Mathura, Madhuvan & Talavan

Dhruva tila, Madhuvan (Maholi), Mathura | Dhruva Maharaja attains Dhruvaloka

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dhruva tila narayana

‘Dhruva’ refers to Dhruva Maharaja and the word ‘tila’ translates to a small hill. ‘Dhruva tila’ is a small hill situated at the actual place where Dhruva Maharaja had performed severe austerities to please the Supreme Lord in Satya Yuga. Subsequently, he had attained the darshan of the Supreme Lord at this very place. The Supreme Lord appeared as Lord Prsnigarbha to bestow His blissful darshan to Dhruva Maharaja. There is a small temple built today at the hilltop. It is celebrated as the ‘Dhruva Narayana temple’ where deities of Lord Narayana, Dhruva Maharaja, Narada muni, Garuda, and Lakshmi Narayana are worshiped pompously. One needs to climb stairs to enter the temple precincts. Dhruva tila is situated in the village of Maholi. Maholi is situated about six Kilometers southwest of Mathura and about four Kilometers west of Naroli. The village of Maholi was earlier known as Madhuvan. It is here at Madhuvan that Krishna, the Supreme Lord, has been manifesting His enchanting pastimes millennium after millennium.

Adi Varaha Purana glorifies Dhruva tila as follows –

Yatra Dhruvena santapta-micchaya paramam tapah
Tatraiva snanamatrena dhruva-loke mahiyate
Dhruva tirthe tu vasudheya sraddhan kurute narah
Pitrin santarayeth sarvan pitripakshe vishesatah

Anyone who bathes at the sacred place (Dhruva tila) where Dhruva Maharaja had once performed his austerities desiring material benedictions, is worshiped at Dhruva Loka (polestar) and achieves this exalted planet in his next life. One who performs the last rites or offers oblations to his/her forefathers at this sacred place successfully liberates his previous generations.

Saura Purana glorifies Dhruva tila as follows –

Dhruva-tirtha-miti khyatang tirtha-mukhyang tatah param
Yatra snanakrito moksho Dhruva ebe na samsaya

Next lies the greatest pilgrimage site of Dhruva tirtha. One who bathes here at once achieves liberation from material existence. There is no doubt concerning this.

Skanda Purana, Mathura Khanda confirms that offering oblations to one’s forefathers at Dhruva tila is a hundred times more potent than offering the same at the holy site of Gaya (in Bihar). Any pious activity like chanting the holy names of the Supreme Lord, yajnas, austerities, or charity executed at Dhruva tirtha is a hundred times more effective than performing the same at other holy places.

The forest of Madhuvan

Madhuvan is the first of the twelve forests of Vraja Mandala and is situated towards the west of river Yamuna. It has been a place of the Supreme Lord’s pastimes for four yugas. Lord Prsnigarbha appeared to Dhruva Maharaja at Madhuvan during Satya Yuga. The Lord appeared as Shatrughna and killed Lavanasura, son of demon Madhu, here at Madhuvan in Treta Yuga. In Dvapara Yuga, Krishna brought His cows to pasture in the forests of Madhuvan. Krishna also performed Rasa Leela with the Gopis here at Madhuvan. And in Kali Yuga, the Supreme Lord appearing in His golden form as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Madhuvan to perform His Vraja Mandala Parikrama.

dhruva tila narayana madhuvan

Bhakti Ratnakara states –

Ohe Srinivasa, ei dekho Madhuvan
Sarvakama purna haya karile darshan

O Srinivasa, Please see the wonderful forest of Madhuvan. One who beholds this wonderful place has all of his desires satisfied.

Adi Varaha Purana states –

Ramyanm Madhuvananm nama Vishnu-sthanamanuttamam
Yad drstva manujo devi sarvan kaman avapnuyath
Tatra kundang svacchha jalang nilotpala bibhusitang
Tatra snanen danen banchhitang folmapnuyath

O Devi ! The sacred pilgrimage site of Madhuvan where Lord Vishnu is worshiped is exceedingly enchanting and the best of all. Anyone who visits or beholds this holy forest has all his desires fulfilled. Here exists a reservoir of transparent water where blue lotus blossoms. One who bathes in this water or donates at this place, certainly achieves all his desires.

