Nov 25: Dhruva Charitram – 3

25 Nov

Nov25th Telecon Blog Doc

Ramyaji from San Jose continued the Dhruva Charitra.

Being taught well by his mother, Dhruva sang Hari Nama Kirtan and offered Sage Narada a beautiful Lotus flower and paid his obeisance. Narada was very happy with Dhruva’s resolve, and initiated him with the Divine Name of the Lord Vasudeva.

Sage Narada requested Dhruva to do penance in Madhuvanam forest located on the banks of river Yamuna.

tathtAta gaccha bhadram te yamunAyAstaTam suchi
puNyam madhuvanam yatra sAnniddhyam nityadA hareh [SB 4.8.42]

Sage Narada asked him to meditate on the attractive form of the four armed Lord who has a pleasant countenance and is adorned with beautiful ornaments from head to toe.

 

In the first sloka, he describes the Lord’s face which is forever beautiful and pleasing.

 

prasAdAbhimukham sashvat prasanna vadanekshaNam
sunAsam subruvam chAru kapolam sura sundaram

taruNam ramaNIyAngam aruNoshTekshaNAdharam
praNatAshrayaNam nrumNam sharaNyam karuNArnavam

 srIvatsAnkam ghanashyAmam purusham vanamAlinam
shanka chakra gadApadmair abhivyakta chaturbhujam   [Srimad Bhagavatham 4.8.45-4.8.48]

Sage Narada installed the true form of the Lord in Dhruva’s heart. When a Guru describes the beautiful countenance of the Lord, he is just not just verbally saying but also installs a gold icon of the Lord in one’s heart, and here when Dhruva goes to forest to meditate on the Lord, he would only see the Lord in his heart.  It is only possible by sheer Guru’s grace.

When one is a recipient of Guru’s grace, even if a Guru ensconces the form of the Lord in his devotee or gives a mantra to chant, the devotee fondly remembers and reminisces Guru’s actions and meditating on the Guru’s actions will itself lead to liberation since a Guru is no different from the Lord.

Our Swamiji in his kirtan sings – “Hariyum Guruvum Vaer Endrazhaipathu ariya davar pechu”

It is verily the Lord who is disguised as a Guru.

Sage Narada having given the form of the Lord to meditate, also bestowed him with a mantra to chant. The twelve syllabled mantra known as “Dwadasakshari” for chanting. It is to be said that it is a very secretive mantra since one cannot get it very easily. It is said to be “paramo guhyam” because, when one starts to chant this he does not know the greatness of this mantra. So here Sage Narada cautions Dhruva that when one chants the Dwadasakshari mantra for seven days, then one will have the darshan of the Devas.

Japyascha Paramao Guhyam ShuyatAm mae nrupAtmajah |
Yam saptha rAthram prapaTan pumAn pashyathi kaecharAn ||

Sage Narada also cautioned Dhruva that Devas would try to distract him. He advised him to go to perform penance in Madhuvanam, a forest on the banks of river Yamuna.  Dhruva was immensely pleased to hear the instructions from his Guru and immediately circumambulated Sage Narada. Dhruva paid his obeisance to Sage Narada and while parting from him told him that Lord is sure to give him darshan not because of his penance but for the only reason that to honor his Guru’s words.  The Lord has a great responsibility to make sure his devotees come true.

We see in Bheesma  Stuthi that the Lord gave away his principles to fulfill Bhisma’s promise by taking the wheels of the chariot and stood in front of him.

svanigamam apahaaya math pratijnam rtam adhikartum avapluto rathastah
dhurta ratha charano bhyayac caladgur harir iva hantum ibham gatottariyah [Srimad Bhagavatham 1.9.37]

A Guru’s word is bound to come true. All one needs to do is to wait for the Lord to make it happen and chant the divine names of the Lord in the meantime as a ‘kalakshapa’.

