|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Shrimad Bhagavatam > Canto-4 > Dhruva Maharaja|
The four Kumaras, Narada, Ribhu, Hamsa, Aruni and Yati were all sons of Brahma who left home to live as naisthika-brahmacharis, life-long celibates. Adharma (Irreligion) was also born from Brahma, and he married Mrisha (Falsity), who happened to be his sister. They produced two demons named Dambha (Bluffing) and Maya (Cheating), who were then handed over to the demon Niriti, who had no children. From Dambha and Maya were born Lobha (Greed) and Nikriti (Cunning). In turn, from their combination came Krodha (Anger) and Himsa (Envy), and from their union came Kali and his sister Durukti (Harsh speech). By the combination of Kali and Durukti, Mrityu (Death) and Bhiti (Fear) were born. Then, from the union of these two was born Yatana (Excessive Pain) and Niraya (Hell). Altogether these offspring are considered to be the causes of devastation.
Svayambhuva Manu and Shatarupa had two sons, Priyavrata and Uttanapada. Although King Uttanapada had two queens, named Suniti and Suruchi, the latter was much dearer to him. Once, Uttanapada was patting Suruchi’s son, Uttama as he sat upon his lap. Suniti’s son, Dhruva was also trying to climb up onto Uttanapada’s lap, but the king did not very much welcome him. The king was naturally inclined to treat both sons equally, but due to Suruchi’s presence, he acted in a way that would please her. Suruchi could understand this, and because she was very envious of her step-son, she took undue advantage of her husband’s favoritism.
Displaying this feminine weakness, the proud Suruchi spoke so that both father and son could hear: “My dear Dhruva, you do not deserve to sit upon the throne, or the king’s lap. Of course, you are also the king’s son, but because you were not born from my womb, you are not qualified to sit upon your father’s lap. You may be unaware of the distinction between your father’s two queens, but let me assure you that your attempt is doomed to failure. If you at all desire to sit upon the throne, you should first of all perform austerities to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. Then, after achieving His favor, you may get the opportunity of being born from my womb in your next life.”
Just as a snake begins to breathe very heavily when struck by a stick, so Dhruva began breathing heavily due to great rage after being attacked by his stepmother’s harsh words. Seeing how his father had remained silent, without making the slightest effort to protest on his behalf, Dhruva immediately left that place and went crying to his mother.
When Suniti saw her son crying grievously, his lips trembling with rage, she lifted him onto her lap, to comfort him. At that time, the palace residents who had overheard Suruchi’s cruel words came there and related everything to her, so that Suniti also became very unhappy. Indeed, she found the insult to be unbearable, and thus she began to burn, as if in a forest fire. While thinking over the words of her co-wife, Suniti’s bright, lotus-like face became pale, and her eyes filled with tears. Breathing heavily, she thought for a moment about what could be done to remedy the situation.
Finding no solution, however, she finally said, “My dear Dhruva, you should not wish for harm to befall others, because anyone who inflicts pain upon another person ends up suffering himself.”
“My dear boy, all that Suruchi has said is actually true, because your father does not even consider me worthy of being his maidservant, and so what to speak of his wife. He feels ashamed to accept me, and thus it is a fact that you have been born from the womb of an unfortunate woman. Although unpalatable to hear, whatever your stepmother has said is true. Therefore, if you at all hope to sit upon your father’s throne, you must give up your enviousness and immediately try to execute her instructions.”
“Without further delay, engage yourself in worshiping the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by whose grace your great-grandfather, Lord Brahma, was able to create this entire universe. Similarly, your grandfather, Svayambhuva Manu, achieved great material success and ultimate liberation by worshiping the Supreme Lord.”
“My dear boy, the Supreme Lord is very kind to His devotees, and thus you should situate Him within your heart and engage in His devotional service without deviation. I do not see how anyone except the Lord can mitigate your distress, and certainly I am unable to help you. Therefore, go and approach the Supreme Lord, for He is kinder than millions of mothers and He can help one when all else fails.”
Suniti’s instructions were actually meant for fulfilling his desired objective, and so after careful consideration of the matter with good intelligence, Dhruva left home and went to the forest. When he received news of Dhruva’s activities and fixed determination, Narada was astonished and decided to pay the boy a visit.
