Dhruva Maharaja Returns Home
ta evam utsanna-bhaya urukrame
krtavanamah prayayus tri-vistapam
sahasrasirsapi tato garutmata
madhor vanam bhrtya-didrksaya gatah
maitreyah uvaca--the great sage Maitreya continued; te--the demigods; evam--thus; utsanna-bhayah--being freed from all fears; urukrame--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose actions are uncommon; krta-avanamah--they offered their obeisances; prayayuh--they returned; tri-vistapam--to their respective heavenly planets; sahasra-sirsa api--also the Personality of Godhead known as Sahasrasirsa; tatah--from there; garutmata--getting up on the back of Garuda; madhoh vanam--the forest known as Madhuvana; bhrtya--servant; didrksaya--wishing to see him; gatah--went.
The great sage Maitreya told Vidura: When the demigods were thus reassured by the Personality of Godhead, they were freed from all fears, and after offering their obeisances, they returned to their heavenly planets. Then the Lord, who is nondifferent from the Sahasrasirsa incarnation, got on the back of Garuda, who carried Him to the Madhuvana Forest to see His servant Dhruva.
The word sahasrasirsa refers to the Personality of Godhead known as Garbhodakasayi Visnu. Although the Lord appeared as Ksirodakasayi Visnu, He has been described here as Sahasrasirsa Visnu because He is nondifferent from Garbhodakasayi Visnu. According to Srila Sanatana Gosvami in his Bhagavatamrta, the Sahasrasirsa Personality of Godhead who appeared at that time was the incarnation known as Prsnigarbha. He created the planet known as Dhruvaloka for the habitation of Dhruva Maharaja.
sa vai dhiya yoga-vipaka-tivraya
hrt-padma-kose sphuritam tadit-prabham
bahih-sthitam tad-avastham dadarsa
sah--Dhruva Maharaja; vai--also; dhiya--by meditation; yoga-vipaka-tivraya--on account of mature realization of the yogic process; hrt--the heart; padma-kose--on the lotus of; sphuritam--manifested; tadit-prabham--brilliant like lightning; tirohitam--having disappeared; sahasa--all of a sudden; eva--also; upalaksya--by observing; bahih-sthitam--externally situated; tat-avastham--in the same posture; dadarsa--was able to see.
The form of the Lord, which was brilliant like lightning and in which Dhruva Maharaja, in his mature yogic process, was fully absorbed in meditation, all of a sudden disappeared. Thus Dhruva was perturbed, and his meditation broke. But as soon as he opened his eyes he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally present, just as he had been seeing the Lord in his heart.
Because of his mature position in yogic meditation, Dhruva Maharaja was constantly observing the form of the Personality of Godhead within his heart, but all of a sudden, when the Supreme Personality disappeared from his heart, he thought that he had lost Him. Dhruva Maharaja was perturbed, but upon opening his eyes and breaking his meditation he saw the same form of the Lord before him. In the Brahma-samhita (5.38) it is said, premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena: a saintly person who has developed love of Godhead by devotional service always sees the Lord's transcendental form of Syamasundara. This Syamasundara form of the Lord within the heart of a devotee is not imaginary. When a devotee becomes mature in his prosecution of devotional service, he sees face to face the same Syamasundara he has thought of during the entire course of his devotional service. Since the Supreme Lord is absolute, the form within the heart of a devotee, the form in the temple and the original form in Vaikuntha, Vrndavana-dhama, are all the same; they are nondifferent from one another.
avandatangam vinamayya dandavat
drgbhyam prapasyan prapibann ivarbhakas
cumbann ivasyena bhujair ivaslisan
tat-darsanena--after seeing the Lord; agata-sadhvasah--Dhruva Maharaja, being greatly confused; ksitau--on the ground; avandata--offered obeisances; angam--his body; vinamayya--prostrating; dandavat--just like a rod; drgbhyam--with his eyes; prapasyan--looking upon; prapiban--drinking; iva--like; arbhakah--the boy; cumban--kissing; iva--like; asyena--with his mouth; bhujaih--with his arms; iva--like; aslisan--embracing.
When Dhruva Maharaja saw his Lord just in front of him, he was greatly agitated and offered Him obeisances and respect. He fell flat before Him like a rod and became absorbed in love of Godhead. Dhruva Maharaja, in ecstasy, looked upon the Lord as if he were drinking the Lord with his eyes, kissing the lotus feet of the Lord with his mouth, and embracing the Lord with his arms.
Naturally, when Dhruva Maharaja personally saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, he was very much agitated in awe and respect, and it appeared as if he were drinking the entire body of the Lord with his eyes. The devotee's love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is so intense that he wants to kiss the lotus feet of the Lord constantly, and he wants to touch the tips of the toes of the Lord and constantly embrace His lotus feet. All these features of Dhruva Maharaja's bodily expression indicate that upon seeing the Lord face to face he developed the eight kinds of transcendental ecstasy in his body.
sa tam vivaksantam atad-vidam harir
jnatvasya sarvasya ca hrdy avasthitah
krtanjalim brahmamayena kambuna
pasparsa balam krpaya kapole
sah--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tam--Dhruva Maharaja; vivaksantam--wanting to offer prayers describing His qualities; a-tat-vidam--not experienced at that; harih--the Personality of Godhead; jnatva--having understood; asya--of Dhruva Maharaja; sarvasya--of everyone; ca--and; hrdi--in the heart; avasthitah--being situated; krta-anjalim--situated with folded hands; brahma-mayena--just consistent with the words of the Vedic hymns; kambuna--with His conchshell; pasparsa--touched; balam--the boy; krpaya--out of causeless mercy; kapole--on the forehead.
Although Dhruva Maharaja was a small boy, he wanted to offer prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in suitable language. But because he was inexperienced, he could not adjust himself immediately. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, being situated in everyone's heart, could understand Dhruva Maharaja's awkward position. Out of His causeless mercy He touched His conchshell to the forehead of Dhruva Maharaja, who stood before Him with folded hands.
Every devotee wants to chant the transcendental qualities of the Lord. Devotees are always interested in hearing about the Lord's transcendental qualities, and they are always eager to glorify these qualities, but sometimes they feel inconvenienced by humbleness. The Personality of Godhead, being situated in everyone's heart, specifically gives a devotee intelligence to describe Him. It is therefore understood that when a devotee writes or speaks about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his words are dictated by the Lord from within. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, Tenth Chapter: to those who constantly engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, the Lord, from within, dictates what to do next in order to serve Him. When Dhruva Maharaja felt hesitant, not knowing how to describe the Lord for want of sufficient experience, the Lord, out of His causeless mercy, touched His conchshell to Dhruva's forehead, and he was transcendentally inspired. This transcendental inspiration is called brahma-maya because when one is thus inspired, the sound he produces exactly corresponds to the sound vibration of the Vedas. This is not the ordinary sound vibration of this material world. Therefore the sound vibration of the Hare Krsna mantra, although presented in the ordinary alphabet, should not be taken as mundane or material.
sa vai tadaiva pratipaditam giram
tam bhakti-bhavo 'bhyagrnad asatvaram
sah--Dhruva Maharaja; vai--certainly; tada--at that time; eva--just; pratipaditam--having attained; giram--speech; daivim--transcendental; parijnata--understood; para-atma--of the Supreme Soul; nirnayah--the conclusion; tam--to the Lord; bhakti-bhavah--situated in devotional service; abhyagrnat--offered prayers; asatvaram--without any hasty conclusion; parisruta--widely known; uru-sravasam--whose fame; dhruva-ksitih--Dhruva, whose planet would not be annihilated.
At that time Dhruva Maharaja became perfectly aware of the Vedic conclusion and understood the Absolute Truth and His relationship with all living entities. In accordance with the line of devotional service to the Supreme Lord, whose fame is widespread, Dhruva, who in the future would receive a planet which would never be annihilated, even during the time of dissolution, offered his deliberate and conclusive prayers.
There are many important items to be considered in this verse. First of all, the relationship between the Absolute Truth and the relative material and spiritual energies is here understood by a student who has complete knowledge of the Vedic literature. Dhruva Maharaja never went to any school or academic teacher to learn the Vedic conclusion, but because of his devotional service to the Lord, as soon as the Lord appeared and touched his forehead with His conchshell, automatically the entire Vedic conclusion was revealed to him. That is the process of understanding Vedic literature. One cannot understand it simply by academic learning. The Vedas indicate that only to one who has unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord as well as in the spiritual master is the Vedic conclusion revealed.
The example of Dhruva Maharaja is that he engaged himself in devotional service to the Lord according to the order of his spiritual master, Narada Muni. As a result of his rendering such devotional service with great determination and austerity, the Personality of Godhead personally manifested Himself before him. Dhruva was only a child. He wanted to offer nice prayers to the Lord, but because he lacked sufficient knowledge, he hesitated; but by the mercy of the Lord, as soon as the Lord's conchshell touched his forehead, he became completely aware of the Vedic conclusion. That conclusion is based on proper understanding of the difference between jiva and Paramatma, the individual soul and the Supersoul. The individual soul is forever a servant of the Supersoul, and therefore his relationship with the Supersoul is to offer service. That is called bhakti-yoga, or bhakti-bhava. Dhruva Maharaja offered his prayers to the Lord not in the way of the impersonalist philosophers, but as a devotee. Therefore, it is clearly said here, bhakti-bhava. The only prayers worth offering are those offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose reputation is spread far and wide. Dhruva Maharaja wanted to have the kingdom of his father, but his father refused even to allow him to get on his lap. In order to fulfill his desire, the Lord had already created a planet known as the polestar, Dhruvaloka, which was never to be annihilated even at the time of the dissolution of the universe. Dhruva Maharaja attained this perfection not by acting hastily, but by patiently executing the order of his spiritual master, and therefore he became so successful that he saw the Lord face to face. Now he was further enabled, by the causeless mercy of the Lord, to offer fitting prayers to the Lord. To glorify or offer prayers unto the Supreme, one needs the Lord's mercy. One cannot write to glorify the Lord unless one is endowed with His causeless mercy.
yo 'ntah pravisya mama vacam imam prasuptam
sanjivayaty akhila-sakti-dharah sva-dhamna
anyams ca hasta-carana-sravana-tvag-adin
pranan namo bhagavate purusaya tubhyam
dhruvah uvaca--Dhruva Maharaja said; yah--the Supreme Lord who; antah--within; pravisya--entering; mama--my; vacam--words; imam--all these; prasuptam--which are all inactive or dead; sanjivayati--rejuvenates; akhila--universal; sakti--energy; dharah--possessing; sva-dhamna--by His internal potency; anyan ca--other limbs also; hasta--like hands; carana--legs; sravana--ears; tvak--skin; adin--and so on; pranan--life force; namah--let me offer my obeisances; bhagavate--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; purusaya--the Supreme Person; tubhyam--unto You.
Dhruva Maharaja said: My dear Lord, You are all-powerful. After entering within me, You have enlivened all my sleeping senses--my hands, legs, ears, touch sensation, life force and especially my power of speech. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
Dhruva Maharaja could understand very easily the difference between his condition before and after attaining spiritual realization and seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. He could understand that his life force and activities had been sleeping. Unless one comes to the spiritual platform, his bodily limbs, mind and other facilities within the body are understood to be sleeping. Unless one is spiritually situated, all his activities are taken as a dead man's activities or ghostly activities. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has composed a song in which he addresses himself: "O living entity, get up! How long shall you sleep on the lap of maya? Now you have the opportunity of possessing a human form of body; now try to get up and realize yourself." The Vedas also declare, "Get up! Get up! You have the opportunity, the boon of the human form of life--now realize yourself." These are the Vedic injunctions.
Dhruva Maharaja actually experienced that upon enlightenment of his senses on the spiritual platform he could understand the essence of Vedic instruction--that the Supreme Godhead is the Supreme Person; He is not impersonal. Dhruva Maharaja could immediately understand this fact. He was aware that for a very long time he was practically sleeping, and he felt the impetus to glorify the Lord according to the Vedic conclusion. A mundane person cannot offer any prayer or glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because he has no realization of the Vedic conclusion.
When Dhruva Maharaja, therefore, found this difference within himself, he could immediately understand that it was because of the causeless mercy of the Lord. He offered obeisances to the Lord with great respect and reverence, completely understanding that the Lord's favor was upon him. This spiritual enlivenment of Dhruva Maharaja's senses and mind was due to the action of the internal potency of the Lord. In this verse, therefore, the word sva-dhamna means "by spiritual energy." Spiritual enlightenment is possible by the mercy of the spiritual energy of the Lord. The chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra is first addressed to the spiritual energy of the Lord, Hare. This spiritual energy acts when a living entity fully surrenders and accepts his position as an eternal servitor. When a person places himself at the disposal or order of the Supreme Lord, that is called sevonmukha; at that time the spiritual energy gradually reveals the Lord to him.
Without revelation by the spiritual energy, one is unable to offer prayers glorifying the Lord. Any amount of philosophical speculation or poetic expression by mundane persons is still considered to be the action and reaction of the material energy. When one is actually enlivened by the spiritual energy, all his senses become purified, and he engages only in the service of the Lord. At that time his hands, legs, ears, tongue, mind, genitals--everything--engage in the service of the Lord. Such an enlightened devotee no longer has any material activities, nor has he any interest in being materially engaged. This process of purifying the senses and engaging them in the service of the Lord is known as bhakti, or devotional service. In the beginning, the senses are engaged by the direction of the spiritual master and sastra, and after realization, when the same senses are purified, the engagement continues. The difference is that in the beginning the senses are engaged in a mechanical way, but after realization they are engaged in spiritual understanding.
ekas tvam eva bhagavann idam atma-saktya
srstvanuvisya purusas tad-asad-gunesu
naneva darusu vibhavasuvad vibhasi
ekah--one; tvam--you; eva--certainly; bhagavan--O my Lord; idam--this material world; atma-saktya--by Your own potency; maya-akhyaya--of the name maya; uru--greatly powerful; gunaya--consisting of the modes of nature; mahat-adi--the mahat-tattva, etc.; asesam--unlimited; srstva--after creating; anuvisya--then after entering; purusah--the Supersoul; tat--of maya; asat-gunesu--into the temporarily manifested qualities; nana--variously; iva--as if; darusu--into pieces of wood; vibhavasu-vat--just like fire; vibhasi--You appear.
