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This story teaches us that greatness lies in devotion and respect for our teachers.

Keywords: Respect, Loyalty, Dedication

Story of Eklavya

Story


Years ago, in the Mahabharata period, the Kauravas and Pandavas were studying in the gurukul of the exceptionally capable guru, Dronacharya. One fine day, a boy happened to come from nowhere and bowed down to Guru Dronacharya.


Dronacharya said, “Hello child! Who are you and why are you touching my feet?”


The boy replied, “Sir, I am Eklavya, and I have idolized you all my life. Many legendary tales of your extraordinary archery skills have led me to you. Please allow me to stay in your gurukul and learn archery from you.”


Dronacharya replied, “I already have many students at this time. So, I cannot be your guru.”


Disheartened, Eklavya left from there. Rejection from his idol did not discourage him; instead, it made him even more determined and devoted to him.


The next day, he sculpted a statue of Guru Dronacharya with mud and practised archery in front of his guru’s idol.


Many years passed, and Eklavya mastered the art of archery.


One day, while he was practising, a dog started barking some distance away. Unable to concentrate on his practice, Eklavya shot some blunt arrows, filling the dog’s mouth without hurting it. The dog was no longer able to bark and started roaming around in the forest when he reached Guru Dronacharya’s gurukul.


Dronacharya and all his students were shocked to see such perfection.


Dronacharya claimed, “Only a skilled archer can aim with such perfection. Who did this?”


Everyone set out to look for the skilled archer when they saw Eklavya practising archery at a distance.


Dronacharya went up to him and said, “Your aim is extraordinary, my son. Who is your guru?”


Eklavya, while touching his feet, said, “You, sir! You are my guru.”


Prince Arjuna, the best archer among all of them, asked Eklavya, “How can Guru Dronacharya be teaching you while he was with us?”


Dronacharya got confused and asked Eklavya, “How can I be your guru when I don’t even know you?”


“I am Eklavya, the boy who came to learn archery at your gurukul several years ago. After you refused to teach me, I came back to the forest and made a mud idol of you. With its blessing, I was able to master the art of archery.”


Impressed by Eklavya's skill and determination, Dronacharya said, “Well, in that case, you will have to give me my Guru Dakshina – my gift for teaching you.”(Guru Dakshina was an offering given to the guru by the shishya after he had completed his learning. Guru is the teacher - मार्गं दर्शयति यः – the one who shows the path, and shishya is the student.)


“I am blessed that you have asked me to give you Guru Dakshina. Please, tell me, what can I give you?” said Eklavya happily.


“As a sign of your dedication, what can you give me?” asked Dronacharya.


Eklavya wanted to show his gratitude and respect towards Dronacharya. He decided to offer his right thumb to Dronacharya, even after knowing that he wouldn’t be able to do archery.


Everyone was shocked to see this.


“I am very proud of you, my son. Even without a thumb, you will always be remembered as a great archer, and your devotion to your guru will always be admired,” said Dronacharya.


So, children, the story of Eklavya teaches us to be respectful to the teachers who have given us invaluable knowledge.


Note: Some elements of this story have been modified to be suitable for children.

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Shloka

Source: Guru Mantra


गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुःगुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः | 

गुरुःसाक्षात् परब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः || 

Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Guru Devo Maheshwarahah 

Guru Saakshaat Param Brahma Tasmai Sri Gurve Namahah 


Guru is verily the representative of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. He creates, sustains knowledge, and destroys the weeds of ignorance. I salute such a Guru.

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Story type: Motivational

Age: 7+years; Class: 3+

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