Have you ever heard about an initiated Elephant? Read it.

Glory to Syamananda, the embodiment of mercy and the most kind-hearted lord of the universe.

The wicked yavana ruler told the other kings, “Today this elephant has killed cattle, horses, and people. It has also damaged much property. We must think of some means to stop it. Perhaps Rasika Murari will give Hari-nama to this elephant. The Hindus regard him as Narayana. Therefore, if he can succeed in initiating this elephant, I shall also accept him as Narayana.”

Everyone felt sorry to hear this and began to think of Krsna. When Rasika heard what had been said, he thought to himself, “If a devotee takes refuge in Krsna, then what harm can an elephant do to him?” Thinking in this way, he entered the village and saw the mad elephant killing anyone who crossed its path. While the villagers fled out of fear, Rasika came forward to confront the animal. Seeing this, Rasika’s companions repeatedly begged him to leave, but Rasika ignored them and simply chanted the name of Lord Krsna. Rasika’s companions ran away, leaving him alone.

The yavana was observing everything, and when he saw this he thought to himself, “O Lord Narayana, save him. If the elephant kills him I shall be responsible for the death of a saintly person. If he can tame this animal I shall be convinced of the glories of Krşna.” The Hindu kings were all anxious for the safety of Rasika and grief tears to their eyes. Rasika, however, was unperturbed and went forward, while constantly remembering Krşna.

When the mad elephant came in front of Rasika, it observed his beautiful form and immediately checked its speed. Rasika looked in its eyes and said, “O mad elephant, listen to me. Worship Krsna and serve His devotees. Why are you engaged in these wicked deeds? Without knowledge of Krsna all efforts are futile. Chant the name of Krsna, meditate on Krşna, and dedicate yourself to the worship of His lotus feet. The opinion of all scriptures is that worship of Krsna is the highest. Leave everything and worship the lotus feet of the Lord. But for Lord Krsna, no one is your friend. Krsna is the mother, father, and life of all beings. Therefore, why are you heading toward death? Be careful not to become proud of the worship of Krsna. Krsna crushed the false pride of Airavata the elephant of Indra and saved the king of the elephants who were attacked by a crocodile. Lord Narayana is an ocean of mercy. Therefore, please give up your vanity and worship Him. If you listen to this advice from a saintly person, then the son of Nanda will favor you.

The elephant was able to meet Rasika due to his previous austerities. He saw a second Narayana within Rasika. With tears in his eyes, he thought, “This is not an ordinary human. He must be an expansion of Narayana. Everything he said to me is based on scriptures. By the grace of Rasika, the elephant attained complete knowledge and accepted Lord Krsna as the only truth. He fell at Rasika’s lotus feet and washed them with his tears. Placing one hand on the head of the elephant, Rasika spoke the sixteen-word Hare Krsna mantra into his right ear.

Upon receiving the holy name, the elephant stood up quickly and then fell prostrate at Rasika’s lotus feet. After circumambulating him, the elephant bowed down and a stream of tears glided down from his eyes. Seeing the beauty of Rasika, he became so charmed that he forgot himself. Rasika then named him Śri Gopala Dasa. On receiving this name the tusker fell at Rasika’s lotus feet one hundred times. Having beheld Rasika as Näräyana, Gopäla Dasa did not want to leave him. Only after a long time did he slowly leave that place to enter the forest. With tears in his eyes, he then dedicated himself to the lotus feet of Rasika.

After witnessing this wonderful pastime of Rasika, both the Hindus and the yavanas were overwhelmed. They told one another, “Rasika has not only tamed the mad elephant but has also given him spiritual initiation.” As the news spread, millions of people came to that place to see Rasika. The Subādāra, Ahammad Beg, quickly came there and fell at Rasika’s lotus feet. With folded hands, he said, “I was unable to appreciate your transcendental position and thus I had ordered my men to bring you here. I have acted out of ignorance and now, O Lord, I beg you to forgive me. You are an ocean of mercy and kindness. You are the life of the universe. Being enamored by your Maya I did not know your glories and gave you trouble. Please forgive me.”

Hearing the humble words of the Subādāra, Rasika told him, I came here to deliver you. On my way here the mad elephant came running toward me. I simply remembered Lord Krsna, the omnipotent Lord who lives in everyone’s heart. There are seven levels of lower planetary systems, and these are followed by the Padma-sthana. The scriptures describe that after Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, and Svarloka there is Janaloka and Tapaloka followed by Maharloka and Brahmaloka. Together these fourteen worlds form a brahmanda (universe) in which there is a Brahma. Some Brahmas have four faces, while others have hundreds or even millions of faces. Brahma, Indra, and the other demigods have taken birth from the pores of the skin of Narayana, who maintains the whole creation. Living in the heart of all creatures, both mobile and immobile, Lord Narayana is the destroyer of irreligion. By destroying the sinner’s age after age He establishes true religion. Lord Narāyana also resides in the heart of that mad elephant. I advised him to remember Lord Krsna. On hearing the Lord’s name he fell at my feet. After I spoke the name of Lord Krsna into his ears he was subdued and slowly left the place. He has now given up all his wicked activities.” The yavana king was very happy to hear all this from Rasika.

Listen to the boundless glories of Rasika described in this composition. Making the lotus feet of Syamananda my ornament this son of Rasamaya happily narrates Rasika-mangala.

(Source: Book – The Story of Rasikananda, Chapter- The Deliverance of Gopāla the Elephant)

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