My Lord, You are the supreme one, but by Your different energies You appear differently in the spiritual and material worlds. You create the total energy of the material world by Your external potency, and after creation You enter within the material world as the Supersoul. You are the Supreme Person, and through the temporary modes of material nature You create varieties of manifestation, just as fire, entering into wood of different shapes, burns brilliantly in different varieties.
Dhruva Maharaja realized that the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, acts through His different energies, not that He becomes void or impersonal and thus becomes all-pervading. The Mayavadi philosopher thinks that the Absolute Truth, being spread throughout the cosmic manifestation, has no personal form. But here Dhruva Maharaja, upon realization of the Vedic conclusion, says, "You are spread all over the cosmic manifestation by Your energy." This energy is basically spiritual, but because it acts in the material world temporarily, it is called maya, or illusory energy. In other words, for everyone but the devotees the Lord's energy acts as external energy. Dhruva Maharaja could understand this fact very nicely, and he could understand also that the energy and the energetic are one and the same. The energy cannot be separated from the energetic.
The identity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the feature of Paramatma, or Supersoul, is admitted herein. His original, spiritual energy enlivens the material energy, and thus the dead body appears to have life force. Voidist philosophers think that under certain material conditions the symptoms of life occur in the material body, but the fact is that the material body cannot act on its own. Even a machine needs separate energy (electricity, steam, etc.). It is stated in this verse that the material energy acts in varieties of material bodies, just as fire burns differently in different wood according to the size and quality of the wood. In the case of devotees the same energy is transformed into spiritual energy; this is possible because the energy is originally spiritual, not material. As it is said, visnu-saktih para prokta. The original energy inspires a devotee, and thus he engages all his bodily limbs in the service of the Lord. The same energy, as external potency, engages the ordinary nondevotees in material activities for sense enjoyment. We should mark the difference between maya and sva-dhama--for devotees the sva-dhama acts, whereas in the case of nondevotees the maya energy acts.
tvad-dattaya vayunayedam acasta visvam
supta-prabuddha iva natha bhavat-prapannah
tasyapavargya-saranam tava pada-mulam
vismaryate krta-vida katham arta-bandho
tvat-dattaya--given by You; vayunaya--by knowledge; idam--this; acasta--could see; visvam--whole universe; supta-prabuddhah--a man rising from sleep; iva--like; natha--O my Lord; bhavat-prapannah--Lord Brahma, who is surrendered unto You; tasya--his; apavargya--of persons desiring liberation; saranam--the shelter; tava--Your; pada-mulam--lotus feet; vismaryate--can be forgotten; krta-vida--by a learned person; katham--how; arta-bandho--O friend of the distressed.
O my master, Lord Brahma is fully surrendered unto You. In the beginning You gave him knowledge, and thus he could see and understand the entire universe, just as a person awakens from sleep and visualizes his immediate duties. You are the only shelter of all persons who desire liberation, and You are the friend of all who are distressed. How, therefore, can a learned person who has perfect knowledge ever forget You?
The Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be forgotten even for a moment by His surrendered devotees. The devotee understands that the Lord's causeless mercy is beyond his estimation; he cannot know how much he is benefited by the grace of the Lord. The more a devotee engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord, the more encouragement is supplied by the energy of the Lord. In the Bhagavad-gita the Lord says that to those who are constantly engaged in devotional service with love and affection, the Supreme Personality of Godhead gives intelligence from within, and thus they may make further progress. Being so encouraged, the devotee can never forget, at any moment, the Personality of Godhead. He always feels obliged to Him for having achieved increased power in devotional service by His grace. Saintly persons like Sanaka, Sanatana and Lord Brahma were able to see the entire universe, by the mercy of the Lord, through knowledge of the Lord. The example is given that a person may apparently abstain from sleep all day, but as long as he is not spiritually enlightened he is actually sleeping. He may sleep at night and perform his duties in the daytime, but as long as he does not come to the platform of working in spiritual enlightenment he is considered to be always sleeping. A devotee, therefore, never forgets the benefit derived from the Lord.
The Lord is addressed here as arta-bandhu, which means "friend of the distressed." As stated in Bhagavad-gita, after many, many births of executing severe austerities in search of knowledge, one comes to the point of real knowledge and becomes wise when one surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Mayavadi philosopher, who does not surrender unto the Supreme Person, is understood to be lacking in real knowledge. The devotee in perfect knowledge cannot forget his obligation to the Lord at any moment.
nunam vimusta-matayas tava mayaya te
ye tvam bhavapyaya-vimoksanam anya-hetoh
arcanti kalpaka-tarum kunapopabhogyam
icchanti yat sparsajam niraye 'pi nrnam
nunam--certainly; vimusta-matayah--those who have lost their right intelligence; tava--Your; mayaya--by the influence of the illusory energy; te--they; ye--who; tvam--You; bhava--from birth; apyaya--and death; vimoksanam--the cause of liberation; anya-hetoh--for other purposes; arcanti--worship; kalpaka-tarum--who are like the desire tree; kunapa--of this dead body; upabhogyam--sense gratification; icchanti--they desire; yat--that which; sparsa-jam--derived by touch sensation; niraye--in hell; api--even; nrnam--for persons.
Persons who worship You simply for the sense gratification of this bag of skin are certainly influenced by Your illusory energy. In spite of having You, who are like a desire tree and are the cause of liberation from birth and death, foolish persons, such as me, desire benedictions from You for sense gratification, which is available even for those who live in hellish conditions.
Dhruva Maharaja repented because he had come to the Lord to render devotional service for material profit. He here condemns his attitude. Only due to gross lack of knowledge does one worship the Lord for material profit or for sense gratification. The Lord is like a desire tree. Anyone can have whatever he desires from the Lord, but people in general do not know what kind of benediction they should ask from Him. Happiness derived from the touch of skin, or sensuous happiness, is present in the life of hogs and dogs. Such happiness is very insignificant. If a devotee worships the Lord for such insignificant happiness, he must be considered devoid of all knowledge.
ya nirvrtis tanu-bhrtam tava pada-padma-
dhyanad bhavaj-jana-katha-sravanena va syat
sa brahmani sva-mahimany api natha ma bhut
kim tv antakasi-lulitat patatam vimanat
ya--that which; nirvrtih--bliss; tanu-bhrtam--of the embodied; tava--Your; pada-padma--lotus feet; dhyanat--from meditating upon; bhavat-jana--from Your intimate devotees; katha--topics; sravanena--by hearing; va--or; syat--comes into being; sa--that bliss; brahmani--in the impersonal Brahman; sva-mahimani--Your own magnificence; api--even; natha--O Lord; ma--never; bhut--exists; kim--what to speak of; tu--then; antaka-asi--by the sword of death; lulitat--being destroyed; patatam--of those who fall down; vimanat--from their airplanes.
My Lord, the transcendental bliss derived from meditating upon Your lotus feet or hearing about Your glories from pure devotees is so unlimited that it is far beyond the stage of brahmananda, wherein one thinks himself merged in the impersonal Brahman as one with the Supreme. Since brahmananda is also defeated by the transcendental bliss derived from devotional service, then what to speak of the temporary blissfulness of elevating oneself to the heavenly planets, which is ended by the separating sword of time? Although one may be elevated to the heavenly planets, he falls down in due course of time.
The transcendental bliss derived from devotional service, primarily from sravanam kirtanam, hearing and chanting, cannot be compared to the happiness derived by karmis by elevating themselves to the heavenly planets or by jnanis or yogis, who enjoy oneness with the supreme impersonal Brahman. Yogis generally meditate upon the transcendental form of Visnu, but devotees not only meditate upon Him but actually engage in the direct service of the Lord. In the previous verse we find the phrase bhavapyaya, which refers to birth and death. The Lord can give relief from the chain of birth and death. It is a misunderstanding to think, as do the monists, that when one gets relief from the process of birth and death he merges into the Supreme Brahman. Here it is clearly said that the transcendental bliss derived from sravanam kirtanam by pure devotees cannot be compared to brahmananda, or the impersonal conception of transcendental bliss derived by merging into the Absolute.
The position of karmis is still more degraded. Their aim is to elevate themselves to the higher planetary systems. It is said, yanti deva-vrata devan: persons who worship the demigods are elevated to the heavenly planets (Bg. 9.25). But elsewhere in Bhagavad-gita (9.21) we find, ksine punye martya-lokam visanti: those who are elevated to the higher planetary systems must come down again as soon as the results of their pious activities are exhausted. They are like the modern astronauts who go to the moon; as soon as their fuel is used up, they are obliged to come back down to this earth. As the modern astronauts who go to the moon or other heavenly planets by force of jet propulsion have to come down again after exhausting their fuel, so also do those who are elevated to the heavenly planets by force of yajnas and pious activities. Antakasi-lulitat: by the sword of time one is cut from his exalted position within this material world, and he comes down again. Dhruva Maharaja appreciated that the results of devotional service are far more valuable than merging into the Absolute or being elevated to the heavenly planets. The words patatam vimanat are very significant. Vimana means "airplane." Those who are elevated to the heavenly planets are like airplanes, which drop when they run out of fuel.
bhaktim muhuh pravahatam tvayi me prasango
bhuyad ananta mahatam amalasayanam
yenanjasolbanam uru-vyasanam bhavabdhim
bhaktim--devotional service; muhuh--constantly; pravahatam--of those who perform; tvayi--unto You; me--my; prasangah--intimate association; bhuyat--may it become; ananta--O unlimited; mahatam--of the great devotees; amala-asayanam--whose hearts are freed from material contamination; yena--by which; anjasa--easily; ulbanam--terrible; uru--great; vyasanam--full of dangers; bhava-abdhim--the ocean of material existence; nesye--I shall cross; bhavat--Your; guna--transcendental qualities; katha--pastimes; amrta--nectar, eternal; pana--by drinking; mattah--mad.
Dhruva Maharaja continued: O unlimited Lord, kindly bless me so that I may associate with great devotees who engage in Your transcendental loving service constantly, as the waves of a river constantly flow. Such transcendental devotees are completely situated in an uncontaminated state of life. By the process of devotional service I shall surely be able to cross the nescient ocean of material existence, which is filled with the waves of blazing, firelike dangers. It will be very easy for me, for I am becoming mad to hear about Your transcendental qualities and pastimes, which are eternally existent.
The significant point in Dhruva Maharaja's statement is that he wanted the association of pure devotees. Transcendental devotional service cannot be complete and cannot be relishable without the association of devotees. We have therefore established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Anyone who is trying to be aloof from this Krishna Consciousness Society and yet engage in Krsna consciousness is living in a great hallucination, for this is not possible. From this statement by Dhruva Maharaja it is clear that unless one is associated with devotees, his devotional service does not mature; it does not become distinct from material activities. The Lord says, satam prasangan mama virya-samvido bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah (Bhag. 3.25.25). Only in the association of pure devotees can the words of Lord Krsna be fully potent and relishable to the heart and ear. Dhruva Maharaja explicitly wanted the association of devotees. That association in devotional activities is just like the waves of an incessantly flowing river. In our Krishna Consciousness Society we have full engagement twenty-four hours a day. Every moment of our time is always busily engaged in the service of the Lord. This is called the incessant flow of devotional service.
A Mayavadi philosopher may question us, "You may be very happy in the association of devotees, but what is your plan for crossing the ocean of material existence?" Dhruva Maharaja's answer is that it is not very difficult. He clearly says that this ocean can be crossed very easily if one simply becomes mad to hear the glories of the Lord. Bhavad-guna-katha: for anyone who persistently engages in hearing the topics of the Lord from Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam and Caitanya-caritamrta and who is actually addicted to this process, just as one becomes addicted to intoxicants, it is very easy to cross the nescience of material existence. The ocean of material nescience is compared to a blazing fire, but to a devotee this blazing fire is insignificant because he is completely absorbed in devotional service. Although the material world is blazing fire, to a devotee it appears full of pleasure (visvam purna-sukhayate).
The purport of this statement by Dhruva Maharaja is that devotional service in the association of devotees is the cause of the development of further devotional service. By devotional service only is one elevated to the transcendental planet Goloka Vrndavana, and there also there is only devotional service, for the activities of devotional service both in this world and in the spiritual world are one and the same. Devotional service does not change. The example of a mango can be given here. If one gets an unripe mango, it is still a mango, and when it is ripe it remains the same mango, but it has become more tasteful and relishable. Similarly, there is devotional service performed according to the direction of the spiritual master and the injunctions and regulative principles of sastra, and there is devotional service in the spiritual world, rendered directly in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But they are both the same. There is no change. The difference is that one stage is unripe and the other is ripe and more relishable. It is possible to mature in devotional service only in the association of devotees.
te na smaranty atitaram priyam isa martyam
ye canv adah suta-suhrd-grha-vitta-darah
ye tv abja-nabha bhavadiya-padaravinda-
te--they; na--never; smaranti--remember; atitaram--highly; priyam--dear; isa--O Lord; martyam--material body; ye--they who; ca--also; anu--in relationship with; adah--that; suta--sons; suhrt--friends; grha--home; vitta--wealth; darah--and wife; ye--those who; tu--then; abja-nabha--O Lord who have a lotus navel; bhavadiya--of Your; pada-aravinda--lotus feet; saugandhya--the fragrance; lubdha--have achieved; hrdayesu--with devotees whose hearts; krta-prasangah--have association.
O Lord who have a lotus navel, if a person happens to associate with a devotee whose heart always hankers after Your lotus feet, seeking always their fragrance, he is never attached to the material body or, in a bodily relationship, to offspring, friends, home, wealth and wife, which are very, very dear to materialistic persons. Indeed, he does not care for them.
