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The Elephant and the Crocodile  

elephant and croc.jpg Once upon a time there was a beautiful lake, with cool pleasant waters and the water’s edge was covered in long luscious grass. This delightful place often saw elephants grazing near its shores and all should have been just perfect… if it had not been for the presence of a very nasty crocodile that had made its home in this lake.

Everyone knew of Crocodile and drinking from the lake had become a risky business, leave alone going for a swim. However, it happened that on a particularly hot day one of the elephants decided he just had to cool off in the water. Carefully at first, Elephant tiptoed (if an elephant can tiptoe …) into the lake. Nothing happened and bravely he decided to frolic in the cool wetness for a while .

Now, you can imagine that this could not last long… and suddenly there was a big, painful tug on Elephant’s leg and Elephant knew he was in real trouble. He tried to shake off the vicious teeth, but to no avail, and worse: Crocodile was pulling Elephant down into the water.     Elephant knew that there was only one hope: When in real need, call on God…and he began to sing: “Oh God, you are the only one who can help – the only hope – otherwise I will be lost …” On and on Elephant sang, louder and louder, knowing that this was his last refuge.

 Well, the Lord in his celestial palace was relaxing with his consort Lakshmi,   but the intensity of Elephant’s plea vishnu.jpgwas so powerful that it could not be ignored… He jumped up, telling his consort: “I have to go, leave now; one of my devotees is in real trouble…” And he took off running, without shoes, without his cloak… Garuda, his faithful mount followed, “Lord … please… wait and sit on me so I can fly you to wherever you have to go. I am here for this purpose.”

But the Lord replied: “No, no, I have no time to sit; it is already getting very late” and he continued to speed away to the rescue of Elephant.

In due turn, the elephant being safe now, the Lord returned to his heavenly abode, trying to relax after the emergency.

But Lakshmi confronted him and complained: “What is this, you leave me with barely an explanation to rescue an elephant? A simple elephant is more important to you than I am?” She really was quite upset.

The Lord replied: “My dearest consort, this was not just a simple elephant, but a most sincere devotee who called me out of pure love. Understand that my true dwelling place is not just my heavenly abode Vaikuntha, nor just the heart of yogis but in the heart of every true devotee. Whenever my devotees call me, I am there.”

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