Dhruva’s Life as a Prince
Everywhere the city was decorated to welcome Dhruva. The houses adorned their arches with glittering dolphin-shark Makaras, and pillars of banana trees bedecked with bunches of fruits and flowers, and fresh betel nuts – all collected from the nearby groves. Lamps were lit at each door, alongside fresh pots of water, and hanging strands of mango-leaves, flags, and pearls. Oleander flowers ornamented the city walls and gates, and the walls of the city’s houses. Their towering golden spires glittered.
Everything was clean: the parks as well as the roads. The benches alongside the lanes were coated in sandalwood and furnished with offerings of puffed rice, grains of rice and barley, and fruits and flowers.
When the women of the city saw Dhruva on the paths, they would throw mustard seeds and barley grains, sprinkle drops of yoghurt and water, shower flowers and auspicious soft grass, and offer him fruits. With motherly affection, those gentle ladies pronounced blessings and sang songs to Dhruva. Hearing their beautiful singing, Dhruva entered his father’s palace.
His father and he constantly relaxed together like celestial gods in that exquisite palace adorned with clusters of precious stones. His bed was like the soft white foam of milk, and was decorated with ivory and gold. His seat and furniture were made from very valuable woods and decorated with the finest gold. The marble walls were inlaid with great sapphires and adorned with iridescent jewel-lamps, held by beautiful jewel-maidens.
The delightful gardens of the palace had ever-flowering trees, couples of birds and peacocks, and honey-intoxicated humming bees. The palace lakes had stair-banks carved from cats-eye stone and were opulent with white and blue lotus, lilies, swans, ducks, geese and cranes.
The philosopher-king Uttānapāda himself was amazed to see all this opulence. When Nārada explained that it was due to the greatness of his son, he become extremely delighted and wonder-struck.
When Dhruva became fifteen the King took the approval of his beloved citizens and ministers and made Dhruva the ruler of the world. Recognizing himself as entering old-age, the protector of the world gave up all attachments and departed for the forests, intent on his spiritual destination.
Comments: Uttānapāda was amazed to see how opulent his capitol and palace had become since Dhruva’s return. He heard [from Nārada] that it was due to the prabhāva of Dhruva. Dhruva was dear to Viṣṇu, all opulence follows naturally. Then why don’t all mahā-bhāgavatas live in jeweled palaces? Dhruva specifically had a material desire for worldly opulence, therefore Viṣṇu blessed him to recieve it. Those exalted sādhus who live without such fanfare (for example the Six Goswāmīs of Vṛndāvana) should be understood to be even more enriched.
This, however, is an important lesson for religious institutions (ISKCON, et. al): money does not come by seeking money. Money comes when Viṣṇu actually wants us to have it. Thus the best fundraising is deep and sincere sādhana.
Another important lesson for religious institutions is that the King himself seeks blessings from his subjects. This is far different from the dynamic in most hierarchical institutions where the individual subjects are silenced and the king/s says and does whatever he/they want, ordering the subjects to accept it or accept exile.
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.9.54 ~ 67 [end of chapter]
Translated by Vraja Kishor dās