(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 18 September 2012, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam Lecture)
Gajendra (the elephant in Srimad Bhagavatam, Chapter 8) realised that this material world in itself has no value. There may be so much enjoyment in the world but what is its value when all the enjoyment is temporary and can never fulfil the soul. It is never enough no matter how good.
Gajendra was thoroughly realised on this matter and therefore Gajendra was interested in the spiritual world, in going back to Godhead. It is for that reason that Gajendra made it into Srimad Bhagavatam because generally the Bhagavatam is not a book that describes the lives of animals but Gajendra became a role model, a personality of which we take shelter and from whose example we take inspiration.
This is what spiritual life is about – one must take shelter of exemplary personalities; we function like that. Alone, on our own strength, we cannot do so much. Therefore, we must take shelter of others who are doing greater things than we are as this gives us strength and inspiration.
This is a very important principle in spiritual life. The Srimad Bhagavatam gives us many examples of great personalities who chose for Krsna – under trying circumstances, they left material security and they just chose for Krsna. This is also our situation because ultimately, this material world is the domain of death and therefore everyone in the material world is in a dangerous position therefore we too must choose for Krsna.