Friday, November 02, 2012

12.  Dhruva.

Manu had two sons, Priyavrata and Uttanapada, who ruled with the blessings of Hari. Uttanapada had two wives, Sunithi and Suruchi. Uttanapada always had a liking for his younger wife, Suruchi and not Suniti. Dhruva was the son of Sunithi.
Once, Uttanapada was fondling Suruchi's son Uttama on his lap and Dhruva too sought to climb on to his father's lap. Suruchi rebukes him: 'Pray to the Supreme Lord and seek to be born as my son, to covet the King's throne.'  Stung by the words, the young boy, wailing, runs to his mother, Suniti. Suniti consoles her son 'Dear child, do not bear any grudge on your step-mother, as she speaks the truth. Worship with single minded devotion Lord Vishnu, who is our only refuge, if you aspire for the royal throne.' 
The five year old boy Dhruva, determined, leaves for the forest. Narada, admiring his kshatriya spirit, decides to guide the boy in his mission. 'Seek the Madhuvana on the banks of Yamuna and begin your austerities. Purify yourself and contemplate with a steady mind the auspicious form of Srihari. Utter the mantra 'Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya' repeatedly.'
Dhruva, clear of what he should do, begins his penance.
Narada also assures King Uttanapada about his son Dhruva's fixed goal, and how he is destined for greatness in a short time.
Dhruva's penance for about six months is very severe. In the first month he eats fruits once in three days. Second month he subsists on dried leaves and grass, third month on water. Fourth month he only inhaled air. Fifth month, he stands motionless on one foot, his mind concentrated on the form of Vishnu.  Sixth month, he stops his breath too. At this point the devas feel choked and appeal to Lord Vishnu, who assures them that he would deter the young boy from his penance.  Vishnu, eager to meet his devotee, rushes on his vehicle, Garuda to Madhuvana.
Dhruva meditating on Vishnu's form suddenly finds that the form has vanished from his mind's eye. He opens his eyes to see the same dazzling form before him.  He stood with folded hands, not knowing what to do.  He just kept looking, as though drinking with his eyes. Hari, perceives that Dhruva wants to extoll him, but did not know how. He graciously touches the boys cheek with his divine conch, which represents knowledge, gnana.  Instantly blessed with divine speech, Dhruva hails Vishnu in glorious terms, called the Dhruva stuti.  The Lord bestows on him the everlasting abode as the Pole star. The entire stellar sphere of planets and lunar mansions and stars stands fastened to it. Besides, he will also have a long and righteous rule on earth.  Vishnu disappears.
Dhruva was filled with remorse, having desired the sovereignty of the world, from the Lord of Mukti. He returns to his father's kingdom to a grand reception. As ordained, he is crowned king in due course and rules according to the laws of dharma. He eventually gives the throne to his son Utkala and leaves for Badarikashrama. 

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Srimad Bhagavatham