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Arjun the Favourite

Arjun, Dronacharya


At the close of Dwapara Yuga, King Dhritrastra of lunar dynasty ruled over the vast empire in North India with his capital at the city of Hastinapura. He had hundred sons known as Kauravas. The eldest one was prince Duryodhana.

Dhritrastra’s deceased younger brother Pandu’s five sons named – Yudhistir, Arjun, Bhima, Nakula and Sahdeva, collectively known as Pandavas, too were staying with him. As the boys grew up, the king thought of appointing a capable teacher of archery to teach them martial arts.

At that time, the most renowned teacher of archery was Dronacharya. His father’s name was sage Bharadwaj who had his hermitage at the bank of river Ganges.

Apart from learning the art of archery at the feet of his father, Dronacharya acquired the knowledge of weaponry from Parasurama, the great warrior of the time.

Once Drona with his family including his son Ashwasthama went to Hastinapura in search of job. When king Dhritrastra came to know that Drona has arrived in the capital, he immediately appointed him as the tutor of his wards – Kauravas and Pandavas.

Kauravas and Pandavas lived with Guru Dronacharya in his abode and learned various skills. There they learnt to operate all kinds of arms like bow and arrows, club, sword and mace.

They used to get up early in the morning. After doing their routine daily chores, they all use to sit at the feet of Guru Dronacharya to receive teachings from him. After their classes were over, they were to perform any and every task assigned to them like getting wood from the forest, cleaning the house of Guru, massaging his feet etc.

This way they all lived together learned their lessons and served Guru.
Once Dronacharya decided to test his disciples. He deliberately entered into the river full of crocodiles on the pretext of bathing. All his disciples – Kauravas and Pandavas stood on the bank of the river watching their teacher swimming in the water.

Suddenly, Dronacharya started shouting loudly saying a huge crocodile caught him. He asked for help from his disciples but they too perplexed to move. They stood there still like statues, aghast on the bank of the river. Only Arjun demonstrated presence of mind He immediately took his bow and arrow, aimed at the crocodile and shot. As the arrow hit the crocodile, it became ferocious. It held Drona more firmly. Arjun shot two more arrows. The ferocious crocodile left Drona but came with full fiery towards Arjun, who was standing on the bank with others. Seeing the angry monster approaching all the pupils ran away except Arjun. He stood there calmly and shot two more arrows killing the crocodile.

This way Arjun saved his guru’s life not caring for his own. Dronacharya was overwhelmed and hugged Arjun. Since that time Arjun became Dronacharya’s favorite disciple.
On another occasion, after completing the lessons, Guru Dronacharya decided to take test of Pandavas and Kauravas. Guru Dronacharya made a pigeon from mud and hid it among the leaves of a tree. None of his students were aware about the location of the pigeon.

Dronacharya made everybody stand in a queue. Everybody wondered what was about to come. Surprised and anxious they waited for guru’s instructions. Guru then told them that there is a pigeon on the tree and asked them to locate it. Some of the Kauravas took a lot of time but Pandavas could spot it easily, as Dronacharya had expected. He then ordered to take aim at the pigeon’s head. Everybody did as instructed. He came to Yudhistir and asked, “ Dear Yudhistir what did you see on taking the aim.” He asked similar question to all of them and received similar answers. All of them replied that they saw the Guru, tree, its branches and the bird. Only Arjun said that he saw nothing else but the bird. Dronacharya then asked, “Which body parts of the pigeon are visible to you.” Arjun’s answer made Dronacharya delighted. He answered, “I can only see the head of the pigeon.” Pleased Dronacharya asked him to shoot. The head of the pigeon, made of mud, fell on the ground.
Dronacharya blessed Arjun profusely on his excellence. Arjun had set the benchmark. Dronacharya said to everybody that they should try and be like Arjun. Once again Arjun proved to be Dronacharya’s favorite student, which the Kauravas could not tolerate and left the place angrily.

Guru said to them all that through concentration they could learn their lessons.
Published: 2006-09-21
Author: Pooja Pandey

About the author or the publisher
I am Eng(H) graduate from Delhi University with POst Graduate diploma holder in Sales and Marketing. I have an experience with corporate world for 3-4 yrs. Now I write Children's books. One of my book has been published by esteemed publisher Scholatics, Five more are in the pipeline with other publishers. My articles have been accepted by various prestigious children's magazines. I ahev delivered talks on AIR for external services, have learned and performed Oddissi dance from a renonwned Guru.

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