Famous Elephants

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Hindus believe that there are eight Sacred Elephants posted at Eight Cardinal Directions. So they are called Ashta Dik Gajas. They are : East- Airavata, South East—Pundarika, South—Vamanam, South West—Kumudam, West—Anjanam, North West—Pushpadantam, North—Sarvabhaumam, North East—Supra Deepam .

(தமிழில் அஷ்ட திக்கஜங்கள்: ஐராவதம், புண்டரீகம், வாமனம், குமுதம், அஞ்சனம், புஷ்பதந்தம், சர்வபௌமம், சுப்ரதீபம்)

Krishna’s Encounter with elephant

When Krishna was invited by Kamsa, along with his brother Balarama, to a wrestling bout, he arranged an intoxicated elephant at the gate of the arena. The two brothers saw the elephant at the gate, with the rider at the top; and the rider suddenly marched on to the brothers. Krishna, having accepted the challenge, broke the tusks of the elephant and hurled the elephant into the air. It was killed instantaneously. Its name was Kuvalaya Peetam.



Kanchi Sankaracharya’s encounter

Source:-A book on Paramacharya by name Ganni by Sri Sudarsananda-published by Sri Bhagavat Seva Ashramam,TriplicaneApril 1986.

Once when Periyava (Shankaracharya) was camping at a place PUCHAMALAIKKUPAM, the shed where the Mutt's elephant was kept got fire and the elephant broke its chain and ran away. Next day morning the employees of the mutt noticed that the shed where the elephant was kept was burned down fully and the elephant was missing. Later it was found that the elephant was near a tank some five miles away and the mahout went there to fetch the elephant but the elephant refused to accompany him despite great efforts. Then Periyava went there and the elephant slowly got up from the tank and came near Swamiji and saluted him. There were few burns on the body of the elephant. Swamiji patted the elephant with HIS own hand and ordered that proper treatment for burns should be done.

On another occasion also, when the elephant refused to move, Swamiji was informed. He came patted the animal lovingly. The elephant acted normally from the minute Swamiji touched it. Others were too scared to go near the elephant.