Difference between revisions of "Dhruva (ध्रुवः)"
(Added flowchart and content with citation)
|(7 intermediate revisions by the same user not shown)|
|Line 1:||Line 1:|
== परिचयः ॥ Introduction ==
== परिचयः ॥ Introduction ==
Svayambhuva Manu, the son of Lord Brahma, had two sons named Priyavrata and Uttanapada. They were mighty heroes and of righteous character. Among them, Uttanapada had two wives, Suruchi and Suniti who each gave birth to a son. Suruchi's son was Uttama and Suniti's son was Dhruva.<ref name=":0" />
Svayambhuva Manu, the son of Lord Brahma, had two sons named Priyavrata and Uttanapada. They were mighty heroes and of righteous character. Among them, Uttanapada had two wives, Suruchi and Suniti who each gave birth to a son. Suruchi's son was Uttama and Suniti's son was Dhruva.<ref name=":0"/>
== कथासारः ॥ Story in Brief ==
== कथासारः ॥ Story in Brief ==
Revision as of 09:52, 14 August 2019
|This article needs editing.
Add and improvise the content from reliable sources.
परिचयः ॥ Introduction
Svayambhuva Manu, the son of Lord Brahma, had two sons named Priyavrata and Uttanapada. They were mighty heroes and of righteous character. Among them, Uttanapada had two wives, Suruchi and Suniti who each gave birth to a son. Suruchi's son was Uttama and Suniti's son was Dhruva.
कथासारः ॥ Story in Brief
Dhruva was the son of Uttanapada by his queen Suniti, to whom he was less attached. While he dearly loved his other son named Uttama by his favourite wife Suruchi. Once, observing his brother Uttama on his father’s lap, Dhruva was desirous of ascending the same. But as Suruchi was present, the Raja did not gratify the desire of his son. Moreover, he was also unkindly treated by Suruchi.
Dhruva then appeals to his mother, who advises him to engage in pursuing religious merit that bestows all the good. Accordingly, Dhruva quits the city and enters an adjoining thicket, where he meets the Saptarshis. Having heard his story, the rshis recommend him to propitiate Vishnu. Dhruva then commences his penance as enjoined by the Rshis and begins contemplation on Vishnu. As he was wholly absorbed in meditation, Vishnu pervaded his heart and due to his presence in Dhruva, the earth could not sustain the weight of the boy ascetic. And this created a great imbalance. Therefore, the celestials, with the counsel of Indra, made anxious efforts to distract his meditation but were unsuccessful. They then appealed to Vishnu, who allayed their fears, and appeared in front of Dhruva. Being pleased with his devotion, Vishnu granted him a boon and Dhruva asked for worthiness to praise the Lord. The Lord grants his wish and accepts his praise. And at his behest, endows Dhruva with a position superior to all others. And thus, Dhruva is raised to the skies as the pole-star. This story of Dhruva occurs in Chapters 11 and 12 of the Vishnu Purana (Part 1).
कथाविस्तारः ॥ Details
Vishnu Purana - Chapter 11 - Legend of Dhruva, the son of Uttanapada
In short - Legend of Dhruva, the son of Uttānapāda: he is unkindly treated by his father's second wife: applies to his mother: her advice: he resolves to engage in religious exercises: sees the seven Ṛṣis, who recommend him to propitiate Viṣṇu. Dhruva commences a course of religious austerities. Unsuccessful attempts of Indra and his ministers to distract Dhruva's attention: they appeal to Viṣṇu, who allays their fears, and appears to Dhruva. Dhruva praises Viṣṇu, and is raised to the skies as the pole-star. Posterity of Dhruva. Legend of Veṇa: his impiety: he is put to death by the Ṛṣis. Anarchy ensues. The production of Niṣāda and Prithu: the latter the first king. The origin of Sūta and Māgadha: they enumerate the duties of kings. Prithu compels Earth to acknowledge his authority: he levels it: introduces cultivation: erects cities. Earth called after him Prithivī: typified as a cow.
