Rukku stood at the Annamaiyar temple in Tiruvannamalai, blessing devotees with a caress of her trunk. She died a few days ago, only about 30 years old. Very young for an elephant.
I am selfish and wish I had had more time with her. Standing and swaying in her usual spot, she was a Vīta rāga vishayam for me. The yoga sutras say that the mind can attain a state of balance by contemplating on a pure and disturbance-free mind / object, a Vīta rāga vishayam. Alive, Rukku was this point of concentration for me. One can stand for long, just looking at her. About an hour has been my longest. Wish I had had more hours with those wise, wise eyes that took in everything around, that seemed to know exactly what's what.
She would go missing for a couple of months in a year, when she went to the annual camp for elephants at Bandipur. I used to miss her a lot then and stare at the empty space where she would stand. But I imagine she would have been having a joyful time with all her other elephantine friends. They are such social animals and would completely immerse and bask in the elephantlove at their camp.
I believe that she knew I stood there watching her. Perhaps my whimsy. But one that I would like to keep. I will now have to see how much of her I have in me that I can meditate on without her alive presence. I will miss Rukku.