After coming before Dhruva in the forest, Narada touched him on the head with his all-auspicious hand and said, “How wonderful is the kshatriya spirit! They cannot tolerate even a slight infringement upon their prestige!”
“My dear Dhruva, you are just a little boy who is attached to play. Since children have no conception of honor and dishonor, why are you so affected by your stepmother’s harsh words, which had insulted your honor?”
“My dear boy, even if you feel dishonored, you should not be disturbed. You should understand that the material dualities are simply a feature of the illusory energy of the Lord. Whatever may befall us is the result of our past actions, and thus should be accepted as the mercy of the Lord. Under instruction from your mother, you have decided to practice mystic yoga for achieving the mercy of the Supreme Lord. However, in my opinion this is not possible for any ordinary man, and so what to speak of a small boy. Even great yogis have failed to achieve success after many births of yoga practice, and so I recommend that for now you return home. Later on, when you are grown up, you will certainly get the chance to perform the mystic yoga system.”
“My dear Dhruva, a person should always try to remain satisfied in whatever happy or distressful condition of life he finds himself in, for this will enable him to easily cross over the darkness of nescience.”
The great sage Narada had come to Dhruva under the instruction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to initiate him. First of all, however, Narada tested Dhruva’s sincerity and determination, for that is the duty of a spiritual master.
After hearing Narada’s instructions, Dhruva replied, “O great sage, you have certainly given very good directions whereby persons who are disturbed by the material condition of life can achieve peace of mind. Due to my being covered by ignorance, however, such philosophy does not touch my heart. I know that I am very impudent for not accepting your advice, but I do not actually consider this to be my fault, for I been born in a kshatriya family.”
“My heart is like a clay pot, which once having been broken, cannot be repaired by any means. After being pierced by the arrow-like words of my stepmother, my heart feels so wounded that I can only think of counteracting the insult. It is for this reason that I cannot take your words seriously. They are intended for those who possess a brahminical spirit.”
“I want to occupy a position that is more exalted than anything yet achieved by anyone within the three worlds, even my father, grandfather, or great-grandfather. Therefore, kindly advise me about the honest path whereby I can achieve this difficult goal.”
“My dear Narada, just like the sun, you travel throughout the universe to benefit everyone. Please be merciful and thus enable me to fulfill my ardent desire.”
Upon hearing Dhruva’s words, Narada became very compassionate toward him. To show him mercy, he replied, “Your mother, Suniti had instructed you to follow the path of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and this is just suitable for you. Even those who desire the fruit of dharma, artha, kama and moksha should engage in such devotional service, for worship of the Lord’s lotus feet yields their fulfillment.”
“My dear boy, I wish you all good fortune. Go to Madhuvana, which is on the banks of the River Yamuna, for just by living there one comes closer to the Supreme Lord. Take bath in the river three times daily, and execute the necessary regulative principles for performing ashtanga-yoga. By gradually controlling the life air, the mind and the senses, you will free yourself from all material contamination and thus achieve fixed meditation upon the Supreme Lord.”
“The Lord’s smiling face is seen by the devotees as perpetually beautiful and pleasing in attitude, for He is always prepared to award benedictions to them. The Lord’s form is free from any defect and it is ever-youthful. His eyes and lips are pinkish, like the rising sun, and He is always ready to give shelter to the surrendered souls. He is always peaceful, calm and quiet, and very pleasing to the eyes and the mind.”
“Real yogis meditate upon the transcendental form of the Lord as He stands upon the whorl of the lotus of their hearts, and the jewel-like nails of His lotus feet are glittering. One should constantly meditate upon the all-auspicious form of the Lord, as the best means to become freed very soon from all material contamination.”
“My dear Dhruva, you should chant the twelve-syllable mantra, ‘om namo bhagavate vasudevaya’ along with your meditation. One who carefully chants this mantra for seven nights can see the Siddhas flying in the sky.”
“You should make a Deity of Lord Krishna, and while chanting this mantra you should make offerings according to the regulations of shastra, but in consideration of time, place and the attendant conveniences and inconveniences. In this way, you should worship the Lord by offering pure water, as well as the fruit, flowers, and vegetables that are available. You should offer tulasi leaves if possible, for they are very dear to the Lord, or even newly grown grass, small buds of flowers, and tree-bark if that is all that is available.”
