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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 4a

Dhruva Returns Home from the Forest

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 4a   

 Dhruva Returns Home from the Forest

(1) Maitreya said: 'They [the demigods], thus being freed from all fear, offered the Lord of the wide strides [Urukrama, Vishnu] their obeisances, upon which they returned to their three worlds. The Lord with the thousand faces [Sahasras'îrshâ, the original Vishnu] then got on the back of Garuda and went to the Madhuvana forest in order to see His servant [Dhruva]. (2) He who strengthened by his meditation in yoga observed Him brilliant as lightening manifested on the lotus of his heart, all of a sudden noticed that He had disappeared, but looking around he then saw Him standing right before him in the same form. (3) With Him present before him he, confounded, fell to the ground prostrating his body like a rod to offer Him his obeisances. As he looked at Him, it was as if the boy was drinking Him with his eyes, like he was kissing Him with his mouth and embracing Him with his arms. (4)   Seeing that he wanted to glorify Him but didn't know how, the Lord, who is the prayer in accord with the scripture in the heart of each, understanding the boy mercifully touched his forehead with His conch shell. (5) Thus being inspired with the ability to say just what he wanted, he, slowly offering his prayers in the love of his devotion, could understand what the supreme of the soul was all about and that he would be the Dhruva of renown and fame whose world couldn't be denied.

(6) Dhruva said: 'Let me offer my obeisances to You, the Supreme Lord and Original Person, who as the One within, from Your internal potency commanding the universal energy, entering my words and breath has brought to life my passive senses as well as my other limbs, my hands, legs and skin. (7) You are the One, Supreme Lord who, after by His own potency creating this vast outer world called mâyâ - that unlimited completeness of reality with its modes - next as the Original Personality has entered here to appear differently in the time-bound qualities the way fire does in fire wood. (8) Like a man awakening from his sleep, the one of surrender to You [Brahmâ] could see this entire universe by dint of the knowledge given by You o my Lord. How can anyone conversant with Your actions forget Your lotus  feet that are the shelter of all who desire liberation, o friend of the distressed? (9) It suffers no doubt that You, the cause of liberation from birth and death, are like a desire tree to those who, under the influence of the outer world, miss the proper concept of life and worship You with ulterior motives in their desire for the gratification of the senses of this bag of bones, a gratification that is even available to persons in hell. (10) The bliss of Your magnificence that for embodied souls may happen when they meditate upon Your lotus feet or when they hear the stories of Your devotees is never found with the impersonal supreme [Brahman], nor does it compare to what is experienced in [personally] elevated positions from which one has to fall down being destroyed by the sword of death. (11) Let it be so that I may enjoy the intimate association of those who are constantly engaged in Your devotional service o Unlimited One, of those great devotees by whose purified hearts one can easily cross the terrible and vast ocean of dangers that is material existence. Let it be so that I go mad of drinking the nectar of the stories about Your qualities.  (12) They so high-principled my dear Lord, never think of the material body, their relating to their sons, friends, home, wealth and wife; they, o One of the Lotus Navel, have achieved the association with those who in their hearts always hanker after the fragrance of Your lotus feet.  (13) The animals, trees, birds, reptiles, gods, demons and men, driven by the material energy are found throughout the universe in different forms of existence and are for several reasons seen and not seen o Unborn One. That I know, but about this transcendental form, o Supreme One I knew not, I do not know but the end of my argument. (14) At the end of each epoch the Supreme Person withdraws all of this universe into His belly, lying down in self-reflection in the company of Ananta S'esha as His bed. From the ocean of His navel the golden abode sprouted, with Brahmâ on the whorl of the lotus. Him, that Supreme Lordship I offer my obeisances. (15) You are the eternally liberated, uncontaminated Supreme Soul full of knowledge, the changeless, authentic Original Person, the Supreme Lord and ruler of the three modes, the continuing intelligence throughout all actions of the intellect, the transcendental vision and witness, the maintainer, enjoyer and the one whose position differs from all the others. (16) You, in whose nature always the different opposing energies of knowledge and ignorance are found, You who are that continuing Brahman, You the cause of the material manifestation, the original and unlimited One who is simply blissful, I offer my respects. (17) Compared to other benedictions Your lotus feet are the true one o my Lord, and thus You as such are the personification of the goal of life of each person o beloved Fortunate One. You, eager to bestow Your mercy, maintain the ones poor of heart like me, the way a cow keeps a calf.'

