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EKALAVYA I(एकलव्य)

  • Son of Hiraṇyadhanus, a King of the foresters. He went to Droṇācārya to learn archery. Droṇācārya refused to accept him as a disciple because he was a Śūdra. Undaunted he went to the forests, made a replica of the preceptor in clay and standing before it started practising archery. Soon he became a matchless archer. Some time later the Pāṇḍavas went to the forests for hunting. One of the hunting dogs wandering saw Ekalavya and started barking. Ekalavya sent seven arrows to its mouth and kept it open. When the dog returned to Arjuna he was dumbfounded at the skill of the archer and when he came to know the archer was an unknown disciple of Droṇa his disappointment knew no bounds. Droṇa had once declared that Arjuna was the best and topmost of his disciples. Arjuna went and complained to Droṇācārya. Droṇācārya called Ekalavya to his side and asked him to give him as ‘Gurudakṣiṇā’ (fee to the preceptor) his right-hand thumb. Without the least hesitation Ekalavya offered his thumb to the guru and from that day onwards his skill faded and he became inferior to Arjuna. [Chapter 132, Ādi Parva]: Ekalavya was killed by Śrī Kṛṣṇa. [Śloka 77, Chapter 48, Udyoga Parva, M.B.]. A son of Ekalavya seized the sacrificial horse of Arjuna and was killed by Arjuna [Chapter 83, Āśvamedhika Parva, M.B.]. 

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