“While living in the forest, one can make the Deity from earth and water and then worship Him according to the above principles. Or, if even this in not convenient, one may worship the Deity within the mind.”
“My dear Dhruva, besides worshiping the Deity and chanting your mantra, you should meditate upon the transcendental activities of the Supreme Lord that He performs in His various incarnations. Anyone who thus very seriously and sincerely engages in the devotional service of the Lord with his body, mind and words will become blessed by Him according to his desire.”
After receiving these instructions, Dhruva circumambulated Narada and offered his obeisances. Then, he departed for Madhuvana, which is always imprinted with the lotus footprints of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna. Narada thought it wise to pay a visit to King Uttanapada, just to see how he might be faring. Narada was very respectfully received and worshiped by the King.
After being comfortably seated, Narada inquired, “My dear King Uttanapada, your face appears to have withered, and it seems that your mind has been dwelling upon something for a long time. Why is this? Have you met with some impediment while being engaged in the execution of your royal duties?”
The King replied, “O best of brahmanas, due to being overly addicted to my second wife, I have become so fallen and merciless that I abandoned my five-year-old son and his mother. My son, Dhruva is a great soul, and his face is just like a lotus flower. Due to thinking of his precarious position, I have become filled with anxiety and grief. He is now unprotected, and so, after becoming very tired and hungry, he may have lay down in the forest and been eaten by wolves. Oh! Just see how hardhearted I had become! Out of affection, the boy was trying to climb onto my lap, but because I had become a slave to my wife, I completely ignored him.”
Narada then said, “My dear King, do not worry about your son, for he is being protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although you are ignorant of this, his reputation has already spread all over the universe. Your son, Dhruva, will perform wonderful activities that are impossible even for great kings and rishis. Very soon, he will return home after having completed his task.”
“My dear King, your good reputation will also become spread all over the world as a result of having such a glorious son.”
After hearing from Narada, Uttanapada practically gave up executing his royal duties and simply meditated upon his little son, Dhruva.
Meanwhile, after arriving at Madhuvana, Dhruva bathed in the Yamuna and fasted that night. Thereafter, he began worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the great sage, Narada, had advised him.
During the first month, Dhruva Maharaja ate only fruit and berries every third day. During the second month, he ate only dry grass and leaves every sixth day, and during the third month he drank water every nine days. In this way, he remained completely absorbed in the trance of meditation while worshiping the Supreme Lord. During the fourth month, Dhruva Maharaja mastered the breathing exercises and thus he was able to maintain his life by inhaling air only after twelve days. By the fifth month, his breathing was so perfectly controlled that he was able to stand motionless upon one leg while concentrating fully upon the Supreme Lord.
In this way, Dhruva Maharaja captured the Supreme Lord, who is the refuge of the entire material creation, and as a result, the three worlds began to tremble. Due to Dhruva’s having become almost equal to the greatest, by dint of His association, the pressure of his big toe pushed down half of the earth, just as an elephant that is being carried on a boat makes it rock with every step. Having become practically one in heaviness with Lord Vishnu, due to his individual body having become equivalent to the total body of the universe, when Dhruva closed all the holes of his body while fully absorbed in meditation, the total universal breathing became choked.
When all of the demigods thus felt suffocated, they took shelter of the Supreme Lord and prayed for His protection. It is not that Dhruva merged into the existence of the Lord and thus lost his individual existence. Rather, by dint of his austerity in pure devotional service, he attracted the Supreme Lord to him, and thus partially exhibited His unlimited prowess.
After hearing the demigods’ pleas, the Supreme Lord replied, “My dear residents of heaven, do not be disturbed. The suffocation that is afflicting all living entities is being caused by the severe austerities of Dhruva Maharaja, who is fully absorbed in thought of Me. I shall go now and stop this boy’s austerities, and thus you will be saved from the impending calamity.”
