Dhruva began to exhaust his balance of both merits and sins. Through experiencing kingly comforts he exhausted his balance of merit (punya). Through performance of Yagnas he washed away all his sins.
He ruled the earth righteously for 36000 years. He fulfilled the first three principles of life i.e. dharma (righteousness), artha (materialistic earnings) and kāma (fulfilling desires). Thereafter he handed over the kingdom to his son Utkala.
Manyamāna idaṁ viśvaṁ māyā-racitam ātmani
During dream, all objects appear real. However, dream is the mind’s creation. It is made visible by the Self’s illumination (atma chaitanya, Pure Consciousness). When we observe the clouds, we can see varied shapes in them. However, all those shapes are nothing but creations of the mind. The Pure Consciousness (ātma chaitanya) within illumines these creations of the mind.
Likewise, although this entire world does not exist within the pure consciousness, due to spiritual ignorance it appears to exist. Dhruva realized this profound truth.
Dhruva realized that this body, wife, children, friends, relatives, army, the treasure chests filled with treasury, the inner apartments of the palace, the vast kingdom that stretched up to the seas and the lovely gardens had only temporal existence. He also understood that at some point or the other time would swallow them all. He developed total dispassion. In order to undertake penance he reached Badarikāśrama.
He bathed in the pure waters of the river. With absolute purity of mind and senses, he selected a suitable posture (asana) and took up disciplines such as Yama and Niyama. Through the process of Praṇāyāma he controlled the breathing. Using the mind he withdrew the senses (Pratyāhāra). He concentrated and fixed his mind (dhāraṇa) upon the gross form of the Lord i.e. the Universal form. He meditated upon this form with absolute concentration (dhyāna).
He reached the state of final absorption (Nirvikalpa samādhi) which is beyond differences of dhyāta (the person who is meditating) and dhyeya (the object of meditation) cease to exist. At that point he stopped meditating even upon this form.
Dhruva had incomparable love for Lord Srihari. Due to this overflowing love, uninterrupted tears of joy flowed from his eyes. The hairs on his body stood up and he was exhilarated. His heart completely melted due to this overflowing devotion. In him, who had given up egoism completely, the thought ‘I am Dhruva’ dissolved completely!
At that moment he saw a celestial airplane descending from heaven. Like the Full moon it began to illumine the 10 directions.
Dhruva noticed two celestial beings aboard that airplane. Both of them were of bluish-black complexion. They had reddish eyes that resembled lotus petals. Each of them had four hands and they were holding a mace in one hand. They were wearing costly clothing. On their heads they wore a crown. They looked radiant with glittering earrings, pearl chains and beautiful armlets. Dhruva recognized them as two attendants of Srihari, who were of great repute.
Seeing these supreme attendants of Srihari approaching him, Dhruva instantaneously stood up. In that anxiety he forgot to worship his guests. He could only chant the name of Srihari, fold his hands and offer obeisance to them.
Dhruva’s mind was firmly fixed upon the lotus feet of Lord Srikrishna. With lowered head and folded palms, he humbly stood before these guests. With a charming smile on their faces, these attendants of Srihari whose names were Sunanda and Nanda, addressed Dhruva and said,
“O emperor! Please listen attentively to us. At the age of five you pleased Srihari with your intense penance. We are the attendants of Lord Srihari, the father of this creation. We have come to take you to Srihari’s abode, which is the ultimate abode (paramapada).
It is extremely difficult to earn Lord Srihari’s abode. You have successfully conquered it. Through your penance you earned it. Even the seven great sages could not reach this abode. From afar they simply observe it. The Sun, Moon, planets and stars revolve reverentially around Srihari’s abode and thus circumambulate it. Now you are welcomed into that abode.
Anāsthitaṁ te pitṛbhir anyair apy aṅga karhicit
Ātiṣṭha jagatāṁ vandyaṁ tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padam
O Dhruva! Srihari’s abode is most revered and worshipped by all the worlds. In the past neither your father, grandfather nor any other person have reached this supreme abode. Now please step into that Supreme abode of Srihari, which is highly extolled by the Vedas.
O immortal being! Srihari, who is the most supreme among those with pure reputation, has especially sent this celestial airplane for you. You are worthy of boarding it.
Dhruva was very dear to Lord Srihari. Likewise Dhruva loved Srihari the most. Dhruva heard attentively the nectarous words uttered by these attendants of Srihari. He bathed and completed his Sandhya vandana and other obligatory rituals. He wore auspicious decorations on his body. He offered obeisance to the Maharishis present there and obtained their blessings.
He then worshipped that celestial airplane and circumambulated around it. He offered obeisance to the attendants of Lord Srihari.
He then took on a radiant body and got ready to enter into that celestial airplane. At that moment death arrived there in the form of time. Dhruva placed his foot on the head of death and entered into that celestial plane. Celestial drums, kettles, trumpets sounded from the heavens.