I think, even the smallest supporting story in the great epic Mahabharata is thought provoking and teaching – all through life. I remember a talk on the impact of maya that the mind creates. The man talked about the Indian cricketer Sevag who tried to imitate the legend player Tendulkar. Sevag is said to have been imitating Tendulkar in walking, talking and posturing. But his strokes were different. He could not change the Sevag in him. Here, Sevag never could become Tendulkar. Sevag had to grow as Sevag only recognising and accepting the Sevag within. Same is the case with all. On women’s day, greeting messages criss-cross all over the world. Many ladies get excited also. We forget that unless women, as individuals, realise their individuality within, nothing changes. And if they find themselves the world is sure to change into a new one.
Haven’t we noticed how water flows? Knowledge also moves exactly like that from top to bottom. Knowledge also has some inherent fundamental features. If it doesn’t flow, it gets stagnated. Unless knowledge is shared, it turns harmful too. If knowledge is opened for sale, there also it becomes misleading. That’s why Rama talked to Ravan very respectfully and Ravan shared to Rama the most precious knowledge according to him, even though it was he who killed him.
Guru Dronar also knew how to handle knowledge. That’s why he didn’t say ‘no’ to little Eklavya from Nishada caste. Dronar knew that Eklavya was not a Nishada and also not the real son of Hiranyadhanu, the chief of Nishada tribe. Dronar knew that Eklavya was really Sathrugnan, son of Devasravas.
Sathruknan was abandoned in the forest and it was Nishada hunters who saved him and brought him up. See that Dronar didn’t ask him any such details. His only question was why he is there and not who he is. When Eklavya prostrated before him. it was Dronar who fell in trouble. Dronar but didn’t denounce Eklavya. Eklavya also would have doubted Dronar’s attitude, because he was basically the royal priest in Kaurava court and Eklavya hailing from a lower caste as known to the public. But Dronar permitted him to do self-practice and learn archery – perhaps one among the best puzzles for the public.
My opinion is that in every sense, Eklavya was the disciple of Dronar. There is one more mighty reason in my favour. The epic doesn’t say that Eklavya ever felt Dronar’s absence. Also, the story says that his practice before the statue of Dronar had been as genuine as Dronar was physically present there. All his mistakes were corrected. I also do not ever think that Eklavya was a failure. The most exquisite moment in a disciple’s life is when being appreciated by his or her Guru. See that Dronar himself could not believe that his wisdom was shared without restrictions. Hear the words of Dronar when he saw Eklavya’s demonstration. Dronar said, “You are the greatest of archers, who knows all that one needs to know.” Leave the story of Dronar asking for his right thumb as dakshina. Maybe his only choice was obliging to what Arjuna suggested. Also hear what Dronar said, blessing Eklavya. “You will ever be remembered as a byname for devotion to Guru. You will attain a bigger name and moksha than the one with the thumb. And without thumb you will be able to do everything you need.” Here there is yet another hidden message, which says that Eklavya lost none of his abilities. But if Eklavya had the thumb, I don’t know if the fate of Kurukshetra war itself would have been the same.
The new generation doesn’t know how to acquire knowledge – no gurus to help us. They are more bothered about money than knowledge. Acharya Rajnish said, 99.99 % of gurus are fakes – just guru workers. They need only thumbs. But The Eklavya story clearly says the basic requirements of acquiring knowledge. Eklavya tells us how to overcome the obstacles on our way up to knowledge. It was not with the due permission of his mother that Eklavya started off to meet Dronar. Dronar who had to bless his foe tells that knowledge cannot be kept imprisoned. Eklavya who practised before a statue is sure to have learned much more than what Arjuna learned through his words. Guru is light, a precious invaluable and intense light. It was when such a light shone upon Arjuna that he became Godlike. Always there live powerful gurus, who make anyone Godlike. What we don’t have are competent sishyas with the necessary enthusiasm. Our society has a great role in creating a generation of non-genders. God’s presence is not the only eligibility for learning. If so, Ravan would never have turned his face off from Laxman, when Ravan lay waiting for his death.First there has to be a burning enthusiasm for knowledge. Also, should’ve an understanding that one is not complete. And above all do not weigh knowledge for a price. Our mindset should also be that of dissolving in the energy of knowledge. There, we will see Guru coming in search of sishya.