Have you ever notice that bright, brilliant tinkling star in the sky? It is always close to the moon and you can easily spot it on a clear night. It is the Pole star. It is named so because it lies directly overhead when viewed from the Earth’s North Pole or South Pole. This star has great significance in Japanese, Greek, Hawaiin and Indian culture. In Indian mythology, the pole star is called Dhruva. Why is it called ‘Dhruv tara’ ? There is an interesting legend of a little prince behind it.
Once upon a time, in India, there lived a king named Utanpad. He had two wives – the elder one, Suniti and the younger one Suruchi. When Suniti gave birth to a baby boy, after many years of their marriage, King was elated. He proudly named him Dhruv. King Utanpad distributed gifts and the entire kingdom rejoiced. There was no end to everybody’s happiness that a little prince and heir to the kingdom was born. But one person was not so happy in all this. King’s second wife Suruchi. She was envious of all the attention king’s first wife and her son Dhruv got. She resented them both. One day in a fit of rage, she forced king Utanpad to throw them out of the kingdom. Dhruv was heartbroken but he promised himself that he will get his rightful place. He thought he can get his wish if lord Vishnu grants it. Dhruv fasted and went without food and water for six months praying only to Lord Vishnu. Finally Lord Vishnu was pleased with Dhruv’s tapasya (penance) and he asked him to wish for a varadāna (grant of wishes). Guess what he asked for? He got his kingdom back, and got a blessing for ruling it for thousands of years. He was a famous king, loved and revered by one and all. When he died, he got the place of brightest star in heaven.
So the pole star, that tinkles brightly in the night sky, is popularly known as Dhruvtara in India. And do you know Hawaiians refer to the pole as Kiopa’a.
Why do they call it that? Lets talk about it another time!!