Sage Narada was cognizant of the fact that one can attain the Lord by the path of Yoga. He himself did Yoga in his previous birth “hrudyashi mae shanai harihi”. Lord Hari slowly started to appear in his heart and while he  was enjoying he immediately disappeared. Sage Narada opened his eyes and started to cry. He heard a divine voice ‘Asharira Vaak’ that he was not eligible to see the Lord. Sage Narada immediately asked about the darshan that he was enjoying few minutes ago. The Lord replied that it was indeed the satsang that he had with the Sadhus and it was due to their sheer grace that he had that darshan.

“Avipakva kashayanam dhurdarshoham kuyoginaam” [Srimad Bhagavatham 1.6.21]

Sage Narada in his next birth took a Veena and went around chanting the divine names of the Lord and he could see the Lord coming behind him as If called for.

 

deva dattham imam veenam svara brahma vibhushitam
murcchayitvaa hari katham gaayamanas caramyaham [Srimad Bhagavatham 1.6.32]

 ahuta iva me sighram darshanam yaati cetasi [Srimad Bhagavatham 1.6.33]

Dhruva left for Madhuvana after prostrating to Sage Narada. After bidding farewell to Dhruva, Sage Narada headed straight to Uttanapada’s palace. Uttanapada was in a depressed state.

 

sudushkaram karma krutva loka palair api prabhuh
aisyaty achirato rajan yaso vipulayams tava [Srimad Bhagavatham 4.8.69]

Sage Narada consoled Uttanapadha and told him that Dhruva has gone to accomplish something that is impossible even for great kings and sadhus and that he will return quickly [acirathaha] and also told him that Dhruva will spread his glory all the way upto Vaikuntam.

It is believed that all great Sages performed penance for many thousand years. Kardama Prajapathi did penance for more than thousand years, but in the case of Dhruva, the Guru’s grace was complete on him. “Poornoham Pari Poornoham karana rahita guru krupaya”. He just went to Madhuvanam. Everything was happening as ordained by Sage Narada in a natural manner.  Dhruva began his tapas according to the instructions given by his Guru, Sage Narada.  In the first month, he came out of penance once in three days and used to eat s+ome dried fruits. In the second month, he came out of penance once in six days and subsisted on dried leaves and only drank water from Yamuna River once in nine days in the third month. In the fourth month, he inhaled air only once in twelve days.

In Bheesma Stuti,

“Sapadi sakhi vacho nishamya madhyae nija parayo balayo ratham nivaeshya |”
“Stithavathi parasainikayurakshnaa hruthavathi parthasakhae rathirmamasthu ||” [Srimad Bhagavatham 1.9.35]

Lord Krishna here comes as a Guru, with the mind as the driver [Sarathy]. He controls the mind and drives us.  In Mahabharatha, Lord Krishna is the sarathy and brings Arjuna in the midst of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The Guru brings the mind between the self [nija] and the other mundane matters [para] and through the sheer grace of the Guru, all the mundane desires are annihilated and fix the mind on the Lord’s feet. He is verily our driver and the end destination is the holy feet of the Lord.

It is verily Sage Narada who is doing all the work for him sitting inside his heart. Five months passed by and Dhruva now had total control of his breath. He became one with the Lord, the Antharyami who is the entire cosmos. When Dhruva did not breathe, no one in the Universe was able to breathe. He was doing the penance in a steady posture standing on one leg, his toe finger pressured the earth. When his toe finger touched the ground, the whole ground was vibrating, akin to how a boat topples when an elephant stands on one side of the boat. The Devas were suffocated and unable to breather and they directly sought the help of the Lord.  In the case of Dhrvua, the Guru was shielding him from both inside and outside. He made sure that there were no extraneous disturbances to Dhruva what so ever. The Lord after hearing the pleas of Devas, told them it was Uttanapada’s son Dhruva who had merged one with the Lord. Earlier Sage Narada during his meeting with Uttanapada assured him that Dhruva would return quickly and that he will spread Uttanapada’s glory all the way to Vaikunta. The Lord didn’t mention Dhruva but referred to him as Uttanapada’s son. The Lord was waiting for the Devas. The Lord in Garuda set out to Madhuvanam to bestow Jnana to Dhruva.

