Elephant in scriptures, mythology, epics and Reality :
Elephants are the biggest Land Mammal and VEGETARIAN too.
Lord Ganesha – Greatly revered Indian deities and the Lord of Wisdom - bears an elephant head. The elephant head symbolizes great intellect and wisdom.
King of Gods Indra is believed to have a white elephant named Airavat as his vehicle. Elephants used to be symbol of royalty – Emperors and Kings used to ride during processions and in war on elephants.
White elephant is a religious symbol in Buddhism . Buddha’s mother dreamt of a white elephant. And then the preacher of peace Gautam Buddha was born.
In epic MAHABHARATA, an elephant named Ashwatthama (incidently the same name as the name of Son of Dronacharya- revered teacher of Kaurvas and Pandavays) is at the centre of a turning point. Kaurvas and Pandavas fighting in battle of Kurukshetra, an innocuous lie in the middle of battle announcing Ashwatthama was dead, actually meant to dishearten Kaurvas army commander Dronacharya, by creating impression that his son was dead, where in fact , it was the elephant that had got killed. However this Startegic announcement had the desired effect of lowering Kaurava’s army commander morale, and hence weakening their army battle position.
In Islamic tradition, the year 570, when the Prophet Mohammad was born, is known as the Year of Elephant. In that year, as recounted in the Muslim sources, Abraha, ruler of Yemen (most likely a viceroy for the Axumite of Ethiopia), sought to conquer Mecca and demolish the Kaaba, reportedly in retaliation for the previous Meccan defilement of a cathedral, Abraha had constructed in Sana’s. He launched an expedition of forty thousand men, led by a white elephant named Mahmoud (and possibly with other elephants - some accounts state there were several elephants, or even as many as eight). However, his design was foiled when Abraha's elephant reportedly refused to cross the boundary of Mecca and sat down. It could not be persuaded otherwise, either by reason or violence. The accounts state that if the elephant was turned towards Syria or Yemen it would walk without hesitation, but when it was turned towards the Kaaba it would kneel on its knees as if it would adore the city that its master was intent on destroying. "Al-Fil" ("The Elephant") - 105th Sura (chapter) of the Koran - commemorates this event with the verse: "Hast thou not observed how thy Lord dealt with the owners of the Elephant? Did He not bring their stratagem to nought?"
……..and the REALITY is…
A regional political party in India – the Bahujan Samaj Party - has an elephant as its election symbol. During their rule, lot of Public money poured into constructions of Massive stone parks, with long arrays of elephant statues. The constructions Look grand… and can be said to add another Tourist attractions in Lucknow….. but
THE DOCILE & HUMBLE ELEPHANT IS WOUNDED .
Photos by - Kuldeep Singh
Source of Facts - Internet