na mām ime jñātaya āturaṁ gajāḥ
kutaḥ kariṇyaḥ prabhavanti mocitum
grāheṇa pāśena vidhātur āvṛto
’py ahaṁ ca taṁ yāmi paraṁ parāyaṇam
na—not; mām—me; ime—all these; jñātayaḥ—friends and relatives (the other elephants); āturam—in my distress; gajāḥ—the elephant; kutaḥ—how; kariṇyaḥ—my wives; prabhavanti—are able; mocitum—to deliver (from this dangerous position); grāheṇa—by the crocodile; pāśena—by the network of ropes; vidhātuḥ—of providence; āvṛtaḥ—captured; api—although (I am in such a position); aham—I; ca—also; tam—that (Supreme Personality of Godhead); yāmi—take shelter of; param—who is transcendental; parāyaṇam—and who is the shelter of even the exalted demigods like Brahmā and Śiva.
The other elephants, who are my friends and relatives, could not rescue me from this danger. What then to speak of my wives? They cannot do anything. It is by the will of providence that I have been attacked by this crocodile, and therefore I shall seek shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always the shelter of everyone, even of great personalities.
This material world is described as padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām, which means that at every step there is danger. A fool wrongly thinks that he is happy in this material world, but in fact he is not, for one who thinks that way is only illusioned. At every step, at every moment, there is danger. In modern civilization one thinks that if he has a nice home and a nice car his life is perfect. In the Western countries, especially in America, it is very nice to possess a good car, but as soon as one is on the road, there is danger because at any moment an accident may take place and one will be killed. The record actually shows that so many people die in such accidents. Therefore if we actually think that this material world is a very happy place, this is our ignorance. Real knowledge is that this material world is full of danger. We may struggle for existence as far as our intelligence allows and may try to take care of ourselves, but unless the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, ultimately saves us from danger, our attempts will be useless. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja says:
We may invent so many ways to be happy or to counteract the dangers of this material world, but unless our attempts are sanctioned by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they will never make us happy. Those who try to be happy without taking shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are mūḍhas, rascals. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. Those who are the lowest of men refuse to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness because they think that they will be able to protect themselves without Kṛṣṇa’s care. This is their mistake. The decision of the King of the elephants, Gajendra, was correct. In such a dangerous position, he sought shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
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