Detail - Parāśara continued:—
I mentioned to you, that the Manu Svāyambhuva had two heroic and pious sons, Priyavrata and Uttānapāda. Of these two, the latter had a son whom he dearly loved, Uttama, by his favourite wife Suruci. By his queen, named Sunīti, to whom he was less attached, he also had a son, called Dhruva. Observing his brother Uttama on the lap of his father, as he was seated upon his throne, Dhruva was desirous of ascending to the same place; but as Suruci was present, the Rāja did not gratify the desire of his son, respectfully wishing to be taken on his father's knee. Beholding the child of her rival thus anxious to be placed on his father's lap, and her own son already seated there, Suruci thus addressed the boy: “Why, child, do you vainly indulge in such presumptuous hopes? You are born from a different mother, and are no son of mine, that you should aspire inconsiderately to a station fit for the excellent Uttama alone. It is true you are the son of the Rāja, but I have not given you birth. This regal throne, the seat of the king of kings, is suited to my son only; why should you aspire to its occupation? why idly cerish such lofty ambition, as if you were my son? do you forget that you are but the offspring of Sunīti.”
The boy, having heard the speech of his step-mother, quitted his father, and repaired in a passion to the apartment of his own mother; who, beholding him vexed, took him upon her lap, and, gently smiling, asked him what was the cause of his anger, who had displeased him, and if any one, forgetting the respect due to his father, had behaved ill to him. Dhruva, in reply, repeated to her all that the arrogant Suruci had said to him in the presence of the king. Deeply distressed by the narrative of the boy, the humble Sunīti, her eyes dimmed with tears, sighed, and said, “Suruci has rightly spoken; thine, child, is an unhappy fate: those who are born to fortune are not liable to the insults of their rivals. Yet be not afflicted, my child, for who shall efface what thou hast formerly done, or shall assign to thee what thou hast left undone. The regal throne, the umbrella of royalty, horses and elephants, are his whose virtues have deserved them: remember this, my son, and be consoled. That the king favours Suruci is the reward of her merits in a former existence. The name of wife alone belongs to such as I, who have not equal merit. Her son is the progeny of accumulated piety, and is born as Uttama: mine has been born as Dhruva, of inferior moral worth. Therefore, my son, it is not proper for you to grieve; a wise man will be contented with that degree which appertains to him: but if you continue to feel hurt at the words of Suruci, endeavour to augment that religious merit which bestows all good; be amiable, be pious, be friendly, be assiduous in benevolence to all living creatures; for prosperity descends upon modest worth as water flows towards low ground.”
Dhruva answered; “Mother, the words that you have addressed to me for my consolation find no place in a heart that contumely has broken. I will exert myself to obtain such elevated rank, that it shall be revered by the whole world. Though I be not born of Suruci, the beloved of the king, you shall behold my glory, who am your son. Let Uttama my brother, her child, possess the throne given to him by my father; I wish for no other honours than such as my own actions shall acquire, such as even my father has not enjoyed.”
Having thus spoken, Dhruva went forth from his mother's dwelling: he quitted the city, and entered an adjoining thicket, where he beheld seven Munis sitting upon hides of the black antelope, which they had taken from off their persons, and spread over the holy kusa grass. Saluting them reverentially, and bowing humbly before then, the prince said, “Behold in me, venerable men, the son of Uttānapāda, born of Sunīti. Dissatisfied with the world, I appear before you.” The Ṛṣis replied; “The son of a king, and but four or five years of age, there can be no reason, child, why you should be dissatisfied with life; you cannot be in want of any thing whilst the king your father reigns; we cannot imagine that you suffer the pain of separation from the object of your affections; nor do we observe in your person any sign of disease. What is the cause of your discontent? Tell us, if it is known to yourself.”
Dhruva then repeated to the Ṛṣis what Suruci had spoken to him; and when they had heard his story, they said to one another, “How surprising is the vehemence of the Kṣetriya nature, that resentment is cerished even by a child, and he cannot efface from his mind the harsh speeches of a step-mother. Son of a Kṣetriya, tell us, if it be agreeable to thee, what thou hast proposed, through dissatisfaction with the world, to accomplish. If thou wishest our aid in what thou hast to do, declare it freely, for we perceive that thou art desirous to speak.”
