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Qualities of a student: Part 1: Mahabharat Katha

The Mahab­haratha has won­der­ful sto­ries about Acharya (teacher) and Sishya (disciple/student) rela­tion­ship. One such unique rela­tion­ship is between Arju­na and Dronacharya. In these series of posts we will see the qual­i­ties that Arju­na pos­sessed that made him the great­est stu­dent of those times. The Pan­davas and Kau­ravas were stay­ing at the ashra­ma of Dronacharya to learn var­i­ous skills.

Arju­na was known as Gudake­sha- the one who has con­quered the dark­ness of sleep.

With his immense skills, Arju­na emerged to be the most favorite dis­ci­ple of Dronacharya. Dronacharya had very high regards for Arju­na but next only to his son Aswathama. At the ashram, Dronacharya had informed his cook not to serve food to Arju­na in the dark. One day it so hap­pened that while Arju­na was hav­ing his food, the lamp was extin­guished due the strong winds. Arju­na con­tin­ued eat­ing with­out effort. Sud­den­ly real­is­ing that the hand went to the mouth even with­out the pres­ence of light, Arju­na ran into the dark­ness to prac­tice with his bow and arrow. He shot arrows in the dark that hit the tar­get effort­less­ly. Look­ing at Arju­na’s ded­i­ca­tion, Dronacharya was moved and hold­ing Arju­na’s hands, he promised that he would make Arju­na an archer whom no one can match. There­after, Arju­na prac­ticed day and night, com­plete­ly focussed on mas­ter­ing archery.

A good sense of pur­pose, a strong will and lack of lethar­gy can take stu­dents to great heights.

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