A special advantage in devotional service is that devotees not only enjoy the transcendental pastimes of the Lord by hearing and chanting and glorifying them, but also are not very much attached to their bodies, unlike the yogis, who are too attached to the body and who think that by performing bodily gymnastic exercises they will advance in spiritual consciousness. Yogis are generally not very much interested in devotional service; they want to regulate the breathing process. This is simply a bodily concern. Here Dhruva Maharaja plainly says that a devotee has no more bodily interest. He knows that he is not the body. From the very beginning, therefore, without wasting time in bodily exercises, a devotee searches out a pure devotee and simply by his association becomes more advanced in spiritual consciousness than any yogi. Because a devotee knows that he is not the body, he is never affected by bodily happiness or distress. He is not interested in bodily relationships with wife, children, home, bank balance, etc., or in the distress and happiness which come from these things. This is the special advantage of being a devotee. This status of life is possible only when a person is interested in associating with a pure devotee, who always enjoys the fragrance of the lotus feet of the Lord.
martyadibhih paricitam sad-asad-visesam
rupam sthavistham aja te mahad-ady-anekam
natah param parama vedmi na yatra vadah
tiryak--by animals; naga--trees; dvija--birds; sarisrpa--reptiles; deva--demigods; daitya--demons; martya-adibhih--by men, etc.; paricitam--pervaded; sat-asat-visesam--with varieties manifest and unmanifest; rupam--form; sthavistham--gross universal; aja--O Unborn; te--Your; mahat-adi--caused by the total material energy, etc.; anekam--various causes; na--not; atah--from this; param--transcendental; parama--O Supreme; vedmi--I know; na--not; yatra--where; vadah--various arguments.
My dear Lord, O Supreme Unborn, I know that the different varieties of living entities, such as animals, trees, birds, reptiles, demigods and human beings, are spread throughout the universe, which is caused by the total material energy, and I know that they are sometimes manifest and sometimes unmanifest; but I have never experienced the supreme form I behold as I see You now. Now all kinds of methods of theorizing have come to an end.
In the Bhagavad-gita the Lord says that He has spread Himself throughout the universe, but although everything is resting upon Him, He is aloof. The same concept is expressed here by Dhruva Maharaja. He states that before seeing the transcendental form of the Lord, he had experienced only the varieties of material forms, which are counted at one engages in the devotional service of the Lord, it is impossible to understand the ultimate form of the Lord. This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (18.55). Bhaktya mam abhijanati: factual understanding of the Absolute Truth, who is the Supreme Person, cannot be obtained by any process other than devotional service.
Dhruva Maharaja here compares his previous state of understanding with the perfection of understanding in the presence of the Supreme Lord. The position of a living entity is to render service; unless he comes to the stage of appreciating the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he engages in the service of the various forms of trees, reptiles, animals, Men, demigods, etc. One can experience that one man engages in the service of a dog, another serves plants and creepers, another the demigods, and another humanity, or his boss in the office--but no one is engaged in the service of Krsna. Aside from common men, even men who are elevated in terms of spiritual understanding are at the utmost engaged in the service of the virat-rupa, or, unable to understand the ultimate form of the Lord, they worship voidism by meditation. Dhruva Maharaja, however, had been blessed by the Supreme Lord. When the Lord touched His conchshell to Dhruva's forehead, real knowledge was revealed from within, and Dhruva could understand the Lord's transcendental form. Dhruva Maharaja here admits that not only was he ignorant, but by years he was only a child. It would not have been possible for an ignorant child to appreciate the supreme form of the Lord had he not been blessed by the Lord, who had touched His conchshell to Dhruva's forehead.
kalpanta etad akhilam jatharena grhnan
sete puman sva-drg ananta-sakhas tad-anke
garbhe dyuman bhagavate pranato 'smi tasmai
kalpa-ante--at the end of the millennium; etat--this universe; akhilam--all; jatharena--within the belly; grhnan--withdrawing; sete--lies down; puman--the Supreme Person; sva-drk--looking upon Himself; ananta--the unlimited being Sesa; sakhah--accompanied by; tat-anke--on His lap; yat--from whose; nabhi--navel; sindhu--ocean; ruha--sprouted; kancana--golden; loka--planet; padma--of the lotus; garbhe--on the whorl; dyuman--Lord Brahma; bhagavate--unto the Supreme personality of Godhead; pranatah--offering obeisances; asmi--I am; tasmai--unto Him.
My dear Lord, at the end of each millennium the Supreme Personality of Godhead Garbhodakasayi Visnu dissolves everything manifested within the universe into His belly. He lies down on the lap of Sesa Naga, from His navel sprouts a golden lotus flower on a stem, and on that lotus Lord Brahma is created. I can understand that You are the same Supreme Godhead. I therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
Dhruva Maharaja's understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is complete. In the Vedas it is said, yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati: knowledge received through the transcendental, causeless mercy of the Lord is so perfect that by that knowledge the devotee becomes acquainted with all the different manifestations of the Lord. Lord Ksirodakasayi Visnu was present before Dhruva Maharaja, who could also understand the Lord's two other forms, namely Garbhodakasayi Visnu and Karanodakasayi (Maha) Visnu. Regarding Maha-Visnu, it is stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.48):
jivanti loma-vilaja jagad-anda-nathah
visnur mahan sa iha yasya kala-viseso
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
At the end of each and every millennium, when all the material worlds are dissolved, everything enters the body of Garbhodakasayi Visnu, who is lying on the lap of Sesa Naga, another form of the Lord.
Those who are not devotees cannot understand the different forms of Visnu and their positions in regard to the creation. Sometimes the atheists argue, "How can a flower stem sprout from the navel of Garbhodakasayi Visnu?" They consider all the statements of the sastras to be stories. As a result of their inexperience in the Absolute Truth and their reluctance to accept authority, they become more and more atheistic; they cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But a devotee like Dhruva Maharaja, by the grace of the Lord, knows all the manifestations of the Lord and their different positions. It is said that anyone who has even a little of the Lord's grace can understand His glories; others may go on speculating on the Absolute Truth, but they will always be unable to understand the Lord. In other words, unless one comes in contact with a devotee it is not possible to understand the transcendental form or the spiritual world and its transcendental activities.
tvam nitya-mukta-parisuddha-vibuddha atma
kuta-stha adi-puruso bhagavams try-adhisah
yad-buddhy-avasthitim akhanditaya sva-drstya
drasta sthitav adhimakho vyatirikta asse
tvam--You; nitya--eternally; mukta--liberated; parisuddha--uncontaminated; vibuddhah--full of knowledge; atma--the Supreme Soul; kuta-sthah--changeless; adi--original; purusah--person; bhagavan--the Lord, full with six opulences; tri-adhisah--master of the three modes; yat--whence; buddhi--of intellectual activities; avasthitim--all stages; akhanditaya--unbroken; sva-drstya--by transcendental vision; drasta--You witness; sthitau--for maintaining (the universe); adhimakhah--enjoyer of the results of all sacrifices; vyatiriktah--differently; asse--You are situated.
My Lord, by Your unbroken transcendental glance You are the supreme witness of all stages of intellectual activities. You are eternally liberated, Your existence is situated in pure goodness, and You are existent in the Supersoul without change. You are the original Personality of Godhead, full with six opulences, and You are eternally the master of the three modes of material nature. Thus, You are always different from the ordinary living entities. As Lord Visnu, You maintain all the affairs of the entire universe, and yet You stand aloof and are the enjoyer of the results of all sacrifices.
An atheistic argument against the supremacy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead states that if God, the Supreme Person, appears and disappears and sleeps and awakens, then what is the difference between God and the living entity? Dhruva Maharaja is carefully distinguishing the existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead from that of the living entities. He points out the following differences. The Lord is eternally liberated. Whenever He appears, even within this material world, He is never entangled by the three modes of material nature. He is known, therefore, as try-adhisa, the master of the three modes of material nature. In Bhagavad-gita (7.14) it is said, daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya: the living entities are all entangled in the three modes of material nature. The external energy of the Lord is very strong, but the Lord, as the master of the three modes of material nature, is ever liberated from the action and reaction of those modes. He, therefore, is uncontaminated, as stated in the Isopanisad. The contamination of the material world does not affect the Supreme Godhead. Krsna therefore says in the Bhagavad-gita that those who are rascals and fools think of Him as an ordinary human being, not knowing His param bhavam. param bhavam refers to His being always transcendentally situated. Material contamination cannot affect Him.
Another difference between the Lord and the living entity is that a living entity is always in darkness. Even though he may be situated in the mode of goodness, there are still so many things which are unknown to him. But it is not the same for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He knows past, present and future and everything that is happening in everyone's heart. Bhagavad-gita confirms this (vedaham samatitani). The Lord is not part of the soul--He is the unchangeable Supreme Soul, and the living entities are His parts and parcels. The living entity is forced to appear in this material world under the direction of daiva-maya, but when the Lord appears, He comes by His own internal potency, atma-maya. Besides that, a living entity is within the time of past, present and future. His life has a beginning, a birth, and in the conditioned state his life ends with death. But the Lord is adi-purusa, the original person. In the Brahma-samhita Lord Brahma offers his respect to the adi-purusa, Govinda, the original person, who has no beginning, whereas the creation of this material world has a beginning. The Vedanta says, janmady asya yatah; everything is born from the Supreme, but the Supreme has no birth. He has all the six opulences in full and beyond comparison, He is the master of material nature, His intelligence is not broken under any circumstances, and He stands aloof, although He is the maintainer of the whole creation. As stated in the Vedas (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13), nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. The Lord is the supreme maintainer. Living entities are meant to serve Him by offering sacrifices, for He is the rightful enjoyer of the results of all sacrifices. Everyone, therefore, should engage himself in the devotional service of the Lord with his life, his riches, his intelligence and his words. This is the original, constitutional position of the living entities. One should never compare the sleeping of an ordinary living entity to the sleeping of the Supreme personality of Godhead in the Causal Ocean. There is no stage at which the living entity can compare to the Supreme Person. The Mayavadi philosophers, being unable to adjust to all this, come to the conclusion of impersonalism or voidism.
yasmin viruddha-gatayo hy anisam patanti
vidyadayo vividha-saktaya anupurvyat
tad brahma visva-bhavam ekam anantam adyam
ananda-matram avikaram aham prapadye
yasmin--in whom; viruddha-gatayah--of opposite character; hi--certainly; anisam--always; patanti--are manifest; vidya-adayah--knowledge and ignorance, etc.; vividha--various; saktayah--energies; anupurvyat--continually; tat--that; brahma--Brahman; visva-bhavam--the cause of material creation; ekam--one; anantam--unlimited; adyam--original; ananda-matram--simply blissful; avikaram--changeless; aham--I; prapadye--offer my obeisances.
My dear Lord, in Your impersonal manifestation of Brahman there are always two opposing elements--knowledge and ignorance. Your multienergies are continually manifest, but the impersonal Brahman, which is undivided, original, changeless, unlimited and blissful, is the cause of the material manifestation. Because You are the same impersonal Brahman, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
In the Brahma-samhita it is said that the unlimited impersonal Brahman is the effulgence of the transcendental body of Govinda. In that unlimited effulgent aura of the Supreme Personality of Godhead there are innumerable universes with innumerable planets of different categories. Although the Supreme Person is the original cause of all causes, His impersonal effulgence, known as Brahman, is the immediate cause of the material manifestation. Dhruva Maharaja, therefore, offered his respectful obeisances unto the impersonal feature of the Lord. One who realizes this impersonal feature can enjoy the unchangeable brahmananda, described here as spiritual bliss.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura describes that this impersonal feature, or Brahman manifestation, of the Supreme Lord is meant for persons who are essentially very advanced but still not able to understand the personal features or variegatedness of the spiritual world. Such devotees are known as jnana-misra-bhaktas, or devotees whose devotional service is mixed with empiric knowledge. Because the impersonal Brahman realization is a partial understanding of the Absolute Truth, Dhruva Maharaja offers his respectful obeisances.
It is said that this impersonal Brahman is the distant realization of the Absolute Truth. Although apparently Brahman seems to be devoid of energy, factually it has different energies working under the headings of knowledge and ignorance. On account of these different energies, there is continually a manifestation of vidya and avidya. Vidya and avidya are very nicely described in Isopanisad. It is said there that sometimes, due to avidya, or a poor fund of knowledge, one accepts the Absolute Truth as ultimately impersonal. But in fact the impersonal and personal realizations develop in proportion to the development of devotional service. The more we develop our devotional service, the more closely we approach the Absolute Truth, which, in the beginning, when we realize the Absolute Truth from a distant place, is manifest as impersonal.
People in general, who are under the influence of avidya-sakti, or maya, have neither knowledge nor devotion. But when a person who is a little advanced and is therefore called a jnani advances even more, he is in the category of a jnana-misra-bhakta, or a devotee whose love is mixed with empiric knowledge. When he is still further advanced, he can realize that the Absolute Truth is a person with multienergies. An advanced devotee can understand the Lord and His creative energy. As soon as one accepts the creative energy of the Absolute Truth, the six opulences of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are also understood. Devotees who are still further advanced, in full knowledge, can understand the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. Only on that platform can one fully enjoy transcendental bliss. An example is given in this connection by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura of a person proceeding towards a destination. As he approaches, he sees the destination from a distant place, just as we see a city from a distance. At that time he simply understands that the city is situated at a distance. When, however, he comes still nearer, he sees the domes and flags. But as soon as he enters the city, he sees various paths, gardens, lakes, and marketplaces with shops, and persons buying. He sees varieties of cinema houses, and he sees dancing and jubilation. When a person actually enters the city and personally sees the activities of the city, he becomes satisfied.
satyasiso hi bhagavams tava pada-padmam
asis tathanubhajatah purusartha-murteh
apy evam arya bhagavan paripati dinan
vasreva vatsakam anugraha-kataro 'sman
satya--real; asisah--compared with other benedictions; hi--certainly; bhagavan--my Lord; tava--Your; pada-padmam--lotus feet; asih--benediction; tatha--in that way; anubhajatah--for the devotees; purusa-artha--of the real goal of life; murteh--the personification; api--although; evam--thus; arya--O Lord; bhagavan--the Personality of Godhead; paripati--maintains; dinan--the poor in heart; vasra--a cow; iva--like; vatsakam--unto the calf; anugraha--to bestow mercy; katarah--eager; asman--upon me.
