“The glory of the Gita”
by Shankaracharya | 1882 | 15,550 words
English translation of the Gita-mahatmya. This book represents a conversation between Shiva and his consort Srimati Parvati. It is Lord Shiva’s glorification of the Bhagavad-gita. Alternative spellings of this book include: Bhagavad-gītā-māhātmya (भगवद्गीतामाहात्म्य)...
Lord Shiva said, "My dear Parvati, you have heard the unlimited glories of the Sixteenth Chapter of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. Now kindly hear the nectarine glories of the Seventeenth Chapter of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā.
King Khadgabahu's son had a servant by the name of Dushasana who was very crafty and exceptionally foolish. Dushasana made a bet with the prince that he could ride the elephant, at which time he jumped upon the elephant. After going a few steps, the people there started requesting him not to ride that dangerous elephant. But foolish Dushasana started to prod that elephant and used strong words to urge him on. Suddenly, the elephant became very angry and started to run wildly here and there. Unable to hold on, Dushasana fell to the ground. The elephant stomped on him and Dushasana died. After that he attained the body of an elephant in Simhaladvipa, where he stayed in the king's palace.
The king of Simhaladvipa was a close friend of King Khadgabahu. One day the king of Simhaladvipa decided to send that elephant as a present to his friend, King Khadgabahu, who in turn presented that elephant to a poet who had pleased him with his beautiful poetry.
Thereafter, that poet sold that elephant for one hundred gold coins to the king of Malva. After some time, that elephant contracted a terminal disease. When the elephant-keepers saw that the elephant had stopped eating and drinking, they reported the matter to the king. When the king found out, he went to the place of the elephant, along with the best of doctors. At that time, to the surprise of that king, the elephant started to speak. "My dear king, you are very pious and a strict follower of the Vedas. You always worship the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu. So you should know, that at this time, these medicines and doctors will be of no use. Neither any kind of charity or sacrifice will help at the time of death. If you care for me and want to help me, then bring someone who daily recites the Seventeenth Chapter of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā."
As requested by that elephant, the king brought one great devotee who regularly recited the Seventeenth Chapter of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. That devotee, while chanting the Seventeenth Chapter, sprinkled water on the elephant, at which time he gave up his elephant body and attained a four-armed form similar to that of Lord Vishnu. He immediately sat down in a flower airplane, which had been sent to take him to Vaikuntha. While sitting in that airplane, the king inquired from him about his previous birth. Dushasana, after telling him everything, left for Vaikuntha, after which that best of men, the king of Malva, started regularly reciting the Seventeenth Chapter of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. After a short time he attained the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.