Sai Darshan Home
Date:23 May 1995 Occasion:Summer Course Place:Brindavan

Story of Dhruva

Jihvaagre Vartate Lakshmi
Jihvaagre Metra Baandhavaha
Jihvaagre Bandhana Praapti
Jihvaagre Maranam Dhruvam

Mother Lakshmi (Goddess of Prosperity) resides on the tongue. By the tongue are determined friends and relatives. The tongue can also be the cause of bondage. The tongue can lead to death.


One can win kingdoms, wealth or friends with words. One can also develop relationships and face death because of one's speech. Words are therefore supreme for profit

Every man should think if his words are good or bad and control them. In this world, Dharma is the primary basis. Manu Chakravarti taught and practised Dharma. Manu first defined Dharma for the good of humanity. This Manu had two sons: Priyavarta and Uttaanapaada, the latter being older. Uttaanapaada had two wives -- Suniti (whose son was Dhruva), and Suruchi (whose son was Uttama).

These stories are important for students, whose hearts are flexible and tender and can be transformed. Students should become examples of ideal transformation, shining with humility and obedience. Humility is the jewel of students. Unfortunately, it cannot be found nowadays.

Dhruva was five years old, and Uttama four-and-a-half. At one time, both of them were playing in the palace. Seeing them play, their father Uttaanapaada was enjoying himself. After some time, Uttama became tired, and ran and sat in his father's lap. Dhruva also ran forward to do the same.

Suddenly, Uttama's mother Suruchi came running forward and flung Dhruva away from his father. Then she hurt the tender heart of Dhruva with exceedingly harsh words: "Dhruva, you are not my son but the son of Suniti. Only a son born of me has the right to sit on the king's lap. If you want to sit on your father's lap, the only way for you is to take another birth and be born as my son." Suruchi was the more favoured of the two queens, and hence had established her hold over Uttaanapaada.

Silently, Dhruva walked back to his mother's palace. He entered and sat down silently, without even mentioning anything to her. He sat in a corner and tears were coursing down his cheeks. Some maids noticed Dhruva's condition and informed Suniti. Even when asked by his mother, Dhruva sat silently with a tearful face. Suniti came to know of the entire incident from her maids.

Suniti lamented her plight, saying: "In this palace, I'm treated like a maid by everyone because the king favours the other queen. When I am treated like a servant, how can my son get any respect?" She told Dhruva, "My son, pray to God and be born in Suruchi's womb." Dhruva immediately replied that his mother was Suniti alone; he further angrily blamed his step-mother for her selfishness. Suniti stopped him, saying, "My son, whatever anyone says to us is for our good. Even if they say harsh words, only good will result to us from those words. So don't talk bad about anyone because the results of that bad will accrue to us also."

Then Dhruva said, "So what do you want me to do, mother?" Suniti replied, "There is no one who can really help another. It is God alone who is the sole refuge of everyone. Go to the forest and seek Lord Narayana Himself to fulfill all your desires." She placed her hand on Dhruva's head as blessing and said, "Whether you are in the forest, city, mountains or sea, God is the only refuge of the forlorn. Don't think of the forest as a forest, but as God's abode. Go and seek Him, my son."

Dhruva prostrated to his mother's feet and left immediately. Just think about it! He did not know anything about spirituality, penance, mantras, ways of meditation, about what pleases God. ... nothing. Yet, without pausing to worry about all these issues, he thought only of his mother's command, only of his goal -- to secure the Lord. He did not even allow any other thought into his mind except that of his aim.

Seeing his determination, the divine sage Narada met him midway. "Where are you going, young Dhruva? Are you going to play?", asked Narada. To this, Dhruva said, "Yes, Oh Rishi, I am going to play with God. My mother told me to go to the forest and seek Him." Narada said, "Oh foolhardy child, don't you know that most renunciates and scholars cannot reach the Lord even after centuries of penance? So how can you, an innocent and ignorant child, achieve it?" Dhruva replied, "Narada, age is not important to the Lord. My mother's blessing and my determination will take me to the goal." Narada tried to dissuade Dhruva in many ways by talking of failure, despair, discomfort and fear, but all in vain. Dhruva was firm. "My resolve is a divine one, not a wicked one. I will never give it up."

