Uttanapada was the son of Svayambhuva Manu. Uttanapada's wives were Suniti and Suruchi. He had a son called Dhruva by Suniti and another son called Uttama by Suruchi. Suruchi was his favorite wife. One day he was fondling the son Uttama. Dhruva saw this and wanted also to get on to the father's lap. Suruchi, Dhruva's stepmother prevented this saying that only Uttama was entitled to sit on his father's lap. Dhruva was crying and informed of this to his mother Suniti. Suniti implored patience and said that she and Dhruva should submit to the fate that they were not the favored ones. She advised Dhruva. " Son, try to acquire religious merit. Be kind and friendly to all living creatures. You will be endowed with good fortune."
Dhruva said, "Let Uttama get the crown. I will by my own efforts attain a rank higher than my father's and get to be respected by the entire world." Having said this, he moved into the forest.
In the forest, he saw seven saints sitting on antelope skins, performing tapas. Dhruva narrated his story to them. The sages asked, "What do you want from us?"
Dhruva said, "I do not want money. I do not want dom. I want the highest rank in the world. Tell me how I can attain this."
The sages said in one voice: "Anything desired by man can be attained by worshipping Vishnu-anything, even the highest rank in the highest of the three worlds."
Dhruva inquired, "Instruct me, O holy sages, how do I worship Vishnu, the god of gods."
The sages explained, "Remove your mind from all external objects; fix it steadily on the Supreme Soul on whom the entire universe exists. Repeat the prayer: Glory to the Supreme who is divine wisdom and whose form is this Universe."
Prince Dhruva went to a holy place on the Yamuna river and performed tapas. He meditated and prayed. The Supreme Being entered his soul. He became the repository of supreme, divine power. The gods were frightened that Dhruva may supersede the gods themselves in power. One of the gods even tried to deceive Dhruva and interrupt Dhruva's tapas by appearing before him in the form of Suniti and cried before him, saying " Son, you are only five years old. You are my only solace. Don't leave me. Protect me, my child, from the taunts of Suruchi. Your duty is to make your mother happy. If you do not come back to me, I will kill myself."