My Lord, O Supreme Lord, You are the supreme personified form of all benediction. Therefore, for one who abides in Your devotional service with no other desire, worshiping Your lotus feet is better than becoming king and lording it over a kingdom. That is the benediction of worshiping Your lotus feet. To ignorant devotees like me, You are the causelessly merciful maintainer, just like a cow, who takes care of the newly born calf by supplying milk and giving it protection from attack.
Dhruva Maharaja was cognizant of the defective nature of his own devotional service. Pure devotional service is without material form and is not covered by mental speculation or fruitive activities. Pure devotional service is therefore called ahaituki, unmotivated. Dhruva Maharaja knew that he had come to worship the Lord in devotional service with a motive--to get the kingdom of his father. Such an adulterated devotee can never see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. He therefore felt very grateful for the causeless mercy of the Lord. The Lord is so merciful that not only does He fulfill the desires of a devotee who is driven by ignorance and desires for material benefit, but He also gives such a devotee all protection, just as a cow gives milk to a newly born calf. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that the Lord gives intelligence to the constantly engaged devotee so that he may gradually approach the Lord without difficulty. A devotee must be very sincere in his devotional service; then, although there may be many things wrong on the devotee's part, Krsna will guide him and gradually elevate him to the highest position of devotional service.
The Lord is addressed herein by Dhruva Maharaja as purusartha-murti, the ultimate goal of life. Generally purusartha is taken to mean execution of a type of religious principle or worship of God in order to get material benediction. Prayers for material benediction are intended for satisfying the senses. And when one is frustrated and cannot fully satisfy the senses in spite of all endeavor, he desires liberation, or freedom from material existence. These activities are generally called purusartha. But actually the ultimate goal is to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called pancama-purusartha, the ultimate goal of life. Lord Caitanya therefore taught us not to ask from the Supreme Personality any benediction such as material wealth, popularity or a good wife. One should simply pray to the Lord to be constantly engaged in His transcendental loving service. Dhruva Maharaja, being cognizant of his desire for material benefit, wanted protection from the Lord so that he might not be misled or deviated from the path of devotional service by material desires.
athabhistuta evam vai
maitreyah uvaca--Maitreya said; atha--then; abhistutah--being worshiped; evam--thus; vai--certainly; sat-sankalpena--by Dhruva Maharaja, who had only good desires in his heart; dhi-mata--because he was very intelligent; bhrtya-anuraktah--very favorably disposed towards devotees; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pratinandya--having congratulated him; idam--this; abravit--said.
The great sage Maitreya continued: My dear Vidura, when Dhruva Maharaja, who had good intentions in his heart, finished his prayer, the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, who is very kind to His devotees and servants, congratulated him, speaking as follows.
vedaham te vyavasitam
tat prayacchami bhadram te
durapam api suvrata
sri-bhagavan uvaca--the Personality of Godhead said; veda--know; aham--I; te--your; vyavasitam--determination; hrdi--within the heart; rajanya-balaka--O son of the King; tat--that; prayacchami--I shall give you; bhadram--all good fortune; te--unto you; durapam--although it is very difficult to obtain; api--in spite of; su-vrata--one who has taken a pious vow.
The Personality of Godhead said: My dear Dhruva, son of the King, you have executed pious vows, and I also know the desire within your heart. Although your desire is very ambitious and very difficult to fulfill, I shall favor you with its fulfillment. All good fortune unto you.
The Lord is so merciful to His devotee that He immediately said to Dhruva Maharaja, "Let there be all good fortune for you." The fact is that Dhruva Maharaja was very much afraid in his mind, for he had aspired after material benefit in discharging his devotional service and this was hampering him from reaching the stage of love of God. In the Bhagavad-gita (2.44) it is said, bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam: those who are addicted to material pleasure cannot be attracted to devotional service. It was true that at heart Dhruva Maharaja wanted a kingdom that would be far better than Brahmaloka. This was a natural desire for a ksatriya. He was also only five years old, and in his childish way he desired to have a kingdom far greater than his father's, grandfather's or great-grandfather's. His father, Uttanapada, was the son of Manu, and Manu was the son of Lord Brahma. Dhruva wanted to excel all these great family members. The Lord knew Dhruva Maharaja's childish ambition, but how was it possible to offer Dhruva a position more exalted than Lord Brahma's?
The Lord assured Dhruva Maharaja that Dhruva would not be bereft of the Lord's love. He encouraged Dhruva not to be worried that he childishly had material desires and at the same time had the pure aspiration to be a great devotee. Generally, the Lord does not award a pure devotee material opulence, even though he may desire it. But Dhruva Maharaja's case was different. The Lord knew that he was such a great devotee that in spite of having material opulence he would never be deviated from love of God. This example illustrates that a highly qualified devotee can have the facility of material enjoyment and at the same time execute love of God. This, however, was a special case for Dhruva Maharaja.
nanyair adhisthitam bhadra
yad bhrajisnu dhruva-ksiti
jyotisam cakram ahitam
medhyam go-cakravat sthasnu
dharmo 'gnih kasyapah sukro
munayo ye vanaukasah
bhramanto yat satarakah
na--never; anyaih--by others; adhisthitam--was ruled; bhadra--My good boy; yat--which; bhrajisnu--brightly glowing; dhruva-ksiti--the land known as Dhruvaloka; yatra--where; graha--planets; rksa--constellations; taranam--and stars; jyotisam--by luminaries; cakram--encirclement; ahitam--is done; medhyam--around a central pole; go--of bulls; cakra--a multitude; vat--like; sthasnu--stationary; parastat--beyond; kalpa--a day of Brahma (millennium); vasinam--those who live; dharmah--Dharma; agnih--Agni; kasyapah--Kasyapa; sukrah--Sukra; munayah--great sages; ye--all of them who; vana-okasah--living in the forest; caranti--move; daksini-krtya--keeping it to their right; bhramantah--circumambulating; yat--which planet; satarakah--with all the stars.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead continued: My dear Dhruva, I shall award you the glowing planet known as the polestar, which will continue to exist even after the dissolution at the end of the millennium. No one has ever ruled this planet, which is surrounded by all the solar systems, planets and stars. All the luminaries in the sky circumambulate this planet, just as bulls tread around a central pole for the purpose of crushing grains. Keeping the polestar to their right, all the stars inhabited by the great sages like Dharma, Agni, Kasyapa and Sukra circumambulate this planet, which continues to exist even after the dissolution of all others.
Although the polestar existed before its occupation by Dhruva Maharaja, it had no predominating deity. Dhruvaloka, our polestar, is the center for all other stars and solar systems, for all of them circle around Dhruvaloka just as a bull crushes grains by walking around and around a central pole. Dhruva wanted the best of all planets, and although it was a childish prayer, the Lord satisfied his demand. A small child may demand something from his father which his father has never given to anyone else, yet out of affection the father offers it to the child; similarly, this unique planet, Dhruvaloka, was offered to Maharaja Dhruva. The specific significance of this planet is that until the entire universe is annihilated this planet will remain, even during the devastation which takes place during the night of Lord Brahma. There are two kinds of dissolutions, one during the night of Lord Brahma and one at the end of Lord Brahma's life. At the end of Brahma's life, selected personalities go back home, back to Godhead. Dhruva Maharaja is one of them. The Lord assured Dhruva that he would exist beyond the partial dissolution of this universe. Thus at the end of the complete dissolution, Dhruva Maharaja would go directly to Vaikunthaloka, to a spiritual planet in the spiritual sky. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura comments in this connection that Dhruvaloka is one of the lokas like Svetadvipa, Mathura and Dvaraka. They are all eternal places in the kingdom of Godhead, which is described in the Bhagavad-gita (tad dhama paramam) and in the Vedas (om tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah). The words parastat kalpa-vasinam, "transcendental to the planets inhabited after the dissolution," refer to the Vaikuntha planets. In other words, Dhruva Maharaja's promotion to the Vaikunthalokas was guaranteed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
prasthite tu vanam pitra
dattva gam dharma-samsrayah
prasthite--after departure; tu--but; vanam--to the forest; pitra--by your father; dattva--awarding; gam--the whole world; dharma-samsrayah--under the protection of piety; sat-trimsat--thirty-six; varsa--years; sahasram--one thousand; raksita--you will rule; avyahata--without decay; indriyah--the power of the senses.
After your father goes to the forest and awards you the rule of his kingdom, you will rule continuously the entire world for thirty-six thousand years, and all your senses will continue to be as strong as they are now. You will never become old.
In the Satya-yuga people generally lived for one hundred thousand years. Dhruva Maharaja's ruling the world for thirty-six thousand years was quite possible in those days.
tvad-bhratary uttame naste
mrgayayam tu tan-manah
anvesanti vanam mata
davagnim sa praveksyati
tvat--your; bhratari--brother; uttame--Uttama; naste--being killed; mrgayayam--in hunting; tu--then; tat-manah--being too afflicted; anvesanti--while searching out; vanam--in the forest; mata--the mother; dava-agnim--in the forest fire; sa--she; praveksyati--will enter.
The Lord continued: Sometime in the future your brother, Uttama, will go hunting in the forest, and while absorbed in hunting, he will be killed. Your stepmother, Suruci, being maddened upon the death of her son, will go to search him out in the forest, but she will be devoured by a forest fire.
Dhruva Maharaja came to the forest to search out the Supreme Personality of Godhead with a revenging spirit against his stepmother. His stepmother had insulted Dhruva, who was not an ordinary person, but a great Vaisnava. An offense at the lotus feet of a Vaisnava is the greatest offense in this world. Because of having insulted Dhruva Maharaja, Suruci would become mad upon the death of her son and would enter a forest fire, and thus her life would be ended. This was specifically mentioned by the Lord to Dhruva because he was determined for revenge against her. From this we should take the lesson that we should never try to insult a Vaisnava. Not only should we not insult a Vaisnava, but we should not insult anyone unnecessarily. When Suruci insulted Dhruva Maharaja, he was just a child. She of course did not know that Dhruva was a great recognized Vaisnava, and so her offense was committed unknowingly. When one serves a Vaisnava unknowingly, one still gets the good result, and if one unknowingly insults a Vaisnava, one suffers the bad result. A Vaisnava is especially favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Pleasing him or displeasing him directly affects the pleasure and displeasure of the Supreme Lord. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, in his eight stanzas of prayer to the spiritual master, has sung, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah: by pleasing the spiritual master, who is a pure Vaisnava, one pleases the Personality of Godhead, but if one displeases the spiritual master one does not know where he is going.
istva mam yajna-hrdayam
bhuktva cehasisah satya
ante mam samsmarisyasi
istva--after worshiping; mam--Me; yajna-hrdayam--the heart of all sacrifices; yajnaih--by great sacrifices; puskala-daksinaih--comprehending distribution of great charities; bhuktva--after enjoying; ca--also; iha--within this world; asisah--blessings; satyah--true; ante--at the end; mam--Me; samsmarisyasi--you will be able to remember.
The Lord continued: I am the heart of all sacrifices. You will be able to perform many great sacrifices and also give great charities. In this way you will be able to enjoy the blessings of material happiness in this life, and at the time of your death you will be able to remember Me.
The most important factor in this verse is the Lord's instructions regarding how to remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead at the end of life. Ante narayana-smrtih: the result of whatever we do in executing spiritual activities is successful if we can remember Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This program of constant remembrance can be disturbed by many things, but Dhruva Maharaja's life would be so pure, as assured by the Lord Himself, that Dhruva would never forget Him. Thus at the time of his death he would remember the Supreme Lord, and before his death he would enjoy this material world, not by sense gratification, but by performing great sacrifices. As stated in the Vedas, when one performs great sacrifices he must give charity, not only to the brahmanas, but also to the ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras. It is assured here that Dhruva Maharaja would be able to perform such activities. In this age of Kali, however, the great sacrifice is the performance of sankirtana-yajna. Our Krsna consciousness movement is designed to teach people (and to learn ourselves) the exact instruction of the Personality of Godhead. In this way we shall continuously perform the sankirtana-yajna and continuously chant the Hare Krsna mantra. Then at the end of our lives we shall certainly be able to remember Krsna, and our program of life will be successful. In this age, distribution of prasada has replaced distribution of money. No one has sufficient money to distribute, but if we distribute krsna-prasada as far as possible, this is more valuable than the distribution of money.
tato gantasi mat-sthanam
uparistad rsibhyas tvam
yato navartate gatah
tatah--thereafter; ganta asi--you will go; mat-sthanam--to My abode; sarva-loka--by all planetary systems; namah-krtam--offered obeisances; uparistat--situated higher; rsibhyah--than the planetary systems of the rsis; tvam--you; yatah--wherefrom; na--never; avartate--will come back; gatah--having gone there.
The Personality of Godhead continued: My dear Dhruva, after your material life in this body, you will go to My planet, which is always offered obeisances by the residents of all other planetary systems. It is situated above the planets of the seven rsis, and having gone there you will never have to come back again to this material world.
