Spiritual Regrets and Medicine for the Dead

After offering his own place, Dhruva’s adored All-Attractive returned to his own abode, riding like a flag atop Garuḍa, as the boy looked on with regrets. Dhruva vows to worship Viṣṇu’s feet had borne fruit and he was now relieved of those difficult strictures, yet he was not very happy as he returned home.

When Vidura heard this from Maitreya he became confused and asked, “In a single lifetime he achieved the extremely rare treasure of affectionately worshipping Hari’s feet in his supreme abode, yet he felt like a person who had not fulfilled his goals. Why was he so dissatisfied with himself? Did he not realize the value of what he had attained?”

Maitreya explained that Dhruva was morose because he thought of the misfortune that awaited his mother’s co-wife. He unhappily felt it was at her expense that the Master of Liberation granted him liberation. He was also morose because Viṣṇu had left, as a result of Dhruva’s ulterior desires. He felt that he would have to endure 36,000 years without Viṣṇu because of his initially revengeful motives towards his co-mother.

“Even the four celibates, Sananda and the others, could not attain in their entire lives what I attained in six months,” the boy thought as he walked towards his father’s palace. “Yet I have left the shade of his feet because my mind wants other things. Oh fie on my selfishness! Just look at my misfortune! I went to the feet of he who can cut down temporary existence, and there I begged for something temporary. I am the greatest fool! Fate would not allow me to accept Nārada’s wise advice to forget my co-mother’s insults. My proud, intolerant thoughts preferred to wallow in their own foulness. Absorbing myself into the dreamlike dooms of the temporary external world, I suffered divisions between my brother and my self, hating him in my heart as if he were my enemy. I begged for useless things, things that are like medicine for dead peole. I underwent extremely difficult austerities and pleased the soul of all souls who cuts people free from temporary existence. Yet I begged for something temporary. I have no good fortune at all! Oh how stupid! I begged for a kingdom. I am like the poor idiot who asks the emperor for a few husks of grain.”

Maitreya concluded by telling Vidura, “My dear, devotees are like you, they only want to taste the pollen from the lotus feet of Mukunda. Outside of this service, they have no personal interest at all. They think of themselves as very wealthy by accepting whatever destiny automatically bestows to them.”

Bhāgavata 4.9.26 ~ 35

Vraja Kishor dās


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