|E for Eklavya|
One night, some of the princes happened along the path where Eklavya was practising his archery. Arjuna was amazed at the Nishadh boy’s prowess. Drona followed his students and was equally impressed. But soon, the Acharya’s mind began to play. What if this boy became a better archer than Prince Arjuna? That’s when he decided to ask for Gurudakshina.
Eklavya’s surrender to his Guru was so complete that he agreed to give Dronacharya any Gurudakshina that he sought. He did not even wait to find out what was it that the Acharya sought.
And Drona could not have asked for anything worse. It would have been better if he had asked for Eklavya’s life. The cunning Dronacharya requested Eklavya for his right thumb, the thumb without which the boy would never be able to wield an arrow. Did Eklavya refuse? Of course not. He did not even hesitate before taking out a small knife that he carried in his waistband and cutting off his thumb, presented it to his Guru.
While Dronacharya had done his best to remove Arjuna’s competition, he never foresaw Eklavya’s determination to become a skilled archer. That he became, despite the lack of his thumb. It is proof of his greatness that Eklavya never sought to compete with Arjuna nor did he ever lose respect for his Guru in the process.
Acharya / Guru - Teacher
Gurudakshina - Teacher's fee
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