In this verse the word navartate is very significant. The Lord says, "You will not come back to this material world, for you will reach mat-sthanam, My abode." Therefore Dhruvaloka, or the polestar, is the abode of Lord Visnu within this material world. Upon it there is an ocean of milk, and within that ocean there is an island known as Svetadvipa. It is clearly indicated that this planet is situated above the seven planetary systems of the rsis, and because this planet is Visnuloka, it is worshiped by all other planetary systems. It may be questioned here what will happen to the planet known as Dhruvaloka at the time of the dissolution of this universe. The answer is simple: Dhruvaloka remains, like other Vaikunthalokas beyond this universe. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has commented in this connection that the very word navartate indicates that this planet is eternal.
ity arcitah sa bhagavan
balasya pasyato dhama
svam agad garuda-dhvajah
maitreyah uvaca--the great sage Maitreya continued to speak; iti--thus; arcitah--being honored and worshiped; sah--the Supreme Lord; bhagavan--the Personality of Godhead; atidisya--after offering; atmanah--His personal; padam--residence; balasya--while the boy; pasyatah--was looking on; dhama--to His abode; svam--own; agat--He returned; garuda-dhvajah--Lord Visnu, whose flag bears the emblem of Garuda.
The great sage Maitreya said: After being worshiped and honored by the boy, Dhruva Maharaja, and after offering him His abode, Lord Visnu, on the back of Garuda, returned to His abode, as Dhruva Maharaja looked on.
From this verse it appears that Lord Visnu awarded Dhruva Maharaja the same abode in which He resides. His abode is described in the Bhagavad-gita (15.6): yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama.
so 'pi sankalpajam visnoh
natiprito 'bhyagat puram
sah--he (Dhruva Maharaja); api--although; sankalpa-jam--the desired result; visnoh--of Lord Visnu; pada-seva--by serving the lotus feet; upasaditam--obtained; prapya--having achieved; sankalpa--of his determination; nirvanam--the satisfaction; na--not; atipritah--very much pleased; abhyagat--he returned; puram--to his home.
Despite having achieved the desired result of his determination by worshiping the lotus feet of the Lord, Dhruva Maharaja was not very pleased. Thus he returned to his home.
By worshiping the lotus feet of the Lord in devotional service as instructed by Narada Muni, Dhruva Maharaja achieved the desired result. His desire was to get a very exalted position, excelling that of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and although it was a somewhat childish determination because Dhruva Maharaja was nothing but a small child, Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is so kind and merciful that He fulfilled Dhruva's desire. Dhruva Maharaja wanted a residence more exalted than any ever occupied by anyone else in his family. Therefore he was offered the planet in which the Lord personally resides, and his determination was completely satisfied. Still, when Dhruva Maharaja returned home he was not very much pleased, for although in pure devotional service there is no demand from the Lord, because of his childish nature he had demanded something. Thus although the Lord also fulfilled his desire, he was not very pleased. Rather, he was ashamed that he had demanded something from the Lord, for he should not have done this.
sudurlabham yat paramam padam harer
labdhvapy asiddhartham ivaika-janmana
katham svam atmanam amanyatartha-vit
vidurah uvaca--Vidura continued to inquire; sudurlabham--very rare; yat--that which; paramam--is the supreme; padam--situation; hareh--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; maya-vinah--very affectionate; tat--His; carana--lotus feet; arcana--by worshiping; arjitam--achieved; labdhva--having attained; api--although; asiddha-artham--not fulfilled; iva--as if; eka-janmana--in the duration of one life; katham--why; svam--own; atmanam--heart; amanyata--he felt; artha-vit--being very wise.
Sri Vidura inquired: My dear brahmana, the abode of the Lord is very difficult to attain. It can be attained only by pure devotional service, which alone pleases the most affectionate, merciful Lord. Dhruva Maharaja achieved this position even in one life, and he was very wise and conscientious. Why, then, was he not very pleased?
Saint Vidura's inquiry is very relevant. The word artha-vit, which refers to one who knows how to discriminate between reality and unreality, is very significant in this connection. An artha-vit is also called paramahamsa. A paramahamsa accepts only the active principle of everything; just as a swan accepts only the milk from a mixture of water and milk, a paramahamsa accepts only the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his life and soul, neglecting all external, material things. Dhruva Maharaja was in this category, and due to his determination he achieved, the result he desired, but still when he returned home he was not very pleased.
matuh sapatnya vag-banair
hrdi viddhas tu tan smaran
naicchan mukti-pater muktim
tasmat tapam upeyivan
maitreyah uvaca--the great sage Maitreya replied; matuh--of his mother; sa-patnyah--of the co-wife; vak-banaih--by the arrows of harsh words; hrdi--in the heart; viddhah--pierced; tu--then; tan--all of them; smaran--remembering; na--not; aicchat--desired; mukti-pateh--from the Lord, whose lotus feet give liberation; muktim--salvation; tasmat--therefore; tapam--grief; upeyivan--he suffered.
Maitreya answered: Dhruva Maharaja's heart, which was pierced by the arrows of the harsh words of his stepmother, was greatly aggrieved, and thus when he fixed upon his goal of life he did not forget her misbehavior. He did not demand actual liberation from this material world, but at the end of his devotional service, when the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared before him, he was simply ashamed of the material demands he had in his mind.
This important verse has been discussed by many stalwart commentators. Why was Dhruva Maharaja not very pleased, even after achieving the goal of life he desired? A pure devotee is always free from any kind of material desires. In the material world, one's material desires are all most demonic; one thinks of others as one's enemies, one thinks of revenge against one's enemies, one aspires to become the topmost leader or topmost person in this material world, and thus one competes with all others. This has been described in the Bhagavad-gita, Sixteenth Chapter, as asuric. A pure devotee has no demand from the Lord. His only concern is to serve the Lord sincerely and seriously, and he is not at all concerned about what will happen in the future. In the Mukunda-mala-stotra, King Kulasekhara, author of the book, states in his prayer: "My dear Lord, I don't want any position of sense gratification within this material world. I simply want to engage in Your service perpetually." Similarly, Lord Caitanya, in His Siksastaka, also prayed, "My Lord, I do not want any amount of material wealth, I do not want any number of materialistic followers, nor do I want any attractive wife to enjoy. The only thing I want is that I may engage life after life in Your service." Lord Caitanya did not pray even for mukti, or liberation.
In this verse Maitreya replied to Vidura that Dhruva Maharaja, influenced by a revengeful attitude towards his insulting stepmother, did not think of mukti, nor did he know what mukti was. Therefore he failed to aim for mukti as his goal in life. But a pure devotee also does not want liberation. He is a soul completely surrendered to the Supreme Lord, and he does not demand anything from the Lord. This position was realized by Dhruva Maharaja when he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead present personally before him because he was elevated to the vasudeva platform. The vasudeva platform refers to the stage at which material contamination is conspicuous by absence only, or in other words where there is no question of the material modes of nature--goodness, passion and ignorance--and one can therefore see the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because on the vasudeva platform one can see God face to face, the Lord is also called Vasudeva.
Dhruva Maharaja's demand was for a position so exalted that it was never enjoyed even by Lord Brahma, his great-grandfather. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is so affectionate and kind towards His devotee, especially to a devotee like Dhruva Maharaja, who went to render devotional service in the forest alone at the age of only five years, that although the motive might be impure, the Lord does not consider the motive; He is concerned with the service. But if a devotee has a particular motive, the Lord directly or indirectly knows it, and therefore He does not leave the devotee's material desires unfulfilled. These are some of the special favors by the Lord to a devotee.
Dhruva Maharaja was offered Dhruvaloka, a planet that was never resided upon by any conditioned soul. Even Brahma, although the topmost living creature within this universe, was not allowed to enter the Dhruvaloka. Whenever there is a crisis within this universe, the demigods go to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead Ksirodakasayi Visnu, and they stand on the beach of the Milk Ocean. So the fulfillment of Dhruva Maharaja's demand--a position more exalted than that of even his great-grandfather, Brahma--was offered to him.
Here in this verse the Lord is described as mukti-pati, which means "one under whose lotus feet there are all kinds of mukti." There are five kinds of mukti--sayujya, sarupya, salokya, samipya and sarsti. Out of these five muktis, which can be achieved by any person engaged in devotional service to the Lord, the one which is known as sayujya is generally demanded by Mayavadi philosophers; they demand to become one with the impersonal Brahman effulgence of the Lord. In the opinion of many scholars, this sayujya-mukti, although counted among the five kinds of mukti, is not actually mukti because from sayujya-mukti one may again fall down to this material world. This information we have from Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.32), wherein it is said, patanty adhah, which means "they again fall down." The monist philosopher, after executing severe austerity, merges into the impersonal effulgence of the Lord, but the living entity always wants reciprocation in loving affairs. Therefore, although the monist philosopher is elevated to the status of being one with the effulgence of the Lord, because there is no facility for associating with the Lord and rendering service unto Him, he again falls into this material world, and his service propensity is satisfied by materialistic welfare activities like humanitarianism, altruism and philanthropy. There are many instances of such falldowns, even for great sannyasis in the Mayavada school.
Therefore Vaisnava philosophers do not accept sayujya-mukti to be within the category of mukti. According to them, mukti means transferal to the loving service of the Lord from one's position of serving maya. Lord Caitanya also says in this connection that the constitutional position of a living entity is to render service to the Lord. That is real mukti. When one is situated in his original position, giving up artificial positions, he is called mukta, or liberated. In the Bhagavad-gita this is confirmed: anyone who engages in rendering transcendental loving service to the Lord is considered to be mukta, or brahma-bhuta. It is said in Bhagavad-gita that a devotee is considered to be on the brahma-bhuta platform when he has no material contamination. In the Padma Purana this is also confirmed: mukti means engagement in the service of the Lord.
The great sage Maitreya explained that Dhruva Maharaja did not desire in the beginning to engage in the service of the Lord, but he wanted an exalted position better than his great-grandfather's. This is more or less not service to the Lord but service to the senses. Even if one gets the position of Brahma, the most exalted position in this material world, he is a conditioned soul. Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati says that if one is elevated to real, pure devotional service, he considers even great demigods like Brahma and Indra to be on an equal level with an insignificant insect. The reason is that an insignificant insect has a desire for sense gratification and even a great personality like Lord Brahma also wants to dominate this material nature.
Sense gratification means domination over material nature. The whole competition between conditioned souls is based upon domination of this material nature. Modern scientists are proud of their knowledge because they are discovering new methods to dominate the laws of material nature. They think that this is the advancement of human civilization--the more they can dominate the material laws, the more advanced they think they are. Dhruva Maharaja's propensity in the beginning was like that. He wanted to dominate this material world in a greater position than Lord Brahma. Therefore elsewhere it is described that after the appearance of the Lord, when Dhruva Maharaja thought and compared his determination to his final reward, he realized that he had wanted a few particles of broken glass but instead had received many diamonds. As soon as he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, he immediately became conscious of the unimportance of his demand from the Lord to have an exalted position better than Lord Brahma's.
When Dhruva Maharaja became situated on the vasudeva platform due to seeing the Lord face to face, all his material contamination was cleared. Thus he became ashamed of what his demands were and what he had achieved. He was very much ashamed to think that although he had gone to Madhuvana, giving up the kingdom of his father, and he had gotten a spiritual master like Narada Muni, he was still thinking of revenge against his stepmother and wanted to occupy an exalted post within this material world. These were the causes for his moroseness even alter he received all the desired benedictions from the Lord.
When Dhruva Maharaja factually saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there was no question of a revengeful attitude towards his stepmother nor any aspiration to lord it over the material world, but the Supreme Personality is so kind that He knew that Dhruva Maharaja wanted these. Speaking before Dhruva Maharaja, He used the word vedaham because when Dhruva Maharaja demanded material benefits, the Lord was present within his heart and so knew everything. The Lord always knows everything a man is thinking. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita also: vedaham samatitani.
The Lord fulfilled all Dhruva Maharaja's desires. His revengeful attitude towards his stepmother and stepbrother was satisfied, his desire for a more exalted position than that of his great-grandfather was also fulfilled, and at the same time, his eternal position in Dhruvaloka was fixed. Although Dhruva Maharaja's achievement of an eternal planet was not conceived of by him, Krsna thought, "What will Dhruva do with an exalted position within this material world?" Therefore He gave Dhruva the opportunity to rule this material world for thirty-six thousand years with unchangeable senses and the chance to perform many great sacrifices and thus become the most reputed king within this material world. And, after finishing with all this material enjoyment, Dhruva would be promoted to the spiritual world, which includes the Dhruvaloka.
samadhina naika-bhavena yat padam
viduh sanandadaya urdhva-retasah
masair aham sadbhir amusya padayos
chayam upetyapagatah prthan-matih
dhruvah uvaca--Dhruva Maharaja said; samadhina--by practicing yoga in trance; na--never; eka-bhavena--by one birth; yat--which; padam--position; viduh--understood; sananda-adayah--the four brahmacaris headed by Sanandana; urdhva-retasah--infallible celibates; masaih--within months; aham--I; sadbhih--six; amusya--of Him; padayoh--of the lotus feet; chayam--shelter; upetya--achieving; apagatah--fell down; prthak-matih--my mind fixed on things other than the Lord.
Dhruva Maharaja thought to himself: To endeavor to be situated in the shade of the lotus feet of the Lord is not an ordinary task because even the great brahmacaris headed by Sanandana, who practiced astanga-yoga in trance, attained the shelter of the Lord's lotus feet only after many, many births. Within six months I achieved the same result, yet due to my thinking differently from the Lord, I fell down from my position.
In this verse Dhruva Maharaja himself explains the cause of his moroseness. First he laments that to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly is not easy. Even great saintly persons like the four celebrated brahmacaris headed by Sanandana--Sanandana, Sanaka, Sanatana and Sanat-kumara--practiced the yoga system for many, many births and remained in trance before getting the opportunity to see the Supreme Lord face to face. As far as Dhruva Maharaja was concerned, he saw the Supreme Lord personally after only six months of practice in devotional service. He expected, therefore, that as soon as he met the Supreme Lord, the Lord would take him to His abode immediately, without waiting. Dhruva Maharaja could understand very clearly that the Lord had offered him the rule of the world for thirty-six thousand years because in the beginning he was under the spell of the material energy and wanted to take revenge against his stepmother and rule over his father's kingdom. Dhruva Maharaja greatly lamented his propensity for ruling the material world and his revengeful attitude towards other living entities.
aho bata mamanatmyam
gatva yace yad antavat
aho--oh; bata--alas; mama--my; anatmyam--bodily consciousness; manda-bhagyasya--of the unfortunate; pasyata--just see; bhava--material existence; chidah--of the Lord, who can cut off; pada-mulam--the lotus feet; gatva--having approached; yace--I prayed for; yat--that which; anta-vat--perishable.
