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 just watched his son’s humiliation. Crying, little Dhruva ran to his mother, Queen Suniti, but she was helpless against Queen Suruchi’s cruel behaviour. So, she told little Dhruva to pray intensely to Shrīvishnu, who would surely help Dhruva and grant his every wish.
Hurt as he was, Dhruva was a boy of determination and decided to pray intensely to invoke the grace of Shrivishnu, so that he would never be humiliated again. Determined, he went deep into the woods and started meditating upon the Name of the God. 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 for allowing Queen Suruchi to continue in her cruel ways. He made a resolution that if Dhruva returned safely, him and not Uttam (Dhruva’s younger stepbrother) would be made king.
Finally, Shrivishnu was pleased with Dhruva’s devotion at such a young age and asked him what he wanted. Dhruva replied, “O God, please assign me a place from where no one will ask me to get down.” The God said, “I will position you on the steadfast Pole star, which is always in sight. It will be called the star of Dhruva.” (Dhruva Nakshatrā is the Vēdic name of the Pole star.)
Joyfully, young Dhruva returned home. He was crowned king as per his rightful inheritance and ruled wisely.
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