In the previous episode, we had commenced a very interesting event that is being narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya to King Parikshit, with respect to Dhruva and his “Charithra” (Story). We are currently in the fourth Skandha of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, which starts with this particular incident. As we’ve seen yesterday, Utthamapaada had two wives, Suneeti and Suruchi. Utthamapaada had a son with Suneeti and he was none other than Dhruva. Similarly, he had another son with Suruchi and he was Utthama. Once upon a time when both the children Dhruva and Utthama were playing, they wanted to rest for a while on their father’s lap. At this moment, Suruchi with all her jealousy over Suneeti, ruled that Dhruva has no moral right to occupy his father’s lap and that, only her son Utthama has the right to do so! This infuriated the little child Dhruva and he set out to his mother Suneeti, seeking justice. However, Suneeti was a calm person and she understood the situation very well. Rather than going on to have a fight with Suruchi, Suneeti took this as an opportunity to initiate her son into worship of Bhagawan. She advised Dhruva to set out to the forest, take up austere spiritual practices and thus try and attain Bhagawan’s divine grace! In fact, she went on to advise Dhruva that if he’s able to secure Bhagawan’s divine grace, he doesn’t even need to come back to his biological father, as he becomes insignificant as compared to Bhagawan’s stature as the “father of the whole world”!
Listening carefully to his mother’s advice, little Dhruva sets out on his treacherous pursuit of attaining Bhagawan’s divine grace. He takes up a great amount of austerity and starts performing various spiritual practices like going into deep levels of penance, etc. meticulously and with 100% sincerity. As Dhruva sets out in his pursuit, various people around him try and stop him from doing all of these. Even the great Maharishis try and make him understand that this is not to be his way of life at such a young and tender age! The Maharishis advise Dhruva thus, “Oh little Dhruva! You’re hardly six years old! You might not be able to take up such levels of austerity and perform high-end spiritual practices at this young age! You should go back to your parents for the moment and get a little more matured. But Dhruva was steadfast in his approach! He’s not going to pay heed to such words! He has had enough! As Dhruva was proceeding further, it was only Sage Naarada who understood the real intent of what Dhruva was striving for! His heart melted in mercy and grace for the little child and out of compassion, prescribed the “Twelve-Akshara-Mantra” – “OM NAMO BHAGAVATE VAASUDEVAAYA”. Sage Naarada tells Dhruva thus, “Oh Dhruva! Please undertake deep penance by continuously chanting this divine Mantra without a break in the middle! Bhagawan’s heart would melt and He would bestow you with whatever you desire for!”
Hearing this assurance from the great Sage Naarada himself, Dhruva was rest assured that he is going on the right track. Thus, he proceeded to the forest, selected a good place, stood in one leg, closed his eyes and started to chant the Mantra as per Sage Naarada’s advice. As he prepares himself for the complex pursuit, Dhruva places his left leg on the ground and lifts his right leg and places it over his thighs. As Dhruva starts chanting the sacred Mantra in this position, Mother Bhoomadevi starts melting with grace and she’s unable to bare the divine vibrations that this child is emitting through the Mantra. Thus, as Dhruva keeps on chanting, the earth starts tilting on one side, towards Dhruva’s left leg! As Dhruva changes his position after a while by stamping the right leg on the floor and lifting his left leg, the earth tilts towards the right! Thus, as Dhruva alternates between his left and right leg, Mother Earth also tilts herself accordingly to the left and to the right! Such is the power of the process called “Mantra-Chanting”.
From this particular section, we understand how important it is for us to chant a “Mantra”. Of course we’ve discussed this point few times in the past as well, this is a clear evidence as to how Mantra-Chanting can help us realize Bhagawan directly! It is to be understood here that the vibrations emitted by the continuous chanting of a Mantra has cascading effects on the individual who is doing the chanting, as well as for the world itself! This is why we witness here that as Dhruva keeps chanting Bhagawan’s divine Mantra, the whole earth tilts left and right and is dancing to the tunes of the person who chants it! Such is the power of the divine Mantra. Many people might have this doubt in their mind whether, such things are possible in today’s Kali Yuga. My answer is, “YES”! “Yuga” has nothing to do with the nature and laws of Mother Earth! In every Yuga, spiritual practices and their sacredness remain the same. If we follow the right procedure while performing the spiritual practices, we would certainly feel the effect of them coming through. Here in this case, if we obtain the Mantra from a Spiritual Master (Guru) and if we meticulously keep chanting it repeatedly, we are bound to experience the state of divine bliss. There are people who have attained this state even in this present Kali Yuga. Hence, rather than blaming the Yuga in which we are, we should strive forward to undertake whatever little spiritual practices we can, within our timeframe and capability.
Now moving on further, we are going to witness how this Mantra chanting is going to lead Dhruva into various stages of strict austerity and how ultimately this is going to melt Bhagawan’s heart!
“Iti deva rishinaam proktam vishrutya jagadeepathihi!
Raajalakshmeem anaadrithya putramevaan va chintayan!!
Triraatraan te triraatraan te kapitva adharaashanaha!!”
For every penance, there are certain austerities with respect to food habits. For the first one month, Dhruva was just eating once every three days. All he eats was just a bunch of fruits or vegetables that he might get from the trees in the forest. As the penance moved on into the next month, Dhruva tightened his austerity by only eating leaves from trees. Fruits and vegetables were out of his menu now! This was again once in three days! As Dhruva entered the third month of penance, even the leaves were out of his food agenda! He just survived on water and that too, once in nine days! As he entered the fourth month now, Dhruva was just inhaling air and surviving with that, and that too, once in twelve days! As he moved into the fifth month, this air too became a non-existent item for Dhruva! He was now physically inactive and his whole body system and mind was totally focused into Bhagawan! Finally by the sixth month, Bhagawan’s heart melted by Dhruva’s ardent penance and He appeared in front of Dhruva in person!
Such is the power of the Mantra! Thus, Dhruva, with his austere practices and with persistent and continuous chanting, draws Bhagawan towards him! What happened next? What did Bhagawan tell Dhruva? What did Dhruva ask Bhagawan? Let’s wait to answer these important questions in the next episode! Stay tuned! 😊