Being reassured by the Supreme Lord, the demigods offered their obeisances unto Him and then returned home. Thereafter, Lord Vishnu got onto the back of Garuda and went to Madhuvana, to see His devotee, Dhruva. At that time, the effulgent form of the Lord that Dhruva Maharaja had been absorbed in meditating upon suddenly disappeared. Becoming very perturbed, Dhruva opened his eyes and saw the same Supreme Personality of Godhead present before him, exactly as He had appeared within his heart. Dhruva became highly excited with transcendental emotion upon seeing the Lord before him, and He immediately fell down like a rod to offer his obeisances.
Due to his being absorbed in the transcendental ecstasy of love of Godhead, it appeared as if Dhruva was drinking the Lord through his eyes, kissing the lotus feet of the Lord with his mouth, and embracing the Lord in his arms. Although he was only a small boy, Dhruva wanted to offer nice prayers that would glorify the Lord in a suitable manner. But, because he was uneducated in terms of linguistic expression, he could not understand how to do so, and thus he felt a kind of disappointment.
Being situated in everyone’s heart, the Lord could understand Dhruva’s awkward position. As an expression of His causeless mercy, the Lord touched His conch shell to the boy’s forehead, as he stood before Him with folded hands. Immediately, Dhruva became perfectly aware of the Vedic conclusion about the Absolute Truth.
Being thus inspired, Dhruva recited his prayers: “My dear Lord, by entering within me, You have enlivened my sleeping senses, life force, and power of speech. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You. In the beginning, You enlightened Lord Brahma, and thus he could see and understand the entire universe, just as a person awakens from sleep and then visualizes his immediate duties.”
“Foolish person like myself, who worship You for gratifying the senses of this bag of skin, are certainly influenced by Your illusory energy. In spite of having You, who are like a desire tree, and are the giver of liberation from birth and death, we ask You for benedictions of sense gratification, which is available even in a hellish condition of life.”
“My Lord, the transcendental bliss derived from meditating upon Your lotus feet and hearing about Your glories from the mouths of pure devotees is far beyond the platform of brahmananda, wherein one thinks himself to be merged into Your impersonal feature. If this is so, then what to speak of the temporary bliss derived from elevating oneself to the heavenly planets, which is ended by the separating sword of time?”
“O unlimited Lord, kindly bless me so that I may have the association of great devotees who constantly engage in Your devotional service. In this way, I will surely be able to cross over the nescient ocean of material existence. Indeed, it will be very easy for me, because I am becoming mad to hear about Your transcendental qualities and pastimes.”
“My dear Lord, now that You have appeared before me, all kinds of theorizing methods have come to an end. I can understand that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and so I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.”
“O Supreme Lord, You are the personified form of all benediction. Those devotees who render service unto You without any other desire experience that such engagement is far superior to becoming a ruler and lording it over a kingdom. Still, because You are causelessly merciful, You also maintain such ignorant devotees like me, just as a cow takes care of her newly born calf by supplying it milk and giving it protection.”
When Dhruva Maharaja finished offering his prayers, the Supreme Lord replied, “My dear Dhruva, I know the desire that is within your heart. Although it is very ambitious and difficult to achieve, I shall fulfill your aspiration by giving you the effulgent polestar, which will continue to exist even after the dissolution that takes place at the end of Brahma’s day. This planet, around which all other luminaries circumambulate, just like a bull treading around a central pole to crush grains, has never been ruled before.”
“When your father retires to the forest, he will hand over his kingdom to you and thereafter, you will rule the earth for 36,000 years. And yet, despite the passage of so much time, you will never grow old, nor will the power of your senses diminish. Sometime in the future, your brother, Uttama will be killed while engaged in hunting. Becoming mad due to the death of her son, your step-mother, Suruchi will be devoured by a forest fire while searching for him.”
“As king, you will be able to perform great sacrifices and give vast amounts of wealth in charity. In this way, you will enjoy the blessing of material happiness in this life, and then remember Me at the time of death. Having thus made your human life successful, you will go to My planet, the polestar, wherein Svetadvipa is situated within the ocean of milk. Having thus attained the local Vaikuntha planet within the material world, you will never have to come back to the cycle of repeated birth and death.”
Generally, the Lord does not award His pure devotee material opulence, even though he may desire it. Dhruva Maharaja’s case was different, however, for the Lord knew that he was such a great devotee that he would never become deviated from Krishna consciousness, despite such opulence. This indicates that a highly qualified devotee can have the facility of material enjoyment and at the same time remain on the platform of love of God, although this is a very special case.
