(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 02 August 2017, Radhadesh, Belgium, Srimad Bhagavatam 8.4.5-6)
In the pastime of Gajendra, the elephant, (Srimad Bhagavatam, canto 8, chapters 2-4) the first significant point is that Gajendra managed to attract the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by chanting a mantra. He remembered the mantra from a previous life during this time of the extreme distress that he was going through when a crocodile was attacking his leg, and that cut through the layers of the fog of ignorance! This prayer, from his previous life, emerged and this is what attracted the Lord’s mercy. It was not that Gajendra was completely perfect. It was not that he had completed the process of sadhana bhakti to a point that there was no trace of ignorance or no trace of conditioning left. Rather, he was still in a covered stage to a degree but he had engaged in devotional service sufficiently to attract the mercy of the Lord and afterward, he was touched by the Supreme Lord and that purified him of all the remaining contamination.
So I find this very encouraging and significant to note because the same principle applies to us – where one has not necessarily attained full perfection. It is not that we have to be cent percent free from the three modes of material nature in order to attract the mercy of the Lord. So many times we think, “Oh, I have all these impurities and he has those impurities and therefore how can we go back to Godhead!?” But here, we see that it does not entirely work like that. It is not that one has to be cent percent pure; rather one has to attract the mercy of the Lord.