Hindus have worshiped the elephants for many centuries. When Hindus worship the elephant, it is not the animal itself that they are worshipping, but rather, what it represents – obedience to the dharma (the master’s call), ability not to repeat past mistakes, and respect and care towards their peers.
A perfect disciple acts like an elephant. He devotes complete obedience to the master, his eyes are small, as he does not use the eyes of the physical body, but the eyes of the spirit. He has large ears, as he listens more than he speaks. He informs all the others about the dangers he encounters in his path towards enlightenment, and finally, when he needs to accomplish a certain task, physical pain, tiredness, hunger and thirst are no obstacles for him. Great men in history were elephants, they did not fear, and yet, they were docile.
Unlike Buddhists, Hindus represented a philosophical/theological concept through images. The image of the elephant, then, was used to represent all attributes and characteristics that a perfect disciple should have.