Dhruva Maharaja – second part of the story

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(read the first part)

Dhruva Maharaja, having arrived at Madhuvana, took his bath in the River Yamuna and observed fasting in the night with great care and attention. After that, as advised by the great sage Narada, he engaged himself in worshiping the Supreme Lord.

 For the first month Dhruva Maharaja ate only fruits and berries on every third day to keep his body and soul together. In the second month Dhruva ate only every six days, and for his eatables he took dry grass and leaves. In the third month he drank water only every nine days. Thus he remained completely in trance and worshiped the Supreme Lord, who is adored in the scriptures by selected poetry. In the fourth month Dhruva Maharaja became a complete master of the breathing exercise, and thus he inhaled air only every twelfth day. In this way he became completely fixed in his position and worshiped the Supreme Lord. By the fifth month, Maharaja Dhruva, the son of the King, had controlled his breathing so perfectly that he was able to stand on only one leg, just as a column stands, without motion, and concentrate his mind fully on the Paramatma, the Supersoul situated in his heart. The Bhagavad-gita confirms that the Lord is situated in the heart of all living entities as the Supersoul, and thus directs the wanderings of the individual souls. Dhruva completely controlled his senses and their objects, and in this way he fixed his mind, without diversion to anything else, upon the form of the Supersoul.

 When Dhruva thus captured the Supreme Lord, who is the refuge of the total material creation and who is the master of all living entities, the three worlds began to tremble. As Dhruva Maharaja, the King’s son, kept himself steadily standing on one leg, the pressure of his big toe pushed down half the earth, just as an elephant being carried on a boat rocks the boat left and right with his every step. Dhruva became practically one in heaviness with Lord Vishnu, who is the total consciousness, and due to his fully concentrating, and closing all the holes of his body, the total universal breathing became choked up All the great devas in all the planetary systems felt suffocated and thus took shelter of the Supreme Lord.

 The devas approached the Lord by saying: “Dear Lord, You are the refuge of all moving and non-moving living entities. We feel all living entities to be suffocating, their breathing processes choked up. We have never experienced such a thing. Since You are the ultimate shelter of all surrendered souls, we have therefore approached You; kindly save us from this danger.”

 The Lord replied: “My dear demigods, do not be perturbed by this. It is due to the severe austerity and full determination of the son of King Uttanapada, who is now fully absorbed in thought of Me. He has obstructed the universal breathing process. You can safely return to your respective homes. I shall stop this boy in his severe acts of austerities, and you will be saved from this situation.”

 When the devas were thus reassured by the Lord, they were freed from all fears, and after offering their obeisances, they returned to their heavenly planets. Then the Lord, who is non-different from the Sahasrasirsa incarnation, got on the back of Garuda, who carried Him to the Madhuvana Forest to see His servant Dhruva. The form of the Lord, which was brilliant like lightning and in which Dhruva, in his mature yogic process, was fully absorbed in meditation, all of a sudden disappeared from Druvha’s inner vision. Thus Dhruva, being perturbed, opened his eyes and his meditation broke. But as soon as he opened his eyes he saw the Supreme Lord personally present, just as he had been seeing the Lord in his heart. When Dhruva Maharaja saw his Lord just in front of him, he was greatly agitated and offered Him obeisances and respect. He fell flat before Him like a rod and his mind and soul became absorbed in love of God. Dhruva, in ecstasy, looked upon the Lord as if he were drinking the Lord with his eyes, kissing the lotus feet of the Lord with his mouth, and embracing the Lord with his arms.

 Although Dhruva was a small boy, he wanted to offer prayers to the Supreme Lord in suitable language. But because he was inexperienced, he could not adjust himself immediately. The Supreme Lord, being situated in everyone’s heart, could understand Dhruva Maharaja’s awkward position. Out of His causeless mercy He touched His conchshell to the forehead of Dhruva, who stood before Him with folded hands. At that time Dhruva Maharaja became perfectly aware of the Vedic conclusion and understood the Absolute Truth and His relationship with all living entities.