Dhruva said; “Excellent sages, I wish not for riches, neither do I want dominion: I aspire to such a station as no one before me has attained. Tell me what I must do to effect this object; how I may reach an elevation superior to all other dignities.” The Ṛṣis severally thus replied.—Marīci said; “The best of stations is not within the reach of men who fail to propitiate Govinda. Do thou, prince, worship the undecaying (Achyuta).” Atri said; “He with whom the first of spirits, Janārddana, is pleased, obtains imperishable dignity. I declare unto you the truth.” Aṅgiras said; “If you desire an exalted station, worship that Govinda in whom, immutable and undecaying, all that is, exists.” Pulastya said; “He who adores the divine Hari, the supreme soul, supreme glory, who is the supreme Brahma, obtains what is difficult of attainment, eternal liberation.” “When that Janārddana,” observed Kratu, “who in sacrifices is the soul of sacrifice, and who in abstract contemplation is supreme spirit, is pleased, there is nothing man may not acquire.” Pulaha said; “Indra, having worshipped” the lord of the world, obtained the dignity of king of the celestials. Do thou adore, pious youth, that Viṣṇu, the lord of sacrifice." “Any thing, child, that the mind covets,” exclaimed Vaśiṣṭha, “may be obtained by propitiating Viṣṇu, even though it he the station that is the most excellent in the three worlds.”
Dhruva replied to them; “You have told me, humbly bending before you, what deity is to be propitiated: now inform me what prayer is to he meditated by me, that will offer him gratification. May the great Ṛṣis, looking upon me with favour, instruct me how I am to propitiate the god.” The Ṛṣis answered; “Prince, thou deservest to hear how the adoration of Viṣṇu has been performed by those who have been devoted to his service. The mind must first be made to forsake all external impressions, and a man must then fix it steadily on that being in whom the world is. By him whose thoughts are thus concentrated on one only object, and wholly filled by it; whose spirit is firmly under control; the prayer that we shall repeat to thee is to be inaudibly recited: ‘Om! glory to Vāsudeva, whose essence is divine wisdom; whose form is inscrutable, or is manifest as Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva.’ This prayer, which was formerly uttered by your grandsire, the Manu Svāyambhuva, and propitiated by which, Viṣṇu conferred upon him the prosperity he desired, and which was unequalled in the three worlds, is to be recited by thee. Do thou constantly repeat this prayer, for the gratification of Govinda.”
Chapter 12 - Dhruva commences a course of religious austerities
THE prince, having received these instructions, respectfully saluted the sages, and departed from the forest, fully confiding in the accomplishment of his purposes. He repaired to the holy place, on the banks of the Yamunā, called Madhu or Madhuvana, the grove of Madhu, after the demon of that name, who formerly abided there. Śatrughna (the younger brother of Rāma) having slain the Rākṣas Lavaṇa, the son of Madhu, founded a city on the spot, which was named Mathurā. At this holy shrine, the purifier from all sin, which enjoyed the presence of the sanctifying god of gods, Dhruva performed penance, as enjoined by Marīci and the sages: he contemplated Viṣṇu, the sovereign of all the gods, seated in himself. Whilst his mind was wholly absorbed in meditation, the mighty Hari, identical with all beings and with all natures, (took possession of his heart.) Viṣṇu being thus present in his mind, the earth, the supporter of elemental life, could not sustain the weight of the ascetic. As he stood upon his left foot, one hemisphere bent beneath him; and when he stood upon his right, the other half of the earth sank down. When he touched the earth with his toes, it shook with all its mountains, and the rivers and the seas were troubled, and the gods partook of the universal agitation.
The celestials called Yāmas, being excessively alarmed, then took counsel with Indra how they should interrupt the devout exercises of Dhruva; and the divine beings termed Kushmāṇḍas, in company with their king, commenced anxious efforts to distract his meditations. One, assuming the semblance of his mother Sunīti, stood weeping before him, and calling in tender accents, “My son, my son, desist from destroying thy strength by this fearful penance. I have gained thee, my son, after much anxious hope: thou canst not have the cruelty to quit me, helpless, alone, and unprotected, on account of the unkindness of my rival. Thou art my only refuge; I have no hope but thou. What hast thou, a child but five years old, to do with rigorous penance? Desist from such fearful practices, that yield no beneficial fruit. First comes the season of youthful pastime; and when that is over, it is the time for study: then succeeds the period of worldly enjoyment; and lastly, that of austere devotion. This is thy season of pastime, my child. Hast thou engaged in these practices to put an end to thine existence? Thy chief duty is love for me: duties are according to time of life. Lose not thyself in bewildering error: desist from such unrighteous actions. If not, if thou wilt not desist from these austerities, I will terminate my life before thee.”
