Eklavya was the son of Hiranyadhanu, the King of Nishaad. Once
praising about him to Arjun, Krishn said to him - "He was
made weak by your Guru by asking his right thumb in
Guru Dakshinaa, otherwise
he was like a second Parashuraam. He was capable of shooting day and
night and was invincible even by Devtaa. I killed him in the battle
only for your good."
Eklavya and Drone
He was a Bheel tribe boy who wanted to be a good archer. He went to learn
this to Guru Drone but Drone refused to teach him, so he built a statue
of Guru Drone and used to learn
archery from it. He often used to go to the place where Guru Jee used to
teach archery to Arjun and other
princes. He sat there and watched them for long hours. Once Guru Jee took
his students out for hunting. They had a hunting dog also. The dog also
started wandering about and came to Eklavya. Seeing him clad in dark clothes,
with matted locks, in a filthy look, he started barking aloud. To show his
skill in archery, he filled his mouth with seven arrows. The dog came running
to Paandav and seeing that the Paandav started searching for the man who did
this to their dog. Soon they found a stranger and asked him - "Who are
you and whose son you are?" Eklavya said - "I am the son of Hiranyadhanu,
the King of Nishaad. I am a pupil of Drone."
After knowing everything about him, Paandav came back to the city and
told everything to Drone that happened in the woods. Arjun saw Drone
in private and asked him - "You said to me that there will be nobody
equal to me then why this one, the Nishaad Prince, is superior to me?"
Drone thought for a moment, decided the course of his action, took Arjun
with him, and came to the woods where Paandav found Eklavya. He found
Eklavya practicing his archery ceaselessly. As he saw Drone coming towards
him, he touched his feet, prostrated before him, worshipped him and stood
before him joining his hands in reverence.
Drone asked him - "Who is your Guru?"
Eklavya said - "My Guru is you only."
"But I have not trained you."
"But I have learnt from you only."
"When you taught to Kuru Princes I used to look from outside and then
practice at home. See, I have made a statue also of yours. I always
practice archery after taking permission from your statue."
Drone said - "If you are really my pupil, then give me my fees -
Eklavya got very happy to hear this, he said politely - "O Guru, Tell
me what should I give to you, because there is nothing which I cannot give
to my Guru."
Drone said - "If you really want to give me something, then give the
right thumb to me."
Everybody was stunned to hear asking this strange Guru Dakshinaa from Drone,
but these cruel words did not move Eklavya at all from his promise and with
a cheerful face he picked the knife, cut his right thumb and offered it on
the feet of his Guru. Guru was moved to see his devotion and humility. He
blessed him - "I bless you that you will always be remembered for your
Guru Bhakti." Arjun was very sad to see this. Drone went away with children.
But Eklavya found that the lightness of his hand had gone.
Eklavya to Shishupaal
Later he worked for Jaraasandh. Once he went to Shishupaal as an emissary
of Jaraasandh with the invitation to attend the Swayamvar of Bheeshmak's
daughter Rukminee. Bheeshmak and his son Rukmee wanted to marry her to
Shishupaal, but Rukminee loved Krishn. So She also sent a messenger to
Krishn and Krishn abducted her defeating Rukmee.
Later Eklavya was killed by Krishn during a battle with Jaraasandh.
Eklavya and Krishn
Krishn says to Arjun praising Eklavya --
Ekalavya's expertise in mace fight and archery is narrated in 7 chapters
of Harivamsh, 93 to 99. He stalls no less than Balaraam.
In MBH also Krishn tells at length about Ekalavya's valor, in Drone Parv
after Ghatotkach Vadh He said -
7-156-0191/. ekalabyam. hi.sa.angushtham. azaktaa.deva. daanavaah. /
7 156-0193/. saraakshas. uragaah.paartha. vijetum.yudhi. karhichit. //
Means - Undeprived of thumb,
Ekalavya, O Paarth, was incapable of being vanquished in battle by the
gods, the Daanav, the Raakshas, and the Urag (together).' - a little
stylistic… If Eklavya is with his thumb, it is impossible to conquer him
in war [I had a hell with that thumbless fellow…] hence Suyodhan would
have drafted him by all means …' is Krishn's sermon to Arjun.
--It is said that, this tribe still shoots arrows without using their right thumb.
--Krishn has not seen Helen of Troy, otherwise he would have said: Eklavya's
thumb = Brad Pitt's heel; where the heel is shot in the last reel, while the
thumb is cut in the first reel - with a little prognosis. Both are done with
Chhadmanaa - not 'guilefully or trickiness' but 'circumspectly' , as teacher
asked it and student gave it - instantaneously.