There was once an elephant named Gajendra who lived in a garden called Ṛtumat which was created by Varuna. This garden was located on Mount Trikuta, the “Three-Peaked Mountain.” Gajendra ruled over all the other elephants in the herd. One day as usual he went to the lake near by to pick lotus flowers to offer prayer to Lord Vishnu. Suddenly, a crocodile living in the lake attacked Gajendra and caught him by the leg. Gajendra tried for a long time to escape from the crocodile’s clutches. All his family members, relatives and friends gathered around to help him, but in vain. The crocodile simply would not let go. When they realised that ‘death’ had come close to Gajendra, they left him alone. He trumpeted in pain and helplessness until he was hoarse. As the struggle was seemingly endless and when he had spent his last drop of energy, Gajendra called to the god Vishnu to save him, holding a lotus up in the air as an offering
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