Bhagavata Purana
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam)

Skandha 4, chs. 8-12

Translated by Anand Aadhar Prabhu

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8. Dhruva Leaves Home for the Forest

(1) Maitreya said: 'None of the ones headed by Sanaka [the Kumāras] or the other sons of Brahmā: Nārada, Ribhu, Hamsa, Aruni and Yati, lived a householder's life [being married], [for] they were [vowed to the] celibate [ūrdhva retasah, sending their seed upwards]. (2) O slayer of enemies, Mrishā, the wife [and sister] of [another son of Brahmā called Irreligion or] Adharma produced the two [children] Dambha [Bluffing] and Māyā [Cheating], but they were taken by [a demon ruling the south-west called] Nirriti who had no children. (3) From those two Lobha [Greed] and Nikrita [Cunning] were born o great soul. And from the both of them there were Krodha [Anger] and Himsā [Malice]. From these two [also irreligiously being bound in incest] Kali and the sister called Durukti [Harsh Speech] were born. (4) O best of the truthful, bound to Durukti Kali produced Bhaya [Fearfulness] and Mrityu [Death] and of those two combined Yātanā [Excessive Pain] and Niraya [Hell] took birth. (5) I thus explained to you in short the cause of the devastation [of landing in hell because of irreligion]. Someone who hears this description three times o pure one, will lead a pious life and see the contamination of his mind being washed away.

(6) Next I will describe the dynasty famous for its virtuous activities, o best of the Kurus, that evolved from the Manu called Svāyambhuva, who was a part of a plenary portion [Brahmā] of the Personality of Godhead. (7) Uttānapāda and Priyavrata, the two sons of Queen Satārūpa and her husband were, as parts of [Brahmā's plenary expansion] of the Supreme Lord Vāsudeva, there for the protection and maintenance of the world. (8) Of the two wives of Uttānapāda, Sunīti ['the one of good conduct'] and Suruci ['the one delighting'], Suruci was far more dear to the husband than the other one who had a son called Dhruva ['the immovable one']. (9) When the king one day was patting the son of Suruci named Uttama ['the one of excel'] whom he had placed on his lap, he turned away Dhruva who also tried to get on his lap. (10) Queen Suruci who was very proud [of the king's attentions] enviously spoke to Dhruva, the child of the co-wife that tried to get on his lap, in such a way that the king could hear it. (11) 'My dear child, you don't deserve to seat yourself where the king sits because, even though you were born as a son of the king, you were not born from my womb. (12) O child, you don't understand that, because you are not my own but from the womb of another woman, the thing you desire is out of your reach. (13) You can seat yourself on the throne of the king if you want, but only if you, by means of penance, have satisfied the Person of God and by His mercy have found a place in my womb for yourself [to be born again].'

(14) Maitreya said: 'Pierced by the harsh words of his stepmother, he out of anger began to breathe as heavily as a snake struck by a stick and when he saw his father silently looking on, he began to weep and ran away to his mother. (15) Having heard from the others what had happened Sunīti lifted her heavily breathing son whose lips were trembling on her lap, feeling very sorry over what was said by the co-wife. (16) Losing her composure she cried with a fire of grief which burned like dry leaves and when she remembered the things said by the other wife she spoke through the haze of tears that fell from her lotuslike face. (17) Not knowing how to curb the danger the lady breathed heavily and said to her son: 'Do not wish others anything inauspicious my dear son, a person will have to suffer himself from the ill he wishes others. (18) The truth of what mother Suruci has told you about having taken birth from the womb of me, the unfortunate one, and that you grew up on the milk from my breast, is that the king feels ashamed, he regrets it to have accepted me for his wife. (19) All that your stepmother has told you is true. If you want to sit on the throne just like Uttama, then just engage yourself without being envious my dear son, in worshiping the lotus feet of Adhokshaja, the Lord of Transcendence. (20) The unborn One [your great-grandfather Brahmā] no doubt acquired his supreme position in the universe and the qualifications to create, from worshiping the One whom we know by His lotus feet and who can be approached by those who in self-regulation have conquered the mind. (21) Likewise Manu, your worshipable grandfather, achieved liberation and the heavenly and earthly happiness that is so difficult to achieve by other means, because he in worship executing sacrifices was of an unflinching devotion and great charity. (22) Take shelter with Him, the Kindhearted One my dear boy, for people who want to get liberated follow the path of His lotus feet. Worship the Supreme Personality by fixing your mind upon His image, thinking of nothing else and being faithful to your original sense of duty with Him. (23) Looking for someone else I wouldn't know any one but the Lord with the lotus eyes who could mitigate your sorrow. Even de Goddess of Fortune who is worshiped by others my dear, is always with a lotus flower in her hand looking for Him.'

(24) Maitreya said: 'Thus having heard the purposeful words of the mother he, mindfully keeping himself under control, left his father's house. (25) Nārada who came to hear about it and understood his intentions, was surprised and with the hand that could expel all sin touching his head he exclaimed: (26) 'Oh that might of the rulers! Unable to tolerate any infringement on their prestige, this one being only a child, took to heart the unpalatable words of his stepmother.' (27) Nārada then said: 'Why is it that you, a child normally fond of sports and games, at present feel insulted because of not being respected? (28) Even though you see no alternative, what reason other than being illusioned would there be for people to be dissatisfied in this world wherein one because of one's karma is separated from one another? (29) Therefore you should be satisfied o dear one. Whatever it is that fate has in stall for a person, is by someone who is intelligent recognized as a way leading to the Supreme. (30) But the yoga your mother told you to do for elevating yourself to His mercy, is to my opinion too difficult for a person like you. (31) The greatest sages even, who were on the path of detachment for many births, in the trance of their strict yoga practice never came to understand what they were looking for. (32) Stop therefore now with this insistance of yours, it'll take you nowhere. Save that [quest] for the future, then you'll find ample opportunity [to engage in adult matters like these]. (33) Any embodied soul who is of peace with whatever happiness or distress that destiny reserves for him, can reach the opposite side of darkness. (34) With something [or someone who is] better one should be pleased, with something [or someone who is] of a lesser quality one should be compassionate and with something [or someone] equal one should be friendly. Thus fostering no desires one is never affected by tribulations.'

