Guru Dakshina Of Eklavya
One day Vishadraj Hiranyadhnu’s son Eklavya came to Hastinapur and he offered Shastank Pranam (salutation) form far distance to that age best Aachaarya (master) of Archery - Sri DhronAachaaryaaji, the Arms-Guru of Kauravas & Pandavas. His clothes were the identity of his class. When Aachaarya Dhron asked him about the reason for coming, he requested, “I want to stay near your holy feet to learn archery .”
Aachaaryaa was puzzled. At that time Pandavas and Kauravas were kids and Aachaaryaa was teaching them. If one Bheel’s child is taught with them, this would not be accepted by the princes and would not be as per their dignity. Therefore he said, “Son Eklavya, I am sad that I cannot teach archery to a child of any other caste.”
But Eklavya had mentally accepted Dhronacharyaji as his Guru. How can there be any question of becoming annoyed or finding fault in person whom you accept as guru? Eklavya was not disappointed. He offered Shastank Pranam (obeisances) before Aachaaryaa and said, “My God, I have already accepted you as my Guru. I don’t want you to be abashed with any of my work. I only want your blessings.”
Returing from Hastinapur, Eklavya did not whet to home, instead he went to forest and there he made a statue of Guru Dronacharya of the soil. He used to look his Guru’s statue without any eye moment, prayed Gurudev, used to get inspiration from Gurudev and started practicing archery. The only donor of knowledge is the God. Those who have strong faith and firm determination then the Almighty God present in everyone’s heart bestow knowledge through a Guru or even without outside Guru. Months and month passed, Eklavya’s practice was progressing continuously and he learned archery.
One day all Pandavas and Kauravas with permission of Dhronacharyaji went for hunting of wild animals. Incidentally, their pet dog went to Eklavya, where he was practicing and seeing Eklavya with dark complection & dressed strangely, the dog started barking. Eklavya had long hair and he was wearing tiger’s skin in place of clothes. With dog’s barking, he was disturbed while practicing and thus he stopped dog’s barking by throwing seven arrows in its mouth. Dog ran towards princes. Everyone was surprised that dog was not at all wounded but arrows were arranged in such way that dog cannot bark. Filling the mouth with arrows without causing any injury is itself great skill.
Seeing this talent Arjun was amazed. On returning back he told whole incident to Guru Dhronacharyaji and said, “O Gurudev! You bestowed me the boon that you will make me the greatest archer of the earth but I do not have such skillset.”
Dhronacharyaji along with Arjun went in search of the archer who demonstrated such a skill and they reached to the Eklavya’s ashram. Seeing the Aachaaryaa, Eklavya felt at the lotus feet of Guru.
Dhronacharya asked, “Son! How did you achieve the best knowledge of archery?”
Eklavya with folded arms replied politely, “My God! I am servant of your lotus feet.”
He indicated towards the Guru’s statue. Dhronacharya thought for a while and asked, “Son! Won’t you give me Gurudiksha?”
“Please order my God” - replied Eklavya with extreme pleasure.
Dhronacharya said, “I want your right hand’s thumb.”
If right hand thumb is not there how can one pass arrow? Ambition of so many days, so many struggles and this great practice all would be in vain. But there was not ever a single symbol of disappointment on his face. That brave Gurubhakt took a knife in left hand and immediately cut right hand’s thumb and offered to his Guru.
Dhronacharya’s heart was filled and he said, “Son, many person have become best archer, learned and still there will such personalities on the world. But I bless you that your great sacrifice and devotion toward Guru (your devotion - Guru Bhakti) will be immortal. Great Atman, Saints and Devotees will always narrate the story of your Gurubhakti (devotion).”