Dhruva

From Academic Kids

Dhruva, in Hindu mythology, was the prince blessed to eternal existence and glory as the Pole Star (Dhruva Nakshatra in Sanskrit) by Lord Vishnu. The story of Dhruva's life is often told to Hindu children as an example for perseverance, devotion, steadfastness and fearlessness.

Dhruva was born a son of the King Uttanapada (who was the son of Svayambhuva Manu) and his wife Suniti. The king also had another son Uttama, born to his second queen Suruchi, who was the preferred object of his affection. Once, when Dhruva was but a child of five years of age, the two princes playfully raced towards their father's lap. But, the headstrong Suruchi chided Dhruva and insulted him for trying to woo the attention of his father, when he did not deserve it because "he was not born to her." She further mocked at his plight, by asking him to redeem himself by seeking Vishnu's blessings.

Suniti consoled the distraught child, by asking him to take Suruchi's words seriously and to observe penance in meditation of the Lord. She bid him farewell as he set out on a lonely journey to the forest. Dhruva was determined to seek for himself his rightful place, and noticing this resolve, the divine sage Narada appeared before him and tried to desist him from assuming a severe austerity upon himself at such a tender age. But, Dhruva's fierce determination knew no bounds, and the astonished sage guided him towards his goal by teaching him the rituals and mantras.

Having been advised thus, Dhruva started his penance, and went without food and water for six months, his mind fixed on the Lord. The austerity of his penance shook the heavens and the Lord appeared before him, and blessed the child. The child, having spent a long time in the Lord's remembrance forgot the objective of his penance, and only asked for a life in memory of the Lord. Pleased by his interactions with him, Vishnu further decreed that the lad would attain Dhruvapada - the state where he would become a celestial body which would not even be touched by the Maha Pralaya, or the final cataclysm.

Dhruva returned to his kingdom, to be warmly received by his family, and attained the crown at the tender age of six. After decades of ruling the country in a fair and just manner, Dhruva left his mortal coils and became the Pole Star, as sanctified by the Lord.


India has constructed a nuclear reactor called Dhruva, designed to manufacture plutonium. This reactor is thought to have made the plutonium used in the Operation Shakti nuclear test.

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