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Symbolism: In Buddhism the elephant is a symbol of mental strength. At the beginning of one's practice the uncontrolled mind is symbolized by a "gray elephant" who can run wild any moment and destroy everything in his way. After practicing Dharma (spiritual teachings) and taming one's mind, the mind which is now brought under control is symbolized by a "white elephant", strong and powerful, who can be directed wherever one wishes and destroy all the obstacles in his way.
Ven. Jampa Choskyi
Please note that there is a free e-book on the Buddhist ~ Taoist eBook page that accompanies this teaching below; It is called "The Essence of Tibetan Buddhism" by Lama Yeshe.
The Three Principal Aspects of the Path - Lama Yeshe, Part 1
The Three Principal Aspects of the Path - Lama Yeshe, Part 2