Friday, January 8, 2010

Dhruv - The Pole star

When the gods and other celestial beings roamed the Earth, Manu and Shatroopa (the indian Adam and Eve) were created from the left and right limbs of Lord Brahma (the Creator) for human procreation. Of their offsprings was King Utanapada, who in turn had two wives Suniti and Suruchi. As all stories go, Suniti the elder queen was a kind, gentle and good lady and her son was Dhruv. Suruchi the younger queen was a very pretty and very selfish lady and she was also the king's favourite. She too had a son, Uttama. Suruchi always had the fear that the king might make Dhruv his heir instead of Uttama.

Since Utanapada hardly spent any time with Suniti, Dhruv did not know his father well and was interested in hearing more about him all the time.

One day when the 5 year old Dhruva was playing in the gardens, he saw Uttama sitting on their father's lap and Dhruva ran to his father to sit too.

Suruchi seeing the little boy coming to sit on his father's lap, stopped him and told him to go make something great of himself, so that he may deserve his father's love and then come to talk to his father

Crying, little Dhruv ran back to his mother, who explained that Bhakthi to Lord Vishnu was the greatest deed a person could do and hence he should pray to the Lord.

Taking his mother's advice seriously, Dhruv went into the forest to do his penance. Narada, concerned, stopped the little boy and asked him to go back to his mother but he was not to be deterred. Surprised and pleased by Dhruv's determination, Narada taught him how to pray to Vishnu.

So hard was Dhruv's penance that it is said to have shaken the three worlds and even Indra, the king of lords, was frightened. Indra was worried that Dhruv wanted to usurp his own position and sent demons and apsaras to frighten and advice the child to stop the penance. He even took the form of his mother Suniti to beg the child to desist, but to no avail.

The Sapta Rishis (the seven great sages) admiring the little boy, formed a protective circle around him to safe gaurd him from any harm.

Eventually the Lord, pleased despite himself, appeared before Dhruv and blessed him with a boon. The little boy, delighted, asked that he have a position above the world that no one could move him out of. And so he was made into Dhruv, the pole star and the sapta rishis were made into the stars surrounding him even there and this constellation of stars is called the Big Bear or the Sapta Rishi Mandalam.

Most sailors and Astronomers mark their position based on Dhruv and thus Dhruv got a position above everyone, that could never be usurped.

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