Inspiration from Evil

Maitreya now turned his attention to describing the children of Bhramā’s son, Svāyambhuva Manu, whose children were fragments of Hari’s fragments.

Śatarūpā gave her husband two sons empowered by Vāsudeva’s to protect the existence of the world: Priyavrata, whose promises are dearly kept, and Uttānapāda, who strides far. Uttānapāda had two wives: Sunīti, whose morals were impeccable, and Suruci, whose beauty was impeccable. Suruci was very dear to her husband, not the other one or her child Dhruva.

Once, the king sat Suruci’s son Uttama on his lap and played with him. Dhruva tried to climb up, but the king didn’t welcome him. Seeing her co-wife’s son struggling, Suruci spoke hatefully to Dhruva while the king listened.

“Little boy,” she said, “You don’t deserve to sit on the kings lap. Yes child, you are the king’s son, but you are not mine. I did not hold you in my tummy; some other woman fostered you. Of course, you don’t know about this, and that’s why you are trying to achieve the impossible.

“If you really want to sit with the King, perform austerities to worship the Supreme Person. Only by his mercy will you attain the goal of being born from my womb.”

Rent by the cruel words of his mother’s co-wife, Dhruva hissed like an angry snake struck by a rod. His father simply looked at him, not saying anything at all.

Breaking down in tears, Dhruva went to his mother.

When Sunīti saw her child’s lips trembling in anguish, she embraced him. She became sad to hear what had happened and what that woman had said. The more she thought about it, the more her beautiful lotus face dried up like a vine the the fire of grief. Losing her composure, she also began to weep.

Seeing no way out, she could barely breathe. “Darling boy,” she said, “Don’t wish evil upon others. Those who wish ill to others only suffer themselves. Suruci told you the truth. You were held in my luckless belly, and nourished by the luckless breast of a wife who is not loved by her husband.

“My darling, you should follow your co-mother’s advice without hating her. It is good advice, ‘Worship the lotus feet of the Supreme Beloved if you want to sit beside Uttama.’”

Sunīti employed a play on words, so that “sit beside Uttama” also means “attain the highest goal.” This was a blessing on her son. She did not want him to strive for foolish goals, such as becoming loved by the crooked hearts of vile people like Suruci and Uttānapāda. She wanted him to attain the very highest goal.

Instilling confidence in her boy and in the paramount goal, she explained the importance of worshipping the Supreme Beloved. “Unborn Brahmā worshipped his lotus feet by disciplining his breath,” she said. “As a result he received his supreme position of mastery over all the powers and qualities in the universe. Similarly, your blessed grandfather Manu worshipped him with singular focus, by holding ceremonies and giving away great wealth in charity. By that worship he achieved worldly pleasures that are otherwise impossible to attain even in heaven, and then gained the ultimate emancipation.

“My boy, definitely take shelter of him. He is affectionate to his dependents. Even those who seek liberation carefully seek his lotus feet. Fill yourself with nothing but adoration for the supreme person. Make it the essence of your very being and fix your heart on him!

“My child, only he can destroy your misery. Everyone else, including Brahmā, searches for the Beautiful Goddess of Fortune who holds a lotus in her hand. But she herself searches for him whose eyes are like lotus-leaves!”

Hearing the profound and effective words spoken to him by his mother, he made up his mind and abandoned his father’s house.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.8.5 ~ 24

Vraja Kishor dās

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