But Dhruva, being wholly intent on seeing Viṣṇu, beheld not his mother weeping in his presence, and calling upon him; and the illusion, crying out, “Fly, fly, my child, the hideous spirits of ill are crowding into this dreadful forest with uplifted weapons,” quickly disappeared. Then advanced frightful Rākṣasas, wielding terrible arms, and with countenances emitting fiery flame; and nocturnal fiends thronged around the prince, uttering fearful noises, and whirling and tossing their threatening weapons. Hundreds of jackals, from whose mouths gushed flame as they devoured their prey, were howling aloud, to appal the boy, wholly engrossed by meditation. The goblins called out, “Kill him, kill him; cut him to pieces; eat him, eat him;” and monsters, with the faces of lions and camels and crocodiles, roared and yelled with horrible cries, to terrify the prince. But all these uncouth spectres, appalling cries, and threatening weapons, made no impression upon his senses, whose mind was completely intent on Govinda. The son of the monarch of the earth, engrossed by one only idea, beheld uninterruptedly Viṣṇu seated in his soul, and saw no other object.
All their delusive stratagems being thus foiled, the gods were more perplexed than ever. Alarmed at their discomfiture, and afflicted by the devotions of the boy, they assembled and repaired for succour to Hari, the origin of the world, who is without beginning or end; and thus addressed him: “God of gods, sovereign of the world, god supreme, and infinite spirit, distressed by the austerities of Dhruva, we have come to thee for protection. As the moon increases in his orb day by day, so this youth advances incessantly towards superhuman power by his devotions. Terrified by the ascetic practices of the son of Uttānapāda, we have come to thee for succour. Do thou allay the fervour of his meditations. We know not to what station he aspires: to the throne of Indra, the regency of the solar or lunar sphere, or to the sovereignty of riches or of the deep. Have compassion on us, lord; remove this affliction from Our breasts; divert the son of Uttānapāda from persevering in his penance.” Viṣṇu replied to the gods; “The lad desireth neither the rank of Indra, nor the solar orb, nor the sovereignty of wealth or of the ocean: all that he solicits, I will grant. Return therefore, deities, to your mansions as ye list, and be no more alarmed: I will put an end to the penance of the boy, whose mind is immersed in deep contemplation.”
The gods, being thus pacified by the supreme, saluted him respectfully and retired, and, preceded by Indra, returned to their habitations: but Hari, who is all things, assuming a shape with four arms, proceeded to Dhruva, being pleased with his identity of nature, and thus addressed him: “Son of Uttānapāda, be prosperous. Contented with thy devotions, I, the giver of boons, am present. Demand what boon thou desirest. In that thou hast wholly disregarded external objects, and fixed thy thoughts on me, I am well pleased with thee. Ask, therefore, a suitable reward.” The boy, hearing these words of the god of gods, opened his eyes, and beholding that Hari whom he had before seen in his meditations actually in his presence, bearing in his hands the shell, the discus, the mace, the bow, and scimetar, and crowned with a diadem, the bowed his head down to earth; the hair stood erect on his brow, and his heart was depressed with awe. He reflected how best he should offer thanks to the god of gods; what he could say in his adoration; what words were capable of expressing his praise: and being overwhelmed with perplexity, he had recourse for consolation to the deity. “If,” he exclaimed, “the lord is contented with my devotions, let this be my reward, that I may know how to praise him as I wish. How can I, a child, pronounce his praises, whose abode is unknown to Brahmā and to others learned in the Vedas? My heart is overflowing with devotion to thee: oh lord, grant me the faculty worthily to lay mine adorations at thy feet.”
