Dhruva,the great disciple of God is adored and revered as a symbol of justice, equality and rights by Bishwa Nath Singh.
(.by Bishwa Nath Singh on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 6:10am.)
Dhruva had became a symbol of justice, equality and rights during his childhood as such his life-history could be viewed with reverence by all of us irrespective of our religion and faiths.As per olden Hindu Scriptures like Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana, Dhruva was known widely as an ardent young devotee of Vishnu, a prince blessed to eternal existence and glory as the Pole Star (Dhruva Nakshatra )by Lord Vishnu. The story of Dhruva's life is often narrated by Parents to their children as an example for perseverance, devotion, steadfastness devotion, steadfastness and fearlessness. Rigveda also mentions the word Dhruva dozens of times as pole star. Nevertheless to mention that Dhruva, the child had became a symbol of justice, equality and rights. Once upon a time and a long time ago an ancient kingdom was ruled by King Uttanapada. Uttanapada was an ordinary king, weak-minded and impulsive. The king had two wives, Suneeti, the daughter of a nature loving tribal lord and Suruchi, the daughter of a rich neighboring king. Suruchi, the second wife, was a willful and selfish woman. But she also possessed a great beauty, and the king, Uttanapada had virtually surrendered himself to her charms thus becoming a slave to her wishes.The said king had a son by each of his queens. Dhruva was the son of Suneeti, the elder queen, and was destined to inherit the throne; Suruchi’s son was Uttamma. In the beginning, the king loved both Suneeti and Dhruva. But as time started moving on, he was taken in by Suruchi’s interest and whim and soon forgot his responsibilities to his first wife Suneeti and his son Dhruva born by his first wife. Following the selfish wishes of his second wife Suruchi, the said king sent his first wife and little Dhruva out of the palace to stay in a cottage far away. Dhruva lost his right to the throne as the king promised Suruchi that her son would be king. Dhruva grew up in his mother’s care. On occasional visits that the king paid his first wife, Dhruva came to know Uttanapada as his father. One day, it so happened that while searching for a friend, Dhruva went near the palace. He did not remember seeing the palace ever before. He was amazed and curious. Lost in his curiosity and wonder, young Dhruva strayed into the main palace where the king and the queen were holding court. When Dhruva saw the king, he recognized him as his father. He also saw a little boy sitting on the king’s lap. This boy was Uttamma, the son of Suruchi. Overwhelmed with joy and love, Dhruva ran up to the throne because he too wanted to share his father’s lap. Even as Dhruva reached the king and tried to climb onto his father’s lap, Queen Suruchi was enraged. Screaming abuse at the little boy, Suruchi dragged him away from the king. “How dare you! You cannot sit on the king’s lap. You have no right to that; only my son has that right”. Little Dhruva was greatly shocked to listen it and felt great humiliation. Shamed and devastated, he ran all the way home. He could not understand as why his father did nothing to stop his humiliation. The court too was mortified at the conduct of the king and the queen who too had bowed their heads in shame and was shocked at the behavior of King and his second wife.Soon after returning to his humble home, Dhruva questioned his mother, sobbing inconsolably. “Don’t I have the right to sit on my father’s lap? Am I not his son? Don’t I have the same rights as my brother?” Dhruva implored her to answer. When he started criticizing his step-mother for her action, his mother silenced him and said, "Desist from criticizing anyone. If you criticize others the defects pointed out by you will come to you. Accept everything as something good.” Sad but stoic, his mother replied, “Of course you have the right. But sometimes you do not get what is rightfully yours - you have to fight for it.” Unable to contain himself, Dhruva questioned her further. “Why are we abandoned? Do you not have the right to sit alongside father and be respected as the queen? Why did you accept this injustice, why did you not protest?” Fully torn and disgusted between an acceptance of her destiny and her son’s legitimate anguish, Suneeti stood silent. Seeing this, little Dhruva’s heart and mind became determined. “Tell me mother, what do I need to do to attain my right?” Dhruva’s most loving mother Suneeti spoke with great gravity. “My child, it is not easy. You have to withdraw yourself deep into the forests. With a mind that is unwavering, you