tha evam utsannabhaya urukrame krutavanamah prayayus trivistapam
sahasrasirsaapi tatho garutmatha madhor vanam bhrutya didrksaya gatah [Srimad Bhagavatam 4.9.1]

The Lord was standing in front of Dhruva. Dhruva was enjoying the beautiful countenance of the Lord inside his heart and did not open his eyes. The Lord then destroyed the beautiful form of the Lord in Dhruva’s heart. He immediately opened his eyes. He was seeing the very form of the Lord that he was enjoying from within. – Prasaadhabhi mukam shasvath. The same form that Sage Narada had earlier described was standing in front of Dhruva.

prasAdAbhimukham sashvat prasanna vadanekshaNam
sunAsam subruvam chAru kapolam sura sundaram

The Lord was an epitome of Prema. The divine love waves were breezing on Dhruva and he was wobbling on that breeze. Shanka- the embodiment of Jnana touched Dhruva’s chin, which was glowing by the immense grace of his Guru. The moment the Shanka touched Dhruva, he was bestowed with Jnana.

tadh darshanenaagatha saadhvasah ksitav avandatangamm vinamaya dandavath
drugbhyam prapasyan prapibann ivaarbhakas cumbann ivasyena bhujair ivaslisan [Srimad Bhagavatham 4.9. 3]

 

He composed a stuthi containing twelve verses akin to the Dvadashaksari that had twelve syllables.

The Lord resides as Antharyami in all the hearts of the jivas which makes the Jivas move, eat and talk and do normal chores. Dhruva offered his prostrations to the Lord.

yo antah pravishya mama vacham ima, prasuptham sanjivayathy akhila sakthi dharah sva dhamna
anyam cha hastha charana-sravana tvag adin pranan namo bhagavate purushaya tubhyam [Srimad Bhagavatham 4.9.6] 

Dhruva says – “Oh Lord! You entered into so many jivas just to make me attain your feet. It was verily you, who kindled the desire in me to go and see Uttaman and induced the desire in me to sit on my father’s lap. It is a normal wish for any child to sit on his father’s lap but you entered into Surichi and my father to make that not happen. Your grace didn’t stop there. When I went home and cried to my mother, you made her not to pacify me and instead drove me away from home to do penance. Enroute to the forest, you made me meet Sage Narada which is again your divine play and after taking the Upadesam from him, it was you who also did the penance by residing inside me. It was verily you who kindled the desire in me to reach your holy feet “. Dhruva was moved to tears thinking about the compassion of the Lord.

Tvadh dattaya vayunayedam achasta vishvam suptha prabuddha iva naatha bhavat-prapannah
Tashyapavargya sharanam tava pada mulam vishmaryate kruta vidha katham artha-bandho [Srimad Bhagavatam 4.9.8]

 

Dhruva in his stuthi to the Lord, says it is verily the grace of the Lord that brings the jivas unto you. It is verily your grace that bestows one with satsangs. Dhruva sings praises on Lord’s compassion and grace.

nunam vimustha matayas tava maayaya te ye tvam bhavapyaya vimoksanam anyahetoh
archanti kalpaka tarum kunapopabhogyam icchanti yath sparshajam niraye pinrunam Srimad Bhagavatam 4.9.9]

 

People worship you for all mundane things for satisfying their senses which is available to even those who are dwelling in hell. Even a worm will enjoy all the worldly desires and all the people worship you to attain these desires. Even in the case of Dhruva, when he met Sage Narada, he only wished to sit on his father’s lap. Without the grace of a Guru, even if the Lord comes in front of us, we won’t know the right thing to ask the Lord. When one becomes a recipient of Guru’s grace, he will know the right thing to ask the Lord. What to ask the Lord – “vendamai vendanum” – Not to ask the Lord anything.

