Episode # 158 – Importance of “FOCUS” & “CONCENTRATION” on the job – Guru Dhronaachaarya illustrates!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Guru Dhronaachaarya committing a massive sin of disabling a student’s talent and capability altogether to satisfy a personal agenda and the ego associated with it. The victim of Guru Dhronaachaarya’ heinous crime was Ekalavya, wherein he had to sacrifice his thumb finger of his right hand to Guru Dhronaachaarya’s greediness and jealousy, which made him largely inefficient while using the bow and arrow. If there’s no thumb finger on the right hand, how does one hold the bow and stabilize it? Even without the thumb finger, Ekalavya tried his best to use the remaining four fingers to employ the bow, but he wasn’t able to match Arjuna’s potency in the art. This is another instance wherein Guru Dhronaachaarya conducted himself in a partial manner. Initially itself we’ve witnessed how Guru Dhronaachaarya tried to give more undue importance to his son Ashwatthaama over Arjuna and the others, but thanks to Arjuna’s smartness and proactiveness, this bid was foiled successfully! However, Ekalavya fell into this trap and had to lose his thumb finger, which brought down his capability for no fault of his! Of course, for all that he had committed, Guru Dhronaachaarya is going to pay a heavy price, and eventually we shall see how he is going to be punished! While he’s being meted out with the punishment, we shall once again come back to this tragic Ekalavya episode and connect the punishment to this poor boy’s pain and misery. 

So for now, let us move on further with what happened next. As the days and months progressed, the lessons were going to come to a close for all the children, and they were at a stage of final graduation. As the children were about to graduate, Guru Dhronaachaarya wanted to test them. He wanted to assess how much of the subject the kids have really grasped. Thus, he sets a small bird on the top of a tree trunk as a target and asks each one of them to come forward. All the kids were standing one after the other – Yudishtra, Duryodhana, Bheemasena, Arjuna, Karna, etc. Guru Dhronaachaarya calls the children one after the other. Duroydhana was the first to be called. He comes up and Guru Dhronaachaarya asks him thus, “Oh Duryodhana! What are you able to see in front of you?” Duryodhana replied enthusiastically thus, “Oh Guru! I’m able to see the beautiful tree and its trunk full of leaves! I’m able to see everything around the tree!” Guru Dhronaachaarya upon hearing this answer from Duryodhana, asks him to leave the spot! He calls out the next person and asks the same question. The answer is the same! Guru Dhronaachaarya asks him to leave too! Subsequently, Yudishtra was called up and was asked the same question. Yudishtra replies thus, “Oh Guru! I’m not able to see anything, but the tree and its trunk!” Guru Dhronaachaarya asks him to leave the spot too! 

Finally, Arjuna was called up and he came to the spot. Guru Dhronaachaarya asked the same question to him, for which Arjuna replied thus, “Oh Guru! I cannot see the tree or trunk! I cannot see anyone who is standing beneath the tree or by the side of it. All I can see is that one bird and its eye!” As Guru Dhronaachaarya heard this reply, he was extremely happy! He replies to Arjuna thus, “Oh Arjuna! Now take your arrow and hit the bird!” With this instruction, Arjuna hit the target perfectly and the bird fell off the tree trunk! Guru Dhronaachaarya was mightily impressed with Arjuna’s precision and concentration! With this, Guru Dhronaachaarya calls all the kids towards him and explains to them thus, “Oh children! Now do you understand what is meant by real concentration and focus? While performing a task, you should only focus on the task and nothing else! Your concentration should always be on the target and should never deviate here and there, just because something nearby is beautiful and attractive! This is how you would achieve perfection and precision in whatever you do!” 

Now this is an important lesson for all of us too – Guru Dhronaachaarya’s words are very important here. In fact, this is the same thing that Bhagawan Krishna is also going to explain later in the Bhagawad Gita to Arjuna too. Bhagawan Krishna says thus, “Oh Arjuna! If you’re desiring some shallow and hollow worldly affairs, all your energy is going to go in vain! Whereas, if you’re focusing on a high-level task (of attaining “Moksha”), your focus should be so perfect that your mind wouldn’t deviate here and there in pursuit of it!” We’ve also witnessed earlier that when Gaandhaari married King Dhirdiraashtra, she closed her eyes with a cloth permanently just because her husband was blind, isn’t it? After that day, she never took that cloth off her eyes – Not even for a single minute! She stood by her stance till her last day of life, isn’t it? Only when she had no other option but to protect Duryodhana from the wrath of Bheemasena during the final stage of the Kurukshetra war, she opened her eyes to give him all her power and energy to make him invincible, isn’t it? 

Thus, we can see here how meticulous focus on the task that we’re doing is extremely important to achieve the desired result. This is exactly what Guru Dhronaachaarya taught all the children with the help of this assessment technique. So for today, let us also understand the significance of Guru Dhronaachaarya’s assessment and let us wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! 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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