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Stories on the Power of Chanting

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I love this story and the myriad ways in which it describes my own sadhana through its imagery. For many years, it seemed impossible I could ever learn how to control my emotions and ego impulses. They felt as strong and inescapable as the jaws of Makaranna. Instead of taking time to sit with myself and understand what lay beneath the surface, like the elephant king, Gajendra, I behaved without concern for whom or what might be affected by my outbursts of emotions of rage, sadness, pride, bliss, etc.

Like Gajendra offering the lotus blossom to Lord Vishnu, it wasn't until I offered puja to the Guru that I was finally able to let go of wrong identification and separate myself from the action/reaction syndrome. Now I experience bhaktirasa every day because of my chanting practice. Chanting washes away the impurities in my perception and allows my virtues to shine through, like the precious metals on the peaks of Trikuta.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for answering my prayers. Thank you for the beautiful rendering of the story. And thank you for the great treasure of chanting.

California, USA

Recently, I was walking in the gardens of Gurudev Siddha Peeth with another Gurukula student. We stopped to look at the statue of Gajendra and the crocodile, and he asked me if I knew the story. I didn't, and he began to tell it to me. At the end of the story, he was so ebullient that he started chanting God's name with great force and enthusiasm, raising his arms to the heavens and extolling God's grace. We chanted all the way down the garden path. Chanting God's name with abandon and joy like this made my heart sing, and I could feel the deep, sweet gratitude welling up inside me, giving thanks for this path of Siddha Yoga. Experiences like this leave their indelible mark on our thoughts and actions.

This happened shortly before Gurumayi's exquisite rendering of the story appeared on the Siddha Yoga path website. Imagine how moving it was to read the story in Gurumayi's words and to receive her teachings about what transpired in the foothills of Trikuta! It brought that experience back in its fullness.

Thank you, Gurumayi.

a long-term Gurukula Student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth

I learned two great things from this story. One is to maintain the awareness of what's going on in the present moment and to apply this awareness in my daily life. The second is to call on the Lord. Gajendra offers a lotus flower to the Lord during his difficult time. He remembers God. He doesn't stand around and cry but makes an offering to the Lord, and he surrenders to God. This is a model for us to follow in our lives. Don't stand around and cry, make an offering and chant the Lord's name.

Salutations to Gurumayi for this wonderful story!

Basamathnagar, India

I love the end of the story when Gajendra sees the compassion and benevolence of Lord Vishnu's face and recognizes the true strength of a king. And I love that he recognizes his own gentleness and tenderness and attains liberation after realizing his own true nature. It made me reflect on and recognize that very same experience, even momentarily, in my own being.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for showing me once again how to recognize my true Self.

Iowa, USA

I heard this story many years ago, when I was a little girl touring the grounds of Gurudev Siddha Peeth. There is a statue on the Ashram grounds depicting this story, and my father told me the story while showing me the statue.

Reading this story here, in Gurumayiji's words, not only opened up a well of bliss in my heart, but also took me in my imagination back to Gurudev Siddha Peeth. I was that little girl again roaming the gardens of the Ashram and strolling down the aisle of statues, each depicting a famous story from Indian scriptures and folklore.

I live in Texas, USA, now, far from the Ashram grounds, and I am so grateful for the awesome postings on the Siddha Yoga path website! They keep me connected. I remember that Babaji used to say to us that when you leave the Ashram, you should take the Ashram with you—in your heart, in your mind, in your meditation, in your sadhana. This website and the postings on it are yet another way for me to keep the Ashram with me all the time.

Thank you, thank you, Gurumayi.

Texas, USA

The story reminds me that we create problems for ourselves by indulging in sense pleasures; we can redeem ourselves from their grip only through prayer—and surrender. It also reminds me of the teaching that we create our own destiny, as Gajendra experienced so directly for himself.

Thank you, dear Gurumayi, for the wisdom of this story and for your kind presence in our lives.

