rājā na śraddadhe bhadram
abhadrasya kuto mama
ākarṇya—having heard; ātma-jam—his son; āyāntam—coming back; samparetya—after dying; yathā—as if; āgatam—coming back; rājā—King Uttānapāda; na—did not; śraddadhe—have any confidence; bhadram—good fortune; abhadrasya—of the impious; kutaḥ—whence; mama—my.
When King Uttānapāda heard that his son Dhruva was coming back home, as if coming back to life after death, he could not put his faith in this message, for he was doubtful of how it could happen. He considered himself the most wretched, and therefore he thought that it was not possible for him to attain such good fortune.
Dhruva Mahārāja, a five-year-old boy, went to the forest for penance and austerity, and the King could not at all believe that a small boy of such a tender age could live in the forest. He was certain that Dhruva was dead. He therefore could not fix his faith in the message that Dhruva Mahārāja was coming back home again. For him this message said that a dead man was coming back home, and so he could not believe it. After Dhruva Mahārāja’s departure from home, King Uttānapāda thought that he was the cause of Dhruva’s leaving, and thus he considered himself the most wretched. Therefore, even though it was possible that his lost son was coming back from the kingdom of death, he thought that since he was most sinful it was not possible for him to be so fortunate as to get back his lost son.
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