Today's students have a glorious lesson to be learnt here. Strong determination -- this is a must for any achievement in life.

"It is my mother's command. I should follow it even at the cost of my life. I should succeed. Truth is the life breath of our faculty of speech. I am Manu's grandson, who was a great proponent of Dharma. So I must be the embodiment of Sathya and Dharma." -- these were the lofty thoughts chasing each other in Dhruva's mind.

Finally, Narada admired his resolve and felt pity for him. He went with Dhruva for some distance and at the banks of River Yamuna, he instructed Dhruva: "If one chants the name of the Lord with a purified mind, the Lord will appear soon." They had a bath in Yamuna, and Narada initiated Dhruva into the great Dvadasi Mantra (12-syllable mantra) -- OM NAMO BHAGAVATE VAASUDEVAAYA.

After Narada left, Dhruva found a shady part in the forest, fixed his seat, and began chanting the mantra. As he recited, he pictured the form of the Lord, which had been described earlier by Narada.

Dhruva forgot his body. However, because of his tender age, he felt hungry and thirsty at times. For one month, he ate fruits fallen on the ground. The second month -- tubers and leaves. The third, only water. The fourth month, he survived on air. His body was reduced to a skeleton.

During both inhalation and exhalation he repeated this mantra, while picturing Lord Narayana's Form. Name + Form = Tapas (Penance). Because of Dhruva's one-pointedness, the whole forest became hot. Other sages etc. living there could not bear it. They tried to obstruct his concentration. In addition, snakes were circling his body and wild animals were prowling. But nothing could disturb him. Dhruva thought, "My mother said that God is the refuge of the helpless. So God will take care."

Gradually, he became so weak that voice could not come out of his body. He was repeating the mantra in his mind. Finally the Lord responded. Lord Narayana appeared in front of Dhruva.

As the Lord approached closer and closer to Dhruva, His tejas (effulgence) intermingled with Dhruva's aura, and Dhruva was shone brighter and brighter. Suddenly, finding his heart empty of the Lord's Form, Dhruva opened his eyes. He saw Narayana. Smiling, Dhruva said, "Oh Lord, so long You were in my heart. Now You are outside me. Are You trying to leave me? I won't allow it."

Dhruva had recognized that what we see outside is really a reflection of what is present in our own hearts. When we see good or bad in others, it is only a reflection of our inner state.

Even Narayana was surprised at the ideal qualities of Dhruva. The Lord mused within, "This child is enjoying the benefits of many past lives spent in the Divine Quest." Dhruva started extolling the Lord in many ways and caught hold of His Lotus Feet. The Lord touched the cheeks of Dhruva with His conch and fresh energy coursed through Dhruva's body. His speech was restored fully.

The Lord asked him, "Dhruva, tell Me what you desire." Dhruva was so enraptured that the Lord repeated the question many times. Finally, Dhruva said, "My Lord! You alone created me. You brought me into this world. You took care of me every second all these years. You made me perform this penance. After all this, don't you know what I desire?"

Dhruva was talking high philosophy. But God had read two books more on spirituality than Dhruva! Lord Narayana replied, "Child! The thought that prompted and fired your penance was the desire to sit in your father's lap and enjoy the privileges of being his son. The deed you did, namely the penance, was also towards this end. So I know your thought and deed. Now I want to hear your word -- I want to hear from your lips, the object of this penance. Then, I will know what you desired through your thought, word and deed."

Dhruva replied, "Dear Lord, in ignorance I desired for my father's company. But now that I have seen You, touched You and talked to You, I do not wish for anything besides You. I was desiring a drop of water and I have found Divine Nectar itself."

The Lord smiled. "Dhruva, by thought and deed you desired your father's proximity. But by word, you desire only Me and nothing else. Your thought, word and deed are not in harmony. However, notice that the majority of the three lies towards your initial desire. Hence, it is My command that you return to your father and experience all the joys which you originally desired. Till now, you followed your mother's command in performing this penance. Now, I am both your father and mother. Follow the Divine Command." Saying this, the Lord waited for Dhruva's response. See how mysterious and impeccable are the Lord's ways! No one can understand Him.

