Observe the night sky, you will see millions of stars shining brightly. It is a beautiful sight. We feel like counting them, don’ t we? But we know that it is impossible. They are countless. In order to help us identify and remember them, they are divided into convenient groups. These groups are called constellations. Among such constellations, Dhruva Mandala is one. The constellation derived its name from Dhruva, a young devotee of Lord Narayana. It is always seen in the northern sky. Dhruva is a very bright star and is in the Centre of the constellation. In fact, it is
the most important star in the constellation. Many stars take birth, and in course of time, meet with their end just as human beings do. But the star Dhruva is immortal. The constellation, Dhruva Mandala, is a world by itself. We remember it in memory of the young devotee, Dhruva. His name has become immortal like the star itself a. he was very dear to Lord Narayana. He has attained a status equal to that of the Lord He is called one among Gods.
Lord Narayana’s devotees are called Bhagavatam. Bhakti or devotion to God means deep love for the Lord. Those who love the Lord more than anything else are bhagavathas. Among these bhagavathas Dhruva is one who shines like a star. He was a great devotee, even at a very young age. He performed tapas with the sole object of seeing the Lord. Srimona Narayana also loved him dearly. Dhruva’s and the Lord’s love for each other was just like the
love you and your mother have for each other; it was mutual.
Who is Dhruva?
We come across a number of persons with the name Dhruva. In your class you may have a few boys with the same name Ashtavasu, who was a Prajapati, had eight sons; one of them was called Dhruva. Vasudeva and Rohini had a few sons and one of them was Dhruva. The king of Kalinga, who fought on the side of Duryodhana, was named Dhruva.
The couple Anusha and VI raja had a son and his name was Dhruva. In this way a number of persons were famous by the name Dhruva. But w e are going to introduce to you the young devotee, Dhruvakumara. He was a very young boy,
but a great devotee of Lord Narayana.
Dhruvakumara was the son of Queen Sumathi. His father was king Uttanapada. Uttanapada was the son o f Swayambhu Manu, the father of the human. race, the first man to be born in this world. He was grandfather to Dhruvakumara. Such was the fame and name of Dhruva’s family. Dhruva had a step-mother by name Sorcha. She was the youngest queen of king Uttanapada. She had a son by name Utama. The king loved both his sons dearly. However Sorcha loved only her son and wanted him 0 succeed Uttanapada as king. Dhruva was only her step-son; hence she did not want him to succeed his father. Obviously, she was full of malice, jealousy and hatred.
One day king Uttanapada was sitting on the throne with Utama on his lap. Queen Sorcha was also near by. Just at
that time Dhruvakumara came there and0 desired to sit on his father’s lap. The king also wanted to make him sit on his lap beside Utama and play with both. But Sorcha hated Dhruva as he was her step-son. The king loved his young queen and at the same time, was scared of her temper. Looking at Dhruva and then at Sorcha, he did not dare to invite Dhruva on to his lap.
Go And Do Penance.
Suruchi looked at Dhruva with contempt and said, “Do you think you deserve to ascend the throne? Only my son
can do so. Go and meditate on God. Ask Him to give you the boon to be born as my son, only then can you sit on your father’s lap. And only as my son can you ascend the throne.” She used very harsh words indeed! Dhruvakumara became sad and went to his mother, crying. He told his mother all that his step-mother had said in the presence of his father. “Mother, I am very angry. I have been insulted. Step-mother told me that I am your son, not her’ s. She said that if I were born as her son, I could have sat on the throne. She ordered m e to go to the forest, perform
tapas and get a boon, so that I could be born as her son which would entitle me to sit on the throne. Mother, she spoke very harshly to me. Utama was sitting on father’s lap. I also wanted to do so. For that simple reason, she spoke so harshly. Father was just watching us, silently. He did not call me near him. Neither did he ask me to sit on his lap. He did not say a word to step-mother even after listening to such bad words from her. Step-mother is very bad, father is….” Thus Dhruva cried and sobbed inconsolably before his mother. Suneethi held her son in a loving embrace and wiped his tears. She placed him on her lap and kissed him endearingly. She had already come to know about the incidents from her daasis, her maidens-in-waiting She was, in fact, very angry. At the same time she was sad.
