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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 4a

Dhruva Leaves Home for the Forest

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 4a   

 Dhruva Leaves Home for the Forest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/