Dhruva thought and said, "I will go back to my father's kingdom and do as you say, my Lord."

Immediately as Dhruva said this, the Lord came forward and embraced him. Holding him close to Himself, the Lord spoke endearingly to the young lad. "Dhruva, you have to teach a lot to this world. You have to prove to the world, the glory of the Divine Name. Now, I will Myself enter you." As He said this, a light came from the Lord and entered Dhruva's body. Dhruva became effulgent and energetic. He rose up and touched the Lord's Feet. Then the Lord disappeared.

The Lord's voice assured Dhruva of immortal fame because the Pole Star would henceforth be called Dhruva Nakshatra. Even the Sapta Rishis (The Seven Sages), the sun, the moon -- all celestial bodies will have to circle the Dhruva Star. The Lord further said that Dhruva would reach Him at the end of his lifespan.

Just see this! Because Dhruva agreed to follow the Lord's command, how much Grace overflowed to him! Dhruva obtained the Lord's bhakti, His constant presence within him and immortal fame -- much, much more than what he originally desired. That is why, it is not even necessary to ask God for your desires. Just follow the Lord's commands, and His Grace will overflow, unasked.

In this manner, the Bhagavatam is full of bhakti. But unfortunately, the people today do not have even a thousandth part of Dhruva's devotion. They even cast wrong accusations on Bhagavatam. Some pandits' interpretations of Krishna's leelas are atrocious!

When Krishna was in Gokula, He was only five years old. At that age, is it possible to interact with Gopikas as popularly portrayed? Did you not play with your elder sisters and mother when you were 5 years old? If you see any untoward behaviour in Krishna's leelas, it is only because such wrong notions are present in you.

God is like the ocean. He is beyond the three gunas (Satva, Rajas and Tamas) which characterize all creation. Will He, the Supreme Being, behave like one enmeshed in gunas? Whatever thoughts anyone may have, Krishna was completely pure and unattached. It is true that the Gopikas related to the body of Krishna, but even that was not in any bad sense. The Gopikas were completely pure also.

The tender heart of Dhruva set an example for everyone. Dhruva started back for his father's kingdom. His father, who had been forewarned of Dhruva's homecoming, was proceeding to welcome him home. As Dhruva walked through the forest, he looked like a luminous star - so much effulgence and brightness he had!

Uttanapaada jumped down from his chariot and ran forward to embrace Dhruva. He asked Dhruva to pardon him. Dhruva replied, "I am Narayana, you are Narayana, everything is Narayana. So where is the question of pardon?" He even taught Atma Vidya to his father!

Dhruva's penance had lasted barely 5 months. He came home when he was 5 years 5 months old. And he was crowned as the emperor when he was only 6 years old!! This was because Uttaanapaada rightly realized that for one who had realized God, it was not a big task to rule over a kingdom. Dhruva's father and mothers left for Skanda Ashrama to spend the remaining years of their life in solitude and meditation.

Dhruva ruled for many years, and patiently waited every moment for his final mergence with the Lord. During his last moments, a chariot came from the Lord to take him there. Dhruva told the charioteer, "Where do I need to go? Why do I need to go, when God is everywhere?" He taught the supreme truth even to the charioteer! He sat down in the chariot and repeated, "Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaaya", and the light in him merged into the Lord.

The Lord is a servant of His devotees. He waits, day and night, as a watchman in the prayer room of His devotees. Do you know why? So that whenever His devotee utters a prayer or expresses a desire, the Lord wants to be present to fulfill it. He doesn't want to miss fulfilling even the slightest wish of His devotees.

What is the meaning of bhakti? The first syllable BHA is from the word BHAGAVAN (God). The second syllable is TI. What does TI represent? In all the words -- sakti (strength), yukti (cleverness), rakti (desires), virakti (detachment), bhukti (food) and mukti (liberation) -- the common syllable is TI. Therefore, Bhakti = BHA + TI, means the attainment of sakti, yukti, rakti, virakti etc.. by the grace of Bhagavan. Understand and attain such unwavering devotion to the Lord.

[Swami concluded with "Govinda Hare, Gopala Hare, He Gopi Gopa Bala!..."]

[Discourse posted by Steve Beckow on SaiNet]