Posted at 22:27:20 IST on Mar 19, 2010
“Look Dhruva, if you want to sit on the lap of your father, there is only one way – Die and be re-born through my womb. There is no other recourse for you" said Suruchi, Dhruva's step mother when he attempted to sit on the lap of his father, King Uttanapada. Dhruva was heart-broken. Crying, he came back to his mother Suniti who advised him, “Dhruva, stop hankering after laps that are ephemeral. If you want to sit, sit on the lap of Lord Narayana Himself.”
"Dhruva Charitamu", the illustrious story of Dhruva after whom the Pole Star was named, who was the son of King Uttanapad, and who demonstrated great steadfastness and commitment to Lord Vishnu was the central theme of the fourth session of the Bhagavatha Saptaaham in Prasanthi Nilayam.
This was followed by yet another Music feast by the students of Prasanthi Nilayam. Starting with the meera bhajan, Payoji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo..., what followed next was Darshan Deejo... to be continued with Purandharadas's carnatic piece, Jagadodhdharana AadisidaLeyshodha. A telugu piece followed before coming up with enna thavam seydaney Yesoda.... Three more songs followed, two on Lord Rama followed by the last piece, Thyagaraja's composition Siva siva ena radha... Arathi was offered at 6:40 before Bhagawan moved towards Yajur Mandiram at 6:45. Prasadam, "egg shaped Italian chocolates", were distributed to the entire assemblage.
Read on for the highlights of the Fourth Session held on the evening of Mar 18
Maharaj started his commentary by first offering His salutations to the omnipresent Lord who is present in the hearts of saints as ‘Bhava’. This feeling, he said, is that of pure and selfless love, that gushes forth as sublime devotion from the devotee to the Lord.
He said that the whole humanity is today fortunate to be undergoing an inner cleansing in the ‘Prema Ganga’or ‘the River of Love’ of Bhagawan Baba.
The learned saint reminded us that the Lord sends us to this world to be in the company of Suniti i.e. inner wisdom. But after coming to the world, like Uttanapada, the son of Manu, we break our promise of the womb, and till the tomb, spend time in the company of Suruchi- the ephemeral pass-time of the senses.
The son of Suniti is Dhruva – the unwavering and undimnishing. But he is denied a place, either in the palace, or the lap of his father, who is caught in the infatuation of his second wife.
The learned speaker reminded us of the great culture of Bharat where sacrifice and giving away is considered much greater than possession and accumulating; where the Shreyas or the inner path is considered far greater than the Preyas or the outward path.
Maharaj cautioned that it was not that people partake of the luxuries, but rather it is the luxuries that partake of people. This leads to a false sense of ego wherein, against the infinite vastness of the Universe, a poor man sitting on his humble cot in a small room, feels that there is none greater to him! This is the nature of Maya, he said!
On the other hand, the Lord of the Universe, when He came as Lord Krishna or Lord Rama or now as Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, is the very embodiment of humility, mixing with children as a child, with men as a man and with women as a woman – making everybody feel that He is one amongst them.
But that was not the case with Uttanapada and Suruchi. So when Dhruva came and sat on the lap of his father, Suruchi pulled him down and said, “Look Dhruva, if you want to sit on the lap of your father, there is only one way – Die and be re-born through my womb. There is no other recourse for you.”
Dhruva was heart-broken. Crying, he came back to his mother Suniti who advised him, “Dhruva, stop hankering after laps that are ephemeral. If you want to sit, sit on the lap of Lord Narayana Himself.” Blessing Dhruva to go to the forest, she advised him to tread the path to the Lord with determination and chant His name with devotion.
It is said that when we take one step towards God, God takes a hundred towards us. And seeing the determination of Dhruva, Sage Narada initiated him into the mantra of ‘Om Namo Narayanayah’.
Maharaj narrated his own experience when he unexpectedly received an invitation from the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations and his father told Maharaj – Sathya Sai Baba is God – Go you must, even if you have to cancel all other engagements.
Further expounding on the need of determination, Maharaj narrated a story of two sages doing penance for the vision of Lord Narayana. The first on knowing that it would take him another 200 years, gave up immediately, while the other on being told that it would take him as many lives, as the leaves on the mango tree under which he was meditating, rejoiced on the Lord’s assurance.
So Dhruva started his penance, living on fruit, water and air alone in that sequence. But when his breath stopped too, the breath of the whole world stopped and the Gods rushed to Lord Narayana, pleading with Him to bless Dhruva.
The Lord withdrew the inner vision of Dhruva and in agony, Dhruva opened his eyes, only to find the Garuda Vahana Lord standing in front of his eyes. The Lord blesses Dhruva by granting him the knowledge of all Vedas by a mere touch of His conch, and then lovingly asked him, as to what he wanted.
Dhruva said, “Lord, when I have you, what else remains to be asked for?” The knower of all, Now the Lord made Dhruva to sit in His own lap. The touch of the Lord immortalised Dhruva who is remembered with reverence even today.
Narada makes Uttanapada realise his mistake and along with him, the whole kingdom comes to welcome Dhruva, who is later coroneted as the King.
Once when Dhruva gets ready to wage a battle against the Yakshas, Parikshit asks Sage Suka as to how the tendencies of violence still remained in Dhruva even after having the vision of the Lord?
Suka replied that though Dhruva had the vision of the Lord, he did not sing His glories and absorb the nectar of His leelas fully through meditation on them.