(Who was Ekalavya)

Date : Jan 11, 2024


Dear Devotees : Namaskara.

| Sri MannMoolaRamastu Mannmathe Moolamahasamsthhaana Mantralaya Sri Rayaramathe||


Who was Ekalavya ? is described in Mantralaya (1072)..


Today, our journey leads us to delve into the enigmatic story of Ekalavya. The mere mention of Ekalavya’s name evokes a sense of Guru Bhakti, yet as we explore the the Mahabharata, a mix of emotions unfolds.

Reading the Mahabharata as if it were a captivating story, one can't help but feel a pang of sorrow for Ekalavya, who sacrificed his very thumb, and a surge of anger directed at Dronacharya. Numerous questions arise, prompting us to ponder the intricacies of this narrative.
As a Vedic scholar and esteemed teacher, why did Dronacharya withhold the teachings of archery from Ekalavya? What led Dronacharya to demand Ekalavya's thumb as Gurudakshina, a toll that seemed disproportionately harsh? The devotion displayed by Ekalavya towards his Guru raises the poignant question – did he truly deserve such a severe consequence?

Acharya Madhwaru gives clarification to all these.

Ekalavya emerged as the living embodiment, or Amsha, of the enigmatic demon Manimanta. His character, akin to a captivating tale, unfolded as a nuanced blend of virtues and vices.. Prior to immersing himself in the study of Warfare Shastra vidya before Drona's idol, he delved into the forbidden arts of black magic, specifically Paishacha vidya, under the tutelage of a group of devils known as pishachis. Armed with this arcane knowledge, he joined forces with Jarasanda to confront Sri Krishna, resulting in his defeat. Undeterred, Ekalavya made a second attempt to assail Krishna, only to face another defeat.

Convinced that black magic, the Paishacha Astra, was ineffective against Sri Krishna, Ekalavya resolved to seek the guidance of the esteemed Guru Drona. His intent, however, harbored darker shades, for he sought divine weapons with the explicit purpose of ending Krishna's life.
Approaching Dronacharyaru, Ekalavya humbly requested instruction in archery and the bestowal of divine weaponry. Yet, as Dronacharyaru gazed upon Ekalavya's countenance, he discerned the shadows that lingered within, sensing the disciple's ominous intentions. Aware of Ekalavya's previous foray into black magic and the true purpose behind his plea, Dronacharyaru, in a moment of sagacity, chose to decline the imparting of archery skills.

In upholding his commitment to Arjun, Dronacharyaru affirmed his promise to make Arjun the paramount warrior. Recognizing Arjun's alignment with Dharma and the purity of his intentions, Dronacharyaru refrained from bestowing divine weapons upon one whose motives veered towards hostility and harm. The intricate dance between teacher and seeker, duty and discernment, unfolded in this pivotal moment, shaping the destiny of Ekalavya within the grand tapestry

Later on, Ekalavya, with strong devotion, learns archery using Dronacharya's idol through meditation, becoming skilled. When Dronacharya meets Ekalavya, he's impressed by his dedication but senses bad intentions. Dronacharya asks for Ekalavya's thumb as Guru Dakshina. Surprisingly, Ekalavya happily gives it, showing his deep respect for his Guru.

Afterward, in a secret meeting, Dronacharya, recognizing Ekalavya's devotion, teaches him complete archery as a gift. Dronacharya knew that without a thumb, Ekalavya couldn't pose a threat, ensuring the safety of those following Dharma. In this way, Dronacharya maintained his good character by taking the thumb to prevent harm, while also rewarding Ekalavya's dedication with valuable knowledge.

Despite losing his thumb, Ekalavya refined his archery skills under Drona and later faced Krishna and Balarama in battle. Balarama emerged victorious. Undeterred, Ekalavya sought penance to appease Shiva. Bestowed with invincibility, Ekalavya’s ego swelled. Eager to confront Sri Krishna, Ekalavya charged forward. However, in a crucial moment, Krishna, halting all weapons and astras, killed Ekalavya with his Chakra.

As Sri Rayaru says Acharya Madhwaru's clarification serves as a guiding light, illuminating the layers of Mahabharata.

The moral of Ekalavya's story encompasses several valuable lessons:

Guru Bhakti (Devotion to the Teacher): Ekalavya's unwavering devotion to Dronacharya, even in the face of adversity, highlights the profound significance of respecting and honoring one's teacher.

Ethical Conduct and Intentions: The story underscores the importance of ethical conduct and pure intentions in seeking knowledge. Dronacharya's refusal to teach Ekalavya, recognizing his impure motives, emphasizes the ethical responsibilities of both teachers and disciples.

The Consequences of Ego: Ekalavya's journey serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked ego. Despite gaining invincibility, his ego leads to his downfall, showcasing the negative repercussions of arrogance.

Balancing Promises and Higher Duties: Dronacharya's decisions to withhold divine knowledge from Ekalavya, in order to fulfill promises made to Arjuna and prevent harm to those following Dharma, highlight the delicate balance teachers must maintain between promises and greater ethical responsibilities.

The Complexity of Characters: The nuanced portrayal of Ekalavya, with both virtues and vices, reminds us that individuals are complex and multifaceted. It encourages us to understand the layers of a person's character rather than viewing them in simplistic terms.

The Role of Divine Intervention: Krishna's role in inspiring Dronacharya to seek Ekalavya's thumb and later defeating him in battle emphasizes the concept of divine intervention. It underscores the idea that there is a larger cosmic design at play in the unfolding of events.

Overall, the story of Ekalavya encourages reflection on humility, ethical conduct, devotion, and the complex interplay of virtues and vices in human nature. It serves as a timeless narrative that imparts profound moral and spiritual lessons transcending the boundaries of time and culture.

The devotion towards Sri Raghavendrateertharu is the ultimate truth and is the most simple and effective way to reach Sri Hari  - "NAMBI KETTAVARILLAVO EE GURUGALA"! “Those who have complete faith in this Guru will never be disappointed.”