Arjuna Vs Eklavya: Who Was The Real Winner?
Since ages, the story of Eklavya(a character from the Indian epic- Mahabharata) has come to define exemplary discipleship. But there is an unheard and. Jan 18, There cannot be a better example of a shishya than Ekalavya. dressed all in black, his body besmeared with filth and his hair in matted locks. Story of Ekalavya. Near the ashrama of Drona, where Arjuna and his brothers used to take lessons in various arts, there lived a small bright boy, shudra by caste.
Bhagwan Rama is a great example. From the ideal Maryada Purushottama, HE has been under assault by atheists, missionary zealots and crass politicians, not to forget highly motivated western indologists who want to twist everything through their perverted prism either to achieve some social engineering on their terms or exhibiting a weird sense of prevarication.
To thwart these forces, the only defense, Sanatana Dharmists have is to get connected to the itihasas and puranas. In Subtle Dharma behind Vaali vadamwe saw in detail with the evidence from within Valmiki Ramayana, how these false stories fall flat.
The Background of the case: Ekalavya has been a similar story. He is one of the side characters that appear in the Mahabharata. Traditionally given as an example of obedience to a Guru, today he has been projected as an unfortunate lower caste being taken advantage of and worse still a plethora of organizations use his name and story to peddle their deception. In this article, we will attempt to demolish these fabricated, bigoted, twisted interpretations and shine light using the original text and context.
It is noteworthy to see the contrast in Ekal Foundation. Rajiv Malhotraa keen intellectual scholar, has always been at the forefront in challenging both the motivated western indologists and their motives and also the tamasic Indians who either are busy getting converted into Sepoys or indifferent to all these forces at best.
To make the case very evident, let us begin with some deliberate transformations of Ekalavya. I came across this article written by a westernized Indian with very poor to non-existent understanding of Itihasas — Ekalavya: A progressive Reading — by Sunita Viswanath. The worst part of the article was the author claimed to use her Brahmin birth to condemn the way in which texts are interpreted. The fact that they are constantly retold shows that Hindus have a time-honored tradition of scriptural debate and reinterpretation.
Eklavya Paying Guru Dakshina to Dronacharya (A Poignant Episode from the Mahabharata)
All religions are constantly evolving, and it is up to us to reimagine texts and traditions so they are relevant to our time. All they need to do is correctly understand. No Hindu scripture talks of discrimination and especially due to their birth.
In Varnas — a journey to its rootswe studied about Varnas in detail. The ancient Indian society always had given more credibility to the present actions, attitude over the past. Even in karma theory, as outlined in detail in our deliberation on free will vs fatewe saw how Sanchita karma or present action triumphs the prarabhda. In her book, Srimad Bhagavatam, Geeta Kasturi narrates her misunderstood version of Mahabharata with her strong prejudiced opinion.
What makes this irritating is, the author uses her pedigree to peddle her opinion. We are concerned only about the Ekalavya episode as given in the hyperlink. In many cases, these self styled experts either use their misinterpretations or ignorance to shove wrong ideas about their own roots.
To top this, we have popular mass appeal holders who make a living by distorting these hoary scriptures with such aesthetics like Devadutt Pattanaik, that the negative is barely noticed by the masses as none of them have read it in the first instance.
To get an insight of this highly prejudiced scholar, read these links — History of Ekalavya and Response by Wendy. The sepoys operate under various monikers — activists, progressive people, liberals, Dalit leaders, Christian missionaries, atheists, minority appeasing politicians and the like. It is usually left to the motivated western indologists. The irony and pain gets exaggerated when many donors financing such missions under the charade of aiding correct interpretation of Indian scriptures are many wealthy Indian donors.
As observed at one end of the spectrum are folks who write with no proper understanding like above and the other end, there are so many websites, story sites in the name of propagating fables and mythologies of the world, give their cooked up versions of Ekalavya. But the best part is when the forces vie for spotlight by using Ekalavya as a dalit hero to spearhead a movement. But you gave your thumb and history also became theirs.
Ekalavya, since that day they have not even given you a glance. My thumb will never be broken. In order to study these current exploitations through deliberate misinterpretations, we must study the truth.