(35) Dhruva said: 'This balance of mind you talk about o Lordship, is [a quality] of people who are merciful with those who with their happiness and distress have lost track of the soul, but for persons like us it is very difficult to see it the way you said it. (36) Because I was born a ruler I'm not that tolerant. Pierced by the harsh words of mother Suruci I cannot have a heart [like you]. (37) Please tell me about an honest way to pursue my desire for a superior position in the three worlds o brahmin, a position not even attainable for others like my father, grandfather and forefathers. (38) You as a worthy descendant of Brahmā playing the vīnā, alike the sun travel all around the world for the sake of its welfare.'

(39) Maitreya said: 'Nārada was very pleased to hear what Dhruva said, whereupon he compassionately replied to give the boy good advice. (40) Nārada told him: 'The path your mother told you about of fully absorbing yourself in rendering service to the Supreme Lord Vāsudeva, constitutes the highest perfection in life. (41) For him who seeks the supreme benefit of the self by what is known as dharma, artha kāma and moksha [the civil virtues of religious righteousness, economic activity, regulation of sense gratification and finding liberation], the worship of the Lord His lotus feet is the only cause. (42) For that purpose, my dear, go with my blessing to the bank of the Yamunā and be purified by the sacredness of the Madhuvana forest where the Lord is always present. (43) When you have taken a bath in that river, [also called] the Kālindī [according to the name of the mountain where the Yamunā springs from]—which performed correctly three times a day is a most auspicious thing to do—you should sit down on a sitting place you have prepared. (44) You should meditate upon the Supreme Spiritual Master with an undisturbed mind. Thereto you must, in relation to the life breath and the senses, gradually with the help of the threefold breath control [of prānāyāma: controlling the ingoing, the outgoing and balanced breath] give up the impurities of your mind. (45) Always prepared to be merciful, He with His pleasing mouth and typical look, His straight nose, arched eyebrows and intelligent forehead, is the beauty of the demigods. (46) Youthful, attractive in all His limbs and with lips and eyes as reddish as a rising sun, He, as the shelter of the surrendered souls who is transcendental in every respect, is the one offering protection as merciful as the ocean. (47) Marked with the S'rīvatsa [a few white hairs on His chest] and of a deeply bluish [gray] color, He is the original Personality garlanded with flowers, showing the conch shell, the disc, the club and lotus flower in His four hands. (48) The garments of yellow silk He wears are complemented by a helmet, pearl earrings, a necklace, bracelets and the Kausthuba jewel. (49) Pleasing as well the eye as the mind, He has small bells of gold around His waist and His ankles and is of a superior calm, peace and serenity. (50) He occupies His place on the whorl of the lotus of the hearts of those who in worship unite in the light of the glittering nails of His lotus feet. (51) You should this way regularly envision the smiling of the Lord who is so affectionate with the devotees, and thus fully attentive let your mind meditate upon the greatest of all benedictors. (52) The mind thus meditating the very auspicious form of the Supreme Lord is, being transcendentally enriched, very soon freed from all material contamination and will never wander off from that position.

(53) Please hear from me the very, very confidential mantra to pray o prince, from which recited aloud for seven days a person may behold what moves through the ether [planets, heavenly beings, thoughts]. (54) 'Om namo bhagavate vāsudevāya' [my respects for the Supreme Lord Vāsudeva]. With this mantra [called the dvādas'ākshara mantra] the learned one conversant with the differences according to time and place [des'a-kāla-vibhāgavit] should exercise respect for the physical appearance of the Lord the way it should be done with the help of the different paraphernalia. (55) One purifies with the help of water, garlands of forest flowers, roots, different fruits and vegetables, fresh grass, buds, bark and by offering tulsī leaves, which are very dear to the Lord your master. (56) You can [being alone in the forest] begin with procuring and worshiping a deity made of physical elements like earth and water [clay], and therewith as a sage be of full self-control in peace checking your speech and eat frugally whatever the forest offers. (57) Meditate [thereto] upon the inconceivable activities that by the Supreme Lord of Wisdom in the form of an avatāra were performed in order to exercise His supreme will and potencies. (58) In service of the Supreme Lord you should respect Him in your heart with the mantras that embody Him in the way the previous teachers performed their devotional service as I have told you.(59-60) When the Supreme Lord thus with your engagement in service by your body, mind and words is worshiped according to the regulative principles of bhakti, He will increase the devotion of the devotees who are sincerely and seriously engaged and will award them with what they desire in regard of the spiritual life of the conditioned souls and what belongs to it [the so-called purushārthas]. (61) Being serious in bhakti-yoga about your liberation you must in complete detachment from all sense-gratification unrelenting exercise a respect that is steeped in love for Him directly.'

(62) Thus being addressed by Nārada, the son of the king circumambulated him offering his obeisances and went to the Madhuvana forest which, imprinted with the feet of the Lord, was the right place for him to be. (63) When Dhruva entering the forest thus had withdrawn himself, the respected sage thought it wise to pay the king a visit in his palace. Seated there comfortably, he spoke to him. (64) Nārada said: 'Dear King, your face appears to be withering, what are you thinking so deeply about? Have you lost your way with the gratification of your senses, the religion or the economy?'