After being worshiped by Dhruva, Lord Vishnu departed for His own abode, riding upon the back of Garuda. After watching with wonder, until the Lord was out of sight, Dhruva started for home. And yet, in spite of having achieved his desired goal, Dhruva did not feel very pleased. Having understood the position of unalloyed devotional service, Dhruva very much lamented that he had approached the Lord hoping to gain revenge against his step-mother and achieve a kingdom greater than that of Brahma. Of course, the Lord fulfilled these desires, but Dhruva was ashamed, knowing that such aspirations are not at all befitting a genuine devotee.
While going along, Dhruva condemned himself as follows: “Oh! Just see what I have done! I approached the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who can award His loving service to liberate one from the cycle of birth and death, but out of foolishness, I prayed for things that are perishable. Thus, even though I came face to face with the Lord after only six months of austerity, whereas others attain this goal only after many, many births, due to thinking differently from the Lord, I have fallen down.”
“Because the demigods have to fall back down to earth after enjoying celestial delights, I think that they must be envious of those who are trying to elevate themselves to Vaikunthaloka. It must have been they who spoiled my intelligence so that I could not take seriously the instructions of my spiritual master, Narada Muni.”
“Due to illusion, I had dualistic vision, whereby I saw my brother and stepmother as enemies. Therefore, despite coming in contact with a pure devotee and worshiping the Lord under his direction, and in spite of having satisfied the Supreme Lord and seeing Him face to face, I prayed for material name, fame and prosperity instead of begging to be engaged in the Lord’s personal service. I am just like the poor man who satisfies a great emperor and is offered the fulfillment of his desires, but then, due to foolishness, asks for only a few broken grains of rice.”
Dhruva knew that the Lord could have immediately taken him back to Vaikuntha. Therefore, he considered that the Lord gave him dominion over the earth for 36,000 years as a kind of punishment for his polluted, material desires.
Meanwhile, a messenger came to King Uttanapada and informed him that Dhruva was coming back home. The King considered himself to be a great offender for causing his son to leave home. Thus thinking himself to be most wretched, Uttanapada could not believe that he would ever have the good fortune of seeing his son again. Still, while doubting the words of the messenger, the King remembered the assurances of Narada, whom he had full faith in, and thus he became filled with happiness.
King Uttanapada rewarded the messenger with a highly valuable necklace and then he assembled his elders and the brahmanas, as well as innumerable ministers, officers and friends. Being very eager to see his son, the king mounted his chariot and went out of the city in a grand procession, accompanied by the chanting of Vedic mantras and the sounds of conch shells, kettledrums and flutes. Displaying her greatness, which was just befitting the mother of a great Vaishnava, Queen Suniti took Suruchi and Uttama on her palanquin.
Thereafter, when King Uttanapada saw his son, Dhruva emerging from the neighboring forest, he hastily got down from his chariot and with great love and affection went to greet him. While breathing very heavily, the King tightly embraced Dhruva with both arms, and at that moment he could understand that the boy’s body had become transformed due to the touch of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. While smelling his head again and again, Uttanapada bathed Dhruva with torrents of tears, and in this way his long-cherished desire became fulfilled.
Dhruva offered obeisances to his father, and in return, the King inquired about his welfare. Next, Dhruva offered his obeisances to his two mothers, and when she saw him fallen at her feet, Suruchi immediately picked him up and embraced him. While shedding incessant tears, she blessed Dhruva by saying, “My dear boy, long may you live!”
Then, as Uttama and Dhruva embraced, the hair on their bodies stood up as they became overwhelmed by ecstatic love. When Suniti embraced her son, who was dearer to her than her very life, she forgot all of her material sufferings. Her tears mixed with the milk that flowed from her breasts, and thus she performed the abhisheka by wetting Dhruva’s entire body. Upon witnessing this auspicious and touching scene, all of the palace residents praised Suniti for her good fortune. Actually, during Dhruva’s absence, Suniti had continually prayed to the Supreme Lord for his protection and welfare, and as a result, she also attained the supreme perfection that had been earned by her son.