Suneethi was the elder queen and her son was elder to Utama and he had the right to become king. Knowing that she
was the younger queen and her son had no right to the throne, how could Suruchi talk s0 arrogantly? How was it that Dhruvakumara had no right to the throne? Let alone becoming king, did he not even have the privilege to sit on his father’s lap? What a wicked woman Suruchi was! Why had the king kept quiet and hurt the feelings of his young son? Was Dhruva not his son? Infect, he was the eldest son, wasn’t he? It was no wonder Dhruvakumara was crying.” As she began to think so, she too felt like crying. She was a very good mother, an_ excellent householder and a great queen. She knew that she should not encourage young children to get angry. She had to correct her son and direct him to the right path Respect for elders should be developed in young children’s minds. She wanted to advise her son properly and make him a noble young man.
Dhruvakumara was a_ kshatriya prince. Hence he had to be groomed to become a capable king. It was, however,
natural that in the present situation, he was unhappy with his father, angry with his step-mother and jealous of his brother. But as a mother, Suneethi thought it was her duty to first console her son, then teach him the necessities of learning good behavior. I n doing so, she thought that she should not lose her peace of mind. After all, her name was Suneethi! Accordingly, she gave good advice to her son on how to be a well-behaved and righteous person. She said:
Dear Child, she has spoken rightly
“My dear child, never get angry with anyone. Never use bad words against elders. Your step-mother has spoken to you for your good. Let me tell you that your father finds it embarrassing to call me his wife. I am really unlucky. To top it, you are born of such a mother. (Suruchi spoke the truth, in a way.) Had you been born of her, you would have been luckier. So now, try and get such a boon from Lord Narayana. He is mercy incarnate. Take refuge in Him
He is the only support and hope for people like you and me. Now stop worrying. Just meditate on Lord Narayana with devotion and you will be blessed.”
Dhruva felt very happy when he heard the loving arid encouraging words of his mother. Without wasting a single moment he left the capital and went towards the forest in search of Lord Narayana. He was still a five year old boy but very brave and determined. He vowed to return to the capital only after getting the Lord’s blessings.
On the way Sage Narada met him. The latter was both surprised and happy. Narada was a great tapasvi himself. He
was a great devotee of the Lord.
Narada blessed Dhruva as he stood before him. “What a young boy! His step-mother’s words has pierced deep into
his heart. He is on his way in search of God. He has no fear. It is really great” thought. He then preached to him
about devotion to God. He said,
“Dear child where are you going? Someone has insulted you and hurt you, it appears.? Dhruva was surprised to hear the Sage’s words. Kim tad Bhagwan Dhyana drishtam kim yogaradhanat?
?Your holiness, how did you know this? Was it through dhyan or through yoga? M y step mother put me to abject shame. I am deeply hurt. I cannot bear it,” he said.
Narada said, “My dear child, you are still young. At this age you should not think of honor and shame. Your mother
has spoken to you well. I know that you are going in search of God. But it is very difficult to achieve your objective through yoga. You can try it when you become a young man. Now go back home.
?Dear child, do not become angry wiith anyone or hate anyone. ‘Gunadhikanmudam lipsedanukrosham gunadhamat! Maithrium samanath.”
“You should feel happy when you see people better than yourself be merciful to people who are inferior to you and make friends with equals, do you understand? On no account should we hate others” said the sage.
Young Dhruva was a kshatriya, wasn’t he? Fighting, anger, adventure, perseverance were in his blood. He did not
like the sage’s words of advice. He had a great desire deep within himself. He said, “O holy sage, I must attain a position which m y father or grand father have not roached Please show me the way to achieve it.”
Narada was immensely pleased to listen to young Dhruva. At the same time he felt sorry for the boy. He said, “Your
mother has shown you the way. That is the best way. Pray to Lord Narayana with a single minded devotion.” He continued “Dear child, go to Madhava, it is on the banks of the river Yamuna. With a pure mind, meditate on Lord Narayana. Do you know how the Lord looks? He is exquisitely handsome and pleasing. He is four armed and has a jeweled crown on his head; he is lotus eyed and he is blue all over, blue as the sky. He has an attractive chain round his neck with the jewel Kaustubh as a pendant. He holds the conch, the wheel, the mace and lotus in his four hands respectively. He is draped exquisitely in yellow silk. He wears a golden girdle round his waist and tinkling bells round his ankles. He is always smiling and loves his devotees.”