(65) The king replied: 'O brahmin, my son, my sweet boy who is only five years old and actually a great personality and devotee, I have, being too attached to my wife and too hard-hearted, banished from here together with his mother. (66) I worry whether the helpless boy whose face is like a lotus, without being protected by anyone in the forest, o brahmin, isn't starving or being tired having laid down hasn't been devoured by wolves. (67) Alas, how cruel I was being conquered by a woman. Just imagine how utterly hard-hearted I was denying him all affection when he out of love tried to climb on my lap.'

(68) Nārada said: 'Do not I say, do not be aggrieved about your son. He is well protected by the Godhead o master of men, you don't know how widespread His influence is all over the world. (69) The boy is a master. After performing what is impossible for even the greatest personalities around, he, in favor of your reputation, will come straight back to you dear King.'

(70) Maitreya Muni said: 'The king, having heard what Nārada told him, began to think about his son and neglected his opulent kingdom. (71) Meanwhile the Original Personality was worshiped [by Dhruva], after taking a bath and fasting that night, with perfect attention the way Nārada had advised it. (72) For the first month worshiping the Lord he only ate, to the bare necessity of preserving his body, fruits and berries in the morning after every third night. (73) The next month the innocent boy continued his respect for the Almighty by eating every sixth day as mentioned, on those days preparing his food from grasses and leaves gone dry. (74) With the third month passing he, fully absorbed in his respect for the Lord of Wisdom, Uttamas'loka, each ninth day drank water only. (75) That way continuing into the fourth month, he by controlling his breath, meditating in worship of God, only ate air every twelfth day. (76) By the fifth month in full control of his breath the son of the king, meditating upon the Creator, without moving stood on one leg like a column. (77) With his mind fully controlled concentrating in the heart, he meditated with no other thoughts than the thought of the Supreme Lord His form, upon Him, the resting place for the senses and their objects. (78) Keeping his mind focussed on the foundation, the cosmic intelligence of the reality, the master of the primal ether [pradhāna] and the person, the Supreme Spirit, all the three worlds began to tremble. (79) As he remained standing on his one leg he, the child of the king, with the one half [of his body] pressed down the earth with his big toe bent, just like the king of elephants does when he as a boat balances left and right with every step. (80) Because he in the full of his meditation had stopped his breathing and closed all the gates of his body, he thus by confining the life air was suffocating all the worlds so that soon all the great souls from all places sought their refuge with the Lord.

(81) The godly said: 'We don't understand this o Supreme Lord, the flow of the universal breath is obstructed! Therefore o reservoir of goodness so kind to the needy, we all approach You for shelter to be saved from this calamity.'

(82) The Supreme Lord replied: 'Fear not, this choking of your life air happens on account of the son of King Uttānapāda who is fully absorbed in thoughts of Me. I will ask the boy so strong in his determination of penance to stop with this. Please return to your homes.'

9. Dhruva Returns Home from the Forest

(1) Maitreya said: 'They [the demigods], thus being freed from all fear, offered the Lord of the wide strides [Urukrama, Vishnu] their obeisances, upon which they returned to their three worlds. The Lord with the thousand faces [Sahasras'īrshā, the original Vishnu] then got on the back of Garuda and went to the Madhuvana forest in order to see His servant [Dhruva]. (2) He who strengthened by his meditation in yoga observed Him brilliant as lightening manifested on the lotus of his heart, all of a sudden noticed that He had disappeared, but looking around he then saw Him standing right before him in the same form. (3) With Him present before him he, confounded, fell to the ground prostrating his body like a rod to offer Him his obeisances. As he looked at Him, it was as if the boy was drinking Him with his eyes, like he was kissing Him with his mouth and embracing Him with his arms. (4) Seeing that he wanted to glorify Him but didn't know how, the Lord, who is the prayer in accord with the scripture in the heart of each, understanding the boy mercifully touched his forehead with His conch shell. (5) Thus being inspired with the ability to say just what he wanted, he, slowly offering his prayers in the love of his devotion, could understand what the supreme of the soul was all about and that he would be the Dhruva of renown and fame whose world couldn't be denied.

(6) Dhruva said: 'Let me offer my obeisances to You, the Supreme Lord and Original Person, who as the One within, from Your internal potency commanding the universal energy, entering my words and breath has brought to life my passive senses as well as my other limbs, my hands, legs and skin. (7) You are the One, Supreme Lord who, after by His own potency creating this vast outer world called māyā - that unlimited completeness of reality with its modes - next as the Original Personality has entered here to appear differently in the time-bound qualities the way fire does in fire wood. (8) Like a man awakening from his sleep, the one of surrender to You [Brahmā] could see this entire universe by dint of the knowledge given by You o my Lord. How can anyone conversant with Your actions forget Your lotus feet that are the shelter of all who desire liberation, o friend of the distressed? (9) It suffers no doubt that You, the cause of liberation from birth and death, are like a desire tree to those who, under the influence of the outer world, miss the proper concept of life and worship You with ulterior motives in their desire for the gratification of the senses of this bag of bones, a gratification that is even available to persons in hell. (10) The bliss of Your magnificence that for embodied souls may happen when they meditate upon Your lotus feet or when they hear the stories of Your devotees is never found with the impersonal supreme [Brahman], nor does it compare to what is experienced in [personally] elevated positions from which one has to fall down being destroyed by the sword of death. (11) Let it be so that I may enjoy the intimate association of those who are constantly engaged in Your devotional service o Unlimited One, of those great devotees by whose purified hearts one can easily cross the terrible and vast ocean of dangers that is material existence. Let it be so that I go mad of drinking the nectar of the stories about Your qualities. (12) They so high-principled my dear Lord, never think of the material body, their relating to their sons, friends, home, wealth and wife; they, o One of the Lotus Navel, have achieved the association with those who in their hearts always hanker after the fragrance of Your lotus feet. (13) The animals, trees, birds, reptiles, gods, demons and men, driven by the material energy are found throughout the universe in different forms of existence and are for several reasons seen and not seen o Unborn One. That I know, but about this transcendental form, o Supreme One I knew not, I do not know but the end of my argument. (14) At the end of each epoch the Supreme Person withdraws all of this universe into His belly, lying down in self-reflection in the company of Ananta S'esha as His bed. From the ocean of His navel the golden abode sprouted, with Brahmā on the whorl of the lotus. Him, that Supreme Lordship I offer my obeisances. (15) You are the eternally liberated, uncontaminated Supreme Soul full of knowledge, the changeless, authentic Original Person, the Supreme Lord and ruler of the three modes, the continuing intelligence throughout all actions of the intellect, the transcendental vision and witness, the maintainer, enjoyer and the one whose position differs from all the others. (16) You, in whose nature always the different opposing energies of knowledge and ignorance are found, You who are that continuing Brahman, You the cause of the material manifestation, the original and unlimited One who is simply blissful, I offer my respects. (17) Compared to other benedictions Your lotus feet are the true one o my Lord, and thus You as such are the personification of the goal of life of each person o beloved Fortunate One. You, eager to bestow Your mercy, maintain the ones poor of heart like me, the way a cow keeps a calf.'

