MONDAY MUSINGS – 17
Ekalavya was a passionate learner who continued with his passion for learning against all odds. Many quote Ekalavya as an epitome of passionate learning & guru bhakthi. Ekalavya’s story teaches a lot more apart from archery – Determination, Resilience & Persistence to quote a few.
WISHING ALL THE READERS A GRACEFUL GURU PURNIMA
The Full Moon day during the Lunar month Ashad is celebrated as Guru Purnima. Gu means darkness, ignorance and Ru implies elimination or removal. Guru is literally the one who removes the darkness of ignorance from our lives, makes us knowledgeable and brings positivity in our life and mind.
Guru Purnima is celebrated on the birthday of Ved Vyas. Ved Vyas, who compiled the four vedas, some puranas and the epic Mahabharath, is referred as one of the greatest Gurus in Indian Philosophy. It is also believed that he completed the Brahma Sutras on the day of Guru Purnima.
Remembering and paying gratitude to a guru and seeking the blessings from a guru on guru purnima is considered auspicious.
Guru is pitched ahead of GOD in the pecking order Mata, Pita, Guru, Deivam.
It is not just another ritual. It is a meaningful and purposeful ritual. Remembering and paying pranams to the guru enhances our passion and commitment for Learning.
I bow to my gurus from whom I learnt a lot, learning still and will learn…
Remember and convey your gratitude to your gurus on this auspicious ‘Guru Purnima’ and enhance your positive thoughts.
Anyone Can Learn
Ekalavya challenged the age-old belief that archery can be learnt only by someone with royal blood. He showed the world that ‘Anyone’ can learn an art if only there is an yearning. Your genes or your social strata are not the limiting factors for learning.
We have seen many role models who have taken up this ‘Anyone can Learn’ very passionately. Our people’s president Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam went on to become the missile man of India and the only apolitical President of India hailing from a fisherman family. There are many such examples which if listed can fill up this episode. Ekalavya was the first to establish ‘Anyone can Learn’ mantra.
Learning possible Anywhere
Ekalavya failed in getting admission to the best archery school, Dronacharya’s school of archery. This did not dampen his spirit and eventually managed to outsmart someone who came graduated from Dronacharya school of archery. I fail to understand why our parents and children attach too much significance to getting admission in the best schools and colleges. Ekalavya was the first to establish that a committed student can learn ‘Anywhere’.
Anyhow will learn
Ekalavya suffered repeated setbacks in his quest for learning. He was first denied admission by Drona. He started his learning watching the lessons given to the princes from a distance. Even this opportunity was snatched from him, and he was thrown out of the hermitage. But he was not disheartened. Ekalavya went on to prove that a curious learner can learn ‘Anyhow’.
The learning did not come easy or by luck for ekalavya. He achieved by hard work, trial, error and sheer determination.
Arjuna was the favorite disciple of Dronacharya (who was the best teacher of archery at that time). He had the best resources available, trained with the best competition available, had complete personal training. Eklavya on the other hand could not get the resources to practice, no companion to practice with, no background of archery and in fact- no teacher to guide. Yet he outsmarted Arjuna.
No matter your resources, no matter your competition, with immense dedication and hard work you can still beat Arjunas in any field. Stop whining ‘I could not have a great school/college/exposure’. You could probably be an Ekalavya and could end up beating Arjunas.
What is Drona’s statue to do with the learning?
How could a student learn a skill from a statue? Does it sound idiotic. Not. Drona’s statue is nothing but symbolic to show the power of our lifetime experiences. Our experience is our best teacher. We have a teacher constantly working with us all the time, everywhere, so that we can continue to learn. This teacher is invisible but with every one of us. Are we learning from our mistakes or keep continuing to make the same mistakes? Are we learning something new when we encounter a new experience? Passionate learner can learn from lifetime experience until his/her last breath.
Is Drona wicked?
Now comes the most intriguing and much talked about discussion from Ekalavya’s story. Was Drona right in asking guru dakshina from Ekalavya when he did not teach anything to him? Is it treachery?
Dronacharya is commonly viewed as being cruel and self-centered. The perceived understanding is, this boy who has learned the skill on his own and is good at it, is made to give it up for the vested interest of Dronacharya.
Though on the outside, it seemed as if Dronacharya had done injustice to Eklavya, actually Dronacharya uplifted Eklavya from just being a student to becoming an epitome of discipleship.
Dronacharya blessed Eklavya with immortality by asking him for his thumb. So when people think of devotion, they think of Eklavya, and not Arjuna.
Management and Leadership Topics covered in the previous posts
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