“Dear child, have you heard what I have told you? You keep that holy figure of Lord Narayana in your mind and meditate on Him. On no account should you waver in your concentration. Do not think of any other thing. Forget all your anger shame and pain. Go on chanting ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’ and that will help| you to strenghten your mind and concentration. You understand?”
Left for the forest
As Dhruva heard the sage’s soothing words, his mind became purer and stronger. God’s image got fixed in his mind. He began chanting the Lord’s name and as he reached the place suggested by the sage, he found himself deep in
Dhruva’s penance had already started What a severe penance it was! What is this penance? Penance means concentration of the mind. It should be understood that to achieve this concentration one has to punish one’s body and senses. Only then can one achieve a control over the mind and realis high objectives. Dhruva was a very young boy. Still he began this severe ordeal. He bathed three times a day. He ate one bale fruit or berries once in three days.
This way he spent one month. In the second month he ate one fruit once in six days. Then he ate only leaves dropped
from trees. In the third month he drank water once in nine days. He spent one more month this way. Then for twelve
days in a month, he was able to achieve complete control over his breathing through the practice of pranayama. Finally, he stood on one leg ‘stanuriva achala’ – firm and straight like a tree. He had only one thing in mind and that is Lord Narayana. He gave up all other thoughts.
You might think that such a young boy, who had punished his body and mind so severely, must have lost all his strength. But it wasn’t so! On the other hand, Dhruva’s strength of mind had increased a hundred fold. It had become sharper, more stable and more determined. It had got fixed in the beautiful form of Lord Narayana as described to him by sage Narads. This was the result, the greatness of such devoted tapas. Such a result is the
secret of penance. You also must follow the same principle of concentration in your studies. Think of your subjects and focus on the topics of study. Forget everything else at such times, that all talk, play and mischief. If you study with concentration, you will be able to understand well. And. whatever you study in this manner gets firmly fixed in your mind. Such a manner of studying is also a kind of tapas or penance.
Sage Narada had thus helped Dhruva in his search for God. The holy sage had become his mantra – guru, that is, a guru who had initiated him into a powerful mantra.
What is a mantra? “Manatt tray ate mantra” – meaning that which protects us when we meditate on it and chant it
constantly is called a mantra. There are several holy and powerful mantras. ‘Aum’ is a one-lettered mantra; ‘Aum amah Shivaya’ is a_ five-lettered or a panchakshara mantra. Narada had initiated Dhruva into the Dwadashakshara
mantra, that is, a mantra with twelve letters. This mantra related to Bhargava Narayana is a very sacred one. If one learns and chants the mantra initiated by a Guru everyday with devotion, one’s mind gets purer and stronger. Fickleness vanishes in course of time. With a strong mind, one can then achieve anything one desires.
Our little Dhruvakumara desired to have darshan of Lord Sriman. Narayana. He meditated on the Dwadashakshara
mantra, “Om Namo _ Bhagavathe Vaasudevaaya.” On the face of it, this mantra means, “Obeisance to Lord Vasudeva”. Vasudeva, son of Vasudeva, is Sri Krishna or Lord Sri Hari Himself. But at the time of the present incident happening in Dhruva’s life when Dhruva met sage Narada, the incarnation of Lord Sri Krishna or even Lord Narasimha had not manifested itself. Then, who. is this Vaasudeva?.
Now, read the following hymn ‘Vaasanat Vaasudevaya Vaasitante jagatrayam Sarva Bhootanivaasosis Vaasudeva naawstut The hymn means, “Since he lives or dwells somewhere, he is Vaasudeva. Where does he lives He lives in all the three worlds heaven, earth and the nether world; that is, he lives above us, with us and below us. Not only that, he lives in everything that breathes – in plants, animals, tiny creatures of human beings. Thus He is omnipresent.
