ACK-112: Dhruva and Ashtavakra

ACK #117 (#571)

It contains illustration of two stories: Dhruva & Ashtavakra

Dhruva: meaning both "pole star" and "fixed".

The story of Dhruva's life is often told to Hindu children as an example for perseverance, devotion, steadfastness and fearlessness. The original sources are Vishnu Purana and Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 4.

According to the Vishnu Purana, the sons of Manu Swayambhuva were Priyavrata and Uttanapada. The latter had two wives; the favourite, Suruchi, was proud and haughty; the second, Suniti or Sunrita, was humble and gentle. Suruchi had a son named Uttama, and Suniti gave birth to Dhruva. While quite a child Dhruva was contemptuously treated by Suruchi, and she told him that her own son Uttama would alone succeed to the throne. Dhruva and his mother submitted, and he declared that he wished for no other honours than such as his own actions should acquire. He was a Kshatriya, but he joined a society of Rishis, and becoming a Rishi himself, he went through a rigid course of austerities, notwithstanding the efforts of Indra to distract him. At the end he obtained the favour of Vishnu, who raised him to the skies as the pole star (DHRUVA, the Indian name of the polar star). He has the patronymic Auttanapadi, and he is called Grahadhara, `the stay or pivot of the planets.'

Also Read about Dhruva at Wikipedia , www.sacred-texts.com, www.bharatadesam.com, www.geocities.com,

Ashtavakra: A Brahman, the son of Kahoda, whose story is told in the Mahabharata.

Kahoda married a daughter of his preceptor, Uddalaka, but he was so devoted to study that he neglected his wife. When she was far advanced in her pregnancy, the unborn son was provoked at his father's neglect of her, and rebuked him for it. Kahoda was angry at the child's impertinence, and condemned him to be born crooked; so he came forth with his eight (ashta) limbs crooked (vakra) ; hence his name.

Kahoda went to a great sacrifice at the court of Janaka, king of Mithili. There was present there a great Buddhist sage, who challenged disputations, upon the understanding that whoever was overcome in argument should be thrown into the river. This was the fate of many, and among them of Kahoda, who was drowned.

In his twelfth year Ashtavakra learned the manner of his father's death, and set out to avenge him. The lad was possessed of great ability and wisdom. He got the better of the sage who had worsted his father, and insisted that the sage should be thrown into the water. The sage then declared himself to be a son of Varuna, god of the waters, who had sent him to obtain Brahmans for officiating at a sacrifice by overpowering them in argument and throwing them into the water.

When all was explained and set right, Kahoda directed his son to bathe in the Samanga river, on doing which the lad became perfectly straight.

A story is told in the Vishnu Purana that Ashtavakra was standing in water performing penances when he was seen by some celestial nymphs and worshipped by them. He was pleased, and told them to ask a boon. They asked for the best of men as a husband. He came out of the water and offered himself. When they saw him, ugly and crooked in eight places, they laughed in derision. He was angry, and as he could not recall his blessing, he said that, after obtaining it, they should fall into the hands of thieves.

Read more about Ashtavakra at Wikipedia, www.experiencefestival.com
also read about Ashtavakra Gita at Wikipedia

(~Information about Dhruva and Ashtavakra from www.mythfolklore.net)

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This Amar Chitra Katha is contributed by Shailendra Rao.

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5 comments:

Anonymous March 26, 2009 at 11:43 AM  

Great stuff again! Thanks Shailendra Rao and Prabhat. Great scans and two great stories.

Regards,
Demonoid Fan

Prabhat's Books and Comics March 26, 2009 at 12:22 PM  

Demonoid Fan: You are welcome! Your love for ACK is amazing.:)

Rafiq Raja March 27, 2009 at 1:49 AM  

Another ACK, I am amazed on your enthusiasm in keeping more than one blog updated on such short intervals. I don't find time to post even once a week, which itself seems to be taking much of time already :)

Way to go Prabhat and Thanks for Sharing another GEM.

CoMiCoLogY

Prabhat's Books and Comics March 27, 2009 at 11:52 AM  

Rafiq Raja: Your posts really need some more time, you provide unique materials, as well as regularly improve technical part too.

My first blog is pure comics blog. There are many friends, who are discussing on these topics, so I took for myself easier & missing part “posting comics”. Soon IJC first round will be over. I’ll able to give some extra time to this blog.

ACK was my dream project; I was interested to start in 2007, but due to some personal problems not started. It was never for me a comics project, as I joined changed the style of posting, which is loved by all & see people are following, means not bad idea.

As now I’m not alone, my scan meter will remain zero. We don’t wait for comments, we are posting for fun, no personal ego, all ready to share & interested to close this project by 2010.

It’s result of team work. In fact we are slow to give time to read atleast once. We can increase numbers of scans by 5-7 times or posts without any extra pressure on us per day.:)

Sachin Agarwal May 30, 2016 at 1:51 PM  

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