Alas, just look at me! I am so unfortunate. I approached the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who can immediately cut the chain of the repetition of birth and death, but still, out of my foolishness, I prayed for things which are perishable.
The word anatmyam is very significant in this. verse. Atma means "the soul," and anatmya means "without any conception of the soul." Srila Rsabhadeva instructed his sons that unless a human being comes to the point of understanding the atma, or spiritual position, whatever he does is ignorance, and this brings only defeat in his life. Dhruva Maharaja regrets his unfortunate position, for although he approached the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always able to give His devotee the highest benediction of cessation of the repetition of birth and death, which is impossible for any demigod to offer, he foolishly wanted something perishable. When Hiranyakasipu asked immortality from Lord Brahma, Lord Brahma expressed his inability to offer such a benediction because he himself is not immortal; therefore immortality, or complete cessation of the chain of repeated birth and death, can be offered by the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead Himself, not by others. Harim vina na srtim taranti. It is said that without the blessings of Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, no one can stop the continuous chain of birth and death within this material world. Therefore the Supreme Lord is also called bhava-cchit. The Vaisnava philosophy in the process of Krsna consciousness prohibits the devotee from all kinds of material aspirations. A Vaisnava devotee should always be anyabhilasita-sunya, free from all material aspirations for the results of fruitive activities or empiric philosophical speculation. Dhruva Maharaja was actually initiated by Narada Muni, the greatest Vaisnava, in the chanting of om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. This mantra is a visnu-mantra, for by practicing the chanting of this mantra one is elevated to the Visnuloka. Dhruva Maharaja regrets that although he was initiated in the visnu-mantra by a Vaisnava, he still aspired for material benefits. That was another cause for lamentation. Although he got the result of the visnu-mantra by the causeless mercy of the Lord, he lamented how foolish he was to have strived for material benefits while practicing devotional service. In other words, every one of us who is engaged in devotional service in Krsna consciousness should be completely free from all material aspirations. Otherwise we will have to lament like Dhruva Maharaja.
matir vidusita devaih
yo narada-vacas tathyam
matih--intelligence; vidusita--contaminated; devaih--by the demigods; patadbhih--who will fall down; asahisnubhih--intolerant; yah--I who; narada--of the great sage Narada; vacah--of the instructions; tathyam--the truth; na--not; agrahisam--could accept; asat-tamah--the most wretched.
Since all the demigods who are situated in the higher planetary system will have to come down again, they are all envious of my being elevated to Vaikunthaloka by devotional service. These intolerant demigods have dissipated my intelligence, and only for this reason could I not accept the genuine benediction of the instructions of Sage Narada.
As shown by many instances in the Vedic literature, when a person undergoes severe austerities, the demigods become very much perturbed because they are always afraid of losing their posts as the predominating deities of the heavenly planets. It is known to them that their position in the higher planetary system is impermanent, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, Ninth Chapter (ksine punye martya-lokam visanti). It is said in the Gita that after exhausting the results of their pious activities, all the demigods, who are inhabitants of the higher planetary system, have to come back again to this earth.
It is a fact that the demigods control the different activities of the limbs of our bodies. Factually we are not free even in moving our eyelids. Everything is controlled by them. Dhruva Maharaja's conclusion is that these demigods, being envious of his superior position in devotional service, conspired against him to pollute his intelligence, and thus although he was the disciple of a great Vaisnava, Narada Muni, he could not accept Narada's valid instructions. Now Dhruva Maharaja regretted very much that he had neglected these instructions. Narada Muni had asked him, "Why should you bother about insult or adoration from your stepmother?" He of course said to Dhruva Maharaja that since Dhruva was only a child, what did he have to do with such insult or adoration? But Dhruva Maharaja was determined to achieve the benediction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore Narada advised him to go back home for the time being, and in mature time he could try to practice devotional service. Dhruva Maharaja regretted that he had rejected the advice of Narada Muni and was adamant in asking him for something perishable, namely revenge against his stepmother for her insult, and possession of the kingdom of his father.
Dhruva Maharaja regretted very much that he could not take seriously the instruction of his spiritual master and that his consciousness was therefore contaminated. Still, the Lord is so merciful that due to Dhruva's execution of devotional service He offered Dhruva the ultimate Vaisnava goal.
daivim mayam upasritya
prasupta iva bhinna-drk
tapye dvitiye 'py asati
daivim--of the Personality of Godhead; mayam--the illusory energy; upasritya--taking shelter of; prasuptah--dreaming while asleep; iva--like; bhinna-drk--having separated vision; tapye--I lamented; dvitiye--in the illusory energy; api--although; asati--temporary; bhratr--brother; bhratrvya--enemy; hrt--within the heart; ruja--by lamentation.
Dhruva Maharaja lamented: I was under the influence of the illusory energy; being ignorant of the actual facts, I was sleeping on her lap. Under a vision of duality, I saw my brother as my enemy, and falsely I lamented within my heart, thinking, "They are my enemies."
Real knowledge is revealed to a devotee only when he comes to the right conclusion about life by the grace of the Lord. Our creation of friends and enemies within this material world is something like dreaming at night. In dreams we create so many things out of various impressions in the subconscious mind, but all such creations are simply temporary and unreal. In the same way, although apparently we are awake in material life, because we have no information of the soul and the Supersoul, we create many friends and enemies simply out of imagination. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami says that within this material world or material consciousness, good and bad are the same. The distinction between good and bad is simply a mental concoction. The actual fact is that all living entities are sons of God, or by-products of His marginal energy. Because of our being contaminated by the modes of material nature, we distinguish one spiritual spark from another. That is also another kind of dreaming. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gita that those who are actually learned do not make any distinction between a learned scholar, a brahmana, an elephant, a dog and a candala. They do not see in terms of the external body; rather, they see the person as spirit soul. By higher understanding one can know that the material body is nothing but a combination of the five material elements. In that sense also the bodily construction of a human being and that of a demigod are one and the same. From the spiritual point of view we are all spiritual sparks, parts and parcels of the Supreme Spirit, God. Either materially or spiritually we are basically one, but we make friends and enemies as dictated by the illusory energy. Dhruva Maharaja therefore said, daivim mayam upasritya: the cause of his bewilderment was his association with the illusory, material energy.
mayaitat prarthitam vyartham
bhava-cchidam ayace 'ham
maya--by me; etat--this; prarthitam--prayed for; vyartham--uselessly; cikitsa--treatment; iva--like; gata--has ended; ayusi--for one whose life; prasadya--after satisfying; jagat-atmanam--the soul of the universe; tapasa--by austerity; dusprasadanam--who is very difficult to satisfy; bhava-chidam--the Personality of Godhead, who can cut the chain of birth and death; ayace--prayed for; aham--I; bhavam--repetition of birth and death; bhagya--fortune; vivarjitah--being without.
It is very difficult to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but in my case, although I have satisfied the Supersoul of the whole universe, I have prayed only for useless things. My activities were exactly like treatment given to a person who is already dead. Just see how unfortunate I am, for in spite of meeting the Supreme Lord, who can cut one's link with birth and death, I have prayed for the same conditions again.
Sometimes it so happens that a devotee engaged in the loving service of the Lord desires some material benefit in exchange for this service. This is not the proper way to discharge devotional service. Out of ignorance, of course, sometimes a devotee does so, but Dhruva Maharaja regrets his personal behavior in this connection.
svarajyam yacchato maudhyan
mano me bhiksito bata
svarajyam--His devotional service; yacchatah--from the Lord, who was willing to offer; maudhyat--by foolishness; manah--material prosperity; me--by me; bhiksitah--was asked for; bata--alas; isvarat--from a great emperor; ksina--reduced; punyena--whose pious activities; phali-karan--broken particles of husked rice; iva--like; adhanah--a poor man.
Because of my state of complete foolishness and paucity of pious activities, although the Lord offered me His personal service, I wanted material name, fame and prosperity. My case is just like that of the poor man who, when he satisfied a great emperor who wanted to give him anything he might ask, out of ignorance asked only a few broken grains of husked rice.
In this verse the word svarajyam, which means "complete independence," is very significant. A conditioned soul does not know what complete independence is. Complete independence means situation in one's own constitutional position. The real independence of a living entity, who is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is to remain always dependent on the Supreme Lord, just like a child who plays in complete independence, guided by his parents, who watch over him. The independence of the conditioned soul does not mean to fight with the obstacles offered by maya, but to surrender to Krsna. In the material world, everyone is trying to become completely independent simply by fighting against the obstacles offered by maya. This is called the struggle for existence. Real independence is to be reinstated in the service of the Lord. Anyone who goes to the Vaikuntha planets or Goloka Vrndavana planet is freely offering his service to the Lord. That is complete independence. Just contrary to this is material overlordship, which we wrongly take to be independence. Many great political leaders have tried to establish independence, but due to such so-called independence the people's dependence has only increased. The living entity cannot be happy trying to be independent in the material world. One has to surrender, therefore, unto the lotus feet of the Lord and engage in his original, eternal service.
Dhruva Maharaja regrets that he wanted material opulence and greater prosperity than that of his great-grandfather, Lord Brahma. His begging from the Lord was like a poor man's asking a great emperor for a few grains of broken rice. The conclusion is that anyone who is engaged in the loving service of the Lord should never ask for material prosperity from the Lord. The awarding of material prosperity simply depends on the stringent rules and regulations of the external energy. Pure devotees ask the Lord only for the privilege of serving Him. This is our real independence. If we want anything else, it is a sign of our misfortune.
na vai mukundasya padaravindayo
rajo-jusas tata bhavadrsa janah
vanchanti tad-dasyam rte 'rtham atmano
maitreyah uvaca--the great sage Maitreya continued; na--never; vai--certainly; mukundasya--of the Lord, who can give liberation; pada-aravindayoh--of the lotus feet; rajah-jusah--persons who are eager to taste the dust; tata--my dear Vidura; bhavadrsah--like yourself; janah--persons; vanchanti--desire; tat--His; dasyam--servitorship; rte--without; artham--interest; atmanah--for themselves; yadrcchaya--automatically; labdha--by what is achieved; manah-samrddhayah--considering themselves very rich.
The great sage Maitreya continued: My dear Vidura, persons like you, who are pure devotees of the lotus feet of Mukunda [the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who can offer liberation] and who are always attached to the honey of His lotus feet, are always satisfied in serving at the lotus feet of the Lord. In any condition of life, such persons remain satisfied, and thus they never ask the Lord for material prosperity.
In the Bhagavad-gita the Lord says that He is the supreme enjoyer, the supreme proprietor of everything and anything within this creation, and the supreme friend of everyone. When one knows these things perfectly, he is always satisfied. The pure devotee never hankers after any kind of material prosperity. The karmis, however, or jnanis or yogis endeavor always for their own personal happiness. Karmis work day and night to improve their economic condition, jnanis undergo severe austerities in order to get liberation, and yogis also undergo severe austerities by practicing the yoga system for attainment of wonderful mystic powers. A devotee, however, is not interested in such activities; he does not want mystic powers or liberation or material prosperity. He is satisfied in any condition of life, as long as he is constantly engaged in the service of the Lord. The Lord's feet are compared to the lotus, wherein there is saffron dust. A devotee is always engaged in drinking the honey from the lotus feet of the Lord. Unless one is freed from all material desires, he cannot actually taste the honey from the Lord's lotus feet. One has to discharge his devotional duties without being disturbed by the coming and going of material circumstances. This desirelessness for material prosperity is called niskama. One should not mistakenly think that niskama means giving up all desires. That is impossible. A living entity is eternally existent, and he cannot give up desires. A living entity must have desires; that is the symptom of life. When there is a recommendation to become desireless, it is to be understood that this means that we should not desire anything for our sense gratification. For a devotee this state of mind, nihsprha, is the right position. Actually every one of us already has an arrangement for our standard of material comforts. A devotee should always remain satisfied with the standard of comforts offered by the Lord, as stated in the Isopanisad (tena tyaktena bhunjithah). This saves time for executing Krsna consciousness.
raja na sraddadhe bhadram
abhadrasya kuto mama
akarnya--having heard; atma-jam--his son; ayantam--coming back; samparetya--after dying; yatha--as if; agatam--coming back; raja--King Uttanapada; na--did not; sraddadhe--have any confidence; bhadram--good fortune; abhadrasya--of the impious; kutah--whence; mama--my.
When King Uttanapada heard that his son Dhruva was coming back home, as if coming back to life after death, he could not put his faith in this message, for he was doubtful of how it could happen. He considered himself the most wretched, and therefore he thought that it was not possible for him to attain such good fortune.
Dhruva Maharaja, a five-year-old boy, went to the forest for penance and austerity, and the King could not at all believe that a small boy of such a tender age could live in the forest. He was certain that Dhruva was dead. He therefore could not fix his faith in the message that Dhruva Maharaja was coming back home again. For him this message said that a dead man was coming back home, and so he could not believe it. After Dhruva Maharaja's departure from home, King Uttanapada thought that he was the cause of Dhruva's leaving, and thus he considered himself the most wretched. Therefore, even though it was possible that his lost son was coming back from the kingdom of death, he thought that since he was most sinful it was not possible for him to be so fortunate as to get back his lost son.
sraddhaya vakyam devarser
haram pradan maha-dhanam
sraddhaya--keeping faith; vakyam--in the words; devarseh--of the great sage Narada; harsa-vegena--by great satisfaction; dharsitah--overwhelmed; varta-hartuh--with the messenger who brought the news; atipritah--being very satisfied; haram--a pearl necklace; pradat--offered; maha-dhanam--very valuable.