He makes no distinction between the rich and poor, small and big, man and woman. He protects all living beings – whether we are asleep, awake or dreaming. He knows everything we do, say or think about. Thatis why he is omniscient.
As we Said earlier, Dhruva wanted to have a darshan of the omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent Lord. He stood
meditating with single minded devotion, on such a great being, that is, Lord Narayana. His mind was filled with
thoughts of the Lord.
Sage Narada had already given him a vivid description of the exquisite form of the Lord, hadn’t he? Dhruva now
experienced the joy of actually seeing him in his own heart. What a bliss it was! He was immersed in this joyous and sublime experience. Dhruva’s face shone – the glow on his face increased a hundred fold. The world looked at the power of his tapas with wonder. It, in fact, trembled at his infinite strength. For a moment, the wind stopped blowing the Devas got scared. “If the boy goes on at this rate, what should happen to us?? They appealed t o Lord
All for the Best
The Lord spoke to them in soothing words. “Maa Bhaishta balam tepas duratyayannivartayishye.” “Do not get
frightened. All these happenings are the result of young Dhruva’s severe tapas. It will not do any harm to anyone. The world will derive great benefit from him. Very soon the entire world will come to know about a young tapasvi. What a young boy he is! Look at his unflinching devotion. He sees me in his own heart. He is so absorbed in his tapas that he is not aware of the world outside. He has forgotten why he began this severe penance. I have to go and wake him up from his trance. I am going to do it now. Meanwhile you go back to your divine abodes and perform your duties.” Thus assuring the Devas of His protection, Lord Narayana proceeded to the place where Dhruva was meditating. The Lord stood before young Dhruva. Suddenly Dhruva Kamara wondered how the Lord,
who had been seated in his heart till now, had disappeared from there? “Where has Sri Hari gone” he wondered and opened his eyes. The Lord, who was within him till now, stood in front of him. This meant that the Lord exists everywhere, both in us and outside us. His happiness knew no bounds at this revelation. He rolled on the ground
like a child. He got up, made obeisance to the Lord and simply stood staring at Him. He folded his hands in prayer. He could not speak a word. He wanted to pray, but he did not know how. The Lord was also happy to see the young devotee. He felt sorry for the confused state of the young boy. Gently, he touched the boy’s cheek with his conch which was filled with the divine sound of ‘aum’.
Dhruva was thrilled at the divine touch. Sacred words came out of his mouth. A mere five year old boy was able to chant in praise of the Lord with the fluency and ease of a great poet and devotee! What does this mean? Our being able to speak well, write poetry, sing – in short, all our activities take place by the grace of God. Your mother teaches you how to speak and sing. When you respond well, she listens and feels happy. God, who is both our father and mother, is also like that. It is only with his blessings that we learn all that we do. Hence, we should speak in
such a pleasant way as to make him happy. We should chant his name and pray to him. We should never speak bad words or tell lies. Don’t you agree? We are all children of God, aren’t we?
O God! obeisance to you
Young Dhruva began to praise the Lord in his sweet voice. “O great God, you have entered my person and made me speak by Your grace. You have put life into my limbs. You dwell in my person and that is why You are called Antharyami. It is You who has infused into my person the life force and therefore Bhagavathe. Om namo
Bhagavathe, Purushayatubhyam. O Paragon of virtues I prostrate before you.”
‘T derive bliss by praying to you. I get a lot of happiness by listening to the stories about you and your devotees. I cannot get that bliss from any other source. O Lord, grant me the good fortune to have the company of your devotees.
“You are forever protecting your devotees from any kind of harm. You feed and protect us just like a cow feeds and
protects its calf. You satisfy all our needs.”
Thus Dhruva? prayed in praise of the Lord. He did not ask for anything.
Doesn’t the Omniscient Lord know what his devotees? needs are? He said, ?Dear child, I am going to grant you the
highest and the best-position. No one has attained that position so far and it is immortal; even during a deluge, it remains in tact. All the planets and stars revolve round it. That is called the Dhruva nakshatra lokao. But I am not going of grant you that position immediately. You still have some duties to perform. So, go back to your palace. Your father will bequeath the kingdom to you. Rule over it happily. Perform all the yajnas and yagas necessary and make your subjects and me happy. Experience all the joys of life and then come to me. But, go back to your people.” So saying the Lord disappeared from there and went to Vaikunta’
Back in the palace, king Uttanapada was feeling miserable after Dhruva had left the palace. The guilt of neglecting Dhruva and being partial to Utama was eating into his mind. Queen Suneethi and the king were sad and worried that the young child must be suffering in the forest.
