“Elephants are mighty and gentle. Although gigantic in size, they tend to mind their own business instead of messing around. There is a reason why even the mightiest of beasts do not bother to hunt them. For hunting elephants, there needs a deception of utmost nature. Lions hunt the elephant in pride and attack it from its rear. If the deception fails, the retaliation for the hunter is catastrophic. Elephants then won’t rest until justice is served. Rishis (Sages), like elephants, must often mind their own business. We must not bother others, not because we cannot, but because that is not Dharma. But when our peace is threatened, we must do everything within our capacities to crush our adversaries. We must be softer than a lotus petal, but in times of adversity, we must be harder than the diamond.”
Jamadagni’s talisman to his son Parashurama.
Art & translation by yours truly