Drona and Eklavya – The Secrets of Mahabharata

Why Drona asked such a venomous Gurudakshina from little Eklavya

Drona and Eklavya story of Mahabharata is such a story which can be viewed from different angles. Act of Drona is often criticized here and activity of Eklavya is often regarded with greatness. However, when the exacts facts are considered and analyzed, things look different. Here, in this article, analysis has been given stress, but the stepwise story has been narrated before that to give it a complete form.

Drona and Eklavya story of Mahabharata is such a story which can be viewed from different angles. Act of Drona is often criticized here and activity of Eklavya is often regarded with greatness. However, when the exacts facts are considered and analyzed, things look different. Here, in this article, analysis has been given stress, but the stepwise story has been narrated before that to give it a complete form.

drona and eklavya

Once, when Pandavas and Kauravas were practicing, a dog was barking rigorously. The dog’s bark created obstruction for Eklavya, who was listening to the training of Drona, from the shade of a tree. Hence, he makes an amazing deed to stop the dog bark. When the Kuru princes and their preceptor enquired, they found that the dog was forcedly stopped to bark. Its mouth was filled with arrows, which are not piercing its skin with pressure. Seeing that amazing feat, Drona soon realized that the act must be from anyone of his disciples. After enquiring, the disciple that came ahead, declaring that it was his feat, was Eklavya. When enquired about how he learned the skill, he asked Drona to go with him. There from starts the core part of Drona and Eklavya story.

Drona along with his few disciples went with the Nishada boy, Eklavya. Soon they reached a place, where a statue of Drona was placed. Eklavya declared that he knew that the preceptor will not grant him permission to be a disciple, since he is from a Nishada caste. Hence he viewed and listened what the preceptor said to his disciples and practiced them before this idol. Everyone was pleased with his words, except Drona. Still, appraising his skills, Drona praised Eklavya, to form the most integrated part of Drona and Eklavya story.

Drona said that Eklavya have respected Drona as a Guru and hence he must give him Gurudakshina. Is he ready to give what his guru will seek from him? Eklavya agreed happily and Drona in return asked his right hand’s thumb, ensuring that he would never be able to apply what he learned. Eklavya happily gave what his preceptor sought from him, bearing all the pains. All the disciples were amazed to see that and the most heartily one of them Arjuna felt immense sorrow for Eklavya too.

Drona was a god to Arjuna and he respected him more than anyone in the world, after his father like brother Yudhisthira and his best friend Krishna. Still, what his guru did with Eklavya was unpleasing for him. After lot of effort also, he could not suppress his feelings. When Drona realized that, he called his dearest disciple and asked him to express his query. Arjuna replied Drona referring what happened in the recent past of Drona and Eklavya story.

Drona smilingly replied, “My Son, Archery is not a game that anyone can learn. After learning this skill, one can even put the entire mankind in danger. Hence that must not be trained to anyone of low maturity. Have you not seen the low maturity of Eklavya? To fulfil his own wish, he even not stopped to restrain the dog, which was barking for its natural instinct! My Son, archery is a master science and must not be ever used to establish one’s greatness or to fulfil wish of his own. That must be used for mankind and for establishment of Dharma, like Rama did. Hence, dear arjuna, make sure that you never train this skill to someone who do not know when and what for to use this skill. Promise me, that you will never train anyone in your life with archery, whom you may find to stand for sin.”

The last part or the conversation of Arjuna and Drona remains missing from all the analysis of Drona and Eklavya story and hence confusion starts. To many, archery is a skill game and hence anyone can learn that. Just imagine Eklavya or Karna to have Pashupat Astra, given by Shiva to Arjuna. They would have definitely applied those, since knowledge of social welfare is not with them, just like Karna used Shakti weapon of Indra. Social welfare knowledge is not developed from blood relation. So, whether a man is born as a Kshatriya or a Sudra, doesn’t make a sense, but the thing that makes sense is where he has been brought up. Even Duryodhana and his brothers are brought up in Kshatriya family, the best skills are not trained by Drona to them, since Drona was sure that they would use those skills for their own desire fulfilment. Same was the case with Karna too, which has been discussed in another article – Drona and Karna.

Drona and Eklavya Story Introduction

Once, when Pandavas and Kauravas were practicing, a dog was barking rigorously. The dog’s bark created obstruction for Eklavya, who was listening to the training of Drona, from the shade of a tree. Hence, he makes an amazing deed to stop the dog bark. When the Kuru princes and their preceptor enquired, they found that the dog was forcedly stopped to bark. Its mouth was filled with arrows, which are not piercing its skin with pressure. Seeing that amazing feat, Drona soon realized that the act must be from anyone of his disciples. After enquiring, the disciple that came ahead, declaring that it was his feat, was Eklavya. When enquired about how he learned the skill, he asked Drona to go with him. There from starts the core part of Drona and Eklavya story.

Drona and Eklavya consultation

Drona along with his few disciples went with the Nishada boy, Eklavya. Soon they reached a place, where a statue of Drona was placed. Eklavya declared that he knew that the preceptor will not grant him permission to be a disciple, since he is from a Nishada caste. Hence he viewed and listened what the preceptor said to his disciples and practiced them before this idol. Everyone was pleased with his words, except Drona. Still, appraising his skills, Drona praised Eklavya, to form the most integrated part of Drona and Eklavya story.

Drona said that Eklavya have respected Drona as a Guru and hence he must give him Gurudakshina. Is he ready to give what his guru will seek from him? Eklavya agreed happily and Drona in return asked his right hand’s thumb, ensuring that he would never be able to apply what he learned. Eklavya happily gave what his preceptor sought from him, bearing all the pains. All the disciples were amazed to see that and the most heartily one of them Arjuna felt immense sorrow for Eklavya too.

Arjuna’s Query to Drona

Drona was a god to Arjuna and he respected him more than anyone in the world, after his father like brother Yudhisthira and his best friend Krishna. Still, what his guru did with Eklavya was unpleasing for him. After lot of effort also, he could not suppress his feelings. When Drona realized that, he called his dearest disciple and asked him to express his query. Arjuna replied Drona referring what happened in the recent past of Drona and Eklavya story.

Drona smilingly replied, “My Son, Archery is not a game that anyone can learn. After learning this skill, one can even put the entire mankind in danger. Hence that must not be trained to anyone of low maturity. Have you not seen the low maturity of Eklavya? To fulfil his own wish, he even not stopped to restrain the dog, which was barking for its natural instinct! My Son, archery is a master science and must not be ever used to establish one’s greatness or to fulfil wish of his own. That must be used for mankind and for establishment of Dharma, like Rama did. Hence, dear arjuna, make sure that you never train this skill to someone who do not know when and what for to use this skill. Promise me, that you will never train anyone in your life with archery, whom you may find to stand for sin.”

Inference of Drona and Eklavya Story

The last part or the conversation of Arjuna and Drona remains missing from all the analysis of Drona and Eklavya story and hence confusion starts. To many, archery is a skill game and hence anyone can learn that. Just imagine Eklavya or Karna to have Pashupat Astra, given by Shiva to Arjuna. They would have definitely applied those, since knowledge of social welfare is not with them, just like Karna used Shakti weapon of Indra. Social welfare knowledge is not developed from blood relation. So, whether a man is born as a Kshatriya or a Sudra, doesn’t make a sense, but the thing that makes sense is where he has been brought up. Even Duryodhana and his brothers are brought up in Kshatriya family, the best skills are not trained by Drona to them, since Drona was sure that they would use those skills for their own desire fulfilment. Same was the case with Karna too, which has been discussed in another article – Drona and Karna.

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