ultimately, merges in to the form from where they came, wisdom, mind, senses and the body, originate from you and merge in you.
स वै न देवासुरमर्त्यतिर्यंग न स्त्री न षण्डो न पुमान न जन्तुः ।
नायं गुणः कर्म न सन्न चासन निषेधशेषो जयतादशेषः ॥२४॥
He is not god, asura or man or animal, he is not woman, eunuch or man or animal, he is not characteristic, nor mobile or immobile, and he is what is remaining after all these negations.
जिजीविषे नाहमिहामुया कि-मन्तर्बहिश्चावृतयेभयोन्या ।
इच्छामि कालेन न यस्य विप्लव-स्तस्यात्मलोकावरणस्य मोक्षम ॥२५॥
I do not desire to survive for what I have to do here, as an elephant enveloped inside out, by ignorance, I do desire that this veil of ignorance is lifted, and I get salvation from this world as an elephant.
सोsहं विश्वसृजं विश्वमविश्वं विश्ववेदसम ।
विश्वात्मानमजं ब्रह्म प्रणतोsस्मि परं पदम् ॥२६॥
I salute that God who created the universe, who is the universe; yet is different from it, who knows the universe, yet is the soul of the universe, who is devoid of birth and is the divine Param Brahm.
योगरन्धित कर्माणो हृदि योगविभाविते ।
योगिनो यं प्रपश्यन्ति योगेशं तं नतोsस्म्यहम् ॥२७॥
I worship that God of Yoga, whom only the Yogis who have burnt their Karmas (actions), can visualize by their heart, and see him by the practice of yoga.
नमो नमस्तुभ्यमसह्यवेग-शक्तित्रयायाखिलधीगुणाय ।
प्रपन्नपालाय दुरन्तशक्तये कदिन्द्रियाणामनवाप्यवर्त्मने ॥२८॥
Salutations to him whose three fold power is unstoppable, un-diminishable.
Who has all the characteristics, who protects those who surrenders to him, and who cannot be attained by those who have not won over their senses.
नायं वेद स्वमात्मानं यच्छ्क्त्याहंधिया हतम् ।
तं दुरत्ययमाहात्म्यं भगवन्तमितोsस्म्यहम् ॥२९॥
I am searching that God; whose power can never be surpassed. And due to the illusion of ego created by him, one think that, their body is their soul and are not able to understand their real soul.
Apart from its being a sacred hymn, reciting it also works as a Upaya for those who has Debilitated Guru (Jupiter) placed in Makara(Capricorn). As Makara represents Alligator and Jupiter’s one of presentation is Elephant. So to get Jupiter out of Debilitation is to recite Gajendra Moksha everyday.
Om Tat Sat