Whilst lowly bowing, with his hands uplifted to his forehead, Govinda, the lord of the world, touched the son of Uttānapāda with the tip of his conch-shell, and immediately the royal youth, with a countenance sparkling with delight, praised respectfully the imperishable protector of living beings. “I venerate,” exclaimed Dhruva, “him whose forms are earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect, the first element (Ahaṅkāra), primeval nature, and the pure, subtile, all-pervading soul, that surpasses nature. Salutation to that spirit that is void of qualities; that is supreme over all the elements and all the objects of sense, over intellect, over nature and spirit. I have taken refuge with that pure form of thine, oh supreme, which is one with Brahma, which is spirit, which transcends all the world. Salutation to that form which, pervading and supporting all, is designated Brahma, unchangeable, and contemplated by religious sages. Thou art the male with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet, who traversest the universe, and passest ten inches beyond its contact. Whatever has been, or is to be, that, Puruṣottama, thou art. From thee sprang Virāt, Svarāt, Samrāt, and Adhipuruṣa. The lower, and upper, and middle parts of the earth are not independent of thee: from thee is all this universe, all that has been, and that shall be: and all this world is in thee, assuming this universal form. From thee is sacrifice derived, and all oblations, and curds, and ghee, and animals of either class (domestic or wild). From thee the Rig-Veda, the Sāma, the metres of the Vedas, and the Yajur-Véda are born. Horses, and cows having teeth in one jaw only, proceed from thee; and from thee come goats, sheep, deer. Brahmans sprang from thy mouth; warriors from thy arms; Vaisyas from thy thighs; and Śūdras from thy feet. From thine eyes come the sun; from thine ears, the wind; and from thy mind, the moon: the vital airs from thy central vein; and fire from thy mouth: the sky from thy navel; and heaven from thy head: the regions from thine ears; the earth from thy feet. All this world was derived from thee. As the wide-spreading Nyagrodha (Indian fig) tree is compressed in a small seed, so, at the time of dissolution, the whole universe is comprehended in thee as its germ. As the Nyagrodha germinates from the seed, and becomes first a shoot, and then rises into loftiness, so the created world proceeds from thee, and expands into magnitude. As the bark and leaves of the Plantain tree are to be seen in its stem, so thou art the stem of the universe, and all things are visible in thee. The faculties of the intellect, that are the cause of pleasure and of pain, abide in thee as one with all existence; but the sources of pleasure and of pain, singly or blended, do not exist in thee, who art exempt from all qualities. Salutation to thee, the subtile rudiment, which, being single, becomes manifold, Salutation to thee, soul of existent things, identical with the great elements. Thou, imperishable, art beheld in spiritual knowledge as perceptible objects, as nature, as spirit, as the world, as Brahmā, as Manu, by internal contemplation. But thou art in all, the element of all; thou art all, assuming every form; all is from thee, and thou art from thyself. I salute thee, universal soul: glory be to thee. Thou art one with all things: oh lord of all, thou art present in all things. What can I say unto thee? thou knowest all that is in the heart, oh soul of all, sovereign lord of all creatures, origin of all things. Thou, who art all beings, knowest the desires of all creatures. The desire that I cerished has been gratified, lord, by thee: my devotions have been crowned with success, in that I have seen thee.”
Viṣṇu said to Dhruva; “The object of thy devotions has in truth been attained, in that thou hast seen me; for the sight of me, young prince, is never unproductive. Ask therefore of me what boon thou desirest; for men in whose sight I appear obtain all their wishes.” To this, Dhruva answered; “Lord god of all creatures, who abidest in the hearts of all, how should the wish that I cerish be unknown to thee? I will confess unto thee the hope that my presumptuous heart has entertained; a hope that it would be difficult to gratify, but that nothing is difficult when thou, creator of the world, art pleased. Through thy favour, Indra reigns over the three worlds. The sister-queen of my mother has said to me, loudly and arrogantly, ‘The royal throne is not for one who is not born of me;’ and I now solicit of the support of the universe an exalted station, superior to all others, and one that shall endure for ever.” Viṣṇu said to him; “The station that thou askest thou shalt obtain; for I was satisfied with thee of old in a prior existence. Thou wast formerly a Brahman, whose thoughts were ever devoted to me, ever dutiful to thy parents, and observant of thy duties. In course of time a prince became thy friend, who was in the period of youth, indulged in all sensual pleasures, .and was of handsome appearance and elegant form. Beholding, in consequence of associating with him, his affluence, you formed the desire that you might be subsequently born as the son of a king; and, according to your wish, you obtained a princely birth in the illustrious mansion of Uttānapāda. But that which would have been thought a great boon by others, birth in the race of Svāyambhuva, you have not so considered, and therefore have propitiated me. The man who worships me obtains speedy liberation from life. What is heaven to one whose mind is fixed on me? A station shall be assigned to thee, Dhruva, above the three worlds; one in which thou shalt sustain the stars and the planets; a station above those of the sun, the moon, Mars, the son of Soma (Mercury), Venus, the son of Sūrya(Saturn), and all the other constellations; above the regions of the seven Ṛṣis, and the divinities who traverse the atmosphere. Some celestial beings endure for four ages; some for the reign of a Manu: to thee shall be granted the duration of a Kalpa. Thy mother Sunīti, in the orb of a bright star, shall abide near thee for a similar term; and all those who, with minds attentive, shall glorify thee at dawn or at eventide, shall acquire exceeding religious merit.