Finally, King Uttanapada had Dhruva and Uttama seated upon a she-elephant, and then all together, they returned to his capital. The whole city had been gorgeously decorated with colored cloth, strings of pearls, flower garlands, and mango leaves. All of the streets and crossings had been thoroughly cleansed with Sandalwood-scented water, and different grains, fruit, flowers and other auspicious articles were scattered all over. As Dhruva passed along the roads, the household ladies assembled, and out of maternal affection, they showered grains, newly-grown grass, flowers and pieces of fruit upon him while offering their blessings.
Thereafter, Dhruva lived in his father’s palace, which had marble walls that were inlaid with valuable jewels that depicted scenes of beautiful women holding shining lamps in their hands. All of the furniture was made of gold, and the gardens surrounding the palace contained trees that had been brought down from the heavenly planets. Emerald staircases led to ponds that were filled with variously colored lotus flowers, as well as swans, chakravakas, and other exotic birds.
Just by taking care of such an exalted son, King Uttanapada felt extremely satisfied at heart. When Dhruva became old enough to take charge of the kingdom, the king enthroned him after ascertaining that the ministers and citizens were in agreement.
Thinking of his own advancing age, and the necessity for self-realization, Uttanapada detached himself from all worldly affairs and then entered the forest. After some time, Dhruva married Bhrami, the daughter of Prajapati Sishumara, and through her he begot two sons- Kalpa and Vatsara. Dhruva also married another girl, the daughter of the demigod Vayu, named Ila, and by her he begot a son named Utkala, as well as one very beautiful daughter.
One day, Dhruva’s younger brother, who was not yet married, was killed by a powerful Yaksha as he was hunting in the Himalayas. His mother, Suruchi also died soon after, while searching for her missing son. When Dhruva heard this unpalatable news, he became overwhelmed with anger and grief. After mounting his chariot, Dhruva started for Alakapuri, the capital of the Yakshas.
Dhruva found the city nestled in a Himalayan valley, and it was filled with the ghostly followers of Lord Shiva. Upon reaching Alakapuri, he blew upon his mighty conch shell, so that a terrible sound reverberated in all directions, striking fear into the hearts of the wives of the Yakshas. Being unable to tolerate the sound of Dhruva’s conch shell, the Yakshas rushed out from their city with upraised weapons, to attack him.
Dhruva, who was an expert charioteer and bowman, began killing the Yakshas in great numbers, while releasing three arrows at a time. The Yaksha warriors could understand that their defeat was surely at hand, but in spite of this, they applauded Dhruva’s heroic fighting.
Then, each of the 130,000 Yaksha soldiers began angrily releasing six arrows at a time, along with innumerable clubs, swords, tridents and lances. As a result, Dhruva became covered by showers of weapons, just as a mountain is sometimes shrouded by torrents of rain. When the Siddhas, who were observing the battle from the sky observed this, they exclaimed, “Dhruva, the grandson of Svayambhuva Manu, is now lost!”
Just as the Yakshas were feeling themselves to be victorious, however, Dhruva’s chariot suddenly appeared, like the sun bursting out from behind dense clouds. The twanging of Dhruva’s bow and the hissing of his arrows caused lamentation to enter the hearts of the Yakshas. By releasing his incessant arrows, Dhruva not only broke all of the enemy’s weapons, but he also smashed their shields and deeply pierced their bodies. Thus, as innumerable severed heads, arms and legs fell onto the battlefield, the surviving Yakshas began to flee.
When there was no one left to oppose him, Dhruva thought about taking a look at Alakapuri, but then he considered, “No one can be sure what the mystic Yakshas might do next.”
While Dhruva was conversing in this way to his charioteer, a tremendous sound was heard, as if a great ocean was about to engulf everything. Then, from the sky, a raging dust storm approached, bringing with it dense clouds, ominous thunder, and encroaching darkness.
Thereafter, lightning flashed and torrents of rain fell, which was mixed with blood, pus, stool, urine, marrow, and headless trunks. Next, a gigantic mountain became visible in the sky, and from it came showers of hailstones, lances, clubs, swords, and chunks of rock. Dhruva also saw huge serpents with furious eyes, rushing to devour him while vomiting fire, as well as rampaging herds of mad elephants, lions and tigers. Then again, a roaring ocean with foaming waves came before Dhruva, as if the time of universal dissolution was at hand.