Although he could not believe the words of the messenger, he had full faith in the word of the great sage Narada. Thus he was greatly overwhelmed by the news, and he immediately offered the messenger a highly valuable necklace in great satisfaction.
sad-asvam ratham aruhya
brahmanaih kula-vrddhais ca
niscakrama purat turnam
sat-asvam--drawn by very fine horses; ratham--chariot; aruhya--getting on; kartasvara-pariskrtam--bedecked with golden filigree; brahmanaih--with brahmanas; kula-vrddhaih--along with elderly personalities of the family; ca--also; paryastah--being surrounded; amatya--by officers and ministers; bandhubhih--and friends; sankha--of conchshells; dundubhi--and kettledrums; nadena--with the sound; brahma-ghosena--by the chanting of Vedic mantras; venubhih--by flutes; niscakrama--he came out; purat--from the city; turnam--with great haste; atma-ja--son; abhiksana--to see; utsukah--very eager.
Then King Uttanapada, being very eager to see the face of his lost son, mounted a chariot drawn by excellent horses and bedecked with golden filigree. Taking with him many learned brahmanas, all the elderly personalities of his family, his officers, his ministers and his immediate friends, he immediately left the city. As he proceeded in this parade, there were auspicious sounds of conchshells, kettledrums, flutes, and the chanting of Vedic mantras to indicate all good fortune.
sunitih surucis casya
aruhya sibikam sardham
sunitih--Queen Suniti; surucih--Queen Suruci; ca--also; asya--of the King; mahisyau--queens; rukma-bhusite--being decorated with golden ornaments; aruhya--getting on; sibikam--a palanquin; sardham--along with; uttamena--the King's other son, Uttama; abhijagmatuh--all proceeded along.
Both the queens of King Uttanapada, namely Suniti and Suruci, along with his other son, Uttama, appeared in the procession. The queens were seated on a palanquin.
After the departure of Dhruva Maharaja from the palace, the King was very afflicted, but by the kind words of Saint Narada he was partially satisfied. He could understand the great fortune of his wife Suniti and the great misfortune of Queen Suruci, for these facts were certainly very open in the palace. But still when the news reached the palace that Dhruva Maharaja was returning, his mother, Suniti, out of her great compassion and due to being the mother of a great Vaisnava, did not hesitate to take the other wife, Suruci, and her son, Uttama, on the same palanquin. That was the greatness of Queen Suniti, the mother of the great Vaisnava Dhruva Maharaja.
ayantam tarasa rathat
avaruhya nrpas turnam
parirebhe 'ngajam dorbhyam
tam--him (Dhruva Maharaja); drstva--having seen; upavana--the small forest; abhyase--near; ayantam--returning; tarasa--with great haste; rathat--from the chariot; avaruhya--got down; nrpah--the King; turnam--immediately; asadya--coming near; prema--with love; vihvalah--overwhelmed; parirebhe--he embraced; anga-jam--his son; dorbhyam--with his arms; dirgha--for a long time; utkantha--anxious; manah--the King, whose mind; svasan--breathing heavily; visvaksena--of the Lord; anghri--by the lotus feet; samsparsa--being touched; hata--were destroyed; asesa--unlimited; agha--material contamination; bandhanam--whose bondage.
Upon seeing Dhruva Maharaja approaching the neighboring small forest, King Uttanapada with great haste got down from his chariot. He had been very anxious for a long time to see his son Dhruva, and therefore with great love and affection he went forward to embrace his long-lost boy. Breathing very heavily, the King embraced him with both arms. But Dhruva Maharaja was not the same as before; he was completely sanctified by spiritual advancement due to having been touched by the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
athajighran muhur murdhni
snapayam asa tanayam
atha--thereupon; ajighran--smelling; muhuh--again and again; murdhni--on the head; sitaih--cold; nayana--of his eyes; varibhih--with the water; snapayam asa--he bathed; tanayam--son; jata--fulfilled; uddama--great; manah-rathah--his desire.
Reunion with Dhruva Maharaja fulfilled King Uttanapada's long-cherished desire, and for this reason he smelled Dhruva's head again and again and bathed him with torrents of very cold tears.
By nature's way, when a man cries, there may be two causes. When one cries in great happiness upon the fulfillment of some desire, the tears coming forth from the eyes are very cold and pleasing, whereas tears in times of distress are very hot.
abhivandya pituh padav
nanama matarau sirsna
abhivandya--worshiping; pituh--of his father; padau--the feet; asirbhih--with benedictions; ca--and; abhimantritah--was addressed; nanama--he bowed; matarau--to his two mothers; sirsna--with his head; sat-krtah--was honored; sat-jana--of the nobles; agranih--the foremost.
Then Dhruva Maharaja, the foremost of all nobles, first of all offered his obeisances at the feet of his father and was honored by his father with various questions. He then bowed his head at the feet of his two mothers.
It may be questioned why Dhruva Maharaja offered his respect not only to his mother but also to his stepmother, due to whose insults he had to leave home. The answer is that after achieving perfection by self-realization and seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, Dhruva Maharaja was completely freed from all contamination of material desire. Feelings of insult or honor in this material world are never perceived by a devotee. Lord Caitanya therefore says that one has to be humbler than the grass and, He recommends, more tolerant than the tree to execute devotional service. Dhruva Maharaja, therefore, has in this verse been described as saj-janagranih, the foremost of noble men. The pure devotee is the noblest of all, and he has no feelings of animosity towards anyone. Duality due to animosity is a creation of this material world. There is no such thing in the spiritual world, which is the absolute reality.
surucis tam samutthapya
surucih--Queen Suruci; tam--him; samutthapya--having picked up; pada-avanatam--fallen at her feet; arbhakam--the innocent boy; parisvajya--embracing; aha--she said; jiva--may you live long; iti--thus; baspa--with tears; gadgadaya--choked up; gira--with words.
Suruci, the younger mother of Dhruva Maharaja, seeing that the innocent boy had fallen at her feet, immediately picked him up, embracing him with her hands, and with tears of feeling she blessed him with the words, "My dear boy, long may you live!"
yasya prasanno bhagavan
gunair maitry-adibhir harih
tasmai namanti bhutani
nimnam apa iva svayam
yasya--anyone with whom; prasannah--is pleased; bhagavan--the Personality of Godhead; gunaih--by qualities; maitri-adibhih--by friendship, etc.; harih--Lord Hari; tasmai--unto him; namanti--offer respect; bhutani--all living entities; nimnam--to low ground; apah--water; iva--just as; svayam--automatically.
Unto one who has transcendental qualities due to friendly behavior with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all living entities offer honor, just as water automatically flows down by nature.
The question may be raised in this connection why Suruci, who was not at all favorably disposed towards Dhruva, blessed him, "Long may you live," which means that she also desired good fortune for him. The answer is given in this verse. Since Dhruva Maharaja was blessed by the Lord, due to his transcendental qualities everyone was bound to offer him all respects and benediction, just as water, by its nature, flows downward. A devotee of the Lord does not demand respect from anyone, but wherever he goes he is honored by everyone throughout the whole world with all respect. Srinivasa Acarya said that the six Gosvamis of Vrndavana are respected throughout the entire universe because a devotee, having pleased the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all emanations, automatically pleases everyone, and thus everyone offers him respect.
uttamas ca dhruvas cobhav
asraugham muhur uhatuh
uttamah ca--also Uttama; dhruvah ca--Dhruva also; ubhau--both; anyonyam--one another; prema-vihvalau--being overwhelmed with affection; anga-sangat--by embracing; utpulakau--their hair stood up; asra--of tears; ogham--torrents; muhuh--again and again; uhatuh--they exchanged.
The two brothers Uttama and Dhruva Maharaja also exchanged their tears. They were overwhelmed by the ecstasy of love and affection, and when they embraced one another, the hair on their bodies stood up.
sunitir asya janani
pranebhyo 'pi priyam sutam
upaguhya jahav adhim
sunitih--Suniti, the real mother of Dhruva Maharaja; asya--his; janani--mother; pranebhyah--more than life air; api--even; priyam--dear; sutam--son; upaguhya--embracing; jahau--gave up; adhim--all grief; tat-anga--his body; sparsa--touching; nirvrta--being satisfied.
Suniti, the real mother of Dhruva Maharaja, embraced the tender body of her son, who was dearer to her than her own life, and thus forgot all material grief, for she was very pleased.
payah stanabhyam susrava
netra-jaih salilaih sivaih
vira vira-suvo muhuh
payah--milk; stanabhyam--from both breasts; susrava--began to flow down; netra-jaih--from the eyes; salilaih--by tears; sivaih--auspicious; tada--at that time; abhisicyamanabhyam--being wetted; vira--my dear Vidura; vira-suvah--of the mother who gave birth to a hero; muhuh--constantly.
My dear Vidura, Suniti was the mother of a great hero. Her tears, together with the milk flowing from her breasts, wet the whole body of Dhruva Maharaja. This was a great, auspicious sign.
When Deities are installed, They are washed with milk, yogurt and water, and this ceremony is called abhiseka. In this verse it has been especially mentioned that the tears which flowed down from the eyes of Suniti were all-auspicious. This auspiciousness of the abhiseka ceremony performed by his beloved mother was an indication that in the very near future Dhruva Maharaja would be installed on the throne of his father. The history of Dhruva Maharaja's leaving home was that his father refused to give him a place on his lap, and Dhruva Maharaja determined that unless he got the throne of his father he would not come back. Now this abhiseka ceremony performed by his beloved mother was an indication that he would occupy the throne of Maharaja Uttanapada.
It is also significant in this verse that Suniti, mother of Dhruva Maharaja, is described as vira-su, a mother who produced a great hero. There are many heroes in the world, but there is no comparison to Dhruva Maharaja, who was not only a heroic emperor of this planet, but also a great devotee. A devotee is also a great hero because he conquers the influence of maya. When Lord Caitanya inquired from Ramananda Raya about the most famous man in this world, the latter replied that anyone who is known as a great devotee of the Lord is to be accepted as the most famous.
tam sasamsur jana rajnim
distya te putra arti-ha
pratilabdhas ciram nasto
raksita mandalam bhuvah
tam--unto Queen Suniti; sasamsuh--offered praise; janah--the people in general; rajnim--unto the Queen; distya--by fortune; te--your; putrah--son; arti-ha--will vanquish all your pains; pratilabdhah--now returned; ciram--since a long time; nastah--lost; raksita--will protect; mandalam--the globe; bhuvah--earthly.
The residents of the palace praised the Queen: Dear Queen, your beloved son was lost a long time ago, and it is your great fortune that he now has come back. It appears, therefore, that your son will be able to protect you for a very long time and will put an end to all your material pangs.
abhyarcitas tvaya nunam
mrtyum jigyuh sudurjayam
abhyarcitah--worshiped; tvaya--by you; nunam--however; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pranata-arti-ha--who can deliver His devotees from the greatest danger; yat--whom; anudhyayinah--constantly meditating upon; dhirah--great saintly persons; mrtyum--death; jigyuh--conquered; sudurjayam--which is very, very difficult to overcome.
Dear Queen, you must have worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who delivers His devotees from the greatest danger. Persons who constantly meditate upon Him surpass the course of birth and death. This perfection is very difficult to achieve.
Dhruva Maharaja was the lost child of Queen Suniti, but during his absence she always meditated upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is able to rescue His devotee from all dangers. While Dhruva Maharaja was absent from his home, not only did he undergo severe austerities in the forest of Madhuvana, but at home also his mother prayed to the Supreme Lord for his safety and good fortune. In other words, the Lord was worshiped by both the mother and the son, and both were able to achieve the supreme benediction from the Supreme Lord. The word sudurjayam, an adjective which indicates that no one can conquer death, is very significant. When Dhruva Maharaja was away from his home, his father thought that he was dead. Ordinarily a king's son only five years old and away from home in the forest would certainly be supposed dead, but by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not only was he saved, but he was blessed with the highest perfection.
lalyamanam janair evam
dhruvam sabhrataram nrpah
aropya karinim hrstah
stuyamano 'visat puram
lalyamanam--being thus praised; janaih--by the people in general; evam--thus; dhruvam--Maharaja Dhruva; sa-bhrataram--with his brother; nrpah--the King; aropya--placing; karinim--on the back of a she-elephant; hrstah--being so pleased; stuyamanah--and being so praised; avisat--returned; puram--to his capital.
The sage Maitreya continued: My dear Vidura, when everyone was thus praising Dhruva Maharaja, the King was very happy, and he had Dhruva and his brother seated on the back of a she-elephant. Thus he returned to his capital, where he was praised by all classes of men.
puga-potais ca tad-vidhaih
tatra tatra--here and there; upasanklptaih--set up; lasat--brilliant; makara--shark-shaped; toranaih--with arched gateways; sa-vrndaih--with bunches of fruits and flowers; kadali--of banana trees; stambhaih--with columns; puga-potaih--with young betel nut trees; ca--also; tat-vidhaih--of that kind.
The whole city was decorated with columns of banana trees containing bunches of fruits and flowers, and betel nut trees with leaves and branches were seen here and there. There were also many gates set up which were structured to give the appearance of sharks.
Auspicious ceremonies with decorations of the green leaves of palms, coconut trees, betel nut trees and banana trees, and fruits, flowers and leaves are an age-old custom in India. To receive his great son Dhruva Maharaja, King Uttanapada arranged a good reception, and all the citizens very enthusiastically took part with great jubilation.
apam kumbhaih sadipakaih
cuta-pallava--with mango leaves; vasah--cloth; srak--flower garlands; mukta-dama--strings of pearls; vilambibhih--hanging; upaskrtam--decorated; prati-dvaram--at every gate; apam--full of water; kumbhaih--with waterpots; sa-dipakaih--with burning lamps.
At each and every gate there were burning lamps and big waterpots decorated with differently colored cloth, strings of pearls, flower garlands and hanging mango leaves.
sarvato 'lankrtam srimad-
prakaraih--with surrounding walls; gopura--city gates; agaraih--with houses; satakumbha--golden; paricchadaih--with ornamental work; sarvatah--on all sides; alankrtam--decorated; srimat--valuable, beautiful; vimana--airplanes; sikhara--domes; dyubhih--glittering.
