“E” for Eklavya मुद्रण ई-मेल
Near the Ashram where the Pandavas were taking lessons from Guru Dronacharya, there lived a small but valiant boy named Eklavya. He belonged to a class of wanderers and hence was never a part of formal education system of the ‘Gurukul'.

Young Eklavya was a determined and courageous boy. He wanted to learn archery from Guru Dronacharya but was also aware that Guru Dronacharya was the official teacher to the prince of the royal family of Hastinapur and would not accept anybody else as his disciple.

However, Eklavya's determination knew no bounds. He decided to erect a clay idol of Guru Dronacharya under a tree near his house and practiced archery day and night. He would offer fresh flowers to his Guru before beginning his bow and arrow lessons. Such was his dedication and deep reverence for his Guru. As days passed by, his Self-training helped him acquire mastery in the field of archery. He attributed all his success to his Guru and worshipped him devotedly day and night.

One day it so happened that Guru Dronacharya and Arjun were taking a walk in the woods. It was a pleasant and peaceful day. The woods were filled with tranquillity and purity. However a dog, constantly barking, broke the silence of the forest and Eklavya got disturbed. He immediately aimed the bow at the dog and skilfully sealed his mouth with arrows. While passing by, Arjun and Guru Dronacharya noticed this intricate piece of work with sheer astonishment and followed the dog to trace the hero who had done such a wonderful job.

They reached the spot where Eklavya was practicing archery. Guru Dronacharya had declared Arjun as the best archer on the earth and he also loved him dearly. When he saw Eklavya's skill he was moved and asked him about his teacher. On seeing his own idol, Guru Dronacharya was pleased and blessed him. Guru Dronacharya was a great teacher who could see and sense the future. He realised that Eklavya belonged to a community of wanderers who would be ready to sell their art and talent for money. He realised that such talent, if sold for money, could be harmful to society and may be misused by wrong hands. Accordingly, he thought of an idea and asked Eklavya for Guru Dakshina.

Eklavya felt honoured and said he was even ready to offer his life for his Guru. But Guru asked Eklavya to cut off his right hand thumb and give it to him. Even Mother Nature stood in shock for a second, because an archer without his thumb was like a body without a soul. Eklavya's love and reference knew no bounds, and without hesitating for even a second he cut off his thumb.

It is because of his deed that Eklavya is a memorable character in Indian history. Such was the deep reverence he had for his teacher.

What would I like to learn from Eklavya?

a)     Reverence for the Guru or teacher

b)    Commitment and dedication to learning

c)     Desire to excel

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