By Swami Harshananda
Gajāsura literally means ‘the demon in the form of a gaja or elephant’.
Gajāsura was the son of Mahiṣāsura, the demon in the form of a bison. Mahiṣāsura was ultimately killed by the goddess Durgā. Gajāsura pleased Śiva with his austerities performed with devotion and secured several supernatural boons.
Armed with these powers, he started harassing the gods in heaven. They urged to Śiva for succor and protection. Śiva challenged Gajāsura for a duel. Gajāsura surrendered with the condition that Śiva should wear his skin as his apparel after killing him. Śiva obliged him by doing so. Hence Śiva also became famous with the names as Gajacarmāmbaradhara, Nāgacarmadhara, Kṛttivāsa, Gajaghna (the killer of Gajāsura) and so on.
- ↑ Gajacarmāmbaradhara is the wearer of the skin of Gajāsura as his dress.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore