ucchaihshravasamashvaanaam viddhi maamamritodbhavam |
airaavatam gajendraanaam naraanaam cha naraadhipam || 27 ||

 
Among the horses, know me as Ucchaihshrava born of nectar. Among the elephants I am Airaavata, and among the humans I am the leader.
 
ucchaihshravasam : Ucchaihshrava
ashvaanaam : among the horses
viddhi : know
maam : me
amritodbhavam : born of nectar
airaavatam : Airaavata
gajendraanaam : among the elephants
naraanaam : among the humans
cha : and
naraadhipam : the leader
 
We continue to learn about Ishvara’s expressions in this shloka. The Puranaas describe the story of deities and demons churning the ocean for gaining the nectar of immortality. Before the nectar came out, several other divine entities emerged and Ucchaihshrava, the divine horse, was one of them. “Uchhai” means great and shravas means prosperity. Symbolically, Ucchaihshrava stands for the prosperity we attain when we put in focused effort and renounce our material desires. Shri Krishna says that among all the horses, the divine Ucchaihshrava is Ishvara’s expression.
 
Airaavata is a four-tusked white elephant who is the mount of Indra, king of the deities. He is credited with showering rain. His mother is Iravati, grand daughter of sage Kashyapa. Given his status, Shri Krishna says that among all the elephants, Airaavata is Ishvara’s expression.
 
Next, Shri Krishna turns to more familiar grounds by referencing humans. Among human beings, he says that Ishvara expresses in the leader. But this is not just any ordinary leader. Ishvara expresses himself in leaders whose accomplishments are a product of their hard work and effort, and whose leadership is in line with dharma or righteousness. It is easy to get name and fame by virtue of association or by performing unrighteous acts. This is not the leader that is referenced here.
 
So whenever we see the result of hard work, a humanitarian leader, or the cooling rain that parches a dry land, we should remember that all these are Ishvara’s expressions.

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