Sage Narada’ s words provided a beacon in the otherwise dark world. After initiating Dhruva to the hymn in praise of
the Lord, he had made for the palace of king Uttanapada. The king was filled with great sorrow after Dhruva had left the palace. Narada spoke to him; “O great king, why do you look sad? Something must be worrying you. What ails you? Tell me the cause of your worry.” The king told the sage everything about the cause of his worry. He said: “O holy Sage, I was totally immersed in the Maya of love for my younger queen, Suruchi. I committed a blunder. ‘ Suto me balakah nirvasita panca varshah sah matata.”” “My son is only five years old. I drove away my little son and
his mother and turned them orphans. I do not know where he has gone. He must be starving. He must be wandering about aimlessly or he must have already been gobbled up by wolves. Oh! My God, I am a Sinner of the worst order. I am very wicked. I have fallen prey to a woman’s charms. My loving son came running to me desiring to sit on my lap and I refused him. What a sad mistake I made!” He continued wailing.
Sage Narada was mercy incarnate. He had shown kindness to young Dhruva and now his heart melted when he saw the repentant king. He desired to see that everyone took the right path in life and was God fearing.
With this great objective, he would go round the three worlds continually playing on ‘Mahati ‘, his divine veena, praying to God. He would visit people in trouble and console them. He would advise them and suggest ways of solving their problems. He would encourage them to be brave and face troubles with equanimity.
Narada was also a great devotee of the Lord and one among the Maharishis. Such great people make holy places holier. Not only that, they influence us to perform our actions and duties in such a way as to make them beneficial to all. He initiated young Dhruva into the Narayana mantra and made him a great devotee. Now he spoke words of solace to Dhruva’s parents.
“O great king, do not grieve. Your son is not an ordinary person. Narayana, the God of gods, is protecting him. His fame will spread in all the three worlds. Infect, he is going to spread your name and fame in the world. By his commitment and devotion, he is going to achieve things which even the devas have found impossible. Dhruva
is definitely going to return to the kingdom. Do not worry.”
The king felt reassured by the words of encouragement spoken by sage Narada. The king, the two queens and Uttama were looking forward to the arrival of Dhruva. The auspicious moment came. They heard the good news that Dhruvakumara was returning home after being blessed by Lord Narayana. The day of Sage Narada’s words becoming true, approached. The whole kingdom was in a jubilant mood to receive the prince. “Our Dhruvakumara is coming!
The prince is coming! He is returning after seeing God in person!” The whole country was on its toes to welcome the prince.
The king was supremely happy. He was going to get back his son who had been away for a long time. The king did not even know whether his son was alive or dead. That lost son was returning to him now. He did not know how to express his happiness. The messenger who brought the happy news received an expensive chain of precious gems as a gift. The king travelled to the city’s outer limits in his chariot to welcome his beloved son. Suruchi, Suneethi and Uttama were by his side. The king welcomed his son with a long and loving embrace. Dhruva touched the feet of
his father, his mother and step mother. Suruchi had mellowed down now. She had repented for ill-treating Dhruva. She was eagerly looking forward to seeing him back in the palace. Words failed her and her voice trembled as a result of great happiness. She embraced Dhruvakumara blessing him saying, “May you live for ever, my child.? Uttama, who had not seen his brother for a very long time, felt happy. The brothers embraced each other lovingly. For queen Suneethi, it was the happiest moment in her life. She was the great mother who had motivated her son to perform tapas and please Lord Narayana. Her apprehensions and fear disappeared as she was overcome with joy.
