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Chapter 32: Ekalavya, the mighty Archer

Posted by Arun Mohan ~ on ~ 0 comments

Ekalavya was a young prince of the Nishadha, a confederation of jungle tribes. Ekalavya wanted to become an archer under the tutor of Drona, who he considered as the best tutor in the land. Ekalavya honestly sought the tutorship of Drona in archery and martial art. But Drona turned him away citing the condition that he can’t teach a pupil which is not from royal family of Kuru Dynasty. Ekalavya then asked Drona how to learn archery. Drona replied to study the archery himself without the tutor of him. Ekalavya took the Drona’s words seriously. Ekalavya created an image of Drona in the mud and started practicing the arts of Drona in front of it. He also practiced archery himself in front of mud image of Drona.

After several weeks, he was disturbed by the sound of a barking dog. He released some arrows in the direction of dog such that the arrows make dog not to bark without harming it. The arrows entered the mouth of the dog and kept its jaw open made the dog impossible to bark. Also the arrows don’t harm the dog. The dog was actually a hunting hound of the Pandavas. Arjuna was surprised to see this sight. He informed Drona about this. Drona, who believed Arjuna as the greatest archer in the world surprised to see this. Drona along with Arjuna decided to find the man who done this. Finally they discovered the Ekalavya infront of Drona’s mud image. On seeing Drona in front of him, Ekalavya rushed towards drona and fell at his feet. Drona blessed and inquired about his teacher who taught him archery. Ekalavya said that he studied archery by taking the mud image of drona as guru.

Drona looked at Arjuna and memorized his guarantee to make Arjuna the greatest archer in the world. Drona then craftily said to Ekalavya to pay fee, since he had taken his image as guru. Ekalavya humbly asked what he should want to pay as fees. Drona without any feel, asked to give his right thumb as guru dakshina. Without a moment’s hesitation, Ekalavya sliced his right thumb with a knife and presented it to Guru.

Arjuna went to Hastina-puri from the spot and was surprised by his guru’s cruelty towards Ekalavya to make him the greatest archer in the world. Ekalavya who now can’t able to wield the bow without right thumb became the victim of guru’s cruel decision. But Drona convinced Arjuna that this decision is necessary for the sake of social stability and there should not be any one in the world to challenge Arjuna in the world. Arjuna did not comment.

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