Dhruva tila | Pastimes of Dhruva Maharaja

Svayambhuva Manu had two sons – Uttanapada and Priyavrata. King Uttanapada had two queens, Suniti and Suruchi. Suruchi was more dear to the King and hence her son Uttama enjoyed preferential treatment in the royal palace. On the other hand, Dhruva, the son of Suniti, was not as dear to the King as Uttama. Once King Uttanapada was playing with his son Uttama by placing him on his lap. When Dhruva also wanted to climb his father’s lap, he was not welcomed by the King. Suruchi then taunted Dhruva, who was just five years old, with her sharp words. She said that though Dhruva was also the King’s son, he was not qualified to sit on the throne or even on his father’s lap. His only fault was that he did not take birth from Suruchi’s womb. Suruchi continued that Dhruva should instead perform severe austerities, to satisfy the Supreme Lord Narayana, so that in his next birth, he could be born from Suruchi’s womb. The sharp words of his stepmother, greatly pained Dhruva. When he saw that his father, King Uttanapada, did not protest Suruchi’s words, he began trembling with anger. He immediately left the palace and went to his mother.

See also  Balabhadra temple, Talavan (Tarsi), Mathura | Balarama kills Dhenukasura | Vraja Mandala

dhruva tila narayana madhuvan

When Sunita learned what had transpired in the royal palace, she also seethed with anger. She tried calming Dhruva but did not have any cure for the issue. Sunita confessed that King Uttanapada did not like her very much and in fact was ashamed to accept her as his wife. Therefore, the words of Suruchi, although harsh, were true. Sunita asked Dhruva to abandon his envious attitude to suffer any further. Instead, she instructed Dhruva to meditate upon the Supreme Lord. She added that Brahma, Dhruva’s great-grandfather, had procured the strength to create an entire universe simply by meditating upon the Supreme, and hence Dhruva should follow suit. Great yogis meditate upon the Supreme Lord Narayana by controlling their minds and senses. Even Svayambhuva Manu, Dhruva’s grandfather had attained material happiness and thereafter liberation being equipped with his unflinching faith and devotion unto the Supreme. Sunita continued that only the Supreme Lord can mitigate Dhruva’s distress and he should therefore begin meditating and worshiping the supreme Lord without further delay. After careful consideration, Dhruva Maharaja left his home to seek the shelter of the Supreme Lord.

When Narada muni learned about this news, he initially tried to discourage Dhruva Maharaja as he desired to test his resolve. Narada muni urged Dhruva to disregard the insulting words of his stepmother and return home. He expressed how it was not possible for a little boy of his age to execute the process of ashtanga yoga. Narada muni tried to impress upon Dhruva the need to stay satisfied in all situations of life. Dhruva however kindly refused Narada’s advice and was adamant to pursue a position more exalted than anything yet achieved in the three worlds. Hence he requested Narada muni to help him by revealing a path whereby he could achieve his materialistic goal. Feeling compassionate toward Dhruva, Narada muni instructed him. He advised Dhruva to go to Madhuvan where the Supreme Lord eternally resides and select a suitable spot for the execution of his austerities. He instructed Dhruva to bathe three times daily in the waters of sacred Yamuna. Thereafter, by means of controlling his breath, Dhruva was asked to meditate upon the beautiful form of the Supreme Lord. He advised Dhruva to construct a deity of the Lord with earth and water so that it becomes easier for him to focus. Narada also gave Dhruva the twelve-syllable mantra ‘Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya’ to worship Hari, the Supreme Lord. In addition, he also instructed Dhruva to meditate upon the transcendental activities of the Lord in His different incarnations. In this way, Narada engaged Dhruva Maharaja in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord. Circumambulating Narada, his spiritual master, Dhruva Maharaja started for Madhuvan.

