Gajendra Moksham – A Bharatanatyam Recital of Surrender and Salvation

April 15, 2019
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As a kid, every one of us would have relished the aura created by the mythological stories told by our grandparents such as virtuous Rama killing Thataka, fearless Krishna defeating Kalinga, interesting sibling fight between Ganesha and Muruga over a mango. However, the inner meaning and the relevance of those stories are only evident as we grow up & analyse the meanings that are to be drawn from such stories.

One such story is that of Gajendra – the tale of the elephant and the crocodile. Though it sounds simple, there is a spiritual meaning behind this purana like any other. Bhavam Nrityalaya’s humble attempt to depict this Gajendra Moksha in a dance drama form ignited when we started going through the Narayaneeyam which was introduced recently to us by our family elders. Narayaneeyam is a summarized poetic form of the Bhagavatham by Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri. It condenses the Bhagavata Purana which has about 18,000 verses into 1034 verses in one hundred cantos or dasakams. Out of the 100 cantos, Gajendra Moksham is the 26th dasakam consisting of 10 slokas.

Gajendra Moksham is an important incident found in the Bhagavad Purana and it shows the importance of bhakti, prayer and true devotion. Gajendra, the Elephant, was Indradyumna, a King devoted to Lord Vishnu, in his past life.  Once, when the King was meditating, he was cursed to be an elephant in his next life by Sage Agastya as he was not received properly. But this became a benediction for him to see the Lord and attain Moksha, the salvation. When Gajendra is attacked by the Makara (crocodile), Gajendra tries to fight and win over him for about 1000 years only to realise that he was under the wrong impression that he was strong and could protect himself, but only Lord is the ultimate saviour. We must learn to surrender to the Supreme to relieve ourselves from the clutches of Maya. In simpler terms, it is so difficult to say in our daily lives why problems come, but we must try and develop an attitude to see them as a stepping stone for upliftment. It is through struggles & surrender that one can attain salvation.

The Gajendra moksham recital starts with the past story of Indradyumna and culminates in the surrender and salvation of Gajendra where he becomes one with the Lord. The verses for the recital have been picked up from Narayaneeyam and Srimat Bhagavatham. Choreography is by Smt. Deepa Bharath, music composed by Shri. Shriram and jathis composed by Shri. V.R.Chandrasekhar.

GAJENDRA MOKSHAM
  • 21st April, 2019, 10 am
  • Kalinga Cultural Center, Road No. 12, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad
  • Contact : 9676866059/ 9886749979

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