(18) Maitreya said: 'After thus truly being worshiped by means of the fine intelligence of his good intentions only, the Supreme Lord who is always there in favor of His devotees spoke to him, after first having congratulated him. (19) The Supreme Lord said: 'I know about the determination within your heart o son of the king. Since you are sworn to piety, I shall grant you all the fortune, even though it is a wish difficult to fulfill. (20-21) Never before My good boy, there was anyone who managed to settle for such a brightly glowing place known as the planet of Dhruva, around which all the other planets and constellations of stars are circling like a group of bulls does running stationary around a central pole [for crushing grain]. It is the planet around which, keeping it to their right, along with the stars, all great sages of the forest move circumambulating like Dharma, Agni, Kas'yapa and S'ukra whose lives stretch beyond a millennium. (22) As soon as your father has left for the forest, you will be awarded the entire world. It will be under the pious protection of your rule uninterrupted for thirty-six thousand years in full control of your faculties. (23) When your brother Uttama, being killed during a hunt, is sought in the forest by his most afflicted mother, she will run into a forest fire. (24) After performing great sacrifices for Me, the heart of all sacrifice, and having distributed great charities, you will, after having enjoyed the blessings of this world, at the end of your life be able to remember Me. (25) Thereafter you will head for My abode that is worshiped on all planets and is situated above those of the rishis. Having gone there, you will never come back.'

(26) Maitreya said: 'After thus having assured the boy of His personal protection [and residence], He, the honored and worshiped Supreme Lord who carries Garuda in His flag, before the eyes of Dhruva returned to His heavenly abode. (27) Even though Dhruva by dint of his determination as the result of his service had achieved the feet of Lord Vishnu, he was not very pleased with the satisfaction he obtained and then returned home.'

(28) Vidura said: 'Why is it so that he, who with the very focussed worship of His lotus feet had obtained the in one lifetime rarely achieved supreme position of the Lord, having reached that far and being that wise, felt not that satisfied inside?'

(29) Maitreya replied: 'He was by his stepmother's harsh words pierced in his heart and remembering it all and not desiring liberation from the Lord of salvation, he thus suffered grief. (30) Dhruva said to himself: 'That what the four Kumâras, those infallible celibates, in their absorption never could achieve in one birth, I managed to fathom within six months, but achieving the shelter of His lotus feet I fell down because I fixed my mind on things other than Him. (31) Alas, just see the misfortune based upon my bodily consciousness. Having approached the lotus feet of Him who can cut all bonds, I have prayed for that what is perishable. (32) Because the demigods couldn't tolerate it that they [contrary to me, some day] have to return to an earthly life, my intelligence was contaminated and thus I, wretched as I was, failed to accept the truth of Nârada's instructions. (33) Just like dreaming in my sleep I sought my refuge in the illusory energy of God and complained from within my heart. Seeing things in opposition I, under the influence of the outer world, lamented that my brother was my enemy, although he is only a temporary phenomenon. (34) This what I prayed for, is as useless as a treatment given to someone whose life has already ended. After satisfying the Soul of the Universe by austerities - which is something very difficult to achieve - I prayed with the One with whom one cuts with the world for a repetition of birth and death and thus I am unlucky. (35) From Him who was willing to offer me His full independence I alas out of foolishness asked for material prosperity. It is like a poor man who asks a great emperor who is impressed by his virtue, for a few broken grains of husked rice.'