Upon seeing how Dhruva was becoming overwhelmed by the Yakshas’ illusory powers, the Supreme Lord sent some great sages to him. To assure Dhruva that he would be able to cross over this danger, by the grace of the Lord, the rishis said, “O Dhruva, may the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who relieves the distresses of His devotees, help you to kill your enemies. The holy name of the Lord is as powerful as the Lord Himself. Therefore, simply by chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord, the devotee comes under His protection.”
After hearing these encouraging words, Dhruva performed achamana by touching water, and then took out a special arrow that had been created by Narayana Rishi. As soon as Dhruva put this narayanastra upon his bowstring, all of the Yakshas’ illusions became dispelled, just as all kinds of material pains and pleasures are dissipated when one becomes fully self-realized.
Thousands of golden-shafted arrows, with feathers like swan’s-wings, issued forth from the narayanastra and entered into the bodies of the enemy soldiers with a loud hissing sound. And yet, in spite of innumerable Yaksha soldiers having fallen dead onto the battlefield, the remaining warriors, who were determined to gain victory, suddenly rushed at Dhruva with upraised weapons. But, with his arrows, Dhruva cut their heads and limbs to pieces, thus delivering the Yakshas to the Satyaloka planet, which is normally obtainable only by first-class brahmacharis.
When Svayambhuva Manu saw how Dhruva was killing so many innocent Yakshas, he came there and said, “My dear son, please stop fighting, for such excessive anger is the path to hellish life. You have already demonstrated your great affection for your brother, and so now you should consider how, for one Yaksha’s offense, you are killing so many others who are faultless. Such unnecessary killing does not befit our family, which is supposed to know the distinction between religion and irreligion.”
“As a pure devotee of the Lord, your life is meant for exemplary behavior. Therefore, I am surprised that you have undertaken such an abominable task. The Lord is very pleased when His devotee greets other people with tolerance, mercy, friendship and equality.”
When Svayambhuva Manu saw that Dhruva was still dissatisfied because of his brother’s death, in spite of being an enlightened devotee, he continued, “My dear son, everything in this material world is a creation of the five principal elements. Under the direction of the Supreme Lord, the three modes of material nature create, maintain and annihilate everything, and thus the Lord is the ultimate cause. In this way, the Lord is the killer of everyone, and yet, He is not the killer, because he neutrally awards everyone the results of their fruitive activities. Whatever suffering or happiness one meets with in material life, is the result of his own karma.”
“My dear Dhruva, these Yakshas are not actually the killers of your brother, for everyone’s birth and death is ordained by the Supreme. Therefore, please draw your attention to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and see how the material conception of differentiation, the conception of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, is only illusory and temporary.”
“My dear Dhruva, by killing so many Yakshas, you have agitated Kuvera’s mind, and he is Lord Shiva’s brother. You should thus immediately pacify him with gentle words and prayers, so that his wrath may not affect our family.”
After instructing Dhruva and receiving his obeisances, Svayambhuva Manu and the rishis returned to their respective abodes. When Kuvera learned that Dhruva’s anger had subsided, and that he had stopped killing the Yakshas, he went to the scene of battle.
While being worshiped by the Yakshas, Kinnaras, and Charanas, Kuvera addressed Dhruva, who stood before him with folded hands: “O sinless one, I am very glad that under instruction from your grandfather, you have given up your enmity, for to do so is very difficult. Actually, you have not killed the Yakshas, nor have they killed your brother, for the ultimate cause of creation and annihilation is the eternal time feature of the Supreme Lord. Now, I request you to ask me for a benediction without hesitation. Since you are constantly engaged in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you are the most worthy recipient of all kinds of benedictions.”
Dhruva replied, “My dear lord of wealth, may I always have unflinching faith in and constant remembrance of the Supreme Lord. In this way, I will very easily be able to cross over the ocean of nescience, a feat that is very difficult for others to accomplish.”
Kuvera was very pleased that Dhruva did not ask for any material benefit, and so he awarded this benediction with great happiness. After doing so, Kuvera disappeared from that spot and Dhruva also departed for home.
