Monday 6 April 2020

Eklavya (Mythological Monologues #5)

The silence became heavier
Excruciating to bear;
All heads were turned at me
Guru Dronacharya did not say a word
After asking me for his Gurudakshina
His ripe eyes pierced into mine
To study the roaring waves of my heart
Which had been hit by a tsunami of emotions;
My heart - where I had instated him as my teacher
Before making his statue with the mud on which he walked
And learnt the finest archery
Within a few years.

The silence felt longer
Than a night spent awake in hunger;
Everyone waited for me to speak or act
Guru Dronacharya had asked for my right thumb
As his appropriate Gurudakshina.
I would no longer be a great archer
If I sacrificed my right thumb
Yet I would be called
The best disciple of my Master.
My teacher had set
A seemingly simple yet tricky question paper:
Best Archer or Best Disciple?

The silence felt comforting
As my inner voice started speaking;
Without wasting a single second,
I chopped my right thumb
With a smile on my face
And offered it at my Master's feet;
All his pupils gasped in disbelief
Whereas Guru Dronacharya beamed.
My Master had made me immortal
By asking such a Guru Dakshina
Even after thousands of years,
People will remember me - Eklavya
Who happily gave up being the finest archer
To become the best disciple 
The world has ever seen. 

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: Eklavya is a character from the Hindu epic, Mahabharat known for his Gurudakshina. He was a young prince of the Nishadha (Adivasi) tribe in Ancient India. 

Draupadi (Mythological Monologues #4)


  1. Eklavya is a great character. I like to read his and Karna's stories of bravery. How beautifully you are penning down every poem, so nicely written and I really love the narration. Loved it.

  2. Hari OM
    Oh yes, the lesson for all true devotees! Wonderfully captured again. YAM xx

  3. Eklavya is a great character. But unfortunately, his Gurudakshina also meant that there would be no worthy opponent for Arjuna. A beautiful tribute to a worthy character from mythology. :)

  4. I loved the beautiful portrayal of Eklavya’s emotions buddy, what a great heart he possessed and what a lesson he has left for us the entire humanity, he has loved guru de voh bhavah

  5. Brilliant choice for 'E' and a great tribute to the world's best pupil.

  6. Some parts of our Puranas are difficult to digest. Maybe because I'm a mere human who doesn't have the enlightenment to see the bigger picture. A true guru wouldn't teach and then ensure that his lessons are useless, would he?

    Well written Purba. The theme was a food for. thought

  7. You have narrated it so well in the form of poem .Eklavta was definitely the best disciple and a great Archer.

  8. Aw! that was beautiful. Though I know Ekalavya, this was a very evocative way of putting it. I was definitely drawn it!

  9. Finding a disciple like Ekalavya is impossible. Otherwise he would have been a strong opponent for Arjun. Without his thumb, he was never the same as before and Arjun was able to surpass his archery skills and was known as the best archer.

  10. Really loved your poem and how you have interpreted Eklavya's story. Not sure what I would have done in his place though.


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