(18) Maitreya said: 'After thus truly being worshiped by means of the fine intelligence of his good intentions only, the Supreme Lord who is always there in favor of His devotees spoke to him, after first having congratulated him. (19) The Supreme Lord said: 'I know about the determination within your heart o son of the king. Since you are sworn to piety, I shall grant you all the fortune, even though it is a wish difficult to fulfill. (20-21) Never before My good boy, there was anyone who managed to settle for such a brightly glowing place known as the planet of Dhruva, around which all the other planets and constellations of stars are circling like a group of bulls does running stationary around a central pole [for crushing grain]. It is the planet around which, keeping it to their right, along with the stars, all great sages of the forest move circumambulating like Dharma, Agni, Kas'yapa and S'ukra whose lives stretch beyond a millennium. (22) As soon as your father has left for the forest, you will be awarded the entire world. It will be under the pious protection of your rule uninterrupted for thirty-six thousand years in full control of your faculties. (23) When your brother Uttama, being killed during a hunt, is sought in the forest by his most afflicted mother, she will run into a forest fire. (24) After performing great sacrifices for Me, the heart of all sacrifice, and having distributed great charities, you will, after having enjoyed the blessings of this world, at the end of your life be able to remember Me. (25) Thereafter you will head for My abode that is worshiped on all planets and is situated above those of the rishis. Having gone there, you will never come back.'

(26) Maitreya said: 'After thus having assured the boy of His personal protection [and residence], He, the honored and worshiped Supreme Lord who carries Garuda in His flag, before the eyes of Dhruva returned to His heavenly abode. (27) Even though Dhruva by dint of his determination as the result of his service had achieved the feet of Lord Vishnu, he was not very pleased with the satisfaction he obtained and then returned home.'

(28) Vidura said: 'Why is it so that he, who with the very focussed worship of His lotus feet had obtained the in one lifetime rarely achieved supreme position of the Lord, having reached that far and being that wise, felt not that satisfied inside?'

(29) Maitreya replied: 'He was by his stepmother's harsh words pierced in his heart and remembering it all and not desiring liberation from the Lord of salvation, he thus suffered grief. (30) Dhruva said to himself: 'That what the four Kumāras, those infallible celibates, in their absorption never could achieve in one birth, I managed to fathom within six months, but achieving the shelter of His lotus feet I fell down because I fixed my mind on things other than Him. (31) Alas, just see the misfortune based upon my bodily consciousness. Having approached the lotus feet of Him who can cut all bonds, I have prayed for that what is perishable. (32) Because the demigods couldn't tolerate it that they [contrary to me, some day] have to return to an earthly life, my intelligence was contaminated and thus I, wretched as I was, failed to accept the truth of Nārada's instructions. (33) Just like dreaming in my sleep I sought my refuge in the illusory energy of God and complained from within my heart. Seeing things in opposition I, under the influence of the outer world, lamented that my brother was my enemy, although he is only a temporary phenomenon. (34) This what I prayed for, is as useless as a treatment given to someone whose life has already ended. After satisfying the Soul of the Universe by austerities - which is something very difficult to achieve - I prayed with the One with whom one cuts with the world for a repetition of birth and death and thus I am unlucky. (35) From Him who was willing to offer me His full independence I alas out of foolishness asked for material prosperity. It is like a poor man who asks a great emperor who is impressed by his virtue, for a few broken grains of husked rice.'

