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Inspirational Story of Eklavya and his reverence towards his teacher

Since ancient times teachers have played an essential role in India. India believes in the principle “There will be no knowledge without teachers”.  Knowledge in any form whether its education, life lessons or preaching cant be acquired without teachers. Various quotes are highlighting the importance of teachers in Indian Society.

GuruGita

Translation of above Sanskrit quote from the manuscript Gurugita:

Teachers are the visual representation of Bhrama, Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Teachers are the apex God, above all. I show my utmost respect to them.

Tulsidas-Ramcharitmanas

The above quote is from Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas.

Just like a representation of the universe, the ocean cannot be measured alone. In the same way, knowledge can’t be acquired individually even with the help of the creator Lord Bhrama or with the support of Lord Shiva. Everyone needs a  mentor in their life to guide them and enlighten them from the darkness of ignorance.

During ancient time admission process was not easy as it is now. A student needs to make various sacrifices for attaining knowledge from his master. He sacrifices his family, wealth, time and personality to get trained from his master. Once the master accepts the pupil as his student, he shares the knowledge he gained during his entire life with him. This process of admission is called “Guru Diksha” in Sanskrit.

There are various stories in Indian tradition which showcase ultimate reverence from students towards his teachers. One such story is of student Eklavya and his teacher Dhronacharya.

Story of Eklavya and Dhronacharya
Story of Eklavya and Dhronacharya

Once a tribal child named Eklavya went to Guru Dhronacharya and requested him to teach archery, however, Dhronacharya refused to accept him as his student. Eklavya was extremely determined and made a small idol of Guru Dhronacharya and considered that as his master. Every day he took motivation from that idol and started learning archery and eventually mastered the art. After a few years, Guru Dhronacharya went to forest along with his students Pandavas.  A dog also followed them on the way. After some time, the dog went ahead of them and found a tribal man and started barking at him. The man saw a dog causing a disturbance in his practice. He fired an arrow in such a way that it blocks the dog’s mouth without causing any harm to it. Looking at this Dronacharya was very surprised and asked where did he learn this art form. Eklavya said that he learn this art from Dronacharya. Hearing this Dronacharya was a bit confused and worried. He has promised Arjun that he will make him master the art of archery that no one has ever attained. But Eklavya surpassed Arjun in Archery. After having a deep thought, Dhronacharya asked for Guru Dakshina from Eklavya.

Eklavya as per his master’s wish cut his thumb from his right hand and offered that as Guru Dakshina to Dronacharya.

Seeing the reverence of Eklavya, Guru Dhronacharya said: ” Even though Arjun will be at the forefront in archery. But as long as there are sun, moon and stars, you will be remembered for your dedication and devotion towards your master. People will also praise you until this universe exists”.

There is no doubt that the act of bravery and sacrifice that Eklavya showcased will always be remembered until the end of time.

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