Once Gajendra was taking bath joyfully in a lake along with his complete and large family members. He did not observe the crocodile approaching him, as he was so immersed in his enjoyment. Slowly the crocodile approached him, caught hold his leg and was also trying to pull him down.
Therefore the war between the two strongest animals started. The elephant is the strongest animal on the land whereas Crocodile is very powerful in the water. But elephant cannot be powerful in the water as crocodile.
So Gajendra started praying the Divine source for the help to release his foot from the powerful grip of the crocodile. Then immediately he gathered the strength and pulled the crocodile out of water with his rigorous effort. As crocodile looses its power out of the water, it had released Gajendra's foot within seconds.
Finally he escaped from the crocodile's harder bite, as he was released from his bad karma by understanding the situation and responding to it with the light of knowledge (crocodile loose its power out of the water), without wasting energy by reacting.
This is not just a story about an elephant and a crocodile. It is about many of us who waste energy by reacting to the situations without responding.
This kind of nature develops because of the borrowed mind developed by the ego and fear.
We are surrounded by many illusions. We may get pleasure and joy, like Gajendra gets while bathing in a river. But everything should be in a balance. If we involve ourselves very deeply into it without the awareness of reality like Gajendra, then we may get trapped by the crocodile like Ego.
But in such a trapped situation, if we just get an awareness of the reality and trust our knowledge, then we can find 'n' number of ways to come out of it, like Gajendra overcame the situation without reacting.
Real maturity is, to understand and accept the challenge, which leads to find the way to overcome it by responding instead of reacting.
This story is taken from the Hindu scripture, Sri Bhagavad Purana. And the story name is known as Gajendra Moksha, which means Salvation to the king of elephants.
The stories illustrated in the ancient past scriptures are not for entertainment. There was an in depth knowledge hidden in every epic.