Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Who can bestow mercy so that we can become servants of Rādhikā?
Campakalatā dāsī: Govardhana.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Govardhana and Rādhā-kuṇḍa.
There was a king named Uttānapāda, who was the ruler of the entire universe. He had two wives: the first named Sunīti, meaning that she was full with all good qualities and especially she was a worshiper of Kṛṣṇa; and the second named Suruci, meaning that she was absorbed in sense gratification and attached to worldly things like kingdom, wealth, and material knowledge. Sunīti had a son named Dhruva, meaning that he was fixed and determined; and Suruci had a son named Uttama.
Once, King Uttānapāda was sitting on his throne, and Uttama, the younger son, was sitting on his lap. Dhruva was playing nearby with some boys and, seeing his brother on the lap of his father, he told his father, “I too want to sit on your lap.”
In the meantime, Suruci came and declared, “Dhruva, you cannot sit on your father’s lap. If you want to sit on his lap, you will have to perform austerities and then take your next birth from my womb.” The king wanted to take Dhruva on his lap; however, bewildered by Suruci’s beauty, he feared displeasing her.
Dhruva began to weep. Along with his friends he went to his mother, who asked him, “Why are you weeping?” Dhruva’s friends told her, “He wanted to sit on his father’s lap, but Suruci warned him, ‘You can sit on his lap only after you take birth from my womb.’ ”
Dhruva’s mother replied, “You are weeping about this? This is a very small thing. If you desire, you can control the entire universe. Go to the forest and engage in austerities to please the Supreme Lord, and He will give you the benediction to become king.” Thus, Dhruva left his father’s house during the night and went to the forest.
(To Vrajanātha dāsa) What more?
Vrajanātha dāsa: When he got to the forest, Dhruva began to search for God, and Nārada Ṛṣi appeared to him.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Kṛṣṇa inspired Nārada to go and help him.
Vrajanātha dāsa: Great saintly persons always look for ways to benefit those who have forgotten their relationship with God. Nārada Ṛṣi was thus inspired by Kṛṣṇa to go to Dhruva…
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: And help him.
Vrajanātha dāsa: And help him. Nārada met with Dhruva and said, “My boy, what are you doing here? You are so small. What are you looking for in the forest? Better to go home.”
Dhruva replied, “No, dear sir, I am searching for God.”
Nārada replied, “What do you want from God?”
Dhruva said, “I want a kingdom greater than that of my great-grandfather.”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Nārada said, “Better to return home, because the forest is full of lions and tigers who will eat you.” He was testing Dhruva.
Vrajanātha dāsa: He was testing to see if Dhruva was serious. “Better to go home. Come back when you are strong and have no fear of any dangerous situations.”
Dhruva replied, “No, I want that kingdom now. Please instruct me so that I will have darśana of the Lord, so that He will give me
Nārada Ṛṣi agreed, “All right. I will give you a special mantra by chant by which God will manifest and bestow His special benediction upon you.” He gave Dhruva the mantra, after which Dhruva continually meditated on it.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: This mantra was of Vāsudeva Kṛṣṇa: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya.
Vrajanātha dāsa: He always chanted this mantra, for Nārada had instructed him that after three months of chanting he would obtain darśana of God.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Six months.
Vrajanātha dāsa: He was so determined that he gave up eating and drinking.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: He took bath in Yamunā and went to the forest called Madhuvana, where he sat under the shade of a tree in a high place and began to chant that mantra.
He first gave up eating. What was he eating now?
Vrajanātha dāsa: In the second month Dhruva Mahārāja ate only every six days, and for his eatables he took dry grass and leaves.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: In the third month?
Vrajanātha dāsa: Only drinking.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Drinking what?
Vrajanātha dāsa: Only water [every nine days].
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: During the fourth month, he took only one breath of air every twelve days, and after some time he also left breathing and entered samādhi, trance. Then, after six months his complete stoppage of breathing choked up the universal breathing. The demigods prayed to the Lord for help, and Kṛṣṇa appeared before him as His expansion, Lord Viṣṇu. Lord Viṣṇu first entered Dhruva’s heart, with cakra (disc), padma (lotus flower), conch, and club, after which He appeared directly in front of Dhruva. Then?
Vrajanātha dāsa: He was so overwhelmed…
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: No. When He came in front of Dhruva, Dhruva’s samādhi broke, and he wondered, “Where is Bhagavān?” He thus opened his eyes and saw Viṣṇu before him, but he was not able to offer prayers.
Out of His compassion, Viṣṇu touched His conch-shell to Dhruva’s forehead, and thus Dhruva was able to pray. Viṣṇu then told him, “You will be the king, not only of your father’s kingdom, but of the entire universe. When your time in this body is over, you will not die. Keeping your feet on the head of death, you will go to Dhruvaloka and serve Me there.”
After Viṣṇu disappeared, Dhruva Mahārāja began to lament: “What wrong I have done! I was searching for broken glass, and I received cintāmaṇi, a desire-stone. If one wants gold, that cintāmaṇi will manifest gold. If one wants a kingdom, he will get a kingdom. Why did I want this broken glass? Oh, I am cheated. I am cheated.”
In the meantime, while Dhruva was still away from the palace, Nārada came and told the king, “Your son is returning.” King Uttānapāda then became free from the fear of Suruci and, with his elephants, horses, and entire army, he came out of the city to greet and embrace his son. He brought Dhruva to his palace and gave him his entire kingdom.
If anyone is determined to have darśana of Kṛṣṇa, he must be very fixed. Kṛṣṇa then sends His associate, who teaches that aspiring devotee how to attain His darśana, and that associate gives him a mantra and teaches him how to practice it.
(To Campakalatā dāsī) How did you become my disciple, my daughter? Because Kṛṣṇa inspired me to come and help your family, I came to your house; this is the special mercy of Kṛṣṇa. For those who are determined to give up sense enjoyment and want to serve Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa becomes very merciful. He sends one of His devotees by telling him, “Go and help them.” For this reason He sometimes comes Himself, and sometimes He sends His associate – the ācārya or guru. Thus, we can proceed in bhakti and become happy forever.
Tamopahā dāsa: Dhruvaloka became the Polestar, the star that all other planets circumambulate.
Vṛndā-devī dāsī: Dhruvaloka will never be destroyed?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: All the planets, including the Sun and the Moon as well as all the hundreds and thousands of stars, revolve around the Polestar, the planet of Mahārāja Dhruva, in their respective orbits; some higher and some lower. There, in Dhruvaloka, resides an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa named Hari, who is surrounded by great opulence. Dhruva was not sent to Goloka Vṛndāvana. For that, there must be special mercy.
Image/Art made possible by Pixabay.com & Krishnapath.org