The Child has come back:
The people of the capital city were greatly happy at the news that their prince was returning. Their lost prince was back. They were surprised at the great courage and devotion the little prince had. He had gone to the forest alone, performed tapas for a long time and finally had succeeded in seeing the Lord and getting blessed by Him. They could not believe their ears. They praised his great mother in glowing words. “She is really a blessed one,” they Said. Yes, the son who was lost, had been found again. It was a good fortune of the land. Their sorrow had ended. They celebrated Dhruva’s return in a fitting manner. The two brothers, Dhruva and Uttama, sat on the royal elephant and came to the palace. It was a grand procession. The whole city wore a festive look.
A number of years rolled by. As desired by the citizens and as advised b y the ministers, Dhruvakumara ascended the
throne. King Uttanapada had become very old. He was tired of worldly pleasures and decided renounce them. He left the palace for the forest as per traditional practice.
Dhruva was the emperor now. He had two wives by name Brahmi and Ela. From Brahmi he had two sons – Klapa and
Vatsara; from Ela, he had a son by name Utkala and a daughter. The two queens and four children gave the greatest
happiness to Dhruva. He ruled over his vast kingdom justly. But life is not a cup of joy all the time. Sorrow always follows happiness. It is the normal way of life on earth – a mixture of happiness and sorrow. It is like night following day. One cannot expect to be happy constantly. Even in a game there is victory and defeat. Hence one should never get bogged down by sorrow or bloat up when life is all smiles.
What was the sorrow which Dhruva’s family now experienced? As we know Dhruva had a brother and they loved each other deeply. He was an expert hunter. Once he went hunting on the slopes of the Himalayas. A Yaksha caught him and killed him. Unable to bear the sorrow, Suruchi died soon. We know that she loved her son dearly. She had dreams of her son becoming the king after Uttanapada. The king also loved her more than Suneethi. He had a soft spot for her. Suruchi dreams were woven round these thoughts – but that was a few years earlier. By not
allowing Dhruva to sit on his father’s lap, she had insulted him once. But, just see what happened.
Her husband had accepted vanaprastha and left for the forest. Her loving son had been killed by a Yaksha. On his return, after being blessed by Lord Narayana, Dhruva had become king. Do you understand the Meaning o f all. this? Everything happens according to. God’s wish. Therefore one should surrender to God, be humble and never desire for things against dharma. It is dharma that the eldest son should ascend the throne. Desiring Uttama to become the
king just because he was her loving son was wrong, wasn’t it? Insulting and humiliating a child like Dhruva was a
bigger mistake. Lord Narayana is the preserver of dharma. He Himself is dharma. He protects dharma on the earth.
He never lets His devotees down ‘Na me bhaktah pranashyati”. Lord Krishna himself has given confidence to His devotees in the Bhagwat Gita by assuring them that they would never be destroyed.
However, we should not be unkind to Suruchi. We should share the sorrow of the sad and untimely demise of her only son. We cannot point our accusing finger at anyone in this case. We know that Suruchi had reformed herself, hadn’t she? She had welcomed Dhruva heartily, embraced him with great love and had even blessed him. After all, God decides what is dharma and what is dharma. He protects those who deserve protection and punishes those who
deserve it. Therefore we should never abuse anyone and tread the wrong path. Only then can we become dear to God.
Now, let us return to Utama’s death at the hands of the Yaksha. We all know that Dhruvakumara was a Kshatriya, a great warrior and king. He was very angry with the Yaksha who had killed his brother Uttama. He got into his chariot and drove towards Alakavati, the capital city of Kibera who was the king of the Yaksha. It was on the slopes of the Himalayas. The Yaksha dwelt in that city. Dhruva laid siege on the city. There was a bloody battle. The Yaksha were great fighters. They sent a rain of arrows on Dhruva and enclosed him in them. The Siddhas and Sages were shocked. They said, “What a mishap! Dhruva is a great devotee of Lord Narayana. He is like the jewel of the Manu
clan. He must be hurt badly!”
But Dhruva was not an_- ordinary warrior. He was blessed by the Lord himself. Just as the sun pierces through
thick black clouds to come out, Dhruva also penetrated through the heap of arrows and came out looking brilliant and bright. He tore the Yaksha apart with his sharp arrows. The remaining fled for their lives.
