The Dhruva star

Once upon a time, King Uttanapad ruled ancient India. He had two queens, Queen Suniti, the elder queen and Queen Suruchi, the younger queen. Queen Suniti’s son, Dhruva was the rightful heir to the kingdom. But Queen Suruchi wanted her own son, Uttam to be made king after his father and despised Dhruva. Unfortunately, the king, who liked Queen Suruchi more, allowed her to continue with her unjust ways.

One day, little Dhruva, while playing with his father, sat on his father’s lap along with his stepbrother, Uttam. But Dhruva’s stepmother, Queen Suruchi did not like this, as she felt that only her son had the right to be so close to the king. So, she sternly asked Dhruva to get down from the king’s lap at once and told him never to repeat such behaviour.

Little Dhruva felt really hurt by this and stepped away, as the king mutely watched his son’s humiliation. Crying, little Dhruva ran to his mother, Queen Suniti, but she was helpless against Queen Suruchi’s cruel behavior. So, she told little Dhruva to pray intensely to Shri Vishnu, who would surely help Dhruva.

Hurt as he was, Dhruva was a determined boy, and he decided to pray intensely to invoke Shri Vishnu, so that he would never be humiliated again. Little that he was, he went deep into the woods and started meditating upon Vishnu's name as told by his mother. He prayed day and night, without fear of the wild beasts in the woods, sometimes going without food and water. This continued for many years. Dhruva’s father, King Uttanapad was worried sick for Dhruva’s safety and repented allowing Queen Suruchi to continue her cruel ways. He made a resolution that if Dhruva returned safely, him and not Uttam (Dhruva’s younger stepbrother) would be crowned the king.

Finally, Lord Vishnu was pleased with Dhruva’ssingle minded devotion, that tooat such a young age and asked him what he wanted. Dhruva replied, “Bhagwan Vishnu, please assign me a place from where no one will ask me to get down.” Vishnu said, “I will position you on the steadfast pole star, which is always in sight. It will be called the star of Dhruva.” (Dhruva Nakshatra is the Vedic name of the Pole star.)

Joyfully, young Dhruva returned home. He was crowned king as per his rightful inheritance and ruled wisely.

Moral: Spiritual practice done with such faith and perseverance always bears reward. One can begin the spiritual practice of repeating God’s Name as per one’s religion to develop the kind of faith that little Dhruva had.