See also  Krishna Janmasthan temple (Krishna Janmbhoomi), Mathura | Lord Krishna's birthplace

dhruva tila narayana madhuvan

Dhruva Maharaja selected Dhruva tila in Madhuvan as the site of executing his austerities. In the first month Dhruva ate only fruits and berries every third day, In the second month, he ate every six days, and that too only leaves and dry grass. From the third month onward, he only subsisted on water which he consumed every nine days. Leading an exceedingly austere life, Dhruva focused his entire attention on the Supreme Lord. By the fourth month, Dhruva maharaja had already mastered breathing techniques. He inhaled air every twelfth day. And by the fifth month, he could stand on only one leg, just as a pillar, without making even the slightest motion. His intense austerity choked up the entire universe, thus greatly concerning the demigods. The demigods sought the refuge of the Supreme Lord and asked for His intervention.

Lord Narayana then boarded Garuda, His eagle carrier, and went to meet Dhruva at Madhuvan. The form of the Supreme Lord that Dhruva had been visualizing in his heart then vanished all of a sudden. This took Dhruva by surprise and broke his meditation. On opening his eyes, he saw the same beautiful Lord standing before him in person. Dhruva was in ecstasy beholding the beautiful form of the Lord.  He wanted to offer prayers to the Lord, but could not due to his inexperience. The Lord then blessed Dhruva, so that he could glorify Him to his heart’s content and offer prayers unto Him. The Vedic conclusions were now clear to Dhruva, and he could perceive Lord Prsnigarbha as the supreme cause of all causes. Dhruva Maharaja prayed so that he could execute pure devotional service unto the Lord and associate with His devotees. Lord Prsnigarbha, the supreme Lord, knew the purpose with which Dhruva Maharaja started executing the austerities. He blessed Dhruva Maharaja and awarded him the Lordship of the glowing planet of polestar which would exist even after the dissolution of the universe at the end of the millennium. Polestar is surrounded by planets and no one has ever ruled it before. Dhruva shall rule over it for a period of thirty-six thousand years. At the end of his life, he shall be able to remember Lord Narayana and return back to the spiritual world, that lies beyond the realm of matter. As for his family, the Lord predicted that Dhruva’s father shall eventually hand over the rule of his kingdom to him. His brother Uttama shall die while hunting in the forest, while Suruchi, shall be devoured by forest fire while searching for her son. After blessing Dhruva the Lord left boarding upon His eagle carrier.

See also  Shatrughna temple & Lavanasura’s cave, Madhuvan (Maholi), Mathura | Vraja Mandala

dhruva tila mahadeva madhuvan

Dhruva, however, was not satisfied. He felt ashamed that he had executed austerities and worshiped the Supreme Lord with the intention to amass a mere material fortune. Being swayed by anger, he had approached the Supreme Lord, who can immediately sever one’s ties with this world of birth and death, for petty perishable things. Thus he lamented for wanting broken pieces of glass, having rejected diamonds. When the news of Dhruva Maharaja returning home spread, king Uttanapada, who was remorseful of having hurt his son, went in person along with his two wives to receive Dhruva. King Uttanapada embraced Dhruva and he was also blessed by his stepmother Suruchi. The two brothers Uttama and Dhruva embraced each other and exchanged tears. Sunita was ecstatic to see her son alive and shirked all material grief. Amidst cheers, praises, and celebrations, all of them happily returned to the palace.

What to See :

  1. Dhruva tila where Dhruva Maharaja had meditated in Satya Yuga.
  2. Dhruva Narayana temple built on top of Dhruva tila where deities of Lord Narayana, Dhruva Maharaja, Narada muni, Garuda and Lakshmi Narayana are worshiped.

How to Reach :

Dhruva tila is situated on the eastern side of Maholi village, near Mathura, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. This sacred place is well connected via roads and is located about 5 Kilometers from the Mathura Railway station. Maholi falls under the Mathura Community Development block.

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