One must go to the original Mahabharata and acquaint oneself with the correct version. For the real scholarly oriented, I encourage them to study the Sanskrit version of Mahabharata. A better representation of this text, after reconciling the differences found across the subcontinent is available thanks to the Critical Edition from Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute BORI.
For a respectable English translation let us dive into the chapter at AncientVoicethough I would highly encourage not sticking with the English translations. Let us also set some ground rules. Always stick to Vyasa Mahabharata. Subjective interpretation, regional affinities, temporal distortions and for more recent authors, personal bias, all play a vital a huge part in the twists in the narration.
For Mahabharata, portions of the stories are correlated with both Bhagavatam of Vyasa and Harivamsa, depending on the focus of the text. We will for instance glean more about the genealogy of Ekalavya in Harivamsa than in Mahabharata where he features. Vyatraj Hiranyadhanus had a son Ekalavya and as nishadas, who were primarily hunters lived in the forests, away from the then civilization. Ekalavya approached him as well. Not giving up Ekalavya then proceeds to make a clay statue of Drona and treats him as his guru.
Due to his definiteness of his purpose and his extreme devotion to his mental guru, all the skills of archery came naturally to him which he honed it with lots of practice. One day, the Kauravas and Pandavas were on a hunting expedition, along with their royal servants and dogs. A dog found the matted hair, filthy looking Ekalavya and started barking at him.
This feat attracted the Pandavas who were eager to know about this skilled archer. Arjuna one who is wrongly misinterpreted as a jealous character approached Drona in privacy to clarify a doubt. Drona upto this point never shied from his pride in having created Arjuna as a supreme warrior. He had announced on numerous occasions that Arjuna was his best disciple. Arjuna saw a challenge to this statement. Drona pondered about this anomaly.
They went to Ekalavya, who treated Drona with utmost respect. An eager Ekalavya was informed by Drona that if he were his preceptor, then his fee was overdue. Drona responded that if Ekalavya was really intent on a preceptor fee, then his due will be his right thumb. These cruel words were met with cheer and unafflicted heart and Ekalavya cut his right thumb as an offering to Drona. Ekalavya found that despite this massive loss, he had not lost his ability to shoot arrows, but had most certainly lost his agility.
Ekalavya went on to become an ardent follower of the Magadha King, Jarasandha. Jarasandha was allied to Kamsa as his daughters were married to Kamsa. Jarasandha had a blinding enmity with Krishna and attacked Mathura repeatedly.
Krishna eliminated him with a clever scheme by deploying Bhima against him. Following this, Ekalavya is supposed to have participated in numerous wars against Krishna. A few even wrongly portray him to be reincarnated as Drishtadhyumna, the nemesis of Drona. This is highly wrong if one were to merely study Mahabharata. Krishna informed Arjuna that Jarasandha, Shishupala and Ekalavya were all eliminated by HIM so that their hands will not strengthen the already numerically superior adharmic Kaurava forces.
The case on Drona Rejected Ekalavya due to his caste. Was cruel in asking his thumb. Was over protective of Arjuna, also favored him too much. Was unfair and mean to Ekalavya. Collapse of the false case Caste based rejection: You refused to teach me, but your statue did not. Thanks to it, I have become a good archer.
What will their teacher do now?
Smart, Smarter and Smartest : Arjuna, Eklavya and Dronacharya
The teacher may ask for something or nothing at all. What if you refuse the dhakshina I want? How can I, teacher? I am not that ungrateful.
Drona did not wait anymore. Silence befell on everyone. Everyone was shocked, even Arjuna. He looked at his teacher in horror and disbelief. That too, from a mere boy? For a moment Eklavya stood silent. But the teacher must be satisfied. He blessed the young archer for his courage. He was moved and grieved at his own action.
Mahabharata – Ekalavya – Indian Mythology
But despite his handicap, Eklavya continued to practice archery. When one is dedicated, one can make even mountains bow. His renown spread far and wide. Any knowledge Teacher gives to Student has value in life of a Student as he goes on with life.
Think from Kindergarten till highest level of study you have completed, see what you will be left with if there were no teachers in your life. Parents give us life, love and help in going right direction, But Teachers show us how to live life, shows us path and makes us self dependable so that we can pick the right path.
Always respect your teachers, do not value them any lesser than your parents.