Ekalavya is a prominent figure from the Indian epic, the Mahabharata, known for his unwavering dedication to archery and his unique apprenticeship under a statue of the master archer Dronacharya. His story is a testament to self-discipline, determination, and the complexities of guru-shishya (teacher-student) relationships in ancient India.
Ekalavya Summary In English
Ekalavya is a small skit (play), which has only 2 scenes. The main characters of the play are Drona, Arjuna, Ekalavya and Pandava and Kaurava princes. Pandava and Kaurava princes learned all the tricks of archery and Arjuna asked Drona that they did not learn to shoot an unseen object. Drona answered that was Shabdavedhi, aiming at an object merely by hearing the sound. A boy enters and bows his head. He was Ekalavya.
the son of Hiranya Dhanus, a bold hunter. Ekalavya came there to learn archery from Dronacharya in order to protect the fawns from greedy wolves. Arjuna objected that Drona should not accept Ekalavya as a disciple because Ekalavya was not a prince. Ekalavya requested, but Drona was binded by his vow. So Drona blessed him and Ekalavya made up his mind to learn archery by his blessing only.
Ekalavya was determined and had a goal to protect the fawns. So he learnt archery more skillfully. He achieved his goal and fawns are free from trouble. Ekalavya made the statue of Drona and worshiped his guru. After two years, one day he heard the sound of dogs at a distance. He shot arrows in the direction of the sound. The sound stoped. Drona, Arjuna and other princes entered with the poor dog, with arrows in its mouth.
Drona and Arjuna appreciate Ekalavya’s skill and felt his guru was really a great teacher. After knowing that his gum was none other than Drona himself Being jealous Arjuna accused Drona, that he has not kept his word. Drona asked Ekalavya’s thumb as Guru Dakshina. Ekalavya was a humble pupil he had great respect towards his gum, accepted. Without any hesitation, he cut his right thumb with a knife and placed it, in front of his gum Drona. Ekalavya asked gums blessing and Drona said that what a noble soul, God bless you. Drona blessed Ekalavya. Ekalavya was an ideal pupil and devoted to his gum. He sacrificed his skillful archery to his guru.
In conclusion, Ekalavya’s tale serves as a timeless example of self-motivation and the pursuit of excellence, even in the face of adversity. It highlights the enduring themes of merit, mentorship, and personal sacrifice found within the pages of the Mahabharata.