 Dhruva Maharaja said: “My dear Lord, You are all-powerful. After entering within me, You have enlivened all my sleeping senses – my hands, legs, ears, touch sensation, life force and especially my power of speech. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You. My Lord, You are the supreme one, but by Your different energies You appear differently in the spiritual and material worlds. You create the total energy of the material world by Your external potency, and after creation You enter within the material world as the Supersoul. You are the Supreme Person, and through the temporary modes of material nature You create varieties of manifestation, just as fire, entering into wood of different shapes, burns brilliantly in different varieties. You are the only shelter of all persons who desire liberation, and You are the friend of all who are distressed. How, therefore, can a learned person who has perfect knowledge ever forget You? People who worship You simply for the sense gratification 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 cause of liberation from birth and death, foolish persons, such as me, desire benedictions from You for sense gratification, which is available even for those who live in hellish conditions. My Lord, the transcendental bliss derived from meditating upon Your lotus feet or hearing about Your glories from pure devotees is so unlimited that it is far beyond the stage of brahmananda, wherein one thinks himself merged in the impersonal Brahman as one with the Supreme. O unlimited Lord, kindly bless me so that I may associate with great devotees who engage in Your transcendental loving service constantly, as the waves of a river constantly flow. Such transcendental devotees are completely situated in an uncontaminated state of life. By the process of devotional service I shall surely be able to cross the nescient ocean of material existence, which is filled with the waves of blazing, fire-like dangers. My dear Lord, O Supreme Unborn, I know that the different varieties of living entities, such as animals, trees, birds, reptiles, demigods and human beings, are spread throughout the universe, which is caused by the total material energy, and I know that they are sometimes manifest and sometimes unmanifest; but I have never experienced the supreme form I behold as I see You now. Now all kinds of methods of theorizing have come to an end.”

 The Lord, being satisfied by Dhruva’s prayers, congratulated him and answered: “My dear Dhruva, son of the King, you have executed pious vows, and I also know the desire within your heart. Although your desire is very ambitious and very difficult to fulfill, I shall favor you with its fulfillment. All good fortune unto you. My dear Dhruva, I shall award you the glowing planet known as the polestar, which will continue to exist even after the dissolution at the end of the millennium. No one has ever ruled this planet, which is surrounded by all the solar systems, planets and stars. All the luminaries in the sky circumambulate this planet, just as bulls tread around a central pole for the purpose of crushing grains. Keeping the polestar to their right, all the stars inhabited by the great sages like Dharma, Agni, Kasyapa and Sukra circumambulate this planet, which continues to exist even after the dissolution of all others. After your father goes to the forest and awards you the rule of his kingdom, you will rule continuously the entire world for thirty-six thousand years, and all your senses will continue to be as strong as they are now. You will never become old. You will be able to perform many great sacrifices and also give great charities. In this way you will be able to enjoy the blessings of material happiness in this life, and at the time of your death you will be able to remember Me. My dear Dhruva, after your material life in this body, you will go to My planet, which is always offered obeisances by the residents of all other planetary systems. It is situated above the planets of the seven rishis, and having gone there you will never have to come back again to this material world.”

 After being worshiped and honored by the boy, Dhruva Maharaja, and after offering him His abode, Lord Visnu, on the back of Garuda, returned to His abode.

 As Dhruva looked on as the Lord left, he thought to himself: “To endeavor to be situated in the shade of the lotus feet of the Lord is not an ordinary task because even the great brahmacaris headed by Sanandana, who practiced astanga-yoga in trance, attained the shelter of the Lord’s lotus feet only after many, many births. Within six months I achieved the same result, yet due my inability to forget about the harsh words of my stepmother, I have prayed only for useless things. Because of my state of complete foolishness and paucity of pious activities, although the Lord offered me His personal service, I wanted material name, fame and prosperity. My case is just like that of the poor man who, when he satisfied a great emperor who wanted to give him anything he might ask, out of ignorance asked only a few broken grains of husked rice.”

Every soul who worships the Lord with eagerness and full determination for the sake of material prosperity or fame, will be blessed by Him. The Lord grants the devotee His personal association awards fulfillment of the devotee’s desires. However, the devotee, after having come into personal contact with the Lord, loses all material aspirations and only seeks the devotional service of the beloved Lord. After Dhruva Maharaja had been purified by seeing the beautiful form of the Supreme Lord, which is transcendental and beyond comparison, he felt so much satisfied that there was not even a trace of a desire in his heart, except for loving and serving the Lord. Thus he felt ashamed, that he had previously approached the Lord for material prosperity.

Related stories:

Ajamila’s near death experience

Jada Bharata – a self-realised soul who only spoke once

sravanam – bhakti stories

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Artwork courtesy of The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
www.krishna.com. Used with permission.

2 Responses

  1. Jashbir Singh
    | Reply

    It was beautifully written. I appreciate such a work. It filled me with lots of spritual uplift. I adore such a work. Great job!

    • Aksara
      | Reply

      Thank you for your feedback, Jashbir. Yes, this is one of my favourite bhakti stories.

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