The Dirge Of Destiny
The Dirge Of Destiny4 mins 30 4 mins 30
With obeisances to the Supreme Creator,
The prolific pen of Pandemonium, Now
Presents a Pensive Parable of Prince Ekalavya!
Title of the story :
The Dirge of Destiny
Or The Gift of Gratitude
Or The Guru Dakshina of Ekalavya
In ancient times, the greatest war skill was archery, and one supreme in archery was considered the Greatest Warrior.
Amongst war mongering ”civilised ” kingdoms, there co-existed peaceful tribes dwelling in dense jungles who eked out their living by hunting. These tribal ” Nishaads ” were considered inferior to the Monarchial kingdoms, who had an elaborate caste system, in which the Brahmins and Kshatriyas were considered superior. All facilities of education and social privileges were available only to the ” superior ” castes and were denied to the ”lower / inferior” castes.
Of one such tribal clan, ruled by the King Hiranyaksha, was the Prince Ekalavya, an only son.
Prince Ekalavya was fiercely possessed by the desire to be acclaimed as the Greatest Archer of all times and ventured out to learn archery in the nearby civilized monarchial kingdom of the Kurus. He met Dronacharya, who was a great master of military warfare and also tutor to the royal princes and heir apparents.
But Ekalavya was denied the knowledge of Archery on the grounds of his ” inferior ” caste or rank.
Undeterred, Prince Ekalavya then made a clay idol of Dronacharya, and in its presence, in a lonely isolated forest, proceeded to learn archery all by himself.
Time passed by, and once, Dronacharya with his royal students went out in the jungle to try out their skills in hunting. Their dog was running ahead barking loudly. This disturbed Prince Ekalavya who was practising his archery nearby... He swiftly shot arrows to prevent the dog from barking, without hurting its mouth.
Seeing their dog silenced so skilfully, the Royal Princes were aghast to see a ” low” caste Archer with skills far superior to their own.
Dronacharya was also surprised to see Ekalavya’s skill and more so because it was self-taught. He asked Ekalavya who his teacher was and was shocked and surprised to hear his own name! He asked Ekalavya to show him the place where he had learned his archery.
The innocent and trusting Ekalavya at once showed him a clearing in the thicket where he had installed the clay idol, and in whose presence he would practice daily and had thus achieved his skill in archery.
Now Dronacharya had promised his favourite student, the Royal Prince Arjuna, that he would train him to be the world’s greatest archer. Seeing Ekalavya’s prowess, Arjuna was dejected and nonplussed and felt betrayed by Dronacharya.
To appease Arjuna, Dronacharya cunningly asked Ekalavya for a” Guru Dakshina, ” a traditional token," Gift of Gratitude " given by a student to acknowledge the teacher's efforts in imparting knowledge.
Ekalavya innocently and trustingly promised to give him the Gift of Gratitude ...the ” Guru Dakshina. ”
On obtaining Ekalavya’s promise, the sly scheming Dronacharya using his own promise and word of honour against him, at once asked him for his right hand's thumb as ” Guru Dakshina ”!
As is known by anyone with even basic knowledge of archery, the right-hand thumb is crucial in archery, without which not even a single arrow can ever be shot! Ekalavya was fully aware that Dronacharya was asking from him a gift which would not only render Ekalavya handicapped but totally unfit as an archer, forever.
The honest, trusting, and generous Ekalavya, considered ” inferior ” by the “civilised” Princes, showed his Superior moral uprightness, integrity, strength of character, and high values of princely honour, by at once cutting off his right hands thumb, to redeem his promise, and offered it as ” Guru Dakshina ” to Dronacharya.
Thus did the sly scheming Dronacharya subtly sabotage Ekalavyas supreme skills through subterfuge!
Thus was Prince Ekalavya, who was full of innocent integrity and sincere commitment to his given word of honour, truly the World’s Greatest Archer, cheated of his rightful glory, by the wily Dronacharya, who abused his tutorship, only to maintain his pet student's superiority, and denied true merit it’s rightful honour through foul, partial means.
– * – * ---
Authors note :
The meaning of the title ” The Dirge of Destiny" ...
Dirge means a sad funeral song lamenting the death of a hero. ” ...Here destiny herself is lamenting as a funeral song for the concealed indirect murder of the skills of an archer through foul play. In the normal course of events, the glorious title of the ” World’s Greatest Archer " would have rightfully been that of the noble Prince Ekalavya.
But Ekalavya was cheated of his rightful title and glory through deliberate deceit or subterfuge by sabotaging or rendering incapable of use, his supreme skills of archery by a cunning mind - the manipulative technique of taking advantage of Ekalavya's innocent trusting and generous nature by a rival group of scheming manipulating nepotists ...
Sounds eerily familiar ... Doesn't it?
Thanks for reading or listening to this story. The story is dedicated to ... All those who are deprived of their rightful value or credit by foul means or due to lack of resources.