Cuttack, India

When I read the share from the Siddha Yogi from Sydney, Australia, about removing the pride and replacing it "with my true love for chanting," the word chanting was immediately equated with the word God in my mind. I suddenly realized that chanting is God and so is the person chanting. It was an amazing revelation for me!

Thank you, thank you, Gurumayi!

Alabama, USA

It was great to see this story this morning. For me, it is a great reminder to always praise the divine. Thank you for these daily reminders.

And thank you for providing the references about Gajendra Moksha. I looked up the scripture and then found the English and transliteration of the Gajendra Moksha verses. They’re beautiful!

Jai Gurumayi!

New York, USA

May the Gajendra Moksha story be an allegory and teaching for our entire world.

Thank you, Gurumayi.

California, USA

The story of Gajendra Moksha shows us that humility is a direct path to liberation. Gurumayi invited us, in the New Year’s Message, to contemplate this divine virtue. And now, with the Gajendra Moksha story, we are reminded again to focus our attention on humility.

This story offers me new contemplations and insights into the attributes of gentleness and humility. Questions arise: how to be humble when you have the size and power of an elephant? How to be a leader with great power and stay gentle, humble, and polite? How to put our strength into truly selfless service? How to chant and dance, not as a display of pride and arrogance, but as a true offering?

Pride always seems to get in the way. Like the elephant and the crocodile, we can’t let go. We fight so hard until we are on the edge of "dying for our pride." Only God’s compassionate, all-forgiving, and benevolent grace can rescue us. Liberation and humility go hand in hand.

Thank you, Gurumayi.

Montreal, Canada

The crocodile reminds me of my limiting beliefs that really can get a grip on me. And the only way they can be shaken off is by calling the Lord’s name, either with mantra japa or chanting.

Thank you, Gurumayi.

New York, USA

Thank you for this wonderful story of Gajendra Moksha! I found it when I came home tonight, and was reading it with relish, waiting for the lessons I knew it would teach. As I started to understand its relation to my own sometimes ignorant behaviors, the images of the story became like a movie in my head, and I was totally taken up.

When Gurumayi spoke of Gajendra surrendering so beautifully and offering the lotus to the Lord, suddenly a vivid memory came to me of that exact scene portrayed in a statue near the fountain in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, and all the feelings of connection and admiration I had for it! I had always loved that elephant statue when I walked by, with its tender supplication to the Lord, but I never had heard the story before now.

Thank you for taking such tender and amazing care of us all, Sri Gurumayi. A rush of great joy fills my being and my world, and I am again so very grateful for you in my life.

New Mexico, USA

As I read this story aloud, step by step I could feel compassion and love. I could actually feel how compassionate the Lord is. The large statue depicting this story, which is in the gardens of Gurudev Siddha Peeth, came to my mind. And my understanding of the power of chanting has deepened. Love for chanting the Lord's Name has moved another step forward.

This story has filled me with gratitude and millions of thank you’s for the Chanting Tour. Chanting is my favorite practice, and each time I chant I feel I am calling the Lord with all my heart.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for your compassion. Thank you for this story.

Bhusawal, India

To me, this story is a very powerful inspiration and reminder of the true power of the virtues of humility, devotion, and complete surrender to the power of chanting the divine name of the Lord.

Makaranna represents for me the inner, deep-rooted tendencies of my own ego and mind, which at times grip me strongly and drag me down. Honestly, there are times when I feel helpless and caught up in this inner struggle. Thanks to the practice of Siddha Yoga chanting, as I chant with focus, the heavy burden on my heart magically melts away.

I feel supremely blessed to be on this glorious Siddha Yoga path, to be blessed by the infinite abundant grace and love of beloved Gurumayiji.

Pune, India

This story really deepens my understanding of the significance of chanting the name of God. It tells me to remove my pride and replace it with my true love for chanting.

Thank you so much, Gurumayi, for this inspiring story.

Sydney, Australia