The story of Dhruv appears in the Shrimad Bhaagvad.
It is written that he who reads or/and listens to the story of Dhruv, achieves devotion and his sorrows are destroyed.
Hindus have handed down, to their children stories pregnant with wisdom.
These are not only enthralling legends but enfold deep insights.
The story of Dhruv, is a very popular tale that illustrates fundamental religious beliefs through the triumph of a 5-year old, in the spiritual field.
The father of Dhruv was a king called Uttanpad, who was married to Suruchi and Suneeti.
The father had a special liking for his wife Suruchi.
Dhruv was Suneeti’s son.
Uttam was Suruchi’s son.
At this point I would like to point to you the meanings of the names of the queens.
Suruchi means (the desire to enjoy) what the senses ask for.
Suneeti means that which is correct.
Now you will not be surprised why the king had a weakness for Suruchi.
Anyway, to continue with the story, once Dhruv saw Uttam sitting on the father’s lap.
Little Dhruv asked his father to carry him, and give him a seat on his lap too.
This wish infuriated Suruchi who lashed out at the child, saying that he would acquire the right to sit on his father’s lap, only were he to perform penance and be born from her womb.
The humiliated little child ran to Suneeti and fighting back tears of anger, recounted what had transpired, to his mother.
The mother Suneeti consoled and instructed little Dhruv
She told him:
The little child set out for the forest.
He felt confident that no harm would befall him as he had with him, God and his mother’s blessings.
A person who leaves home with blessings, is bound to meet a godly person who will guide him.
Sure enough Dhruv met Naradji.
The deserving do not need to search for a guru. The latter is found at the right time, in the right spot; and a true disciple recognizes him instantly.
Naradji dissuaded Dhruv from undertaking such a difficult task. Naradji told Dhruv:
"You are young, you should be spending your time playing…even great sages have not achieved the Almighty…"
But Dhruv was adamant.
Naradji taught Dhruv, the technique of prayer and asked him to chant the following mantra:
‘Om namo Bhagvade Vaasudevaaya’
The Tapasya (Penance) of Dhruv
For the 1st month he subsisted on fruit and meditated for 3 days at a stretch.
For the second month, he meditated for 6 days at a stretch.
For the 3rd month, Dhruv meditated for 9 days at a stretch and subsisted on only leaves.
For the 4th month, he meditated for 12 days at a stretch and subsisted on only water from the Yamuna River.
For the 5th month Dhruv meditated for 15 days at a stretch, and renounced water as well.
By the 6th month Dhruv decided that he would stay put in the same position until the Lord appeared.
Impressed by the perseverance of Dhruv the Lord remarked that He was proceeding to Dhruv.
More to honor Dhruv rather than to be honored by him.
As the Lord stood in front of Dhruv, the latter did not open his eyes as he was already seeing the Almighty within his own heart.
The Lord made the form that Dhruv was witnessing within himself, disappear!
Dhruv became restless and opened his eyes…and Lo and behold, God was standing outside!
Dhruv recognized not only the physical aspect of the Lord but also all his hidden attributes of the Almighty! He exclaimed:
"You are also within me! You are the one that makes my senses come alive! You are responsible for inspiring my intellect! You have the power of saving man from the cycle of Life and Death! You are capable of fulfilling all desires…and yet men ask of you that which will be the cause of their destruction! One can achieve You only by Your Grace! My desire is that I have the good fortune of listening to the ‘Katha’ (Devotional narrative) rendered by Your true devotees! (Note that Dhruv did not express the desire of hearing the ‘Katha’ from scholars or intellectuals).
When the Lord insisted that Dhruv ask for a boon, Dhruv asked for that which the Lord wished to give him.
The Lord’s wish was that Dhruv should return to the kingdom.
God wanted to establish the fact that God also gives material wealth to his devotees.
When Dhruv expressed his fear that he might get ensnared by the grip of the power that material wealth bestows, the Lord promised to protect him always.
The Lord knew that Dhruv had started his penance because he had wanted to sit in his father’s lap.
Dhruv was transported to the highest point of heaven, where he sits on his Divine father’s lap as the Pole Star.
The moral of the story is that at one point or another of our life we all encounter situations that are unfair. Instead of focusing on our misfortunes, we should turn to our Divine Father who will give us what we deserve, and turn us into a bright star which will guide misguided spiritual pilgrims to their final divine destination.
Dal Sabzi for the Aatman
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