A number of rakshasas, who were waiting for an opportunity, attacked Dhruva from all sides. Their number
swelled and thousands of them fell on him; Dhruva was alone. Sages who lived nearby came running, blessed Dhruva and encouraged him.” Emperor Dhruva, do not get scared. Lord Narayana Himself is going to protect you. You are going to be the victor. Pray to the Lord” they suggested.
With renewed vigour, Dhruva began to fight. He prayed to the Lord, and shot the Narayanastra a powerful missile. The Yaksha and rakshasas began to die in large numbers. Thousands of innocent yaks has died for no fault of theirs. Only one of the yaks has, who had killed Uttamakumara was guilty. But in a battle it is natural that innocents die. A war is highly destructive. Therefore, every effort should be made to prevent wars. People should not be provoked to resort to violence as it is a great sin. Moreover only young people die in wars. Small children and their mothers become orphans. Old people who lose their sons suffer badly due to lack of support. Therefore every effort should be made to prevent wars. Ahimsa Paramo dharmah \ Nothing is nobler than non-violence.
O Destructive War!
When Swayambhu Manu saw thousands dying on the battle field, he felt sorry for them. Was he not the grandfather
of Dhruva? He felt that he should prevent his grandson from indulging in unnecessary violence and_ bloodshed.
Along with a number of Sages, he rushed to the battlefield. He stood before Dhruva and said, “My dear grandson Dhruva, please stop this unnecessary killing and bloodshed. Anger is not good; it is the gate to hell. ‘Atma vatsa atiroshena tame dwarena papmana. Nasmatkulocitam tata nayam margohi sadhunam…..’ My dear Dhruva, it
does not befit your status to kill the innocent like this. It is not the path taken by good people. It is not wrong to have
great love for your brother. But because one Yaksha killed him is it proper for you to kill so many Yaksha? You are a great devotee of the Lord. You have endeared yourself to him even while you were very young. You are aware that God dwells in every living being. Being one of the greatest among his devotees, is it proper on your part to resort to violence of this magnitude? Tolerance among the elders, love among the children and friendly feeling among people of your age – these are the proper ways of good behavior. Lord Narayana would be pleased only when one behaves that way. Therefore, do not fall prey to anger. These Yaksha are the subjects of Kubhera and Kubhera is a friend of Lord Shiva. Kubhera would be angry at the unnecessary killing of this subjects. Do not therefore, earn his wrath.
That would result in the destruction of our clan. Listen to me and stop this fight.” His grandfathers words calmed down Dhruva. His anger subsided. “So be it” he said and he made obeisance to Manu and saw him off. If youngsters respect and follow the advice of elders, they in turn get respect from others.
Dhruva respected the words of wisdom of his grandfather. He stopped fighting. Kubhera came to know about the ceasefire and he was very happy. He came to the battlefield in order to congratulate Dhruva. Dhruva, on his part, folded both his hands to show respect to Kubhera.
Kubhera, the Lord of the Yakshas said, “O great Kshatriya hero, you have done a great thing by renouncing anger and
hatred. May God bless you. Lord Sri Hari is pleased with you. Please pray to him constantly. Now you ask for any boon and I will grant it. Then you may return to your kingdom. Rule over your land with peace and happiness.”
Kubhera was a great person. He was the Lord of wealth and the king of Yaksha. He had the strength of granting any boon. But what an ardent devotee of the Lord was Dhruva! He never had selfish desires. Infect, h e has been described as a ‘Mahabhagavat Mahamathih’ 1n the Bhagavathe itself. He folded his hands and said with great reverence, “Grant me the boon so that I get the strength to be always thinking of Lord Sri Hari. That strength can
get everything one desires and only that can help one cross the ocean of life successfully,”
Kubhera felt doubly happy to listen to Dhruva. He granted the boon which Dhruva asked for and went back to his
palace. Dhruva returned to his kingdom. He ruled over his land for a long time making his subjects happy. He performed a number of yajnas and yagas and pleased Sri Hari. He was a very cultured person. He sympathised with the poor and tried his best to raise their lot. He respected the elders. H e was a great devotee and righteous. He was like a father to his people. This way he ruled for thirty six years very happily. We have descriptions of his rule in the puranas. He made his son, Utkala, the king of the land and got ready to accept vanaprastha. H e left for Badarikashrama for performing tapas. He got so immersed in the thought of Lord Sri Hari that he even forgot himself.
