Lord Vishnu helps Gajendra Moksha – the elephant king
Kajendra Moksha is also one of Hindu mythology story which related to Lord Vishnu helps the elephant king, Gajendra Moksha. This story also has been depicted as decoration carvings of Khmer ancient temples in Siem Reap. The story goes that…
Trikuta was a beautiful mountain with thick forest, which was home of a group of elephants led by elephant king named Gajendra Moksha. One day in the hot season, a group of elephants with Gajendra Moksha to bath in a lake in order to release hot. Suddenly, a crocodile who lived in the lake bit Gajendra’s leg, caused him get stuck in the lake. He tried hard to rescue himself until he became weak, even with help from other’s elephant, he still couldn’t detach from the crocodile. Gajendra was hopeless and thought that he would die soon. Suddenly, he remembered Lord Vishnu and called out to him for help.
Immediately, Lord Vishnu appeared on his mount Garuda and sent his Chakra to kill the crocodile for releasing Gajendra Moksha. As Chakra was touching the crocodile, it transformed into a Gandharva. Gajendra Moksha was saved. He sent a lotus flower to Lord Vishnu as paying gratitude to him. Then Gajendra Moksha became a human.
In fact, the elephant king Gajendra Moksha was a great king named Indradyumna. He was cursed by hermit Agastya to born as an elephant because the king did not respect him while he was visiting the king. And the curse will be ended only when he meet Lord Vishnu.
In the previous life, the crocrodile was a Gandharva named Huhu. One day, while he was taking shower in a lake, a hermit came to the lake for taking water. And Huhu was kidding with him by pulling his leg. However, the hermit was not ready to be joking with him, so he cursed Huhu to become a crocodile to live in that lake. Huhu asked him for forgiveness, but the hermit refused and told him that the curse will be released as long as the Chakra of Lord Vishnu touches his body.
So in the same time of saving the elephant king Gajendra, Lord Vishnu also helped end the curse of Huhu to finish his life as a crocodile.
Lord Vishnu defeated Madhu and Kaitabha
This was the mythology legend of Hindu about Vishnu. The legend began when Lord Vishnu was sleeping on his mount, Ananta, in the middle of the ocean of milk waiting for creating the universe. While he was sleeping, a lotus sprouted out from his navel with Lord Brahma seated on the lotus flower and trying to create the universe. Meanwhile, there was a twin Asuras, Madhu and Kaitabha, also born in the same time with Brahma from the ears wax of Lord Vishnu.
Madhu and Kaitabha got a wish from Goddess Devi
This twin Asuras decided to meditate in order to grant a wish from Goddess Devi. As the result, one thousand years later the twin Asuras success with their meditation and the Goddess Devi appeared in front of them.
The Devi said “I am glad with your fulfill worship to me” she added “I would grant you a wish of whatever you want and the wish will become true”. The twin Asuras was very happy and granted a wish to Goddess Devi that they could die whenever they choose to die only”. Devi replied with smile after she heard a wish from the twin Asuras. “Your wish will become true and your strength also increased. Especially no one could defeat you even all Devas, Asuras or Human.”
After got a wish from Goddess Devi, the twin Asuras claimed themselves as strongest being in the universe. One day, they saw Lord Brahma seat on a lotus and asked him to combat with them.
Lord Brahma, The creator of the universe, knew about their strength and that he has no ability to defeat them. So he suggested that only Lord Vishnu could be the one who defeated them. Then, Lord Brahma tried to wake Lord Vishnu up many times but he still couldn’t. He thinks about the Goddess of Sleep to help him to wake Lord Vishnu up. As the result, Lord Vishnu woke up and listened to Lord Brahma about the twin Asuras who called him to combat.
Lord Vishnu replied to Lord Brahma with smile that “Don’t worry Brahma, leave your worry to me. I surely can defeat them.”
The battle between Lord Vishnu and the twin asuras
The battle between the twin Asuras and Lord Vishnu began and continued for five thousand of years with the result of no one could defeat the opponent. Lord Vishnu, the universe’s protector, was very surprised with the strength of the twin Asuras that he has no ability to defeat them. At last, Lord Vishnu knew that they were received a grant by Goddess Devi. Lord Vishnu started to pray to Lord Devi to seek for the way to kill the twin Asuras. Goddess Devi replied to Lord Vishnu that this twin Asuras could be killed by using a trick.
In the battle again, Lord Vishnu shouted loudly to claim himself as a strongest man who would be win this battle. He continued with his braveness, he would offer a wish to the twin Asuras if they want and the wish would become true.
The twin Asuras laughed loudly after listened to Lord Vishnu. Madhu and Kaitabha also claimed themselves as the winner of the battle. They replied to Lord Vishnu that “the winner is the one who offer a wish to the loser, how can the loser offer to the winner?” Then they asked Lord Vishnu to grant a wish from them if he want, and the wish would become true.
This was what Lord Vishnu waiting for. As the loser, Lord Vishnu said “I have a wish that the twin Asuras could be died in my hands now”.
It’s too late for the twin Asuras to know that it was a trick of Lord Vishnu. They had promise to grant a wish to Lord Vishnu and now they must keep their words. So they also asked Lord Vishnu for a grant before they die that they don’t want to die on water. Lord Vishnu replied with smile that “I respected to your bravery, I would let you both die on my thighs”.
End of his words, he fold the hair of the twin Asuras and put their head on his thighs then be-headed them.
In Khmer sculpture, Lord Vishnu always appeared in the middle of the twin Asuras by his two hands holding the Asuras hair and other two hands holding sword and Chakra. Each leg is stepping on the Asuras thighs.
The carving of this scene appeared in many Khmer ancient temple such as Banteay Samre Temple, Thommanon Temple, Pre Rup Temple. . .