(36) Maitreya continued: 'My dear Vidura, persons like you who delight in the dust of the lotus feet of the Lord of Liberation, act in serving Him not out of self-interest because that interest is automatically attained by it, they consider themselves very rich. (37) When he heard that his son had returned as if he had risen from death, king Uttānapāda couldn't believe why a sinner like him would befall such a good fortune. (38) With his faith in the words of devarishi Nārada [confirmed], he was overwhelmed by the tidings the messenger brought and being very satisfied he offered him a highly valuable pearl necklace. (39-40) Very eager to see his son he in great haste mounted a gold ornamented chariot drawn by the finest horses and left, accompanied by the sound of conch shells, kettledrums, flutes and the chanting of hymns, the city together with the brahmins, the elderly and his officers, ministers and friends. (41) Both his queens Sunīci and Suruci got, decorated with gold, together with Uttama on a palanquin and joined the procession. (42-43) Meeting him in a small forest nearby, the king hurried down from his chariot and was immediately overwhelmed by love as he approached him. Heavily breathing because of his great anxiety he for a long time with both his arms embraced his son whose bondage of endless material contamination was destroyed by the Lord His lotus feet. (44) Thereupon smelling his head over and over, he who now saw his greatest desire fulfilled, bathed his son with the cool water from his eyes. (45) After respecting his father's feet by him being blessed and honored with questions, he, the best of all noble souls, bowed his head to his two mothers. (46) Suruci, picking up the innocent boy who had fallen at her feet, embraced him and spoke, choked with tears, to him the words: 'May you live long.' (47) Unto anyone with whose qualities and friendship the Supreme Personality, Lord Hari, is pleased, all living beings offer their respect, [as naturally] as water that out of its own flows to the lowest position. (48) Uttama and Dhruva both overwhelmed with affection embraced one another over and over with their hairs standing on end and let their tears run freely. (49) Sunīti, his mother, embracing her son who was more dear to her then her life air, satisfied to touch his body gave up all grief. (50) There and then o heroic one, he was wetted auspiciously by the incessant tears from her eyes and the milk that started to flow from the breasts of the mother of this hero. (51) The people around her offered the queen praise: 'The fortune of your son will vanquish all your pains now that he, after being lost for such a long time, has returned in order to protect the face of the earth. (52) You must have worshiped Him, the Supreme Lord who can deliver you from the greatest danger and upon whom meditating the wise conquer death which is so difficult to overcome.'

(53) Dhruva thus praised by the people around him, was by the king together with his brother placed on the back of a she-elephant and that way pleased and glorified, he returned to his capital. (54) Here and there brilliant, arched gateways were created, there were shark-teeth shaped festoons and columns of banana trees and young betel nut trees with bunches of flowers and fruits hanging down from them. (55) At each gate there was the decoration of hanging mango leaves, cloth, flower garlands and strings of pearls, combined with pots filled with water and burning lamps. (56) The city gates with the surrounding walls, the houses and the domes of the palace glittered on all sides, beautifully decorated as they were with valuable golden ornaments. (57) The crossroads, streets and the market-place were thoroughly cleansed and sprinkled with sandalwood water and provided with auspicious presentations of fried rice, barley, flowers and fruits. (58-59) Seeing Dhruva on the road, the women of the houses uttering affectionate blessings showered him here and there with white mustard seeds, barley, curd, water, fresh grass, flowers and fruits. With their very pleasant songs ringing in his ears he thus entered his father's palace. (60) In that fine mansion bedecked with mosaics of precious stone he, who under the constant care of his father was elevated to the highest status, lived like a god. (61) The palace was furnished with seats and furniture embellished with gold, very valuable ivory beds and bedding as white as milk foam. (62) The walls, made of marble, had precious gems in them and also the lamps that shone with jewels were held by female figurines made of precious stones as well. (63) Also the gardens were very beautiful with various heavenly trees, pairs of singing birds and the humming of mad bumblebees. (64) Emerald staircases lead to ponds full of lilies and blue lotuses, swans and ducks and flocks of geese, and cranes that dwelt nearby.

(65) When the saintly king Uttānapāda heard and saw what the most remarkable influence was of his son, he felt extremely happy about that great miracle. (66) When he saw that Dhruva had come of age and also carried the approval of his ministers and was loved by his subjects, he made him the lord and master of the world. (67) He, this king of Vishnu, then considered himself also old enough and went in regard of the salvation of his soul detached into the forest.'

10. Dhruva's Fight with the Yakshas

(1) Maitreya said: 'Dhruva ['the immovable one'] married Bhrami [meaning 'turning around'] the daughter of Prajāpati S'is'umāra ['the dolphin', 'the galaxy'] and named her sons Kalpa ['epoch'] and Vatsara ['tropical year']. (2) With another wife called Ilā ['the comfort'], a daughter of Vāyu [the demigod of the air], the powerful one begot a son called Utkala ['the one who carries the load'] and a jewel of a girl. (3) Uttama ['the one of excel'] however, Dhruva's brother who didn't marry, was during a hunt in the Himalaya range killed by a very powerful Yaksha [an evil spirit]. He was [soon] followed by his mother [Suruci]. (4) Dhruva hearing about the death of his brother, filled with lamentation angered swore revenge and got on his victorious chariot to leave for the city of the Yakshas.

(5) Heading in the northern direction the king saw in a valley of the Himalayas that was inhabited by followers of Lord S'iva, a city full of ghostly people. (6) There o ruler, the mighty-armed one blew his conch shell that resounded fearfully in the sky in all directions so that the wives of the Yakshas became most afraid. (7) Thereupon the very powerful soldiers of Kuvera appeared out of their resentment against the sound of the conch shell and attacked him with all kinds of weapons. (8) He, the hero and powerful bowman with all of them attacking, could fight many adversaries simultaneously and killed them one after the other, shooting three arrows at a time. (9) Because these arrows were aimed at their heads, they, being convinced of the fact that they all without fail surely would be defeated, lauded his action. (10) Not accepting that they would be trampled like serpents under his feet, they tried to retaliate, striking back shooting twice as much arrows at the same time. (11-12) Eager to counter his actions and his charioteer they, a 130.000 men strong, very angry showered thereupon all kinds of feathered arrows, bludgeons, swords, tridents, pointed lances, spears and fire weapons. (13) The master of war vanished completely from sight behind that constant shower of weapons, just like a mountain that is covered by a downpour.

(14) In the sky a tumult of disappointment resounded from the perfected ones [the Siddhas] who, witnessing the fight, assumed that this grandson of Manu who was setting like the sun in the ocean of Yakshas, had been killed. (15) The Yakshas exclaimed that the victory was theirs, but then his chariot reappeared from the fighting lot like the sun emerges from the mist. (16) His twanging divine bow created the lamentation of his enemies, scattering the different weapons with his arrows just like the wind scatters an array of clouds. (17) The sharp arrows released from his bow pierced the shields and entered the bodies of the demons, just like thunderbolts hitting the mountains. (18-19) The battlefield that bewilders the mind of a hero, began to glimmer from the by the arrows severed heads complete with garlands and turbans beautiful with earrings and helmets, and the cut off thighs and arms that with beautiful bracelets and armlets shone like golden palm trees. (20) The remaining soldiers, the most of whom had wounded limbs because of the arrows of the greatest of all warriors, fled in all directions like elephants defeated by a lion.

(21) At that time seeing that none of the enemy soldiers were left standing, the best of all men wanted to see their city, but he didn't enter it for one can't be sure of the plans of a mystical enemy. (22) When the one with the finest chariot, apprehensive about a counterattack of his enemies, was talking to his charioteer, a loud sound like that of the ocean was heard that could be recognized as produced by the wind of a dust storm rising from all directions. (23) In a moment the sky was covered by a mass of dense clouds that everywhere glittered with lightening accompanied by a thunder that threatened on all sides. (24) O faultless one, there was an inundation of blood, mucus, pus, stool, urine, marrow and trunks of bodies falling from the sky in front of him. (25) Then from the sky a downpour from everywhere could be observed of a mountain of clubs, bludgeons, swords, maces together with a hail of big stones. (26) Serpents breathing like thunder vomited fire with angry eyes and groups of mad elephants, lions and tigers were encroaching. (27) As if the last of days had arrived the sea flooded the earth in all directions with fierce rolling waves, producing a tremendous sound.

(28) These kinds of phenomena are created by heinous demons who with demoniac illusions try to frighten the less intelligent ones. (29) The great sages cognizant of the highly dangerous mystic power that by the demons was directed against Dhruva, then united to support him and help him out. (30) They said: 'O son of Uttānapāda, may the Supreme Lord carrying the bow called S'ārnga, be the Godhead that kills all the enemies of the surrendered souls in order to remove their distress. For it is the chanting and hearing of His holy name that forthwith helps men fully to overcome insurmountable death o Dhruva.'

11. Svāyambhuva Manu Advises Dhruva Mahārāja to Stop Fighting

(1) Maitreya said: 'After having heard the words of the sages Dhruva touched water and fixed on his bow an arrow made by Nārāyana. (2) Joining this weapon of Nārāyana to his bow, quickly the illusions created by the Yakshas were vanquished o Vidura, just like pleasures and pains are dispelled by the rise of spiritual knowledge. (3) With the weapon that was given to him fixed on his bow, golden arrows with feathers like the wings of swans sprang forward which pierced the enemy soldiers with the tumultuous sound of peacocks entering a forest. (4) Because of those sharp pointed arrows the Yakshas here and there dispersed on the battlefield got terribly excited so that they full of anger with uplifted weapons rushed towards him, just like serpents with raised hoods do when they wage against Garuda. (5) With his arrows he cut through the arms, legs, necks and bellies of all the Yakshas who came forward in battle. He sent them all to the abode above the sun where all those who send their seed upwards [the celibates] are going. (6) When he saw those Yakshas being killed by the man with the wonderful chariot while they factually had not committed any offense, the grandfather, the Manu, in his mercy approached the son of Uttānapāda together with the great sages in order to instruct him. (7) Manu said: 'Enough my son, stop the killing of these good guys who never wronged you. With this escalation of anger you're treading the path of ignorance and sin. (8) My dear, this undertaking to kill the Yakshas who haven't sinned, is not befitting a member of our family and is forbidden by the sages. (9) Surely my best, you are aggrieved at the death of the brother you care about, but now the offense of one Yaksha has lead to the killing of his many associates. (10) This killing of living beings is certainly never the way of those who honestly follow the path of the Lord of the Senses. Taking the body for the self one is like the animals. (11) You have with your meditation upon the Supersoul within all living beings reached the abode of Lord Hari who is so difficult to propitiate. You thus being of worship attained the supreme position of Vishnu. (12) How can someone like you who esteemed by the devotees of the Lord always are remembered by them, you who as an example to others are vowed to the saintly, engage in such an abomination?

(13) When one is of tolerance, friendship, mercy and equanimity towards all living beings, the Soul of All, the Supreme Lord will be very pleased. (14) Pleasing the Supreme Lord a person being liberated from the modes of material nature and freed from the worries of his individual existence will achieve unlimited spiritual bliss [brahma nirvāna]. (15) Man and woman [by the impelling force of Time] evolved from the five elements of matter and by their sexual behavior even more men and women came about in this world. (16) Because of the interaction of the modes of nature o King, thus the creation, maintenance and annihilation takes place with the illusory energy of the Supreme Self. (17) The way iron is moved [by a magnet] this world of cause and effect must be considered as being moved by the remote cause [of] the original and most exalted Person who is free from the modes of nature. (18) Under the influence of the no doubt hard to fathom potency of the Almighty One in the form of the force of Time, the interaction [or disturbance of the equilibrium] of the modes of nature resulted in this diversity of energies upon which the Supreme Personality exerts His influence even though He is not the one acting and in which He leads to death even though He is not the one who kills. (19) He to whom there is no end in the form of Time puts everything to an end, He who knows no beginning constitutes the beginning of everything, He who is inexhaustible gives life to one living being by means of another one and He as death puts an end to everything that kills. (20) As death entering each his life no one is His ally or His definitive enemy. All the combinations of the elements [organic and inorganic] helplessly follow His movement like dust particles moved by the wind. (21) Free from a short or long lifespan as is the case with beings that are born, the Almighty One is ever situated in His transcendental position and grants the covetous ones the results of their actions. (22) Some o king, explain that karma [the work load of fruitive activities] as arising from one's particular nature or as brought about by others o protector of men. Some say it's due to time, others refer to fate, while still others ascribe it to the desire of the living entity. (23) Who my dear boy, can ever understand the intentions of Him who is our origin, He of transcendence who from the unmanifested reality [pradhāna] gives rise to the different energies and natural forces? (24) The same way my son, all these followers of Kuvera [the divine treasurer] are not the murderers of your brother. Only God is the cause of the birth and death of a living being my dear. (25) He creates the universe and also maintains and annihilates it. Moreover He does not get entangled by the activities of the modes of nature, for He [being free from false ego] does not identify Himself with a material body. (26) This Supersoul, the controller and maintainer of all beings, brings forth, fosters and devours, making use of the force of His external energy. (27) For Him my dearest, He the Supreme One of death and immortality who in every respect is the ultimate goal of surrender for all the world, all the devotees and important personalities of creation bring their offerings, being controlled by Him the way bulls are controlled by a rope through their nose. (28) Five years of age only you left your mother, aggrieved at heart by the words of your stepmother and went to the forest to worship the Lord with austerities. Thus you attained the highest position in the three worlds. (29) Keeping Him in mind my best one, free from anger turn yourself to the one infallible spiritual self [the Brahman] situated in the beyond and try looking at the soul to discover the uncontaminated state from within all that is divided appears to be untrue. (30) When you then render transcendental service to the Soul Inside of the Supreme Lord who endowed with all potencies is the unlimited reservoir of all pleasure, you will very soon untie the knot of illusion of 'I' and 'mine' and thus be firmly fixed.