Dhruva who earlier came aspiring to sit on his father’s lap now prays to the Lord to bestow him with bhakti.

bhaktim muhuh pravahatham tvayi me prasango buyad ananta mahatam amalasayanam
yenanjasolbanam uru vyasanam bhavabdhim neshye bhavadh guna kathamruta panamattah [Srimad Bhagavatam 4.9.11]

Dhruva prays to the Lord to bestow him with bhakti and be in a state of infatuation after drinking the nectar, which is verily the divine glories of the Lord – “guna kathamruta panamattah”.

 

satyashiso hi bhagavams tava paada padmam aasis tathanubhajatah purusartha murteh [Srimad Bhagavatam 4.9.17]

Akin to how a cow who tries to feed its new born calf with milk, the Lord also is waiting to shower his immense grace on all his devotees.  Dhruva requested the Lord to bless him and ended his stuthi.

 

The Lord blessed Dhruva and fulfilled his boon. He asked only for constant remembrance of the Lord, but the all-knowing Lord offered Dhruva everything he needed and more.  He also advises Dhruva to go back to the kingdom and told him that he will be crowned as the king in few years.  He also told Dhruva about the events that were to happen in the future, that Uttaman will out for hunting and would be killed by Yakshas. Surichi will also meet her end in a forest fire when going in search of Uttama. He further added, “Oh Dhruva, you will do satsangs for a long period of time and then I will give you “Dhruva Padavi” [polestar] and you will attain me during the time of dissolution [pralaya]. “

Dhruva returned to the kingdom, and was welcomed by all. As the Lord had earlier told him, he later became a great king and ruled for many years before finally being granted a place in the sky as the Pole star. The one who is liked by the Lord is indeed liked by everyone. Here Dhruva is now everyone’s favorite including Uttandapadan and Surichi. Dhruva offered his prostrations to everyone. As years passed by,  Uttanapada got Dhruva married and also crowned him as the king, Uttandapada departed to forest and attained Lord by doing penance. Dhruva’s eldest son was a Jnani and so he crowned his second son as the king and departed to forest to do satsangs eagerly waiting for the Lord to take him unto his fold. As days passed, a vimana arrived and all Hari dasas disembarked from the plane. Dhruva immediately prostrated unto them.

Just as he was about to depart, he remembered his mother Suneethi. When enquired about her, he was told that she was also enroute to Vaikunta. As he was climbing the beautiful airplane from the sky, he met Mruthyu [death]. When Dhruva realized that he was Mruthyu, who had come by to collect the mortal coil of the ones departing from the world, Dhruva told him that he was not going to shed his mortal coil, since it was verily touched by the Lord. So he asked Mruthyu to bend down and used him as a staircase to embark into the plane.

 

Thondaradi podi Azhwar also echoed the same precept that one who chants the divine names of the Lord is sure to reach the holy feet of the Lord by climbing on Murthyu’s head.

The life-history of Dhruva was extolled by Sage Narada is Partisargal’s Yagam in the later years.  Dhruva, a five year old attained the holy feet of the Lord by doing penance.

yah pancha varso gurudara vaak sarair bhinnena yatho hrudayena duyatha

vanam madh adesa karojitham prabhum jigaya tadh bhakta gunaih parajitham [Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.42]

The reason Sage Narada talked about this is goes to show that the Lord who cannot be attained very easily, becomes a slave to his devotees who verily chant his divine names – jigaya tadh bhakta gunaih parajitham

The key takeaway from Dhruva’s charitra, is that even though he was only five years old, when he was struck by sorrow, he turned it inward and used it as a pretext to reach the Lord with Drida Vishwasam. After attaining the Lord, he spent the rest of his life in satsangs.  Let us all pray to the holy feet of our Guru Maharaj to bestow us with that aim to reach the Lord’s feet and also bless everyone with the shraddha and drida vishwasam when chanting the divine names of the Lord.

 

The satsang concluded with prayers and Namasankirtanam.

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