Thereafter, Dhruva performed many sacrifices for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord. While rendering undeviating devotional service unto the Lord, Dhruva could see how everything is situated within Him, and that He is situated in all living entities. Dhruva ruled the earth for 36,000 years, and while doing so, he diminished the reactions of his pious acts by enjoyment, and he reduced his sinful reactions by performing austerities. At the end of this period, Dhruva handed over the kingdom to his son. Considering his body, wives, children, friends, army, treasury, palaces, and enjoyable pleasure grounds to be creations of the illusory energy, he retired to Badarikashram in the Himalayas.
By bathing in the crystal-clear water there, and practicing the yoga system, Dhruva purified his senses and then withdrew them from matter so that he could concentrate upon the archa-vigraha, or Deity form of the Lord. In the trance of meditation, his heart melted due to ecstasy, and thus tears constantly flowed from his eyes, his entire body shivered, and the hair on his body stood up on end. When Dhruva completely forgot his bodily existence and thus became liberated from material bondage, he saw a wonderful airplane come before him after descending from the sky.
Within the effulgent airship, Dhruva saw two associates of Lord Vishnu, named Nanda and Sunanda. They had four arms and very youthful, blackish bodies, with eyes that appeared to be like reddish lotus flowers. Upon realizing that these uncommon personalities were the servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Dhruva immediately stood up. Becoming puzzled in mind, however, he forgot how to receive the Vishundutas properly, and so he simply offered his respects with folded hands while chanting the holy names of the Lord.
The two Vishnudutas were pleased by this simple reception, however, and after smilingly coming before Dhruva, they said, “Dear King, let there be all good fortune for you. When you were only five years old, you greatly satisfied the Supreme Personality of Godhead by your austerities. We are representatives of the Supreme Lord, and we have been deputed to take you back to the spiritual world, Vishnuloka. Neither your forefathers nor anyone else before you has achieved this transcendental planet, around which all the other planets revolve. This unique airplane has been sent by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and you are quite worthy of boarding it so that you can travel to Vaikuntha, where you can live eternally.”
After hearing the sweet word of the Vishnudutas, Dhruva first of all bathed, and then, after dressing himself nicely, he performed his regular spiritual duties. After this, Dhruva offered his obeisances unto the sages that were also present there, and accepted their blessings in return. Then, after worshiping and circumambulating the airplane, Dhruva next offered his obeisances unto the Vishundutas. As he was performing these respectful acts, Dhruva’s body became transformed, so that his complexion became as brilliant as molten gold.
Thereafter, when Dhruva was just about to board the transcendental airplane, death personified approached him. Without even caring for him, however, Dhruva took advantage of his presence by placing his feet upon Death’s head to board the airplane, which was like a large flying palace. Just then, drums began to resound in the sky and the chief Gandharvas commenced singing while flowers fell upon Dhruva like torrents of rain.
After seating himself in the airplane, however, Dhruva suddenly remembered Suniti and thought, “How can I go alone to Vaikuntha and leave my poor mother behind?”
Nanda and Sunanda could understand Dhruva’s mind, and so they pointed to his mother, who was already going in another transcendental airplane. Thereafter, as Dhruva passed through space, he saw all of the planets, one after another while the demigods showered flowers on him from their airplanes. After going beyond the planets of the sapta-rishis, Dhruva achieved the eternal abode of Lord Vishnu, whose illumination is reflected by all of the luminous material planets.
After observing the glories of his disciple, Dhruva Maharaja, Narada went to the sacrificial arena of the Prachetas and chanted three verses that praised the exalted son of Uttanapada.
Maitreya then concluded this narration by declaring, “Anyone who hears about the activities of Dhruva Maharaja can fulfill all desires for wealth, fame and an increased duration of life. This narration is so auspicious that simply by hearing it, one can go to Dhruvaloka after having counteracted all of the results of his past sinful activities. Anyone who hears this narration and tries, with faith and devotion, to understand Dhruva’s pure character, attains to pure devotional service. Indeed, anyone who hears this narration acquires exalted qualities just like those possessed by Dhruva Maharaja. Therefore, one should chant about the character and activities of Dhruva Maharaja every morning and evening, with great care and attention, in the association of devotees.”