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Why Dronacharya Took The Thumb Of Ekalavya As Guru Dakshina?

Stories of Ekalavya is open to numerous interpretation. Here is my answer to as to why Dronacharya took the thumb of Eklavya as Guru Dakshina.

Eklavya in the Mahabharata is the son of Nishada King Hiranyadhanu. His story begins when he approached Guru Dronacharya to learn the art of archery. Ekalavya was an excellent archer but Dronacharya refused to teach him.

Guru Drona refused to teach him because he did not belong to the warrior class (Kshatriya). But the real reason was Drona feared that Ekalavya will surpass his favorite student Arjuna.

Eklavya then installed a clay image of Dronacharya, took blessings and started practicing archery. In due course of time, he mastered the art of archery on his own.

One day Dronacharya saw a barking dog being quieted with arrows. Seven arrows were shot into the mouth of the dog without injuring it. Dronacharya was amazed at this demonstration of archery.

Upon searching, he found out that it was Ekalavya who had done this; as the dog was barking and disturbing his practice.

Guru Drona found that Eklavya was practicing archery in front of his clay image.

Guru soon realized that his unknown Shishya (student) was superior to Arjuna in archery.

As he did not want anyone superior to Arjuna, he asked the thumb on the right hand of Ekalavya as Gurudakshina.

Eklavya immediately compiled and chopped of the thumb on his right hand.

Why Dronacharya Took The Thumb Of Ekalavya As Guru Dakshina?

Dronacharya found in Arjuna the right candidate to fight against Dhrupad and the panchala army. Dhrupad had insulted Dronacharya. Drona promised revenge at the suitable time.

A vengeful Drona, leaving aside his interest in studies, made up his mind to teach war skills to the Kshatriyas.

Dronacharya discovered the latent talent of Arjuna, among all others, and trained him meticulously. Thus, Arjuna came up as an undisputed warrior.

Ekalavya proved that he can match Arjuna in battle. King Hiranyadhanu was a vassal of powerful Jarasandha. It would only be natural for Ekalavya to join Dhrupad.

If Ekalavya joined the Panchala army, the revenge of Drona would not have been fulfilled.

This the reason why Dronacharya took the thumb of Ekalavya. He crippled the warrior Ekalavya so that he does not participate in the war against the Panchala army of Drupada and Arjuna.