(31) Just control your anger—it is the enemy of all goodness—and all good fortune will be yours. By constantly keeping to this lesson my dear King, this [directive] will work like a medicinal treatment for a disease. (32) An intelligent person who for his soul desires freedom from fear, must never be lead by anger, for everyone shuns the person ruled by it. (33) By angrily killing the Yakshas of whom you thought that they had killed your brother, you've slighted the brother of S'iva, Kuvera. (34) Forthwith go pacify him my son. Offer him respectfully, with gentle words your obeisances, before the wrath of the great ones will defeat our family.'

(35) Manu Svāyambhuva after thus giving instruction to his grandson received from him his obeisances and departed together with the sages for his abode.'

12. Dhruva Mahārāja Goes Back to Godhead

(1) Maitreya said: 'Having learned that Dhruva, with his anger lingered, had refrained from killing, Kuvera, the master of the treasury who is worshiped by the Cāranas, Kinnaras [singers and indwellers of heaven] and Yakshas, appeared there and spoke to Dhruva who stood with folded hands before him. (2) The master of the treasury said: 'O son of the ruler, I am very glad about you o sinless one, because you being instructed by your grandfather gave up the enmity that is so difficult to avoid. (3) You didn't kill the Yakshas, nor killed the Yakshas your brother, for it is the Time that is really the master of annihilation and generation of all living beings. (4) One's intelligence is of ignorance with the misconceptions of 'I' and 'you'. To a person who follows the bodily concept life appears to be just like in a dream; [the physical approach] is the cause of bondage and misfortune. (5) I wish you all good fortune o Dhruva, live with that in mind for the worship of the Supreme Lord Beyond the Senses of all living beings thinking of Him in the form of the one Supersoul within all that lives. (6) Be of devotion unto Him whose lotus feet deserve it to be worshiped, for they deliver you from a material existence and cut through the knot of being materially entangled. Even though He in His potency of ruling the modes is connected to them, He by His inconceivable nature is aloof from them. (7) O King, please ask without hesitation from me whatever you deem desirable o son of Uttānapāda, because you, o dear one, considering your endurance at the lotus feet of Him from whose navel the lotus sprouted, deserve the benediction.'

(8) Maitreya said: 'He, by the treasure king of all kings [the ruler of the Yakshas] being offered a benediction, asked, as a first class intelligent and thoughtful devotee of the Lord, for the continuous remembrance by which one without difficulty crosses over the unsurpassable ocean of nescience. (9) Kuvera, the son of Idavidā, who was very pleased with Dhruva's mentality, granted him that remembrance and next disappeared from sight. Dhruva then also returned to his capital. (10) He subsequently worshiped by means of sacrificial ceremonies and great charities with all that he had, could accomplish and divine support he could find, the Ruler of all Sacrifices, the objective [of one's life] who awards all results. (11) Uninterruptedly rendering service unto the one infallible Soul above all, he saw all living beings as present in Him alone and Him Almighty as the one and only present within all living beings. (12) Thus endowed with godly qualities he, who as a kind protector of the principles of religion had respect for the brahmins and the poor, was considered the father of the people. (13) During the thirty-six thousand years of his rule over the planet Earth he by enjoyment exhausted his merits and by austerity diminished his misfortune. (14) Thus free from agitating his senses the great soul [life after life] for many, many years favorably executed the three kinds of civil duties [the regulation of religion, economy and sense gratification], after which he handed the royal throne over to his son. (15) He realized that this universe consisting of His external energy, to the living being was a phantasmagoria that just like a dream is a result of ignorance. (16) He considered everything created comprising his body, his wives, children, friends, his influence, riches, the pleasure grounds, the facilities for his women and the complete of the beauty of the earth with its oceans, as something bound to time and for that reason he left for Badarikās'rama [the Himalayan forest]. (17) There he purified his body, bathing in pure water and, fixed in yogic postures, controlled the breathing process by withdrawing the mind from his physical senses. Concentrating on the exact form of the Lord he constantly kept in mind, he thus meditating became fully absorbed. (18) Constantly engaged in his devotion for Lord Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was of an everlasting bliss and again and again overcome by a stream of tears that made his heart melt and all the hairs of his body stand on end. He no longer remembered that he had a body and was thus liberated from [also the subtlety of] being materially bound [mukta-linga].

