the following pastime took place during the fourth manvantara. An elephant called Gajendra was the leader of many strong elephants, and he lived with many she-elephants in the deep jungle in a valley of Trikuṭa, the King of mountains. In the valley was a large, beautiful and inviting lake, and one day Gajendra was fearlessly absorbed in sporting in the lake with his female elephants and children. All of a sudden, a strong crocodile angrily caught hold of his leg. Gajendra used all his strength to try to release himself, but the strong elephant could not get free, even after struggling for a thousand years. Slowly, Gajendra begun to lose strength. When he saw that he had no other protection, he took complete and exclusive shelter of Śrī Bhagavān, and began to chant in great distress, eloquant Sanskrit ślokas learned by him in his previous birth as King Indradyumna. Śrī Bhagavān, who carries the cakra, arrived there riding on Garuḍa, and released Gajendra by cutting open the crocodile’s mouth with His cakra
In his previous life, Gajendra had been King Indradyumna of the state of Draviḍa, a member of the Pāṇḍava dynasty. Once Mahāṛṣi Agastya came to visit Indradyumna, but when he arrived there, the king was worshiping Śrī Bhagavān in deep trance, and therefore could not greet the ṛṣi. Due to this offense, Mahāṛṣi Agastya cursed the king to take birth as an elephant. This is an example of a person in distress (ārtta) and contracted consciousness (saṅkucita-cetana)

The Bhaktivedanta encyclopedia. 2015.

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