Episode # 152 – Arjuna OUTSMARTS Guru Dhronaachaarya’s “Nepotism” bid!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Guru Dhronaachaarya fell into the trap of “Putra-Vaatsalya” and how he slowly tilted towards his son Ashwatthaama during the formal education sessions. As the other children were asked to fill water in their pots with small mouths, Ashwatthaama’s pot alone was with a bigger mouth and with this, Ashwatthaama was able to fill water faster in his pot. Before the other children arrived with their full pots, Guru Dhronaachaarya used to teach some secretive lessons on warfare to Ashwatthaama, which he hasn’t taught Arjuna too, even though Arjuna was his most important student! However, as fate would have it, Arjuna spotted something fishy happening between Ashwatthaama and Guru Dhronaachaarya. He wanted to find out what was happening during this time lag between him and Ashwatthaama reporting to Guru Dhronaachaarya. 

Thinking of this, Arjuna made a plan. He took his bow and arrow, used his smartness and employed one arrow on to the mouth of the pot. He has to be very careful here – On one hand, he shouldn’t break the pot with the arrow. If the pot is broken, he would come under Guru Dhronaachaarya’s scanner. At the same time, he should ensure that he elongates the mouth of the pot. However, this too is not easy. If he elongates the mouth of the pot too much, there is a chance that the mouth section alone might break off! This might be difficult to carry the water carefully, because the water might leak out of the broken mouth. Thus, Arjuna being an extremely skilled child in the bow and arrow techniques, made sure that he elongates the mouth of the pot without damaging the mouth itself and the pot as well. Thus with this, Arjuna was able to fill the pot with the same speed as Ashwatthaama did. Thus, he was able to bridge the time gap between himself and Ashwatthaama and he too reported to Guru Dhronaachaarya at the same time when Ashwatthaama did. 

Thus, Guru Dhronaachaarya was caught off the wrong foot! Arjuna ensured that whatever Guru Dhronaachaarya taught Ashwatthaama, he too was there beside and learnt all of it! The plan was clearly foiled! This is how a student should be smart and shrewd enough! On one hand, Arjuna shouldn’t spoil his relationship with Guru Dhronaachaarya, and on the other hand, Arjuna should ensure that he doesn’t miss out on any secretive lesson that is being taught. Thus, Arjuna ensured a fine balance between both – He ensured that he was present for all the secretive lessons, and at the same time, he ensured that he did not spoil his relationship with his Guru! Here, even Guru Dhronaachaarya did not have an option to stop teaching Ashwatthaama. Had he done so, it would have exposed his mistake of being partial! Thus, with Arjuna’s shrewdness, Guru Dhronaachaarya was pushed to a fix and he had no other option but to teach all secretive lessons of warfare to Arjuna as well! This is why, we’re going to see during the Kurukshetra war, how Arjuna and Ashwatthaama were equally talented warriors and how they challenged each other till the end! 

As days passed by, since Guru Dhronaachaarya’s plot failed here, he thought of another plan. After the lessons for the day were over, all the kids used to feel very hungry and they would be served some delicious meals after their long day at work. However, Guru Dhronaachaarya instructed the cook not to serve any food during the night for Arjuna. As the other kids were eating, Arjuna was alone not served any food during the night. This made Arjuna thoughtful. One day, due to an extremely windy condition, the lamp that was lit during dinner time went off and the place became dark. On that day, Arjuna was feeling hungry after a long day of classes. He wanted to eat something. Due to the darkness, while serving the meal to the children, the cook accidentally served food to Arjuna as well. It was a mistake on the part of the cook, but Arjuna used this as an opportunity to satisfy his hunger. He was able to eat easily even in the dark and his hand-eye coordination was working very well! 

This slowly made Arjuna think thus, “Oh wow! If I’m able to eat with my hand-eye-coordination very easily in pitch darkness, why can’t I use the same hand-eye coordination to use the bow and arrow to perfection to target an enemy in the dark? Why can’t I try this and check it out for myself, instead of waiting for Guru Dhronaachaarya to teach me?” Thinking thus, Arjuna immediately ran to the place where his bow and arrow was kept. He took it and went to the river bank where it was pitch dark at night. He started trying his skills on the bow and arrow during the night time amidst complete darkness. This is one aspect Guru Dhronaachaarya did not want to teach Arjuna on purpose, because he had taught this to Ashwatthaama, who is going to employ this skill at a later stage to create a complete disaster! However, Arjuna was smart enough to learn this on his own proactively! 

Such is the characteristic of a student! A student should be able to grasp keenly whatever the Guru is teaching him, and also all the allied aspects of the lesson that the Guru is not teaching him. This is real proactiveness of a student. So for today, let us understand until this point wherein Arjuna outsmarts Guru Dhronaachaarya and let us wait till the next episode to witness how Guru Dhronaachaarya reacted to Arjuna’s smartness! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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