(19) Dhruva saw a very beautiful heavenly vehicle [a vimāna] descending from the sky which illumined him and the ten directions as if the full moon itself had appeared. (20) Therein he discerned two beautiful demigods with four arms, a blackish skin, being quite young and with eyes as pink as a lotus flower. They held clubs and were attractively dressed and decorated with helmets, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. (21) Understanding them to be two servants of the Renown One, he stood up, but being puzzled he didn't know anymore how to receive them with proper respect and thus he respectfully joined his hands offering his respects by chanting the names of the chief of these associates, the Enemy of Madhu. (22) He whose heart was always absorbed in thoughts about the feet of Lord Krishna, very humbly folding his hands bowed his head while Nanda and Sunanda, the two confidential servants of the One with the Lotus navel, smilingly approached and addressed him. (23) Nanda and Sunanda said: 'O best of kings! All good fortune to you. Listen attentively to our words. You are the one who, being five years old, greatly satisfied God by doing penance. (24) As the associates of the creator of this entire universe, of the Godhead who carries the bow named S'ārnga, we have approached you to take you with us to the Lord His abode. (25) You have achieved the world of Vishnu that is so difficult to achieve that not even the greatest of enlightenment could reach there. Come and see the supreme abode around which to the right the moon, the sun, the other planets and the stars are circumambulating. (26) This has never been achieved by your forefathers nor by others o dear one, come and live there in that supreme abode of Lord Vishnu who is so worshipable for the inhabitants of the universe. (27) O immortal soul, you deserve it to board this unique heavenly vehicle that was sent to you by the One Praised in the Verses, the head of all living beings.'

(28) Sage Maitreya said: 'After hearing the words pouring like honey from the chief associates of the Lord, he who was so dear to Him, after offering the sages his obeisances and accepting their blessings, took a purifying bath and performed his daily duties. (29) After in worship having circumambulated that excellent heavenly vehicle and also having paid his obeisances to the two associates, he whose form shone with a golden effulgence was ready to get on board. (30) Then the son of Uttānapāda could see death personified approaching him. He put his foot on his head and ascended that wonder that was as big as a house. (31) At that moment kettledrums, mridangas [drums of worship] and small drums and such resounded, while the chief singers of liberation sang and flowers showered like rain. (32) As he was about to ascend to the abode of heaven, Dhruva instantly remembered Sunīti and thought: 'How can I go to the difficult to attain world above all worlds and leave my poor mother behind?' (33) Understanding Dhruva's worries, the two superior beings of enlightenment pointed out to him that she in her divinity had preceded him. (34) On his way passing one after the other all the heavenly spheres, he was covered by even more flowers that here and there by the demigods were showered upon him from their heavenly vehicles. (35) In his vimāna surpassing the three worlds and even going beyond the great sages, Dhruva who had attained eternal life then reached the abode of Lord Vishnu. (36) For certain only those who constantly engage in welfare activities reach that place which radiating by its effulgence, illumines and makes radiate all the three worlds everywhere, and not the ones who weren't merciful with other living beings. (37) Peaceful, equipoised, pure and pleasing to all living beings they of friendship with His devotees easily reach the abode of the Infallible One. (38) Dhruva, the son of Uttānapāda thus departing with Krishna finding his purity, became the summit-jewel of the three worlds. (39) The sphere of the luminaries [the galaxy] with great force and speed being connected unceasingly encircles that place o Kaurava [Vidura's family name], like a herd of bulls moving around a central pole.

(40) Having observed Dhruva's glories the wise and great lord Nārada played his stringed instrument in the sacrificial arena of the Pracetās, chanting [the following] verses. (41) Nārada sang: 'Thanks to the austerity of this son of Sunīti serving her husband so devotedly, we are aware of the path to our life's destination. With those whom one calls the followers of the Vedas one is never certain of being that eligible, not to mention what one achieves with the regular protectors of mankind. (42) He who at the age of five years aggrieved about the harsh words of the wife of his father so very much pained in his heart, in pursuance of my instruction, went into the forest, won over the unconquerable Supreme Master, winning with the qualities of His devotees. (43) After pleasing the Lord of Vaikunthha he being only five or six years old in the shortest possible time attained His protection. Any other person cannot even expect to attain after many, many of such years [of renunciation] on earth the exalted position that Dhruva, this son of a kshatriya attained.'

(44) Maitreya said: 'I have told you everything that you here have asked me about the great and famous character of Dhruva who is so very much appreciated by many [a devotee]. (45) [To hear] this bestows wealth and repute, increases one's lifespan and is so greatly sacred and auspicious that one can even attain Dhruva's heaven with it, pleasing as it is to the mind and glorious in counteracting all kinds of sin. (46) When one repeatedly listens to it with faith one develops devotional activities that are dear to the Infallible One and therefrom there is bound to be the full defeat of all hindrances. (47) For the one who hears this story there are the qualities of good conduct and such, it constitutes [a source of] strength for the ones who desire it and it is [a breeding ground for] the honor of those who are thoughtful. (48) Carefully chant in the company of converts in the morning and the evening the sacred renown and great character of Dhruva. (49-50) At the time of a full moon or a new moon, on the day after Ekādas'ī [the twelfth day of a lunar month], when the S'ravana star appears, at the end of a tithi [a lunar day], on a day called Vyatīpāta, at the end of the month or on a holiday [relative to the sun] you should recount the story to a receptive audience without desiring remuneration and take shelter of the lotus feet of Him who is the Refuge of the Seeker. You will find your mind then pacified by the soul and thus become perfect. (51) He who imparts this knowledge to those who are not aware of the principles of reality, walks the path of truth and immortality and will be blessed by the gods for being a kind protector of the seekers. (52) O best among the Kurus, thus was my description of the activities, the fame and the great purity of Dhruva who as a child forsaking his toys and his mother left home and found the shelter of Lord Vishnu.'"