must perform strict penance to reach your goal”.With his face set in determination, the boy decided to win back his rights as a child. With his mother’s blessings, he left for the forests to pursue his penance.On his way,Maharshi Narada the great wandering sage, met him. When Maharshi Narada learnt of Dhruva’s mission, he was worried. In a tone full of compassion, Maharshi Narada said, “You are yet a young child. You do not have the skills to survive in the wild forest or to carry out this tough penance”. But the sage’s words only strengthened Dhruva’s resolve. When Maharshi Narada realized the strength of Dhruva’s determination and his mental make-up, he decided to help the boy. He taught Dhruva all that he needed to know to survive in the forest and perform the penance. Unmindful of all the terrible obstacles and with his mind focused only on his goal, Dhruva performed a severe penance. Dhruva carried out intense penance, giving up food and drink, and was reduced to a skeleton. He transcended his Food Sheath (Annamaya Kosa) and his Pranamaya Kosa (Vital Sheath). He was saturated with the Lord’s name, which he chanted with each breath ceaselessly. His mind sheath (Manomaya Kosa) was also dedicated to the Lord, driving away all other thoughts. His entire being was filled with bliss in the contemplation of the Lord.In the end, so great and powerful was his penance that the Almighty God appeared before him.“O Lord, bless me so that I may realize my rights; grant me the strength to be just; allow me the power to be righteous” prayed Dhruva whose single-mindedness and the nobility of his purpose could impress the Almighty God Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu, who was astonished at the amazing wisdom of such a young child, patted him on his cheek and asked him to say what boon he wanted. Dhruva said, "Oh Lord, after having Your glimpse and getting Your Grace, I don’t want anything else." The Lord replied, "Dhruva, you undertook this penance with one thought, namely to sit on your father’s lap, but now you speak differently. Your words and action are contrary to your thought. You must go back to your father with my blessings. He will receive you with full affection. You must rule the kingdom and then come to me." The Lord also assured Dhruva that after ruling the kingdom for a long time he would occupy a most exalted position in the firmament as a star around which the constellation of the Seven Rishis and other galaxies would revolve. Dhruva, on his return to the kingdom was received with ceremonial honors by his penitent and joyous father. Dhruva consoled his father by reminding him that all are forms of Narayana ( the Almighty God). Uthaanapaada entrusted the kingdom to the six-year old Dhruva, saying that a boy who could get the Divine vision and Grace at that tender age, could rule the kingdom. He retired to Skanda Ashrama, seeking realization of the Divine. Dhruva ruled for a long time very wisely and well, maintaining justice and peace. When his sojourn in the world came to an end, a celestial chariot came to take him to ‘God’s Abode’. He told the charioteer that God was everywhere and so the question of taking him to god’s place did not arise. So saying, he sat Lord Vishnu blessed Dhruva, “You and all the children of the kingdom will realize their rights and live a life of righteousness. Words and deeds of all children will be respected and they will be loved and cared for. After your time, you will become a great star in the night sky and shine as a guiding light for the whole world. You will be a model for all who seek their rights. You will be remembered and respected, loved and cherished. May your name and nobility remain as long as the sun and the moon shine”.Since those ancient times, the star of Dhruva, the Pole Star is seen shining bright in the night sky, has been revered as a symbol of hope, rights, equality and justice. Vishnu Purana gives a very lovely account on this episode. When Lord Vishnu was pleased with Dhruva’s physical penance and asked him to ask for a grant of wishes, Dhruva said that that he being an uneducated child did not know how to sing the praise of Lord Vishnu, and therefore asked the Vardana for knowledge of hymn in the praise of God. Renunciation of all desires is regarded to be essential for eternal peace in Hinduism: this is the meaning of Dhruva-pada (spiritual pole star). That reason why the Saptarshis decided to give the most revered seat of Pole Star to this six year old child. Let us join to pay our humble obeisance to the lotus feet of Dhruva and carry out His legacy to win over the bliss of Our Savior who is our Almighty God!
( Photo-Lord Vishnu was seen blessing young child Dhruva.)