Bhagawatam 211: Dhruva’s descendants; the hidden significance contained within their names

Pradyumnāya namah

Fourth Canto Chapter Thirteen

In this chapter birth of Emperor Prithu in Dhruva’s lineage; Emperor Anga leaving the kingdom tired of his son Vena’s misdeeds are covered.

Addressing Śounaka and others, Maharishi Suta said, “Maitreya Maharishi narrated to Vidura the entire story of Dhruva including his accession to Vaikunta. After listening to this story, Vidura was firmly established in devotion towards Srihari, the Lord who is beyond the understanding of the mind and the senses. He then asked,

“O Maharishi, you had earlier mentioned that Maharishi Narada profusely extolled Dhruva’s greatness in the sacrificial hall where Pracetās and others were conducting a Yagna. Who were Pracetās? To which lineage did they belong? Where did they perform the Satra Yāga?

Manye mahā-bhāgavataṁ nāradaṁ deva-darśanam

Yena proktaḥ kriyā-yogaḥ paricaryā-vidhir hareḥ

Narada Maharishi is that supreme personality who has had the vision of Lord Srihari and therefore has fulfilled the goal of life. Only Devatas are blessed to have his darshan. He eternally teaches devotees the various ways to obtain vision of Lord Srihari. He has taught the Yoga of action (Kriya yoga) which contains the procedure of worshipping Lord Srihari and undertaking pilgrimages.

Through the process of Puja, the devotee can reach Srihari. Pracetās are eternally inclined towards their own dharmic duties (swadharma). While they were worshipping Lord Srihari, the embodiment of Yagna, through the process of Satra Yāga, Narada Maharishi, the crown jewel amongst devotees, arrived and glorified Dhruva, who had obtained liberation from Srihari.

O Maharishi, I am desirous of hearing the stories of the Lord, as narrated by Maharishi Narada in this Satra Yāga. Please explain this in detail”.

Hearing these words of Vidura, Maharishi Maitreya replied, “After Dhruva retired to the forests for meditation (vanaprasta), his son Utkala became the king. However Utkala had no interest in materialistic riches or in ruling the kingdom.

Sa janmanopaśāntātmā niḥsaga sama-darśana

Dadarśa loke vitatam ātmānaṁ lokam ātmani

By birth Utkala was disinterested and unattached (nissanga) to this world. He was not in the least inclined towards worldly comforts or attachments. Like his father, he was firmly devoted to the all-pervading Lord Srihari.

He had experientially realized that the entire world exists only in the Self’s illumination (pure consciousness, atma chaitanya) and that this entire world is pervaded by this atma chaitanya. He saw the entire world as existing within him and also that he was pervading the entire world.

The fire called relentless contemplation upon the Supreme Brahma, which was burning in his mind, reduced all his karmic bondages to ashes. He realized that the non-dual Parabrahma, who did not have even a trace of sorrow, was none other than his individual Self (pratyag atma).

That Supreme Lord, who is an embodiment of bliss, is indivisible, changeless and eternal. As everything exists only within this Self’s illumination, it necessarily pervades everything. Utkala the liberated being (jeevan mukta), considered Parabrahma was his own original form (swaroopa) and hence did not find anything apart from the Self anywhere.

To the ignorant, dull-witted persons he appeared like a fool, mad, dumb, deaf and blind man. However in reality he was an exponent in Supreme Knowledge (jnani). He was like fire that was covered with ash.

The elders and the ministers in that kingdom considered Utkala to be mad. One day, all of them appointed his younger brother i.e. Brahmi’s son Vatsara as the king of the land.

When the meaning contained in their names is studied, the special significance hidden in them will be understood.

Dhruva’s first son was Utkala. Ut-kāla means he who has conquered the wheel of time. He is a Brahma-jnani. Dhruva’s other wife was Brahmi. Brahmi means ‘rotation of the wheel of time’ (bramana). Brahmi’s son is Vatsara. One year is called sam-vatsara. One year is symbolic of the divisions within time. Vatsara’s dearest wife was Svarvīthi. Svarvīthi means ‘the path of the Sun’.

The couple Vatsara and Svarvīthi had 6 sons viz., Puṣpārṇa, Tigmaketu, īśa, Urja, Vasu and Jaya. These six sons are the presiding deities for the six seasons.

Among them, Puṣpārṇa had two wives- Prabha and Doṣa. These two are the presiding deities for day and night respectively. Prabha had three sons viz., Pratah, Mādhyāndinam and Sāyam, who are also the presiding deities for the respective divisions within the day.

Doṣa had three sons viz., Pradoṣa, Niśīta and Vyuṣṭa. Pradoṣa is the beginning of night. Niśīta is the midnight. Vyuṣṭa is the last part of the night. Vyuṣṭa’s wife was Puṣkarini. Puṣkarini means the lotus filled pond that is visible just prior sunrise. Puṣkarini’s son was Sarvatejas. Sarvatejas means the all-pervading illumination that is seen at the fag end of the night.

Ākuti was the wife of Sarvatejas. Their son was Cākṣusa. He became a Manu, head of a millennium. Nadvala, the wife of Cākṣusa gave birth to Puru, Kutsa, Trita, Dyumna, Satyavān, Rta, Vrata, Agniṣṭoma, Atirātra, Pradyumna, Śibi and Ulmuka. All of them were faultless and pure.

Among them Ulmuka’s wife was Puṣkarini. Through her he begot 6 virtuous sons viz., Anga, Sumana, Khyāti, Kratu, Angirasa and Gaya.

Aniruddhāya namah

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