Thus the sage Dhruva, having received a boon from Janārddana, the god of gods, and lord of the world, resides in an exalted station. Beholding his glory, Uśanas, the preceptor of the gods and demons, repeated these verses: ”Wonderful is the efficacy of this penance, marvellous is its reward, that the seven Ṛṣis should be preceded by Dhruva. This too is the pious Sunīti, his parent, who is called Sūnritā." Who can celebrate her greatness, who, having given birth to Dhruva, has become the asylum of the three worlds, enjoying to all future time an elevated station, a station eminent above all? He who shall worthily describe the ascent into the sky of Dhruva, for ever shall be freed from all sin, and enjoy the heaven of Indra. Whatever be his dignity, whether upon earth or in heaven, he shall never fall from it, but shall long enjoy life, possessed of every blessing.
Chapter 13 - Posterity of Dhruva
Parāśara said : The sons of Dhruva, by his wife Śambhu, were Bhavya and Sliṣṭi. Succāyā, the wife of the latter, was the mother of five virtuous sons, Ripu, Ripuñjaya, Vipra, Vrikala, and Vrikatejas. The son of Ripu, by Vrihatī, was the illustrious Cakṣuṣa, who begot the Manu Cākṣuṣa on Puṣkariṇī, of the family of Varuṇa, the daughter of the venerable patriarch Anaraṇya. The Manu had, by his wife Navalā, the daughter of the patriarch Vairāja, ten noble sons, Uru, Pura, Satadyumna, Tapasvī, Satyavāk, Kavi, Agniṣṭoma, Atirātra, Sudyumna, and Abhimanyu. The wife of Uru, Āgneyī, bore six excellent sons, Anga, Sumanas, Svāti, Kratu, Aṅgiras, and Śiva. Anga had, by his wife Sunīthā, only one son, named Veṇa, whose right arm was rubbed by the Ṛṣis, for the purpose of producing from it progeny. From the arm of Veṇa, thus rubbed, sprang a celebrated monarch, named Prithu, by whom, in olden time, the earth was milked for the advantage of mankind.
Notes : The Matsya, Brāhma, and Vāyu Purāṇas speak of but one wife of Uttānapāda, and call her Sunritā: they say also that she had four sons, Apaspati (or Vasu), Ayushmanta, Kīrttimat, and Dhruva. The Bhāgavata, Padma, and Nāradīya have the same account as that of the text. The instructions of the Ṛṣis amount to the performance of the Yoga. External impressions are first to be obviated by particular positions, modes of breathing, &c.: the mind must then be fixed on the object of meditation; this is Dhārana: next comes the meditation, or Dhyāna; and then the Japa, or inaudible repetition of a Mantra, or short prayer; as in the text. The subject of the Yoga is more fully detailed in a subsequent book. The legend of Dhruva is narrated in the Bhāgavata, Padma (Swerga Khaṇḍa), Agni, and Nāradīya, much to the same purport, and partly in the same words, as our text. The Brāhma and its double the Hari Vanśa, the Matsya, and Vāyu merely allude to Dhruva's having been transferred by Brahmā to the skies, in reward of his austerities.