Bhagawatam 203: Dhruva laments that he did not seek liberation; he returns home

Dhruva thought, “I reached the lotus feet of that Lord who destroys worldly bondages. But due to my foolishness, I prayed to Him for a position which is of impermanent nature.

The star (pole star) that I am about to reach is superior to the heavenly planets wherein Devatas reside. When their balance of punya (merit) comes to an end these Devatas are thrown out of heaven. Therefore envious of my accession to a higher planet, these Devatas polluted my intelligence. That is why foolishly I threw away the valuable advice given to me earlier by Maharishi Narada.

I was totally deluded by Srihari’s illusion (māya). The person considers the objects seen in the dream to be of different existence, although this is far from truth. In reality there is nothing apart from the Self. Likewise totally deluded, I considered my brother as my enemy. I am afflicted due to this wrongful thinking. Hence all my efforts have become completely useless and can be compared to the treatment given to a dead person.

Srihari is the Self (atma) for this entire universe. Pleasing Him is the most difficult task. He is the Lord who destroys worldly bondages. I was fortunate that I could please Him with my penance. But then being dull-witted, I asked Him for perishable objects. I sought worldly bondages.

Svārājyaṁ yacchato mauḍhyān māno me bhikṣito bata

Īśvarāt kṣīa-puyena phalī-kārān ivādhanaḥ

Iśwara blesses the person with liberation. Due to depletion in my punya, I foolishly asked Him to bless me with the ultimate position, which only enhances my ego. I am like the foolish beggar who asks for grains of rice from the richest man who has the capacity to fulfill every demand”.

Maitreya Maharishi continued, “My dear son Vidura, pure devotees like you who are free from desire are satisfied by whatever is obtained by them due to the Lord’s grace. Srihari is the Lord who bestows liberation. Devotees like you, who serve His lotus feet, do not seek any material benefit for themselves. They seek only to serve His lotus feet.

No one believes that the dead return to life. Likewise, King Uttānapāda could not believe the messenger who reported that his son was returning home. He thought -‘I am a wretched fool. How can such auspiciousness ever come to me?’

But yet at the same time he recollected the words of Maharishi Narada. With faith in the Maharishi words, he understood that his son was actually returning home. He jumped with uncontrollable joy. He rewarded the messenger who had brought him this good news with a precious pearl chain.

He was anxious and desperate to see his son’s face. Immediately he mounted a golden chariot that was drawn by magnificent horses and left the city. Together with priests, Vedic scholars, relatives and many other well-wishers, his procession moved magnificently.

The citizens blew conches, drums, flutes and kettle-drums celebrating Dhruva’s arrival. Vedic scholars began to chant Vedic hymns loudly. Suneeti and Suruci, the king’s wives, decked themselves with exquisite golden jewellery. Seated in their palanquins, they too joined the procession to welcome Dhruva.

Due to touching the holy lotus feet of the all-pervading Lord Srihari, Dhruva was now totally freed from all material bondages!

From a distance King Uttānapāda saw his son who was approaching the nearby forests. For the past many months his mind was afflicted by the desire to see his son. In that eagerness he got down from the chariot, rushed towards his son and embraced him warmly with both his arms. It was as if his long pending desire was truly fulfilled. He kissed the boy on his head repeatedly and patted him. Tears of joy were freely flowing from his eyes and they drenched the boy thoroughly.

Dhruva is the foremost among noble persons. He was totally humble. He prostrated before his father. The father blessed him and enquired about his well-being. Thereafter Dhruva turned towards both his mothers and bowing before them, he offered obeisance to them.

Step-mother Suruci lovingly carried the boy who had bowed down before her in reverence. She embraced him lovingly and with a choked voice blessed him “May you live long!” Tears of happiness were freely flowing from her eyes.

Just as water naturally flows downhill, human beings naturally honour the person who has been blessed completely by Lord Srihari. Suruci who despised him earlier now showered him with her love and blessings.

Brothers Uttama and Dhruva embraced each other and shed tears of joy. Their hair on their bodies stood up.

Mother Suneeti embraced her son who was dearer than her own life by putting her arms around him. She was soaked in total joy and the grief in her mind was totally washed away. The valiant and noble mother that she was, milk flowed from her breasts that were wet with tears of joy. They drenched Dhruva totally.

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