Down came a plane
Lord Sri Hari was pleased with Dhruva’s strong devotion. A_ beautiful plane came from heaven and landed where
he was meditating. Lord Narayana’s servants were in it. Each had four arms. They were lotus eyed, dressed beautifully and had golden crowns on their heads. They wore earrings and chains. When Dhruva saw them, he was very happy; he folded his hands and began to chant in praise of Lord Narayana. They were also immensely pleased with Dhruva. The two were named Sunanda and Nanda. They said: |
?Dear Dhruva, we are the servants of Lord Sri Hari. He is the Lord whom you prayed to when you were just five years
old. He appeared before you and granted you boons. We have come here on His orders. We are going to take you near him, to a place called Vishnuloka. You can live there happily for ever. Even great Sages cannot reach the place.
You have earned the privilege of reaching the place as a result of your pure love for the Lord. None of your ancestors
have seen that world. It is the sacred dwelling place of Lord Maha Vishnu. It is the highest and the best of holy abodes. Come and get into this airplane and let us go there.” |
Dhruva felt very happy when he heard the sweet words of the divine messengers. He had a bath and put on fresh clothes. He took the blessings of all the sages around him. He made obeisance to the divine messengers and got into that beautiful vehicle. As soon as he entered the plane, holy music was heard from heaven. The devas rained flowers on him.
He Flew Up
Even at that moment he remembered his mother Suneethi. He felt sad that he was going to heaven alone without his
mother. He soon felt relieved and happy to see that she was flying ahead of him in another plane. The divine messengers, Nanda and Sunanda, had pointed at that plane to him. Dhruva’s plane flew past planets, the three worlds and the Saptarishi Mandala. Finally it reached the highest, the brightest and the most beautiful abode.
Dhruva settled there permanently. Now, we hear that stars revolve round him. The constellation is called Dhruva Mandala. The chief of it is Dhruva. Sage Narada always sings in praise of him to the tune of his Veena: |
“This is Dhruva, Sunitha’s sacred child. He became great devotee even at the age of five. He listened to m y advice and followed it with all devotion. He got blessed by Lord Narayana. As a result of his devotion, he conquered the
unconquerable. Look at this great young hero He has attained a status no kshatriya has ever reached. ‘Prasadya vaikuntam awapa tatpadam’
Well Done Young Devotee
What a young boy but what a great achievement! What a_ great devotee! Righteous in person, respectful to his
mother and loving to his brother, Dhruva bore no anger towards his step-mother. He saw good even in her insulting words. And, he followed her advice in right earnest too. The Bhagavathe Purana narrates his story in detail. We read his story in the Vishnu Purana, Matsya Purana, the Linga Purana and the Skanda Purana also. It is believed that he had been a righteous brahmin in his previous birth. As he used to visit palaces frequently, he had been greatly attracted by the material wealth and beauty of the palace and had desired to be born as a prince in his next birth. Since he was obsessed by the desire, it.is believed that he was born as a kshatriya prince in his next birth. As a
result of it he acquired varied qualities such as- patience, love of God, righteousness and such other sat wick
qualities, just as € had anger, perseverance, love o f war, adventure and such other kshatra qualities. Fortunately he
succeeded in using all these qualities in the service of God. He attained the highest place which no one else had been able to. He became the greatest among the devotees of Lord Sri Hari. He realized Lord Narayana and got blessed.
Our personalities get molded according to our thoughts. Hence, if we make serious attempts to achieve something, we are sure to succeed. The Lord also blesses us when we are serious and devoted in our attempts. This is the
truth we understand when we read the _story of Dhruva. We also understand how an ideal mother like Suneethi could shape the future of her son, guide him properly, correct him when he went wrong and make him an ideal person – a model for the world. The story also brings to light the truth that even when someone scolds you or insults you, you can see the good side of it and achieve great things. Among the huge number of devotees Dhruva shines
like the brightest star. Let us try to emulate atleast some of his wonderful qualities.