(36) Maitreya continued: 'My dear Vidura, persons like you who delight in the dust of the lotus feet of the Lord of Liberation, act in serving Him not out of self-interest because that interest is automatically attained by it, they consider themselves very rich. (37) When he heard that his son had returned as if he had risen from death, king Uttânapâda couldn't believe why a sinner like him would befall such a good fortune. (38) With his faith in the words of devarishi Nârada [confirmed], he was overwhelmed by the tidings the messenger brought and being very satisfied he offered him a highly valuable pearl necklace. (39-40) Very eager to see his son he in great haste mounted a gold ornamented chariot drawn by the finest horses and left, accompanied by the sound of conch shells, kettledrums, flutes and the chanting of hymns, the city together with the brahmins, the elderly and his officers, ministers and friends. (41) Both his queens Sunîci and Suruci got, decorated with gold, together with Uttama on a palanquin and joined the procession. (42-43) Meeting him in a small forest nearby, the king hurried down from his chariot and was immediately overwhelmed by love as he approached him. Heavily breathing because of his great anxiety he for a long time with both his arms embraced his son whose bondage of endless material contamination was destroyed by the Lord His lotus feet. (44) Thereupon smelling his head over and over, he who now saw his greatest desire fulfilled, bathed his son with the cool water from his eyes. (45) After respecting his father's feet by him being blessed and honored with questions, he, the best of all noble souls, bowed his head to his two mothers. (46) Suruci, picking up the innocent boy who had fallen at her feet, embraced him and spoke, choked with tears, to him the words: 'May you live long.' (47) Unto anyone with whose qualities and friendship the Supreme Personality, Lord Hari, is pleased, all living beings offer their respect, [as naturally] as water that out of its own flows to the lowest position. (48) Uttama and Dhruva both overwhelmed with affection embraced one another over and over with their hairs standing on end and let their tears run freely. (49) Sunîti, his mother, embracing her son who was more dear to her then her life air, satisfied to touch his body gave up all grief. (50) There and then o heroic one, he was wetted auspiciously by the incessant tears from her eyes and the milk that started to flow from the breasts of the mother of this hero. (51) The people around her offered the queen praise: 'The fortune of your son will vanquish all your pains now that he, after being lost for such a long time, has returned in order to protect the face of the earth. (52) You must have worshiped Him, the Supreme Lord who can deliver you from the greatest danger and upon whom meditating the wise conquer death which is so difficult to overcome.'

(53) Dhruva thus praised by the people around him, was by the king together with his brother placed on the back of a she-elephant and that way pleased and glorified, he returned to his capital. (54) Here and there brilliant, arched gateways were created, there were shark-teeth shaped festoons and columns of banana trees and young betel nut trees with bunches of flowers and fruits hanging down from them. (55) At each gate there was the decoration of hanging mango leaves, cloth, flower garlands and strings of pearls, combined with pots filled with water and burning lamps. (56) The city gates with the surrounding walls,  the houses and the domes of the palace glittered on all sides, beautifully decorated as they were with valuable golden ornaments. (57) The crossroads, streets and the market-place were thoroughly cleansed and sprinkled with sandalwood water and provided with auspicious presentations of fried rice, barley, flowers and fruits. (58-59) Seeing Dhruva on the road, the women of the houses uttering affectionate blessings showered him here and there with white mustard seeds, barley, curd, water, fresh grass, flowers and fruits. With their very pleasant songs ringing in his ears he thus entered his father's palace. (60) In that fine mansion bedecked with mosaics of precious stone he, who under the constant care of his father was elevated to the highest status, lived like a god. (61) The palace was furnished with seats and furniture embellished with gold, very valuable ivory beds and bedding as white as milk foam. (62) The walls, made of marble, had precious gems in them and also the lamps that shone with jewels were held by female figurines made of precious stones as well. (63) Also the gardens were very beautiful with various heavenly trees, pairs of singing birds and the humming of mad bumblebees. (64) Emerald staircases lead to ponds full of lilies and blue lotuses, swans and ducks and flocks of geese, and cranes that dwelt nearby.

(65) When the saintly king Uttânapâda heard and saw what the most remarkable influence was of his son, he felt extremely happy about that great miracle. (66) When he saw that Dhruva had come of age and also carried the approval of his ministers and was loved by his subjects, he made him the lord and master of the world. (67) He, this king of Vishnu,  then considered himself also old enough and went in regard of the salvation of his soul detached into the forest.' 

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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/