In the capital city there were many palaces, city gates and surrounding walls, which were already very, very beautiful, and on this occasion all of them were decorated with golden ornaments. The domes of the city palaces glittered, as did the domes of the beautiful airplanes which hovered over the city.
Regarding the mention of airplanes here, it is suggested by Srimad Vijayadhvaja Tirtha that on this occasion the demigods from higher planetary systems also came in their airplanes to bestow their blessings on Dhruva Maharaja on his arrival at the capital of his father. It also appears that all the domes of the city palaces as well as the pinnacles of the airplanes were decorated with ornamental work in gold, and, being reflected by the sunshine, they were all glittering. We can observe a specific distinction between Dhruva Maharaja's time and modern days, for the airplanes in those days were made of gold, whereas at the present moment airplanes are made of base aluminum. This just gives a hint of the opulence of Dhruva Maharaja's days and the poverty of modern times.
tandulair balibhir yutam
mrsta--fully cleansed; catvara--quadrangles; rathya--highways; atta--raised sitting places; margam--lanes; candana--with sandalwood; carcitam--sprinkled; laja--with fried rice; aksataih--and barley; puspa--with flowers; phalaih--and fruits; tandulaih--with rice; balibhih--auspicious presentations; yutam--provided with.
All the quadrangles, lanes and streets in the city, and the raised sitting places at the crossings, were thoroughly cleansed and sprinkled with sandalwood water; and auspicious grains such as rice and barley, and flowers, fruits and many other auspicious presentations were scattered all over the city.
dhruvaya pathi drstaya
tatra tatra pura-striyah
vatsalyad asisah satih
pravisad bhavanam pituh
dhruvaya--on Dhruva; pathi--on the road; drstaya--seen; tatra tatra--here and there; pura-striyah--household ladies; siddhartha--white mustard seed; aksata--barley; dadhi--curd; ambu--water; durva--newly grown grass; puspa--flowers; phalani--fruits; ca--also; upajahruh--they showered; prayunjanah--uttering; vatsalyat--out of affection; asisah--blessings; satih--gentle ladies; srnvan--hearing; tat--their; valgu--very pleasing; gitani--songs; pravisat--he entered; bhavanam--the palace; pituh--of his father.
Thus as Dhruva Maharaja passed on the road, from every place in the neighborhood all the gentle household ladies assembled to see him, and out of maternal affection they offered their blessings, showering him with white mustard seed, barley, curd, water, newly grown grass, fruits and flowers. In this way Dhruva Maharaja, while hearing the pleasing songs sung by the ladies, entered the palace of his father.
sa tasmin bhavanottame
lalito nitaram pitra
nyavasad divi devavat
maha-mani--greatly valuable jewels; vrata--groups of; maye--bedecked with; sah--he (Dhruva Maharaja); tasmin--in that; bhavana-uttame--brilliant house; lalitah--being raised; nitaram--always; pitra--by the father; nyavasat--lived there; divi--in the higher planetary systems; deva-vat--like the demigods.
Dhruva Maharaja thereafter lived in his father's palace, which had walls bedecked with highly valuable jewels. His affectionate father took particular care of him, and he dwelled in that house just as the demigods live in their palaces in the higher planetary systems.
yatra raukma upaskarah
payah--milk; phena--foam; nibhah--like; sayyah--bedding; dantah--made of ivory; rukma--golden; paricchadah--with embellishments; asanani--sitting places; maha-arhani--very valuable; yatra--where; raukmah--golden; upaskarah--furniture.
The bedding in the palace was as white as the foam of milk and was very soft. The bedsteads were made of ivory with embellishments of gold, and the chairs, benches and other sitting places and furniture were made of gold.
yatra--where; sphatika--made of marble; kudyesu--on walls; maha-marakatesu--bedecked with valuable jewels like sapphires; ca--also; mani-pradipah--lamps made of jewels; abhanti--shone; lalana--female figures; ratna--made of jewels; samyutah--held by.
The palace of the King was surrounded by walls made of marble with many engravings made of valuable jewels like sapphires, which depicted beautiful women with shining jewel lamps in their hands.
The description of King Uttanapada's palace depicts the state of affairs many hundreds and thousands of years ago, long before Srimad-Bhagavatam was compiled. Since it is described that Maharaja Dhruva ruled for thirty-six thousand years, he must have lived in the Satya-yuga, when people lived for one hundred thousand years. The life durations in the four yugas are also mentioned in the Vedic literature. In the Satya-yuga people used to live for one hundred thousand years, in the Treta-yuga people lived for ten thousand years, in Dvapara-yuga they lived for one thousand years, and in this age, Kali-yuga, people may live up to one hundred years. With the progressive advance of each new yuga, the duration of human life is reduced by ninety percent--from one hundred thousand to ten thousand, from ten thousand to one thousand, and from one thousand to one hundred.
It is said that Dhruva Maharaja was the great-grandson of Lord Brahma. This indicates that Dhruva Maharaja's time was in the Satya-yuga in the beginning of creation. During one day of Lord Brahma, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita, there are many Satya-yugas. According to the Vedic calculation, at the present moment the twenty-eighth millennium is current. It can be calculated that Dhruva Maharaja lived many millions of years ago, but the description of the palace of Dhruva's father is so glorious that we cannot accept that advanced human civilization did not exist even forty or fifty thousand years ago. There were walls like those in the palace of Maharaja Uttanapada even very recently, during the Mogul period. Anyone who has seen the Red Fort in Delhi must have marked that the walls are made of marble and were once decorated with jewels. During the British period all these jewels were taken away and dispatched to the British Museum.
The conception of worldly opulence was formerly based mainly on natural resources such as jewels, marble, silk, ivory, gold and silver. The advancement of economic development was not based on big motorcars. Advancement of human civilization depends not on industrial enterprises, but on possession of natural wealth and natural food, which is all supplied by the Supreme Personality of Godhead so that we may save time for self-realization and success in the human form of body.
Another aspect of this verse is that Dhruva Maharaja's father, Uttanapada, would very soon give up attachment for his palaces and would go to the forest for self-realization. From the description of Srimad-Bhagavatam, therefore, we can make a very thorough comparative study of modern civilization and the civilization of mankind in the other millenniums, Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga and Dvapara-yuga.
udyanani ca ramyani
udyanani--gardens; ca--also; ramyani--very beautiful; vicitraih--various; amara-drumaih--with trees brought from the heavenly planets; kujat--singing; vihanga--of birds; mithunaih--with pairs; gayat--humming; matta--mad; madhu-vrataih--with bumblebees.
The King's residence was surrounded by gardens wherein there were varieties of trees brought from the heavenly planets. In those trees there were pairs of sweetly singing birds and almost-mad bumblebees, which made a very relishable buzzing sound.
In this verse the word amara-drumaih, "with trees brought from the heavenly planets," is very significant. The heavenly planets are known as Amaraloka, the planets where death is very much delayed, because the people there live for ten thousand years according to the calculations of the demigods, in which our six months are equal to one day. The demigods live in the heavenly planets for months, years and ten-thousands of years according to demigod time, and then again, after the results of their pious activities are exhausted, they fall down to this earth. These are the statements that can be collected from Vedic literature. As the people there live for ten thousand years, so also do the trees. Of course, here on this earth there are many trees which live for ten thousand years, so what to speak of the trees on the heavenly planets? They must live for more than many ten-thousands of years, and sometimes, as practiced even now, some valuable trees are taken from one place to another.
It is elsewhere stated that when Lord Krsna went to the heavenly planets with His wife Satyabhama He took a parijata flower tree from heaven and brought it to the earth. There was a fight between Krsna and the demigods due to the parijata tree's being taken from heaven to this planet. The parijata was planted in the palace of Lord Krsna which was occupied by Queen Satyabhama. The flower and fruit trees in the heavenly planets are superior, for they are very pleasant and tasteful, and it appears that in the palace of Maharaja Uttanapada there were many varieties of such trees.
vapyah--lakes; vaidurya--emerald; sopanah--with staircases; padma--lotuses; utpala--blue lotuses; kumut-vatih--full of lilies; hamsa--swans; karandava--and ducks; kulaih--by flocks of; justah--inhabited; cakrahva--by cakravakas (geese); sarasaih--and by cranes.
There were emerald staircases which led to lakes full of variously colored lotus flowers and lilies, and swans, karandavas, cakravakas, cranes and similar other valuable birds were visible in those lakes.
It appears that not only was the palace surrounded by compounds and gardens with varieties of trees, but there were small man-made lakes also, where the water was full of many-colored lotus flowers and lilies, and to get down to the lakes there were staircases made of valuable jewels such as emeralds. By the beautifully positioned garden houses there were many luxuriant birds, such as swans, cakravakas, karandavas and cranes. These birds generally do not live in filthy places like crows do. The atmosphere of the city was very healthy and beautiful; it can simply be imagined from its description.
prabhavam tanayasya tam
prapede vismayam param
uttanapadah--King Uttanapada; raja-rsih--great saintly king; prabhavam--influence; tanayasya--of his son; tam--that; srutva--hearing; drstva--seeing; adbhuta--wonderful; tamam--in the superlative degree; prapede--happily felt; vismayam--wonder; param--supreme.
The saintly King Uttanapada, hearing of the glorious deeds of Dhruva Maharaja and personally seeing also how influential and great he was, felt very satisfied, for Dhruva's activities were wonderful to the supreme degree.
When Dhruva Maharaja was in the forest executing his austerities, his father, Uttanapada, heard everything about his very wonderful activities. Although Dhruva Maharaja was the son of a king and was only five years old, he went to the forest and executed devotional service under strict austerity. Therefore his acts were all wonderful, and when he came back home, naturally, because of his spiritual qualifications, he became very popular amongst the citizens. He must have performed many wonderful activities by the grace of the Lord. No one is more satisfied than the father of a person who is credited with glorious activities. Maharaja Uttanapada was not an ordinary king; he was a rajarsi, a saintly king. Formerly this earth was ruled by one saintly king only. Kings were trained to become saintly; therefore they had no other concern than the welfare of the citizens. These saintly kings were properly trained, and as mentioned in Bhagavad-gita also, the science of God, or the yoga system of devotional service known as Bhagavad-gita, was spoken to the saintly king of the sun planet, and gradually it descended through the ksatriya kings who were generated from the sun and the moon. If the head of the government is saintly, certainly the citizens become saintly, and they are very happy because both their spiritual and physical needs and hankerings are satisfied.
viksyodha-vayasam tam ca
prakrtinam ca sammatam
dhruvam cakre bhuvah patim
viksya--after seeing; udha-vayasam--mature in age; tam--Dhruva; ca--and; prakrtinam--by the ministers; ca--also; sammatam--approved of; anurakta--beloved; prajam--by his subjects; raja--the King; dhruvam--Dhruva Maharaja; cakre--made; bhuvah--of the earth; patim--master.
When, after concentration, King Uttanapada saw that Dhruva Maharaja was suitably mature to take charge of the kingdom and that his ministers were agreeable and the citizens were also very fond of him, he enthroned Dhruva as emperor of this planet.
Although it is misconceived that formerly the monarchial government was autocratic, from the description of this verse it appears that not only was King Uttanapada a rajarsi, but before installing his beloved son Dhruva on the throne of the empire of the world, he consulted his ministerial officers, considered the opinion of the public, and also personally examined Dhruva's character. Then the King installed him on the throne to take charge of the affairs of the world.
When a Vaisnava king like Dhruva Maharaja is the head of the government of the entire world, the world is so happy that it is not possible to imagine or describe. Even now, if people would all become Krsna conscious, the democratic government of the present day would be exactly like the kingdom of heaven. If all people became Krsna conscious they would vote for persons of the category of Dhruva Maharaja. If the post of chief executive were occupied by such a Vaisnava, all the problems of satanic government would be solved. The youthful generation of the present day is very enthusiastic in trying to overthrow the government in different parts of the world. But unless people are Krsna conscious like Dhruva Maharaja, there will be no appreciable changes in government because people who hanker to attain political position by hook or by crook cannot think of the welfare of the people. They are only busy to keep their position of prestige and monetary gain. They have very little time to think of the welfare of the citizens.
atmanam ca pravayasam
vanam viraktah pratisthad
vimrsann atmano gatim
atmanam--himself; ca--also; pravayasam--advanced in age; akalayya--considering; visampatih--King Uttanapada; vanam--to the forest; viraktah--detached; pratisthat--departed; vimrsan--deliberating on; atmanah--of the self; gatim--salvation.
After considering his advanced age and deliberating on the welfare of his spiritual self, King Uttanapada detached himself from worldly affairs and entered the forest.
This is the sign of a rajarsi. King Uttanapada was very opulent and was emperor of the world, and these attachments were certainly very great. Modern politicians are not as great as kings like Maharaja Uttanapada, but because they get some political power for some days, they become so much attached to their positions that they never retire unless they are removed from their posts by cruel death or killed by some opposing political party. It is within our experience that the politicians in India do not quit their positions until death. This was not the practice in olden days, as it is evident from the behavior of King Uttanapada. Immediately after installing his worthy son Dhruva Maharaja on the throne, he left his home and palace. There are hundreds and thousands of instances like this in which kings, in their mature age, would give up their kingdoms and go to the forest to practice austerity. Practice of austerity is the main business of human life. As Maharaja Dhruva practiced austerity in his early age, his father, Maharaja Uttanapada, in his old age also practiced austerity in the forest. In modern days however, it is not possible to give up one's home and go to the forest to practice austerity, but if people of all ages would take shelter of the Krsna consciousness movement and practice the simple austerities of no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling and no meat-eating, and chant the Hare Krsna mantra regularly (sixteen rounds), by this practical method it would be a very easy task to get salvation from this material world.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fourth Canto, Ninth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Dhruva Maharaja Returns Home."