28 December 2013

New Stamp from India




Date of Issue  : 27 December 2013

India Post issued a commemorative stamp on Eklavya on 27th December 2013.

Ekalavya is a character from the Hindu epic, the Mahābhārata. He was a young prince of the Nishadha, a confederation of jungle tribes in Ancient India. He was son of Vyatraj Hiranyadhanus, a talented soldier in the army of King of Magadha. Magadha was ruled by Jarasandha, who was at odds with the Kingdom of Hastinapura.Ekalavya sincerely sought the mentor of Drona in weaponry and martial art. Ekalavya is called as one of the foremost of kings in the Rajasuya Yagna where he honours Yudhishthira with his shoes. Though he didn't have his right thumb, he was noted as a very powerful archer and charioteer.He was killed in battle by Krishna, who hurled a rock at him.


Ekalvya's Gurudakshina

Guru Gakshina

One day the young Kaurava and Pandava princes from Hastinapur came hunting with their teacher, Drona in the jungle where Ekalavya lived. While the princes were hunting around in the jungle, they camped for the night. It was amavasya and the night was completely dark.

At the same time not far away, Ekalavya was practising archery. He heard a dog barking and fired seven arrows in rapid succession to fill the dog's mouth without injuring it.

image image

Drona and his students stumble across the dog and see its mouth sewn shut by arrows. Amazed at this, Arjuna asked Drona how could this be possible in the dark night to which he replied it was shabda bhedi, aiming at objects by its sound, a skill that Arjuna had not yet learnt. Drona mapped the direction of the shooting arrows and lead his students to the place from they were being shot. There they found a dark young boy practising archery. Drona recognised Ekalavya and asked him if it was he who had shot the wild dog to which Ekalavya replied that it was indeed him. Impressed and curious, Drona asked Ekalavya who his teacher was. The boy bowed to Drona with respect and touched his feet, replied, "Acharya (Sir), it is you who taught me everything I learnt."

Drona was amazed and asked him how could he learn from him in the forest while Drona at the palace with the royal princes. Ekalavya showed them the statue of Drona that he made, explaining that he had accepted the form Drona in the statue as his guru, and with meditation and discipline had trained. Upon hearing this, Drona was impressed but also angered. Fulfilling his dharma to protect the fated superiority of Arjuna, Drona demands him his dakshina. Ekalavya tells Drona that he would pay anything he asked, to which Drona responded that he wanted Ekalavya's right thumb. Without any hesitation, Ekalavya cut off his right hand's thumb and gave it to his guru, thereby crippling himself and ruining his abilities as an archer.

Ekalavya has been lauded by many Indians, including Adivasis, as a paragon of achievement who achieved great heights of accomplishment through his own self-initiative, to which the nobles of the Kuru house could only aspire through formal tutelage. Ultimately, however, the Mahābhārata does not settle these moral ambiguities, and leaves the tale open to speculation and discussion. Ekalavya later learned to shoot again using only four fingers and left-handed and was a mighty warrior hailed in several places in the Mahabharata. On the other hand, Drona has been criticised by some scholars for fulfilling his dharma to protect the fated superiority of Arjuna, and for demanding something that was not his due.

Read More….

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails