(We recommend readers analyzing this deep story with help of elders. We present it only from Morals perspective.)
Of the four ways, Saamam, Daanam, Bhedam, Dandam, to teach a person what is good and what is bad, this story tries to teach by the Upaayam of “Daanam”. This story shows what great Punyam a person gets if a person does a particular good deed.
Once Gautama maharshi was doing Tapas in an aranyam. One day he saw a white baby elephant, who got separated from her mother. He took pity on it and started looking after her. Day-by-day she grew old.
One day a King by name “Dhrutaraashtra” came to Gautama maharshi and asked the maharshi to give the Gajam to him. Gautama maharshi said “I am looking after her as my own putra, it gaurds my aashramam when I am not there, it brings me Darbha etc. for me to use in Yagnyam. I cannot give it to you”. Dhrutaraashtra replied “Why do Munis need Gajam (Gajam represents Aishvaryam)? I will give you many Gomaatas (cows) and how much ever Svarnam you need”.
“She doesnt have a mother. I only raised her from childhood. Even if you give me 10000 Gomaatas, I cannot leave it” said Gautama maharshi. “I am a King and a King requires Gajam, so give it to me” replied Dhrutaraashtra. Then Gautama maharshi said “Let us go to Yama-sabha. There we will know what is Nyaayam”.
Dhrutaraashtra: Naastikas, Paapaatmas go there. Why me?
Gautama Maharshi: Then we will go to Yamadharmaraaja, He is the Samavarti.
Dhrutaraashtra: People who do rakshana of their sisters, parents go to Him. I wont come.
Gautama Maharshi: Shall we go to Gangaa-teeram?
Dhrutaraashtra: People who eat after feeding Atithis go there. Why will I come?
Gautama Maharshi: We will go to Naarada Maharshi’s Vihaara-sthalam. Apsaras, Kinneras also will be there.
Dhrutaraashtra: People who do Devata-archana with Sangeetam and Nrutyam go there. I wont come.
Gautama Maharshi: or shall we go to Uttara-Kurubhuumi? All Devetas will be there. Devendra will give all shubhas, varams there.
Dhrutaraashtra: People who dont have any Kaamam and dont do Himsa go there. Why me?
Gautama Maharshi: Ok. Lets go to Chandra Mandalam.
Dhrutaraashtra: People with Shaanta-buddhi and always do Daanam go there. It is not possible for me to come there.
Gautama Maharshi: Suurya Mandalam? Lets go.
Dhrutaraashtra: Tapas, Svaadhyaayam. People who do these go there.
Gautama Maharshi: What about going to Varuna deva?
Dhrutaraashtra: People who do Agni-hotram and Yaagas can go there.
Gautama Maharshi: or shall we go to Devendra?
Dhrutaraashtra: Shuuras, Somayaajis, people who live for 100 years go there. I will not come.
Gautama Maharshi: We will go to Prajaapatya Lokam.
Dhrutaraashtra: It the place for people who do Ashvamedha Yaagam.
Gautama Maharshi: Will you come to Golokam?
Dhrutaraashtra: People who go to Teerthas, did Brahmacharya-vratam go there. I cant come.
Gautama Maharshi: Ok. Brahma-sabha?
Dhrutaraashtra: People who are Asanga and know Aadhyaatma-vidya go there. I cant even think about it.
Gautama Maharshi: “Mahaanubhaava! Now I came to know who You are. You are Devendra. Who else will know which Punyaatmas go to which Lokam”? Saying Gautama Maharshi did Namaskaaram to Devendra.
Devendra: “Arya! Will I separate you from this Gajam, which you like so much? If I come in disguise even Devatas cannot recognize Me. Since you are a Mahaanubhaava, you were able to recognize Me. Both you and Gajam come to Svarga-lokam and accept My aatithyam”. Gautama Maharshi and the Gajam then went to Svargam.
Dhrutaraashtra — itself means one who wears a Shariiram. So this story tells us that one must do atleast some of these Punya Kaaryas in one’s life time, else there will be no Urdhva-loka Praapti and Pragati towards Moksha-saadhana.
Search Terms: Gauthama, Indra