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.
Ravana Shaking Mount Kailasa
Ravana shaking Mount Kailasa is a very popular scene to be depicted on the fronton, lintel, and decoration walls of Angkorian Temples in Siem Reap. One who knows about the story of this scene would find the carvings to be more interested.
This Hindu mythology is starting after Asura Ravana has taken over Langka island from the God of Wealth, Kubera, to be his own, when he flow his chariot towards foot of Himalaya Mount. There was a beautiful garden and his chariot was stuck that he couldn’t go on his journey. At there he met a little monkey, Nandikesvara, who stopped him and not allow him to passed Mount Kailasa claiming that Mount Kailasa was home of Lord Shiva.
Ravana was very angry, he lifted up Mount Kailasa and start shaking. The whole mount was shaking, birds, monkeys, lions, elephants, tigers, and all the forest animals were frighten. Hermits, who were doing meditation, were also very fearful. Uma, Shiva’s consort, was shock as well and asked her husband to stop the shaking.
Lord Shiva knew about the situation and he put one of his leg fingers on the ground, immediately the shaking was stop and Ravana was under the mountain. By his anger, Lord Shiva stored Ravana under Kailasa Mountain for a thousand years.
After apologized to Lord Shiva, Ravana had been released and received a magic sword from Lord Shiva before returning to Langka.
The Khmer carvings about Ravana shaking Mount Kailasa is always depicted Ravana with multi-headed and multi-hand. The most beautiful pediments of this scene is at Banteay Srei Templein Siem Reap, which the carving is very outstanding. Uma, Shiva’s consort, was also frighten that she seated on her husband’s thigh and hold him tight. Shiva is showing no fear and ready to stop the problem.