King Uttanpada had two wives. His first wife, Sunity, was
the daughter of a tribal chief. His second wife, Suruchi, was the daughter
of a rich king. Sunity had a son named Dhruva and Suruchi's son was named
Uttam. Dhruva was the elder of the two, so it was his right to become the
But Suruchi was very selfish; she hated her stepson Dhruva and wanted her son
Uttam to be the ruler. Uttanpada loved Suruchi more than Sunity because
she was beautiful. Under her influence, he ordered Sunity and Dhruva to
leave the palace.
Mother and son started living in a small hut near the forest. Sunity
told Dhruva stories about God and Dhruva always thought about God.
One day, Dhruva went to the palace and saw Uttam sitting on his
father's lap. But when Dhruva tried to do the same, Suruchi stopped him
and said, "There is no place for you on your father's lap. Only my
son can sit on his lap." Dhruva looked at his father hoping that he
would stop Suruchi and take him on his lap. But his father did not say
anything and ignored him.
Deeply hurt, Dhruva returned to his mother. Weeping bitterly he asked
her why he had no place on his father's lap and why they had no place in
the palace. Sunity had no answer to her son's questions. Dhruva said,
"You told me that God is good, he helps those who pray to him. I will
go and find God, he will certainly give me my place." Dhruva decided
to go to the forest and pray until God appeared before him. In the forest,
he met Narada Muni, who was worried that a five-year-old boy like him
would face many difficulties in the forest. He warned Dhruva that wild
animals could eat him up. But Dhruva was determined to find Lord Vishnu.
Impressed by his determination, Narada taught him how to survive in the
forest. He also taught him the mantra "Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya'
by chanting which he could please Lord Vishnu.
For many months, Dhruva prayed in the forest, and faced many
difficulties. He even stopped eating. With every breath, he chanted the
mantra in praise of God. Finally, Lord Vishnu was pleased with his
determination and appeared before him. He not only granted Dhruva a place
on his father's lap, but also a permanent place in the sky after his death.
When Uttanpada heard that his son was living in the forest, he was
sorry for his actions. Narada Muni told him that his son had performed
difficult prayers in the forest and was blessed by Lord Vishnu himself.
When Dhruva returned, Uttanpada was waiting for him at the gates of his
kingdom. He took his son lovingly into his arms. He brought him and Sunity
back to the palace. Uttanpada immediately made Dhruva the king, saying
that the boy who could face such a young age, could easily rule the
kingdom. Uttanpada himself went to live in an ashram.
Dhruva became a wise king and ruled for many years. He spread the
message of peace and justice in his kingdom. When he died, he became a
star in the sky. This star, called the pole Star or Dhruva Tara is still
seen shining in the sky. It is the only star that has a permanent place
and does not change its position in the sky. All the other stars and
constellations move around it throughout the year. Travellers look up to
the Dhruva Tara in the night to find their way.