In the previous episode, we were at an important juncture in the Mahabharata text, where Dhronaachaarya is getting transformed into Guru Dhronaachaarya! This transformation wasn’t easy for Dhronaachaarya to make. We had witnessed earlier that he was suffering from acute poverty wherein he was not even able to feed milk three times a day to his son Ashwatthaama. Thus, he eventually remembered King Drupada’s promise of handing over half of his kingdom when he became king. With this, Dhronaachaarya confronted King Drupada, only to receive a negative reply from him! Cheated by King Drupada thus, Dhronaachaarya pledged to avenge this insult that was meted out to him. As he came back, Dhronaachaarya lived along with his wife and brother-in-law, Sage Kripachaarya, until one day, things changed towards Dhronaachaarya’s fortune! He spotted the Paandava children playing alongside, and with the help that he offered to them to take out their ball and ring from a pit, the Paandava brothers were extremely impressed and happy! Upon Bhishmaachaarya’s advice, the Paandavas accepted Dhronaachaarya as their Guru and thus, the transformation happened – Dhronaachaarya became “Guru Dhronaachaarya”!
As Guru Dhronaachaarya was all set to take over the education of the Paandavas, he asked Bhishmaachaarya two important questions – Firstly, now that he is going to take over, the children were already obtaining their education under Sage Kripachaarya, isn’t it? What if he gets angry that Dhronaachaarya is “poaching” his students? Secondly, since Dhronaachaarya was suffering from poverty, he asked Bhishmaachaarya whether he would get a place to stay and food to eat. Bhishmaachaarya replies thus, “Oh Dhronaachaarya! You do not need to worry about Sage Kripaachaarya getting angry. He is a good friend of mine and I shall let him know the way in which it has to be done. You do not need to worry about that. Secondly, I shall give you whatever you ask for. You asked for food and shelter, isn’t it? I shall give it to you from this moment itself! From now onwards, you are an integral part of our Hastinapura kingdom. I shall give you all the luxuries and key positions that you wish for! All I need from you is to teach these children well and share your expertise with them!”
As Bhishmaachaarya explains thus, Guru Dhronaachaarya was also extremely happy and satisfied! On one hand, he was happy and relieved that his poverty situation has finally come to an end. On the other hand, Dhronaachaarya was thinking that he shall use this opportunity to avenge King Drupada in some way! We’ve seen this, isn’t it? King Drupada refused to share his kingdom with Guru Dhronaachaarya. Now that Guru Dhronaachaarya has obtained a “say” in the Hastinaapura kingdom, he thought that he can use this to avenge King Drupada! As the deal was struck between the two of them thus, Guru Dhronaachaarya started to happily teach the children. He first identified which child can be good in which art form.
This is the main role of a teacher here – A teacher should be able to identify the innate talent in each of his / her student and make that talent dazzle in them. A teacher’s role is to develop the students’ talent in whatever they are good at. Thus, Guru Dhronaachaarya is identifying which child is good in what. One child was good at throwing weapons. One child was good at using the sword. One child was good at using the “Gadha”. One child was excellent in the bow and arrow. Similarly, he identified each child’s talent and started training them according to what they are good at. The children were getting individual attention from their Guru and they were extremely happy with it. The children were very bright and they learnt extremely quickly!
As the education was continuing in full swing thus, Guru Dhronaachaarya had this intention in his mind always – Can he use anybody in this lot to go and avenge King Drupada? Guru Dhronaachaarya was looking out for the best amongst his students. He was constantly on the look out right from day one! So was he successful in his pursuit? Whom did Guru Dhronaachaarya pick out as his best student to go and avenge King Drupada? We shall witness this interesting set of events in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