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Stories of Guru – Disciples and their devotion from Indian Myth

One of the famous stories of Guru and Disciple from our Indian Myth is that of Aruni and Sage Dhoumya

Once upon a time, there was a Aashram ( residential school) of Dhaumya Rushi (Sage). Many disciples were taking education there. Aruni was one of them. Once it started raining very heavily. There was a stream adjacent to the farm owned by Aashram. In order to prevent water from stream entering in to farm, an earthen barrier was built on the stream. But due to force of water, the soil on the barrier started to slide, and cracks appeared in the barrier. Hence Gurudev told few disciples, “Block the water and prevent it from entering in the farm.”

Aruni and few disciples came near the barrier. They tried their best to repair the cracks in the barrier; but due to force of water their efforts proved unsuccessful. The small part in the middle of the barrier started to breach, and water started seeping in the farm. It was late in night. Since all their efforts proved unsuccessful, all disciples returned to Aashram. As all were very tired due to above efforts, they went to sound sleep.

aruni

The rain stopped in the morning. Then the disciples found that Aruni was missing. They searched for him all over the Aashram; then went to Gurudev and said “Aruni is no where to be found.” Gurudev said “Let us search him in the farm.” Dhaumya Rushi and all the disciples went to the farm. To their surprise, they found Aruni himself lying flat on the breach in the barrier to prevent water from coming in. Everybody was very much surprised at this sight. Everyone felt sense of love for Aruni, who was lying on breach whole night without taking his food. Water had receded some time ago; but Aruni was still sleeping there. They awoke him. Gurudev took Aruni near him and patted his head lovingly. All disciples were tearful at this sight.

Another example from our Indian Mythology of a Disciples devotion to his Guru is that Of Karna and Parasurama

Karna mistakenly outcast as a non Brahmana, lied to Lord Parasurama claiming him as a Brahmana so he could become a disciple and learn the weapon and battle skills.

Parasurama taught Karna the secrets of Brahmastra, which could assure definitive victory in battle for the ones who uses the weapon.

One day while Parasurama was resting on the lap of Karna, a poisonous bee stung Karna. But he kept calm bearing all the pain, not to disturb his resting guru. Parasurama awakened by the warm blood oozing out of the bee sting wound, realized that only a Kshatriya not a Brahmana can have such pain tolerance.

karna n parasurama

He was enraged for he had been lied to, and thus cursed Karna, that in the moment of great need, the knowledge of using the Brahmastra would be erased from his memory.

 

Today we talk of none other than Eklavya and his Guru Bhakti to his Guru Dronacharya

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 (lower caste). His name was Eklavya. He had great desire to learn the art of archery from Dronacharya. But his mother had told him that as a shudra, Acharya Drona would not accept Eklavya as his disciple. It was futile to dream of such a privilege.

But the boy was not be put off, his determination knew no bounds. Near his house, under a tree Eklavya installed a clay idol of Dronacharya that he worshiped as his Guru! Daily, morning and evening, this devotee put flower and natural perfumes in front of this image and took Self-Lessons in the art of bow and arrow. The talented young Eklavya soon acquired high knowledge in archery. He attributed his success to his Guru Dronacharya.

One day, as it happened, Acharya Drona and Arjuna were passing near the hut of Eklavya. It was pleasant and peaceful afternoon and people were taking rest. But the tranquility and silence was broken by constant barking of a dog. Eklavya did not like this, and therefore, he shut the mouth of the dog with an arrow! Dronacharya and Arjuna were surprised to see the dog with his mouth sealed with an arrow!

Naturally the curious Arjuna asked his Gurudev as to who could have done this delicate job. Even Dronacharya was amazed and knew the archer must be exceptionally skilled artist. They decided to trace this skillful fellow and reached the spot where Eklavya was practicing wonders with his bow and arrow in front of the clay image of Drona. It took no time for Dronacharya to understand the situation. He realized that Eklavya was superior to Arjuna in some respects. Dronacharya loved Arjuna very much and had declared him to be the best archer on the earth. Hence the Guru thought for awhile and came to a decision to remove Eklavya as a competitor to Arjuna.

Dronacharya went to Eklavya and said, “O young man, who has taught you such wonderful skills in archery! Who is your Guru?”

Seeing the Guru in front of him, the boy Eklavya was more that overjoyed and said, “Why, O Gurudev, this all is your grace! I worship you as my Guru. Look you are there in that image!”

Dronacharya was pleased with the dedication of Eklavya, and said, “I bless you my son. But as is customary, won’t you give me my fees – Guru-Dakshina!”

[It is customary in India to give to the Guru whatever he demands as his fees - Guru-Dakshina for the knowledge the Guru has given to the disciple.]

Eklavya was overwhelmed to see Dronacharya had accepted him as his disciple! Out he said, “O Honourable Teacher, whatever you ask, this humble disciple of yours will try his utmost to offer you as Guru-Dakshina! I am blessed.”

And now comes a very touching and pathetic incidence in Mahabharata.

Guru Drona said, “O Eklavya, I am pleased with your respect for Guru. I want the thumb of your right hand as my fees- Guru-Dakshina.”

Legend of Eklavya  Mahabharata_15143

The trees and atmosphere around stood still for a minute! Even Arjuna was stunned on listening to the unusual and almost cruel demand of his Guru. To ask for the thumb of an archer was equivalent to almost kill him! How could Dronacharya demand such a heavy prize from one disciple to protect the honour of the other!

But Eklavya had no such remorse. Unruffled and with due humility, cheerfully and without protest, he cut his right thumb and placed at the feet of Dronacharya. Gods in the heaven silently praised the greatness of Eklavya’s sacrifice

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Last scanned on:
2013-05-07 03:45:31